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Concert At Washington Coliseum (1964)


On Tuesday, February 11, 1964, The Beatles played their first US concert at the Washington Coliseum, in Washington D.C. It was watched by a crowd of 8,092 fans, most of whom were girls. The Beatles took to the stage at 8.31pm. The group were performing in the round, and Ringo Starr's drum riser was turned 180 degrees, after the third song, by Mal Evans. This was to allow the audience behind them, to watch the performance. This was repeated again after “I Wanna Be Your Man”. Following “She Loves You”, they turned it by45 degrees.

In addition to this somewhat awkward set-up, George Harrison's microphone wasn't working during the opening song, and he was given a faulty replacement. It didn't dampen the audience's appreciation, however. They responded with typical screams of Beatlemania, causing one of the 362 police officers present, to block his ears with bullets.

Many of the fans pelted The Beatles with jelly beans, after a New York newspaper had reported that The Beatles had discussed their liking for them.

Brian Epstein had allowed CBS to film The Beatles performance, which was shown by the National General Corporation in a telecast in US cinemas on 14th and 15th of March 1964. The performance has since been released on DVD, and extracts were included in the Beatles Anthology.

After their performance, The Beatles attended a reception at the British Embassy, at the invitation of Lady Ormsby-Gore. They gave out raffle prizes, and signed copies of “Meet The Beatles!”.   At the end of a dance to benefit the National Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, they mingled with the assembled dignitaries.

However, they left in disgust after one of the guests cut off a lock of Ringo's hair from behind his left ear. The Beatles walked out and told Brian Epstein never again subject them to such an occasion.





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