Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Getting to sit on John's lap

Here is a great photo and story from Hour Detroit newspaper about a girl who met the Beatles while they were making A Hard Day's Night by winning a radio contest!

Meeting the Beatles
By Angela Flynn

Deneau was just 15 when she won a Detroit radio contest hosted by a CKLW disc jockey named Tom Clay (who was apparently fired later that year for “Beatles Booster Club” scam). The grand prize was a trip to London to meet the Fab Four on the set of their movie A Hard Day’s Night.

Her conservative parents were hesitant to let Deneau cross the Atlantic Ocean to hang out with a rock band. “There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to go,” she says. It helped that Clay's wife was also going along for the trip.

In April 1964, Deneau, the Clays, and another winner (from Windsor) arrived at London’s Twickenham Studios and prepared to enter the band’s dressing room. Still feeling a bit faint from excitement, Deneau stepped inside.

George Harrison immediately stood up from his chair to shake her hand as she entered. The three others followed and soon Clay began chatting with the Beatles about their popularity in Detroit. “I probably didn’t say very much,” says Deneau. “I was very shy.”

They spent much of the afternoon drinking tea while the Beatles casually sang the 1963 Impressions song “It’s Alright” and answered handfuls of interview questions. “They were really goofing around a lot with each other,” she says. “They were really friendly.” Ringo even gave her a ring that she still has to this day.

Ringo and George also invited her group to go to the popular Ad Lib Club with them, but sadly, a nightclub was out of the question for a 15-year-old.

After spending three hours mingling and taking photos with them, they parted ways with the band, but not without a special farewell from George. “When we were leaving, [The Beatles] went out in the hall,” she says. “But George came back in, shook our hands and said ‘It was nice to meet you, and see you in Detroit!’”

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