Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Spotlight on Ping Tom --former Beatles fan club president

When I posted the story out of the Beatles Booster Fan club newsletter last week, I noticed that a person named "Ping Tom" was listed as the president of the fan club.    I did some google searching and found an old newspaper article from 1964 about Ping moving from L.A. to Tucson and starting up her fan club in her new location.    Alright---the only thing I have to say is that if I had tickets to a Beatles concert that was one week away and my Dad said we had to move---there would have been a big fight.    I would have begged and begged to stay with a friend or family member until after the concert...anything not to miss it! 

Anyhow---does anyone remember Ping Tom?   Anyone know her now or know what she is doing?  I would love to do as "What ever happened to" segment on what she is currently up to. 

Ping Tom comes to Tucson and brings “Beatlemania”
By Linda Shelton

"I want to hold your hand" means  an awful lot to a girl named Ping Tom, but  you could sum it up with just two words, "the Beatles"

Ping Tom is the president of the Southwest chapter of The Beatles national fan club . She attends Pueblo high school as a junior.

To explain how she started her fan club, “I fell in love with them when I first heard' I want to hold your hand,’ so I wrote to a girl in England who had a fan club for the Beatles.”

When Ping began the fan club, she was living in Los Angeles, California. She all obtained a charter for her club under the name of the "Beatles West Coast fan club", and then she started to work on it.
She published 1,000 copies of a newsletter, which cost her $83.  900 of these she gave to Dave Hull, the disc jockey for KRLA, a local radio station in Los Angeles, for publicity. The Beatles fan where to send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the station and in return, they would be sent a newsletter.   Ping got most of her 200 members this way. 

Ping, as president of the Beatles fan club, said that the Beatles' popularity was not at its peak right now, but it's not decreasing. She also commented on the difference of interest between Los Angeles and Tucson.

"Tucson is a small city and the radio stations don’t do anything for the Beatles", was Ping's explanation for Tucson uninterested. "Everybody in Los Angeles joins clubs and contest and really helps their stars", said the president.

For a "Beatles rally" held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California, Ping went all out and made it Beatles suit to wear.   On Paul McCartney's birthday, Ping called his house. Paul was still touring in Australia, so she had to be content with talking to his aunt.

Ping attended the preview of “A Hard Day's Night" when it was first shown in Los Angeles, before the premier in New York. Tickets for this event were given to her and the members of her club by United Artist, the company that released the film. Attached to the tickets were poster boards and stickers for the club to make signs saying, "We love the Beatles."

Ping wrote to each of the Beatles and got answers from George's mother and John's aunt. Ping  regrettingly said that she has not met the Beatles. When the Beatles performed in Hollywood, she had planned to see them. However, she still has her $4.50 ticket for the middle section of the Hollywood Bowl.  One week before the Beatles came, Ping’s family had to move back to Tucson.
"I was very disappointment", commented Ping, "But since my father financed the club until I got a good start, I listened to when he said it was too expensive to stay in Los Angeles even for one more week."

When Ping arrived  in Tucson, she  change the name of her club to the " Beatle booster fan club". She does all the work herself.  Her  publications includes 12 newsletters a year and pictures of the Beatles of various prices. She noted that she was sending out negatives to a girl in Wisconsin for developing but that ran into money so she bought developing equipment and try her and hand at developing.
Ping has a long history of fan clubs.  She started with a fan club for Paul Anka when she was 13 years old. 

Explaining her feelings about why today's teenagers have" flipped" for the Beatles she says,” We fell for them because they were different in appearance and music.  They didn't follow any of the beat trends. Now they are famous and I think it's natural for teenagers to go all out for a group they like.  "

1 comment:

  1. Aw, I love Ping!!!! I hope we find her!!!! Another valiant fan, doing her part, and taking her place in the great mosaic!