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However, about a month later, in mid-March 1964, the CBS filming of the Beatles’ live D.C. show — together with separate footage of performances by the Beach Boys and Lesley Gore — was shown in selected U.S. movie theaters as a closed-circuit concert. Billed in advertising as — “The Beatles: Direct From Their First American Concert” — the complete 90-minute film was transmitted over telephone lines to selected U.S. and Canadian theaters in four separate shows — two each day — over the weekend of March 14th and 15th, 1964.

The first round of closed-circuit concerts occurred on Saturday, March 14, 1964, and among the receiving theater locations that day, for example, were: the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Hippodrome Theater in Cleveland, Ohio; the El Monte Legion Stadium in El Monte, California; the Public Auditorium in Portland, Oregon; the Village Theater in Westwood, California; and many others. The following day, on Sunday, March 15, 1964, the show went out again to a number of locations, including: the Norva Theater in Norfolk, Virginia; Lake Theater in Oak Park, Illinois; Fox Theater in San Jose, California; and also back in Washington, D.C. at the Coliseum. In Albany, New York that weekend, there were three showings at the Palace Theater. In Indianapolis, Indiana, the Lyric Theater received the show on March 14th and March 15th, as did a big screen theater at the State Fair Coliseum in Dallas, Texas.

The total audience for the special closed-circuit broad- casts of the Beatles’ concert film was expected to exceed 500,000. The shows were seen in more than 100 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The promoters — identified in advertising as the National General Corporation, or their subisidiary, Theater Color Vision — made millions. One 1964 estimate placed the take at some $4 million, or roughly $30 million in today’s money. This Beatles’ concert showing was apprarently the first use of closed-circuit broadcasting for a rock concert, as previously this closed-circuit theater network had been used only for championship boxing matches.

Excerpts from the film have shown up in numerous video compilations, including The Beatles Anthol- ogy. In 2003, a company named Passport released a DVD entitled The Beatles in Washington D.C., February 11, 1964.


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After their live D.C. performance, the group attended a masked ball at the city’s British Embassy. Reportedly, British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home decided not to attend for fear of being upstaged by the group. Meanwhile, during the Embassy party that evening, an unidentified woman cut off a lock of Ringo’s hair without asking him. The Beatles remained at the Embassy party for a time and then returned to their rooms at the Shoreham Hotel.

Tommy Roe recalls that evening as “chaotic,” noting there were “many agents and celebrities trying to get close to the fab four…” Roe had toured the U.K. about a year earlier, and the Beatles were a featured act on his tour. In D.C., Roe was invited to the Beatles’ suite at the Shoreham Hotel later evening by Brian Epstein, but Roe was soon besieged by friends and colleagues who “wanted me to take them along to meet the boys…” However, visitors to the Beatles’ suite that evening were restricted, although Roe did get in briefly to thank them for putting him on as an opening act. “I remember their suite was packed with press and photographers doing interviews…”

The following day, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, meeting with British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home at the White House, reportedly said of the Beatles: “I like your advance guard. But don’t you think they need haircuts?” The Beatles that day returned to New York by train for their Carnegie Hall concerts — two 25-minute performances before 2,900 fans attending each show.


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The Beatles played their legendary first American concert at the Washington Coliseum on February 11, 1964.

When the Beatles first came to the U.S. in 1964, primarily to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show television broadcast from New York on February 9th, 1964, they also performed two live concerts. The first of these concerts — and their first ever in the U.S. — was performed in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Coliseum on February 11th.

The Washington Coliseum was an indoor arena where professional and college basketball teams played. Originally built in 1941, it was first named the Uline Arena when it hosted hockey games. It was renamed the Washington Coliseum in 1959. It held a capacity crowd of about 7,000 people. Although the building still stands today near Washington’s Union Station, it is now used as an indoor parking garage. However, it is also a protected historic property under the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board, and is slated for redevelopment. In the 1960s it hosted a variety of music acts and concerts, of which the Beatles’ February 11th, 1964 concert was one.
The Beatles also made another live concert appearance during their February 1964 U.S. visit — at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on February 12th.  In New York there were two shows, but in Washington, only one.  However, the D.C. performance was filmed in black and white video by CBS with the permission of the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein.

This filmed version of the live D.C. performance was then packaged into a “closed-circuit” offering by a private company to be aired several weeks later at selected theaters across the U.S.

The February 11th, 1964 concert at the Washington Coliseum, located at 3rd and M Streets N.E., occurred during a cold and snowy night. It was the Beatles’ first live American performance after their televised appearance on the CBS Ed Sullivan Show. They had arrived in D.C. earlier that day by train from New York. Before their show that evening, they also appeared at a brief press conference.

At show time, by one count, there was a sold-out, over-capacity crowd of 8,000 fans who had jammed the arena. Before the Beatles came on, there were other opening acts.

Three groups were advertised to perform as opening acts that night – including the girl group, The Chiffons, and also Tommy Roe and The Caravelles. However, an East Coast snow storm prevented The Chiffons from getting to Washington.
Tommy Roe reports that he was there, and performed three songs – “Sheila,” “Everybody,” and “Carol.” Also reportedly appearing that night were Jay & The Americans, The Righteous Brothers, and The Caravelles. The opening acts were quite good, according to some in attendance that evening.

When the Beatles came on, the place erupted with screaming and incessant flash bulbs. They played for nearly an hour. Because of the set-up in the Coliseum, the Beatles were essentially performing on a boxing ring-type stage, and had to move their equipment around on stage a few times in order to give everyone in the audience a chance to see them. Ringo was seen moving his drum set around on stage between sets.

Some Beatles afficionados and music critics regard the D.C. performance as a singular event in Beatles history, especially since it captured the group’s fresh and exuberant performance for the first time with a live, American audience — the “big market” the Beatles had dreamed of cracking.


Set List – Washington, D.C.


Roll Over Beethoven
From Me to You
I Saw Her Standing There
This Boy
All My Loving
I Wanna Be Your Man
Please Please Me
Till There Was You
She Loves You
I Want to Hold Your Hand
Twist and Shout
Long Tall Sally










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“Here Comes the Sun”, the iconic song, featured on The Beatles 1969 album Abbey Road is remembered as one of the band’s biggest hits.

“‘Here Comes the Sun’ was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ‘sign that’,” Harrison later wrote in his autobiography. “Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house.”

He added: “The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes the Sun’.”

It was during that same period of isolation at Clapton’s house that Harrison had a profound effect on the musician, inspiring to be laid back in his approach to songwriting. Speaking about the creation of ‘Here Comes the Sun’ as part of Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Clapton explained that he, personally, would never contemplate taking his guitar outside to write music “this is what George brought to the situation.”

Clapton added: “He was just a magical guy and he would show up, get out of the car with his guitar and come in and start playing… I just watched this thing come to life. I felt very proud that it was my garden that was inspiring it.”

With lyrics touching on the themes of relief having taken respite around the administrative aspects of Beatles life, George headed off to Sardinia in June of that year to complete the words for the song. Here, we explore some of the handwritten, original lyrics he penned during that time.