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Beatles OK, Say Phoenix Interviewers
August 25, 1964
When a Phoenix girl confided to Beatle John Lennon that his book, “In His Own Write” was the greatest literary effort she’d ever read, he quipped, “Haven’t read the Bible, eh?”
The only sour note, on an otherwise exciting time in Las Vegas, was an adult male sitting in front of four Valley girls at the Beatles how last week. He sang along with the group – off key!
Among the 16,000 fans who crowded into every nook and cranny to see the long-haired quartet from England were Bessie Cross, 18, Darlene Frank, 17, and her sister, Karen Frank, 20, and Diana Harnack, 16.
A Phoenix Gazette story about Arizona security men being sent to help with anticipated crowds gave them hope to see their idols in person.
Jim Pascal of the Arizona State Guard and Detective Agency gave them the name of Jim Hazel, who heads a similar group in Nevada. Hazel was assigned as the Beatles’ personal body guard and got permission from the English four to grant the Phoenicians a personal interview – said to be the only one given in Las Vegas.
The girls requested a key to the city of Phoenix from Mayor Milton Graham, who said the request was unusual and wasn’t normally done, but would be granted this time. They also made a larger silver and gold one, adorned with a flower, which was a landing area for four beatles.
From their interview backstage came the following facts:
· Ringo Starr winks at the end of every sentence.
· When Paul McCartney signs his autograph, he adds three x’s.
· George Harrison is very quiet and shy.
· All conducted themselves as gentlemen and were very gracious—even to the point of introducing themselves.
· Bessie, who’ll be an Arizona State freshman, came away with Paul’s pen. She got their autographs on her gloves—that way they had to hold her hand!
· The girls maintain the Beatles may fade down, but never out.