Old Brown Shoe
Join Date: Mar 16, 2002
Location: New Jersey
Blast from the past
I thought some of you might enjoy this. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
The Beatles Invade, Complete With Long Hair and Screaming Fans
3,000 FANS GREET BRITISH BEATLES
4 Rock 'n' Roll Performers Hailed by Teen-Agers
BY PAUL GARDNER
THE NEW YORK TIMES
FEBRUARY 8, 1964
Multiply Elvis Presly by four, subtract six years from his age, add British accents and a sharp sense of humor. The answer: It's the Beatles (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah).
The rock 'n' roll group, which may become Britain's most successful export since the bowler, arrived at Kennedy International Airport yesterday and more than 3,000 teen-agers stood four deep on the upper arcade at the International Arrivals Building to greet them.
Disk jockeys who have an interest in Beatle records had urged the young people to welcome them. The quartet has sold 6 million records and earns as much as $10,000 a week for appearances. Five organizations, represented by at least 17 press agents, will share in the Beatles's American booty.
An official at Kennedy Airport shook his head and said, "We've never seen anything like this here before. Never. Not even for kings and queens."
There were girls, girls and more girls. Whistling girls. Screaming girls. Singing girls. They held "Beatles, we love you" and "WELCOME" signs. When the Beatles's plane touched down at 1:20 P.M. the girls chanted, "We want Beatles."
The Beatles are Paul McCartney, 21 years old; Ringo Starr, 23; George Harrison, 21; and John Lennon, 23. They arrived by jet with their personal manager, one Beatle wife (Mrs. Lennon), two road managers and one press agent.
The Beatles will make their first live television appearance here Sunday evening on the Ed Sullivan show. On Tuesday, they will go to Washington for a concert at the Coliseum. On Wednesday, Lincoln's Birthday, they will give two shows at Carnegie Hall.
Next Sunday the Beatles will accompany Mr. Sullivan to Miami Beach for a performance in the Deauville Hotel. Their third TV appearance, which will be on tape, will be recorded here this weekend. They will return to London on Feb. 17.
The Beatles, who popularized rock 'n' roll in Britain, have added new gimmicks: tight pants, boots, and hair that never seems to be cut.
Danielle Landau, a 15-year-old from Brooklyn, oohed and aahed as the Beatles left the terminal. "They're different," she sighed. "They're just so different. I mean, all that hair. American singers are soooo clean-cut."
The Beatles are staying at the Plaza Hotel. They have a 10-room suite and a guard who is on duty 24 hours. They were driven into the city by four limousines - each Beatle had his own Cadillac.
Besides the screaming teenagers, the Beatles were met by 200 reporters and photographers from newspapers, magazines, foreign publications, radio and television stations, and teen-age fan magazines. A press conference was bedlam.
While the Beatles stood quietly on a platform, smoking and smiling, photographers cried: "Down in front . . . gimme some room . . . whatsa matter . . . I can't see . . . please, down . . . more . . . no more . . . be a sport . . . hey, Beatles, looky over here . . ."
Brian Somerville, their press agent, said, "Would the photographers please be quiet now so the reporters can ask questions? Please." This was met by cries of anger. Finally, Mr. Somerville grabbed a microphone. "All right. Shut up! Just shut up!"
The Beatles joined in. "Yeah, yeah, everybody shut up." Reporters applauded. Someone asked, "Will you sing for us?"
Mr. Lennon replied, "We need money first." More applause.
"How do you account for your success?" Mr. Lennon again: "We have a press agent."
Mr. Starr was asked what he thought of Beethoven. "I love him," he said, "especially his poems."
A reporter cried: "Hey, you're keeping kids outa school!"
"That's a dirty lie," Mr. Lennon said, laughing.
Mr. McCartney beamed. "We have a message," he said. Suddenly there was a moment of silence. "Our message is," he began, "buy more Beatle records!" The Beatle wit was contagious. Everyone guffawed. Photographers forgot about pictures they wanted to take. The show was on and the Beatle boys loved it.
On the Bandwagon
Merchants are climbing on the Beatle bandwagon and selling Beatle wigs, boots, T-shirts, sweatshirts, toss pillows and scarves. Twenty thousand wigs have been sold in Britain. Clothing manufacturers are in the process of cutting Beatle suits and sweaters: very tight, very black.
Brian Epstein, their 29-year-old personal manager, said, "The Beatles get a percentage of everything. Soon they'll be making a film for United Artists. Capitol has already sold 3 million Beatle records."
Their single disks, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is number one on the best-selling record list, and their long-playing album, "Meet the Beatles" is number three.
The International Arrivals Building was filled with policemen who were buffeted by the teenagers. One policeman said, "The detail was increased. We knew it could get pretty wild." And it did. (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah).