The Beatles’ American invasion begins

Q: Do you know American slang? Are you for real?

Paul McCartney: For real.

John Lennon: Come and have a feel.

Q: Aren’t you afraid of what the American Barbers’ Association is going to think of you?

Ringo Starr: Well, we run quicker than the English ones, we’ll have a go here, you know.

Q: Listen, I got a question here. Are you going to get a haircut at all while you’re here?

The Beatles: No!

Ringo: Nope.

Paul: No, thanks.

George Harrison: I had one yesterday.

Ringo: And that’s no lie, it’s the truth.

Paul: It’s the truth.

Q: You know, I think he missed.

John: Nope.

George: No, he didn’t. No.

Ringo: You should have seen him the day before.

Q: What do you think your music does for these people?

Paul: Er…

John: Hmm, well…

Ringo: I don’t know. It pleases them, I think. Well, it must do, ’cause they’re buying it.

Q: Why does it excite them so much?

Paul: We don’t know, really.

John: If we knew, we’d form another group and be managers.

Q: What about all this talk that you represent some kind of social rebellion?

John: It’s a dirty lie. It’s a dirty lie.

Q: What do you think of Beethoven?

Ringo: Great, especially his poems. (Muttering to the others) I’m sick of that one.

Q: Have you decided when you’re going to retire?

John: Next week.

Paul: No.

John: No, we don’t know.

Ringo: We’re going to keep going as long as we can.

George: When we get fed up with it, you know. We’re still enjoying it.

Ringo: Any minute now.

Q: After you make so much money, and then…

The Beatles: No.

George: No, as long as we enjoy it, we’ll do it. ’cause we enjoyed it before we made any money.

After the press conference The Beatles were asked to say their names in the order in which they were standing at the microphones, as their individual names were still largely unknown to the American press.

Upon leaving JFK Airport, McCartney, Harrison and Starr got into a limousine, while John and Cynthia Lennon took another. Brian Epstein, Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans had to hail a taxi to get to their hotel in Manhattan.

I remember, for instance, the great moment of getting into the limo and putting on the radio, and hearing a running commentary on us: ‘They have just left the airport and are coming towards New York City…’ It was like a dream. The greatest fantasy ever.

The group and their entourage were staying at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. The scenes there were as chaotic as those at the airport, with hundreds of fans being held back by the police, 20 of which were mounted on horseback.

The Beatles at the Plaza Hotel, New York, 7 February 1964

That evening a near-constant stream of guests visited The Beatles in their 10-room, 12th-floor Presidential suite, including The Ronettes, Murray the K, and George Harrison’s sister Louise, who lived in Illinois.

At 6pm that evening The Beatles gave a telephone interview to BBC presenter Brian Matthew, to be broadcast on the next day’s radio show Saturday Club.

The Beatles’ first trip to America was filmed, not only by assembled crews from various television outlets, but by a team inside the entourage. A documentary was being directed and produced by brothers David and Albert Maysles, co-funded by Granada Television in the UK and with Brian Epstein’s NEMS company retaining some editorial control.

The Maysles took cameras virtually everywhere during The Beatles’ two weeks in America, providing a unique and insightful document of the unfolding events. These included scenes from inside their hotel suite and limousines, rehearsals for The Ed Sullivan Show, inside JFK Airport, Murray the K broadcasting, and The Beatles in Washington DC and Miami Beach.

Last updated: 3 March 2023
UK EP release: All My Loving
Radio: Saturday Club
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

Latest Comments

  1. richard hubbard Tuesday 7 February 2012
    • brian Thursday 9 February 2012
      • Joe Thursday 9 February 2012
      • Renee Decker Friday 7 June 2013
        • MikeP Monday 29 January 2018
          • Brad Crystal Saturday 28 November 2020
      • Bruce Tuesday 7 February 2017
  2. Pat Friday 8 February 2013
    • John Monday 3 February 2014
  3. justconn2 Monday 3 February 2014
    • julia sidford Tuesday 4 February 2014
    • andrew parks Saturday 15 February 2014
    • Free Manz Wednesday 5 November 2014
  4. jimbo Tuesday 4 February 2014
  5. Dan McK Thursday 6 February 2014
  6. rick Friday 7 February 2014
  7. Cheron Miller Friday 7 February 2014
    • J Nagarya Monday 17 August 2015
  8. Jack Kelley Saturday 8 February 2014
  9. Elizabeth Wednesday 6 January 2016
    • Julian Friday 8 January 2016
  10. WILLIAM G DECOSTE Sunday 8 May 2016
  11. Lester Miller Wednesday 17 January 2018
  12. Carl Dante Friday 7 February 2020
  13. Candlestick Parker Monday 11 January 2021
  14. Rebecca Salvi Monday 7 February 2022
  15. David Voros Thursday 8 February 2024

Leave a Reply