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!"
"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."
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.
Roll Over Beethoven
(Chuck Berry cover)
From Me to You
I Saw Her Standing There
All My Loving
I Wanna Be Your Man
Please Please Me
Till There Was You
(Meredith Willson cover)
She Loves You
I Want to Hold Your Hand
Twist and Shout
(The Top Notes cover)
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