Vault: The Beatles in Cleveland

Posted: 8:22 PM, Feb 07, 2014
Updated: 2016-05-06 07:09:50-04
Vault: The Beatles in Cleveland

Fifty years ago, The Beatles invaded the United States.

Called The British Invasion, The Beatles led a storm of musical talent to the U.S. from across the Atlantic from England.

Their February 1964 appearance on the popular Ed Sullivan Show would whet the American appetite for more.

In September, The Fab Four made a concert appearance at Cleveland's Public Hall on Lakeside Avenue.

The Beatles were on their first U.S. concert tour, which lasted one month. Cleveland was one of their last stops.

The concert took place at Public Hall, but the press conference in our video player took place at the Sheraton-Cleveland Hotel (today known at the Renaissance Hotel). The Beatles really were up-close and personal with our camera coming into the press conference.

WHK radio brought the Beatles to Cleveland, as the banner behind them obviously shows. The disc jockeys for WHK stood behind the Beatles during a photo-op and were known as “The WHK Good Guys”.

Our own Don Webster interviewed John Lennon and George Harrison briefly and then later had a quick second interview with them.

Don had only been at WEWS a few weeks when this interview happened. Don had many jobs here at WEWS: host of The Big 5 Show (which would be renamed and become the popular, nationally-syndicated weekly Upbeat show), weather forecaster, news anchor, lottery show host, Academic Challenge emcee and even a stint in management.

"I don't remember a thing about that interview except for the fact I asked who was the leader of the band," Webster said via email a few years ago. "John said, I guess it could be me and Paul said there was no leader, we're all together in this thing ."

Webster hosted Upbeat, a weekly rock music TV show with roughly a dozen acts on it each week for eight years; the fact he doesn't remember much from an interview 50 years ago is understandable.

The Beatles 1964 concert at Public Hall would be halted by Cleveland Police because of the hysteria, which shouldn't have a surprise when you see the second video clip in our player.

Young people were climbing all over the place trying to get a glimpse of The Fab Four. The 1964 concert was at Public Hall and after the film of the motorcade leaving Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, you’ll see the crowds outside Public Hall.

Derek Taylor, the band's press agent, is interviewed by a WEWS reporter. He explains the problems with security for the Beatles.

Two years later, The Beatles returned to Cleveland to play a much bigger venue, Municipal Stadium.