"Had To Be There!" Neighbor on Beatles concert

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- If you were around 50 years ago, it was one of those moments you will always remember. The Beatles first concert in America was right here in DC on February 11, 1964.

For some of us, it was as big as Woodstock -- or the moon landing. One of them was teenager Naomi Banks, who lived across the street then, and still does.

"I was 16, and just fired up," says Banks. "I'd just seen them 2 or 3 days before at the Ed Sullivan Show. And the fact that they were coming to the Washington Coliseum, across from my house, that was fantastic!"

The ticket was only two, three and four dollars, and they had almost instantly sold out. But Banks was friends with a neighbor who managed the arena. "And I said, you just got to get me in there. Get me in the coliseum," she recalls.

He could not get her a seat, but he was able to sneak her in just after the show started. He put her in a corner next to some drapes. "The kids were just screaming and hollering and crying. It was amazing. I was just in my corner trying not to be too noticeable. You didn't care if you heard the music. You just wanted to be in there with the Beatles. Most people knew all the words to the songs," she said.

After the show, Banks waited for one more look at the young superstars from Liverpool. "They were right in here on this side," she says pointing to a parking lot next to the now decrepit Coliseum. "And you were right over on this side?" I asked her. "Over by my house. Watching them take pictures." "And going John, I love you?" "Yes." Banks says the John, Paul, George and Ringo "bent down and made snowballs and threw them at each other. And that's where they got the shots of the Beatles at the Washington Coliseum."

At 66, Banks still keeps her scrapbook, and when they stage a tribute concert at the Coliseum on Tuesday, she will be there. "It was just wonderful!," she says.

And if you want to relive the memories or make some new ones, tickets for that tribute concert on Tuesday benefiting the DC Preservation League are on sale at BeatlesYesterdayAndToday.com.


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