300 Greet Beatles
August 13, 1966
Religion seems to be the cure for the teen disease of Beatlemania which has been sweeping the country the past three years.
No more than 300 teenagers took the trouble to travel the 25 miles to Metropolitan Airport in Detroit to greet the British quartet compared with screaming thousands who swarmed the airport when the Beatles arrived in September 1964.
An American Airlines flight form Chicago arrived at 11:12am.
The popularity of the Beatles appears to be declining a bit and many attribute it to the recent remarks made by John Lennon about religion. The distance to the airport, the arrival time and place of the plane carrying the Beatles may also have been factors contributing to the relatively small group of fans who turned up to welcome the group.
The four were greeted with loud screams by the fans that lined the fence beside the runway. They were able to stop for about four minutes between the plane and a Greyhound bus to talk with reporters. They then boarded the waiting bus and were rushed off by police escorts to Olympia Stadium.
A large chauffeur-driven black Cadillac was used as a decoy as the procession left the terminal.
Arthur Schurgin, promotion manager for the Beatles said they would be dropped off at the stadium to prepare for their 2pm performance today. A second performance will be held at 7pm.
There was some confusion as to where the famed group’s instruments were at the time of their departure by bus. An American Airlines spokesman said later the instruments would be brought by special flight form Chicago at 1pm.
After their tonight’s performance the Beatles will be taken by Greyhound bus to Cleveland, Ohio for a show Sunday evening. The airline spokesman was unable to say why the group will not travel as they normally do by plane.
The driver of the bus that took the Beatles from the airport to Olympia said he will always remember this experience to his children and grandchildren. Alex Patterson said, “Today was just like any other day. I got to work at 9:00 and then found out I would be chauffeuring the Beatles around Detroit. My kids went wild when I told them. I still can’t believe it. “The bus driver says he has always been a great fan of the Beatles.
The group will leave Cleveland early Monday enroute to Washington D.C. where they will give an evening performance at the Washington Stadium. On August 14, Toronto Maple Leaf Garden will host the stars for two performances at 4pm and 8pm.
Toronto is the only Canadian appearance of the 15 day tour. They were not accompanied with their wives.