WHILE Beatles fans continue to bask in the afterglow of Paul McCartney’s triumphant concert this past week, 49 years ago today all four of the Beatles stopped, albeit fleetingly, in our fair city.
That’s right. At 2: 05 p. m. on Aug. 18, 1964, the Fab Four first set their Beatle- booted feet in Canada at Winnipeg International Airport. They were greeted by some 1,000 screaming fans.
Intended as a routine 25- minute refuelling stop, word leaked out the Beatles were on board a flight from London to Los Angeles that day to begin their first full North American tour. “Around noon, I got a call from the public relations director for Air Canada who was a good friend of mine,” recalled CJAY TV personality Bob Burns, host of the popular Teen Dance Party. “‘ Get out to the airport for the interview of your life,’ he told me.”
Radio stations CKY and CKRC were also tipped off and announced the imminent arrival of Liverpool’s most famous exports, resulting in a mass of teenagers descended on the airport. Traffic was blocked and the parking lot jammed. As the Pan American Lockheed Electra, dubbed “Jet Clipper Beatles,” taxied to a halt, they unleashed a deafening roar. “We want the Beatles!” With no plans to disembark,