Photographer: Ken Regan
“The Beatles had flown in to make their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. (They played Carnegie Hall three nights after that.) The only reason I was able, on numerous occasions, to get on the Sullivan set was because a high school friend’s father worked there, in production. I was very lucky for that access. I shot The Beatles in rehearsal and during breaks. When the live show aired on February 9—with an estimated seventy- three million people reportedly tuned in—they sang five songs, including “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” then Billboard’s No. 1 single, and “She Loves You.” The audience in the 703-seat theater shrieked nonstop. This was at the deafening dawn of Beatlemania."