Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Beatle Reporters qualify for combat pay

Times photo by Bruce I. Gerard

Beatles, Reporters Qualify for Combat Pay
By Peter Hinchlifte
The Indianapolis Times

Just what is this with the Beatles?
Well, they're English.
So am I, for that matter.
They sing.
I do too.  Just ask my bathtub.
They play musical instruments.
I play a useful "Bells of St. Mary's" on the mouth organ.
They earned $101,000 for 58 minutes work at the State Fair.
Still, the more I think about it, after watching them at close quarters for two hours last night, they are welcome to every nicked they earn.  After one brief sample of the ordeal they have to go through every day.  I wouldn't swap places with them if they were getting $1 million a show.

In a hectic span of three minutes, I was slapped in the teeth with a hard object, had my ribs crushed to breaking-point and got muscles out of place down the whole right side of my body!

I followed two or three yards behind the Beatles as they were taken out of the Communications Building to the stage in front of the Grandstand for their second show.

"Well, here we go again, troops,"  Ringo said as they came out of the room where they had succeeded in snatching two hours of peace and quiet between shows.

"Face the music,"  John Lennon said.

As they were shoved into a car outside the building, a teenage girl tried to jump in beside them.  She was forcibly removed.

Bess Coleman, an attractive young miss who used to work for an English newspaper and who is a member of the official party traveling with the Beatles was grabbed by a policeman as she followed the Beatles out of the building.

The policeman, who obviously mistook her for a fan, roughly tried to hurt her over a fence.  She managed to fight free and scramble into a second car.

"I'm shaken but I'm not seriously hurt," Miss Coleman said later, "I know the police have a hard job but they had seen me around all night long."

I followed behind the two cars with three English newspaper reporters who are covering the Beatles' tour of America.  Police tried to bar our way at one point and I was struck in the mouth.  I don't know what hit me and I don't know who hit me.

Seconds later I as pushed almost to the ground.  My ribs were jarred and my side was strained.

As I watched the Beatles perform less than four yards away, during the second show, I decided that my father had made a wise decision in buying me a football instead of a steel guitar for my birthday.

Still, I had to report on them for only one night.  One of the English reporters, Ivor Davis of the London Daily Express commented as he looked out across the sea of faces which flooded across the Grandstand and out onto the track, "Think of us boy, tomorrow.  It's like this.  Us pressmen traveling with them ordered four beers and a grilled cheese sandwich a piece this afternoon and before we could take either a bite or a sip the Beatles were being rushed somewhere and we had to follow.  Then we have to risk our lives and limbs following the boys up onto the stage.  I tell you it's tough.  We have to do it every day too.  Your worries are over."

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