THE LOST BEATLES SHOW
There was a wealth of media coverage for The Beatles in 1964. Everywhere they went, and practically everything they did was scrutinized and reported on the evening news and in every newspaper worldwide. To every rule there is an exception, here the exception is Las Vegas. It certainly is the lost and almost forgotten show by The Beatles. However, they did play Las Vegas Live with two shows at the Convention Center, Las Vegas on Thursday 20 August 1964. The first show was at 4:00 pm and the next later that evening at 9:00 pm.
The Beatles second visit to the U.S. opened with a rousing show at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. Immediately after that show they boarded their private airplane and flew directly to Las Vegas. The Beatles arrived in Sin City at \1:00 am at McCarran International Airport, from where they were driven directly to the Sahara Hotel. The Sahara was the last remaining vintage "Rat Pack" casino-hotel, and anchored the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip. The porte-cochere entrance, topped by an onion-dome minaret, is designed to set the resort's warm Moroccan flavor and hospitality for arriving guests. That night over two thousand fans defied the city curfew to see them arrive.
The group spent the morning in their 18th floor penthouse suite, before leaving at 2.30pm for a sound check. During the filming of The Beatles Anthology, George Harrison recalled Las Vegas, “Liberace visited us. I think the first four rows of that concert were filled up by Pat Boone and his daughters. He seemed to have hundreds of daughters.”
The Beatles performed two shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center before an audience of 8,000 people, some were even fans. Few people remember that between the two shows the Las Vegas Police Department received a bomb warning. but The Beatles decided to go on despite the threat. Their greater fear was that a potential riot would break out by the disappointed fans. After the second concert The Beatles were advised to stay away from Casinos, after police concerns that underage fans would be tempted to follow them. In true Las Vegas style, slot machines were brought up to the Beatles private suite for their enjoyment.
It wasn’t until recently that we realized that there was very little coverage for The Beatles visit to Las Vegas. We found this to be odd, considering the volumes of material for acts as The Rat Pack, Jerry Lewis, Liberace and Elvis, just to mention a few. Even stranger, The Beatles top every list as far as popularity goes. All we found was a brief video that was posted on the internet. (follow this link to view the video of The Beatles in Las Vegas).
We reached out to Channel 3 News to reporter Tom Hawley who was hosting a weekly segment call Las Vegas’ Video Vault.” Tom answered the question quite easily as to why there was so little material about The Beatles in Las Vegas, the television studio that would have cover The Beatles visit, burned to the ground some thirty years ago. But Tom did reach out to an old friend, the host of Breakfast with The Beatles, Dennis Mitchell. To our surprise Dennis had a number of incredible photos of The Beatles in Las Vegas which we are posting here for your enjoyment. The photos were sourced from the official photographer of the The Sahara Hotel.
Through the efforts of our friend Frank Chmielewski (TonyBramwell.com), along wirth Tom Hawley (Channel 3 News) and Dennis Mitchell (Breakfast with The Beatles) we are thrilled to present The Beatles in Las Vegas.
Cheers, Tony Bramwell