Meet the Beatles, Again and Again

With an exhibit of photographs by Paul Berriff of The Beatles in the lobby ..., it’s as good a time as any to talk about the Fab Four’s only visit to Carnegie Hall.

Beatlemania was in full swing when John, Paul, George, and Ringo made their first trip to the US in February 1964.


Get your feet off the seats, hoodlums!
Photo by Paul Berriff.

A crowd of 3,000 descended upon them at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, and wherever they went in New York City, a bevy of screaming women followed.

When they made their first of two appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, 73 million people, a third of the country, tuned in. (For the 728 seats in its theater, the show received 50,000 requests, the most it had ever gotten for any single live broadcast.)


The signed Carnegie Hall program in question.


A couple of days after that history-making broadcast, The Beatles played two 35-minute sets at Carnegie Hall. The place was jam-packed, with another 1,500 fans outside desperate to at least catch a glimpse of the group as they left.

As hot as they were back then, a mistake in the Carnegie Hall program booklet from the concert shows that they weren’t the household names they are now.

Beatlemania is still with us today, albeit heavily tinged with nostalgia.

Another set of early Beatles photographs went up for auction in New York last September, and Apple’s inclusion of The Beatles catalogue on iTunes was big news back in November 2010.

You can even watch what’s going on live at the crosswalk made famous on the cover of The Beatles’ Abbey Road; it’ll be simultaneously the most exciting and most boring time you’ve ever spent on the internet.

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