By Christopher Scapelliti
Did you know the Beatles performed full dress rehearsals when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, 52 years ago this month?
Not only did they perform them, but the producers of the show recorded at least one of them.
In the clip below, you can see the Beatles rehearsing for the show at the Deauville Hotel in Miami, Florida, on February 16, 1964. This clip features their rehearsal of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” followed by Sullivan’s prepared remarks about the group.
This rehearsal was for the group’s second consecutive weekly appearance on the Sullivan show. They had appeared on the program one week earlier, on February 9, making their U.S. debut. That show was presented at the program’s usual location, CBS-TV Studio 50 on Broadway in New York City’s Theater District.
For the group’s second appearance, the show headed south to Miami’s Deauville Hotel. The Beatles arrived on Thursday, February 13, and rehearsals were held over the next two days. This full-dress rehearsal began at 2 p.m. on February 15. The show was presented live on Sunday, the 16th.
Songs rehearsed for this performance included “She Loves You,” “This Boy,” “All My Loving,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “From Me to You” and the hit that started it all for the group in America, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
What’s perhaps most surprising is the presence of a real audience of 2,500 people, including numerous screaming teens. The usually unflappable Sullivan seems to be genuinely agitated by them as he attempts to make his closing remarks about the Beatles over the shouts of the audience.