The Beatles ~ Carnegie Hall ~ New York City ~ Tonight In 1964

February 12, 2018

The Beatles were scheduled to give two 34-minute concerts

at Carnegie Hall beginning at 7:45pm and 11:15pm

on February 12th of 1964

Tickets for the concerts

had gone on sale at the box office on January 27th 

and had completely sold out by the following day

2,900 people saw each of the two shows

which were promoted by New York impresario Sid Bernstein

"Carnegie Hall didn't have to worry about its sacred property or paintings on the wall. They shook a little bit and they asked me never to come back again!"

Sid Bernstein

"Carnegie Hall was terrible! The acoustics were terrible and they had all these people sitting on the stage with us and it was just like Rockefeller's children backstage and it all got out of hand. It wasn't a rock show; it was just a sort of circus where we were in cages. We were being pawed and talked at and met and touched, backstage and onstage. We were just like animals."

John Lennon

Even for the Beatles, Carnegie Hall was no ordinary gig. The place was a shrine; the name alone humbled any musician. But if the Beatles were in awe of entering the place, they didn’t show it. They relaxed in the prestigious green room just behind the stage, chain-smoking American cigarettes and drinking lukewarm tea, completely unfazed by the remarkable surroundings. On the walls just outside hung autographs of the hall’s most famous denizens: Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Caruso, Pons, Handy, Cliburn, Casals, Rostropovich, Callas. Until that night, Bill Haley & the Comets and Bo Diddley had been the only rock ’n’ roll acts to set foot in Carnegie Hall. Apparently, its board of directors didn’t dig the groove. Neither Elvis nor Buddy Holly was granted a date, not even the Everly Brothers.

Setlist

  1. Roll Over Beethoven

    (Chuck Berry cover)

  2. From Me to You

  3. I Saw Her Standing There

  4. This Boy

  5. All My Loving

  6. I Wanna Be Your Man

  7. Please Please Me

  8. Till There Was You

    (Meredith Willson cover)

  9. She Loves You

  10. I Want to Hold Your Hand

  11. Twist and Shout

    (The Top Notes cover)

  12. Long Tall Sally

    (Little Richard cover)

Capitol Records had planned to record both shows

and release a live album...

In a letter to Carnegie Hall dated February 3rd, 1964

Capitol agreed to provide letters of permission from Brian Epstein and Sid Bernstein for tape recording the show... 

They also agreed to pay Carnegie Hall $300 to record the event, and another $300 to use "Recorded at Carnegie Hall" on an album cover...

Capitol had already planned the placement of the recording equipment, but at the last minute was prevented from doing so by the 'American Federation of Musicians' union

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