Page 10 - MELODY MAKER - July 11 1964


     It was a dirty lie. Thus John Lennon squashed reports that The Beatles had been shelled by eggs from non-diggers dring their tour of Australia and New Zealand.
     "Let's get the whole thing straight," he urged soon after stepping from the plane at London Airport. "There were six eggs - one in Brisbane, five in Sydney - two tomatoes and one lettuce. They were thrown by a group of students and we met them all later. They said they were idealists, but they didn't seem to me to have and ideals, and they said they didn't like us because we were materialistic, which we are.
     "Anyway, we shook hands and laughed at it. It was, well, just one of those things. But when I read the papers next day, I thought we'd been battered."
     Locating a Beatle in the seething press room of London Airport is rather like looking for an American name in today's hit parade. They're there - but you have to search hard and patiently.
     Through the haze appeared affable George Harrison, distinctly exhausted by a 36-hour flight.
     "So, it's The Animals, is it?" he said. "Good. They're good. Surprised they got there so quickly, though.
     "Well, it's good to be back. It was quite an experience, but we all feel very out of touch after a month away.
     "Australia was all right. But New Zealand - I don't know how to describe it. They're so old-fashioned. Nothing is up to date. The way of life is slow and funny. It's like I imagine England must have been like in the 18th century."
     Asked what was The Beatles' most poular song throughout the tour down under, George looked blank.
     "The screams were the same, so it was impossible to know which song they screamed the most for.
     "The degree of screaming was just the same - the audiences were smaller at some shows than ohers, but the enthusiasm was just as great."
     While interviewers barraged The beatles with queries, Cynthia Lennon - the lone Mrs Beatle - stood alone.
     A fleeting greeting from husband John had been her sole contact with The Beatles even an hour after the plane touched down. "No, I haven't had much time to be lonely," said Cynthia in reply to the inevitable question. "I came down from Liverpool this week - I've been up there a lot of the time, with family."
     "It's good to see John back - and the others. I've been spending a lot of my time having driving lessons. Another dangerous woman driver about to go on the road..."
     There is money and security to compensate, of course, but being the wife of a Beatle has its penalties.
     "We have a flat [in Earls Court] but you should see the outside of the house. It's been scrawled on by people with messages that can't be removed. They're engraved.
     "I know you expect people to find out where we're living, but it's a strange thing to want to do, unless they are really young kids. It's rather hard."

     The bouquet-laden Beatles were by now parrying some very questionable questions from TV interviewers.
     Ringo Starr was asked how he felt, presumably because he rejoined The Beatles in Australia after being in hospital with tonsilitis.
     "I feel fine," replied Ringo. "But you asked me that the day I flew out to record them..."
     About 200 young fans howled at The Beatles' return - a figure which bears harsh comparison with the thousands who usually bring chaos to the airport at a Beatles arrival or departure.
     "Why shouldn't it level off?" asked George. "I think it was bound to - we can't expect the huge crowds all the time. It's bound to quieten down. Couldn't have got much louder!"
     "I think that when we went over to America and there were those fantastic scenes, it was a sort of reaction from British fans generally - not neccesarily Beatles fans. They thought, 'Good ol' Britain - we'll show them Americans.' Now, it's accepted that we've established things for Britain."
     Paul McCartney interceeded: "I think it's dropping off for everyone. It had to."
     The way The Beatles handle a press conference is a regular lesson in sharp practice of the nicest kind.
     "I just need to get away and have some sleep," said Harrison. "It's been a tiring flight. And we need to catch up with what's happening."
     Then, to Bert the chauffeur: "Hey, Bert, hold on for me."
     And away they all went towards London - to bed. Even a Beatle has to sleep.
Ray Coleman

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