On Feb. 13, 1964, The Beatles (heard of ‘em?) touched down in Miami and three days later, on Feb. 16, played the second of their three epochal Ed Sullivan Show performances.* Nixon’s waxen bizarro twin (Sullivan) gave the “youngsters” from Liverpool top billing and $10,000 for the three appearances. In exchange, he got the highest ratings in the history of American television, with 40 percent of the U.S. population tuning in for The Beatles’ Miami performance in the Deauville’s Napoleon Room.
Here is the Fab Four’s first set: “She Loves You”, “That Boy”, and “All My Loving”.
Today John Lennon would have been 70 years old and, unlike Sir Paul, probably not a feather in Starbucks’ cap. Not to be naive, but I like to think he’d have made some good music during the Awful Aughts. With Dubya as his muse, he might have beat Jay-Z to the Black Album.
From what I gather, there are probably few places less like Miami than Liverpool. Perhaps that’s why John and The Beatles seemed to enjoy themselves so much here. Or maybe it had to do with their unprecedented fame, godly talent, and staggering wealth. Either way, to commemorate the sad death and rocking life of “The Smart One,” here are a few photos of Lennon, his wife Cynthia, and the boys, in Miami for the band’s first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. (More photos at absoluteelsewhere.net.)
Props to anyone who can figure out where in Miami these were taken.