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The Beatles at the Bowl
The 50th anniversary of the legendary group performing their second concert in the U.S.
In February of 1964 the Beatles had just made their U.S. debut. When tickets went on sale in April for their Hollywood Bowl show on August 23, 1964, it sold out in less than 4 hours. No online sales, no phone sales. If you wanted a ticket, you had to find out where they were being sold, and line up in front of the Hollywood Bowl box office. Hundreds of kids camped out overnight on Highland Avenue and the next day the line went from the Bowl entrance nearly to Hollywood Boulevard a mile away.
The concert itself was chaotic. The screaming of the crowd was so loud, no one could hear the music. Fortunately, the concert (as well as the two Beatles concerts in August of 1965) was recorded and later released under the guiding hand of Beatles record producer George Martin.
With the Righteous Brothers and Jackie DeShannon as opening acts, and 18,700 screaming girls (and a few boys and some parents) in the audience, the Beatles 1964 concert became the benchmark for rock & roll at the Bowl.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times
Live From The Bowl!
Please visit the Hollywood Bowl Museum’s other exhibit called “Live From the Bowl – Recordings and Broadcasts from the Bowl 1928-2012.”
Dozens of audio and video clips play on touch screen computers and on vintage phonographs, radios, and TVs in period settings. There’s a 1930s-era parlor, for example, with a 1936 Philco “tombstone” radio playing Fred Astaire singing “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” on a CBS broadcast live from the Bowl.
The very first commercial recording ever made of a symphony orchestra outdoors was the 1928 RCA Victor album with Eugene Goossens conducting the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, made up of members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Selections from the album play on a 1926 Victor “Bluebird” Victrola in a 1920s ladies dressing room.
An RCA KCS47 black & white TV plays a clip from the first national live television broadcast from the Hollywood Bowl, The Colgate Comedy Hour (1954). In the “Mad Men” era of the 1960s, the sophisticated bachelor pad wouldn’t be complete without a high fidelity component system, complete with turntable, amps, pre-amps, woofers and tweeters playing an LP of the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra.
In a teenage bedroom of the 1970-80s, there are clips from The Brady Bunch and Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl, with audio clips from Miles Davis and Pink Floyd.
The digital age brings us many live shows from the Bowl released on DVD, including Van Morrison, Aerosmith, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist, Mariachi USA, the Korean Festival, and the webcast of Gustavo Dudamel’s 2009 welcome as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, !Bienvenido Gustavo¡
Continuing at the Bowl Museum: Hollywood Bowl - Music For Everyone
Taking its cue from a Bowl slogan from the 1950s, this exhibit at the Hollywood Bowl Museum is called Hollywood Bowl: Music For Everyone.
It's been true of the Bowl for a long time that people can find just about any kind of music they like. That's part of the Bowl's history and its success. Looking back at programs and photographs of the Bowl since its inception in the early 1920s, it's clear that Music For Everyone is no platitude. While symphonic music formed the core of early Bowl presentations, there were early adventures in opera (a full house for the unamplified coloratura soprano of Amelita Galli-Curci), and modern dance (with works by pioneering choreographers such as Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Norma Gould, Adolph Bolm, Agnes de Mille, and Lester Horton). Jazz was introduced to the Bowl in the thirties by Benny Goodman, followed in the forties by Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Lena Horne, and others, with a breakthrough concert in 1956 featuring Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Chubby Checker, Duane Eddy, and Frankie Avalon were among the first rockers to appear at the Bowl in the late fifties. Folk and world music concerts began as early as the 1920s with a Native American festival and have become a staple at the Bowl in the last ten years.
This exhibit, on the main floor of the museum, is organized into sections on dance; pop, rock, jazz and world music; symphonic music and opera; architecture and history of the Bowl; and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. Video screens are an integral part of the exhibit, allowing us to show hundreds of still photos and extensive film footage.
You are invited to visit the museum before concerts to enhance and enrich your Bowl experience. Admission is free.
Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame
The Museum is also home to the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. Visitors can watch videos of all the honorees including John Williams, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Henry Mancini, Sarah Chang, Bernadette Peters, Frank Sinatra, and many more.