Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ed Rudy story part 3

Ed Rudy part 3

On Tuesday, February 11th, the Beatle boys headed for Washington D.C. and their engagement at the Washington Coliseum. They had originally planned to fly down to Washington.  However, a snowstorm developed and it was decided that the Beatles would go to Washington via train.  The Pennsylvania Railroad made arrangements to add on a special coach to their daily “Congressman Express” train.

The Beatles made their way to Pennsylvania station, and with the help of a regiment of policemen, reached their special coach which was already full with newspapermen and radio interviewers.  Thousands of teenagers were on hand at Pennsylvania station.  The noise of everyone screaming an hollering, at the top of their voices was deafening.  As the train moved out of Pennsylvania station, all the members of the Beatle party breathed a sigh of relief for they had not been protected by the police and all had been terribly shaken up, pushed and shoved.  It was in the station that our broadcast line had been broken by the crowd…during a live broadcast and we were cut off the air.

Throughout the run to Washington, there were interviews upon interviews, picture sessions upon picture sessions.  The Beatle Boys enjoyed every minute on the train and were amazed at how different they are from English trains—not having small and separate compartments.  When the train arrived in Washington, so many Beatle fans showed up that the police was unable to control the crowds.  A big 20 foot “Welcome to Washington” sign was held up by some of the fans.   It was torn down by other Beatle fans trying to get closer to the Beatles.  The police formed a flying “V” wedge to help the Beatles to their limousines.  When they finally made it to their cars, they headed directly for the Washington Coliseum where a press conference was arranged prior to the booked stage performance. 

At this time, we interviewed the Beatles.  We asked them, “Aren’t the screams a little embarrassing to you?”  John Lennon replied, “The screams are wonderful.  It’s the teenager’s way of showing appreciation.  During a show, it helps to swing the show into a wonderful success.”
Another member of the press asked them when they expected to take their holiday (vacation) to which Ringo replied, “This was supposed to be our holiday until we were booked for America and came here!”

The Washington Coliseum set up a center stage in the middle of the auditorium.  The audience viewed Beatles from all directions and the Beatle Boys moving around on stage to give everyone a chance to see them. Ringo Starr, mounted on a revolving platform pounded away on the skins as he was slowly turned around.

The reception in Washington was real fab.  The screams and shouts deafening, the applause vibrating the rafters as all 9,000 Beatle fans made the Beatle Boys at home in the U.S.A. capitol.   The Beatles perspired under the hot lights of the stage and dodging showers of jellybeans, put on one of the greatest shows for their fans.  They rewarded their fans with a real gear session.  New York WINS deejay, Murray the K had a direct line to the Coliseum and broadcast from backstage.
As the Beatles waited to leave their Coliseum engagement, and while arrangements were being made to sneak them out, the boys sat around in the office of show promoter Harry Lynn.  When the go sign was received, the boys were led on a sneaky route, more complicated than any smuggler’s route ever devised during the days of the Civil War.

The Beatles headed for a special reception and costume ball at the British Embassy.  An English Major-general attached to the British Embassy was there all decked out with a Beatle wig and a mask.  Frank Mitchel, Embassy Press Attaché, of the staid British Embassy was asked about the Beatles.  Said Mitchel, “I think they’re fine…a riot!”  Then continued Mitchel, “the Beatles have given me more work to do than at any other time since the Queen of England was here sever years ago.”  A diplomatic curve was thrown to Attaché Frank Mitchel; one wit said that “the Beatles were the British payment for the Sky Bolt.  Do you think there is any validly in this? “  Mitchel said, “No  I wouldn’t say they’re the payment for the Sky Bolt. No…let’s say they’re the British payment for all that Spam you sent us during the war.”  

At one time, we were able to corner Ringo.  We asked him the following question.  “Ringo, you are often referred to as the sex symbol of the Beatles.  So tell me:  do you consider yourself so?”  Replied Ringo, “I’ve never heard this one before.  No, you can see me, you can see  I’m no sex symbol.  You can see my face.”  We asked Ringo if he anticipated the fabulous reception that he received in America to which he replied, “We never expected anything like this at all.  It’s even great than some of our English engagements.  The least reaction we had was in France were 78% of our audience was made of boys.  But here in America, it’s real gear.”

The Beatles were then introduced to Ambassador and Lady Onmsly-gore along with others in a receiving line at the British Embassy.  In the excitement, Sir David Onmsby-Gore mixed up the boys with their names.  The boys, in addition, made it all the more confusing by referring to John as George, to Ringo as Fred and to Paul as Charlie.

The Beatles Boys enjoyed their evening with the social elite of Washington even though they were jostled, pushed and shoved in all directions by everyone.  One gal snipped off a bit of Ringo’s hair from behind his left ear with a small manicure scissors.  Ringo’s statement cannot be printed here, but you can imagine what he said.

At the stroke of midnight, the Beatle boys made like Cinderella and headed back for the Shoreham Hotel and a much needed rest.  This day was a real hectic day in the life of each Beatle.  The pace had been killing.  As I headed back to my own hotel room, I wondered, “What nice glory?”
On Wednesday, February 12th, the Beatle Boys headed back to New York.  Again it was a train journey and the Beatles crowds were everywhere.  Enroute on the train, the boys were rested, and in a fun making mood.  Ringo kidded around with reporters, donned a woman’s fur coat complete with white Astrakhan hat.  John kidded around on his hands and knees crawling under the swivel seats of the train.  George, on the other hand, dressed up as a waiter and with napkin over arm, had fun serving the train’s passengers.  Ringo off in the corner of the special coach was trying to get a few more winks of sleep.  Many photographs loaded him down with cameras while others were ringed around him taking pictures.

Since nobody had thought about this day being Lincoln’s birthday, more confusing and chaos was added to the expected bedlam.  This was because, it being a holiday, schools were closed everywhere.  Naturally, thousands upon thousands of additional Beatle fans, who would normally be attending school, had now made their way to Pennsylvania Station to welcome this Beatles back.  Pennsylvania Station was packed with fans and never in the history of the railroad station was confusion so rampant.

Many other trains had to extend their departure time because passengers couldn’t get to the gates to get on the trains.  It was really a fab day for the Beatles.  As at the Washington Coliseum, again the Beatle boys were smuggled out of the railroad station and to their Plaza Hotel accommodations.  Beatles fans, at the hotel were everywhere.  Crowds extended for blocks all around.
When the Beatles arrived at the Plaza hotel, they were hemmed in by fans everywhere.  Mounted policemen were called in to make an opening with their horses.  Finally, the Beatles were rushed into the hotel.

The chaos and havoc created by the Beatles must have been of some concern to the New York city police department.  They sent one of their top police aides to meet with the Beatles.  He appeared white-faced and nervous as he tried to establish order out of confusion.  George whispered to Ringo, “It looks like he’s cracking up!”

During the police conference, it was agreed that the boys would leave by a back freight elevator and through the Plaza Hotel kitchen, and then out through a secret door of the hotel in order to go to the late afternoon and evening shows that were scheduled at Carnegie hall.  This proved to be a good way of getting the Beatles out of the hotel and over to Carnegie Hall without too much confusion although heartbreaking for the fans waiting in front of the hotel. 

Carnegie Hall, known as the venerable shrine of classical music, echoed to a resounding wave of Beatlemania.  Approximately 3,000 fans jammed packed their way into Carnegie Hall paying form $1.65 to $5.50 per squashing.

Each of the performances lasted about 2 hours.  New York’s deejay, Murray Kaufman and B. Mitchell Reed, acted as emcees.  Each performance was pure bedlam and those tucked away in the balcony and rafters heard nothing of the Beatles, saw the Beatle’ lips moving, but in the din of the shouts, whistles, screams and hysterical squeals overpowered the Beatle sound.  

Beatle fans rocked and reeled back and forth in their seats to the temp of the music set by the Beatles.  Jellybeans pelted the famed Beatles throughout their performance.   When the history of Carnegie Hall is written, the double-header performance of the Beatles will surely by highlighted as one of the most spectacular performance to ever emanate from this staid concert hall.  At the end of the evening performance, the boys sneaked around back to their Plaza Hotel suite and were early to bed for a night of restful bliss.  Beatlemania in America was firmly entrenched and the British had finally established a Beatle front in the United States.

1 comment:

  1. Sara!! I can't write on all of today's entries because I'm out the door, so I'll just sum it all up!!! The Carnegie Hall pics! And the Ed Rudy accounts! The shopping-in-Miami story....and the beauty contest winners, all stuff I didn't know, or haven't seen, I just don't how you do it!!! Great, great stuff!!! I'm going to be gone until Tuesday, so have a great few days off, you've earned a great weekend!!