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Beatles Greeted by 3,000 Shrieking Teens at Kennedy Airport

Feb. 7, 1964 - The Beatles arrived at Kennedy International Airport today, and more than 3,000 shrieking teenagers stood four deep on the upper arcade at the International Arrivals Building to greet them. Disc jockeys who have an interest in Beatle records had urged the young people to welcome them. The mop-topped quartet has sold 6 million records and earns as much as $10,000 a week for appearances.

An official at Kennedy Airport shook his head and said, “We’ve never seen anything like this here before. Never. Not even for kings and queens.” There were girls, girls, and more girls — whistling girls, screaming girls, singing girls. They held “Beatles, we love you” and “WELCOME” signs. When the Beatles’ plane touched down at 1:20 p.m., the girls chanted: “We want Beatles.”

The Beatles are Paul McCartney, 21; Ringo Starr, 23; George Harrison, 21; and John Lennon, 23. They arrived with their personal manager, one Beatle wife (Mrs. Lennon), two road managers, and a press agent.

Danielle Landau, a 15-year-old from Brooklyn, oohed and aahed as the Beatles left the terminal. “They’re different,” she sighed. “They’re just so different. I mean, all that hair. American singers are soooo clean-cut.”

The Beatles are staying at the Plaza Hotel. They have a 10-room suite and a guard who is on duty 24 hours. They were driven into Manhattan by four limousines — each Beatle had his own Cadillac.

At the Plaza, one of the Beatles sprawled back on a bed, displaying his cow-puncher style boots for the benefit of a photographer. “Oh no, please don’t do that at the Plaza,” pleaded a distraught hotel official. “That’s not the sort of image we want to project.” The Beatle grinned chirpily at her. “Don’t worry, love,” he said. “We’ll buy the bed if you like.”


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