This is the honorary committee formed by some of the most prominent participants and witnesses to that historic first US visit. The committee has no commercial agenda. Its aim is solely to ensure that the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' American breakthrough is celebrated in grand style.
There will be a major party in New York City on the evening of Monday February 9th celebrating the exact 40th anniversary of the Beatles' legendary first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." It will be held at The Hard Rock Café on 57th Street - just 3 blocks from the TV studio where history was made. "The Fab 40!" committee members are the Host Committee for the evening - which will be emceed by New York 60's radio icon "Cousin Brucie." The guests will be drawn from the many prominent entertainers and celebrities who are proud Beatles fans.
There will be live Beatles music played by one of America's premier Beatles tribute bands - with the prospect of guest performances by major music stars.
As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations there will be a tribute to the film and television work of the Beatles. It will take place at New York's prestigious Lincoln Center on Sunday February 8th 2004. That is the corresponding Sunday to the Sunday evening in February 1964 when America first met the Beatles.
The program will include highlights of the legendary first "Ed Sullivan Show" featuring the Beatles - screened at the exact same hour as the original transmission - 8pm. This will be followed by a special presentation of a new 35mm print of the Beatles' first film - "A Hard Day's Night" - that began filming exactly three weeks after the Beatles' debut on "Ed Sullivan."
The tribute will conclude with a forum featuring several key players and experts from the Beatles world. The panel will include Robert Freeman (creator of the film's acclaimed title sequence & photographer/designer of the iconic soundtrack album jacket); Martin Lewis (Beatles scholar & producer of the film's DVD Edition); Sid Bernstein (promoter of the Beatles' concerts at Carnegie Hall & Shea Stadium); Albert Maysles (who documented the 1st US visit for US & UK TV) and Bruce Spizer (Beatles historian & author of the new book "The Beatles Are Coming!")
As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations the American Film Institute is presenting a week-long tribute to the film work of the Beatles. It will take place in the Washington D.C. area at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center - located in Silver Spring, Maryland. The tribute runs from Friday February 6th to Thursday February 12th - with two screenings each night.
The tribute features a new 35mm print of the Beatles' first film - "A Hard Day's Night" - that began filming exactly three weeks after the Beatles' debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Highlights of the Beatles' appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show will also be a part of the tribute.
The opening night of the tribute on Friday February 6th will conclude with a panel featuring two of the world's leading Beatles historians. Martin Lewis (Beatles scholar & producer of the DVD Edition of "A Hard Day's Night") and Bruce Spizer (Beatles historian & author of the new illustrated history "The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania In America")
The Museum Of Television & Radio is saluting the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in America with two distinct celebrations - under the umbrella title It Was Forty Years Ago Today...The Beatles in America. The New York Museum will present the New York debut of "The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes" - an exhibit from the CBS Photo Archive and the work of veteran LIFE photojournalist Bill Eppridge - featuring candid shots of the band members at work and play during their American visit in February 1964. The exhibit runs February 6 to May 2, 2004.
In the listening rooms at both its New York and Los Angeles locations - the Museum will present "The Larry Kane Interviews" - a series of rarely-heard radio interviews by Emmy Award-winning journalist Larry Kane, the only American reporter in the Beatles' touring entourage during their historic U.S. tours in 1964 and 1965. The listening series will run from February 6 to June 20, 2004, in both cities.
"The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes" is a major new exhibition of 71 fine-art black & white photographs drawn from the archives of CBS Television and Bill Eppridge (who covered the Beatles for Life Magazine.) The exhibition will be presented in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The exhibition opens on Friday January 16th 2004 - the exact 40th anniversary of the date in 1964 when the Beatles' first Capitol Records single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was officially determined to have reached #1 in the US charts. The exhibition runs for exactly 6 months - till June 16th 2004. Entry is free of charge.
The previously-unseen photographs capture the Beatles on their whirlwind two-week first visit to the USA in February 1964. Life photographer Bill Eppridge accompanied the Beatles on their travels to New York, Washington and Miami and captured many essential images of the Beatles at work and play. The CBS TV Archive photographs show the Beatles backstage as they appeared on three consecutive episodes of "The Ed Sullivan Show."
At the heart of the Beatles' first US visit were their unprecedented THREE consecutive appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in February 1964. The historic first show on February 9th was seen by a world-record audience of 73 MILLION viewers. This was FORTY PERCENT of the entire US population at the time (approx. 186 million.) That is the equivalent (in today's US population) of a TV audience of 116 MILLION.
In 1965 - the Beatles returned to the Ed Sullivan Show for what ended up being their last-ever live performance in a TV studio anywhere in the world.
All four original shows had been buried in the archives until recently - with only a few snippets shown periodically on TV. Now all four shows have been rescued from the vaults, digitally-restored and have just been made available on the new DVD "The Four Ed Sullivan Shows Featuring The Beatles."
Because most people have become accustomed to seeing just the same brief extracts from their debut appearance - very few people are aware that The Beatles appeared on four separate shows and that they performed a surprising total of TWENTY songs on their four TV appearances - including seven #1 hits. All twenty songs were performed live - not lip-synched. Eleven of the performances have not been seen unedited in 40 years. The DVD contains the largest cache of previously-unreleased Beatles material - since the release of the Beatles "Anthology" - nearly ten years ago.
We are able to make some of these historic Beatles performances available for TV shows covering the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' first visit.
"THE BEATLES ARE COMING! The Birth Of Beatlemania In America" is the title of a major new book by respected Beatles historian and author Bruce Spizer. The book presents a comprehensive and lavishly-illustrated history of the Beatles' American breakthrough - revealing for the first time the precise mechanics and the many stunning coincidences that led to the group going from being complete unknowns in America to mega-stars selling millions of records - in just six dramatic weeks.
The book presents newly-discovered documents that explode many of the myths about the Beatles' US breakthrough that have been repeated and compounded for 40 years. The book features an introduction by Walter Cronkite - whose pivotal role in the initial success of the Beatles in America is revealed for the first time in the book.
It is a coffee-table size book extensively illustrated with over 450 color and original black & white photographs and documents - including 50 previously unpublished images. The book is published on Friday January 16th 2004 - the exact 40th anniversary of the date in 1964 when the Beatles' first Capitol Records single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was officially certified #1 in the US charts.
In addition to its mass-market paperback edition - the book is also available as a limited-edition hardcover. The book (Spizer's fifth book about the Beatles) is destined to become one of the standard reference works about the world's most successful and influential musical artists.
The remarkable fact that - 34 years after their break-up - the Beatles enjoy an undiminished evergreen popularity in America is partly attributable to the incredible success of Beatles fan conventions. New Yorker Mark Lapidos came up with the idea exactly thirty years ago - while pondering the TENTH anniversary of the Beatles' first US visit. Armed with the blessing of John Lennon ("I'm a Beatle fan too!") the enterprising Lapidos launched the first convention in New York in 1974. It was an immediate success and rated a cover story in Rolling Stone magazine.
30 years later - Lapidos is about to produce his 100th convention in the US. There have already been over 500,000 fan admissions, hundreds of guest appearances by leading Beatles associates, family and friends - and $300,000 raised for Beatles-supported charities. The cottage industry he set up with his wife of 28 years has also spawned the world's largest Beatles mail order business (over $10 million grossed).
But most satisfying to Mark Lapidos is the fact that the majority of fans at today's conventions are age 30 and under - just as they were 30 years ago when he started…
Robert Freeman was the Beatles' favorite photographer/designer - chosen to create five consecutive album jackets for them. "With The Beatles" (originally "Meet The Beatles" in the US) "Beatles For Sale," "A Hard Day's Night," Help!" and "Rubber Soul." He was commissioned to design and shoot the title sequences for their first two films. He photographed and designed the covers for both of John Lennon's books. And he took numerous personal photographs of the individual Beatles. He was chosen to be Official Photographer of the Beatles' first US visit. He has just published a new edition of his acclaimed 1990 coffee-table book of photographs and memories "The Beatles - A Private View."
Martin Lewis is considered among the world's leading Beatles scholars and producers. He has written and broadcast extensively about the Beatles. He was consultant on the Beatles' "Anthology" and "Live At The BBC" projects. He was the producer of the DVD edition of "A Hard Day's Night" and Associate Producer of the new "Ed Sullivan" DVD. He has worked as a producer-director-interviewer with Paul, Ringo and Sir George Martin. He initiated and supervised the recent re-publication of Brian Epstein's autobiography and wrote its Companion Narrative. Lewis started his career as a protégé of the Beatles former publicist Derek Taylor. Lewis is organizer and Honorary Chairman of "The Fab 40!" committee.
In 1997 Lewis, was one of the organizers of Liverpool's official celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the day that John Lennon & Paul McCartney met for the first time - the starting point that led to the formation of the Beatles. For that occasion, Lewis secured special greetings for the event from Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair - and Her Majesty The Queen.
Lincoln Center is to present the first-ever New York exhibition of the Beatles photographs of Robert Freeman - the Beatles' favorite photographer (see details in item #10 above.)
The exhibit opens on Sunday February 8th 2004 with a special free party (6pm-8pm) in the presence of Robert Freeman - who will also be available to sign copies of his new book "The Beatles - A Private View." It takes place in The Furman Gallery - adjacent to The Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center.
After the opening night party - the exhibition runs from February 9th to March 8th - 1pm-9pm daily. Free admission. The exhibition is called "A Public View of A Private View - The Photographs of Robert Freeman."
The Furman Gallery is located adjacent to The Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center - New York. The exact location is Plaza Level - West 65th Street - between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue
or any person or company associated with The Beatles.