February 16, 2012

The Beatles - First Visit to America, 1964

When John, Paul, George and Ringo first made it across the pond in 1964 to play before their adoring, screaming fans in the States — including, famously, performances on The Ed Sullivan Show that mark, for many people, the true beginning of rock and roll’s British Invasion.

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

Two days after their U.S. TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, 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.

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 wave to fans as they arrive at the Los Angeles airport for a press conference in August 1964.

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.

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."

Having conquered America during their brief but historic first visit, John, Paul, George and Ringo relax in a Miami Beach pool in February 1964 before returning to London.


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