Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two accounts of meeting the Fabs in Seattle in 1964 during a press conference

I have two accounts by two groups of fans on meeting the Beatles at the 1964 press conference in Seattle, Washington. The first was published Saturday August 22, 1964 in the Seattle Post Intelligencer and was written by Jack Jarvis. The second was in the Tacoma, Washington newspaper The News Tribune and was written by the fans Jacqueline Towne and Michael Hand.

Beatles show Puckish Humor at Interview, Take Selves Lightly
by Jack Jarivs

There wasn't much news but there was a lot of fun as the Beatles held a "press conference" in the Coliseum before their show last night. And some people who were prepared scoff- yes, sneer - came away with some different ideas about the mop-tops who have taken the teen-age world by storm.
For one things the Beatles - Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon - don't take themselves seriously at all.

For Another, they're quick with answers to questions and each has a puckish sense of humor. About fan mail, for instance, Ringo was asked why he gets more fan mail from Seattle girls than the other do. "Because more of them write to me," he said, dead-pan. So it isn't great humor. But it's clean. It was a relief to hear them after listening to some of the "sick" comics that have enjoyed fame of a sort.

Well, maybe there was a bit of news. All four of them dropped fishing lines out of the windows of their rooms in the Edgewater Inn but no one caught anything. They said they've made no long-range plans, but Paul said that he and John may turn to song writing when the Beatles fad has died out. "With you?" said John, pretending to be horrified. "Never!"
With the Post-Intelligencer crew covering the press conference were three reporters-for-a-night, who had written to the P.I. months ago suggesting that THEIR view might explain the Beatles to adults. They are Cheryl Ann Steward, 14, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth E. Stewart, 3048 NW 56th ST; Sharman Weston, 14, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Robert Weston 3235 NW 56th St,. and Sharon Wallinger, 14, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred L. Wallinger, 942 NW 62nd St. Cheryl and Sharman are co-presidents of a Seattle Beatles Fan Club formed in January. Sharon is vice president.

Cheryl got in a couple of questions, one about the "good qualities" of Great Britain and the United States. George parried it neatly with "It depends on each individual" But mainly the girls just sort of glowed, happy to be with in 10 feet of their heroes. Afterward Cheryl said, "They were wonderful! Just as I pictured them!" Sharon said: "I love them! Ringo held my hand!" And Sharman said: "Wonderful! I can't believe it!" Sharman and Sharon also took pictures of the Beatles. (Sara's note: Where are they today?? I want to see them!)

Souvenirs? Cigarette butts! Each girl got one. Cheryl and Sharman got cigarettes Ringo had smoked and Sharon got on Paul had smoked. They they went off to see the show, leaving the adult newsmen sorting out their notes and wondering just what had been said and who said it.

What about those shaggy haircuts? "We've gotten used to the long hair," Paul said. But John admitted that their fame probably would diminish if they got crew-cuts. How long will they ride the crest of the entertainment wave? No one knows, least of all the Beatles. But as a group they haven't made any long-range plans.

Ringo made his daily denial that he's married and Paul lashed out at magazines "that have printed some pretty terrible stories about us." John read some excepts form his book, but hammed it up towards the end and read the last few sentences through clenched teeth, then laughed along with everyone else in the room. All in all, it was fun. No news, but fun.

Tacoma Girls Meet Beatles: Wonderful!
by Jacqueline Towne and Michael Hand (special news Tribune correspondents)

It was wonderful! We were the two luckiest girls in Tacoma to be able to go with two TNT reporters to the Beatles' performance. We followed a long-legged Seattle photographer around to the other side of the coliseum. He went to a side entrance and a policeman let him in. We went through right after him showing our press cards - which we thought would be no good - and were accepted.

After we went through long corridors until we came upon a door blocked with many policemen. They said there were too many reporters, but after a few minutes of persuasion they let us pass.
We waited in a hallway for awhile and then went into the press room. It was small and at the front was a table with four chairs. We sat in the third row. The Beatles were late and the longer we waited the calmer we got.

We thought they would never get there. Then we heard they had just left from the Edgewater Motel. When they arrived we almost had a cow! We were surprised that John had light reddish brown hair. They had such tough accents!Paul looked like he needed a shave - and he did! Their offstage boots looked cracked and used.
We found out that Ringo never changes his rings. Two come form his mother and grandfather and from girls. Such rumors as John's wife expecting another child, Paul's marriage or engagement of Jane Asher, and any other Beatle engagement were stated false. By the way, the reason Ringo hates Donald Duck is because he goes "Quack-quack!"
Our reporters motioned for us to come over to them. We got up from our seats and went around the back of the room. One of us dropped the flash attachment to our camera. It made a racket and then a cameraman got all flustered he thought we had knocked over his camera. Then he yelled "Everyone out of the back of the room!" We got around fast. While standing by the reporters, the same one knocked over a light and it almost landed on the Beatles. We caught it just in time.
The Beatles started to get up and we rushed up to them. One of us was lucky enough to talk to Paul and ask him a question: "How do you pick the one to sing the lead?" "To tell the truth, I'm not sure," He said. "You're not sure?" "I'm really not, Luv. I really don't." Then he winked and left. He didn't get very far before the other one stopped. She asked if he would sign the pictures her sister had drawn of them. "Sure, Luv," he said and took the pictures into their dressing room.
We waited for about an hour or so for our autographs. In the meantime we talked to girls and policemen. One girl held Ringo's hand. Someone called to him to leave. He said, "Sorry Luv, I've go tot go." She wouldn't let go. "Luv, I've got to go!" She still wouldn't let go. "LUV, LET ME GO!!" Some of the girls went back to the conference room and got their cigarette butts. We went back and found Ringo's cigarette package. It had some cigarette butts in ti, too.
We gave the package to a policeman to give to the Beatles for an autograph. We guess they threw it away. It never came back. We gave to one of their road managers a "bouncing boo-hoo" a little ball of fuzz with two eyes to give to John for his son. The manager was quite thrilled about it and thanked us twice!
When we returned to our seats everyone for rows in front and in back turned and listened to our stories. One girl said tell us more - meaning we weren't at the conference. When one of us showed our friends her book that was autographed someone grabbed it and started passing it around, but we got it back, finally.
We were so excited we couldn't stay in our seats. The ushers kept pushing us back, but we always came back. It was a tough show, we love you Beatles Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!


  1. Those were some really interesting stories to read! Thanks for posting them, I love how that girl wouldn't let go of Ringo's hand! lol "Luv I've got to go!" So cute! I would probably do the same. :)