January 15, 2012

LIFE's Best Beatles Photos

The Beatles, Poised for Worldwide Fame. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr pose in January 1964, just weeks before their historic first visit to America.

Beatles Joke and Smoke at San Francisco Press Conference. At press dates, like this one in August 1964 at the start of their U.S. tour, the Beatles offer typically wry remarks. John Lennon quips that he's writing a book called "Snore Wife and the Seven Dwarfs."

The Beatles Show Off Their Swinging London Fashion Sense. Yes, children, those colorfully dressed chaps strolling casually through London's Hyde Park on this Thursday in May 1967 are really the Beatles.

Fans Scream for a Glimpse of the Beatles. Police hold back a crowd of fans at the Los Angeles airport in August 1964, where the Beatles are landing for a brief layover and a press conference before the start of their U.S. tour.

The Beatles Have Landed. The Beatles wave to fans as they arrive at the Los Angeles airport in August 1964 for a press conference at the start of their second American tour.

Clay And The Beatles. February 1964: American heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay poses in the ring in mock victory over British pop group The Beatles, meeting the press in New York during an American tour.

The Beatles Play Their First U.S. Concert. Two days after their U.S. TV debut on "Ed Sullivan," the Beatles play for 8,000 fans at their first American concert, at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C., on February 11, 1964. Ticket price: $3.

Paul, John, and George Harmonize at a Beatles Concert. Beatles concerts, like this American show in 1964, are noisy affairs where screaming crowds drown out the band. Even with their amplifiers, Lennon marvels after a show, "we still couldn't beat 'em."

Beatles Take a Hard Day's Dip. Having conquered America during their brief but historic first visit, Paul, George, John, and Ringo relax in a Miami pool in February 1964 before returning to London.



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