Photos of The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum on the 11th February, 1964. These pictures were taken by Fred Ward, a National Geographic photographer and writer, who was on freelance assignment to cover the Beatles’ arrival by train in Washington two days after their debut performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Previously, Fred Ward had been known for photographing political figures including President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jackie Kennedy and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. He took these amazing photos, thought to be the only high-quality colour photographs of the Beatles’ concert at the Washington Coliseum (he also shot a couple of rolls of black and white pictures). Almost unbelievably, a lot of these photo remained unprinted and unseen until 2014 when Fred Ward’s son, Christopher had some printed from the negatives for an exhibition in LA.
I have no doubt we, this gorgeous and eclectic and vast we, can get to where we need to go. We can become what those stunningly worded promises signed in high ceilinged rooms believed we could become. A beautiful man with a beautiful dream believed it too, he spoke eloquently of it and the echo of those words reverberates across this land still. We are better than what we have been of late, we can do so much more. The time is now to love harder, fight fiercer for equality and decency, and lend our voices to the chorus of those unwilling to hide behind fear and ignorance. We are all the same, in the end, we all want to love and be loved and close our eyes peacefully at the close of each day, surrounded by those that feel like home.
The Beatles conduct press interviews and photos on the train to Washington, 11th February, 1964.
“When we got on the train, the press told us why we got such a great reception in New York. They said, ‘Ah, we came to kill you, but you gave as good as you got and we love that.’ They has come to shoot us down and has an attitude of shouting at us, but ‘Hey! We’re from Liverpool! We shout back!’ They couldn’t believe that this band had come over and were shouting at them! That’s how they came to love us when they’d actually come out to nail us. Besides, we did have a number one and we were doing The Ed Sullivan Show, so that helped. But our attitudes were sort of similar and that’s how we became friends with everybody.” [Ringo, Photograph, 2013]
These are some of my favourite pictures of the boys. There are loads more here!