« Classic Hits

February Beatles Blog # 20 From The Cavern Club To Shea Stadium

by David Louis

Cavern Club - Capacity 200

Shea Stadium - Capacity 55,600

We're wrapping up our 50th Anniversary of The Beatles U.S. Invasion with a look at how far they came between their first lunchtime show at The Cavern Club on February 9th, 1961 up to the historic Shea Stadium concert on August 15th, 1965.

When The Beatles started playing The Cavern it was apparent to the local Merseybeat fans that these guys were a cut above the rest. The Quarrymen had played their before but on this night they were Beatles. And they brought what they learned from four months of grueling playing conditions and schedules in Hamburg Germany. They soon had a huge following that kept growing until their final show on August 3rd, 1963.

In those two and a half years some big things happened. Brian Epstein and Ringo Starr to be exact. The right guys with the right attitude and the right manager all at the right time is what propelled The Beatles. Well, of course huge talent and a relentless schedule helped too.

The Shea Stadium show  was the first time a rock concert was held at a stadium. It also set a new record for attendance and revenue and proved incredibly helpful for every stadium show to follow. Security, acoustics, travel and crowd control lessons were learned the hard way at Shea Stadium. I can't help but what wonder what was going through Ed Sullivan's head as he was introducing these fine young boys to 55,600 screaming fans. He must have known that half a century later we would still be talking about The Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and the part the Beatles Invasion played in his legacy.