Monday, May 20, 2024

How I Obtained the Beatles' Autographs - with a Little Help From 3 Friends


How I Obtained The Beatles' Autographs - With a Little Help from 3 Friends

Written by Veronica Immario

With a Little Help From My Friends

October 1977

I have been a Beatles fan ever since I heard about the Fab Four back in January of 1964.  Their arrival in the U.S. the next month was a million times better than just reading about them or hearing their songs played sporadically on the radio. When I learned they were coming to Cleveland the following September, I was completely spaced out. Regarding the Beatles, this condition remained permanently and I see no signs of being able to recover from it - ever. 

I was lucky enough, in an indirect way, to get DJ Joe Mayer's help in obtaining what every Beatle people dream of, next to meeting the boys personally - autographs. My partner in crime in this venture was my friend Marilyn, who was just as flaky as I whenever the names of John, George, Paul or Ringo were mentioned. We were a great combo. She had a talent for drawing and I had the connections. Another friend of mine, Shirley by name, was good friends with Emperor Joe (that's how he was known at WHK) because of her association with several local groups in the Cleveland area. She asked him to help us get the boys' autographs, if at all possible, and, sweet man that he is, he agreed. 

Thinking it over, we didn't want him to just ask the Beatles for their autogrpahs. We felt that we shoudl give them something in return, so maestro Maryilyn picked up her pencil and poster board and commenced to draw. My contribution as her assistant lay in selecting the proper pictures from which to copy. I took special care in selecting the pictures of Paul that would show his eyelashes to the best advantage. We were so excited about the whole thing, laughing, screaming, and carrying on all over the place, Marilyn could hardly hold her pencil straight for five seconds at a time. She persevered and finally completed all four. It was my job to take them to Shirley, who in turn brought them to Joe, who promised to bring them to the press conference the Beatles would hold prior to their concert. 

Being able to attend their concert was excitement enough, but knowing that we would also be getting their personal autographs was just too much to bear thinking about. 

I have wonderful memories of the Tuesday night concert, and even though the boys left Cleveland that night, the best was yet to come. The next day, Wednesday, while I had to suffer the indignity of going to school, the four treasures were dropped off at my house by Shirley. The lucky girl was able to convince her mother that she was totally incapable of functioning properly that day, and was able to cut classes. My mother was a woman of different mettle. I might as well have stayed at home for all the good it did though. It was a repeat performance of the previous day. The clock should have fallen off the wall, I kept staring at it so hard willing it to move faster. Anything that was forced in came right back out again and mercifully the dismissal bell finally rang. I leaped off the bus and ran all the way home. I was in great shape back in those early Beatle days. I tore into the house, and then I saw THEM! - lined up along the back of the sofa.  The actual posters that they had touched with their very own hands! I ran my finger over the signatures and laughed like a nut. 

Close inspection showed that a pencil had been used first by our heros but had not shown up, so the dear sweet boys had considerately written them over in ink. By this time Marilyn had arrived and was properly hysterical - just the way I was. the crowning touch came that evening when Shirley called with some news Joe thought we'd like to know. The Beatles had signed several likenesses of themselves at the conference, but told the WHK jocks that ours were the most realistic ones they had seen so far. They wanted Joe to thank us for them and appreciated our thoughtfulness. When I called Joe myself later on to thank him for his help, he again verified the story. For the first time since all the excitement began I was completely speechless. I had never expected anything like this to happen, ever.  Needless to say I didn't get much sleep that night either, and vowed to be true to the Beatles to my dying day. 

Marilyn and I took turns keeping the four pictures for quite a while but eventually divided them up.  She ended up with Paul and Ringo and I of course kept George and John. They are part of my most prized possessions, even though they are not as fresh and bright as they were 13 years ago. Everytime I look at them it brings back memories of those happy, crazy times, and I am gad that I was able to hare this little reminscense with all of you. 

1 comment:

  1. Are there any photos of these autographed photos?