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Sun Feb 11, 2018, 04:26 PM

On this day in 1964, the Beatles played their first US concert.

Last edited Sun Feb 11, 2018, 05:39 PM - Edit history (14)

After performing on Ed Sullivan, the packed up and headed over to the (new) Pennsylvania Station. The took the train to Washington, DC. They played their first US concert there, at the building that had begun life as the Uline Arena, on February 11, 1964.

The Washington Coliseum, formerly Uline Arena, is an indoor arena in Washington, D.C. located at 1132, 1140, and 1146 3rd Street, Northeast, Washington, D.C. It was the site of the first concert by The Beatles in the United States.
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History

The 11,000-seat Uline Ice Arena, which opened in February 1941, was built by Miguel L. "Uncle Mike" Uline for his ice hockey team, the Washington Lions of the now defunct Eastern Amateur Hockey League. Uline built the arena next to his ice business, in which he had made his fortune. The first act at the new arena was Sonja Henie's Hollywood Ice Revue. Another of its earliest events was a pro-America rally in 1941 designed to promote U.S. entry into World War II, just weeks before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the war on December 7, 1941. During the war, Uline repurposed the arena as a housing facility for U.S. service members.

Washington Caps - NBA

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Jewelry wholesaler Harry G. Lynn bought the arena in 1959 for $1 million. In 1959, Elijah Muhammad gave a speech there, and Malcolm X once spoke there as well. In 1960, Lynn renamed the building the Washington Coliseum.

Beatles concert

On February 11, 1964, The Beatles played their first concert in the United States at the Washington Coliseum, less than 48 hours after the band's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Tickets to the show at the Coliseum ranged from $2 to $4. There were 8,092 fans at the concert, which was opened by The Chiffons, The Caravelles, and Tommy Roe. The Beatles opened with "Roll Over Beethoven." In 2014, Roe reflected that "the marquee didn't say anything about the other acts. It just said 'The Beatles.' It was all about them. But I wasn't offended. That's just the way it worked. I was there to do my two songs and then get off the stage." The Beatles played for approximately 40 minutes.

Bob Dylan performed at the Washington Coliseum, and the photograph of Dylan on the cover of Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits was taken at a concert at the Coliseum on November 28, 1965. Chuck Brown also performed there. In 1967, after a riot during a performance by The Temptations, concerts were banned at the Coliseum.

They had planned to fly, but:

A GENERAL CHRONOLOGY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY ITS PREDECESSORS AND SUCCESSORS AND ITS HISTORICAL CONTEXT By Christopher T. Baer 1964 April 2015 Edition

....
Feb. 11, 1964
After their history-making appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, the Beatles perform the first full concert of their American tour at the Washington Coliseum; a morning snowstorm snarls New York airports, leading to a last-minute decision to travel from New York by train; the Beatles and the New York press corps travel in a chartered Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad 10-6 sleeping car King George (built in 1948 for New York-Richmond-Norfolk pool service) attached to the Morning Congressional leaving New York at 11:00 AM; John Lennon and Paul McCartney walk through the entire train signing autographs; a crowd of 3,000 waiting fans create bedlam on arrival at Washington Union Station. (rf&pgroup, Wayner -verify NYT)

Feb. 12, 1964
The Beatles and their press entourage return to New York via the PRR for a concert at Carnegie Hall, this time in a PRR heavyweight lounge car; the Beatles are practically prisoners of the press during the trip and engage in the kind of hijinks that will characterize their two movies for the photographers; in a futile effort to evade the 10,000 fans milling around Penn Station, the Beatles’ car is switched to a different platform, but they are forced to make a mad dash for a waiting taxi. (rf&pgroup)



The train was pulled by a Pennsylvania Railroad GG1, which enters the scene at 1:11. Darn, I can't make out the number.



On the train



SLRs and rangefinders (including a Leica M-something?) capture the scene in the lounge



Ringo holds up a Seaboard Air Line Railroad timetable. That's a swell Seaboard EMD E7 locomotive on the cover:





WWDC Welcomes The Beatles



Walking down the platform at Union Station



That night





You go right by the old Uline Arena on the Red Line when you go from Union Station to Fort Totten. These pictures of the building were taken from a Metrorail Red Line train. You can see the third rail, used for Metrorail's electric power, next to the tracks in the foreground. The tracks further away have overhead electrification. They are part of Amtrak's northeast corridor.

The building is still there, but it doesn't look like that now. The distinctive arches are still instantly recognizable, but the building has been renovated. Today it's an REI:



How The Beatles Finally Took Off on American Radio

Dave Swanson

On Dec. 17, 1963, the U.S. still had no idea what was in store. The Beatles had yet to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, where they seemingly overnight changed the landscape of pop music forever. That wouldn't occur until February 1964. But on a mid-December day in 1963, Carroll James of WWDC in Washington, D.C., played a Beatles record. He wasn't the first to do so in the U.S., but it was when things really caught fire.

According to Beatles Interviews, a D.C. teenager had mailed in a request to WWDC to hear the Beatles. "I wrote that I thought they would be really popular here, and if [James] could get one of their records, that would really be great," said Marsha Albert, that insightful teen who made the request.

Carroll James somehow secured the Beatles' new single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," which had yet to be issued in the United States. The phones lit up and made the song an instant listener favorite. Capitol Records released "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in the U.S. the following week, and it eventually reached the No. 1 spot in Billboard on Feb. 1, 1964 – a place it would occupy for 11 straight weeks.

A month earlier on Nov. 18, the Beatles made their first appearance on U.S. television as part of the Huntley-Brinkley Report, which featured a four-minute segment by reporter Edwin Newman. Three weeks before that, on Oct. 29, the Washington Post ran a story with the headline, "Thousands of Britons 'Riot' – Liverpool Sound Stirs Up Frenzy." Both Time and Newsweek published their own Beatles stories in mid-November. The rest is history.

Photos of The Beatles in Washington, D.C.

This site is flat-out excellent:

"Beatles' D.C. Gig"
Feb-March 1964

When the Beatles first came to the U.S. in 1964, primarily to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show in 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.
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Ticket stub to Beatles' first live American concert in Washington, D.C., February 11th, 1964.
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___________________________________

Date Posted: 9 July 2008
Last Update: 12 July 2016
Comments to: jdoyle@pophistorydig.com

Article Citation
(Original Posting) Jack Doyle, “Beatles’ Closed-Circuit Gig, Feb-March 1964,”
PopHistoryDig.com, July 9, 2008.

(Title Change) Jack Doyle, “Beatles’ D.C. Gig,” Feb-March 1964,
PopHistoryDig.com, January 29, 2014.
__________________________________

Sources, Links & Additional Information



Beatles on D.C. mall with U.S. Capitol, Feb 1964.

Jerry Doolittle, “Beatles Arrive, Teen- Agers Shriek, Police Do Their Duty, and That’s That,” The Washington Post-Times Herald, February 12, 1964, p. 1.

On YouTube.com, there are several videos of the Beatles’ February 1964 performance at the Washington Coliseum. These are typically grainy, black-and-white videos of various lengths, some 30 minutes or more, with shots of the Beatles performing, screaming fans, and the general pandemo- nium of that concert.

John S. Wilson, “2,900-Voice Chorus Joins the Beatles; Audience Shrieks and Bays and Ululates,” New York Times, February 13, 1964.

“Potential $4 Million Box Office For Beatles On Closed Circuit TV,” Broadcasting, February 24, 1964.

“Closed TV Shows Here for Beatles,” Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX), March 2, 1964.

Myra MacPherson, “Help! The Day The Mania Came To Washington,” Washing- ton Post, February 7, 1984.

For more detail on Beatles’ tickets, see: “Closed-Circuit Telecast Tickets,” rare- beatles.com.

Jeff Shannon, Review of Beach Boys “Lost Concert” DVD (June 1999), Amazon.com.

Richie Unterberger, “The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, Washington, DC, February 11, 1964.” See also his book, The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film, available at Amazon and other booksellers.

For Beatles’ photographs of the 1964 D.C. performance see Rowland Scherman website.

J. Freedom duLac, “Paul McCartney, Al Gore, Tommy Roe Recall Beatles’ First U.S. Concert in D.C.,” Washington Post, December 3, 2010.

News Release, “The Beatles Now On iTunes: All 13 Legendary Beatles Studio Albums & Special Digital Box Set,” Apple.com, November 16, 2010.

David Beard, “The Beach Boys Lost Concert Completely Restored with the Beatles First American Concert Closed Circuit Broadcast,” Endless Summer Quartely.blogspot, December 16, 2010.

Chuck Miller, “Did the Beatles Appear in Albany Movie Theaters BEFORE “A Hard Day’s Night”? Yes They Did…,” TimesUnion.com, January 13, 2011.

See also, Pictorial History Of Uline Arena website for excellent photos of Beatles at D.C. concert (scroll to bottom of page).

WPGC Beatlemania Website.

Tommy Roe, E-mail correspondence to Jack Doyle, January 2, 2014.
___________________________________

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Reply On this day in 1964, the Beatles played their first US concert. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2018 OP
Control-Z Feb 2018 #1
chuckstevens Feb 2018 #2
CountAllVotes Feb 2018 #3
doc03 Feb 2018 #4
red dog 1 Feb 2018 #5
sinkingfeeling Feb 2018 #6
skylucy Feb 2018 #7
Kingofalldems Feb 2018 #8
malthaussen Feb 2018 #9
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2018 #10
malthaussen Feb 2018 #11

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Feb 11, 2018, 04:32 PM

1. You put together a lovely post here, mahatmakanejeeves.

I enjoyed reading it.

Thank you!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Feb 11, 2018, 04:35 PM

2. VERY COOL!

 

Great photos and great info! Thanks for sharing this!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Feb 11, 2018, 04:51 PM

3. Wow, thanks!

Dating myself oh yes ...

I remember all of this stuff!

It was real "cool" at that time for young women to wear white t-shirts. I remember going to see A Hard Days Night at the local theater and they we all were, a screaming flock of young women wearing our white t-shirts!

I also remember seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.

Thanks for the GREAT memories!!

& recommend!!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Feb 11, 2018, 07:25 PM

4. I remember them on Ed Sullivan. My dad the orginal Archie Bunker wanted

to line them up and shoot them. He didn't like their long hair. He lined up a lot of people he didn't like and shot them.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Feb 11, 2018, 07:39 PM

5. K&R...Thanks for posting

Very interesting, indeed!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Feb 11, 2018, 08:31 PM

6. I still have my ticket stub and a dozen or so black and white photos

of their Cincinnati Gardens concert that were sold by the Columbus Dispatch.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Feb 11, 2018, 09:29 PM

7. Thank you for sharing this!

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Feb 11, 2018, 09:54 PM

8. Everyone smoked back then.

Or so it seems.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:23 AM

9. What's Ringo doing with a SAL timetable?

Thinking of going to Miami already? Well, it was pretty cold that day...

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:41 AM

10. I found an article that I think explains that.

From the OP:

They had planned to fly, but:

A GENERAL CHRONOLOGY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY ITS PREDECESSORS AND SUCCESSORS AND ITS HISTORICAL CONTEXT By Christopher T. Baer 1964 April 2015 Edition

....
Feb. 11, 1964
After their history-making appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, the Beatles perform the first full concert of their American tour at the Washington Coliseum; a morning snowstorm snarls New York airports, leading to a last-minute decision to travel from New York by train; the Beatles and the New York press corps travel in a chartered Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad 10-6 sleeping car King George (built in 1948 for New York-Richmond-Norfolk pool service) attached to the Morning Congressional leaving New York at 11:00 AM; John Lennon and Paul McCartney walk through the entire train signing autographs; a crowd of 3,000 waiting fans create bedlam on arrival at Washington Union Station. (rf&pgroup, Wayner -verify NYT)

Feb. 12, 1964
The Beatles and their press entourage return to New York via the PRR for a concert at Carnegie Hall, this time in a PRR heavyweight lounge car; the Beatles are practically prisoners of the press during the trip and engage in the kind of hijinks that will characterize their two movies for the photographers; in a futile effort to evade the 10,000 fans milling around Penn Station, the Beatles’ car is switched to a different platform, but they are forced to make a mad dash for a waiting taxi. (rf&pgroup)

The Beatles took the 11:00 a.m. Morning Congressional from New York to DC. They took over an entire RF&P 10 double bedroom, 6 roomette sleeper. Two of them went through the train, and they all ended up in the lounge for soft drinks and beer. The RF&P sleeper would have gone through to Richmond on an RF&P train. It was built in 1948 for service to Norfolk, but by 1964 it might have gone south from Richmond on an Atlantic Coast Line or Seaboard train headed to Florida or Alabama. The ACL trains would have been the East Coast and West Coast Champions to Florida, and the SAL trains would have been the Silver Star and Silver Meteor to Florida, and the Silver Comet to Alabama. I doubt the car would have ended up on the ACL's Florida Special. I'm thinking it would have through from New York to Florida without any equipment change. That's just a guess, as it hasn't run in a long time.

I am not surprised that there was a SAL timetable on the train.

Thanks for writing.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 12:15 PM

11. Ah, that makes sense...

... in other words, they didn't clean the Pullman after it was chartered.

I miss the old railroads.

-- Mal

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