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Beatles Interviews Database: Beatles Press Conference: Kansas City 9/17/1964
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In the early morning hours of September 17th 1964, the Beatles flew from New Orleans to Kansas City, Missouri. The group arrived in Kansas City at around 2am, checking into the Terrace Penthouse on the eighteenth floor of the Hotel Muehlebach. The Beatles ate, drank and played poker before retiring to their beds.

After a day of sleeping late and relaxing in their room, the Beatles held the following press conference on the top floor of the Hotel Muehlebach just before rocking the house at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium.

Originally, the Beatles had been scheduled to have a day off on September 17th. Kansas City was a late addition to their already-hectic tour following an amazingly generous offer by baseball team owner Charles Finley, whose daughter was a Beatles fan. The group, usually demanding approximately $25,000 per show, accepted Finley's incredible check in the amount of $150,000 to sacrifice their day off and add Kansas City to their tour. Since the Beatles usually only performed just over 30 minutes per show, this meant that they would be earning nearly $5,000 per minute.

Finley would later state that it was not his intention to make a profit on this venture, but rather to ensure that Kansas City Beatle fans had the opportunity to enjoy a live Beatles concert.

The Beatles would include an extra number to their set list for this one night only, opening with the Little Richard medley 'Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!' The group would later include the song on their next LP 'Beatles For Sale' which they would begin recording soon after their 1964 North American Tour had concluded.

During the concert at Municipal Stadium, things got out of control as many fans swarmed the stage. Security officers found it necessary to stop the show. The Beatles waited backstage as the crowd was warned that the concert could not resume until they sat back down in their seats. Once the rush of maniacal fans was no longer a safety issue, the show was able to continue.

Following their concert in Kansas City, the Beatles and their entourage moved onward to Dallas, Texas for their September 18th performance at Memorial Auditorium.

                                          - Jay Spangler,

DEREK TAYLOR: "The Beatles."

(the Kansas City press applauds as they walk out)

RINGO: "We are gathered here today..."

GEORGE: "How d'ya do."

PAUL: "Afternoon."

DEREK TAYLOR: (to the reporters) "When you're ready, put your hand up."

Q: "In light of the splendid offer, that was mentioned a few moments ago by Mister Taylor, of $150,000... Do you plan to perform a little longer than a half-hour?"

PAUL: (pause) "Just extra well."


Q: "I'll direct my question to Paul. Have the receptions in the United States been what you expected them to be, or had hoped for?"

PAUL: "They've been better, actually. Somebody said they'd be good but these have been marvelous, you know. Fantastic."

Q: "What has it been, about your reception...?"

PAUL: "The bigness of them. The largeness."

JOHN: "The emenseness."

GEORGE: "The magnitude."

PAUL: "Multitude-a-ness-es. (pause) Wonderful."

Q: "Is there any place in America that you wanted to see but did not get a chance to?"

JOHN: "New Orleans is one of them."

FEMALE: "Ringo?"

RINGO: (quickly and loudly) "YES??"


FEMALE: "Would you ever date a fan?"

RINGO: "Yes. I have done. (pause) Honestly."

Q: "I'd like to know, do you fellas hear what you're playing when the screams go on, and how do you keep going together?"

JOHN: "It sounds louder to people who haven't been to the shows before. We're immune, you know."

Q: "Do you do much rehearsing on your tours?"

PAUL: "No. We only rehearse the new numbers when we change the act, actually."

Q: "You have inspired Beatle hair-dos, and do you enjoy and appreciate seeing these styles on other people?"

RINGO: "It's quite good. It's nice. We always change when we see someone else with them."

Q: "Do you plan to change your hairstyle..."

RINGO: "Not our hair, just our clothes. We don't plan to change these. No."

Q: "Are you concerned about the poll in Britain which indicates that a group called the Rolling Stones..."

BEATLES: (suddenly, jokingly) "Wooo!! Wooo!!"


RINGO: "There's MANY polls, you know, and they just won one of them."

GEORGE: "And they won that one last year, as well."

JOHN: "They won it last year too, that one. You know, I mean, that's THEIR poll."


JOHN: "It doesn't make any difference."

RINGO: (jokingly) "We own the paper."


Q: "John, there have been a recent anti-smoking reports. Are you trying to give up smoking?"

JOHN: "No, I've never even thought of it, you know. When you gotta go, you gotta go."


Q: "Do you have any open public statement about American police?"


PAUL: "Private secret statements."

JOHN: "Not when we're playing, anyway."

Q: "Are you writing any new songs while on this tour?"

PAUL: "John and I have written two since we've been here."

Q: "Where do you do it? On the plane, or..."

PAUL: "We did it in Atlantic City, actually. Plus the two here."

Q: "What's the most annoying thing that is bothering you on the whole tour?"

PAUL: "Hmm."

JOHN: "I keep forgetting. There's one thing..."

RINGO: "I think not being able to see the fans at the airport."

PAUL: "Too much security."

RINGO: "You know, we just get... The plane goes to the far end of the field and then we just get put in the car, and away we go without seeing anybody."

JOHN: "Away we go."

RINGO: "So blame them, you see. It's not us, it's them."

Q: "George, what prompted you to throw that scotch and coke at the reporter?"

GEORGE: "Well, he was a very nasty young man."


RINGO: "OLD man."

Q: "How so?"

GEORGE: "Well, he had been told to leave the place, anyway, you see. And he insisted on jumping and trying to take pictures. And we couldn't see, as it was, without some idiot flashing in front of us. So I thought I'd... (pause) baptise him."


Q: "It's assumed that you will sing for quite some time yet, but what do you plan to do after..."

GEORGE: "...the bubble bursts."

PAUL: "Nobody's made any plans, but John and I will probably... (laughs) Ooo, we have this one every day, you know. John and I will probably carry on songwriting. And then George will go into basketball."

GEORGE: "Or rollerskating. I haven't decided yet."


FEMALE: "Ringo, would you show us your grey hair?"

RINGO: "No."


JOHN: "Only if you show him yours."

RINGO: "I'm not messing it all up, you see. And we're on telly. You gotta look nice."

Q: "What do you do about barber shops when you're on tour?"

JOHN: "We never go to them"

GEORGE: "We never do anything about them when we're not on tour."

PAUL: "We don't even think about them."

Q: "Is this the highest guarantee you've had in the United States?"

JOHN: "Yes, I think so."

RINGO: "Is it, Derek?"


PAUL: "Very high."

DEREK TAYLOR: "Highest-ever in the world, we're told."

Q: "Back to the hair-do... What care and treatment does the hair get?"

PAUL: "A bit of combing."

JOHN: "Washed and combed."

PAUL: "A bit of washing."

RINGO: "Nothing special."

GEORGE: "No treatment. We never put any hair oil on it, because it makes it go funny, you see... makes MINE go funny."

PAUL: "Makes everyone's go funny."

Q: "It was rumored all over town a couple days ago that you all had tried to get reservations at one of the hotels in Springfield and you were turned down repeatedly. Is this true?"

PAUL: "No."

JOHN: "We don't make 'em anyway, and the ones that have turned us down, well, it's their privelege."

GEORGE: "And we're not going to Springfield anyway."


Q: "What is one question you would like to be asked at a press conference that probably nobody has ever asked?"

JOHN: "Can't think of one."

RINGO: "No."

GEORGE: "I think everything's been asked."

Q: "George, what ever became of the car wreck that you had in London?"

GEORGE: "Oh, it wasn't a wreck. I only just tapped into some fella and knocked the headlamp in. But you see, the further away you are the worse the damage appears. I mean, over here the car was a write-off, but actually it wasn't. And it was fixed within three days."

Q: "Did you have to pay anything?"

GEORGE: "No. The other fella's insurance company paid 'cuz it was his fault. (pause) I'm a GOOD driver."

Q: "We wondered, are you considering making America your home? Would you consider that?"


PAUL: "'Cuz England's our home, you know. We like the place, but not to live here."

(John whistles the patriotic tune of 'Rule, Britannia!')

Q: "Is there any other city in particular that you've enjoyed visiting?"

JOHN & RINGO: "New York."

RINGO & PAUL: "Hollywood."

PAUL: "Los Angeles."

Q: "Have you got a favorite entertainer or author?"

JOHN: "We like a lot of people."

RINGO: "There's a lot."

PAUL: "American soul groups... (pause) and Sophie Tucker."

Q: "You gentlemen play cards between performances. What kind are you playing?"

PAUL: "Poker."

RINGO: "Poker and Crazy Eights."


RINGO: "I haven't won YET."

Q: "I'd like to ask Paul how his feud with Walter Winchell is doing?"

PAUL: "It's not a feud, he's just soft, you know."


PAUL: "I give up, you know. I'm not talking to him."

Q: "How much of the hysteria that greets you do you feel is real, and how much is pretended by the little girls that adore you?"

JOHN: "You can't tell. It doesn't matter."

PAUL: "There's a lot of it that the papers, you know, help create that's probably not real. But there's also a lot, I think..."

Q: "The name Beatles, why did you choose that?"

PAUL: "John thought of it."

JOHN: "I just thought of it, you know. There's no reason, same as you pick a name for anything, really."

Q: "John, how does your wife feel about girls screaming and running after you?"

JOHN: "She knows they'll never catch me."


Q: "Paul, how did you enjoy the vacation to the Virgin Islands?"

PAUL: "It was nice, thanks."

Q: "I heard Ringo was having trouble with his throat. Is it alright now?"

RINGO: "Yes, thank you. It's fine now. I haven't had any trouble for the last two months."

Q: "Have you ever measured your hair to see whose is the longest?"


GEORGE: "I think mine is anyway, 'cuz it grows faster than the others."

JOHN: "I'm usually a close second."

Q: "Ringo, are you going to have your tonsils taken out? And have you had that offer yet from the girl to send the tonsils to her?"

RINGO: "Yeah."


RINGO: "I'm gonna have 'em out. And we got the telegram, but I don't think I'll give 'em to her."

JOHN: "We're gonna auction 'em off."


PAUL: "Oooo, that's disgusting."

Q: "We'd like to know if there was ever any truth to the rumor, John, that you might leave the group?"

JOHN: "No. I don't know where it started. It just sort of appeared somewhere."

Q: "Did you make any new records with Capitol while you were in Hollywood?"


PAUL: "We did do an album (1964 Hollywood Bowl, live) but it was only for a souvenier."

GEORGE: "Not for general release."

PAUL: "Not for sale. It was so TERRIBLE, that's why."


Q: "After you return home, where will your next tour take you?"

GEORGE: "Around Britain."

RINGO: "We do a month's tour of Britain."

YOUNG GIRL: "Paul, how do you feel about reports which say you're conceited?"

PAUL: (laughs) "Yeah..."

RINGO, JOHN & GEORGE: "They're true."


PAUL: (laughing) "Thank you, chaps."

Q: "Is there anything you wanted to do in Kansas City on your visit here that you didn't get a chance to do? Anything in particular that you wanted to see, or anyone that you wanted to visit, by any chance?"

JOHN: "No, I didn't hear about anybody that we know, so..."

Q: "Mister Truman?"

JOHN: "Not particularly, no."


Q: "Have you bought any clothes in the United States, or is everything you wear from England?"

RINGO: "This is American."

PAUL: "I bought four shirts."

JOHN: "This is! A fella described it on the radio yesterday as a typical Liverpool dockers outfit."

PAUL: (laughs)

JOHN: "I got it at Key West."

Q: "Do you ever wear a tie?"

JOHN: "Me? Yeah, when I can find it."


YOUNG GIRL: "After all this is over which will you miss more, the fans or the money?"


JOHN: "Well, we'll still have the money, so we'll miss the fans. They'll be the ones that have gone. The money will still be there."

Q: "I'm with Variety."

PAUL: "Really?"

JOHN: "Good for you."

Q: "I'm sure you've got some supporting acts with you, but I can't find out from anybody who they are."

BEATLES: "Tonight?"

JOHN: "The same acts that have been with us everywhere."

PAUL: "The Exciters, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry."

GEORGE: "Bill Black Combo."

JOHN & GEORGE: "Jackie DeShannon."

JOHN: "And that's it."

Q: "Another English group is going to play Kansas City. The Dave Clark Five."

RINGO: "We know 'em."


Q: "How did they come out in the poll?"

JOHN: "Which poll? The one..."

RINGO: "The Melody Maker one, you're talking about? A British one?"

PAUL: "They didn't win, you know."

JOHN: "It varies from each musical paper, how they sold and, sort of, readership. So the votes go one way or another almost every year."

Q: "Did you talk with Charlie Finley when he was in San Francisco?"

JOHN: "We haven't met him, I beleive."

GEORGE: "I met him this morning."

PAUL: "I met him last night."

GEORGE: "And Brian Epstein was the only one who saw him, I think, in San Francisco."

Q: "He said he was very fond of you men."

RINGO: "Oh. We're fond of HIM, now."


Q: "What do you call your famed sound? Rock and Roll?"

JOHN: "WE call it Rock and Roll, you know."

PAUL: "Roughly."

JOHN: "A lot of people call it all sorts of things. But we call it Rock and Roll."

Q: "Ringo, what do you do when you're confined in your hotel rooms all the time?"

RINGO: "We just sit 'round, watch telly, or radio, or play cards or something. Or talk... We even talk to each other."


YOUNG GIRL: "How much does the United States government get from what you earn?"


JOHN: "Heh, heh, heh."


Q: "What about the British governement?"

RINGO: "The British government are getting..."

JOHN: "Oh, they're getting a LOT !!"

RINGO: "We'll end up with ten dollars when we get home."

Q: "With your return to America this time, have you been asked to reappear on Ed SUllivan's program?"

RINGO: "I believe so, yes. I'm not sure about that."

JOHN: "I don't think we've got time, though."

DEREK TAYLOR: "Uhh, yes you were. Hopefully fit it in yet."

RINGO: "Well, there WON'T be time, now."

Q: "You were talking earlier that the two of you might continue on, and the rest... you break up the act. Is there a date set for this that you are going to break up?"

PAUL: "No, all I meant was that, if we DO break up... He asked when we do break up, which, it's gotta happen... that John and I will probably carry on songwriting. We didn't mean singing or anything."

Q: "How long do you think it will be before it does happen?"

PAUL: "No idea, really. Could happen tomorrow, you know. (chuckling) After the Kansas City date."


Q: "We hear and want to know if you're going to the Playboy club tonight."


JOHN: "We're leaving after the show, I think."

Q: "When you were in Florida before, did you talk with Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali) and how well do you know him?"

JOHN: "We only met him the once for that sort of publicity stunt which he came off best at."


PAUL: "It was organized by the newspapers down there. They asked us to come along. He's a good fella, though, isn't he."

Q: "Do you like baseball?"

JOHN: "Not particularly."

(reporters comically overreact with gasps at John's response)

PAUL: "Oooooo. Very good game, Mister Finley! Very nice!"


JOHN: "Only on T.V."

RINGO: (loudly) "Oh dear!"

PAUL: (jokingly) "Great game!"

RINGO: "No it does, you know. You throw the ball, and then another ten minutes you have a cigarette and throw another ball."

Q: "Is it true Charlie Finley asked you to wear kelly green and gold baseball outfits?"

(Beatles laugh)


GEORGE: "Not true. We wouldn't wear 'em, anyway. Not even for 300,000."

Q: "Has it been decided about your next picture?"

GEORGE: "It's been decided on the date. I think it's supposed to be next February, but nothing else has been decided. No title, no script."

JOHN: (giggling) "No script, no nothing."

GEORGE: "No other people draftin' it."

Q: "Would any of you care to give us any of your views... I don't mean to be smart by this... on anything on religion or politics?"

JOHN: "Well, we're not interested in either."

PAUL: "No."

RINGO: "That's about it."

Q: "Would you consider, or is it being planned, that a movie will be made of your whole life? The 'Pool, Cavern Club..."

JOHN: "They couldn't put that kind of thing on the screen."


JOHN: (giggling) "Not yet, anyway."

Q: "One of you, I can't remember which one, said you didn't like politics. It was like beer -- you didn't like the taste. Yet when you were in Chicago, you made the comment if you were going to be for anyone in the Presidential election, you'd be for L.B.J."

JOHN: "We didn't. We said Eisenhouer."


Q: "What about in your own country? You're going back to a general election campaign over there..."

RINGO: "We're not going to vote over there. I don't know enough about it, but I'm not votin'."

PAUL: "None of us do, you know."

RINGO: "I don't follow it."

JOHN: "If I can find out which one takes the least tax, I'll vote for them."

Q: "In New Orleans you met with Fats Domino. Can you tell me how the meeting came about and what occured?"

JOHN: "Uhh, Frogman Henry said he'd try and arrange for us to meet him, 'cuz we've always liked him. And he brought him 'round with a friend of his..."

PAUL: "They found him..."

JOHN: " a store for about an hour, and had a couple of shots taken for his kids."

PAUL: "...found him getting groceries in a store, or something."

JOHN: "Had a sing-song with him."

' Q: "Paul, is it true you lost your driver's license, and how did you do it, if it's true?"

PAUL: "Yeah, uhh, I lost it a year ago. I just got it back now, actually. Speeding, three times. If they catch you three times, you lose it. Got caught."

RINGO: "Wasn't fast enough."

Q: "Why did you want to go to New Orleans? What about the town?"

JOHN: "Well, the clubs and that."

RINGO: "You just hear about all..."

JOHN: "To hear the sounds, man."

Q: "The music?"

PAUL: "Yeah."

RINGO: "You know, it's all good clubs and that."

Q: "Ringo, what do you think of Jayne Mansfield?"

RINGO: "She's a drag."

(crowd hoots and gasps at Ringo's response)

JOHN: (joking disbelief) "Ringo...!!"

GEORGE: "I second him."

DEREK TAYLOR: "It's a word D - R - A - G and it means simply a bore."

JOHN: "It's an American word."

Q: "What about Mamie Van Doren? She was..."

GEORGE: "We never met her. (pause) Her publicity agent wasn't as good as Jayne Mansfield's."

Q: "What os your reaction to these girls who come up to your hotel room and tear up sheets and anything you've disgarded, or the cigarette butts that you leave around?"

JOHN: "Well, they do it after we leave. It's alright, you know, if the hotel manager doesn't mind."

RINGO: "Not if they come up there rippin' 'em while we're still asleep."


Q: "With all these girls chasing you all over the world, who is probably the most exciting woman you've met throughout the world?"

JOHN: "Ringo's mother is pretty hot."


JOHN: "Only joking, Elsie!"

Q: "Do you like American cigarettes and which ones are your favorites"

GEORGE: (not seriously) "Yeah, we like American cigarettes and we smoke filters."

PAUL: "Ho, ho!"

GEORGE: "But we're not advertising anybody's cigarettes unless they're gonna give us a few million free."


Q: "Do you do anything for free at all?"

JOHN: "Yeah. Our charity shows. That's about all."

Q: "I'd like to ask George... I heard in the Lafayette Hotel in Atlantic City, a girl had climbed eight stories on the side of the building, jumped in the window and grabbed you in your night clothes."

GEORGE: "No, it's untrue. I heard a noise in the next room, but it was just policeman chasing her around. And she jumped on Ringo, actually."


JOHN: "Remember? When that bird was running 'round the room."

RINGO: "I was chasin' her."


Q: "How many of your records have been sold?"

JOHN: "We were told 83 or 85."

RINGO: "85."

Q: "Million?"

JOHN & PAUL: "Yeah."

JOHN: "It's amazing, isn't it."


RINGO: "And we're still touring."

JOHN: "We hear them every day on the radio."

Q: "What do you do with all the money that you make?"

GEORGE: "I'm going to change all mine into cents, fill up a room and dive in it."

Q: "I'm just curious, just how MUCH money have you made?"

PAUL: "None of us know yet."

RINGO: "We don't know yet."


PAUL: "Our accountant just deals with it, you know."

RINGO: "We can't find HIM at the moment."


Q: "Everywhere you go you get tons of gifts, some good and some bad. Whatever becomes of all this?"

RINGO: "Some of them get shipped to England. If we get cakes and that, we try and get the fella who is promoting the show to give 'em to hospitals, because we can't eat all that cake."

Q: "How about jewelry?"

RINGO: "Well, I've got a caseful, man, if you want to route through it, and see what you like."

Q: "Do you haev any extensive musical training?"

PAUL: "None of us can read or write music."

RINGO: "We're all self-taught."

PAUL: "We've all been to school, you know, I mean... orindary educations."

Q: "Which of you do you consider the best singer, or the best musician?"

JOHN: "Ringo."

RINGO: "Well, I think John's the best."

JOHN: "No, I think you."

RINGO: "No, John."

GEORGE: "We don't consider it."

RINGO: "No, I don't think ANY of us are very good."


Q: "John, there's a report you speak German. How fluent?"

JOHN: "Enough to get 'round in the Reeperbahn in Hamburg."


Q: "With all the traveling that you've had, is there any place in the world that you'd like to return to?"

JOHN: "Britain."

GEORGE: "England."

JOHN: "I'd like to return there."

Q: "On times off, I've read, that you visit children's hospitals. Have you visited any in America?"

RINGO: "No."

JOHN: "We've never visited one at all."

Q: "Well, there's a picture of you in one?"

JOHN: "Where?"

Q: "In a children's hospital."

JOHN: "We've never been to one."

GEORGE: "Oh, we have. While we were making a film, they brought up a lot of orphans to see us."

PAUL: "It was at Easter."

RINGO: "We didn't go there. They..."

PAUL: "We don't normally have TIME."

GEORGE: "We went to one hospital, I think, ages ago. And some girl had hitch-hiked to see us."

PAUL: "Oh yeah."

JOHN: "Yeah, that's right."

GEORGE: "And somebody stabbed her on the way."

JOHN: "That's right, yes. It's true."

Q: "With all your world travels, when do you have time for social activites?"

GEORGE: "When we're not touring. We don't tour all the time."

RINGO: "We don't tour all year 'round, you know."

JOHN: "We tour about half the year."

Q: "As idols of rather impressionable youngsters, do you ever feel a heavy responsibility."


JOHN: "Only towards the press. It's the only time we watch it."

Q: "Are you as closely guarded in England as you are here?"

JOHN & RINGO: "On tour."

RINGO: "When we're not on tour they just leave us alone."

Q: "What do you think of the American press?"

PAUL: "They're quite fair."

RINGO: "They're all nice."

JOHN: (jokingly) "Except for you!"

RINGO & PAUL: (giggling) "Except for you."

JOHN: (giggling) "Can't stand YOU anymore."


YOUNG GIRL: "Paul, I saw a picture of your father and I notice that he has thinning hair."

PAUL: "Mmm-hmm."

RINGO: "But he's 65, what do you expect!"


YOUNG GIRL: "When you're hair starts thinning, what will you do?"

PAUL: (laughs) "Let it thin, you know."

GEORGE: "Grow a beard."

Source: Transcribed by from audio copy of the press conference

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