50 Years Ago, The Beatles and Their Haircuts Landed at JFK


The Beatles are back in New York City! Fifty years ago tomorrow (February 7), four lads from Liverpool, with shaggy brown hair and megawatt charm, arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport, where a swarm of crazed girls greeted them in mass hysteria. “Ladies and Gentlemen … The Beatles!,” which opens today and runs through May 10 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s arrival in the U.S. and delivers an entertaining history of Beatlemania and the influence the band had on music, fashion, art, literature, film, and politics.

This traveling free exhibition includes rare Beatles artifacts, such as the jacket Paul wore during the band’s 1965 Shea Stadium concert, handwritten setlists and lyric sheets, and more. It’s also an interactive experience in which visitors can learn how to play the drums with a “private” lesson from Ringo Starr, and also share their own stories about the effect The Beatles had on their lives in an oral histories recording booth.

More than 400 items from private collectors are featured in this exhibition that chronicle the historical context surrounding the band’s arrival, such as the American bands and artists that The Beatles were listening to at the time, including artifacts from Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and the Beach Boys.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the NYPLPA presents free programs and screenings further exploring The Beatles’ lasting impact..

Photos continue on the next page.