The story of when three Beatles met with Jayne Mansfield at the Whiskey a Go-go during the 1964 American tour has always been an interesting one to me. So when I found this story in a scrapbook I recently was given, I thought it was really good. I think this is the only time I heard anything about what Jayne had to say about that night. Sadly, because it was glued into a scrapbook that a fan made, the name of the magazine and author has been lost.
The Beatles’ SHOCKING date with Jayne Mansfield
We dare to tell you who did what to whom!
It all started on a Sunday, at 7:30pm on the night of August 23, when some character asked Paul McCartney what he wanted most to see in Los Angeles.
Paul did not know that by answering “Jayne Mansfield” he was committing me to a series of phone calls that started in the Cinnamon Cinder, a teen nightclub in Los Angeles, and would up, days later, with a call from an apartment house on Manhattan’s East Side to a motel in Warren, Ohio.
“Are you serious, Paul?” I asked as I stood immediately behind him at the mobbed press conference. He nodded gaily. I penciled a hasty note and handed it to Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ press agent who was standing nearby.
The message was “Derek Paul said he would like to see Jayne Mansfield. If I arrange it, can I have an exclusive story and pictures?”
“Do you think you can manage it?” was Derek’s spoken reply. I nodded.
Meanwhile, a young girl reporter had written Paul a note. She had asked Paul if The Beatles were going to date any American girls. Paul had replied, “What are you doing at nine?” The girls’ note then said, “I’m the girl in the second row. Were you serious about nine o’clock?” “I was serious,” he replied, “but we’ll be doing the show. Sorry.”
Half an hour later, to work out details of a meeting between Paul and Jayne Mansfield, my secretary and I met Derek Taylor backstage at the Hollywood Bowl.
The following morning, Monday, I managed to get Jayne Mansfield’s phone number from a mutual friend. I dialed the Brentwood number at 11am.
Then I remembered that Jayne was doing the Marilyn Monroe role in the play which insisted that Gentleman, as well as Beatles, Prefer Blondes – and Jayne Mansfield. The musical was then at Melodyland Theatre opposite Disneyland at Anaheim, California.
I managed to contact Bob Bronzetti, one of Jayne’s bodyguards. I asked him if he thought Jayne would like to meet the most popular singing group in town. Bob’s answer was promising although neither of us was able to mention the word “Beatles” for fear the news of a possible meeting might leak out. It all seemed too easy. It was.
At 10pm that same evening, I phone Bob Bronzetti and arranged for Matt Cimber (Jayne’s manager) and himself to meet a representative of The Beatles (possibly Bess Coleman) in the foyer of the Beverly Rodeo Hotel.
I had a late supper date at the Beverly Hills restaurant and phoned Bess at 10:30pm form there to confirm that she or another Beatle representative would meet us at 2pm on Tuesday. Bess said she would phone me back at the restaurant at 11:10pm her call came just as I had finished supper and was leaving. I received the call and left immediately, thinking happily of my scoop photos and story.
What I did not know was that Derek, the Beatles’ top press guy, phoned the restaurant two minutes later, after I had gone. Tragedy had struck. Paul McCartney had Okayed photographs but now the other three Beatles were dying to meet Jayne Mansfield too and a hitch had developed. They as a group did not want photographs!
I received a phone call early Tuesday afternoon from Bob Bronzetti and passed on the latest news to him. I arranged for Jaynie’s representatives to meet with the Beatles’ Girl Friday, Bess Coleman at Jaynie’s pink stucco palazzo on Sunset Boulevard, instead of at the Rodeo.
We all arrived and were soon joined by Jaynie’s teenage daughter, Jayne Marie and bodyguards Bob Bronzetti and Marty. We were told that a phone call was expected momentarily from Jaynie.
Finally, we received a call from Jaynie. Her secretary was ill and Jaynie was visiting her in the hospital. She would be slightly delayed. With another long wait ahead of us, we retired to chairs beside the heart-shaped pool and chatted with Jayne Marie, a lovely child. The 13 year old girl’s only regret was that her little brothers were in Dallas and would miss the chance to meet The Beatles.
At 5pm, Jaynie called from a motel. She was on her way to meet us with her press agent Russell Ray but was held up by freeway traffic. As they were driving along, she had a brilliant idea, why couldn’t The Beatles be served tea by Jaynie herself at Jayne’s poolside?
A stalemate was reached. The Beatles wanted to meet Jayne any time she was free, preferably in their Bel-Air mansion but without pictures if possible. Jaynie wanted to serve them tea at home, as they lazed around her swimming pool---with pictures.
The immediate problem was that Jaynie had a show to do at Anaheim that evening. She could get to The Beatles and back to Anaheim before show time, but it seemed a shame that she should rush such a momentous meeting.
Bess Coleman, Nancy and I decided to return to the Rodeo and fix a later time for the meeting. At about 11pm I received a phone call form Bob Bronzetti. Where was the meeting to take place?
It was 11:30 that Tuesday evening when I phoned press agent Derek Taylor at the Bel-Air mansion to pass on Jayne’s message. He said that he feared now, with time slipping away, and schedules being what they are, it would be impossible for Jayne and the boys to meet and for photographs to be made, too.
At midnight, I phoned Jayne back at the Caravan Motel at Anaheim and pointed out to her that she really should meet the Beatles, with or without photographs. She was the only female movie star that the Beatles had invited to meet them at home.
Now it was 12:15 on Wednesday. I phoned Derek who told me that the Beatles had just about given up hope of ever seeing Jaynie. I passed on her various phone numbers to him and wished him luck and adieu.
George, Ringo and even Paul said Derek had despaired of seeing Jaynie and had accepted an invitation from Burt Lancaster to come on over to his home for a screening of the Peter Sellers – Elke Sommer movie, A Shot in the Dark. The three boys set off to Lancaster’s. John Lennon stayed home.
To the delight and surprise of John and the rest of the Beatle entourage, Jaynie drove in from Anaheim after her performance and showed up at The Beatles residence sometime between 12:30 and 1am.
Nothing lively party wise was imminent at Beatle Mansion so the party, which included John Lennon and Jayne, Bess Coleman, Derek himself, Malcolm Evans and Neil Aspinall (two Beatle road managers), and two of Jaynie’s reps, set out for the night club Whisky Au Go-Go in Hollywood.
“The scene was indescribable,” said Derek later. “We had to smash our way through the crowd to get in.”
About 15 minutes later, they were joined by George and Ringo. They had come along in an unmarked car from Burt Lancaster’s house following the movie screening, after returning to the Beatle mansion and finding no one home.
It was impossible to dance and suddenly photographers by the score were crowding n on the Beatles.
Those were his main comments. Jaynie’s comments were a lot more interesting, but like Jaynie, they were a little hard to get. Her musical at the Melodyland had played out its extended season and Jayne had departed on the big-money summer stock circuit. From New York, I phoned her answering service in Hollywood. They told me that Jayne was appearing in a theatre in Warren, Ohio.
The efficient phone operator booked me on a call to Miss Mansfield somewhere in Warren. Fifteen minutes later, they located her where she was staying at the Town and Country Motel. But Jaynie was giving a performance and could not be reached by phone.
I booked a call for 12 midnight to give Jaynie a chance to return from the theatre.
“Jayne,” I said, “what were those first momentous words uttered by a Beatle to you upon your formal presentation at their Bel-Air mansion?”
“Well,” said Jaynie M. breathing heavily into the telephone, “John Lennon said to me, ‘I’ve been looking forward to meeting you, Miss Mansfield.’ And I corrected him and said, ‘Jaynie.’ And I replied, ‘I’ve been absolutely dying to meet you marvelous boys – but where are the others?’ Then John told me that Paul, George and Ringo had decided I wasn’t coming and had all gone over to Burt Lancaster’s.
Jaynie continued to purr into the telephone. She had only come offstage from playing the Marylyn Monroe party in Bus Stop and she sounded like Marilyn but with Jaynie infectious and overwhelming good humor. “Then John and I got to discussing dancing and the Watusi and I suggested we both go to the Whisky Au Go-Go to try it. John liked the idea and someone made the remark that the other Beatles would murder poor John when they got home and found out what he’d been doing.”
Once they arrived at the Whisky Au Go-Go what did Jaynie and John talk about? “It was a very high level discussion,” Jaynie breathed to me through the telephone, “We discussed this year’s Shakespeare Festival, you know. We then discussed poetry. And we talked about John’s book and my record album, Tchaikovsky, Shakespeare and me
“Mamie Van Doren came over to introduce herself to The Beatles. But to be quite honest,” confided Jaynie, “I don’t think they knew who she was.
“Unfortunately,” said Jaynie, “we could get no privacy. You have to be 21 to get into the Whiskey Au Go-Go but all the adults were acting like teenagers. And when George and Ringo arrived they had to be lifted over the crowds pressed up against the table to get to us.”
What did Jayne think of George? “Gorgeous” was her word. “He’s so composed and relaxed.”
And Ringo? “He’s darling,” effervesced Jaynie. “He has such a tremendous, such a tremendous reserve. He doesn’t say anything unless it is important.”
But what did Jayne think of Paul, the guy who started it all? “Paulie and I didn’t get to meet,” confessed Jaynie. “The poor boy slept through it all.” (Paul had retired after returning home to the Bel-air house.)