Friday, February 7, 2014

Watch The Beatles' 1964 JFK Press Conference

Today - Feb. 7, 2014 - is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in America, when they touched down at JFK airport in New York in 1964. After departing the plane, the four lads - Paul, Ringo, George and John - stood before a gaggle of press members, nearly all of whom were completely stumped as to why these guys were causing such a stir.

The video here begins and ends with screaming fans as the Beatles are whisked to and from the press conference. In-between, we first watch the Beatles stand nervously at the front of the room as reporters examine them as if looking at weird zoo animals. Finally, someone begins yelling, "Will you please shut up!" to the reporters, which the lads find amusing.

Soon questions are being shouted at them, and the Beatles begin parrying with great wit and charm.

This clip shows a few minutes of what was about 11 or 12 minutes total of questioning. The adults in the room were completely pre-occupied with the Beatles' haircuts. Ah, those Beatles haircuts - within just a few years, parents would be wishing their kids had hair that short.

It really is remarkable to watch the earliest footage of the Beatles in America, such as this, because it's clear that none of the adults - none of the squares - had any clue that they were witnessing something special. They simply couldn't comprehend why these funny-sounding guys from Liverpool were popular.

That condescending attitude can be seen in a few places in the JFK press conference clip above, but you really get a sense of it if you check out one of our previous posts: The Beatles on American television before 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.

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