Beatles In Hoosierland 1964

Dec 28, 2002

The Bottom Line Looking back on the summer The Fab Four touched down in Indiana--first on the movie screen; then, on a stage at the fairgrounds!

It isn't uncommon for me to start leaving a comment and have it to take on a larger life as a stand-alone piece of writing.

And this is what happened after reading A Hard Days Night, an easy watch day or night. by popsrocks, which can be found by going here:

I was a little over 11 1/2, had just started having periods, and was looking forward to seeing The Beatles live at The Indiana State Fair just about a month later.

My folks worked different shifts then, and my dad took care of me from about five until one in the morning when both of my folks were home--until he left for work the next morning, himself.

So he was the one who loaded up four of my cousins and me into the car and took us to see A Hard Day's Night at The South Drive-In (besides several indoor theaters at that time, we had two drive-ins in Anderson--one on the south side of town and the other on the north side, which was called, not surprisingly, The North Drive-In).

It seemed to everybody as if the projectionist were dragging his feet about getting the movie up on the screen on time, so, soon, car horns began to toot, and people started chanting:

We want The Beatles!!! We want The Beatles!!!

I was seated right beside Daddy at the time, so I reached over and started honking the horn, too, and my cousins and I joined in the chanting.

Then, this grouchy voice came over the little squawkbox, "If you guys don't shut up, I won't run the movie!"

There was a grounds-wide chorus of "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" that we were all wise enough to do a capella instead of with horn-accompaniment. After that, total silence.

Frankly, I think that the clown in charge was probably hoping that we just couldn't control ourselves.

That way, he would have all of our money and could send us all home early and go home, himself, and get some sleep, sex, beer, or whatever floated his boat.

We had to wait a little longer.

Finally, there was at least a little action on the screen instead of simply a blank screen.

"Looks as if the movie's starting, " Daddy commented.

"Yeah," Barbara responded, looking at this little clock ticking off the minutes before showtime to elevator music, "if you can call that a movie!"

I can't remember now if this were followed by what Barbara referred to as "the little moron" or not--but I do remember that she was predicting that it probably would be.

And who was the little moron? He was the animated elf who appeared on the screen and tried to sell concessions by eating in front of us to more elevator music--one item at a time.

I might be wrong, but I'm almost positive that the moron showed up that night, too--followed by a couple of movie trailers.

That projectionist must have been sleepy, horny, and dry (not to mention greedy), because he seemed to be working very hard to inspire a noise-level in patrons where he would have grounds for no-refund dismissal aimed at the sell-out crowd.

But we were all continuing to be little angels, so he was going to have to work for his dinner that night--no going home early to bed, boobs, bootie, and beer!

Of course, back then, I was just too McCartney-innocent to have possessed this Lennon-cynic interpretation of what was going on. But I'm a lot more certain now that this projectionist had a hidden agenda.

Who knows? He might have even invited a new group of suckers in after we had all been kicked off the premises in hopes of raking in some more moo-lah before going home to play!

Finally, he gave up and ran the movie--which began with that famous long-held chord that always sounded to me like the striking of Big Ben.

Before reading popsrocks's review, that's what I'd always assumed that it was supposed to represent instead of simply just a unique way to start an avant garde movie.

At 6, Cathy was the youngest to go with us. The rest of us ranged in age from almost 11 to almost 47 (to be exact: 10, 11, 12, 14, and 46).

Cathy had begged to go with us, even though we'd told her that she would probably go to sleep and miss most of it.

We decided that it wouldn't hurt if she did, so she got to go, too.

As it turned out, only Cathy and I stayed awake during the entire movie, not missing a bit of it!

A month later, she also wanted to go to see the concert, but we only had tickets for my dad, Susie, and me.

She was, of course, disappointed to tears, but was consoled when she was told that she, Barbara, and David would be having a special time at home together.

When I told David that I wished I would be picked out of the audience to go up on stage and sing with The Beatles, he informed me that he heard that being right up on stage with them wouldn't be as great as I might think it would be.

He said that, when sitting in the audience, the music would sound really good--but, up on the stage, it would be so loud that it wouldn't sound like The Beatles, but, instead, like standing next to a jet-plane about to take off.

Of course, he'd never been to a concert before, but this was what he'd heard from some of his friends.

The concert was held outdoors in a small stadium that was primarily used for watching harness-racing.

There were stadium seats, but we had the ones made of folding chairs set out in the field--all that much closer to The Beatles.

Our seats were fairly near the front-row.

Rules had been laid down by the fair board that we were to stay in/by/on our seats and not try to storm the stage--AND we were to remain seated until we were dismissed after the show instead of all stampeding in the direction of The Beatles.

Anyone breaking those rules would be subject to dismissal at the least and arrest at the most.

Of course--though I was willing to obey those rules--I thought they were pretty hoity-toity at the time. Now, though, I can see how necessary they were.

I might be remembering wrong--though I don't think so--but I think that the emcee for the concert was Bouncing Bill Baker from WIBC (1070 on your a.m. dial and now a talk-radio station).

Speaking of WIBC, I could be wrong about this, but it almost seems as if its sister FM station is now my favorite oldies station WGLD (better known as GOLD 104.5).

We first had some chit-chat from the emcee and a warm-up singer. Even though we were anxious to get to The Beatles part of the show, we found Bouncing Bill Baker and the singer very entertaining, too.

Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for arrived!!!

Several of us young girls stood on our chairs screaming!

Being that they were folding chairs, it's surprising that none of them folded, giving us a REAL reason to scream!

As you might expect from a born-stalker, I decided to stand up on my chair just a little bit longer than everybody else.

Besides the dress I was wearing, I also had a sweater, and I took that off and started twirling it around and around in the air while screaming.

And then it happened! George looked in my direction!!!

Whether he could actually see me or not, I don't know--but he certainly knew something was happening out there!

Daddy was able to get my attention, telling me to sit down so the show could start.

I did--and the show started!

Nobody was invited up on stage that night, but these fab studmuffins invited the audience to sing along with them on Can't Buy Me Love.

This was a night that I would always remember!

The year 1964 in general is something I would always remember, too, for a lot of wonderful reasons--but those have been told in past stories and/or will be told in future ones.

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