|June Harris interviewed John Lennon and George Harrison just before their first U.S. visit.|
June Harris, Disc, 8 February 1964
TOMORROW (Friday) is B-Day in New York. And in New York. The Beatles mean big business! They will arrive at 1.40 p.m. to be met with an all-stops-out reception at the Kennedy International Airport.As they step out of the Pan Am jet they will be greeted by Capitol Records president Alan Livingston and will be presented with a Gold Disc each for the million-plus sales of their current U.S. number one, «I Want To Hold Your Hand».
Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, will also receive a special gold disc.
The Beatles will then be whisked into the VIP lounge for a reception, before the smart limousines drive them into the city.
Their 10-day trip will be packed with personal appearances, TV shows, interviews, photographic sessions and Press conferences.
Tickets for their Carnegie Hall debut on February 12 – an American national holiday – have all been sold out. The Uline Hall in Washington reports the same frenzied rush for seats.
What does it all mean to the four boys from Liverpool who, a year ago, were content with one hit disc?
Over to George Harrison, who said: «My only problem is wondering how I’m going to pack all my baggage into the 66lb allowance! Worried about our American trip? Not at all! It’s something to look forward to.»
John Lennon can’t wait to get there! «It’s going to be fab,» he told me from Paris. «I know we’re not going to have much time to do anything, but I shall still buy stacks of records. None of us is nervous about our personal appearances or anything like that,» he continued. «The Americans are just going to get exactly the same thing as the British, French and all the rest of them.»
Will The Beatles have a baggage problem? «Not as far as our equipment is concerned,» says George. «We’re not taking our amplifiers, and Ringo’s not taking his drum kit. We’ve been promised the use of everything we need over there.»
But although they’re not particularly worried about America, The Beatles have honoured the trip by having new suits made for their concerts and TV shows.
«They’s light grey,» said John. «Four buttons and a funny kind of pleated back with velvet collars. But other than this, we haven’t gone raving mad buying things for the trip. We just haven’t had time!»