September 14, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles only performance in Pittsburgh. On September 14, 1964, The Beatles performed at the now gone Civic Arena to an audience of 12,603.
There are many interesting stories about when The Beatles came to Pittsburgh and the United States because at the time, they were considered the ‘hottest’ band on the radio and billboard charts.
Before the group arrived at the former Greater Pittsburgh Airport, which was closer to RMU than the current airport, fans packed the airport itself as well as the road and streets leading to the Civic Arena.
One of the most interesting stories regarding the concert in Pittsburgh was which radio station would “present” the concert. When it was announced The Beatles would perform in Pittsburgh, both KDKA and KQV wanted to “present” the show. In the end, KQV was awarded to right to “present” The Beatles to Pittsburgh. In hindsight, it was probably the right decision because KQV eventually started WDVE that would become Pittsburgh’s Classic Rock radio station. KQV is still an AM radio station today but is strictly news and is no longer with WDVE.
It is also interesting that tickets were sold at $5.90 each. While it may seem cheap by today’s standards, in 1964, minimum wage in the country was $1.15 an hour.
For a country that was overcome by Beatlemania, Pittsburgh was extremely lucky to host The Beatles on their first American Tour. Although it would have been extremely difficult to actually hear the group perform at the Civic Arena, those in attendance were able to see a band that started a ‘Revolution’ for rock and roll music.
Below is the playlist The Beatles performed during their 1964 US Tour.
• Twist and Shout**
• You Can’t Do That
• All My Loving
• She Loves You**
• Things We Said Today
• Roll Over Beethoven
• Can’t Buy Me Love
• If I Fell
• I Want To Hold Your Hand
• A Hard Day’s Night
• Long Tall Sally
(**-For some shows, The Beatles would open with I Saw Her Standing There, delete She Loves You, and close with Twist And Shout).