After almost two weeks apart from the group due to his tonsillitis and pharyngitis, Ringo Starr finally rejoined The Beatles in Melbourne, Australia.
After holding a press conference at Sydney Airport with manager Brian Epstein, Starr flew to Essendon Airport in Melbourne. There were large crowds already waiting, as the other three Beatles were due to arrive five hours later.
I hated to leave the other three. I followed them out to Australia and there were people at the airport, but I was on my own and just automatically I looked round for the others. I couldn’t stand it. I met up with them in Melbourne. The flight was horrendous. It still is – they may have shaved a couple of hours off the flight, but it’s still a hell of a long way. I remember the plane felt like a disaster area to me.
It was fabulous in Australia, and of course, it was was great to be back in the band – that was a really nice moment. And they’d bought be presents in Hong Kong.
Three thousand fans were at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Hotel when Starr and Epstein arrived. Ringo was taken in on the shoulders of Police Inspector Mike Patterson, who unfortunately tripped and fell as he attempted to pass through the crowd.
Meanwhile, the other three Beatles left their Adelaide hotel at 12.15 and flew to Melbourne on a chartered Ansett ANA Fokker Friendship. They were greeted by a crowd of 5,000.
At the hotel, meanwhile, there were so many people hoping to catch a glimpse of them that army and navy troops were called in.
The Beatles were given a police escort of 12 motorcyclists during their route into Melbourne at 4pm. They were driven into a garage entrance at the Southern Cross and a police car pulled up at the front as a diversion. A scene of mayhem ensued, with 300 police officers and 100 military personnel attempting to keep the crowd at bay.
More than 150 girls fainted, and 50 people were hospitalised with injuries. To calm the crowd The Beatles were asked to wave from their first floor windows.
After all four Beatles had been reunited they held – along with stand-in drummer Jimmie Nicol – a press conference. In the evening they held a party, without Nicol, until 4am.