Growing up Beatles: The first concert to the end

It\'s more than a ticket to the Beatles concert in D.C. It\'s a piece of history and the beginning of a lifelong love affair. (WTOP/Katie Howard)

WASHINGTON – Everyone and her mother is talking about the 1964 Beatles concert that took place 50 years ago in D.C. I know all of the details of this historic day – my mother was there.

Fifty years ago Tuesday night, my grandfather drove my mother and a handful of her Walter Johnson High School classmates from Bethesda, Md., down to the Washington Coliseum, in Northeast, to see the Beatles in concert.

My mother was 15 at the time, and since she and her friends didn’t have driver’s licenses yet, my grandfather passed the time outside the venue, which was filled with screaming teenage girls, reading and smoking his last pack of cigarettes in the car.

Coincidentally, in 1964, Ash Wednesday followed the Tuesday-night concert. Along with an account of the sights and sounds of the night’s set list, my mom later told me how her father vowed to his teenage passengers that he would quit smoking for Lent – and possibly for good.

For years, my mother kept the ticket stub from the concert – a tiny piece of history – in her jewelry box.

She owned every Beatles album and knew every trivia fact about the Fab Four. My childhood memories could be played against a Beatles soundtrack.

On Dec. 9, 1980, my mom looked like she had been crying when she picked me up from school.

“John Lennon has died,” she said with a sigh.

Lennon was her favorite Beatle. My dad even resembles Lennon a little bit.

When my mom turned 60, my father and I made a video collage of her life set to “In My Life,” “Here, There and Everywhere” and “Your Mother Should Know.”

When my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary at the age of 64, my mom suggested a “When I’m 64″ theme party. The plan was to enter the room to the song.

As much as she treasured her priceless collection of vinyl, my mother eventually made practical upgrades and transfers of all her records to cassette tapes in the


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