Beatles come to America

By Kristen Smith

Information from: Paul Gardner, New York Times, Saturday February 8, 1964 page 25

Public Domain footage:

Beatles Invasion: 


Beatles Rare Photos

Image by Mike Mitchell, AP Images

Beatle Infestation

Saturday, February 8 at 1:20 P.M., a PanAm flight from London to New York brought 4 unknowingly famous men to America. Greeted by 3,000 screaming teenage fans, the Beatles were welcomed into America in February of 1964. Their arrival was recorded for the news. A household name, the Beatles had already gained great popularity before they ever set foot into the states.

“Multiply Elvis Presley by four, subtract six years from his age, add British accents and a sharp sense of humor. The answer: It’s the Beatles,” Paul Gardner, reporter for the New York Times, said.

That’s exactly what the Beatles were. They brought a wave of culture into America that didn’t previously exist, including “tight pants, boots, and hair that never seems to be cut,” Gardner said.

It seems that the four young gents were not aware of their momentous fame in a country like the U.S.

“All we knew was that a couple of the records had done well in the States,” Cynthia Lennon said in an interview for the Beatles Bible website. “We believed there was still a huge mountain to climb if The Beatles were really to make it there.”


Beatles, Who?

The Beatles, also known as the Fab Four, was comprised of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

Laura Young, who was 8 years old when the Beatles first came to America, remembers going to their concert as a teenager. “They were touring and came to Lake Charles, which is just down the road from where I grew up,” Young said. “I went with a few of my friends and we had all picked a Beatle to be our husband, and I got stuck with Ringo.”

The Beatles were a different kind of rock ‘n’ roll than what Americans were used to. Compared to American rockers like Elvis, they definitely had an unusual look.

“They’re different,” Danielle Landau, a Brooklyn 15-year-old from Gardner’s article, said. “They’re just so different. I mean, all that hair. American singers are soooo clean-cut.”

The band is remembered for trippy lyrics, iconic hairstyles and a revolutionary take on rock ‘n’ roll music.


Beatles in the Media

For their first live television appearance, The Beatles went on the Sunday February 9 evening episode of The Ed Sullivan Show. The second appearance took place on the following Tuesday, where they played a concert in the Coliseum in Washington. On that Wednesday, for Lincoln’s Birthday, they performed two shows at Carnegie Hall. Their third television appearance took place in New York the weekend after and was recorded on tape.

Come Together 

When the Beatles first came to America, they weren’t welcomed as warmly as their airport entourage may have let on. In a press conference that took place upon their arrival, an interviewer asked them the following question:

“In Detroit Michigan, there handing out car stickers saying, ‘Stamp Out The Beatles.'”

Paul then replied, “Yeah well… first of all, we’re bringing out a ‘Stamp Out Detroit’ campaign.”

The group as a collective had a wit that paired with their sweet British charm to make fans of all ages swoon.



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