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Beatles Interviews Database: Beatles Press Conference & Interview: Amsterdam 6/5/1964
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In early June of 1964, the Beatles were set for a summer tour of Denmark, Holland, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. But on June 3rd, the morning before the tour, Ringo collapsed during a photo shoot. The Beatles were at Prospect Studios in Barnes, London with `Saturday Evening Post' photographer John Launois when it became apparant that Ringo's health was in jeopardy. Ringo was immediately taken to University Hospital in London where it was discovered that he had a high fever and severe tonsillitis.

With Ringo resting in the hospital, it was decided by Brian Epstein that the tour should not be cancelled. Brian convinced the other three Beatles to reluctantly agree, and Jimmy Nicol was hired as a substitute drummer.

On June 5th, the three Beatles and Jimmy Nicol exited Denmark for Holland, arriving in Amsterdam. The group held a press conference at Schiphol Airport in the VIP Room. A very short audio clip and also a separate short video clip of the June 5th press conference at Schiphol Airport survives. Following the press conference, a brief interview was filmed at Doelen Hotel in Amsterdam with a reporter who asks each of the Beatles some brief questions as he gets their autographs. The text of the surviving press conference clips and the interview are presented below.

Before their performances on June 6th, the group climbed aboard the Royal Yacht, taking a boating tour of Amsterdam's canals. The shores and bridges were swarming with Beatlemaniacs -- the more out of control fans jumping into the channel and swimming toward the boat that carried the Beatles. John and Paul attempted to physically protect a few of the fans from the Amsterdam police, who were brandishing hard rubber police clubs. As the craft passed under bridges, the Beatles were showered with gifts from the fans above. Due to the crowds and general chaos, the Beatles arrived late for the first of their two shows in Blokker at Veilinghal.

                                          - Jay Spangler,


PAUL: (pointing out each of the Beatles in order) "Jimmy, Paul, George, and John."

JOHN: (pointing to no one) "...Ringo."

Q: (asks question about miming to recordings for television appearances)

JOHN: "We've done more live performances than mimed. But the technicians are so bad that..."

GEORGE: "The London Palladium and the Ed Sullivan Show."

JOHN: "...and they've all been lousy because the technicians are stupid."

Q: "Are they."

PAUL: "Well, they're not ALL stupid, but often..."

JOHN: "They can only do big bands, you know."

PAUL: "The thing is, they're trained. They've been trained, say, twenty years with big bands and orchestras. And they can get THEIR sound perfectly. But when we come on with amplifiers and things it's very hard for them to get the sound, I think."

Q: "Is there any news about Ringo Starr?"

PAUL: "He's not feeling too bad. We don't know much about it."

GEORGE: "We're expecting him to join us on Sunday."

JOHN: "Wednesday, we heard."

GEORGE: "Sunday... to go to Hong Kong."

Q: "The doctors didn't allow him to come with you?"

JOHN: "'Til when? I heard it was 'til next Wednesday."

GEORGE: "Well, it's supposed to be Sunday."


Q: "Could I have your autograph, please?"

JOHN: "Yes, certainly. Have you got a pen?"

Q: "You're John Lennon, aren't you?"

JOHN: "Yes, that's me. John Lennon."

Q: "What do you think of the reception here in Holland?"

JOHN: "Very good, it was. Very good, yes."

Q: "Is it comparable to Copenhagen?"

JOHN: "Yes it is."

Q: "What do you think of Copehagen?"

JOHN: "It's beautiful. (sings) 'Cooo-penhagen.'"

Q: (to Paul) "And this is George..."

PAUL: "Paul McCartney, yes."

Q: "Paul McCartney."

PAUL: "Made a mistake again, hey?"

Q: (jokingly) "No, no. I never make a mistake."

PAUL: (laughs)

Q: (noticing Paul's left-handed autograph) "You're a left-handed guitar player too?"

PAUL: "Yes... Actually, it's done by mirrors."

Q: "By mirrors?"

PAUL: "If you watch me in that mirror, I'm right-handed."

Q: "You're right-handed..."

PAUL: "It's amazing, really."

Q: (to Jimmy Nicol) "How does it feel to travel with royalty?"

JIMMY: (giggling) "Marvelous. Yeah, very good."

Q: "Had you expected a reception like that?"

JIMMY: "I haven't seen anything like that before."

Q: "Are you going on with the Beatles to the Far East?"

JIMMY: "It's not settled yet."

Q: "Depends on Ringo's health."

JIMMY: "Yeah. It depends on whether he makes it."

Q: (to George) "Do you think you can keep it up -- that tremendous success you have?"

GEORGE: "I dunno."

Q: "You're trying hard, aren't you."

GEORGE: "Yeah."

(Beatles laugh at George's lack of elaboration)

Q: "Thank you, and all the best of luck."

Source: Transcribed by from video and audio clips of the press conference, and video copy of the filmed interview

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