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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, February 11, 1964

Washington Coliseum, Third and M St. North East, Washington DC, USA

Early on this day the Beatles travelled by train from New York to Washington DC, and at 8:31 stepped on stage at the 8092 seat Coliseum to give their first concert in North America. For the next half hour, a manic audience was treated to "Roll Over Beethoven", "From Me To You", "I Saw Her Standing There", "This Boy", "All My Loving", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Please Please Me", "Till There Was You", "She Loves You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Twist And Shout", and "Long Tall Sally".

With Brian Epstein's consent, the performance was shot by CBS and shown by National General Corporation, together with unrelated footage of the Beach Boys and Lesley Gore - in cinemas across the USA as a closed-circuit telecast on Saturday and Sunday, March 14th and 15th, two matinee screenings each day.

The film starts with the Beatles having made their entrance but Ringo attempting to re-position his drum kit. George switched his microphone at the end of the first verse of the opening number because it wasn't working, only to find a faulty replacement. After the third song, all the Beatles turned 180 degress, Mal Evans revolving Ringo's kit - in order to face the audience which had been behind them; this exercise was repeated at the end of the sixth number while, at the end of the ninth, they all turned again, 45 degrees this time, to face the side audience.

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