Thursday, January 28, 2016

Girls that met the Beatles in Portland '65

I really enjoy the stories from Datebook magazine written by girls that met the Beatles during their North American tour.    Great information and fun stories.   These two from Portland come from the Spring 1966 issue of Datebook.  Enjoy!

Girls who met the Beatles
Georgia King
Portland, Oregon

We were led down one of the corridors and then were told to stop in front of the concession stand.  The janitor slid back a panel in the wall.  How clever!  Hidden doors, no less.  The hidden door was unlocked to reveal a flight of stairs.  We went down these and into a hall where we could plainly hear showers running.  We were told that the Beatles were cleaning up before they came to see us.

We were ushered into the press room, where I seated myself as close as I could get to the front, which was the third row.  I was feeling very pleased about how cool and calm I felt.

While I was pondering the merits of sophistication, Ringo Starr made his way to the table.  It was 6:00 PM on August 22, 1965.  I looked up, choked down my tears of fright and surprise, and tried to say hello and proceeded to the other end of the table where he took a seat.

Next came George, who said, “hi” before I could get out the first squeak..   He grinned at nothing in general, and sat down next to Ringo.

When John Lennon came in, the hot press room immediately was overcome with the chill of something hostile.  He gave everyone a look of disdain, and then sat down and proceeded to stare at me as if to wonder why they had let someone as insignificant as me get so close to him.

Paul came in and sat right down across the table from me, and brought back a little of the sunshine that Lennon had so rudely taken.  I put my camera around my neck, and extended my hand.  Paul took it and began to chat as I attempted unsuccessfully to take pictures with one hand.  Our short but interesting conversation went like this:
“Hello there, what is your name?”
“Georginia---uh---I’m here for Datebook.”
“Are you tired Paul?”
“Yes, just a little.  These one night stands are rough.”
Then Paul knocked me off my feet by saying, “Your hair’s awful nice without all that hair lacquer in it.”  Then he asked me to please not ‘flash’ for a while, for my bulbs were blinding him.

Then someone told the photographers to sit down, so the questions could begin.
Reporter:  It is true that a stewardess broke up a pillow fight on the plane when she was hit on the head?
George:  Ahem—I’m not sure that was where she was hit, but we did quit.
Reporter:  What are your religious beliefs?
John:  We neither believe nor disbelieve.  We are agnostic.
Reporter:  There is a pamphlet stating that you are communists.
Paul:  Us Communists?   I’ve just gotta read that one.
Reporter:  Is it true that there is a feud in the group?
Paul:  Rubbish, I read that article too.
John to Paul: You shouldn’t even read trash like that.
Reporter:  John, is it true that you were not home for the third year in a row on your anniversary?
John:  Why should  I have been?  Birthdays and such are a lot of rubbish.  We don’t’ have birthday celebrations or anything like that.  Don’t even bother with them.  Besides that my wife is in Libya and I couldn’t see her if I was home.
Reporter:  George, is it true that you are going to wed Pattie Boyd?
George:  Where’d you read trash like that?
Reporter:  In the magazine I work for.
George:  Tell your editor he prints a lot of rubbish.
Reporter:  Ringo, is it true that your wife has gotten her hair cut off?
Ringo:  No, the woman just keeps wearing it up on her head.

At this point the press officer stepped up and said that would have to be all.  I ran to the table again.  Paul grabbed my hand, shook it, and said good-bye.  They all trooped out.

I called to Ringo to please come back and let me touch him.  He was told by a guard not to but shoved the guard aside and came back anyway.  He shook my hand, and smiled warmly.  He departed with these words, “Be good and don’t cry for us.  We’ve decided to come back next year.”  (So there, Derek Taylor).

After I had gotten home and had a good cry.  I had a chance to form an opinion about each Beatle.  Ringo Starr is without a doubt the most unaffected by the fame.  He is very down to earth, and really like you and me.

I couldn’t quite make up my mind about George because he is so quiet, but he seemed to be all right.

John Lennon I’d rather not say anything about except that he is definitely not my type.  He is cynical, and complex.  I don’t understand him one little bit, and I’ve decided not to try to.

Paul is just wonderful.  He reminds me of the typical boy next door.  He’s very handsome, and also very kind.  He puts you right at your ease.  Of course, he is very intelligent, as are all the Beatles, John especially—he acts as though he is far too brilliant to associate with the human race.

Cathi Sellards
A crowd of about 200 were standing around the employee’s entrance at the Memorial Coliseum awaiting the arrival of the Beatles.  It was in the middle of the whole thing.  Policemen were everywhere and busloads more were coming  Finally, a motorcycle escort came roaring up, closing followed by a nine passenger station wagon.  Between two bobbing heads, I caught a glimpse of John’s grinning face with his sunglasses balanced on his nose, a black flat hat on his head.
After a moving concert, during which five girls fainted, I headed back to the employee’s entrance.  The police still blocked the doors.

One girl jumped the barrier and ran to the door.  It was locked.  It was pathetic to see her pounding on the door in vain.

Some of the police made a great mistake and opened that door only a few inches.  About 100 of us jumped the barrier and surged toward the door.  A tug of war between the police and kids began.  I and about eight other kids headed for the second door.  The boy next to me pried the door open a few inches.  I immediately stuck my foot in.  We had succeeded!  Eleven kids got in before the police shut the door.

It didn’t’ take long to locate the Beatles, with the police in hot pursuit.  We rushed up to them, all talking at once.  I shook hands with Paul and touched the rest in the process of getting their autographs.  We talked to them briefly.

Girl:  Are you going to stay in Portland tonight?
Paul:  No.
Me:  Are you coming back to America?
George:  I’m not sure.  You’d have to ask our manager.
Me:  May I have your autographs?
John:  I guess so, since you fought your way in here.

John still had on his flat hat.  He looked rather angry.  Ringo seemed a bit afraid of the fans.  George was tanned and grinning.  Paul was flirting and winking at the girls.

The police finally pushed us all out.  But they let us collect all four autographs first.
Outside we were met with shouts of jeers from the poor people who didn’t get in.  Eight girls pounced me and asked if I had touched the Beatles.

It was only then that I realized I had touched them and had been with them for about ten minutes.  Suddenly I felt very weak and decided I’d better go home.


  1. I can't help but think that John was cranky because he missed Cynthia (and Julian). I know he used to call and write to her a lot. It's around this time he wrote the infamous letter about Julian. She was in Libya visiting her brother Charles.

  2. we would go get our supplies of Datebook & all the other teen magazines as soon as they came out just waiting for new pictures and stories of the lads

  3. maybe John had a hangover

  4. these seem to be the most real accounts published in datebook at the time