When the Future Host of TV’s ‘Newlywed Game’ Brought The Beatles to Los Angeles

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A recently published book, The Beatles in Los Angeles, recounts many memorable stories of the band and as solo artists. The title, from authors Jeremy Louwerse and Tom Weitzel, offers new interviews with those who were there, as well as many recently discovered photographs.

The chapters include recently uncovered photos of The Beatles meeting with Elvis Presley (in 1965 at his Bel Air estate), and such topics as their 1966 concert at Dodger Stadium, Paul McCartney’s lavish mansion parties throughout the ’70s, John Lennon and Ringo Starr’s separate visits to the set of Happy Days, and various tales involving George Harrison.

The book begins with their first performance in the city: their 1964 concert at the Hollywood Bowl, promoted by Bob Eubanks, who at the time was working as a local disc jockey, and two years before he himself would become a household name as the host of the television game show, The Newlywed Game.

We’re pleased to bring you this exclusive excerpt from The Beatles in Los Angeles

18,000 screaming fans, and no tickets to be had–even if your name was Frank Sinatra.

John Lennon and Lauren Bacall flirting in the dressing room.

Thirty minutes of muffled music and raw frenzy echoing through the majestic canyon.

It was The Beatles, and they had taken over LA and the Hollywood Bowl for the first time on August 23, 1964.

But not far from the mayhem, in quiet darkness, was the modest house that made it all happen. If it weren’t for the ranch home on Bigler Street just twenty miles from the Hollywood Bowl in the sleepy West San Fernando Valley town of Woodland Hills, the Fab Four may have never taken the stage at the venue. A small house with a big pool would create the opportunity of a lifetime and bring The Beatles to Los Angeles.

The story starts with then KRLA radio disc jockey Bob Eubanks, who was in a panic leading up to the big Hollywood Bowl show. As the show’s promoter, he had secured the venue that Brian Epstein, The Beatles’ manager, had insisted would be the only one his band would play. So, because Bob had the Bowl, he would also get The Beatles. What Bob didn’t have was the money Epstein wanted for the performance—$25,000. The clock was ticking.

Eubanks quickly realized that the only asset he had was his house, the modest ranch home at 23201 Bigler Street was his ticket to ride. He tried his personal bank at the corner of Ventura Boulevard and Topanga near his home, offering to put it up for collateral in exchange for the money. But as soon as the bank heard what he was using the money for they turned him down; backing an unknown band from England was just too much of a risk. So, Bob made his way down the street. It was a last-ditch effort at Transworld Bank, where in the lobby a repossessed motorcycle was leaking oil. One of the bank’s employees, Liz Miller, happened to have a son who was a Beatles fan and . . . Bob ended up getting the money from the bank.

The show was on, and so was the chaos. A young Sigourney Weaver, future star of Alien, was in the audience. Some of the world’s biggest celebrities demanded the $3 tickets, only to be turned away. While Lauren Bacall and John Lennon were flirting in the dressing room, Debbie Reynolds lurked outside, trying to get her own time with him; Bob Eubanks witnessing it all. The band would finish with “Long Tall Sally,” and then disappear into the city for more adventures.

Their first trip to Los Angeles would be a memorable one. After putting up his home, Bob Eubanks ended up making $4,000 after all expenses were paid, including the $25,000 loan.

Bob Eubanks signing a Beatles poster for the 1964 concert (Photo: Jeremy Louwerse; used with permission)

As far as the little home on Bigler Street, it’s still there and for the most part unchanged—an unlikely Beatles monument. And as for Bob Eubanks, he went on to promote three more Beatles concerts in LA, become a massively popular game show host, own a production company, and manage many musical talents.

And even though the last time he saw the Fab Four was 1966, when they left Dodger Stadium after their second to last concert ever, he still tells stories about them during his stage show Backstage with The Beatles where he signs posters from the 1964 concert after the show for $60.

Related: Our review of Ron Howard’s 2016 Beatles documentary, Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years

Eubanks turned 84 on January 8, 2022. Author Jeremy Louwerse has worked in television for over 25 years, as a writer and producer for ESPN, Access Hollywood, the NFL and more. Tom Weitzel is an Emmy winning producer, and has worked for Entertainment Tonight and The Mike Douglas Show, among others. The book can be purchased at their website or at the links below.

Best Classic Bands Staff

4 Comments so far

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  1. Jimfkft
    #1 Jimfkft 22 January, 2022, 16:18

    On what planet would The Beatles be an “unknown band” in August 1964?

    Reply this comment
    • Greg Brodsky
      Greg Brodsky 22 January, 2022, 21:41

      I think you’re over-reading it… No track record for selling out a large venue when the promoter had to make the necessary financial commitment.

      Reply this comment
    • BeatlesinLosAngeles
      BeatlesinLosAngeles 28 January, 2022, 11:22

      You make a good point. Eubanks actually had to book the venue months before August ’64 and the band was “unknown” to the older management running the bank at that time.

      Reply this comment
    • bradwww
      bradwww 18 May, 2022, 17:48

      bankers planet

      Reply this comment

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