A Beatles tribute band plays the British embassy. Photo by Emily Heil. A Beatles tribute band plays the British Embassy. (Emily Heil)

On their 1964 visit to  Washington, the Beatles reduced the city’s teenagers to wailing maniacs — and 50 years later, as evidenced by the serious-folk-cutting-loose at the British Embassy’s Beatles bash on Friday night, there’s apparently still something transformative about the Fab Four’s music.

See that woman on the dance floor, lost in the grooves of a pretty dead-on cover band? Why, that’s Susan Rice, who by day is the President’s national security adviser. And among the toe-tapping crowd, many of whom got into the spirit of ’64 with retro garb (if we had a dime for every pair of white go-go boots we spotted…)? That would be a majority of the town’s TV anchors, including NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Fox News’s Ed Henry, ABC’s Jonathan Karl, and CNN’s Jake Tapper, along with military brass, intelligence-world folks and congressional staffers.

“Big Beatles fan,” was Rice’s only comment as she made a beeline to join the crowd of dancers. We tried a follow-up question, but the music was too loud.

British Ambassador Peter Westmacott, who sported a Mod Nehru-style suit that could have been filched from John Lennnon’s closet circa mid-’60s, said the anniversary of the historic performance seemed an obvious opportunity to celebrate.  “These people are serious people who work hard,” he said. “It’s good to see them have a little fun — we all need that.”