The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Winter Auction 2023
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/16/2023
1 of 5 tickets existing for the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964, starring The Beatles.

The Most Significant Musical Broadcast in Television History.

The Start of the “British Invasion” in American Culture and Music.

On February 9, 1964, variety show host Ed Sullivan gave the famous introduction: “…the city never has witnessed the excitement stirred by these youngsters from Liverpool, who call themselves The Beatles. Now tonight, you're going to twice be entertained by them. Right now, and again in the second half of our show. Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles!”

What followed was the most important music broadcast in television history. Rapturous screams greeted the band as they played “All My Lovin’” followed by “’Til There Was You” and “She Loves You” (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah). Later in the show, their second set included “I Saw Her Standing There” and the number one hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand."

73.7 million people watched on television (60% of the total viewing public, and almost 40% of the entire U.S. population). Almost sixty years later, it is still the 10th largest audience share for a non-sports broadcast in American television history.

The theater seated 728. Tickets were printed months before the show and mailed out long before the guests were announced. In mid-December 1963, The Beatles were announced for the February 9, 1964 show, and an additional 50,000 requests flooded in, including from Richard Nixon, Leonard Bernstein and Walter Cronkite (for their daughters, of course).

Tickets with a distinct design were hastily printed for V.I.P.’s, and some audience members had to stand at the back of the theater. Ushers collected all tickets at the door and later destroyed them. Because the theater was open seating, there was no need to return a ticket stub. These policies are why none of the 728 regular tickets, and no stubs, for The Beatles’ first performance on the Sullivan show have ever surfaced on the market. After 60 years, only five unused V.I.P. tickets are known to exist. They are among the most valuable concert tickets in existence.

Frank Caiazzo summed it up this way: “There is not a more important event for The Beatles than their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and as such there isn't a more important day in Beatle history (and one could also argue the history of Modern Music and Pop Culture in general) than February 9, 1964. This is the exact moment where everything went from black and white to color for not only The Beatles, but also in many ways, for the world. [It was] one of the most if not THE most important day in music history.”

Good condition.

Dimensions: 4.125" x 1.75 in.

Authentication: Certificate of Authenticity: Gary Hein’s Rare Collectibles, a high-end dealer in Beatles memorabilia 1977-2021, who stated that there is a CBS Television interoffice memorandum from February 1964 confirming both the collect-and-destroy policy for tickets, and that “special” tickets were created specifically for the Beatles’ first appearance on the show and a Gotta Have Rock and Roll Certificate of Authentication.
The Beatles First Appearance Ed Sullivan Show Unused VIP Ticket dated February 9, 1964
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $15,000
Final Bid: $42,000
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Number of Bids:13
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