The Beatles in Central Park, New York City, 8 February 1964

In the morning a press conference was held in the Baroque Room at New York’s Plaza Hotel, where The Beatles were staying. Following this John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr went for a walk and photo opportunity in Central Park, where their every move was followed by around 400 female fans.  George Harrison was suffering from a streptococcal sore throat, and so remained in the Plaza. He was joined there by his sister Louise Caldwell.

At 1.30pm The Beatles – minus George – travelled by limousine to the CBS studios on Broadway for the first of several rehearsals for their debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. During the journey their cars were charged by fans, and mounted police were forced to intervene to keep order.  Ten mounted police guarded the studios along with 52 officers while The Beatles were inside. Their first duty was to join AFRA, the American equivalent of the Musicians’ Union. For the rehearsal Neil Aspinall stood in for George, as did production assistant Vince Calandra, while the director rehearsed the camera positions for the following day’s filming.

Afterwards The Beatles asked to see a playback of their rehearsal, which no other musical act had previously asked for. The group was also interviewed by The Ronettes.  In the evening Lennon, McCartney and Starr went to the 21 restaurant (photo) with George Martin and executives from Capitol Records. The Beatles ate chops while their music industry companions had pheasant.

Things To Do

From The Philharmonic on the Great Lawn to Shakespeare in the Park to SummerStage, Central Park offers an endless array of things to do, see, hear – and, with two full service restaurants and several cafes, taste.  You can visit The Shakespeare Garden, take in a performance at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, take a ride on the Carousel – or just sit and people watch at Bethesda Terrace!

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