Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Beatles Boys in Miami --Ed Rudy part 5

Here is the last part of the article Ed Rudy wrote in 1964 about the his time with the Beatles during their 1st U.S. trip.    This section covers the Beatles in Miami, including the Sullivan Show.   The details are pretty interesting.

I wanted to thank Ed Rudy for giving me the permission to reprint his story.   Be sure that you check out this sight to order your own Ed Rudy interview Cds and hear him talk to the Beatles during this time. 

This part of the story appeared in issue #46 (April 1984) of With a Little Help from my Friends.

On Friday, February 14th, the Beatles were up early.  As I dressed, another member of the press informed me that the Beatles had been out on the beach for hours already.  They were soaking up the morning sunshine and posing for photographers on the beach and in the surf.  The Deauville Hotel is sealed completely around by walls with fenced breakwaters.  It is almost impossible for anyone to sneak in under ordinary circumstances and with the Beatles visiting the hotel; the management was extra careful, employing security men to watch for trespassers.  We felt sorry for the hundreds of Beatle fans who tried all kinds of methods to try to get near their idols.  

During the day, all kinds of offers were extended to the Beatle boys.  A millionaire manufacture offered his luxurious houseboat to the Beatles.  Another offered his beautiful yacht.  Still another offered his sumptuous mansion complete with Olympic size, private swimming pool.  It was here that Life magazine took an exclusive group of photographs. 

The Beatle boys took advantage of the lovely yacht, which came complete with Captain and crew and they cast off to take in a sight-seeing trip around the Bay of Miami.  All members of the press were excluded, although a local photographer and reporter managed to stow away without being seen.  When they were discovered, the yacht was turned around and docked to put them ashore.   The Beatles and their manager had decided that it was not fair to the other members of the press to let them stow away and make exclusive pictures and get exclusive interviews.  In late afternoon, the Beatles headed back to the yacht basic and then headed back to the hotel.

The special group of Miami Beach policemen assigned to the Beatles during their stay was headed by Sgt. Buddy Dresner.  Hoping the Beatle boys were interested in seeing how a policeman and his family lived in America, he invited the boys for dinner and an evening at his home.  It had been a long, long time since any of the Beatles had had a home-cooked meal so they quickly took him up on his splendid offer.

The Beatles enjoyed the chance of pace with their evening at the Dresner home.  They met his wife, Dotty along with his three children Barry, Andy and Jeri—all Beatle fans!  They, particularly, enjoyed the tasty dinner of roast beef, peas, green beans and baked potatoes with a delicious vegetable salad on the side.  They finished off the terrific dinner with each Beatle getting a tremendous piece of strawberry shortcake oozing with whipped cream.   They stayed until 11 o’clock, then bid their host a fond goodnight and sped back to the hotel.

The floor show, in the hotel’s nightclub, was scheduled to start just as they arrived back at the Deauville.  Instead of going to their suites, they decided to take the show in so the Beatle party headed for the night club and a table to watch the show.  Don Rickells, the emcee-comedian of the show, brought the house by poking fun of the Beatles in a friendly manner.  Exclaimed Rickells, “Look over there!”  Then continued Rickells, “Here’s Miami’s top policeman guarding four Zulus when all over the city there’s fighting and stealing.”

The Beatles thought this and his other humorous but insulting asides were quite funny and it broke them all up in uncontrollable laughter.  John and his wife broke away from the Beatle party after the show was over to go to bed early while Paul, George and Ringo stayed up a little longer to visit with Myron Cohen a well-known comedian and Carol Lawrence a famous singer and dancer.

On Saturday, February 15th the boys attended rehearsals for the Ed Sullivan Show that was scheduled for the early evening of the following day—this was their purpose in coming to Miami.  The boys had slept late, had breakfast together in their suite, then for a few hours on the beach for some sunshine.
After a light lunch at 2:00, the Beatle boys headed for the Deauville Hotel Theatre.  The “Stamp-out the Beatles” movement started to gain momentum when Beatle fans joined in the hundreds because CBS wouldn’t give out any tickets to outsiders.  Those people staying in the hotel were given preferred seating with many parents and children greedily going to both the rehearsal and the live T.V. show the next day. 

More than 3,000 true Beatle fans had formed into a line starting as early as 7:30 in the morning waiting for the opportunity to just get in and be able to watch the Saturday rehearsal.  By afternoon, most realized it was a lost cause, many angrily heading to join the “Stamp out the Beatles” movement.  The Detroit group of “S-O-T-B’s” headed for the Deauville hotel to demonstrate but quickly broke up when they found too many loyal Beatle fans still around to do battle.  A few hundred fans managed to get into the theatre to watch the Beatle boys during rehearsal.  The balance, of thousands, went home sad and forlorn to always remember the great disappointment in their life of not being about to see the Beatles perform.  

During the rehearsal period, the Beatles went over their music and the songs that they would sing.  Then the boys rested while the other acts rehearsed.  When they were called the second time, John Lennon had disappeared.  He was nowhere around and the whole show was in a turmoil trying to figure out where he had gone.  Then somebody looked behind a curtain and there he was…sound asleep!  Exclaimed Paul, “I thought he’d been kidnapped by the Detroit Stamp out the Beatles gang!”
Toward evening, with the Sullivan rehearsals over, the Beatle boys headed back to their hotel suite to have dinner together.  Then after dinner, they relaxed for a while then turned to an evening of telephone interviews with deejays throughout the United States and Canada.  Each Beatle went to bed early, to get plenty of rest, for tomorrow would be their third and last to show for America.

On Sunday, February 16th the Beatle boys spent the morning out in the sun and surf mingling with the hotel guests, photographers and newsmen and those few Beatle fans who managed to get by the security patrol.  The Beatles were amazed at the warm and even Miami weather with each day bringing its share of bright sunshine while folks in England at this time were cold and shivering, as were people in other parts of this country.

Toward noon, the boys headed back to their hotel suites to have lunch and plan for this evenings T.V. show.  Part of the afternoon was spent with Capitol record executives setting up recording schedules and record releases planned for the future.

Early in the afternoon, lucky Beatle fans began to line up for the live T.V. performance.  These fans held tickets for the Sullivan Show and were waiting for the doors to open so that they culd get front row seats.  However, CBS had printed up 3,500 tickets for a theatre that seated on 2,600 s that 1 person out of every 4 would be out of luck and unable to get in.  As it turned out, hotel guests who held tickets were allowed to go into the theatre first.  Those people got the best seats.

When it came time to let the outside Beatle fans in, almost all the seats were taken and only a few hundred were allowed to get in.  This caused a riot and additional police had to be called in to calm the many teenagers who had waited from four to eight hours to get in.

Consequently,  due to hotel guests being given preferential seating, the real fans who would have made the boys really give out with a great performance were missing and so were their “oohs” and “aahhs” and their screams, whistles and shouts.  Only a token group of fans were on hand to cheer the boys on and this caused television viewers across the nation to think the Beatles were slipping.
Thousands of Beatle fans sadly went home to watch the boys on their T.V. screen while hundreds of fans, who held tickets, sat down in the street and cried their little Beatle hearts out.

After the show was over, a large party was arranged in honor of the Beatles.  Maurice Lansberg, owner and manager of the hotel was host and the entire cast of the Sullivan Show attended along with technicians and orchestra members.  The Beatles enjoyed a buffet which included taste tempting dishes of seafood, meat and fowl.  The boys enjoyed the shrimp and lobster the best with tender choice slices of roast beef next in line.

After the buffet, the Beatle boys put their heads together with their manager, Brian Epstein, and decided to stay in Miami for an additional five days.  They had planned to go back to England to attend the big Oxfam Charity Luncheon, where they were to be guests of honor.  This was a big affair to be attended by all the big names in England including Harold Macmillan as the host along with Dir Alex Douglas-Home, Prime Minister.

From Monday, February 17th to Thursday February 20th, the Beatle boys enjoyed their Miami vacation of warm weather and bright sunshine.  Bags of fan mail were forwarded to them to go over while the Miami post office delivered many heavy sacks more every day.

All over the U.S. people were aware of the Beatle invasion and everybody was talking about them.  The newspapers were printing news about them, radio and T.V. stations were reporting all the latest gossip about them as their music was played by deejays on just about every station across the land.
In Miami, Beatle talk was the biggest thing going.  Said Richard Rodgers, famous composer, who was on the beach on vacation, “The Beatles the healthiest thing to happen to show business since the discovery of penicillin!”  Stated Myron Cohen, comedian, “They’ll be trying to stamp out the Beatles or the next thirty years and who cares?”  Bob Hope cracked with, “Oh course I did the Beatles.  If I didn’t, my kids would take my television set away!”  In the meantime, Don Rickells worked this one into his act, “Stamp out the Beatles?  I can’t even get close enough to throw a stone at ‘em!”

During the week, the Beatle boys tried their hand at water skiing.  George lost interest quickly and relaxed in the shade as he watched the other boys try their luck on the skis.   Paul was the greatest and he managed to stay on his skis longer than the other Beatle boys.  However, john and his wife, Cynthia both did well too.  Ringo appeared to enjoy himself the most although his skiing was the worst of the lot.

And during the week, as the Beatle boys soaked up the sunshine in Alex Douglas home spoke out with praise for the boys even though they had missed the Oxfam Charity Luncheon in their honor.  Said Air Alex, “I say, the Beatles are really great!”  Replied the Beatles to this, “Wait ‘till he find we’ve taken over 10 Downing street for our rehearsal hall!”  Stated Sir Alex, “They’re Britain’s ultra-secret weapon!”  Answered the Beatles, “Let’s hope he doesn’t change his mind about us like he did with the Skybolt!”  Continued in Alec, “They’re the biggest dollar earners England has at the moment!”  Exclaimed the four Beatles, “Little does he know that our money is being put into Swiss banks!”

With the world’s heavyweight championship fight scheduled for Miami, both Sonny Liston, champion, and Cassius Clay, contender, were set up in training camps nearby.  The Beatles decided to visit Cassius Clay, at his training headquarters so off went the boys followed by photographers and reporters.  Cassius pretended to land a left on the jaw of each of the boys as photographers snapped away.  As he posed for pictures with Ringo, he finished up the picture taking session by lifting him up over his head with Ringo more surprised than anyone.

One evening, during this week, was spent going to a drive-in movie.  The film was “Fun in Acapulco” starting Elvis Presley.  They enjoyed the drive-in and being able to see a motion picture while sitting in an automobile. 

Another afternoon was spent making their rounds to record stores buying up the latest Rock n Roll singles and albums to take back to England with them.  Part of this day was also spent shopping for little knick-knacks to take back with them, also.

The Beatle boys took in motorboat racing, house boating plus another yacht trip around Miami Beach.  During one afternoon a big barbeque was given in their honor and the boys enjoyed real special steaks that were tender and luscious as well as the biggest they had ever had in their lives.
On Friday, February 21st, the Beatles made preparations to fly back to New York’s Kennedy airport, then back to London.  They packed all their apparel, made room in their luggage for their newly purchased gift items and records, said their goodbyes to their Miami friends and headed for the Miami airport. 

At the Miami International Airport, thousands of Beatle fans were on hand to bid them adieu and the Beatle boys took time to wave their fond farewells to all their friends before they stepped onto the jet plane.

Arriving at Kennedy Airport in New York, the Beatles were quickly hustled to their Pan-am jet that would take them to London.  The New York police wanted to get the Beatle boys off and away before any hysterical outbursts from fans might occur.  Because of this, a great many fans didn’t even get a fast glimpse of the boys and the Beatles were not given the opportunity to wave to their fans.
Our last interview with the Beatles took place inside he Pan-Am jet plane.  The Beatle boys, all four of them, think America is real great and that they can’t wait to get back for their month long trip in August and September.  They want to thank everyone for making their stay in America a great moment in their lives.  They will never forget their tumultuous welcomes by Beatle fans everywhere they went.  It was great—real fab—absolutely the gear!

Then we were told it was time to leave the plane unless we wanted to go to London.  So we gave the boys our very best, turned and left the jet plane.

It was sad, indeed to watch the plane taxi out to the runway, then pick up speed and fly away growing smaller in the distance.  The Beatles were going home after a two week period in America.  And so was yours truly, Ed Rudy and as I turned and walked back to the terminal building, I happily whistled.  The Beatle boys had given me an honorary title that I’ll always cherish.  The Beatle boys had told me I was the “Fifth Beatle!”

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