Monday, June 30, 2014

Beatles Wild Life

When the Beatles were in Brisbane, they wanted to see some real Australian animals.  Photographer, John Howard set them up.   Here is what he says about it from his book The Beatles Unseen

 I flew to Brisbane with the Beatles and planned another party with the help of Patricia Nelki and David Fleay, who ran the David Flea Fauna Reserve.  the VIP guests were a kangaroo, a koala bear, and a dingo puppy called 'Ringo.'  Ringo himself had wanted to meet some real Australians, and it was kindly arranged by the Methodist Mission for three aboriginal sisters, Mona, Joan and Amy Smith, to attend.  They arrived smartly dressed in woolen twin-sets and accompanied by chaperones.  I think Ringo had expected them to turn up in tribal gear.  The party took place at the aptly named Lennon's Hotel, about which John commented, 'I knew my relatives were rich, but I didn't know they owned a bloomin' hotel.'

The first Beatles animal encounter I organized was with a docile blue kangaroo coincidentally named Cynthia who was loaned to me by Sir Edward Hallstrom.  She was supposed to meet the  boys on the plane but at the last minute, when fans broke though security cordons and started running towards the aircraft, police decided it was not safe for Cynthia to 'hop' aboard.  In Brisbane though the boys got their wish, when at my party at Lennon's hotel they met a five foot kangaroo named Lady Red with a ring-tailed possum named Pierce, who disappeared up Ringo's sleeve later to emerge hanging from one of his fingers.  There was also a koala bear named Claude and, of course, the dingo puppy towards which Ringo felt fatherly enough for David Fleay to ask him to christen him 'Ringo.'

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