martes, 3 de marzo de 2015

Author Ivor Davis to speak on The Beatles 1964 tour
Author Ivor Davis Speaks on The Beatles 1964 Tour at Melvyn's
His book gives an insider's account of the tour that changed America
February 2015

In the background, author Ivor Davis hangs out with George Harrison during The Beatles infamous 1964 tour of America.
In the background, author Ivor Davis hangs out with George Harrison during The Beatles infamous 1964 tour of America.

We all love telling a good story, and Ivor Davis has one walrus of a tale to pass on.

Davis had the unique opportunity to travel with The Beatles on their first American tour almost 50 years ago.

“The amazing thing today, when I go anywhere and talk about The Beatles…people are so fascinated with (them)…were talking about kids to people my age,” he says. “Looking back, I didn’t realize, at the time, how incredible this experience was. It took me a long time to appreciate that I had gone through this experience.”

As a young journalist and Hollywood correspondent for one of the largest newspapers in England, The London Daily Express, Davis had no inkling that the six-week assignment covering a fresh British band across the pond would provide a window into a world that has been speculated upon for generations.

He spent 24/7 with The Beatles on the whirlwind 1964 tour that has made its way into music history. Many people have written about the iconic band. Many have speculated about the behind the scenes antics of these popular musicians, and many a song has been sung about the “Fab Four”…but Davis was there.

His stories, vividly described in his book, The Beatles and Me on Tour, gives a first-hand account of the personalities and activities of the legendary group on the verge of stardom.

“We hung out, we played monopoly while trapped in hotels, and Paul McCartney served me gin and tonics on The Beatles jet,” Davis says. “They made me feel like I was one of the family. I never felt like an outsider.”

Davis is eager to impart some insight into his life with The Beatles as the special guest speaker at Melvyn’s at 6 p.m. March 5 in Palm Springs.

Tidbits like:

• When John Lennon did an impression of Fidel Castro in a Florida Keys hotel room

• When” Dylan gave Ringo a big fat marijuana cigarette”

• When Davis joined the band at the Whisky A Go Go with Jayne Mansfield on Sunset Strip almost 50 years ago.

In addition to his Beatles adventure, Davis’ career took him around the world covering everything from riots and flood to World Cup Soccer. He wrote more than 100 magazine and cover stories and moved to the West Coast to become editor-at-large for Los Angeles Magazine. Davis, now a proud grandfather who likes hanging out with his family, has been a resident of Palm Desert since 2002.

Author Ivor Davis, The Beatles and Me on Tour, 6 p.m. March 5 at Melvyn’s Restaurant. 200 W. Ramon Road, Palm Springs. Reservations: 760-325-2323.
Visit   for more information about Davis and his book.

A collage of newspaper clippings about the Beatles arrival in the US in 1964

Sample Chapter


It was 1964, and I was the slightly wet-behind-the-ears, 25-year-old West Coast correspondent for one of Britain’s biggest newspapers, the London Daily Express—circulation four million daily.
Based in Los Angeles, I had arrived only six months earlier and contracted with the paper’s foreign editor David English to cover, on a freelance basis, an assortment of major breaking news stories. I was the new cockney kid on the Beverly Hills block who was beginning to live his dream of being a real foreign correspondent. Except I wouldn’t be covering significant “serious” news like that of my hero, Edward R. Murrow. My job was to chronicle the vagaries of Hollywood, which ranged from the marriages of Elizabeth Taylor to the divorces of Marlon Brando and Cary Grant.
My dogged reporting on actor Peter Sellers’ series of massive heart attacks after marrying the nubile 21-year-old Swedish starlet Britt Ekland, as well as my work on other assignments that dealt with other British-tinged showbiz shenanigans, impressed David and, after a time, he hired me full-time to be the Express’ man in Hollywood.
So it was in mid-August 1964, when I received an unexpected call. English was on the line with my first big job: To cover, from start to finish, a hot, British rock ’n’ roll group making its first concert tour of North America.
The Beatles had first set foot in America earlier in the year, with two live performances on the country’s most popular variety hour, The Ed Sullivan Show. Their first appearance, on February 9, had made them an instant sensation, drawing 74 million viewers and changing music history forever.
Now I was to witness the repercussions unfold at a 24-city tour, staged over 34 days, to begin that very evening in San Francisco. But it was more than just a ticket to ride; I was to become, not just front row and center for every one of their sold-out concerts, but part of their entourage. The Beatles were in stretch limo Number 1, along with their manager Brian Epstein. I traveled in Number 2, along with press officer Derek Taylor, a reporter from a Liverpool daily newspaper and a writer from one of England’s top musical weeklies. We were flanked by wailing motorcycle escorts, whizzing through the hordes of hysterical fans. On the Beatles’ private jet, we flew from California to Canada, Montreal to Milwaukee, New Orleans to New York.
I lived and ate with the boys. We had adjoining hotel rooms drank, kibitzed and played cards and Monopoly with them into the early hours of the morning, seamlessly integrated into their lives. In addition, I was given the job of ghostwriting a weekly newspaper column for the youngest Beatle, George Harrison. My access to them was unfettered—unheard of in today’s pop music world.
The access didn’t end when they returned to their homes across the Pond. I was also alongside them part of the way the following summer, when they made their second U.S. tour.
I was there when they popped pills and talked candidly about their passions and the things and people that they disliked; when they told war stories; when they moaned about the lousy sound systems and the crappy merchandise sold at stadiums, about their fear of flying and about how they coped with the revolving door of women of all shapes, sizes and ages that came calling.
I was there the night when a scandal in Las Vegas threatened to derail their tour and when gorgeous Hollywood stars came knocking. I was a fly on the wall for their meet-and-greet with the King himself—Elvis Presley—and a wet towel away the night Bob Dylan introduced them to the joys of marijuana.
This book is my very personal invitation to travel back to the Way They Were, my vivid recollection of life back then, when communication was so much simpler, when John Lennon called people “twits”—and twitter was something that only birds did.
It’s my personal, inside tale of what happened on that first, weird and wonderful North American tour—of 34 manic and memorable days.
It was 50 years ago today.
And I was there.

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