Nearly 55 years after the Beatles landed at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport on Feb. 7, 1964, PEOPLE is taking a look back at the love affair between a band and a country in an updated Celebrating Beatlemania! The Beatles special issue.
“Thanks to generations of new fans joining the still-devout baby boomer Beatlemaniacs, the band is bigger now than it was during the Beatles’ meteoric decade-long career,” writes American Theater magazine editor Rob Weinert-Kendt in the foreword.
The 96-page special edition is filled with scenes from the band’s early years, from their debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (that 75 million Americans tuned in to watch!) to the mass hysteria that ensued during their 1965 show at Shea Stadium. Read about John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr‘s early lives and how they each began their musical careers.
“Ever since I can remember, he’s been tapping on things,” Starr’s mother, Elsie Starkey, told reporters in 1964. “He made his own set of drums from old tin cans — until we took the hint and bought him his first drums one Christmas.”
Plus, five fans share their memories of the band’s 1964 touchdown with PEOPLE.
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“I was 12, so I begged my mom to take me,” said Linda Reig of the vigil held outside New York’s Plaza Hotel, where the group was staying. “We stood out there for hours, and I wore a big ‘I Love Paul’ button. It was freezing, but they did come to the window and wave at us.”
Relive the Beatles’ first trip to America in 1964 with PEOPLE’s Celebrating Beatlemania! The Beatles special edition, available on Amazon and on newsstands now.