THE BEATLES: RARE PHOTOS FROM THEIR FIRST U.S. CONCERT
Imagine being eighteen years old, riding along in your ’55 Chevy, and some of the coolest music that you have ever heard thus far in your life, begins blaring through your car radio speaker(s).
It may have been as early as December 17, 1963 when Washington D.C. DJ, Carroll James of WWDC, was the first U.S. DJ to play “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles on the air in America.
Mike Mitchell was that eighteen year old freelance photographer riding in that ’55 Chevy. When he heard that song, he knew these guys performing it were going to be BIG, and not just BIG, but life changing HUGE for many people. (They certainly had an effect on my brothers and I as three of us have played in bands for most of our lives and one went on to tour the U.S. and Europe. The fourth still strums his guitar…a result of The Beatles changing the face of popular music.)
For as many years as I have enjoyed anything & everything Beatles, (since February 1964 for me when The Fab Four made that first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show), the photographs that are the reason behind this story, somehow managed to elude me.
THE BEATLES AT THE WASHINGTON COLISEUM FEBRUARY 11, 1964
I had never seen any of these photos nor had heard of Mike Mitchell, the photographer who shot them, until just a few weeks ago. The photos themselves hadn’t even seen the light of day until some 47 years after the February 11th, 1964 Washington Coliseum Concert, sometime in 2011! I thought to myself, there’s quite a story here…at least for me and any other hardcore Beatles fans anyway.