Friday, June 27, 2014

Christchurch arrival

The Beatles arrived at Christchurch, New Zealand on June 27, 1964 to 5000 fans at the airport to greet their favorite singers. 

One strange story is that one female fan flung herself on the hood of the car the Beatles were in and bounced off the car and hit the road.  Because the car was moving very slowly, the girl did not get seriously hurt.  She was taken inside of the hotel and she ended up sharing a cup of coffee with the Beatles!

Beatles arriving in Christchurch, NZ

The Beatles then arrived at Clarendon Hotel, where the fans were up to their regular tricks of hiding in laundry baskets to try to see the Beatles.   The Beatles first came out on a balcony to wave to their fans.  While they were there, some boys in the crowd threw eggs and tomatoes because they were jealous of the attention their girlfriends were giving to the Beatles.   The eggs hit the hotel walls and lasted for about four minutes.   Some of them hit Ringo's trousers.  The Beatles rushed back inside where they cleaned up and relaxed a bit.

Later they appeared on a balcony that was 12 to 15 feet above the footpath and they were able to wave to their fans without getting hit by eggs.

Here is what one photographer (who took the photo of the Beatles leaving the plane) had to say about the Beatles

I was a 20 year old photographer working for the Christchurch Press when the Beatles arrived in Christchurch.  I was assigned to photograph the guys at the airport, when they appeared on the balcony of the Clarendon Hotel and at the show.  During that early part of the 1960s I had also photographed the royal tours by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip and the King and Queen of Thailand and to me the crowd reaction to the Beatles visit generated just as much crowd enthusiasm, if not more, than the other tours.
By the time that they arrived in Christchurch, their last venue, excitement was at fever pitch and screaming fans, mainly girls, nearly broke down the 2m high security fence at the airport.
Here is my photo of the Beatles leaving the plane.  I still have the original, a 16 x 20 inch framed photograph hanging in my office and a mint condition program like Wayne's, safely tucked away.
When they came out onto the balcony of the Clarendon the whole of Worcester Street from the Square to the river was full of fans.  I climbed out onto the same level fire escape to get a photo of the Beatles in the foreground with the crowd and Cathedral in the background.  
They were there for some time waving and clowning around until some nutter started to throw eggs.  The Beatles immediately went back in through the french doors but as I climbed back through a window into the same room I was hit on the back by an egg.  
Ringo and one of the hotel staff helped wipe it off with tea towels but my jacket was pretty much ruined.
 - Regards, Harold

1 comment:

  1. My father was the head Chef at the Clarendon Hotel in 1964. He was from Great Yarmouth in England. He rang my mother one night to say that he would be home late because he was drinking with the Beatles. Mum only told me about this about 15 years ago. She told me she was a bit angry about it. I said "Why didn't you go and join them?" She said she didn't really like the Beatles, I said, How can you not like the Beatles??? In any case I feel privileged that my father cooked for them & drank with them. He died in 1977 so I never heard this from him but I wish I could have. Incidentally I would like to have thought that I was conceived while the Beatles were here in 64 but it happened early 1965... damn it. Shayne P