How Much Did The Beatles Make For The Ed Sullivan Shows?

ed sullivan with the beatles 1964 385x280 How Much Did The Beatles Make For The Ed Sullivan Shows?

I remember the evening of February 9, 1964 like it was yesterday.  Sitting on the floor of my Aunt Thelma’s in Haskell, Oklahoma watching [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Beatles[/lastfm] first appearance on Ed Sullivan I’m pretty sure I sat through their part of the show with my mouth wide open.  Musically, everything changed for me after that.  Funny thing is, I don’t feel any older than I did that night 48 years ago.
Ed was smart putting them on at the beginning of the show and at the end.  There was no tivo and no home video tape recorder so you had to sit through everythingEd Sullivan may have gotten the deal of the century with how much he paid them for their 3 appearances on his show.  And just how did he come to book them in the first place?

  • Brian Johnson

    The fee paid for the Sullivan appearances for three shows was $10,000. The third show was a pre-taped appearance filmed before the evening debut on the afternoon of Feburary 9th, 1964. It’s not noted if there was a travel rider that paid for the transatlantic flight, or the accommodation at the Plaza just around the corner from the studios.

    Standard performance riders from Brian Epstein written for The Beatles were noted as being very sparse, requiring proper grounded wiring, a drum riser supplied, and house PA. The American ones were noted with one addition; The Beatles would not perform to a racially segregated audience. Russ Lease has an authentic rider, unless he’s auctioned it recently.

    • Steve Goddard

      Have you thought about writing a book Brian? Good stuff – thanks –

      • elvisp

        You’re welcome! This info has been available for some time.

        There’s only two people around today that can absolutely confirm it in the Beatles’ circle regarding the performance fee for Sullivan. That’s; Wendy Hanson, Brian’s secretary, who is in the film of them at the Plaza, and Brian’s American assistant, Nat Weiss.

        Best Regards,

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