50 Years Ago, The Beatles Invaded Milwaukee

Sep 1, 2014

The Beatles live in Milwaukee.

Fifty years ago this Thursday, the Beatles took the stage for the first and only time in Milwaukee. 

On their first U.S. tour in 1964 the Fab Four played a show at the Milwaukee Arena, now known as the UWM Panthers Arena.

It was a huge moment in the city’s cultural history, and an even bigger moment for the people who were there – such as Bob Barry.  At the time, he was a disc jockey at WOKY radio, and was the man who introduced the Beatles on stage.

His memories – and those of a few of the fans in attendance – are part of a documentary airing on Milwaukee Public Television titled, The Beatles Invade Milwaukee.

Bob Barry and documentary producer, director, and writer Raul Galvan spoke with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich about what happened all those years ago and making the documentary.

Barry recalls when he met with The Beatles after the show to give them a van full of gifts people sent him to give to the band. "I asked Paul, 'What do you want to do with all this stuff?' and he said, 'We'd like to keep the mail, we'll take that with us. But all the rest of it give to Children's Hospital or an orphanage.' And Ringo said, 'I'll take the champagne,'" Barry says.

The Beatles Invade Milwaukee airs Monday, Thursday, and Saturday on MPTV.