The Beatles: First Visit to America, 1964
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When John, Paul, George and Ringo first made it across the pond in 1964 to play before their adoring, screaming fans in the States — including, famously, performances on The Ed Sullivan Show that mark, for many people, the true beginning of rock and roll’s British Invasion — LIFE photographers were able to get some shots of the lads from Liverpool that capture their wry spirit, their charm, and their youth. (Were they really ever that young?)
Here, then, a short, fond selection of pictures from 1964, when a quartet of mop-topped Brits landed on America’s shores, plugged in their amps, and changed the world forever.