Friday, February 14, 2014

Beatle boys invade Miami Beach (Ed Rudy part 4)

On Thursday, February 13th, the Beatle Boys departed from the Plaza Hotel to the enjoyment of the hotel management, but not their New York Beatle fans.  They had had a hectic visit from the Beatles that will long be remembered.  Even though this was a school day, thousands of Beatle fans were everywhere to wish them a fond farewell and a safe flight to Miami, the land of sunshine, and their scheduled show emanating from the Florida City.  Their National Airlines Flight left the Kennedy airport at 1:30 pm as thousands of Beatle fans waved their final goodbyes.

The flight of the Beatle boys had been booked for first-class seats but somebody had played a joke on them and had changed their seats over for the budget tourist class.  As a result, the Beatles were jam packed, with their entourage of newspapermen and photographers into narrow seats.  However, the four Beatles enjoyed the 3 ½ hour flight to Miami by joking with all the members of the press and other passengers making the flight.  We took time out to tape an interview during this flight with each of the Beatle boys.  Each was excited over the prospect of visiting a warm and bright Miami after hearing so much about this city. 

Around 4:00 in the afternoon, the National Airline’s jet plane safely touched down at Miami airport then taxied to the arrival strip.  As we looked out the jet’s windows we could see thousands of fans everywhere.   For a moment, we thought we were back at the Kennedy airport except for the beautiful blue clear sky and the bright sun.

As the plane’s door was opened, we could hear the screeching and screaming of Beatle fans and we wondered how each of the Beatle boys felt being welcomed everywhere in America by their wonderful fans.   To seasoned newspapermen and broadcasters, this was an unusual sight indeed.   Never before, anywhere, had any member of the press ever viewed such chaos and confusion and we have all travelled with some pretty big world leaders.  Now, here were four English lads setting records for welcoming groups wherever they were expected to appear.  It was fantastic, absolutely amazing and actually unbelievable.  Yet, it was happening, right in front of our eyes all along the Beatles route. 

As we emerged from the air-conditioned interior of the jet plane into the sunny and warm climate that Miami is famous for, we noted that the Miami International airport was jam packed with fans.  Here was another glorious day that the four Beatles will long remember and we of the press will too.
As the Beatles entourage stepped off the plane, the Beatle boys leading the way, the din of the “oohs” and “aahs”, the screams and the whistles were deafening.  Screeching, squirming, pushing and shoving Beatle fans came from every direction.  The police held back many hundred but true Beatle fans have a way of coming out of the woodwork using ingenious methods.  Up popped a trunk top, on a luggage wagon used for loading suitcases on planes and two Beatle girls sprang out like jack in the boxes.  One headed for the boys, with pen and autograph book in hand while the other was so shocked by seeing the Beatles so close by, that she was frozen stiff.

Beatle fans wreaked havoc with the jalousie-type windows at the airport.  The windows were dirty, from not having been cleaned for a long time, so the fans punched them out, breaking them with their fists, to get a clear view of the boys.  Many stood on chairs, so many on some chairs that they collapsed from the weight.  Solid doors, leading to the field, were bend and hinges broken as fans tried to get close to their idols.  It was the most wild, most indescribable scene I ever witnessed more gear than eve at New York’s Kennedy Airport. 

 The Beatle boys posed for photographers as police sweated and fought the Beatle crowd, trying to hold them back.  The boys had to fight their way into the limousines brought onto the field near the plane.  As policemen walked in front of the limousines, forcing the crowd back, we slowly inched our way out of the crowd.  At the edge of the airport, we picked up our motorcycle escort and headed for Miami Beach.  The airport is located in Miami and the beach portion (actually a separate city from Miami) is separated from the city and many miles away. 

Miami Beach is a narrow strip of land, running parallel with the main body of land that is Florida.  The strip, known as Miami Beach, has more luxurious hotels per square foot than in any other place in the world.  We were headed for the Deauville Hotel, an ultra-swank edifice that is a city itself.  With sirens screaming, we made the approximate 8 miles in about 8 minutes.  The Miami and Miami Beach police really welcomed the Beatles to the land of sunshine.  As we crossed the bridge that separates the two cities, the Miami motorcycle policemen waved goodbye and at the other end the Miami Beach motorcycle policemen were waiting to greet us and lead us the rest of the way right to the Deauville’s Hotel doorstep.

At the Deauville, thousands more Beatles fans milled around the block waving and shouting their welcome greetings.  The Beatle boys were quickly taken into the hotel hurried though the lobby, past the registration desk without registering and whisked up the elevator to their hotel suites.   Each Beatle boy had a large suite to himself.  Each suite faced the ocean and the boys spent quite a little time out on his private balcony, looking out toward the sea and enjoying the warmth of the Florida climate, while below looking up at them from the beach, the cabanas, the pool and the park, were thousands of spectators enjoying every moment of it too.

WINS Murray the K, New York deejay, had accompanied the boys with the Beatle party.  He took them on a private tour of the city a few hours later.  So, after a tasty dinner, and a shower and a shave, the boys went out on the town.

Their first stop was at the Peppermint Lounge on the 79th Causeway where they met Hank Ballard and surprised the hundreds of teenagers who were there a-twisting and a-turning.  From the Peppermint Lounge, the boys then visited the Record Bar where they spent a pleasant hour.
While we were talking to the manager, the Beatles sneaked off and we lost them for the rest of the night.  Where they went and how they got away from me, I’ll never know.  Anyway, it was late so I went back to the Deauville to get much needed rest.  I was beat.  I had had a hectic Beatle day and a nice shower and a soft bed was a wonderful thing to look forward to. This would be the one night that I would close my eyes and rally enjoy a night of restful slumber.

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