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From Forest Hills Stadium, January 31, 2018:
[…] In preparation for the second concert, The Beatles and their crew got energized with 48 frankfurters and 6 salamis which were provided from Nathan’s Famous of Coney Island. “Many carried huge signs, some up to 15 feet long. Cries of ‘Ringo for President’ filled the air,” said New York resident Laura Schaefer, an August 29 concertgoer who shared her experience with the Brooklyn-based Home Reporter and Sunset News. “The show started and WINS disc jockey Murray the ‘K’ came on stage. He announced such acts as ‘the Exciters,’ ‘The Righteous Brothers,’ and “Jackie De Shannon. Finally The Beatles came on. Girls screamed and threw popcorn, jellybeans, and candy hearts.” She later explained, “The Beatles sang many songs, some from their picture ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ The songs were barely audible, but all the girls reasoned, ‘you can hear them at home on records, but you are only able to see them once.’” She reminisced girls exchanging addresses and crying as the helicopter began transporting them back to Manhattan.
For the two-night engagement, each Beatles set’s duration was 30 minutes, and they exited by helicopter as quickly as they arrived. The Beatles earned $1,500 a minute on average. Police officers had counterfeiters on their radar due to confused seating arrangements, and fire officials charged that if the 500 folding chairs were not removed from the field, a concert would have been blocked. Jazz Clarinetist and bandleader, “King of Swing” Benny Goodman was in the audience, amused at the pandemonium, and felt he never saw anything quite like it in his wildest popularity heyday. Legendary actress Thelma Ritter, who was often spotted near her Forest Hills Gardens home at 65 Greenway Terrace, told the LI Star-Journal, “If I didn’t see it, I’d never believe it.”
A few years ago, an elder West Side Tennis Club member shared one of those unbelievable moments with Linna Hunt, a 47-year Club member and architect. “After The Beatles exited their helicopter which landed on the grass tennis courts, a young female fan quickly chained herself to the helicopter. With plans to fly back with The Beatles after the concert, the Club had to find a chainsaw to extricate her!”
After the concerts ended, the cleanup proved to be no ordinary challenge. The grass was concealed with boards, but Beatles fans managed to leave behind a trail. “I don’t know why, but I think it was a custom for fans to throw jelly beans at Ringo,” said Jim Sheridan, the WSTC groundskeeper for 54 years, who began to reminisce. “I was 14, had working papers, and I was only able to work at certain times, which consisted of no nights or when school was in session. I remember my father lamenting the jelly bean situation, where thousands of jelly beans were tossed all over. Overnight it rained, and there was a gooey mess on the courts the next morning. I also remember some fence damage from having a helicopter land on the grass courts.” […]
Last updated on May 4, 2019