Saturday, February 28, 2009

Police Fans

What was most impressive was the way people who professed to be anti-Beatle people could be won over. A police inspector at Southend was bemoaning his fate at having to supervise traffic conditions there and said: "What are they, these Beatles? They just make a lot of noise and they can't even sing." Later in the evening he had a few words with them, soon joined in the general joking . . . and ended up surreptitiously asking for their autographs.

At Southend as at other places, the security was tightened up as far as possible. And there were questions from ratepayers as to whether it was money well-spent. Fair enough--this was a matter of local politics and local interest. But the boys hated being dragged into all the controversy. But the TV cameramen moved in and pumped them. Said Paul, perhaps the most diplomatic: "Look we don't ask for it all, you know. If the authorities think it is safer to lay on extra police, you can't blame us. We just don't want anybody to get hurt--especially the fans."

We talked with the boys about what they wanted to do in the year ahead. It's interesting to see now how much has come true.

They were all interested in the works of the Oxford Committee For Famine Relief and had been having picture sessions for the charity's newspaper and poster campaign. Of course, they don't get much free time--but they certainly did throw themselves into this charity work when they could.

Ringo admitted he wanted to learn all the dances, specially the new imports from the States. In fact, he was, even then, probably the best dancer of all the Beatles, but he reckoned he was too shy and too reserved to show off his talents. Paul, however, persuaded him into a short demonstration of the Hully Gully. Everybody applauded . . .

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