Ringo Starr gives a press conference in Sydney, Australia

10.00am, Sunday 14 June 1964 (49 years ago)

Ringo Starr arrived in Sydney on the morning of 14 June 1964, following a long flight from London Airport via San Francisco. He spent less than two hours in the city before catching a connecting flight to Melbourne, where he was reunited with the other Beatles.

At the airport a press conference was held for the assembled reporters. Brian Epstein, The Beatles’ manager, was also present.

Q: Ringo, welcome to Australia. How do you feel about being here?

Ringo: Oh, it’s great. It’s good fun, you know. I’m glad I’m off that plane.

Q: How long have you been on it?

Ringo: Thirty-four hours.

Q: Well, you must be… just about had it.

Ringo: No, I had a sleep, you know. I feel fine. Fit and everything.

Q: How’s your throat now that they put you in hospital and made you miss the start of the Australian tour?

Ringo: The throat’s fine now, you know. Everything’s all right. It’s fine. Just gotta take it easy a few days and then we’ll be back to normal.

Q: You’re still able to bash the drums?

Ringo: Oh yeah. Still bash ‘em.

Q: And have you missed the other boys?

Ringo: Yeah, terrible! Haven’t half-missed you, fellas, if you’re watching… or if you do watch.

Q: You’re looking forward to joining up with them this afternoon?

Ringo: Yeah, can’t wait. ‘Cause, you know, we’ve been together, you know, for 90 years. For so long, I don’t know. It’s funny being without them. ‘Cause even if, you know, when we’re not playing, if we go out, at least two of us go out together as a rule. So it’s a bit funny being on your own.

Q: Can you give us a look at these rings which you got your name from?

Ringo: There you go.

Q: They say that fans have sent you a lot.

Ringo: Not too many actually. No. I haven’t got 2,671 as some reporter wrote.

Q: What are you looking forward to most seeing in Australia?

Ringo: I don’t know. Everything in general, you know. Glad to see a few Maoris and that. And a few kangaroos, I suppose.

Q: And Brian, coming over to you. Can you tell us when you first met The Beatles?

Brian Epstein: Oh, 1961. October, I think.

Q: And whereabouts did you see them?

Brian: In the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

Q: And what did you think when you first saw them?

Brian: Oh, I was sufficiently knocked out.

Ringo: Load of rubbish, that’s what you told me.

Q: And what was the next step from there?

Brian: Well, then we got to know each other and eventually worked out a bit of idea of management. (To Ringo) See?

Ringo: I know. I was away at the time, you see, I joined later… after Brian.

Q: At any time did you have a feeling that you might reach this dizzy height of success that you…

Brian: No. Well, I don’t know about the dizzy height, but I always thought they were going to be pretty big. Very big.

Q: What’s the hardest problem you encounter trying to manage the Beatles?

Brian: Well, none really. But I think traveling around and going around the world and making arrangements for moving around is the most difficult thing, ’cause you don’t know what’s going to happen.

Q: Do you have any trouble keeping them in control? Do they try and escape from you?

Brian: Oh no. No no no no no.

Ringo: Never! never!

Q: And on the subject of money, how do you go about financing their weekly pocket money? What happens about that?

Brian: They get, you know, whatever they want from their earnings, and their earnings go into their own company.

Q: And Ringo, do you miss anything now being a Beatle, or do you think you’ve got everything now?

Ringo: Um, no. I don’t miss anything, you know. Well, I can’t remember. I just have a good time. It’s good fun, you know.

Q: Yesterday in Adelaide, the three were talking about what they were gonna do when they weren’t Beatles. And they said you were going to open a chain of women’s hairdressing salons. Is that correct?

Ringo: Yes. Well, I thought of that a few months ago, you know, so I’m still thinking about it. But I could change. Oh, I could change, you know.

Q: Is there anything that you’d like to ask about Australia?

Ringo: Ask about? No, I don’t think so. Seems quite nice to me.

Q: So, it was quite a good reception.

Ringo: It was a marvelous reception, I loved it. How many were there?

Q: I think it was about three or four thousand.

Ringo: There you go! Seven, he said!

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