After the Beatles’ watershed performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February of ’64, the group announced it would undertake its first U.S. tour.
The fan frenzy at that show, as on all the group’s other tour stops that year, has been well documented. Despite the intense interest in the group, and the fact that the concert sold out quickly, it was thought to be impossible to sell out the Hollywood Bowl in one day. It sold out in 3 1/2 hours, without computers, without the Internet. If you wanted a ticket, you had to find out where they were being sold, and line up in front of the Hollywood Bowl box office. Hundreds of kids camped out overnight on Highland Avenue, and the next day the line went from the Bowl entrance, nearly to Hollywood Boulevard a mile away. The Beatles fee for the night was $25,000, a princely sum half a century ago.
The concert itself was chaotic. 18,700 screaming girls, and a few boys, were so loud, no one could hear the music. Fortunately, the concert, as well as the two Beatles concerts in August of 1965, were recorded. They were later released under the guiding hand of Beatles record producer George Martin.
The Righteous Brothers and Jackie DeShannon, were the opening acts. The Beatles 1964 concert, became the benchmark for rock & roll at the Bowl.