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!
Also on this day...
- 2014: Ringo Starr live: Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, Connecticut
- 2013: Paul McCartney live: Bonnaroo Festival
- 2011: John Lennon autographed Double Fantasy sells for £23,000
- 1969: Television: John Lennon and Yoko Ono on The David Frost Show
- 1967: Recording: All You Need Is Love
- 1966: Recording: Here, There And Everywhere
- 1965: Recording: I’ve Just Seen A Face, I’m Down, Yesterday
- 1965: US album release: Beatles VI
- 1964: Ringo rejoins The Beatles in Australia
- 1963: Live: Mersey Beat Showcase, Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.