Beatles USA 1964

Beatles North America 1964

Beatles North America 1964

(The header picture–Beatles in Detroit, September 6, 1964 is from the cover of Chuck Gunderson’s book, Some Fun Tonight. See below)

Almost Everyone

On February 9, 1964 every living person  in the United States  watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.  At least it seemed that way. The actual viewership estimated is 73 million people. There were 192 million people in the USA in 1964, so apparently “everyone” was only 40% of the population, but that ain’t bad.

The Beatles played live twice on the show: New York City on February 9 & and Miami on the 16th. CBS had recorded their third appearance on February 9, but held it until February 23. I didn’t realize it wasn’t live until decades later.

On February 11, in between New York and Miami, the Beatles had traveled by train (plane cancelled due to a snow storm) to Washington, DC and play live in the Washington Coliseum.  The next day, back in New York City, they played twice in Carnegie Hall.

They returned to Great Britain, took a break, then had a 5-venue April UK tour.

Beatles North America 1964

First World Tour

Before the band came back to North America, they began a world tour on June 4….Copenhagen. Three more shows in Europe. One in Hong Kong. Sixteen shows in Australia and New Zealand.  Then back to Europe for shows in England and Sweden.  30 shows total and the two-part tour didn’t end until August 16…Blackpool, England.

Beatles North America 1964

First North American Tour

The band came back to North America for the summer 1964 tour which began on August 19 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Here is the complete list of that North American tour:

19 August Daly City United States Cow Palace
20 August Las Vegas Convention Hall
21 August Seattle Seattle Center Coliseum
22 August Vancouver Canada Empire Stadium
23 August Los Angeles United States Hollywood Bowl
26 August Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre
27 August Cincinnati Cincinnati Gardens
28 August NYC Forest Hills Stadium
29 August
30 August Atlantic City Convention Hall
2 September Philadelphia Convention Hall
3 Sept Indianapolis Indiana State Fairgrounds
4 Sept Milwaukee Milwaukee Arena
5 Sept Chicago International Amphitheatre
6 September Detroit Olympia Stadium
7 Sept Toronto Canada Maple Leaf Gardens
8 Sept Montreal Montreal Forum
11 Sept Jacksonville United States Gator Bowl Stadium
12 Sept Boston Boston Garden
13 Sept Baltimore Baltimore Civic Center
14 Sept Pittsburgh Civic Arena
15 Sept Cleveland Public Auditorium
16 Sept New Orleans City Park Stadium
17 Sept Kansas City Municipal Stadium
18 Sept Dallas Memorial Auditorium
20 Sept NYC Paramount Theater

It was a grueling schedule. Each stop typically had a press conference after landing and the Beatles got to answer the same questions most reporters had asked the day before.

Beatles North America 1964

Some Fun Tonight

Beatles rock the house in Detroit, Sept. 6, 1964

Chuck Gunderson wrote Some Fun Tonight. an amazingly thorough 2-volume book about the Beatles’ North American tours. Of the 1964’s end, he wrote: Before the plane took off, American Flyers Airline presented each Beatle with a black note-book that contained a detailed route map, flight itineraries, and a list of the tour cities and dates. All told, the Beatles had flown 22,441 miles since leaving London. In North America alone, they’d covered 13,645 miles in the air. and logged forty-one hours and twenty-one minutes of flying time…”

Gunderson added: The tour was a huge success, and [Brian] Epstein informed reporters…that it had raked in over a million dollars–$1,187,623.80 before expenses.

Beatles North America 1964
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