Today in Beatles history: the first stop in the historic 1964 American tour


Fifty years ago today, the Beatles played the first concert of their historic 1964 American tour. In the six months since the Ed Sullivan show fully introduced the band to the world, Beatlemania had swelled to unheard-of proportions, toppling the never-before-seen hysteria surrounding Elvis in the ’50s. Compared to today’s standards, the shows were incredibly short, lasting approximately 30 minutes, and of the 12 songs played, three were covers. The set list was:

  • “Twist and Shout”
  • “You Can’t Do That”
  • “All My Loving”
  •  “She Loves You”
  • “Things We Said Today”
  • “Roll Over Beethoven”
  • “Can’t Buy Me Love”
  • “If I Fell”
  • “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
  • “Boys”
  • “A Hard Day’s Night”
  • “Long Tall Sally”

As embedded reporter Ivor Davis recalled in his book The Beatles and Me on Tour, Brian Epstein refused to let the Beatles participate in a ticker-tape parade, likely because of security concerns. Davis also notes that hotel employees were required to watch A Hard Day’s Night to prepare for the onslaught of teenage girls! A local news team filmed a bit of the hysteria here:


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