2.28.2014

THE BEATLES INVADE LAS VEGAS STRIP IN 1964!

Beatles arrive in Las Vegas 1964 Photo by Las Vegas Sun

My pals at Vegas.Com are guest posting tonight for my readers....They did such a great story I am using it as it....I did edit a bit of stats out of the story so if you'd like more click.. THE FULL STORY

This video is live footage of the Beatles in Vegas...check it out..... 



The Beatles head toward their room on the 47th floor of the Sahara Hotel and Casino in 1964. In the 1960s, Vegas was no stranger to performers with devoted fans. At the Sands Hotel and Casino, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop were selling out the Copa Room as early as 1958. Rat Pack fans were willing to sleep in their cars and hotel lobbies on busy weekends, just for a chance to see the crooners.

But nothing had prepared LAS VEGAS for Beatlemania.


By Jennifer Whitehair and Nicole Lucht

Above: The Beatles enjoy a slot machine brought to their room at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in 1964. Crowds of fans prevent the group from enjoying the casino as a normal guest. Photo by Las Vegas News Bureau

When booking agents first approached Las Vegas hotels on behalf of The Beatles, they were turned down. Stan Irwin, Director of Entertainment at the Sahara, had the foresight to realize what a Beatles' concert would mean to both the Sahara and Las Vegas.


In a 1989 interview with newspaper columnist Mike Weatherford, Irwin said "I'm the only one who seemed to have known about the Beatles, so I bought them."

Weatherford, in his book "Cult Vegas: The Weirdest! The Wildest! The Swingin'est Town on Earth," reasons that it was more likely that the hotels considered The Beatles an act appealing only to teenagers. Casino owners had seen the indifference Las Vegas audiences had toward an earlier teen idol. In 1956 Elvis Presley failed to capture the interest of audiences and critics when he performed at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino.


Whether it was foresight or luck, Irwin and the Sahara managed to secure the hottest ticket in Las Vegas when they booked The Beatles.


"I'd been thinking of putting them in our main showroom, the Congo Room, but it held just 600 and there was no way to get any more seats in the place" Irwin told John Romero in his book "Las Vegas, the Untold Stories." "I said, hold it, these guys belong in the Convention Center and I rushed over there to check the seating. They told me they could put 7,000 a show in the rotunda. I said that was still too small, and asked for the balcony too. They agreed and that pushed the total seating for each show to 8,408."


Crowd estimates range from 11,000 to 16,800 total for the two shows -- a record in Las Vegas at the time. Today, Celine Dion performs to an audience of 4,100 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and only high capacity venues like the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay Events Center and Thomas & Mack Center can boast capacity of 14,000 or more.


"When I walked on stage at the Convention Center to introduce the first show, only four words left my mouth: 'Ladies and gentlemen, the --" and all hell broke loose," Irwin told Romero. "Like the rest of us from the Sahara who were there, I never heard a note. The screaming drowned out everything."


The Las Vegas Sun reported that the stage was surrounded by police officers and guards, some from as far away as Phoenix. The show was almost inaudible. A poor sound system and screaming fans drowned out the group as they performed their hits and songs of fellow artists including "She Loves You," "Do You Want To Know a Secret, " I Want to Hold Your Hand," "All My Loving," "Twist and Shout" and more.


Thirty minutes after taking the stage, the Fab Four were done, leaving the screaming fans in their wake. "I'll never forget a girl who came running down the aisle toward the stage," Irwin related to Romero in "Las Vegas, the Untold Stories." "One of our muscle guys picked her up and carried her out of the rotunda. Close behind her came a second girl who got the same treatment. As they carried this one out she kept screaming, 'Put me down you idiot. I'm her mother.' "

A few hours later, The Beatles left Las Vegas, never to perform as a group in the city again.

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