Friday, September 5, 2014

Beatles are a screaming smash here

Singers Meet the Press--Beatles are a screaming smash here
By Thomas Fitzpatrick
Chicago Tribune  September 6, 1964

Everything you've heard about the effect the Beatles have on teenagers is true.  Confusion reigns when they appear.  Teenagers; and even adults, reach an uncontrollable state.  How do you explain it?

They walk out on the stage in a place like the International Amphitheater and everyone goes absolutely wild.  Young girls leap to their feet and begin to wave their arms and scream.  They keep screaming until the Beatles, with their heavy guitar beat, have finished their song.

What happens next?  They start screaming all over again.  Nobody hears anything.  Anyone in the audience who is the least bit cautious is forced to cover his ears with his hands.   That's how loud and shrieking the sound was.  There had to be a real danger to the inner eat.   The show lasted for 2 hours.  It was filled in for the first 90 minutes by musicians who have never been heard on the national circuit before.  The Beatles spent 30 minutes on stage.  They were reportedly paid $30,000.

You can't begrudge them the money because of lack of talent.  IT was impossible to find out if they had any talent because no one in the Amphitheater was able to hear a note.  The only question had to be about the money that must be supplied by Chicagoans for police protection.  It was necessary.

Ringo Starr expressed his appreciation for the work of the police during a press conference.  "What do you think would happen to you if the police didn't protect you?" a man asked.

"I think they'd kill us," said Ringo.  HE smiled as he said it.  But you knew he meant it.

"I feel sorry for them," one mother was heard to say after the show was over.  "Who do you mean?" asked another mother, "The Beatles or the girls?"  "The Beatles replied the first mother.  "What will happen to them when all this adulation has passed them by?"

Even tho the show was not scheduled to begin until 8:30 p.m., hundred of young Beatles fans were lined up at the amphitheater doors at dawn.  They remained until the doors were opened and they were allowed to enter.

Even the press conference, held in the Stock Yard Inn prior to their performance, had an unusual twist.  The level of the questions was just about what could be expected.  Starr predicted that Lyndon Johnson would be the next President.  John Lennon explained that it takes  him longer to dry his hair because it is longer.  Paul McCartney, another of the group, said he was looking forward to seeing Chicago's gangsters with their broad brimmed hats and wide ties.

All these brilliant comments were made in an atmosphere permeated by dozens of policemen and personal bodyguards.  Unfortunately, a man driving a limousine identical to that of the Beatles drove by the arena shortly after the performance.

"It's Ringo Starr," shouted one girl and her chant was picked up by hundreds, who surrounded the auto, halted in traffic, and began pounding and rocking the car.  It took the driver five minutes to convince the girls he was no Beatles.

But if the plight of the motorist was a difficult one imagine how it is to be a Beatles.  The group is reportedly making 14 million dollars a year but they are so hemmed in by fans that they dont' dare emerge from their protective cocoons to spend it.

One of the Beatles said recently that he had come to the United States with $150 cash to spend on incidentals.  He hasn't been able to spend a cent of it to date.

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