The Beatles On Tour 1964

1964

"The Beatles were one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time. They also had one of the fiercest, most intensely loyal fandoms of all time. Beatles fans — mainly teenage girls — offered the band their unbridled devotion throughout the 1960' by gathering at concert venues in a way that the world had never witnessed before. Without their help, the Fab Four would have never become the legends they are today. 

Being a Beatles fan was a wild ride that meant attending sold-out shows, and waiting at whichever airport the boys were flying into to welcome them with shouts of glee. It also meant weathering criticism from misogynistic journalists and far-right pastors who thought that mass hysteria and demonic influence were the only possible explanations for the band's popularity. Here's what it was really like to experience Beatlemania, in all its glory and chaos. 

Beatles concerts were places of exhilarating chaos. As the Week reports, they were typically rife with screaming, crying, and fainting. They also involved a stranger occurrence: the ritualistic pelting of the Beatles with a British candy called Jelly Babies. 

Due to their frenzied behavior at concerts, Beatles fans were often derided as crazy and irrational by critics, especially those who were male. An article called The Menace of Beatlism, written by journalist Paul Johnson for The New Statesman in 1964, was particularly harsh. In the article, Johnson calls the Beatles 'teenage fans 'moronic' and dismisses their concerts as 'a collective groveling to gods who are blind and empty.' He ends his rant with a controversial assertion: 'Those who flock round the Beatles, who scream themselves into hysteria, are the least fortunate of their generation, the dull, the idle, the failures.' 

In a 2013 article in The Guardian, journalist Dorian Lynsky interviewed several women about their early experiences with the Beatles fandom. Many of them cite their Beatlemania years as critical to their adolescent journey. One woman, Bridget Kelly, describes that time in her life as 'a place between childhood and adulthood' where she could get in touch with her emotions and release her inhibitions — 'let go and go mad.' Others emphasize the way that Beatles fandom let them discover and articulate their romantic preferences: by choosing John, Paul, George, or Ringo as their favorite, they were making a statement about the kind of men they might like to date later in life." (www.grunge.com)

BEATLES EQUIPMENT ON THE ROAD 

Instruments the Beatles had on the tour, shown here for each member of the group.  

John Lennon  

1964 Rickenbacker 325 semi-hollow electric guitar  
1964 Gibson J-160E acoustic/electric guitar (used as a back-up)  
Vox Continental electric organ[nb 3]  

Paul McCartney  

1962 Hofner Violin hollow body bass  
1961 Hofner Violin hollow body bass (used as a backup)  

George Harrison  

1963 Gretsch Tennessean hollowbody electric guitar  
1963 Rickenbacker 360/12 thinline electric guitar  
1963 Gretsch Country Gentleman hollowbody electric guitar (used as a backup)  

Ringo Starr  

Ludwig 22-inch-bass 4-piece drum kit  
Number 5 drop-T logo bass drum head

 

January 12th London Palladium London UK

"On January 12th, 1964, the Beatles made their second appearance on the top TV show ‘Val Parnell’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium. 

They had first appeared on the show on October 13th 1963. The scenes inside and outside the theatre that day has been seen as the start of ‘Beatlemania’ – though it had actually just taken the media a long time to catch on to the scenes that had been surrounding the Beatles for many months. 

If anything, the crowds outside the Palladium for their second appearance were greater than the first. As usual the show was compered by Bruce Forsyth. The Beatles sang ‘I Want to Hold You Hand’, ‘This Boy’, ‘All My Loving’ ‘Money (That’s What I want) and Twist and Shout’" (beatlesinlondon.com)

 

January 15 Cinema Cyrano  Versailles, France

 

January 15th - February 4th

Paris France  Olympia Theatre

 

The Beatles Tour America

The Beatles sweep through the great US cities, drawing tens of thousands to airports for the merest glimpse.

The term ‘Beatlemania’ was invented by Canadian hack Sandy Gardiner, first appearing in the Ottawa Journal, November 1963, to describe “a new disease” sweeping the globe. 

According to legend, Beatlemania taking off in the U.S. can be largely attributed to a 15-year-old Marylander named Marsha Albert. After seeing a news segment about the band, Albert called a local radio station in Washington, D.C., and asked, “Why can’t we have music like that here in America?” The DJ then tracked down a copy of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” and the station playing the record caused demand to skyrocket and other stations to play The Beatles as well. Worth noting: A DJ named Dick Biondi attempted to make The Beatles “happen” by playing them on stations in both Chicago and Los Angeles but the songs didn’t take off in either city. Perhaps that’s in part because Biondi misspelled the band as “B-E-A-T-T-L-E-S.”

 

"All told, the first official tour of North America would have the group play a staggering 32 shows in 26 venues in 24 cities in just 33 days.  In the end they would walk away richer by $1 million -- in today's dollars, about $7.5 million. The Beatles booking agent said, 'In the more than 15 years that I have been in this business, I do not know of any attraction that has come close to this sort of money in so short a tour.'  

 For talents like Frank Sinatra or Judy Garland, promoters were accustomed to paying appearance fees of $10,000 to $15,000 ($75,000 - $112,000 today). They were shocked to learn it would take $25,000, $30,000 or even $40,000 in guarantees ($150,000 - $300,000 now) plus a percentage of the gate. But each was eager to cash in on Beatlemania. During the tour, the group encountered total chaos in every city they played.  They endured bomb threats, blackmail plots, teenagers who infiltrated their hotels dressed as maids, and even a prediction from a famous astrologer that they would all die in a plane crash. 

Elaborate plans were drawn up to transport the Fab Four to hotels and venues.  These included the use of ambulances, police paddy wagons, armored trucks, and, in one case an empty fish truck.  Hucksters as well as managers of fine hotels gathered up bed linens, pillowcases and even the carpet the Beatles walked on to be cut and sold off to fans that were eager to get their hands on anything the Beatles touched. 

Perhaps no musical act before or since will ever rival the Beatles on their groundbreaking tour of 1964. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr would not only leave an indelible impression on their fans in the United States and Canada, but also leave the continent with devotees hungering for more." (Chuck Gunderson, Some Fun Tonight)

"It was record-shattering, precedent-setting, groundbreaking, earth-shaking and moneymaking.  The Beatles' 1964 tour of North America would forever change the concert industry.  

In February 1964, after finally achieving a number-one hit in America, the Fab Four came to the United States with high hopes, performing on the widely popular Ed Sullivan Show both in New York City and Miami Beach and playing concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Washington Coliseum.  In just 15 short days, the Beatles conquered America.  

On the heels of the successful Sullivan shows, Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Norman Weiss of NewYork's General Artists Corporation drew up an ambitious plan to present the Beatles to America's teenagers in a series of concerts that would crisscross the nation.  The group would play in L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl, Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheatre, venues from Chicago to New Orleans, Boston to Jacksonville. 

All told, the first official tour of North America would have the group play a staggering 32 shows in 26 venues in 24 cities in just 33 days.  In the end they would walk away richer by $1 million -- in today's dollars, about $7.5 million. GAC's Weiss marveled, "In the more than 15 years that I have been in this business, I do not know of any attraction that has come close to this sort of money in so short a tour. 

For talents like Frank Sinatra or Judy Garland, promoters were accustomed to paying appearance fees of $10,000 to $15,000 ($75,000 - $112,000 today). They were shocked to learn it would take $25,000, $30,000 or even $40,000 in guarantees ($150,000 - $300,000 now) plus a percentage of the gate. But each was eager to cash in on Beatlemania. During the tour, the group encountered total chaos in every city they played.  They endured bomb threats, blackmail plots, teenagers who infiltrated their hotels dressed as maids, and even a prediction from a famous astrologer that they would all die in a plane crash.  

Elaborate plans were drawn up to transport the Fab Four to hotels and venues.  These included the use of ambulances, police paddy wagons, armored trucks, and, in one case an empty fish truck.  Hucksters as well as managers of fine hotels gathered up bed linens, pillowcases and even the carpet the Beatles walked on to be cut and sold off to fans that were eager to get their hands on anything the Beatles touched.  

Perhaps no musical act before or since will ever rival the Beatles on their groundbreaking tour of 1964. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr would not only leave an indelible impression on their fans in the United States and Canada, but also leave the continent with devotees hungering for more." (CBSnews.com)

 

"At the start of 1964, the Beatles were at the top of the charts in the UK, but had just started to attract audiences overseas with songs from their first two albums Please Please Me and With the Beatles. Radio airplay and a broad marketing campaign in the U.S. quickly drove huge record sales and enormous enthusiasm among new fans -- the band and their sound were something new and exciting, and they were coming to America. John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison set off on a series of tours in 1964, starting in Europe, later visiting the United States, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. Beatles fans were so excited and determined to see the band that police sometimes resorted to using fire hoses to hold them back. Their first televised concert in the U.S. was on the Ed Sullivan Show, on February 9, 1964. 73 million viewers watched that performance -- 34 percent of the American population. Below are images of the Beatles' big year, in roughly chronological order, as the world discovered Beatlemania. This is the third of five entries focusing on events of the year 1964 this week (and next Monday). Later entries will feature images from Alaska's Good Friday earthquake and the New York World's Fair."(Billboard Magazine)

 

"Beatlemania in 1964: 'This has gotten entirely out of control' : Brian Sommerville is a balding 32-year-old Londoner whose jaw juts out like the southeast corner of England when he thinks he is about to say something important.  At Kennedy International Airport in New York on February 7, 1964, Sommerville's jaw was projecting so far he was almost unable to open his mouth to speak. A thousand screaming teenagers were trying to wriggle toward a thin white line of nylon rope that had been stretched across the terminal building lobby. Three thousand more were screaming from behind bulging metal railings atop the roof, where they were the guests of New York disc jockeys, who had invited them to take the day off from school. 

The Beatles brought with them to America a phenomenon known as Beatlemania. So far, Beatlemania has traveled over two continents. In Stockholm, the arrival of the Beatles was greeted with teenage riots. In Paris another congregation held screeching services at the airport and the Beatles' performances at the Olympia Theater were sold out for three weeks. In the Beatles' native Liverpool, sixty youngsters collapsed from exposure after standing all night in a mile-long line of 12,000 waiting to buy tickets to the Beatles' performance. When a foreman shut off the radio in the middle of a Beatles record at a textile mill in Lancashire, 200 girls went out on strike. 

While the Beatles toured the United States, three of their singles were in the top six and their albums ranked one and two in the record-popularity charts. In 1964, Beatle-licensed products grossed $50,000,000 in America alone. As for the Beatles, their total income that year reached $14,000,000." (The Guardian)

 

It should be noted that before we get to the famous night of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, history tells us that their very first appearance on American television was on the Jack Parr show.

 

February 9th Ed Sullivan Show New York City

"By 1964, Beatlemania was in full effect on both sides of the pond and it was already bubbling away before The Beatles made their now-iconic debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Despite what many people believe it was not the first time The Beatles had been on American television. The group were the focus of news pieces the previous year as the US established media tried to wrap their heads around these four mop-top lads from Liverpool. 

The Beatles were being touted as the next worldwide craze and the first band to come out of England worth losing your cool over. It meant that a spot on Ed Sullivan’s variety show was an almost guarantee. The show’s reputation for launching acts was beginning to gather momentum and the chance to be broadcast to 100 million televisions-set owners was surely too big to turn down for the Fab Four. 

Yet, the band knew their worth even then. Instead of happily signing on the dotted line for the payment of ‘exposure’ the group demanded their travel fees be covered as well as a $10,000 appearance fee. It was unprecedented and saw the show’s producers, for the first time, trying to negotiate a deal with their scheduled act. If The Beatles would perform three shows, they would have a deal—The Beatles were coming to America. 

The show will go down in history as one of the most organically engaged with shows of all time. The Ed Sullivan Show could draw in an audience when needed but this was unheard of.

Despite over a third of America tuning in to see the moment The Beatles broke America, Ray Bloch, the show’s musical director wasn’t so keen on the band, he said to The New York Times: 'The only thing that’s different is the hair, as far as I can see. I give them a year.'”  (Far Out Magazine)

 

February 11th  Washington Coliseum Washington D.C.

 

February 12th  Carnegie Hall  New York City

"Organized by famed promoter Sid Bernstein, the Beatles performed a pair of concerts at New York City’s celebrated Carnegie Hall on February 12, 1964. Having just returned from their appearance at Washington, DC’s Coliseum, the Beatles sold out both shows, for which the Briarwoods served as the supporting act. 

The Beatles’ appearance at Carnegie Hall marked the first occasion in which a rock act played at the esteemed concert hall. Beatles producer George Martin had planned to record the concerts for a future live album, although he was denied permission, despite Capitol Records’ efforts, by the American Federation of Musicians. 

The idea for recording a live album had materialized back on February 3rd, while Martin and the Beatles were still in England. Capitol fashioned a deal in which the Beatles’ producer would oversee the recordings with Voyle Gilmore, Capitol’s East Coast A&R (Artists & Repertoire) head. After securing permission from Carnegie to record on the premises with a pro-forma $600 fee, Capitol began making preparations to have a mobile unit on hand. But it was all for naught. Before Martin could so much as adjust a microphone, the American Federation of Musicians registered its objection to Martin’s participation, given that he would be acting as nonunion personnel on a recording session. While Capitol dutifully offered to cover the Englishman’s union dues, the union simply wasn’t willing to establish a precedent. As far as manager Brian Epstein and the band members were concerned, no Martin meant no Beatles. And with that the live album was kaput. 

After the concerts, Bernstein attempted to book the Beatles for an appearance at Madison Square Garden during the following week for a $25,000 fee along with a $5,000 donation to the British Cancer Fund, although Epstein demurred with promises of a future engagement. As it turned out, the Beatles never played at the Garden, the famed venue where John Lennon would make his last performance before a paying audience with Elton John in November 1974 (Lennon’s final stage appearance occurred at a star-studded tribute to Sir Lew Grade in New York City in April 1975). 

The Beatles’ performance at Carnegie Hall on February 12, 1964, also marked the last time that Bernstein booked a concert at the fabled venue. As Bernstein later recalled, “Carnegie Hall didn’t have to worry about its sacred property or paintings on the wall. They shook a little bit and they asked me never to come back again!” 

As Lennon later recalled, the Beatles left the august hall with few, if any happy memories, in spite of the venue’s reputation. “Carnegie Hall was terrible!” he remembered. 'The acoustics were terrible and they had all these people sitting on the stage with us and it was just like Rockefeller’s children backstage and it all got out of hand. It wasn’t a rock show; it was just a sort of circus where we were in cages. We were being pawed and talked at and met and touched, backstage and onstage. We were just like animals.'” (kennethwomck.com)

 

"The unrelenting spotlight and grueling schedule were starting to wear on the Beatles. The constant encroachment and the extraneous obligations were exhausting. There were none of the boundaries they were used to in England. 

On the morning of Feb. 12 they were put on a slow-moving train rattling up the East Coast, while manager Brian Epstein and his staff flew the shuttle back to New York. The boys, for their part, were chaperoned by an entourage of journalists who refused to give them a moment’s peace. “We enjoyed it in the early days,” George recalled, but “the only place we ever got any peace was when we got in the suite and locked ourselves in the bathroom.” 

But that wasn’t about to happen anytime soon. The platforms were mobbed with several thousand fans when the train pulled into Pennsylvania Station. At the last minute, the cops detached the Beatles’ car from the rest of the train and diverted it to an isolated platform. A plan to take them up a special elevator was foiled by fans, so the boys charged up the closest set of stairs and jumped into a taxi idling on Seventh Avenue. 

They were overdue for rehearsal at Carnegie Hall, where they were scheduled to appear twice that evening. 

Even for the Beatles, Carnegie Hall was no ordinary gig. The place was a shrine; the name alone humbled any musician. But if the Beatles were in awe of entering the place, they didn’t show it. They relaxed in the prestigious green room just behind the stage, chain-smoking American cigarettes and drinking lukewarm tea, completely unfazed by the remarkable surroundings. On the walls just outside hung autographs of the hall’s most famous denizens: Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Caruso, Pons, Handy, Cliburn, Casals, Rostropovich, Callas. Until that night, Bill Haley & the Comets and Bo Diddley had been the only rock ’n’ roll acts to set foot in Carnegie Hall. Apparently, its board of directors didn’t dig the groove. Neither Elvis nor Buddy Holly was granted a date, not even the Everly Brothers. 

As the lights went down, the 2,900 concertgoers, most of them teenage girls, delivered a protracted scream that never let up for the duration. “It was mayhem,” recalled Dan Daniel, a longtime local DJ. “It was the most piercing, uncomfortable sound I’d ever heard." (entertainment.time.com)

SET LIST: 

“Roll Over Beethoven” 

“From Me to You” 

“I Saw Her Standing There” 

“This Boy” 

“All My Loving” 

“I Wanna Be Your Man” 

“Please Please Me” 

“Till There Was You” 

“She Loves You” 

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” 

“Twist and Shout” 

“Long Tall Sally”

 

 

SPRING UK TOUR

April 26th  Empire Pool  London

 

April 29th ABC Cinema  Edinburgh, Scotland

 

April 30th Odeon Cinema  Glasgow, Scotland

 

May 31st Prince of Wales Theatre  London, UK

 

WORLD TOUR

The Beatles 1964 world tour was the Beatles first world tour, launched after their 1964 UK tour. The reception was enthusiastic, with The Spectator describing it as "hysterical". It was followed by their subsequent North American tour in August that year.

In early June of 1964, the Beatles were set for a summer tour of Denmark, Holland, Hong Kong, Australia and New

Zealand. But on June 3rd, the morning before the tour, Ringo collapsed during a photo shoot. The Beatles were at Prospect Studios in Barnes, London with `Saturday Evening Post' photographer John Launois when it became apparant that Ringo's health was in jeopardy. Ringo was immediately taken to University Hospital in London where it was discovered that he had a high fever and severe tonsillitis. With Ringo resting in the hospital, it was decided by Brian Epstein that the tour should not be cancelled. Brian convinced the other three Beatles to reluctantly agree, and Jimmy Nicol was hired as a substitute drummer.

Typical Set List for this tour

"Twist and Shout" (John Lennon) 
"I Want To Hold Your Hand" (John Lennon and Paul McCartney) 
"I Saw Her Standing There" (Paul McCartney) 
"You Can't Do That" (John Lennon) 
"All My Loving" (Paul McCartney) 
"I Wanna Be Your Man" (Ringo Starr) 
"She Loves You" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison) 
"Till There Was You" (Paul McCartney) 
"Roll Over Beethoven" (George Harrison) 
"Can't Buy Me Love" (Paul McCartney) 
"This Boy" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison) 
"Long Tall Sally" (Paul McCartney)

 

June 4, 1964

Copenhagen, Denmark

On June 5th, the three Beatles and Jimmy Nicol exited Denmark for Holland, arriving in Amsterdam. The group held a press conference at Schiphol Airport in the VIP Room.

 

June 10, 1964  Hong Kong  China

 

The Beatles arrive for a one night stand in Hong Kong.

 

June 12th thru June 30th

Australia & New Zealand

 

"It may sound like a joke in search of a punch line, but the trio all have their own stories about The Beatles’ 1964 tour of Australia. It’s hard to overstate how a big a deal the tour was; in one way or another it touched just about everybody who was there to experience it. It was all too much for the bouncers, hearing a bloke yelling 'John I love you', 'Paul I love you', so they threw some kids out of the concert. 

 

One of the high water marks in Australian cultural history, the Beatles tour was the catalyst for Australia's teenagers to escape the shackles of their parents and the social torpor of Menzies-era Australia. The visit came at the height of the group’s early fame, when they were still working through their boy band phase, singing songs about love, holding hands and not a whole lot else." (abc.net.au)

 

July 12th - August 19th

Europe

July 12th The Hippodrome  Brighton

 

 

July 23rd, Sunday Night at the Palladium London

 

July 28th & 29th Stockholm Sweden

 

August 2nd 1964 Bournemouth

August 9th Scarborough Futurist Theatre

 

August 16th, Blackpool  Blackpool Opera House

While this video is very herky jerky, it captures some of the madness of the Beatles Tour

 

August 18th Atlalnta Stadium  Atlanta, GA

 

August 20 Las Vegas Convention Center

 

August 21st Seattle Center Coliseum  Seattle, WA

"In August 21, 1964, the Beatles give their first concert in Washington state. They played at the Seattle Center Coliseum to 14,300 screaming fans. The stage is raised 12 feet for the Beatles' protection. Scalpers sell the $5 tickets for $30. Just after 8 p.m. the show starts with the following opening acts: Bill Black Combo, Exciters, Righteous Brothers and Jackie de Shannon. 

Beatlemania swept Seattle days before the Fab Four's arrival. Woolworth's Department Store sold Beatle wigs, Beatle Bobbin' Head dolls, trading cards, and record albums, proclaiming 'It's a mad fad, dad' in their advertisements. 

Security was stepped up at the Edgewater Inn Hotel, where the Beatles would be staying. A 350-foot-long plywood fence covered in barbed wire was erected, and arrangements were made for the harbor patrol to prevent waterbound Beatle fans from approaching the building by boat. 

On the day of their performance, the lads from Liverpool held a press conference at the hotel, and answered questions with their usual aplomb: 

Q: "Well, it was said in Las Vegas and in Frisco that your performance couldn't be heard because of the noise. Now, how do you feel about this? Do you consider it might hurt your future concerts?" 

PAUL: "It's been going on for a couple of years, you know." 

Q: "How many more years do you think it will go on?" 

PAUL: "Don't know. We're not..." 

JOHN: "We're not taking bets." 

Q: "Have you got any idea? Will it be three? Four? What do you think?" 

GEORGE: "Till death do us part." 

(laughter)

Later, Paul McCartney was asked what he might do after he was through with singing:

PAUL: "Don't know. Probably John and I will carry on songwriting." 

JOHN: (jokingly) "I'm not doing it with you." 

PAUL: "Oh, no!" 

(laughter) 

That evening, the opening acts took to the stage beginning at 8:00 p.m. At 9:25 disc jockey Pat O'Day from radio station KJR, Seattle's leading Rock and Roll station, introduced the Beatles. The crowd went wild. 

Screaming fans made the noise in the Coliseum deafening and few if any could hear the songs. The Beatles played: "All My Lovin,' "Twist and Shout," "You Can't Do That," "She Loves You," "Can't Buy Me Love," "If I Fell In Love With You," "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "Boys" (sung solo by Ringo Starr), and "Roll Over Beethoven." They ended the concert with "Long Tall Sally." 

During the concert, hundreds of teenage girls rushed the stage in the hopes of catching the eyes of their idols. Police and firefighters did their best to prevent injuries, but 35 people required first aid treatment, ranging from bumps and bruises to all-out hysteria. One girl was restrained on a stretcher, all the while screaming "Paul! I love you!" 

The Beatles waited an hour before leaving the Coliseum in the rear of an ambulance that returned them to the heavily guarded Edgewater Inn on the waterfront. They earned $34,569 for their performance. The next day they left for Vancouver, British Columbia. MacDougall's Department Store purchased the carpet from the room they stayed in, cut it up, and sold the pieces for souvenirs." (historylink.org)

 

August 22nd  Empire Stadium Vancouver, Canada

 

"On August 22, 1964 the fab four made their way to Vancouver to perform in front of thousands at Empire Stadium. Screams from the fans were so loud that the emcee (Red Robinson) and the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein had to interrupt the performance to appeal for calm, it was no use. Thousands of teenagers rushed the stage and hundreds were crushed against the restraining fence. After 29 minutes the Beatles bolted from the stage and were whisked away in limousines with a police motorcycle escort.  The classical music critics sent by the newspapers to review the show griped, 'Seldom in Vancouver’s entertainment history have so many (20,261) paid so much ($5.25 top price) for so little.' Jack Wasserman, who with Jack Webster was on the field, covering the show for Jack Cullen’s Owl Prowl on CKNW, said it was a 'damned disgrace'.” (vancouverisawesome.com)

 

August 23rd  Hollywood Bowl  Los Angeles, CA

 

August 26th Red Rocks Amphitheater  Boulder, CO

"The following day, the concert was front page news in the Daily Camera, which carried an Associated Press story that described how fans showered the band with jelly beans, reportedly the musicians’ favorite candy. 

After the Fab Four left town, The Brown Palace Hotel sold pieces of bed sheets hotel officials claimed The Beatles had slept in. The Hotel's instructions were to mail a letter and 25 cents to the hotel. The hotel sent back a small square of sheeting affixed to a card. Many of the fans who attended the concert still has her fabric swatch, a keepsake from a memorable summer day." (rockhappenedatredrocks.com)

 

August 27th Cincinnati Gardens  Cincinnati, OH

 

August 28th & 29th Forest Hills Stadium  Queens, NY

 

August 30th Atlantic City  New Jersey

Atlantic City was the place to be in the summer of '64. Summer's end brought the 1964 Democratic National Convention to the city and, a few days later, a whirlwind visit and concert by the Fab Four.

"While staying at the hotel John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song Every Little Thing, which appeared on the Beatles For Sale album at the end of 1964. During the filming of “The Beatles Off the Record” McCartney was quoted in saying “John and I got this one written in Atlantic City during our last tour of the States. John does the guitar riff for this one, and George is on acoustic. Ringo bashes some timpani drums for the big noises you hear.

Fans spent most of the day waiting for the band to come out of their room on the 7th floor. It was not until 6 pm that fans were alerted that the doors to the show were opening at 8:30. In the blink of an eye the line was wrapping around the outside the Atlantic City Convention Hall. People of all ages (mostly teenagers) buzzed and looked in awe at the signs that read 'The fabulous Beatles.' For fans in the South Jersey area this was a dream come true!" (shorelocalnews.com)

 

Sept 2nd  Convention Hall  Philadelphia, PA

 

September 3rd Indiana State Fair  Indianapolis, IN

"Deep-fried Pepsi is impressive, but surely the Indiana State Fair's finest moment was the booking of the Beatles. For two shows, one at 6 p.m. in the Coliseum, the second at 9:30 in the Grandstand. It was Sept. 3, 1964. Among the people who saw the Beatles perform that day in 1964, were a boys who'd grow up to figure prominently in Indiana politics; Mike McDaniel, a lobbyist and former Republican state chairman.  Years later, when he was interviewed, McDaniel noted that he 'rubbed against the car the Beatles arrived in and got a good look at all of them.' He said his favorite Beatles were Paul and Ringo." (indianaregistser.com)

 

September 4th Milwaukee Arena  Milwaukee, WI

"Milwaukee Meets The Beatles: On September 4, 1964, the Beatles played their only show in Wisconsin. Writer Dean Robbins tells us about the madness that greeted them on their first American tour.   

The madness started the minute the Beatles’ plane landed in Mitchell Field. This was the lads’ first American tour, at the height of Beatlemania. That meant hundreds of fans showed up to swoon at the sight of them. But the 80 police officers on hand wanted nothing of the sort, so they arranged for the plane to land far away from the crowd. Then they shuttled the Beatles through a back exit, where no one could see them.  

The band complained, to no avail. Later, at a press conference, Paul McCartney accused the police of pulling a 'dirty trick' to keep them from greeting their fans.  

The Beatles didn’t treat the local press any more respectfully than they did the local police. A reporter asked them what they planned to do when their bubble burst. Guitarist George Harrison answered, simply, 'Ice hockey.'  Tickets for the show at Milwaukee Arena topped out at $5.50. Red Cross workers, armed with ammonia inhalants, stationed themselves around the arena to treat fainting girls.  

As for the performance, it was drowned out by the screaming of 12,000 fans. The screams were so relentless that no one could tell “All My Loving” from “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Nevertheless, the Beatles rocked, and they playfully engaged the crowd between songs. Everybody there remembers having a good time." (wisconsinlife.org)

 

September 5th  Chicago Amphitheater  Chicago, IL

 

September 6th Olympia Stadium  Detroit, MI

Following their performance at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, the Beatles and their entourage were flown to Detroit Michigan on September 6th 1964, as the 14th stop of their 1964 North American Tour. 

The Motor City was the place of origin for the music the Beatles had professed to love in almost every interview and press conference -- The Detroit Sound, and the recording artists of the Tamla-Motown label. 

The Beatles would perform two shows at Olympia Stadium. The press conference was held backstage at the Olympia between the two performances. 

From here, the Beatles would fly from Detroit to Toronto as their 1964 North American Tour pressed onward.

 

September 6th Gator Bowl Stadium  Jacksonville, FL

On September 6th, The Beatles were scheduled for two shows in Jacksonville, Florida.  After the first show, they demanded that they would not perform before a segregated audience for the second show.  When the management would not agree with their request. they booked a date in Montreal, Canada.

 

 

"The Beatles performed a concert in Florida only once. And they were willing to cancel the Sept. 11, 1964, date at Jacksonville's Gator Bowl when they learned the audience was to be racially segregated. 

The policy was in defiance of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson that July and banned segregation in public accommodations. For the group, which was heavily influenced by African American music, the idea was anathema, and the four Beatles demanded that black concertgoers sit with their white counterparts. They issued a statement five days before the show that noted, "We will not appear unless Negroes are allowed to sit anywhere.” 

From then on, the Beatles demanded integrated audiences upfront. In 2011, a contract from their 1965 show at San Francisco's Cow Palace surfaced as part of an auction. One clause reads succinctly, “Artists will not be required to perform before a segregated audience.” It sold for $23,000, well above the expected price of somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000."

 

September 7th Maple Leaf Gardens  Toronto Canada

The Beatles performed two concerts on this night at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Canada. A total of 35,522 tickets were sold for the shows, making $93,000 for the group. They flew to Toronto in their charter Electra airplane and, after signing autographs for immigration officials, were driven to the King Edward Hotel. 

Between the car and the hotel Paul McCartney's shirt was torn by an overzealous fan. He and Ringo Starr were separated from John Lennon and George Harrison, but the police managed to restore order and they arrived in their suite safely. Once there, however, they found a 14-year-old girl hiding in a linen closet.

 

September 8th Montreal Forum  Montreal, Canada

 

September 12  Boston Garden  Boston, MA

"On September 12, 1964, it was Boston’s turn. All summer, the Beatles weighed heavily on the minds of New Englanders as the images of girls shrieking and fainting at their concerts disturbed parents and inflamed teenagers. 

Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital tried to explain the frenzy as a sort of natural reaction that was being fueled by parental disapproval.

When the band finally arrived in Boston, they tried to stay low-key. Their plane arrived at 3:40 a.m. at Hanscom Field Air Force Base under tight security. Crowds were minimal. 

They stayed at the Madison Hotel, on an upper floor of the building located next to Boston Garden whose sign was a familiar landmark to people of a certain age. Any effort to keep a low profile failed, however, and hundreds of fans stampeded the hotel to get at the quartet. 

A quick press conference – crashed by three fans – let the band giggle with the media over their success and teed up the main event that evening.

By the start of the show, the Boston Garden was packed with an official head count of 13,909 fans, each with tickets priced at $3.50 to $5.50. Girls screamed and fainted, Causeway Street was flooded with thousands who couldn’t get in but wanted to witness the event anyway. 

The band took the stage at 9:15, and a dozen songs later – which went virtually unheard because of the screaming fans – history was made with a 35-minute show. The British had conquered Boston again. The boys were on a flight to Baltimore before midnight as thousands of fans lingered outside the Boston Garden hoping for one last glimpse." (New England Historical Society)

 

September 13th  Baltimore Civic Center  Baltimore, MD

September 14th Pittsburgh Civic Arena  Pittsburgh, PA

"On the the 21st show of the tour was held at the Pittsburgh's Civic Arena. For the city of Pittsburgh and thousands of local Beatlemaniacs, it was a day that would live in infamy.  

Tickets went on sale in the spring at a cost of $5.90, and were available by mail-order only. This was almost double the going rate at the time, but the concert still sold out in a day and a half. The total take was $75,000, of which the Beatles were guaranteed $25,000 and a share of the gate. This was the first time that an act demanded and received a percentage of the gate as well as a guarantee. In the end, the Beatles were paid $37,000 for the show. 

One problem encountered by the promoters was finding a place for the band to stay. Because of the fear of Beatlemania, no Pittsburgh hotels would take the band for the night, so they were forced to commute to Pittsburgh out of Cleveland.

By the morning of September 14, local radio stations KQV and KDKA had Beatle fans primed and ready for the happening. They spent the entire day of the show playing Beatle songs, along with updates on the band's anticipated arrival. 

The plane carrying John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr touched down at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport at 4:36pm. They were met by a crowd of some 4000 fans, many of whom had been waiting since morning. There were 120 police officers providing security at the airport, including fifteen on horseback.  

The Beatles were escorted from the plane into a waiting limousine. Accompanied by six police cars and two motorcycles, they drove off towards Pittsburgh. Over 5000 teenage fans lined the Parkway West to see the motorcade. 

Another 5000 screaming fans were waiting outside the Civic Arena when the motorcade arrived at Gate 5. After settling in, the four Beatles attended a press conference, then enjoyed a meal before the concert. The Beatles used the Penguins locker room, which was finely decorated with items donated by Kaufmanns. The band members later commented that it was the nicest dressing room they encountered on their U.S. tour.

A paid crowd of 12,603 fans packed the arena for the show. The opening acts included The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, and Jackie DeShannon. 

When the preliminary acts were over, the crowd was in a feverish frenzy, chanting "We want the Beatles." After a short break, KQV's Chuck Brinkman stepped up to the mike and proudly said, "KQV presents the Beatles." It was history in the making.

The crowd noise pretty much drowned out the music, but it didn't matter. They Beatles played their set to the delight of everyone in attendance. The show lasted a little over an hour. When it was over, the Fab Four were quickly packed into their limousine and rushed back to the airport for the flight to Cleveland." (brooklineconnection.com)

 

September 15th Public Auditorium  Cleveland, OH

 

September 16 City Park  New Orleans, LA

"It was, by all accounts, a full-tilt episode of Beatlemania. The British foursome played a stadium full of hysterical fans in City Park on Sept. 16, 1964, their songs all but drowned out by the screams of teenage girls. 

It was their only New Orleans concert, the highlight of a visit less than 24 hours long.

New Orleans was the 22nd stop on the Beatles’ 25-city, 31-concert North American tour. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr played in City Park for an enraptured crowd of 12,000. The audience included hysterical teen girls, young children — and terrified parents."  (www.nola.com)

 

September 17th Municipal Stadium  Kansas City, MO

 

September 18th Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center  Dallas, TX

"The night before the Fab Four were scheduled to perform what would be their only North Texas concert ever, they arrived at Dallas Love Field following a gig in Kansas City. As they arrived at the Cabana Motor Hotel, fans in the lobby broke a plate of glass and had to be treated for minor injuries. Paul McCartney made a quick phone call to console a 13-year-old fan in Grand Prairie who was forced to surrender her tickets to the show, and he and the remaining band members were promptly escorted to what is now the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. 

As they arrived to the venue an hour later than scheduled because of an overwhelming number of fans stifling their commute, they engaged in a brief press conference and got onstage to perform a nearly 40-minute set. Fans in the nosebleeds dashed across the auditorium and let out screams that reporters described as grating and unbridled." (Dallas Observer)

 

September 20th  Paramount Theater  New York city

"An Evening With The Beatles: On September 20, 1964, the Beatles waived their fees and played this concert benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, Inc. and Retarded Infants Services, Inc. Ed Sullivan, Steve Lawrence, and Eydie Gorme were the hosts. Tickets sold for as much as $100 but there were only 3682 seats in the theatre. It was a sellout, of course, and there are reports of 100,000 fans outside with 200 of New York's finest keeping them under control. This was the last concert date of their first full American tour." (entertainment.ha.com)

 

When the 1964 tour was  over it was considered the first major rock-and-roll concert tour in the history of popular music.  In response to a reporter asking if there was anything he cherished about the tour, Lennon replied: 'Well, just the whole thing. It's been fantastic. We will probably never do another tour like it. It could never be the same as this one and it's probably something we will remember the rest of our days. It's just been marvelous.' 

 


 

If you haven't had a chance to read M. Frank's wonderful book, 

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“This experience was wonderful. It’s a great book… and you can dance to it!” - Sweet Loretta 

“I consider myself one of the biggest Beatle fans in America with a collection of books and magazines covering their lives and careers and I found your book to be delightful. It was short and concise and having the ability to listen to their music as I read it was an extra added feature that I truly enjoyed. Today I am a musician and song writer because of them. Great job!!!” – Phil 

“Well researched, lovingly written and skillfully designed, ‘Becoming Sgt. Pepper’ is a charmingly clever addition to the growing plethora of Beatle related books. But what elevates this labor of love above the others is its interactive ability to allow us to hear select songs that made The Beatles so timeless and magical. In doing so, the reader can sonically trace the band’s musical path from their beginnings as the mop-topped Fab Four through their journey to becoming Sgt. Pepper. Kudos to the entire team who assembled this unique immersive experience. An essential read for any and all Beatle fans!” - Miles

“I’m very impressed by your efforts on the book! As a fan of the music, I enjoyed listening to so many familiar songs while also learning more about the story behind the Beatles – the individuals and the group. Look forward to seeing and hearing future volumes!” – Colleen 

“What a great piece of work …. something to be proud of! Although I was never a true Beatles’ fan, I really enjoyed reading ‘Becoming Sgt. Pepper’ and to learn more about these innovative pioneers in music. This documentary adds great context, making their songs more meaningful. Congratulations with this legacy! Now we will all wait for it to spread until it has reached all Beatle fans in the world!” – Erik 

“What a marvelous piece of work you and your team have produced – many congratulations. Exceptional in every sense of the word! It brought back fond memories of my time in the 60’s when the world of music was dominated by the Fab 4. Thank you for rekindling those times in such an elaborate and evocative manner. I’m really looking forward to the next step in the trilogy!” -Ray 

“Becoming Sgt. Pepper is muy fabuloso! I loved the gently authoritative writing style of your publication with the facts rolled out in respect of each song. The book brought to my attention the subtle differences of some of the singles but mainly the content of some of the albums that were released in the States compared with the UK. The structure of your book combining the prose with the associated song was particularly clever. All in all, a very creative piece of work!” - Mary


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