Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Paul-Jane hoax in Seattle

Paul-Jane Hoax in Seattle
By Rhett Hamilton Walker I

The Beatles have come and gone, another year, another tour.  It was a great financial success than any other.
The screams have subsided, momentarily anyhow, and now everyone is reminiscing, trading individual impressions, some trying to impress others with “inside” info on the fab four and some very probably starting new rumors.  And lemme tell you, here in Seattle, we’ve had more than our share of rumors!  Beatles rumors, that is.
“Paul and Jane to be married?”
“During this current American tour?”
“In Seattle?!?!”
And we all fell for it.

Reservations had been made for the bridal suit at one of the leading hotels here.  Masses of flowers had been ordered from various florists.  Jane was supposed to arrive in town the night before the concert.  A four-tier cake had even been ordered.  And everyone was in a flip!   Circumstantial evidence and everyone jumped on it—well and truly!
Here at KOL, every other phone call asked much the same questions.  Are they really?  Where?  When?  What’s the big?  How?  And the calls came from all over.

Our news director, Don Hughes, was even interviewed by a station in Montreal, Canada for seven minutes live but a DJ on the air.  One of the jox here managed to “acquire” a state patrol car, drove out to the airport and waited for Jane to arrive.  I think he got towed away for being parked in a wrong zone.

And get this!  One li’l darlin’ about 10 years old, called the station at the height of the reports that Paul would be marrying Jane and without even saying “hello” in a tearfully determined voice she said, “to hell with Jane Asher!” and hung up.

And so the calls went on.  Everyone ran around in a panic, tearing their hair out and Jane didn’t arrive.  But the Beatles did.

Paul said, “I just got in and found out I was getting married.”  More panic, more hair is torn out, more running about.

Paul is asked if Jane is actually coming to Seattle and he replies, “No – she’s not coming as far as I know.  If she does, we’re going out tonight anyway, so we would miss her.”

More running about, more phone calls, more mass mumbling, more jaws a-flappin, and our airport representative pays a traffic fine under great duress.  

The Beatles play their concerts here and then they’re gone, but somehow Seattle-ites aren’t quite satisfied.  So, more questions.  What about the marriage?  What happened?  Was it on the level or was it a hoax?

All that is left is pure speculation and a four-tier cake with ‘Best wishes Paul and Jane” written on it.  But people will speculate.

Some are firmly convinced that the couple were to be married but changed their minds at the last minute because of laws concerning marriage in the state of Washington or because of the excitement created by the news that leaked out prior to the ceremony.  Some believe quite simply that it was a hoax. And some believe it was one heckuva publicity stunt.

Who knows?  Nobody.
Well, maybe not quite.
Just before he left Seattle, Paul did say to me “…

P.S. from J.M.:  Here’s a bit of news that will help clear up at least part of the mystery.  Before the Beatles press officer, Tony Barrow, left L.A. he stated that Paul and Jane had made no plans to arrive in Seattle.  All they have been able to find out about the incident is that the reservations (cake, room, flowers, etc.) were made by a “Mr. Bartholomew,” and when it comes to knowing who THAT might be, their guess is as good as yours!  As Rhett said, nobody knows what really did happen.  Fortunately, everyone knows what didn’t happen.  A wedding didn’t happen.  And Mr. Bartholomew if you would like to know what to do with all that cake, I and a few million other people would be more than happy to tell you. 

Two concerts in Seattle

The Beatles performed twice in Seattle, Washington.  They did an afternoon and an evening show.   Really there is not a lot of information and photos available about  these performances.   There are some interesting photographs of Mal carrying the Beatles instruments before the first show, but I am not allowed to share them on this blog.

 Funk, Wallie V., photographer, “Paul McCartney and John Lennon performing with the Beatles at the Seattle Center Coliseum, August 25, 1966. ,” Western Libraries Heritage Resources, accessed August 25, 2016,

Honorary Washington Citizens

The Beatles were made honorary Washington citizens during the Seattle press conference.   I often wonder if John ever tried to use something like this when he was so desperately trying to stay in the United States.  "But I have a certificate----I am an honorary citizen of Washington state!"

Photo shoot time in Seattle---trying to smile

Photo by Donna Elkins

Photo by Mindy Stenson

Photo by Mindy Stenson 

Funk, Wallie V., photographer, “Paul McCartney and John Lennon performing with the Beatles at the Seattle Center Coliseum, August 25, 1966. ,” Western Libraries Heritage Resources, accessed August 25, 2016,

Teenagers, Rumors and money

Teenagers, Rumors, money engulf Beatles in Seattle
UPI (Seattle)
August 26, 1966
Mid rumors and pickets and the usual mob of screaming teenagers, the mop-topped Beatles picked off a record $73,717.38 as their cut of the gate Thursday night and flew away with one fourth of them still single. 

Rumors Beatle Paul McCartney would marry British actress, Jane Asher after the evening performance beat the Beatles into town but proved unfounded – just as McCartney and his fellow songsters and they would.

“Yeah, I’ve heard of her,” McCartney said when asked at a news conference if he knew Miss Asher.  “It’s a joke.  How did it start—does anybody know?”
“Absolutely untrue,” said press agent Tony Barrow.

But reports persisted Miss Asher would fly to Seattle incognito as “Jane Collins.”
Meeting airplanes, reporters and photographers saw many pretty girls, none of whom said shew as either Miss Asher or Miss Collins.

Noisy as it was, this was a fairly calm evening for the Beatles.  Their stage was 10 feet high, and a fence used to hold back hockey fans served similar duty against Beatles lovers.

Pickets outside the Coliseum carried hand-lettered signs, one of which said “Beware False Prophets.”  The handful of marchers said they were protesting Beatle John Lennon’s statement that the Beatles were more popular than Christ.

Zollie M. Volchok of Northeast Releasing, the sponsor said the gross take was $118,071, largest in Seattle entertainment history.

Shortly before midnight, as both rumors and teenagers faded away, the Beatles boared a plane for Hollywood from whence they had come.

The last press conference

On August 25, 1966 in Seattle, Washington the Beatles gave their very last press conference as a group.    Many books, including Tony Barrow's state that the press conference at the Capitol Records Tower was the last one ever, but if you look at the Beatles schedule, the flew from NYC to LA and did the press conference, went to Seattle and did a press conference and then returned to LA and did not have any more for the rest of the tour.       The LA one was a MUCH better press conference, but alas, it was not the last one.  Seattle gets that honor.

Made it to Seattle