When The Beatles Played Atlantic City
In 1964 the Beatles were a worldwide sensation, and, in August of that year, they brought their pandemonium to Atlantic City.
They were still about a year away from their triumphant Shea Stadium show, but they had already appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show to a record audience and, earlier in 1964, their songs had occupied all of the top five spots in the Billboard Hot 100.
Their movie, A Hard Day’s Night, had been released earlier in August. Beatlemania was at a fever pitch by the time they played Convention Hall in AC. According to the book On This Day in New Jersey History, the Fab Four were ferried from New York city via helicopter to Bader Field. They stayed at the Lafayette Motor Inn where they took up the entire seventh floor. The promoter had “leaked” the news that the Beatles would be arriving by bus and staying at a different hotel, but the truth came out and thousands of adoring fans milled around the Lafayette looking for a glimpse of the stars.
Ticketholders started lining up hours in advance at Convention Hall; the capacity for the concert was 18,000 and, of course, every seat was taken, although many never bothered sitting down. By our standards (and, really, by standards of the day), the concert was brief, lasting only about 30 minutes, opening with “Twist and Shout” and ending with “Long Tall Sally.” After the show, they were whisked away in a police van and taken back to the hotel where they were photographed playing, fittingly, Monopoly and eating a sandwich from White House Subs before leaving for a show in Philadelphia.