|Jim guards George|
Beatles off Guard
By Ann Moses
From NME 1967 Annual
Christ watched over John Lennon and the Beatles when they were in Hollywood during their American tour earlier this year. Moses was there, too! No, I’m not kidding—Jim Christ and Jack Moses were employed by the U.S. Guard Company of Los Angeles to look after the boys during their stay. They have some fascinating memories.
Jim and Jack (my brother) were Beatle fans long before they took their part-time summer guard duties. Both were summer employees at Disneyland and served as guards for the excitement involved.
But neither could have imagined the commotions, the excitement, the terror that resulted from their assignment to guard the Beatles!
A plan had been worked out for the Beatles to speedily enter and exit from Dodger Stadium. Jack told me, “About an hour before the concert Jim and our two supervisors and I drove up to the house where the Beatles were staying. Within two miles of the house, the road was solid on both sides with kids standing on their cars, standing all around.
“We entered by way of a one-lane winding road up a hill—all of which was blocked off by the city police. There were security men surrounding the house and we entered after the giant electronic gate had been opened. There were trails through the shrubbery all around the house and part of the back fence had been broken down.
“When we first saw them they were eating dinner. There were very few people there – Tony Barrow, David Crosby and the Beatles’ road managers. After about a half an hour I left in the armored car without the Beatles. We were followed by a limousine full of security men and people from the house. As we drove out almost all the kids followed us.
They were screaming, honking their horns, making wild turns and almost getting in accidents at every corner!
“When we turned onto the freeway the limousine stopped so none of the cars could enter. About seven cars found us, and when we reached our designated spot, which was about two miles from the stadium, I opened the door to the armored car and showed the kids that the Beatles weren’t inside. They got really angry!
“A lot of girls started crying. Then they left. Within eight minutes the Beatles pulled up in a beat-up Chevy van and jumped into the armored truck.”
Jim, meanwhile was at the house, waiting for J,P, G and R to leave in the van. He said, “While I was waiting, John Lennon came out and he had a little rubber ball and was bouncing it against the wall while he talked to David Crosby. Then they got into the van with their road managers and I rode ahead of them in the limousine. “
The van met with the armored truck in the parking lot and Jack and Jim helped the four into the truck. Jack continued the story: “There were no chairs, so they just sat on the floor. As we approached the stadium, they got really bugged because as we passed through the barriers, girls were getting through.
“George said, ‘That’s right, let ‘em through. Don’t hold that one back, let ‘em get us and rip us apart!’ Finally we made it to the back of the stadium where it was secluded and they went in to their dressing room. The first thing Paul, John and George did was pick up regular guitars. Each went to different corners of the room and played them.
“Then they picked up the instruments they use on stage, plugged them into small amps and began to play through the songs they were going to do.”
Jim interrupted, “It sounded fantastic! They were just working out, it was groovy! The whole time Ringo just sat in one corner not saying a word.”
“After they were dressed,” Jack continued, “we led them to the tunnel where they would enter. On stage they were introducing the radio station disc jockeys and John would say, ‘Here’s the guy who made it all possible, Rodney J. Feathersmith’ or ‘And in the six to nine slot, Henry B. Swindlehoff!’
“Finally he got disgusted because it was talking so long and he said, ‘Well, I’m going on!’ and he started to walk out onto the field. Paul and George pulled him back.
“Then the DJ’s shouted ‘And here they are—the Beatles!’ and John began to sit down. Ringo and George picked him up and we ran out on the field behind them.”
The stadium scene was typical – absolute pandemonium. The Beatles dressed in green sharkskin bell-bottomed suits with velvet lapels. The coats were six button, double breasted jackets over shirts of white with green printed flowers. John and Paul wore boots, Ringo and George wore loafers. The lines of security were stiff and no fans got near them.
During the show, they would wave to different sections and one would see a wave of human bodies rise and scream until temporarily exhausted. But when John continued to wave to a section behind him, there was no reaction.
John couldn’t understand it until Jim explained that the entire section was for blind children. “That’s all right,” said Paul, “Someone out there probably told ‘em ‘he’s waving at you now’” “John thought that was groovy,” said Jim.
Planned procedure noted that the Beatles were to exit the centerfield gate. Inevitably, there was a mix up and as the Beatles rushed to the limousines and proceeded out of the stadium, as the gates opened hundreds of girls surged toward the car!
Jack said, “We were told to run alongside the cars, which we did. When they opened the gates, the cars couldn’t get out because a bus and two cars were blocking the way. Then about 1,000 kids swarmed in and all around the car!”
“Girls were laying down in the front of the car!” Jim exclaimed. “They were tearing the car apart and we had to grab them and pull them off. The car couldn’t back up because a second limousine was right behind it!
“Finally the other limousine moved and they closed the gates. The driver sped back to the third-base dugout. We were running beside the car all this time! When they pulled back into the stadium Paul and George waved white towels out the windows. The crowd was going completely crazy!”
The Beatles rushed down to the dressing rooms and prepared for a wait. Jack explained, “The Beatles just sat down and began opening Pepsi’s. They handed each of us one before they had one. Every time they’d offer us a cigarette, light out and then theirs. They were really friendly!
“I walked over to John and said, ‘I thought we’d be able to get out of here.’ And he said, ‘Why is that?’
“I asked: ‘did you notice my name?’ His eyes almost popped!
“I said ‘If you think that’s good, you ought to see Jim’s!’”
“John got up and looked at Jim’s name tag and he shouted, ‘It’s Christ and Moses! I’ve been waiting to meet you both for a long time!’ Then he turned to Jim and said, ‘I didn’t mean it. I really didn’t! I didn’t mean a word of it!’
“John, Paul and George were sitting next to each other and we sat in front of them on a bench. Ringo was sitting on the other side of the room, all alone. For almost 45 minutes he didn’t say a word.”
Before long, the conversation centered on devious plots to help the Beatles escape. Everyone kept repeating the idea that a helicopter would have been the smart thing, but George wanted to leave in the armored car and just slowly force its way through the crowd. This however, was impossible since the crowd outside was bigger now and because someone had let all the air out of the truck’s four tires!
Paul turned to Jack and joked, “You should be able to get us out of Dodger Stadium since your great, great, great grandfather could part the Red Sea.”
|John is wearing the "Moses" name-tag Jim gave to him in L.A.|
John looked at Jim, “and how about you? Shouldn’t you be getting some dishes so you can start breaking the bread and bringing on the wine?”
Both boys said the Beatles were talkative and inquisitive. Someone had told them that Los Angeles Police Chief Parker had died recently and they questioned their guards on how a new police chief was chosen and how the local government worked.
Jack recalls, “John and Paul were asking us what it was like to work at Disneyland. ‘How are the birds out there?’ John asked, ‘Chicks, ya know.’ I told him they were very good looking.
“I asked Paul if he’d been to Disneyland since there was a rumor that he’d visited there. He said not, but wished he had.
“They all seemed disappointed that they didn’t get out more. They were extremely disgusted with the radio station that broadcast the address where they were staying. Their neighbors were watching the house with telescopes. “John went to one corner of the room and I asked him he was working on his third book. He said he did every now and then, but mostly when he was alone.”