‘We love Beatles,’ 200 Girls Shriek
By Gabriel Favoino
With the reverence formerly reserved for Popes and kings, 200 teenaged girls milled around Astor and Goethe Thursday night shrieking “the Beatles!” The girls also shrieked on command for more than 50 press representatives, television cameramen and newspaper photographers.
Even two first-classmen from the Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn. Were there.
“We just saw the crowd and stopped. We don’t know what it’s all about,” said John Curran, of Minneapolis.
Near them stood a fat girl in shorts, her eyes glued to binoculars, thinking she was looking at the floor on which the Beatles are staying in the Astor Towers Hotel. In fact, the Beatles were in the hotel, at a press conference. But they don’t live there. With uncommon secrecy, the Beatles are hidden at the Ascot Motel, 1100 S. Michigan. They are to perform in a concert here in the International Amphitheatre Friday evening.
Outside the Amphitheatre, a girl who borrowed $35 to come here from Mauston, Wis. Marched with a sign saying, “I love the Beatles.” She said she had only eaten a peanut butter sandwich all day, and had written 64 songs for the Beatles.
Meanwhile, back at the Astor Towers, four girls from Kansas City and St. Louis were hoping to meet the musical group. One wore a button saying “I love John.” Another carried a banned reading “We love the Beatles.” Her companion had a hand-lettered sign pinned to her chest saying the same thing.
Upstairs, at the press conference, reporters applauded as the Beatles sat down on imperial looking high-backed chairs.
An English reporter, with a hair-do resembling that of Thomas Becket, kneeled, as at an altar, with microphone in hand. He asked if the Beatles thought their music was getting any better. They replied they thought it was.
Outside, Jean Crusoe, 15, was one of the 50 teenagers storming the hotel’s freight elevator in an attempt to get upstairs and meet their idols. Jean got lacerations of the head when the elevator doors closed on her. She was taken to Henrotin Hospital for treatment.
Upstairs the Beatles were denying that they were better than Jesus, or Christianity. At the press conference, Beatle John Lennon added, “I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus I would have gotten away with it. I am sorry I opened my mouth.”
A world-wide sensation ensued with Lennon was quoted as saying the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.
In fact, it was reported that the Pan American World Airlines plane that brought the musicians here form England would have Bibles for them all. This, they denied.
But when they landed Thursday afternoon in Chicago, their plane was diverted to a little used maintenance hangar. Airline employees said teenage girls later got into the plane and stole the earphones the Beatles had used on the flight. They even took the pillow where they rested their heads.
When the musicians left London, a crowd of hysterical girls chanted, “John, not Jesus…John not Jesus…John, not Jesus.”
Asked at the press conference what the reason for their immense popularity is, Beatle Paul McCartney replied: “We don’t know. We really don’t know.”