Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beatles in Toronto

This story is from a 1964 issue of Datebook magazine.   It was written by Heidi Hoffman and Suzanne Crane who were both 15 years old at the time.   I have to wonder if this story really happened, or if these two girl wrote what they wish would have happened.   It sounds strangely a lot like this story I wrote for my Creative Writing class in high school about sneaking around and meeting the Beatles.  But nevertheless, here is their story.

Heidi Hoffman and Suzanne Crane
Age 15, East Ridge high School, Rochester, New York

When everyone found out that the Beatles were going to tour the U.S., they naturally went out and tried to buy tickets to see the wonderful boys in person.  We were no exception.

For the entire month of March we made it our job to find out where the Beatles were going to tour.  It was the middle of April when we found out that the closest the Beatles were coming to our town was Toronto, Canada.  We immediately wrote to them asking for tickets.  They wrote back full of apologies saying they were all sold out.  We weren’t going to give up that easily and wrote them right back.  They gave us the same reply.  After five more letters we decided to accept their excuse for not letting us in, but agreed that we were going to Toronto anyway in the hope that perhaps we would catch a glimpse of them outside of their hotel.

We spent the first week of September trying to get someone to take us the 200 miles to Toronto.  My sister finally agreed to take us.  We left at 8:00 a.m. At 1:00 we were in Toronto and by 2:00 we found ourselves in front of Maple Leaf Gardens where the Beatles were going to perform.  At 3:00 the police started to let the lucky kids with tickets into the building.

In all the confusion, we ran into two girls at the door with a letter saying they had lost their tickets.  They gave their letter to a policeman who pushed both them and us into the building.  We were so thankful for this stroke of luck that we decided to follow the two girls, which led us right to the special ticket office.  One of the managers there gave them a pass to get seats and then turned to us.  Somehow he thought we had lost our tickets too, and asked us where we wanted to sit.  We told him in the front seats.  He led us into the rail and box seat entrance and another man gave us two seats three rows from the front on Paul’s side of the stage.

At 4:00 the performance began.  After four long acts the Beatles came on stage.  It was wonderful!  John’s hair is really light brown.  Paul had the biggest brown eyes and George is too beautiful for words.  Ringo was, for some reason, mad, for he sat behind his drums looking at no one and drumming with all his might.

They sang ten gear songs and each of the Beatles did a vocal including Ringo who sang, “Boys.”  They were all great.

After their 27-minute performance everyone was very quiet mainly because they were too hoarse to say anything.  Some of the kids started to leave.  We weren’t going to give up now.   We had come this far and we were going to try our best to meet them.

We got up and started to move to the back of the auditorium because of one of the policemen told us the dressing rooms were in the back.  No one was really watching us, so casually we went up the stairs past rows and rows of seats until we came to small balcony overlooking the front entrance.  On the side were stairs which we decided to take figuring we had nothing too loose.  We found ourselves in a long hall with six doors on either side.  We didn’t know what to do next and just stood there for minute.

We heard someone coming around the corner and figured it was the police.  All they could do was throw us out so we stayed where we were.  Suddenly we were face to face with the Beatles! All we were able to do was stand there and stare.

“What have we hare,” said John in his Liverpool accent.
“It’s two girls,” said Paul smoothly.
“So they are,” added Ringo with a smile.

They were still a bit sweaty and quite out of breath.  They stopped for minute to catch their breath before George asked us who we were.  We managed, quite surprisingly, to tell them our names, “Well, this is no way to meet anyone,” said Paul extending his hand.  Before we knew what we were doing, we were shaking hands with the Beatles.

All too soon John told us they were very sorry but they had to get cleaned up for their next performance and a press conference.  Sadly we said goodbye and watched tearfully as they ran into their dressing room.  We went up the stairs past the rows of seats and out of the auditorium to the lobby.  There we sat down on two chairs and just stared at each other with tears streaming down our faces.  A policeman came up to us and asked if we were all right.  We said “yes” and slowly started to walk out of the building.

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