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Thursday marks 50 years since The Beatles took Milwaukee by storm

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Thursday marks 50 years since The Beatles took Milwaukee by storm

By Katie Crowther. CREATED Sep 4, 2014

MILWAUKEE - Their music is timeless, and their popularity still legendary.

Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' one and only concert in Wisconsin.
 
Beatlemania was in full effect on September 4th, 1964, when Paul, John, Ringo, and George stopped in Milwaukee during their first American tour, and TODAY'S TMJ4 was there for it all.
 
When The Beatles landed at Mitchell Airport, it was chaos.
 
"We were surprised to find out there were several hundred kids out there already," says Rocky Todd, a retired Milwaukee police officer who was assigned to escort the band.
 
"We used one of the limos as a decoy so we could take off with The Beatles the other way," Todd says.
 
That enraged fans waiting to catch a glimpse of their idols. And it frustrated The Beatles too.
 
"There was no need to take us out the back way," said Paul McCartney at the time.
 
Todd says the the guys were friendly. He still remembers how Ringo greeted him.
 
"He called me matey. He said, 'Yo, hey matey, I like your boots.'"
 
When it came to the peformance, Todd couldn't hear a word of it.
 
"The screaming just never stopped. And girls were just conking out and collapsing. It was pandemonium, that's all I can say it was."
 
Amid the yelling, crying and fainting were 13-year-olds Mary Osep and Mary Ellen O'Sullivan, who had front row seats. 
 
"They were so close. That was the amazing thing. You couldn't believe you were this close. I can remember just being in awe. I couldn't believe we were there and seeing this."
 
And now, even 50 years later, there's that same awe when it comes to The Fab Four.
 
Here are some more fun facts about that concert:
 
The 12,000 fans who were there each paid about $5 for a ticket. It was at the Milwaukee Arena, which is now the UWM Panther Arena. And the band stayed at the Old Coach House Inn, which is now a Marquette dorm.
Katie Crowther

Katie Crowther

Katie Crowther was born and raised the suburbs of Detroit. She attended John Carroll University, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.