Beatles Back In UUUK

Beatles Back In UUUK

February 22, 1964

The Beatles flew from sunny warm Miami, to wintry New York, and then to dreary London. Their British Beatlemaniacs swarmed the airport (a time in history when swarming the tarmac was possible) to greet their returning heroes, the conquerors of America. Getting off the plane, they carried a bunch of albums and I’d love to know what they were.

An interview was conducted and during it they refer to meeting Cassius (three syllables) Clay and Sonny Liston. It had been on February 18 that they visited Ali at his training facility. As famous as the Beatles had become, Ali was not that yet. He soon would be. Ali was 22. Ringo and John 23. Paul and George 21. Yikes!

Here’s the transcript from that part of David Colman’s interview.

DC: We’d like to hear what you thought about Mr [Cassius] Clay.

John: Very tall.

Ringo: Oh, he’s a big lad.

Paul: He’s a great laugh, more than anything.  He’s a big lad.

George: He’s gonna get Sonny Liston in three.

John: He said.

Ringo: So he said.

Paul: That’s what he said. I don’t think he will, though.

Beatles Back In UUUK

Beatles Back in the UK

The whole interview is wonderful.  Part of the Beatle charm was their charisma: a delightful sandwich that included some respect, humor, and sarcasm. Among other highlights of the Coleman interview are:

  • an inopportune reference to John’s wife. It was still supposed to be a “secret” that he was married. Such an image fit in better.
  • Coleman asks Paul about “the tastes of fans over there” and John responds “He never bit any.”
  • the difficulty of their concert in Washington, DC
  • Ringo’s use of his “Ringo-ism” Tomorrow never knows. In two years, it will, of course, become the closing title on the Revolver album.
Beatles Back In UUUK

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