Shrieking, sobbing and euphoric stupors: The Beatles wowed Cincinnati fans during 1960s

The Beatles classic album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” marked its 50th anniversary this week.

The recording, which included the songs “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” and “A Day In The Life,” was awarded four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.

Before this landmark recording hit the airwaves, the Fab Four performed twice in Cincinnati, and the Dayton Daily News was there.

“Cincy Intact Despite the Beatles,” was the front-page headline on the Aug. 28, 1964 edition of the newspaper.

The concert, held at Cincinnati Gardens, was attended by 14,000 squealing and screaming fans.

Gee Mitchell, the Dayton Daily News amusements editor, described himself as “slightly square,” and assumed the fans were there to hear the music. He was schooled by a young fan “in a perspiration-soaked pink dress.”

“Hear ‘em? Why should we want to hear ‘em? We can stay home and play their records for that,” she said. “But they’re here – real in the flesh. They’re right there in front of you – and they look at you, and o-o-o-h-h-h…”

Two years later, the Beatles were back in the Queen City for a performance at Crosley Field. Bad weather postponed the show for a day, but the band took the stage Aug. 21.

“When the Liverpool quartet, in gray and pink striped suits with blue Carnaby print shirts, tripped across the field to a platform erected a safe distance away from the audience – there were the usual hysterics,” reported the newspaper.

“Fans (mostly girls) jumped up and down, shrieked, sobbed, tore their hair, clawed each other over binoculars, screamed and waved frantically.”

Some fans cried, others were described as sitting in euphoric stupors and two tried to get past the 175 security guards ringing the field to get closer to the stage.

The newspaper story describes the concert as lasting a half hour and the Beatles playing “a no-nonsense routine of about 10 songs,” before being whisked away in a car.

Just eight days, later the Beatles performed the final concert of the band’s career at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

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