the beatles the first u.s. visit


Brian Epstein watches the Beatles perform ‘She Loves You’ in Washington, February 11, 1964. Footage from the Maysles’ brothers doco ‘The Beatles: The First US Visit

‘In the concert sequence in Washington, D.C., Epstein is in the audience watching the Beatles perform. Still wearing this scarf tucked into a dress jacket, he is alone and smiles as he watches the group, some of the young audience members occasionally turning around to look at him. He stands out markedly here, in his dress and physical demeanour, a spectator to the pop-music phenomenon he has been central in creating, never permitted by the film to share the frame with them.’ - Albert Maysles by Joe McElhaney

Scan - “A famous picture of a famous picture being taken. This shot was eventually used on the cover of Life magazine. They couldn’t believe that [the] photographer was using flash in the middle of the day,” as Dezo Hoffmann recalled.

Photo: Dezo Hoffmann

“It was a Thursday, and we were out doing stuff. My mom told us we weren’t going to school the next day. Then she told us what was going on and said we couldn’t tell anybody. You want to act cool, like you’re not fazed, but inside it’s pretty much, ‘Wow, the Beatles are in my house!’… They were just real playful. They were like kids.” - Linda Pollak-Sullivan, who was 15 years old when LIFE arranged for The Beatles to visit her family’s house in Miami; quoted in LIFE Reunion Special, 1995


Ringo Starr and George Harrison, 1964, and c. 1994, screen capped from The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit and Living in the Material World

“[Ringo] Starr, however, wasn’t the only one to weep during his interview, although his tears are the only ones caught on camera. ‘Every single interview [for Living in the Material World] resulted in tears,’ producer Margaret Bodde adds. ‘And this is years after George’s passing, because everyone was connecting with their true love of George and he touched them all in very obviously special way.’” - Rolling Stone, 5 September 2011

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“The last weeks of George’s life he was in Switzerland and I went to see him, and he was very ill, and you know, he could only lay down. And while he was being ill and I’d come to see him, I was going to to Boston 'cause my daughter had a brain tumor. And I said, 'Well, I’ve gotta go, I’ve gotta go to Boston’ and he goes - it’s the last words I heard him say actually, he said, 'Do you want me to come with you?’ So, you know, that’s the incredible side of George.” - Ringo Starr, Living in the Material World [x]

A still of Brian Epstein from Albert and David Maysles’ documentary, The Beatles: The First US Visit

He is reserved, formal, elegant, his physical attractiveness far more striking than any of the Beatles themselves. While the Beatles play to the camera or to the fans, Epstein behaves as though the camera isn’t there. There is a fascinating shot in this sequence in which Epstein, sitting on a couch, leans back to listen to his secretary read something he has dictated. As he leans back, he rests a closed fist against his cheek while he listens, as though (consciously or not) posing for a photograph, not looking at the camera but still aware of its presence
-Albert Maysles by Joe McElhaney