Love at First Sound: Barbara Fowler Meets the Beatles
The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York)
Originally published September 2, 1964
On special assignment from the Post Standard, Miss Barbara Fowler of 11 Melvin Ave, Cortland, 17 year old senior at Cortland High School, achieved the ambition of her young life Sunday evening when she was admitted to a press conference with the Beatles at Atlantic City Convention Hall. She also was given a picture autographed by each Beatle. Following is the interview she wrote for Beatles fans of this newspaper.
A cloak of mystery and secrecy surrounded the Beatles’ arrival in Atlantic City (I had to interview two men before I was given a pass to get into the press conference).
The events leading up to the concert were many and varied. Most all the girls wore “I love the Beatles” buttons or “I Love Paul” etc. One girl was promenading up and down the boardwalk carrying a huge eight feet in diameter, umbrella, which had inscribed on the back “Vote for Ringo. Yeah Yeah!
Quite a few girls slept overnight on the boardwalk next to the Convention Hall in order to save their place in line. As the afternoon progressed the tension increased and the girls would scream even at the mention of the word “Beatles.”
The press conference was set for 7:30p.m. But because of the tremendous crowd around Convention Hall, Paul, George, John and Ringo were delayed 15 minutes.
They had to assign two burly policemen to each Beatle in order to get them out of their car and into the hall.
The police actually carried each “Beatle” in the hall separately for the press conference.
And then! In walked those handsome, loveable boys: Paul, George, john and Ringo! Everyone started to stand up then everyone climbed onto chairs and tables and anything they could stand on and started talking all at once.
Some of the questions asked were:
Q: Paul, do you have any marriage plans?
A: I have none.
Q: George, what plans do you have for the next year and a half?
A: I don’t know, can’t plan that far ahead.
Q: Ringo, how many rings do you have?
A: 100 I have never touched.
Q: Is it a drag to stay in a hotel room all day?
A: not when you are sleeping (laughter).
Q: Did you appear at the window at the motel at any time?
Q: Would you like to lead a simple life again?
Q: What was the greatest crowd on the tour?
A: 10,000 at Vancouver
Q: How do you feel about the rival groups?
A: We don’t mind at all.
Q: What do you miss must of all since your popularity?
A: Paul: Going on buses. George: There is nothing to do. John: School. Ringo: the movies.
Q: What advice can you give to new groups?
A: Be original
Q: If Luci Baines Johnson wanted to meet you, would you like to meet her?
Q: Who is the oldest?
A: Ringo, he is 24.
Q: What impressed you the most about America?
A: The size.
At the end of the press conference the policemen pushed them through the reporters to their dressing room and the press was then invited to stay for the show at the invitation of George Hamid.
There were four acts before the great Beatles came on and although the other acts were good and the kids clapped and yelled, it was nothing compared to the roar that began with the entrance of the Beatles.
With 18,000 girls screaming at the top of their lungs, one can imagine the din and clamor which still rang in my ears the next morning.
It was so loud that I could only hear the faint drumming of Ringo. Some of the songs they sang were “She loves you”, “Can’t buy me love,” “Boys,” which brought the house down, “things we said today” by Gorgeous George “Long Tall Sally,” “all my Loving” and “A Hard Day’s night.”
Some adults – SOME- all the adults shook their heads either in wonder, disbelief or disgust at the display of emotions. They don’t think the Beatles have anything to scream about.
How wrong can they be? The Beatles are handsome, clean-cut, well-mannered and real sincere boys with a great sense of humor. As for their music – it’s the most.
I for one think they are in to stay for a long time! Right girls? Yeah yeah!