Beatlemania Arrived In Boston 50 Years Ago

By Carl Stevens, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – John Collins was mayor. Tony C. and Yaz played at Fenway Park. And the Beatles took Boston by storm.

Fourteen thousand people squeezed into the Boston Garden that night. But every baby boomer you meet will say they were there.

The Beatles arrived at Hanscom Field in the early morning hours of September 12, 1964.

WBZ’s Gary Lapierre, then a cub reporter, was there.

“That was my first huge event that I covered. And I don’t think I realized at the time how big it was,” Lapierre told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens.

Before the concert, the Beatles “held court” with a press conference at the Hotel Madison, where the group stayed while they were in Boston.

“The questions that were being asked by the media at the news conference were just insane,” Lapierre recalled with a laugh, remembering a reporter asking George Harrison how he drinks his tea.

George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon at a press conference at London Airport, July 2, 1964, (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon at a press conference at London Airport, July 2, 1964, (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

For the record, Harrison’s answer was “Well they give you lukewarm water and a crummy looking tea bag. And you know, you’ve got to try to make that into a cup of tea.”

Cha-Chi Loprete, host of Breakfast with the Beatles on WZLX, said there were plenty of memorable stories to come out of the famous press conference.

“They had their press conference and there were some real great stories of three college kids who used their Yale IDs as a media pass to get into the press conference,” Laprente said.

“So these three college kids who snuck in got to ask questions of the Beatles and they got to take pictures with the Beatles. They actually took cigarette butts out of the ash tray. Ringo questioned one of the students because he had his Polaroid camera. He said, ‘Hey you, are you with the press? Because the press don’t use Polaroid cameras.’”

The college student’s mother eventually made him throw the cigarette butt away.

To mark the anniversary of the show, Boston’s West End Museum will host “The Beatles Invade Boston: 50th Anniversary Celebration.”

The celebration is a full weekend of events dedicated to the historic show, and they will even recreate the press conference.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

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