ABOUT THIS PRESS CONFERENCE:
Following their performance at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida on September 11th 1964, the Beatles and their entourage flew onward to Massachusetts for their concert at the Boston Garden, arriving in Boston in the early hours of September 12th. Boston was the 18th stop of 24 cities along the Beatles' 1964 North American Tour.
The following press conference was held in the Madison Room of the Hotel Madison. The Boston press applauded the Beatles as they walked into the room. Once the Beatles were seated and photos were being taken, Paul and John can be very briefly heard exchanging silly one-liners in cowboy-like southern accents. Their voices are kept just below the room noise - seemingly meant only for their own personal entertainment. The cowboy accent appears to have become a sort of in-joke for the group, which Paul and Ringo also use to comedic effect in a television interview in Dallas, Texas less than one week later.
The Boston reporters make sure that the Beatles are very thoroughly questioned on their opinions of 'Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra,' allowing the opportunity for more humor.
Three college buddies were in attendance for the Beatles' 1964 Boston Press Conference. Steve Small remembers, "I took a photo of Ringo and just before I took it I said. 'Ringo!' He turned, looked at me and said, 'Now, what newspaper could you be from... with a Polaroid!?'" Rich Hershenson says of his memories of meeting the group, "Just being in the same room with the Beatles was beyond words. The icing on the cake was the fact that we realized
that we could ask them questions!" Charlie Kimball recalls, "We just had an intense drive to get in there to see them in person. They were the most famous people in our world, and perhaps among
the most important in terms of how they influenced a generation, and more. But at the press conference, they were just real people." (For more firsthand memories of the Boston press conference from
Steve, Rich and Charlie, click here.)
After the concert, the Beatles would depart for Maryland where the group was scheduled to perform two shows the next day at Baltimore's Civic Center.
- Jay Spangler, www.beatlesinterviews.org
(the press applauds as the Beatles enter)
RINGO: "Glad you could all make it."
PAUL: (cowboy accent) "Hi everybody."
JOHN: (cowboy accent) "Howdy, cousin."
PAUL: (cowboy accent) "Like to thank all you country cousins here today for pickin' with us."
RINGO: "I see Fred made it."
PAUL: (cowboy accent) "And there's Mister Buck Owens in the audience."
PAUL: (cowboy accent) "Would you like to do a song, Buck?"
JOHN: (cowboy accent) "If any of you is Johnny Horton, slap your leg!"
Q: "I saw the Beatles in May in London."
PAUL: (recognizing) "Oh you did. Yes."
Q: "And you all had suntans and everything."
Q: "And now you look pale. Ringo particularly."
(Ringo stares blankly)
Q: "No, you look fine. You look great."
RINGO: (smiling) "Thank you."
Q: "It was just three days before you became ill, and I'm wondering... I've heard reports about you may have to go back to the hospital and you may need an operation. I wonder how things are."
RINGO: "I'm fine. They just want to take the tonsils out in case they cause any more trouble, you see. There's nothing wrong with them now. But they... you know. It could happen again."
Q: "Have you been singing on the tour?"
RINGO: "Every night. Oh, aye! (to the reporter) Are you coming?"
PAUL: (giggles) "Coming to the show?"
Q: "Paul, how have you found Boston so far, as compared with other cities?"
PAUL: "We haven't seen a lot of it, actually. We just saw..."
Q: "The people here."
JOHN: "What people?"
PAUL: "I dunno. They're just... Americans, you know. Fine. Very nice. We can't really compare 'em, you know, 'cuz we haven't met a lot of people here, either. Very nice, the ones we've met."
Q: "Paul, what's your first reaction to the gentleman within this building who thinks he is you?"
PAUL: "Oh yeah. (laughs) That's some fella. (sadly) Oooo. Oooo."
GEORGE: "Straight jacket..."
PAUL: "As long as he isn't, I don't mind."
Q: "There's one that says he looks like Paul and... there's one that says he looks like Ringo."
PAUL: (to Ringo) "There's one that looks like you."
RINGO: "Oh. God help him."
Q: "There were some very unhappy press and newspaper at the airport arrival early this morning, and we understand that you people are not for all of this security. It was to the point where a picture was not even taken of you."
Q: "Do you draw a line..."
JOHN: "That was ridiculous, last night."
PAUL: "We'd promised to do a TV interview, you know. There was one definite promise to do an interview, and we just got out to the cars... and we couldn't get in."
RINGO: "We couldn't get in the cars."
JOHN: "It's good security, but it was just a bit too much, you know."
Q: "Who does this?"
JOHN: "Well, it's usually the local police, you know. But I mean, they're not really to blame because they don't know what's going to happen. It was just an unfortunate... (comically, with grinning expression) They couldn't take photos last night, like."
PAUL: (gesturing) "Mind you, there's nothing wrong with THESE police."
PAUL: "No, they're very nice. (to the police) Hello fellas."
PAUL: "OK? Very nice policemen. Big too. Hi, men."
Q: (female fan) "What do you think of psychiatrists?"
JOHN: "They should see a psychiatrist."
JOHN: (comically) "'HO HO HO,' he said."
Q: "Are you aware of any of the actions of the youngsters during your performance, any of their affections, or any of their shouting and so forth?"
Q: "Does that encourage you, or...?"
PAUL: "It's nice, you know."
RINGO: "Ah, it's very good."
PAUL: "You'd be encouraged."
Q: "John, do you plan to do any more (short story) writing?"
Q: "How soon... are we gonna see something?"
JOHN: "Oh uhh, just... whenever I just feel like, you know."
Q: "You don't have any immediate plans?"
JOHN: "No, I just do it now and then."
Q: "It looks like it."
JOHN: "Well, thank you!"
(Paul and John exchange smiles)
DEREK TAYLOR: "Hang on, hang on. (smiling) What was the last remark?"
Q: "I said it looks like it, I love it. It's very..."
PAUL: (comically) "Ooooooooo."
Q: "...written very off the cuff."
JOHN: "Yes it is. It sometimes is off there."
Q: (damage control) "It doesn't look like stuff that you sit down and say alright, I'm gonna write something that you..."
JOHN: "Oh, no. It works though, doesn't it."
Q: "Do you plan to have another movie in the near future?"
JOHN: "In February we make another movie."
RINGO: "We START it in February. We don't know what it's going to be about yet. (pause) Thought I'd clear it."
Q: "Do you feel that you're setting a new trend in music?"
Q: "Do the boys honestly believe that they will continue in this vein, making the wonderful money they are, and with all these performances, or will they fade like the miniature golf courses of a few years ago."
(crowd and Beatles laugh)
JOHN: (giggles) "Yeah."
RINGO: (quietly) "You're just picking on my size."
JOHN: "We probably will. But we'll get out before we fade."
PAUL: "We make more money than miniature golf courses, anyway."
Q: "John and Paul, when do you get a chance to write your music, your lyrics?"
PAUL: "Normally days off, or at night in hotel bedrooms, or... (pause) I dunno. Anytime we've got off or anytime we get a chance."
Q: "What's your favorite sport?"
PAUL: "Sports? None of us are very keen on sport. Swimming's good. Waterski."
Q: "Could you tell me if the next movie will be based on 'A Hard Day's Night'... of the same type?"
PAUL: "I don't think so."
GEORGE: "What would the point be, you know. We wouldn't want to do one the same."
RINGO: "Another two days out of their lives, you know, it'd be silly."
PAUL: "You know, WE'LL be in it, but that's about the only..."
Q: "How many more months or years do you expect to continue at your present peak?"
PAUL: "I don't know."
RINGO: "No idea."
GEORGE: "We don't think about it."
PAUL: "About six months ago everyone... Somebody else asked us that six months ago. And they said, 'Well, you can't go any further from here, can ya. This is it,' you know. (pause) You never can tell."
Q: "Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops Orchestra says he finds your music very relaxing. How do you find his music?"
JOHN: "Depends what tunes he plays, you know."
Q: "Have you ever heard of him?"
PAUL: "He's very relaxing."
JOHN: "Boston Pops, I Want To Hold Your..."
Q: "Have you heard his version of Beatle music?"
Q: "Do you like?"
PAUL: (jokingly) "Good tunes."
PAUL: (giggles) "No, it's nice, you know."
Q: "Did you help write the script for 'A Hard Day's Night'?"
JOHN: "No. We changed the already written script, here and there. That's all. Didn't we?"
Q: "In all the police protection and security that you have had, have they ever been rude to you?"
JOHN: "Some, but very seldom."
Q: "Who does your quaffers?"
JOHN: "Anybody who's got scissors."
Q: "How often do you have them cut?"
RINGO: "There's no set time. A month. Two months."
Q: "Is this lad here the boy that filled in for Ringo when he was ill?"
GEORGE: "Road manager."
PAUL & RINGO: "He's our road manager."
Q: "He has the hair too?"
RINGO: "He hasn't got the same hair."
JOHN: "THAT'S not long hair, that's short!"
PAUL: "You got on telly, Mal."
Q: "John, are you familiar with psychic Jean Dixon's prediction that you may someday be a surgeon?"
JOHN: "You're joking. I can't even... I can't hold a pair of scissors."
Q: "You were recently in Washington. Do you think that President Johnson felt snubbed because you didn't visit him?"
JOHN: (giggling) "You're joking."
PAUL & JOHN: "No."
GEORGE: "President Johnson wasn't there when we were in Washington, anyway."
JOHN: "Wasn't he."
Q: "Have any of you ever met (daughter) Luci Baines Johnson?"
PAUL: "We nearly did a couple of times, but we didn't quite make it."
Q: (referring to one of Ringo's rings) "Ringo, what attracts you to the black onyx?"
GEORGE: "What attracted you to the black band?"
RINGO: "No, I had it bought for me."
Q: "I beg your pardon?"
RINGO: "Somebody bought it for me. It could have been anything, you know, I'd have still wore it."
Q: "There's nothing significant about the black onyx?"
Q: "I understand that the four of you are from poor homes in your background in England. Now that you're millionaires..."
JOHN: "We're not millionaires..."
Q: "...are you planning on giving to charity?"
JOHN: "We've given a fortune to charity. We're not millionaires, though."
PAUL: "And we were never really poor, anyway."
PAUL: "All of us were just sort of average, but we got..."
GEORGE: "The story they got in America was VERY wrong. They told we were a gang of scruffs and we didn't have a penny, but that's untrue."
JOHN: "We just dress good."
GEORGE: "And we've already given a fortune to charity."
PAUL: "We've already given a lot. But the thing is, when we give it we don't sort of shout about it, like a lot of people do."
RINGO: (jokingly) So see? We don't tell anybody!"
RINGO: (smiling) "Have you got it?"
Q: "Do you know, based on past tickets in round figures, how much your take will be from tonight's show?"
JOHN: "...some thousand, some people wrote."
DEREK TAYLOR: "The Boston papers are using it already. (clears throat) They say sixty thousand."
JOHN: (to Derek) "Is that all?"
Q: (female fan) "George, there's a rumor that you were in Boston in the summer. Is that true?"
PAUL: "Probably another one of those fellas that looks like him. (looks at Ringo) There's a LOT of them in Boston."
Q: "Do you know how much money a day you make?"
RINGO & PAUL: "No."
JOHN: "It varies."
Q: "Did I hear Ringo say his tonsils are coming out?"
RINGO: "Not yet."
RINGO: "The next holiday we have."
Q: "I hear you have an offer on them."
JOHN: (giggling, to Ringo) "Yeah, tell him about somebody... Some fan wrote in saying, could she have them."
RINGO: "She can have them. They're no good to me."
Q: "Have any of you ever met J. Paul Getty?"
PAUL: "Oh him. No."
GEORGE: "Seen a picture of him in a Beatle wig, though."
Q: "Has he voiced an opinion on your music?"
PAUL: "I don't think so."
GEORGE: "I think it was an article in Time or Life, and they had a... He was pictured in a Beatle wig, so he must be quite friendly."
Q: "Ringo, why do you wear so many rings?"
RINGO: (jokingly, to the others) "What are you going to do when the bubble bursts."
RINGO: "I like them, you see, so I wear them. That's about it, you know. There's nothing else. People bought me them, so I have nowhere else to put 'em."
Photo © 2009 Stephen J. Small, all rights reserved
RINGO: "So I shove them on me fingers."
PAUL: "Very reasonable."
Q: "George, with all the work your sister has done, particularly in Boston, would you say something... uhh..."
GERGE: (dryly) "Hi."
Q: "Would you say originality has played a key role in your success?"
PAUL: "Probably, yes."
JOHN: (in comical voice) "It HAS helped..."
Q: "Do you think you'll ever have any appeal for people above the age of twenty?"
JOHN: "We already have."
PAUL: "Just because you don't like us, you know..."
Q: "I had breakfast this morning with your road manager..."
RINGO: "Big Mal."
Q: "Mal tells me that you fellas thought our American tea was
PAUL: "It is."
JOHN: (giggling) "It's true."
GEORGE: "One thing they'd never quite got the hang of is tea."
PAUL: "Well, I mean, Boston Tea Party and all that... you should have a bit 'round here."
Q: "Which one of you does the best imitation of an american?"
PAUL: "We can't do it, you know."
RINGO: "Not a very good one."
JOHN: "Same as none of you can do an imitation of english."
Q: "I was told that one of them, I'm not sure which one, had an ambition of designing his own guitars."
GEORGE: "Actually, I think that's supposed to be about me. I read that too. It was untrue at the time, but since then I've been asked by Gretch guitars to make one."
Q: "Do you think that's a good idea?"
GEORGE: "Yeah it is, you know. It's a lot of money, isn't it. But, you know, I've never had enough time to get with the fella from Gretch and do something."
Q: "What kinds of guitars do you use?"
JOHN: "I use a Rickenbacher."
GEORGE: "Rickenbacher, Gretch, Gibson and Hoffner."
Q: "Do you use a 12-string guitar at all?"
JOHN: "Rickenbacher 12-string... electric 12-string."
Q: "Have you finally found a decent cheeseburger in the United States?"
PAUL: (to the reporter) "How did you know this?"
Q: "George's sister was mentioning it today on the radio."
PAUL: "I tried to get one yesterday... couldn't find a cheeseburger in Florida. Well, Mal couldn't."
Q: "What do you think of Barbara Streisand?"
RINGO: "I don't like her."
GEORGE: "I don't like her. It's a bit too sweet-ish for me."
PAUL: "Good, though."
Q: "Does the title of your movie (A Hard Day's Night) come from John's story 'Sad Michael'?"
JOHN & PAUL: "No."
JOHN: "I pinched that bit off Ringo for the story."
PAUL: "It was Ringo's originally."
JOHN: "He said it naturally. It wasn't meant to be a joke."
Q: "What do you think of Dusty Springfield? According to one of our recent polls at our station she is the most popular female vocalist in this country."
PAUL: "She's very good."
Q: "What do they think of the opposition of the Boston Arena this evening?"
JOHN: (comically) "What opposition?"
Q: "John and Paul, of all the songs that you've written which ones do you like the best?"
JOHN: "Uhh, I don't know. You know, it varies. You like one and then you hate it... then you like it."
PAUL: "'It's For You' Cila Black. There ya go."
Q: "Ringo, what song do you like best?"
RINGO: "'A Hard Day's Night,' I think."
Q: (to George) "Which do you like?"
GEORGE: "I dunno. They're all great."
GEORGE: "Well, I didn't write them so I can say that. They can't."
JOHN: "They are all great."
JOHN: "Only kiddin'."
Q: "Why do your songs stay on the charts in the United States for a longer period of time than in England? In other words, in England they're on one week and they're gone..."
JOHN: "Because there's so many of you over here, I mean you know, people just go on buying and buying over here."
GEORGE: "In England we usually have an advance order, and then they sell all in one week, and then that's... Everybody's got it."
PAUL: "Mainly there's about 15 of our singles on the charts here, you know, and we didn't release them in England. Naughty record company over here got 'em out, you see."
Q: "Who does most of the lead singing?"
Photo © 2009 Stephen J. Small, all rights reserved
GEORGE: "Paul and John."
PAUL: "John mainly, then me, then George."
JOHN: "I don't."
PAUL: "Yes you do."
JOHN: "Oh no, Paul... you do."
PAUL: "Just... no."
Q: "Ringo and George, for the show tonight will you be singing solo?"
GEORGE: Oh yes, oh yes."
RINGO: "We have our little go."
GEORGE: "We have our moments. They let us sing occasionally, don't they Ringo."
Q: (small child, quietly) "Paul, how long are you going to sing?"
DEREK TAYLOR: (repeating) "How long do they sing tonight?"
PAUL: "We sing for about, uhh, 30 to 35 minutes."
Q: "The last press conference, the one that I saw, it was a three hour ordeal really for me just to be there. I was wondering how you guys were able to take it constantly. I was thinking particularly of when you were all set to go home and there was an Australian cameraman who didn't have any film in his cameras and he made you sit back down and do it all over again. At this point I think I would have hit him, but you remained calm all the way through the thing."
RINGO: (jokingly) "That's because YOU were in the room."
Q: "I was just wondering if it gets to be a bit of a drag after a while."
DEREK TAYLOR: "The trend of the questions was, do the Beatles find press conferences a bit of a drag, and if not how do they remain so calm."
Q: (jokingly, to Derek) "Jolly good."
PAUL: "We always enjoy them, you know. All those laughs."
JOHN: "...so many people who aren't press in the room knocking about, you know."
PAUL: "And the press get a bit annoyed occasionally, you know because... But generally they're great."
JOHN: (giggling) "As long as they don't ask us, 'What are you gonna do when the bubble bursts.'"
PAUL: "The one question that everybody asks."
Q: "Do any of the other three single ones have any plans to get married?"
GEORGE: "Not at the moment."
RINGO: "Not yet. In a couple of years... plenty of time."
Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org website from video and audio copies of the press conference