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Beatles to Receive Historical Marker at JFK Airport

New York Port Authority will honor group on 50th anniversary of first U.S. visit

The Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
CBS via Getty Images
February 4, 2014 3:25 PM ET

The Beatles will be honored with a historical marker this Friday at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, where the group landed 50 years ago for their first trip to the United States. The marker will be unveiled by the New York Port Authority during a ceremony at JFK's Central Terminal Area, which is also the spot where the Beatles gave their first stateside press conference.

The distinction is the latest in a string of celebratory events planned around the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Last night, Late Show with David Letterman – which films in the Ed Sullivan Theater – kicked off its "Beatles Week" with Broken Bells covering "And I Love Her" alongside a vintage video of Ringo Starr. Other acts set for this week include Sting performing "Drive My Car," the Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon playing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" on Wednesday and Lenny Kravitz appearing on Thursday with a song to be determined (Friday's performer has yet to be announced).

See where your favorite tracks land on our list of the 100 Greatest Beatles Songs

On Sunday, CBS will also air The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles, which took place last month, and features not only a rare performance from Paul McCartney and Starr (who also played together during the Grammy Awards), but tributes from Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Dave Grohl, Pharrell, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Gary Clark, Jr., Joe Walsh and the recently reunited Eurythmics.

You can also take a peek inside the Beatles momentous trip to America in our recent Rolling Stone cover story, which covers everything from the band's early trepidation about the trip, the American press's early criticism of the group ("They look like shaggy Peter Pans," Time initially wrote) and their generation-defining three-night stint on Sullivan.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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