Even if you weren’t born during the Beatles’ peak years, chances are you know their legacy and many of their songs. After all, this story about American places with a Beatles connection clearly caught your attention. Although you may be familiar with some or many of these spots, there may be some that you weren’t aware of. Whatever the case may be, please read your way through this magical mystery tour of famous Beatles places in America.
July is a particularly interesting month in the history of The Beatles. For instance, John Lennon met Paul McCartney in Liverpool on July 6, 1957. That’s not to mention that Ringo Starr recently celebrated his 82nd birthday on July 7. Equally important in July are the London movie premieres of “A Hard Days Night” and “Help!” in 1964 and 1965, respectively.
Abbey Road Crossing
611 E. Fremont St.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
An Abbey Road in the United States? As a matter of fact there’s one in downtown Las Vegas. Just a few blocks from Las Vegas Boulevard is that tribute to arguably the world’s most famous crosswalk. But then again, it’s not nearly as wide nor as busy, in terms of road traffic. At the same time, it is a worthwhile visit, especially for fans of The Beatles. What’s more, you can even see Ringo Starr’s handprints and autograph on the sidewalk. In addition, there are other Beatles’ related attractions by Abbey Road Crossing. For instance, there is a sign on a wall that resembles the original Abbey Road sign in London. If that’s not enough, there is also a smaller version of the Imagine mosaic at the crossing median.
Capitol Records Building
1750 Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
One of the most iconic buildings in Los Angeles is the former headquarters of Capitol Records. Known as the world’s first circular office tower, it resembles a stack of 45 rpm records. Although the Beatles never made a record in the U.S., most of their hits were on the Capitol Records label. In other words, this building has a very special place in British rock history. Another key point for you to know is what’s outside the front door. There, the on sidewalk you will see the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars for each of the Beatles. However, the Beatles own star on the Walk of Fame is at a different spot. In fact, it’s about 1.5 miles away, at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard.
Ed Sullivan Theater
New York, NY 10019
Of all the American venues where the Beatles made appearances, the Ed Sullivan Theater is the most iconic. It’s also among the most obvious places in Beatles history, whether it’s in America or across the Pond. For one thing, the theater was the spot where the Beatles made their very first stateside appearance on live television. For another, 73 million people were watching on television of that first performance on February 9, 1964. As a result, this single performance by the Fab Four set off the British Invasion of music groups. This led to successful careers of many British groups of that era. For instance, the Rolling Stones, Dave Clark Five, the Who, the Hollies, the Kinks and many more.
George Harrison Tree
2800 E. Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Like the other Beatles, George Harrison had multiple residences. In particular was the Friar Park gothic mansion, with a feature role in the Crackerjack Palace music video. However, that home also has a dark side due to the attack by an intruder. That incident may be the reason why Harrison, his wife Oliva and son Dhani spent more time in Los Angeles. Three years after Harrison’s death at his Laurel Canyon home, a memorial tree was planted in Griffith Park. Although that tree was replaced with another, this site is a must-see for Beatles fans. You can the George Harrison Tree near the parking lot for Griffith Park Observatory. As you approach the parking lot, you should turn left and park as soon as possible. The tree and memorial plague is at the entrance to Charlie Turner Trailhead.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1100 E. Ninth St.
Cleveland, OH 44114
The Beatles have several connections to Cleveland. The Fab Four had two memorable concerts here, including at Cleveland Municipal Stadium on August 14, 1966. Indeed, this was the last of the touring stops before Candlestick Park. The former Cleveland Sheraton also has a notable place in history as the host hotel for John, Paul, George and Ringo. Be that as it may, Cleveland’s most important spot with a Beatles connection is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Beatles Collection at the RRHOF
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame devotes a sizeable area to the Beatles. As a matter of fact, there are several rare artifacts, some that date back to working class Liverpool. For example, there is the signed contract for the “Silver Beetles” to perform at a concert in 1960. That’s to say nothing of the iconic grey outfits worn during the height of Beatlemania. Even more artifacts include the 1974 Settlement Agreement, dissolving the Beatles, Asher Family Piano and more. In a separate section of the Rock Hall is a tribute to the Ed Sullivan Show. Here in the display case is John Lennon’s guitar from the Beatles first live television performance.
The Beatles Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
Eight years after the death of John Lennon in 1980, the Beatles were inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, only George and Ringo made an appearance for the ceremony, along with family members. That’s because in 1988, a legal dispute was still active between Paul McCartney and the other Beatles. For this reason, Paul chose not to attend, due to tension amongst the three surviving members. However, Yoko Ono spoke at the ceremony, as did Julian and Sean Lennon.
The Beatles as Individual Inductees into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
John Lennon was the first of the Beatles to be inducted into the Rock Hall as a solo artist. In fact, it was Paul McCartney who gave the 1994 speech in memory of his longtime friend from Liverpool. In some ways, it was also a concession by McCartney to the surviving Beatles and family members. Five years later, McCartney was an inductee although there was no mention of his band Wings. George was next in 2004 and lastly Ringo in 2015, with Paul delivering the induction speech.
Related: American Music Museums To Visit
Central Park West at W. 72nd St.
New York, NY 10019
Certainly the most poignant place in America for Beatles fans to visit is Strawberry Fields. Taking its name from a popular Beatles song, this is a memorial for John Lennon. The centerpiece of this 2.5-acre section of Central Park is the Imagine mosaic. A circular piece of artwork, it can be found near the area where it’s thought to be where Yoko Ono scattered John Lennon’s ashes. This area near the Lennon’s residence at the Dakota Apartments was their favorite spot in Central Park. Although Strawberry Fields is popular year-round, the largest gatherings are on December 8, the anniversary of Lennon’s death. Each December, many people come to pay their respects and share stories. At the same time, people sing John Lennon songs, like “Give Peace a Chance”, “Imagine” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”.
The Plaza Hotel
Fifth Avenue at Central Park S
New York, NY 10019
It can be certain that any hotel that had the Beatles as guests grew more popular. While the Plaza is famous in several ways, it was the first American hotel to host the Beatles. In fact, Fab Four nearly caused a riot upon their arrival at the Plaza on February 7, 1964. Two days later, the band from Liverpool made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. During their first U.S. visit, several famous photos were taken of the Beatles. For example, photos of the Beatles arrival and subsequent interview at JFK Airport are legendary. However, many more were taken during their stay at the Plaza Hotel. Indeed, one famous photo shows the Beatles waving from their suite to the massive crowd.
More Beatles Attractions In New York
The Beatles have made a lasting impression ever since they first set foot in New York. Fortunately, even after nearly 60 years, many Beatles connections remain in America’s largest city. Of course, some are obvious, like Carnegie Hall and Forest Hills Stadium. But did you know that John Lennon’s first New York home was at 105 Bank Street? Moreover, did you know that Lennon’s last public performance was at an Elton John concert at Madison Square Garden? In all, there are several more Beatles imprints all over the city. What’s more, you can take a Beatles tour of New York with tour guides like Susan Ryan. She is a Beatles expert and the proud owner of Fab 4 NYC Walking Tours.
1140 Third St. NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
In the United States, the Beatles made appearances at several famous spots. For example, the August, 1965 show at Shea Stadium is quite legendary. That’s to say nothing Candlestick Park in San Francisco, the site of the Beatles last touring concert in 1966. But the very first full concert by the Beatles was at Washington Arena. In fact, this performance was on February 11, 1964, just days after their first Ed Sullivan appearance. What’s more, the Fab Four stood on a boxing ring platform in the center of the arena. To put it differently, this show may have been the only one to have the group perform in the center of the arena. Fortunately, you can still see this historic arena originally known as Uline Arena. However, the structure now houses the local flagship store for REI.
Related: Cleveland Attractions To Visit
About The Author
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.