Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Beatles Coming to America

"We knew that America would make us or break us as world stars. In fact, she made us."- Brian Epstein
February 7,1964
 In 1964 The Beatles had already released their first LP "Please Please Me" to the United States and a number #1 Single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" over in the states. The Beatles left from Heathrow Airport and boarded Boeing 707, Pan Am flight 101 early morning and had left their home in England to head for New York, where they would later land at JFK Airport and 1:20pm EST. Cynthia Lennon (John's Wife at the time) recalls the experience,
 "At Heathrow there was pandemonium. Thousands of fans had arrived from all over Britain and any ordinary passengers hoping to travel that day had to give up. Screaming, sobbing girls held up 'We Love You, Beatles' banners and hordes of police, linking arms in long chains, held them back. We were ushered into a massive press conference, where journalists, spotting me at the side of the room, demanded a picture of John and me together. To my surpirse John agreed. He was usually careful to keep Julian and me away from publicity, but this time, carried along by the momentum of the whole thing, he agreed."

"It was so exciting. On the plane, flying in to the airport, I felt as though there was a big octopus with tentacles that were grabbing the plane and dragging us down into New York. America was the best. It was a dream, coming from Liverpool."Ringo says about his experience heading to America for the first time.
They were greeted by about 5000 fan, mostly girls screaming with banners at JFK Airport. Paul McCartney recalls it as,
"There were millions of kids at the airport, which nobody had expected. We heard about it in mid-air. There were journalists on the plane, and the pilot had rang ahead and said, 'Tell the boys there's a big crowd waiting for them.' We thought, 'Wow! God, we have really made it.'"
On top of all of the Beatlesmaniacs there were another 200 or so photographers and reporters to capture the arrival.  There at JFK Airport The Beatles were given their first press conference with questions like;
Q: Are you a little embarrassed by the lunacy you cause?
John Lennon: No, it's great.
Paul McCartney: No.
Ringo Starr: Marvelous.
George Harrison: We love it.
John: We like lunatics.

Q: You're in favor of lunacy?
The Beatles: Yeah.
John: It's healthy.
Q: Are those English accents?
George: It's not English. It's Liverpudlian, you see.
Paul: The Liverpool accent - so, the way you say some of the words. You know, you say GRASS instead of GRAHHSS, and that sounds a bit American. So there ya go.
Q: Liverpool is the...
Ringo: It's the capital of Ireland.
Paul: Anyway, we wrote half of your folk songs in Liverpool.
Ringo: Yeah, don't forget!
Q: In Detroit Michigan, there handing out car stickers saying, 'Stamp Out The Beatles.'
Paul: Yeah well... first of all, we're bringing out a 'Stamp Out Detroit' campaign.
Q: What about the Stamp Out The Beatles campaign?
John: What about it?
Ringo: How big are they?
Q: Would you tell Murray the K to cut that crap out?
The Beatles: Cut that crap out!
Paul: Hey, Murray!

Q: A psychiatrist recently said you're nothing but a bunch of British Elvis Presleys.
John: He must be blind.
Ringo (shaking like Elvis): It's not true! It's not true!
Q: Would you please sing something?
The Beatles: No!
Ringo: Sorry.
Q: There's some doubt that you can sing.
John: No, we need money first.

It was Murray the K, a DJ at the 1010 WINS radio station, that announced when The Beatles first landed and the details containing the flight number, which was later repeated on rival stations, Beatlemania had just begun.

Neil Aspiniall, road manager, friend of Paul's school friend, and future Apple Corps manager says,
The Beatles with Neil
"It has since been reported that their American record company had promised that every person who turned up at the airport would be given a dollar bill and a t-shirt. What really happened was that the receptionists at Capitol Records would answer the phone, 'Capitol Records - The Beatles are coming.' There was a lot of mention on the radio, too: 'The Beatles are coming!' It was the people handling the Beatles merchandise at the time who were offering the free t-shirt. I had no idea about that at the time, and it was nothing to do with the record company. "
More questions where ask at JFK like,
Q: What do you expect to take out of this country?
John Lennon: About half a crown.
Ringo Starr: Ten dollars.
Q: Does all that hair help you sing?
Paul McCartney
: What?
Q: Does all that hair help you sing?
John: Definitely. Yeah.
Q: You feel like Sampson? If you lost your hair, you'd lose what you have? 'It'?
John: Don't know. I don't know.
Paul: Don't know.
Q: How many of you are bald, that you have to wear those wigs?
Ringo: All of us.
Paul: I'm bald.
Q: You're bald?
John: Oh, we're all bald, yeah.
Paul: Don't tell anyone, please.
John: I'm deaf and dumb, too.
Q: Do you know American slang? Are you for real?
Paul: For real.
John: Come and have a feel.
Q: Aren't you afraid of what the American Barbers' Association is going to think of you?
Ringo: Well, we run quicker than the English ones, we'll have a go here, you know.
Q: Listen, I got a question here. Are you going to get a haircut at all while you're here?
The Beatles: No!
Ringo: Nope.
Paul: No, thanks.
George Harrison: I had one yesterday.
Ringo: And that's no lie, it's the truth.
Paul: It's the truth.
Q: You know, I think he missed.
John: Nope.
George: No, he didn't. No.
Ringo: You should have seen him the day before.
Q: What do you think your music does for these people?
Paul: Er...
John: Hmm, well...
Ringo: I don't know. It pleases them, I think. Well, it must do, 'cause they're buying it.
Q: Why does it excite them so much?
Paul: We don't know, really.
John: If we knew, we'd form another group and be managers.
Q: What about all this talk that you represent some kind of social rebellion?
John: It's a dirty lie. It's a dirty lie.
Q: What do you think of Beethoven?
Ringo: Great, especially his poems. (Muttering to the others) I'm sick of that one.
Q: Have you decided when you're going to retire?
John: Next week.
Paul: No.
John: No, we don't know.
Ringo: We're going to keep going as long as we can.
George: When we get fed up with it, you know. We're still enjoying it.
Ringo: Any minute now.
Q: After you make so much money, and then...
The Beatles: No.
George: No, as long as we enjoy it, we'll do it. 'Cause we enjoyed it before we made any money.
The Beatles and Brian Matthew

From there The Beatles stayed at the Plaza hotel in New York City and later gave a telephone interview which would later be on the Radio the next day, Saturday Club. The interview was given by BBC presenter Brian Matthew. From there on The Beatles would go on to preform 3 Ed Sullivan shows on the 9th, 16th, and 23rd and would previously come back in September of 1965.

 " I remember, for instance, the great moment of getting into the limo and putting on the radio, and hearing a running commentary on us: 'They have just left the airport and are coming towards New York City...' It was like a dream. The greatest fantasy ever."

 “So this is America. They must be out of their minds." 

"America has everything, why should they want us"

 "It was just out of the dark. That's the truth, it was so out of the dark, we were knocked out."

Check Out The Beatles arrival here
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