|Ringo and John relaxing in Lennon's hotel before the egg throws came|
IAN TOWNSEND: The throwing of the eggs shocked The Beatles, who put an ad in the paper, and on the radio the next day, calling for the egg throwers to come forward. A Brisbane girl, Susan, and her two friends owned up, even though they weren’t the culprits.
SUSAN: We actually didn’t have any real interest in The Beatles, it was just that everyone was trying to get in to meet The Beatles and so we thought, well, we can do it. And we were ushered up to the room and in a short conversation, we said, well we’d better be going. And they said, oh no, don’t go – stay and talk to us because we’re bored. They just wanted people to talk to. Because they couldn’t go out because the hotel – Lennon’s hotel was just surrounded by screaming teenagers. But see while we were there, the real egg throwers arrived.
IAN TOWNSEND: The real culprits were a group of university students. Bob Katter, now a veteran stirrer and Independent MP for the Federal seat of Kennedy in North Queensland, has only now come forward with the full story.
So the first group that came forward were not the "egg men" after all, just curious students who wanted to meet the Beatles. The true egg throwers came in the room and they did not have chairs to sit in nor were they given Cokes to drink.
Ten years ago, one of the culprits came forward to tell his story:
BOB KATTER: The manager said, well would you be game to throw the eggs now. And one of our blokes, a bloke called Peter McKew – he’s another prominent barrister these days – he shaped up and said, “you wanna blue? We’ll give you a blue alright”, and he started shaping up, I mean, this is incredible you know? And I was explaining that it was an intellectual reaction against Beatlemania you know, I thought this story up on the way up on the stairs of course. And we were having this intellectual argument – Tony Klin was another one – he’s the Deputy Chairman of the Bar Association for Australia, and President of the Bar Association in Queensland these days – when the manager said, would you be game to throw the eggs, and McKew’s sort of shaping up, saying, ‘you wanna blue? We’ll give you a blue alright”, and Garry Williams, the fifth one of the trio, he stepped in between McKew and Paul McCartney or whoever and he said, “settle down, settle down”, he said. He said, “obviously you can’t throw eggs here,” he said. “We’ll have to go find an oval somewhere.” It was all taken quite seriously.
And John Lennon just sat there saying, “everywhere we go now, we’re going to have eggs thrown at us. Everywhere we go.” And finally the sort of coup de grace of the whole thing, he kept you know, saying you know, “are you going to apologise” and I kept explaining someone’s got to do something against this Beatlemania, I mean the world’s going mad. We can’t have this sort of stupidity. And so we’re having this ridiculous argument. Of course, time’s slipping away, and they’ve got to have time for the concert, and Garry Williams, who’s a very funny character, but Garry said hey look – I’ve got a bit of a problem, because I’ve got tickets to your concert, you know, and I’ve got no chance of getting in for the start of the concert if there’s huge crowds, so would you mind if I get a lift in your car with you – with 17 police motorcades, and Paul McCartney was very embarrassed and he was trying to think of all sorts of reasons why Williams couldn’t go down in the top down limousine (laughs)
But anyway, our reputations were made from that point forward. We walked around like conquering heroes for the next two or three years, you know.
Paul McCartney was quoted as saying, "We had a bit of a chat with them--more or a debate really and we all ended up friends. We asked them why they threw eggs and they said they were sick of hearing our songs on the radio and sick of kids screaming at us. So John asked them why they didn't throw the eggs into the crowd if it was Beatlemania they were against."
Derek Taylor said, "Paul told the leader, 'we'll give you a few years and you'll be wanting all the suits you can get your hands on.'"
The Beatles Down Under (book) by Glenn Baker
Transcript of the World Today broadcast from June 30, 2004 found at http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2004/s1143737.htm