Monday, August 25, 2014

The Beatles Wild Night in Hollywood

This story from Modern Scene magazine goes for the "bad boy" angle on the Beatles.  And I think it works pretty well.    A few things about this article.   First of all it is obviously not the total truth.  They try to make it sound like Paul is at the Whiskey a Go Go (and they don't do a good job of it), but we all know that he was with Peggy Lipton.   We have read now two accounts of a party that the boys held for young girls at the rented house where John Lennon breaks a camera.   I have no read about this party in any books, just these magazine articles, but I seem to think there must be some truth to the story. 

The Beatles Wild Night in Hollywood
By Ann Water for Modern Screen Magazine

John Lennon broke free from his dark corner of the room and plunged toward a pretty girl who had just snapped a picture.  Grabbing the camera, his face livid with rage, John broke it then ripped out the film furiously and exposed it.   Panting, john glared at the 16 year old, who looked downright dazed then went back to what he’d been doing.

In another corner of the room, Ringo, looking slightly sleepy, danced a slow, close shuffle with a cute little blonde.  George was offering some refreshments to his date, while Paul had his arm protectively around a raven-haired beauty.   From the phonograph came not Beatles music, surprisingly enough, but a sexy, blues beat.
The party was taking place in the Beatles private house at 356 St. Pierre, Bel-Air.  That house, surrounded by the Beatles intricate and incredible police force (run by an ex-head of Scotland Yard) has high walls, only one entrance and exit door, and was supposedly the same place Elvis Presley used to stay in at a rental of $4,000 a month.

The same night another sizzling event took place.  One girl, who claimed she wasn't high, hopped up the ladder to the diving board, then plunged, fully clothed, into the pool.   A Beatle dived into the pool to save her, and she was later reported to have said, “I only did it so that I could feel a Beatle wrap a towel around me!”
The party was really wild, didn't end until six in the morning, and the girls out-numbered the boys 4 to 1.  What’s more, the ages of the girls ranged from only 14-17, which raised not a few eyebrows around the Hollywood scene.

As the party progressed far into the night, the boys certainly seemed to be in high spirits.  As a joke, one of the Beatles took the floor and did a none too flattering imitation of their manager, who wasn't present.  The other three boys laughed loudly saying that the mimic had certainly got their manager down to a T.

At one point, three of the Beatles said that John was throwing his weight around even though he is the Boss Beatle and was a bit of a “loudmouth.”  John took their ribbing in good humor, though, and pretended he’d suddenly gone deaf.

The next night, the boys trotted off to Whiskey a Go Go, a jazz nightclub, and met the buxom beauty they’d been dying to see – Jayne Mansfield.  They sat at the same table, Jayne resplendent in a furry-type, Scoop-neck sweater, and platinum hair plaited on the top, set off with a gold headband.  The Beatles looked, well, casual, you might say.  Ringo was still wearing the cowboy rigout he’d donned in the early afternoon, and he’d taken such a fancy to it, he wouldn’t even remove the jacket, even when he got hot.

Ringo in the "cowboy" outfit that he wore to the Whiskey that night.  He wore the vest again in 1967 during the Sgt. Pepper era. 

George wore an open-neck shirt, so did Paul, while John steadfastly refused to remove those enormous sunglasses.  One photographer (this time a pro) got rather a wet reception from George though.
Anxious to record the cozy scene for posterity, the photog moved in on the table and George, hair flopping in eyes, collar crooked and with a bottle of booze in front of him, waggled an indignant finger at the photographer to warn him not to take a picture.  It was the boys’ night off and they didn't care to be photographed looking quite so “relaxed.”

The photographer didn't heed George’s warning, so George stood up and flung his drink right in the man’s face!  Very high-spirited.  Jayne Mansfield gazed on, looking quite bored with the whole proceeding, while Ringo looked the way he always does – like a little boy lost.  Nobody could tell what John was thinking because of those darn glasses and Paul was busy chatting with a little lady to his left.  However, the event left rather a nasty taste in everyone’s mouths.

The soon left the Whiskey and scuttled back to their private bode to hold another wild wingding of a party which lasted until the wee hours again.  No wonder the boys sleep to about three in the afternoon.

And then one fine evening in August, Dean Martin’s pretty daughter, Claudia, who’s 19, flung herself onto Ringo’s lap and went into a mock faint!  It all happened at a swingy charity party tossed in Brentwood by Mr. and Mrs. Allen W. Livingston for the Hemophiliac Foundation of Southern California. Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and their children were there, including John Forsythe and his brood, Gary Lewis (Jerry’s son), Jack Palance and his three kids, Lloyd Bridges and his daughter and Nanette Fabray and her children.  Bob Cummings’ kids were there too.  Now and then Paul, who loves kiddies, took a healthy kiss, but laughed when teenage girls begged for the same treatment.

The Beatles were seated on four chairs in the beautiful garden, while a long, long reception line formed single-file to parade past them.  But Claudia, who’s just crazy for Ringo, broke the line to rush over to him.  Ringo didn't look the least perturbed, and even seemed to enjoy it.  It was quite a while til Claudia got off his lap, too!

Outside and inside the house was so heavily guarded that someone was heard to remark, “If President Kennedy had this kind of protection, he would never have been killed.”

Even though the party was supposed to have been top secret, hundreds of teenage fans had gathered outside yelling, “We want the Beatles!  We want the Beatles!”  When the boys finally exited from the party in their car, 200 girls flung themselves to the ground on the grass, some in a dead faint.  Other fans quickly jumped into cars and onto motorcycles so they could chase the Beatle’s car. 

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