HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. – Fifty years ago Friday, four British pop stars stepped off a plane in New York City on their way to making history and capturing the hearts of millions around the world
But before all the paparazzi and hit songs from The Beatles, a local woman had one of most unique experiences with the band you could dream up.
As John, George, Paul and Ringo stepped off the plane in New York City in 1964 they were greeted by 4,000 screaming fans. It was just two days later they played the Ed Sullivan Show and made TV history. Shortly after the show the band changed the lives of a local couple on their honeymoon.
"It was a total shock to me, my God, why are these people going so crazy," said Joan McAndrews recalling watching The Beatles preform live on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.
In 1964 Joan McAndrews had just married her husband Tom.
"We got married on February the 8th, 1964," said McAndrews.
New York City was the honeymoon destination and the Ed Sullivan Show was on TV in their hotel room.
"My husband said, ‘Hmm, I hope they do something for themselves, get popular around here,'" said McAndrews.
The show ended and the two had fallen in love with the Beatles, along with 73-million viewers who watched the performance live on TV, a record at the time.
Joan and Tom then headed to The Peppermint Lounge to see Joey Dee and the Starlighters. They were one of 10 couples there when something amazing happened.
"And all of a sudden a whole lot of people started coming in, I'm looking at them thinking, ‘What's this all about,'" said McAndrews. "My husband said, 'my God, that's The Beatles.' They ordered their drinks and they were having beer just like everybody else."
Joan says she sat just feet from the British pop stars.
"It's like 'my God, I can't believe this.' This guy is from England, he just was on television, and here I am from little town Hoosick Falls, and he's sitting right across from me. ‘Wow,'" said McAndrews.
The experience ended up being written about in her husband's book.
"And this is chapter two; this is ‘Drinking beer with The Beatles,'" said McAndrews. The Beatles ended up a lifelong favorite of theirs to this day.
"Having seen them live, I felt like they were kind of part of our life," said McAndrews.
Joan and Tom McAndrews celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. Sunday marks the 50thanniversary of the iconic first-ever Ed Sullivan performance by The Beatles.