The Baltimore Girls in ’64: Beatles Night at the DC Coliseum

On this 55th anniversary of the Fab Four’s arrival in New York and their first U.S. concert in Washington, D.C. , I’m reprinting this essay, which so many readers enjoyed when it appeared a few years ago.  I dedicate this piece to my late mother and our chauffeur to DC, Marcella Spigelmire, and to my fellow Baltimorean Beatlemaniacs: Francine, Christ, Gay and Debbie, and all our friends and classmates from those years who screamed, sang, and celebrated John, Paul, George and Ringo.

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Beatles Night at the D.C. Coliseum

Mary Jane and I were ecstatic when Suzanne, our new friend from the past summer, said she’d get us tickets to the Beatles first American concert in Washington, D.C. Suzanne was a year old than us, the only daughter of a career officer Marine. On the white sand at Bethany Beach, she befriended us, initiating contact first with a smile and a wave of her well-manicured hand,  then asking what it was we were so intently reading. Suzanne was camped out with several adults with deep Southern accents and two handsome boys, one our age and the other, a college man.  Mary Jane and I were enjoying a Jane Austen/Charlotte Bronte summer, steadily making our way through the summer reading list Sister Seraphia had handed us on the last day of school. Suzanne carried  much lighter reading to the beach—Seventeen, Glamour, and Vogue. She used Bain de Soileil bronzing gel instead of drugstore suntan lotion like ours. She was cooler than us, too—it was obvious that she had bleached her hair, because we could see just a hint of  dark roots. We were instantly drawn to her, and closed our paperback copies of Pride and Prejudice as soon as Suzanne offered to share her fashion magazines. We pored over Vogue and Glamour. Suzanne and I smoked cigarettes behind the cottage, and the three of us persuaded all of the parents to drive us to Ocean City so we could stand under the Esskay clock at Ninth Street and the boardwalk. Once there,  we tried to  meet older  boys, though with no success. By the time Suzanne  headed back to Fairfax, Virginia  with her parents, Mary Jane and I had secured her promise to  stay in touch. Continue reading “The Baltimore Girls in ’64: Beatles Night at the DC Coliseum”