Monday, September 2, 2013

Living with the Beatles

This is an article  and photos  was found in McCall's magazine from July 1965.    It is sort of funny in it's own way.   But the photos, as always are nice to see.

Living with the Beatles

Dear Pam, Beth, Jane, Deb:  See girls?  We’re not so square or soft, after all.  We can Beatle, too (did you ever realize that if the word were in the dictionary, it would come right after beatitude?)  If our bliss is more controlled than yours, if we creak when we rock and ricochet when we roll, it’s just because we’re older.  And if we frown on the incessant decibels of the Mersey sound, and wonder a bit about the antics and the faint hint of foppishness, it’s because we feel you’re pretty fab, too, and we’d like you to stay that way.  But if we didn’t think Beatles were tops, and news, they wouldn’t be in McCall’s.  We hope we’ve made you happy.  But please! We cannot get you tickets to their new movie, or autographs.  We will not answer letters asking us for locks of hair, or anything like that.  Okay?  Do not tear these pages out of the magazine unless it’s your very own copy.  Say…isn’t anyone listening?  Where did everyone go?

Dear Pam’s Mother etc.:  The four young men who turn up in our beauty feature this month are named George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  They are noisy, nutty and absolutely joyous.  There are many sober, industrious adults who agree that the phenomenon of their unprecedented international success is not based on sheer hysteria, but on real, original talent.  Why, of all things, did we choose to use these Liverpool lads in a beauty feature?  Because it’s summer and because women everywhere are seeking just the kind of light-hearted exuberance the Beatles seem to enkindle.  Because they’re headed for the U.S. next month.  And because, as you can see, if your daughter hasn’t clipped the photos already, they’re fun.  Before you write us a protesting letter, we’ll let you in on a secret.  We thought of having the boys on our cover, too.  But then we realized that the kids would probably walk off with the entire magazine!

Nassau was at its Bahamian best -- sunny, balmy, crystal-watered.  But the resort island’s usual invincible British aplomb crumbled under the Beatle invasion   The Beatle Group was there, shooting scenes for their next United Artists’ film (final title after a few changes:  Help!), and even twelve of the Nassau police took small roles in the picture.  Our Group flew down to photograph McCall’s July beauty story, while the rest of us back home sulked in envy.  Our Group was headed by Otto Storch, our award-winning art director, who also is an award-winning photographer (He just won the coveted New York Art Director’s Gold Medal).  Others on the Beatle mission were associate beauty editor Norma Craig, senior editor Herbert Bleiseiss, models Sondra Peterson and Deborah Dixon, hairdresser Enrico Caruso and cosmetician Marie Irvine.  What did Our Group think of the Beatles?  “Terrific!  Kooky, but so bright and quick-witted, you find them hard to resist.  No, matter what you say, they have a punch line.  Then they turn it into a song.   John is the funniest, the zingiest.  Ringo makes the sharpest comments.  George is the youngest but, in some ways the most adults.  Paul is the best-looking, the most dapper – he’s the only one who showed up for dinner in a suit and tie.”   The Beatles were staying at the posh Balmoral Club for their fifteen days in Nassau, but Otto and Herb report that they actually lived quite simply.  Running gag  between Our Group and theirs:  Otto and Herb (the Beatles called them Oscar and Jerry) were born in Brooklyn, and the Beatles made much of their supposedly recognizable Brooklyn accent.  In return, the Liverpool tones were twitted.  Actually, everybody pronounced it “bath,” with a sat-on “a”, rather than “bawth.”  Norma says the most touching incident occurred on a boat offshore.  Autograph hunters went out to catch the boat, and when John leaned over the side to give a small girl his autograph, the ten-year old burst into tears and almost fell out of her parents’ craft. 

Who’s who in the photos?  That’s Maestro Storch on the bottom step in the  first photo.  Herb Bleiweiss is having his hair done on the second.  The two girls with hats on in the Group-Group shot are Normal and Marie, and the man behind Herb is Enrico Caruso.  Final note:  The Beatles, live, will be touring the U.S. from August 15 to 31.

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