How Frank Rizzo Helped the Beatles Play Philly

It was 50 years ago today the Fab Four came to Philly to play.

XPN has a great piece up today about today’s momentous anniversary: The Beatles played Convention Hall on Sept. 2, 1964. The whole story’s worth a read, but is especially memorable for how DJ Hy Lit conspired with then-Captain Frank Rizzo (!!!!) to secretly get the band into the hall, past a mob of thousands of screaming teenagers outide. Hy Lit is quoted:

In the week before September 2, 1964, I would hear from Frank Rizzo, Captain of the Philadelphia Police. He had called to say his boss and children wanted to meet the Beatles. I said you got it. But there is a problem. We’re being outnumbered by the fans. So Rizzo Said, ‘The only problem you have is getting them into convention hall, and I’ve got an idea’. Frank and I arranged to have the Beatles smuggled in, from Atlantic City, where the day before they were performing at the Jersey Shore. While a decoy limousine procession traveled up the New Jersey White Horse Pike, a Hackney’s fish truck, carrying the Beatles, slowly rolled up the Black Horse Pike, and casually passed thousands of screaming fans, into the food service entrance at convention hall. And so it had worked. We held a news conference that the Beatles are in the building September 2, 1964.

That’s right: Rock n’ Roll history in Philadelphia is much different if Frank Rizzo doesn’t lend a helping hand.

Anyway, read the whole thing. It’s entertaining as heck.