Monday, April 5, 2010

Fan looking for junior press conference footage

I found this at and thought it was really interesting. As I have stated MANY times, I obsess over the Beatles 1966 North American Tour AND Beatles press conferences. One of the press conferences that interests me the most is the "Junior Press Conference" The Beatles gave in New York City in 1966. Over the past year, I have posted several fan photos from this event, and so I thought I would copy this story and see if anyone that read this blog has any more information about it. Where any of YOU at the Junior Press conference in 1966???

Back in 1966, WMCA DJ Gary Stevens announced they would pick 75 winners from submitted post cards to attend a Junior Beatles Press Conference at the Warwick Hotel in New York City on August 22. The Station announced that 48,000 cards where mailed in to WMCA in just 48 hours, and 1 of the 75 winners that were picked to attend was then Felice LaMastra, age 15, from Hoboken, New Jersey.

Now, 44 years later, she is looking for full footage of the event on video, and to connect up with other teenagers who were also there on that day.

The Beatles at the NYC Warwick Hotel on 8/22/66

Felice told Beatles News, "I was a shy, and obviously extremely nervous 15 year old kid, so being young, I could not come up with an appropriate question to ask. I remember seeing a recent article in the Jersey Journal Newspaper where it had printed that John ordered that a guitar be made for him from a Hoboken, New Jersey guitar maker. I remember thinking that was amazing, cause Hoboken was my hometown. So I decided to ask John if that newspaper article was correct."

"When I asked him the question at the Conference, there was so much screaming from the other girls, he actually asked that I repeat it a few times. He looked confused, and Neil Aspinal leaned over to him, telling him that Hoboken is a town in New Jersey. Then John told me 'No, that's not true, and I shouldn't believe practically all that they write about the Beatles in the media, because there's so much non-truths to it.' I was sitting no further than 10 feet away from the Beatles for the entire Conference. That day was, without a doubt, the best day of my life."

Felice's family never owned a camera she could have taken with her on that day, and she says she's never seen or heard a tape of herself asking John the question and hearing his answer, nor has she ever been to locate more than 1 person who attended that day, which is strange, because there were 150 kids at the event. There are two very short clips of the press conference, but Felice is looking for video, or even audio, of her asking John the question, and John answering her.


  1. Yep, I STILL hunt down items from that '66 tour.. Other than the Tour Book, I've only got a few items thus far, but do have a VERY extensive DVD with a few of the US and foreign interviews done that year, along with the various alternate promo videos for both PBWriter and Rain, like Lennon's appearance on Cook/Moore. Excellent stuff.

  2. any info on the guitar...? Looks like a Gretsch..but...

  3. Hey what do you know,
    I had breakfast in that very room at the Warwick Hotel in NYC just last month. A getaway weekend with my bride. It was a few days later that I learned that my good friends the Beatles had stayed there only 44 years before! The fans seemed to have gone their separate ways though.


  4. Hello NickTaxi,

    This is the story on the Guitar ~ jOjO

    1966: Guild Starfire XII 12-string: While this writer and his friends milled around in the crowd outside New York's Warwick Hotel on 23 August 1966, in the banquet room inside this one-off guitar was presented to Lennon by Mark Dronge (son of Guild Guitars founder Alfred Dronge), now head of D&R HandMade Strings. (Read his account of the presentation here.) This guitar, styled like a Gibson 335, featured a special "flamed" maple finish and DeArmond pickups. An unsubstantiated report places it in the recording of "Getting Better." This guitar somehow wound up with Tony Cox, Yoko Ono's first husband. Cox sold the guitar to the Hard Rock Cafe, Honolulu, where it can be seen, along with a letter of authenticity sent by Guild to Cox in March 1980.

  5. This is the account of the Guitar presentation,,,

    "At Guild we had heard that the Beatles were going to conduct a press conference at the Warwick Hotel in New York," Mark Dronge remembers. "A friend of a friend was at that time a photographer for the Associated Press. He arranged for me to attend the interview. We had enough advance time to think out what might best represent Guild, and best appeal to George or Paul or John. The decision that my father, myself, and Carlo Greco came to was to build one guitar for John. We thought the guitar should be an electric, double cutaway. We would make it with the best flamed maple we could find, and the best pickups we could buy, which I believe were single-coil DeArmond 2000s. We thought the brown stain the most interesting color we produced. I do not remember if the fingerboard was ebony or dark rosewood. The day of the interview I somehow was allowed into the large conference room with the guitar and case. As the interview came to an end I took the guitar out of the case and made my way onto the platform where the Beatles had been sitting behind a long table. George thought the guitar was for him, and was annoyed when I passed him and presented the guitar to John, who seemed surprised and delighted."

  6. I love that conference so much. and I'm also obsessed with 1966!
    I've only seen what's on YouTube, but no footage of that particular question :(

    And I love that info that Anonymous posted
    George thought the guitar was for him, and was annoyed when I passed him and presented the guitar to John, who seemed surprised and delighted
    lol adorable

  7. Just wanted to say how fantastic your blog is... For a newer generation Beatlemaniac such as myself (born 1983), it's always a real treat to see any Beatles photos, let alone fan photos with such interesting stories as well. So, thanks for your effort in sharing all these finds!

  8. great story! i'll ask my video collector friends if anybody can help.

  9. I remember like today, the day Mark Dronge when over, to present the guitar to John Lennon, when the Beatles came to USA in 1966.
    I also work somehow, with this guitar.
    I was a very young lady working at Guild Guitar Co., in Hoboken, NJ. then, I was in charge of make sure this guitar, was very clean and presentable to John Lennon.
    My name is Eneida Lopez and I worked in the company for two years and then move on, to work in New York City for Pan American Airways, Inc., until 1991, when Pan Am when out of business.
    I am now living in Cape Coral, Fl. and my name is Eneida Mendes-Chumaceiro.

    I have a message for Mark, if you remember who I am, please send me an e-mail to my e-mail address to keep in touch.

    I know you been involve in the guitar strings business.
    I am happy to hear everything is fine in your business and nothing happen during the huracan.


    Eneida Lopez(Mendes-Chumaceiro)