The Beatles’ flight from Auckland to Dunedin was marred by a bomb scare before take-off. An anonymous tip-off suggested a ‘germ bomb’ had been placed on board the aeroplane, causing an anxious flight for the passengers.
Fortunately there were no problems, and their aeroplane was greeted by thousands of fans at Dunedin International Airport. One again, however, the police presence was inadequate for coping with The Beatles’ popularity, with only three officers allocated to the New City Hotel where they were staying.
The police had left just a three-foot hole in the barrier outside the hotel, and The Beatles only managed to escape from the fans thanks to the assistance of their road crew Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans. John Lennon lost a clump of hair in the struggle and Paul McCartney’s face was scratched.
Once, in New Zealand, it was a bit rough, too, and I thought a big clump of my hair had definitely gone; and I don’t mean just a bit. I was halfway on the ground and I thought, ‘Hello, it must be like a raid when you get crushed.’ They’d put about three policemen on patrol for about three or four thousand kids and refused to put any more on: ‘We’ve had all sorts here. We’ve seen them all.’ And they did see them all – as we crashed to the ground!
In the evening The Beatles performed two concerts at Dunedin’s Town Hall, each of which was seen by 4,000 fans. They were The Beatles’ only live shows in the city.
Also on this day...
- 2010: Paul McCartney live: the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
- 2009: Paul McCartney pays tribute to Michael Jackson
- 2004: Paul McCartney live: Glastonbury Festival
- 1968: Recording: Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
- 1968: George Harrison produces Jackie Lomax’s Sour Milk Sea
- 1967: Recording, mixing: All You Need Is Love
- 1966: Live: Ernst Merck Halle, Hamburg
- 1965: Live: Palazzo dello Sport, Genoa, Italy
- 1964: US album release: A Hard Day’s Night
- 1963: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Newcastle
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.