It was 50 years ago last Saturday that the Beatles played their first show in Los Angeles. (They'd arrived in the US in February 1964 to play The Ed Sullivan Show and a few concerts, but came directly to the West Coast for their first US tour in August). Bob Eubanks, a 26-year-old KRLA DJ and proprietor of the Cinnamon Cinder nightclubs at the time, mortgaged his house for $25,000 to pay for the concert (he says he only made about $4,000 because he had to pay for so much security) and tickets—priced at $3 to $7—sold out in three and a half hours. The Beatles returned to Los Angeles on their August 1965 and 1966 US tours, and all four members have visited and lived and made history in LA over the decades since. Here we've mapped some of the most significant Beatles-related sites around Los Angeles, from the band's first rental in Bel Air to the house where they dropped acid with Peter Fonda to John Lennon's "Lost Weekend" retreats:Read More
Mapping 50 Years of the Beatles in Los Angeles
The Beatles arrived at LAX for their first US tour on August 18, 1964; they gave a press conference at the airport before leaving for a few days in San Francisco.
Some stories (including the hotel's) say the Beatles had to land in a helicopter on the Biltmore's roof to avoid throngs of Beatlemaniacs. (It's not clear if they actually stayed at the hotel, though.) Their reservations at the Ambassador Hotel in Koreatown were canceled for fear of crowds.
1964 rental house
After they lost their rooms at the Ambassador, actor Reginald Owen offered his Bel Air house for rent for $1,000. The LA Times reported in 2004: "It was there that Lennon jumped into the pool fully clothed, and the foursome played cowboys and Indians with toy pistols — a gift from Elvis Presley. Still, screaming girls surrounded the mansion on St. Pierre Road."
On the day of their big Hollywood Bowl show, the Beatles held a press conference at one of Eubanks's Cinnamon Cinder nightclubs. Like everywhere else the band went, it was swarmed with hundreds of teenaged fans. [Image via Getty]
The Hollywood Bowl
Tickets were $3 to $7, Lauren Bacall and Louella Parsons were there, and they played all their hits, including "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Can't Buy Me Love."
1964 Capitol Records party
Alan Livingston, the Capitol Records exec who signed the Beatles, threw a party for the band at his mother-in-law's house in Brentwood; tickets were $25 and benefitted a hemophilia organization. (Hedda Hopper and Groucho Marx were there.) Many great videos linked and embedded right here.
"She Said, She Said" house
During their 1965 North American tour, the Beatles rented this house from Zsa Zsa Gabor. On one very important day in music history, John, George, and Ringo took LSD, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds played George some Ravi Shankar records, and Peter Fonda (also on acid) kept telling John "I know what it's like to be dead." John wrote Revolver's "She Said, She Said" about it.
Elvis Presley's house
The Beatles were big Elvis fans and their manager, Brian Epstein, and Presley's, Colonel Tom Parker, finally arranged a meeting late on August 27, 1965 at Presley's rented house in Bel Air. It was reportedly kind of awkward, but they joked around, had a jam session, and John and Elvis even talked "about Peter Sellers and favorite scenes from Dr. Strangelove."
1966 rental house
The Beatles rented this house in August 1966, during their last tour.
"Blue Jay Way" house
George Harrison rented this house in 1967; while waiting for friends to show up on a foggy night, he used the house's Hammond organ to write Magical Mystery Tour's "Blue Jay Way" ("There's a fog upon LA...").
John Lennon's beachhouse
This infamous Gold Coast house was built by MGM chief Louis B. Mayer, later owned by actor Peter Lawford, and said to have hosted JFK/Marilyn Monroe trysts. Lennon rented the house with girlfriend May Pang during his year-and-a-half-long "Lost Weekend" and produced Harry Nilsson's Pussy Cats there; he hosted Nilsson and Keith Moon there, and made nice with McCartney. The last photos of them together were taken at this house.
John Lennon's rental
John Lennon and May Pang supposedly stayed at this house in the Bird Streets right before going back to New York.
George Harrison's last house
George Harrison reportedly stayed at this house, which belonged to friend and Gift of Fear author Gavin de Becker, during his last days in 2001.
Paul McCartney's house/George Harrison's death
There are also persistent reports that Harrison actually died at Paul McCartney's house in Beverly Hills. (McCartney has since sold the house; it's latest owner has it up for sale.)
Ringo Starr's house
Ringo's owned this place in Beverly Hills since the early '90s.