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Beatles Interviews Database: Beatles Press Conference: Pittsburgh, 9/14/1964
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On September 14th 1964, the Beatles arrived in Pittsburgh with 4,000 screaming teenage fans greeting them at the airport. The Beatles held the following press conference just before their performance in front of a crowd of 12,500 at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena.

Also on this day, Beatles' manager Brian Epstein rejoined their entourage, flying into Pittsburgh from London so he could attend the final sweep of cities along their 1964 North American Tour.

Following the concert in Pittsburgh, the Beatles party flew onward to Cleveland Ohio.

                                          - Jay Spangler,

Q: "How about the wear and tear on the clothes, boys? How many different sets of what did you have to bring?"

PAUL: "A couple of suits, you know. A few shirts. A couple of ties. A few pair of shoes."

JOHN: "We always bring them with us anyway. The only things that we lose are things that are stolen."

Q: "You have a lot of things stolen?"

JOHN: "A few odd things."

Q: "Do you ever wish your association with the crowd could be a little different so you could meet more of your fans?"

PAUL: "Yes, but we don't get much of a chance, really. Sometimes we do."

JOHN: "We meet more fans than people imagine."

Q: "What do you like for women's fashions?"

PAUL: "I like long hair, you know. And modern-type clothes. You know what I mean... European modern-type."

Q: "Gentlemen, I would like your reaction to the Civic Arena in which we're located. Did you see the outside?"

BEATLES: "Yeah!"

GEORGE: "Is this the place that can be changed into an open-air?"

Q: "The roof opens up."

JOHN: "Very good. Good idea, that. I hope they don't lift the roof while we're playing."

(reporters chuckle)

PAUL: "So do I."

Q: "How do you compare British and American audiences?"

PAUL: "They're all just as good as each other, you know."

Q: "How do you prefer for your fans to act at your concerts?"

PAUL: "However they feel like, you know."

JOHN: "They can stand in their seats or keep them. We always do the same no matter what happens. We still carry on."

Q: "Ringo, there's a rumor that you're running for president. Do you have any comment on that?"

RINGO: "No, I'm not running."

Q: (to Ringo) "When will you be getting your tonsils out? Will it be before the end of the current tour?"

RINGO: "Umm, there's nothing wrong with them now. The doctor just wants them out in case the start causing any trouble. It'll be before the end of the year, most probably. It won't be in America. It'll be in England."

Q: "After the success you had with your first film, would you ever consider making a film in America?"

GEORGE: "Anywhere."

PAUL: "The thing is, the natural place for American people to make films is Hollywood, and it's unnatural for us to come all the way over here when we've got the same facilities in England. It's more a prestige thing to make a film in Hollywood... not any real need to do it. And it's much cheaper and easier to do it in England for us."

Q: "Is it because you think the British filmmakers do a better job?"

GEORGE: "Well, Dick Lester (director of A Hard Day's Night) is American, and the producer (Walter Shensen) is American too."

Q: "How do you fellas go about writing your songs?"

JOHN: "We sit down in a room and just pick up a guitar or any convenient thing."

PAUL: "Then I go-- (comical singing) 'Mmmm-hmm-hmm-hmm.'"


JOHN: "Sometimes Ringo and I go-- (comic melodic whistling)

Q: "Would you repeat that?"

PAUL: "Yes. 'Mmmm-hmm-hmm-hmm.'"

Q: "What is the secret to your success and acceptance all over the world?"

JOHN: "No secret - that makes us just ordinary, you know."

RINGO: "We don't know."

PAUL: "Really, it's very hard to work out."

Q: "Now that you're actors, who is your favorite actor?"

JOHN: "I haven't got a favorite."

PAUL: "Paul Newman. Marlon Brando."

GEORGE: "Peter Sellers."

PAUL: "Sophie Tucker."


JOHN: "She's got a good act."

Q: "Paul, who writes the lyrics and who writes the melodies?"

PAUL: "We like to write them both. I mean uhh, as I say, sometimes I go Mmmm-hmm-hmm."

JOHN: "Sometimes..."


PAUL: "There's no formula at all. For instance, John can write a complete song."

JOHN: "Thanks."

PAUL: "He's clever like that. Or I can write one, you know... or else we just write a line of words AND music each. It's mad. In fact, we've never written a song like that where one of us has done the words and one of us done the music. All these mad ways of doing it, you know."

Q: "I understand there is a so-called pirate radio ship off the shores in Britain playing more of a wider music variety than is otherwise available."

PAUL: "It's a bit more like American radio than they have in Britain."

JOHN: "And it's going well, you know."

PAUL: "...and it's got commercials, too."

Q: "Is Ringo going to sing lead on more records?"

RINGO: "Well no, you know. It's just... one an album is me."

Q: "Do the Beatles feel any serious competition from the other groups?

JOHN: "No. If you're talking about Dave Clark, where's the competition?"

PAUL: "There's more competition really in Elvis Presley, as far as his record sales go."

Q: "How is it do you think that all the incorrect rumors get started, like Paul's marriage and so forth?"

JOHN: "It's magazines that don't really get interviews ever, and just make things up completely."

GEORGE: "And so they make something up about Paul and with a good headline on the front of the paper to sell more copies."

JOHN: "I mean, my activities get written up as, 'Ringo Asks John To Share Wife.' That was the lead-in to the story."


PAUL: "And there are one or two sort of journalists that used to have big columns... they're not read so much now. Not naming anyone."

Q: "When do you anticipate you'll be back in the states for another tour?"

JOHN: "It might be next year, we don't know."

Q: "What do you think was the turning point that brought about your success?"

PAUL: "The turning point was probably stepping up to Brian Epstein as our manager."

Q: "Was there any particular happening that signaled you were on your way?"

PAUL: "I think the Royal Variety Performance in England when we played for the Queen."

Q: "How long were you together before that?"

JOHN: "Years."

PAUL: "Quite a long time. We've known each other from school days. As a group we'd only been together a couple years, but John and George and I have been together..."

Q: "Why did you write the song (Bad To Me) for Billy J. Kramer?"

JOHN: "We just did it because we'd known him."

PAUL: "And he wanted a song to record and we had one. We... like with Peter and Gordon."

JOHN: "And the Rolling Stones, we wrote one for them."

PAUL: "It's just whoever wants a song, if we've got one handy."

Q: "John, is it true that some lines in the film (A Hard Day's Night) were changed?"

JOHN: "Only the ones, you know, where we felt embarassed saying... There were some bits in it that we just couldn't say - we'd curl up saying it. We all put a few things in, you know."

PAUL: "And we also talked with the author (screenwriter Alun Owen), you know, months before it - he came 'round to get the feel of it."

GEORGE: "In the beginning he wrote in a lot of things that we told him about, like the fella in the train compartment."

JOHN: "That was real. That happened, you know."

Q: "What about souvenirs on this tour?"

PAUL: "You mean that we've got?"

JOHN: "We've got a couple of good presents from fans."

PAUL: "Yes."

JOHN: "Leather wallet and a leather cigarette case. We all got them from a couple of fans! ...which we've kept. Very good."

PAUL: "We've got plaques and things. And we got an album of our concert at the Hollywood Bowl which Capitol (records) made for us as a souvenir."

JOHN: "It's lousy, but it's a souvenir, you know."

Source: Transcribed by from audio copy of the press conference

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