Bring back some good or bad memories


April 6, 2023

Candid Photographs of Young Girls Go Wild at the First Beatles Concert in America, Washington, DC in 1964

Beyond the influence their music had on everyone from Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys to Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, The Beatles also sparked the era-defining phenomenon known as Beatlemania—the seemingly spontaneous unleashing of (largely) female adoration and erotic energy that certainly had its pop-culture precedents, but remains notable for the sheer scale of the hysteria that greeted The Beatles everywhere. In fact, one of the reasons the band stopped touring so early in its career, and retreated to the studio for the last four years of its remarkably short life, is that the sound erupting from their frantic fans made concerts an exercise in futility: the lads literally could not hear themselves play.

These photographs taken by LIFE photographer Stan Wayman at the Beatles’ first concert in America, a performance at the Washington Coliseum on Feb. 11, 1964, two days after their historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York. It was a surprisingly intimate affair, with the band playing on a small stage literally feet from the fans—albeit behind a loose phalanx of cops.

The pictures don’t focus on the Fab Four. Instead, they’re portraits, made in the moment, of young women who are alternately transfixed, driven to tears and virtually unhinged with excitement. Here are the faces of the first Americans to see the Beatles in concert. Here is Beatlemania looked and felt like as it landed in the United States.

1 comment:



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10