Press Conference in New York City (1964, August 28)
|Q: "It's been said that the Beatles are a threat to public safety. Could you give me your reaction to that, any one of you?"
John: "Well, we're no worse than bombs, are we."
Q: "Could you repeat the question?"
M.C: "It has been said that the Beatles are a threat to public safety. What do the Beatles feel about it?"
Q: "Speak up."
Ringo: (yells) "Rubbish!!"
Q: "What differences do you find between the reception you get here in this country and abroad?"
John and Ringo: (together) "There's just more people over here."
Q: "Paul, it's not different in any way?"
Paul: "Well, it's a little bit wilder, because there are more people."
Q: "Who do you like for President?"
Paul: "Ringo - and Johnson's second choice."
Q: "If your fame subsides, will you cut your hair?"
Paul: "Well, we had our hair like this before the fame... what's the opposite of subside? Upsided!? You know, so we won't bother changing it."
Q: "Did you boys come to the Delmonico (hotel) because they weren't asked back to the Plaza?"
Paul: "I don't know."
Q: "As seriously as you can, how do you account for the type of reception you get?"
Paul: "We can't account for it, you know. We..."
Q: "It's been going on for quite a few months now. You must have some ideas about why people like you."
Paul: "No we don't, you know. Really - no idea."
Ringo: "We can't tell. It's impossible.
Paul: "Probably a combination."
John: "Mainly the music. That comes first, and we come after."
Q: "Do you think that's more important than your personalities, and your..."
John: "Well I mean, people heard us playing on records before they saw us. They see you after you've made the record, you know."
Paul: "and anyway, if we made very bad records..."
Paul: "...I'm just saying that 'cuz you probably think they're bad anyway. But I mean, if we made very bad records then we'd definitely be finished."
Q: "The question was asked before about whether you intend to leave the Beatles. It brings up the question of what are you going to do when the day of the Beatles' fame is over. You've written a book which was quite successful. Do you intend to keep on writing, for instance?"
John: "Yeah, I'll do it anyway, you know, whether we're famous or not. I did it before we were famous, so I'll do it after we're famous."
Paul: "He's doing it..."
Q: "What about the rest of you?"
Paul: "Well, John and I, if he's not writing too much, will probably carry on songwriting. Because it's... You know, we don't look upon it as a business. It's a hobby more than anything, so we'll probably carry on."
Q: "What about films? You've had quite a success in this first one."
Paul: "Well you know, if we get a chance to do more films, and if people still want to see us in films, then we'll probably do it, but we've got no plans."
Q: "What do The Beatles think of the topless bathing suits?"
Paul: "We've been wearing 'em for years!"
Q: "Does George feel that he's not as popular as the others?"
John: "He goes a bum in Sweden."
George: "Not really. and, you know, it didn't really bother me. As long as the group's popular."
Paul: "He is popular, anyway."
Q: "Some of your more lively fans outside say that they're going to switch to the Rolling Stones, because they say that the Beatles didn't wave from the window. I would like your comment."
John: "Well, if they're gonna leave us just for that, they may as well go anyway, you know."
(laughter and applause)
Paul: "No but anyway, we were told as soon as we got here last night, by the police, don't look out of the windows and don't wave. and if we do that, you know, then we get the police chief coming up and saying, (American accent) 'Well, we're finished, boys!' and he goes away and he won't look after us, you know. So we can't do anything."
Q: "Does your fame go beyond the Iron Curtain?"
Paul: "Don't know."
John: "You never hear about it over there."
Q: "Lots of people in the back have been asking this question - Do you like America?"
John: "We wouldn't be here if we didn't like it."
Ringo: "Yes, we do."
Q: "What will the Beatles do after this calms down?"
John: (to the others) "They keep saying that every two minutes."
Ringo: "I don't know, you know. We just keep going and see what happens. I haven't planned anything."
Q: "Ringo, your taste in music has been said to be from R&R to C&W, does it go any farther than that?"
Paul: (to Ringo) "Folk?"
Ringo: (to Paul) "Well, what's C&W?"
Paul: (to Ringo) "Not folk."
Ringo: "Well, I look at it..."
Q: "In their film, they have some coat hangers marked 'Hotel Corporation of America.' Where did they get them from?"
John: "I didn't even see them."
Ringo: "Props. We don't get them."
John: (laughs) "I never even noticed."
Q: "The airport police were quite concerned about some oversized roughnecks who tried to infiltrate the crowd."
Paul: "That was us!"
Q: "They took a rifle away from one of the boys, it turned out later to be a dud, anyway. But I wonder what kind of insurance you fellas carry, and how difficult is it for you to get insurance when you go into these towns where you're obviously going to be mobbed?"
Paul: (jokingly) "Which company do you represent?"
Ringo: "We are insured."
John: "Somebody insured us. I don't... we don't know anything about it. We just signed the paper, you know."
Ringo: "But who wants a rich mother?"
Q: "What do the Beatles plan to do on their leisure time while they're in New York?"
John: "What leisure time?"
Q: "What's your itinerary for Sunday?"
John: "Don't know."
Ringo: "Where are we playing?"
Q: "I mean, what time are you gonna leave for Atlantic City?"
M.C: "Very secret."
John: "Is it?"
Q: "Have you changed your style any since you began, to now? Still playing the same way, the same kind of..."
John: "Basically we're playing the same, you know. It changes a bit. Your recording style changes, you know, 'cuz..."
Q: "What message are you trying to get across, if any?"
John: "We're not trying to get any message across."
Q: "To entertain?"
Ringo: "Yeah, we just play 'cuz we like it."
Paul: "We're just singing songs, you know. We're not doing anything more. Not preaching or anything."
Q: "George, what are you going to do after this dies down?"
John: (amazed, to the others) "They keep saying this every two minutes!"
George: "Well, as Ringo just said, we've been asked that one before."
Ringo: (jokingly) "As John just said. Don't get ME into trouble."
Q: "Would the Beatles have been as successful if Ringo had not replaced Pete Best?"
John: "Probably not - We might have made good, you know. We might have sold. I don't know. You cant tell, you know."
Q: "Was any part of The Beatles' movie improvised by yourselves?"
John: "A bit of it was. But even when we improvised something, you have to do take eleven - so by the time you'd finished it wasn't improvised at all, you know."
Q: "What do you think of (presidential hopeful) Barry Goldwater?"
Paul: "I don't know alot about him, but I just heard him say once that extremism is a virtue, and I just thought that was a bit mad, you know."
Q: "George, do you like the Delmonico?"
Q: "A psychiatrist at one of your concerts in Seattle said the effect on the children - 14,000 kids in there - he called it unhealthy, and he said you had a neurotic effect. How do you feel about this?"
John: "It was probably him that was unhealthy, watching it."
Q: "John, how would you describe yourself in one word?"
John: "I don't know."
John: (giggling) "'John' yeah. Thank you."
Q: George, you had an incident the other night with a photographer on the west coast. Do you find that the frenzy that surrounds your life makes your tempers wear thin?"
George: "No. I was in very high spirits that evening, and I just thought I'd baptize him."
M.C: "and one from the child right here."
Q: "Ringo, did you like, uhh.... I was looking in a magazine - Did you like the snowball fight?"
Ringo: "Well it was set up, really. It's good fun, though."
John: "Don't destroy his illusions, he loves 'em!"
Q: "Have you been to Disneyland?"
John: "No. I don't even know where it is."
M.C: "This is the last question."
Q: "Are you people going to appear at the World's Fair? and how long are you staying in New York?"
Ringo: "We're not going to the World's Fair, and we're here till Sunday."
Q: "Are you coming back?"
John: "Oh yeah. We come back."
M.C: "They return to New York I think, on September 20th, for a Gala Charity Show at the Paramount Theatre. Very expensive... and it's booked up."
Q: "How long are you staying in the United States?"
John: "All together, I think it's thirty days."
Paul and John: (singing) "'...for thirty days.'"
Source: Video and audio recordings of the press conference