Sixty years ago, on a snow-covered night, the Beatles played their first U.S. concert at a Washington coliseum.
The packed event February 11, 1964, followed an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York earlier in the week. The visit, or the beginning of the “British Invasion” as some called it, was a milestone for rock ’n’ roll musicians and fans alike. (The Beatles’ set list included their own take of a classic song, “Long Tall Sally,” by American performer Little Richard.)
The Beatles’ several-city tour was followed by other British touring bands, which became part of the Invasion.
For their part, the Beatles were influenced by American musicians such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley. And the Beatles revered American folk icon Bob Dylan, who had performed in London.
Years later, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr said those American influences gave the band’s first U.S. shows special significance. “We were excited when we came to America, with the Beatles,” Ringo told AXS TV. “Because all our music had come from there.”