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From Forest Hills Stadium, January 31, 2018:
The Beatles […] were nicknamed the “princes of pandemonium,” and embarked on a 30-day tour throughout the U.S. and Canada, earning well over $1 million. This was also a particularly extravagant time to live in or visit Queens, since the Forest Hills Music Festival was in its fifth season, and nearby, the 1964 World’s Fair was in full swing in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
On May 1, 1964, fashionable fans held up signed Beatles portraits, anxiously waiting outside the Forest Hills Music Festival Ticket Office at 118-30 Queens Boulevard for tickets to go on sale, and police officers kept a close eye on lines that were explained as “fantastically long.” A poster in the window advertised “The Beatles’ Second Album” featuring “She Loves You” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” In addition, a sleep-in took place at the stadium, for fans hoping to have their first chance at tickets.
A ticket cost between $2.95 and $6.50, but the experience… priceless! As July rolled around, Beatles fans hoping to obtain free admission would visit a Randforce circuit theatre in Queens or Brooklyn and write in 25 words or less, “Why I want to see The Beatles.” The submission deadline was August 21, and the greater the entries, the greater the chance. If a contestant’s name was drawn, they would find two complimentary tickets in the mail for “The Beatles’ personal appearance.” […]
The Beatles arrived at 2:55 AM on August 28 at Kennedy Airport from Cincinnati, as part of their North American Tour, and had an estimated 3,000 screaming teens, mostly girls who anticipated that very moment. In no more than two minutes, they ran from the plane into their limousine. Police confined the fans to a 30-foot-high observation deck, which was 200 feet away from where the plane landed. […]
At a press conference, The Beatles praised American girls, American money, American journalists, and ultimately America. Then they stepped back into a limousine to a heliport in lower Manhattan, and en route they were to Forest Hills Stadium, guarded by 200 police officers inside and another 300 officers on patrol in the surrounds. Private detectives were on scene, four ambulances were stationed, and fire hoses were in operation to dampen outbursts that venture beyond. The lineup of over 16,000 fans began much earlier in the day. The Beatles made landfall in a helicopter on grass court G5, and screaming girls nearly produced enough energy to lift the helicopter back into takeoff.
The Beatles’ setlist for each concert consisted of “Twist and Shout” (The Top Notes cover), “You Can’t Do That,” “All My Loving,” “She Loves You,” “Things We Said Today,” “Roll Over Beethoven” (Chuck Berry cover), “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “If I Fell,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Boys” (The Shirelles cover), “A Hard Day’s Night,” and “Long Tall Sally” (Little Richard cover). The master of ceremonies on the first night was the WMCA Good Guys, and Murray The “K” on the night that followed. The Stan Rubin Orchestra offered pre-show entertainment. […]
Last updated on May 4, 2019