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The Beatles 50 years ago today: September 4, 1964 (Friday)

Milwaukee Arena, West Kilbourn Ave/West State St. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

The Beatles performed a single show at this venue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – their only such performance in the state.

The Beatles’ aeroplane landed at Milwaukee County Airport (now called Mitchell International Airport). They were taken to the National Guard headquarters on the east side of Mitchell Field, away from the crowd, leaving behind hundreds of disappointed fans. They were then driven by limousine to the Coach House Motor Inn.

At the hotel a press conference was held; John Lennon was suffering from a sore throat so didn’t take part.

Tickets cost between $3.50 and $5.50, and had gone on sale in April 1964. Within a week all 12,000 had sold out. Also on the bill were The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon.

Security was tight around the arena, as the Milwaukee authorities feared the effects of Beatlemania. The Beatles arrived in the city by aeroplane in the afternoon, and were met by around 700 fans. Fifty police officers and 30 county deputies had difficulty restraining the fans, despite makeshift fences being erected, and officers with fire hoses stood by. At one point around 100 fans broke through the cordon and rushed towards an approaching plane.

After the show fans the Coach House Motor Inn, on West Wisconsin Avenue and 19th Street. Some fans stood in front of the building all night, but were mostly well behaved. Inside the group ate dinner and were given antibiotic shots to alleviate their colds.

The next morning fans invaded their suite and took all available mementos of The Beatles’ stay.

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