Tuesday, 12 February 2019

ON THIS DAY: THE BEATLES PERFORMED TWO CONCERTS AT CARNEGIE HALL


12th February, 1964:  On this evening, The Beatles performed 2 concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City
Extra seating was provided on the stage allowing 2,900 people to attend each of the shows. 

Two 25-minute performances at the New York Carnegie Hall. Dezo Hoffmann and Brian attend. The shows were promoted by New York impresario Sid Bernstein.

As the lights went down, the 2,900 concertgoers, most of them teenage girls, delivered a protracted scream that never let up for the duration. “It was mayhem,” recalled Dan Daniel, a longtime local DJ. “It was the most piercing, uncomfortable sound I’d ever heard.




On the morning of Feb. 12 the group were put on a slow-moving train rattling up the East Coast, while Brian Epstein and his staff flew the shuttle back to New York. The boys, for their part, were chaperoned by an entourage of journalists who refused to give them a moment’s peace. “We enjoyed it in the early days,” George recalled, but “the only place we ever got any peace was when we got in the suite and locked ourselves in the bathroom.”


 

The platforms were mobbed with several thousand fans when the train pulled into Pennsylvania Station. At the last minute, the cops detached the Beatles’ car from the rest of the train and diverted it to an isolated platform. A plan to take them up a special elevator was foiled by fans, so the boys charged up the closest set of stairs and jumped into a taxi idling on Seventh Avenue.

They were overdue for rehearsal at Carnegie Hall, where they were scheduled to appear twice that evening.
Until that night, Bill Haley & the Comets and Bo Diddley had been the only rock ’n’ roll acts to set foot in Carnegie Hall, neither Elvis nor Buddy Holly was granted a date, not even the Everly Brothers.


 

The five of us held our hands over our ears. Fifty years later, my ears are still ringing.” The manic response had a similar effect on the Beatles. You could see it in the way they comported themselves onstage.There was no way for them to connect through the impenetrable wall of screams. Meanwhile, no one in the seats could hear a word they sang.

The New York Times reported that he throttled the mike, “looked the audience sternly in the mouth, and yelled, ‘Shut up!’ ” Not that it did him much good. “Yells and shouts rose to an ear-shattering volume,” Melody Maker noted. After a concert lasting only 34 minutes—as with an identical show immediately following it—the Beatles bowed, dropped their instruments and headed for the wings.



After the 2nd concert, Sid Bernstein took Brian Epstein outside the venue to offer him $25,000 plus a $5,000 donation to the British Cancer Fund for a follow-up concert the following week at Madison Square Garden. He assured Epstein that tickets could be quickly printed and would instantly sell out.
"Let's leave this for next time," replied Brian.
However, the group never performed at Madison Square Garden; nor did they return to Carnegie Hall.
For The Beatles' final night in New York City they left the Hotel Plaza at 1.30am for the Headliner Club, before visiting the Improvisation coffee house in Greenwich Village.
There they partied with Stella Stevens, Tuesday Weld and Jill Haworth.

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