Everybody Has a Story: Bowled over by chance encounter with The Beatles

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In 1964, we were suddenly invaded by the British! My high school friends and I were going nuts over the Fab Four from across the pond! The Beatles were on all the rock stations, and when we heard them, we wanted to sing along and jump up to dance!

We got to see them on Sunday night, Feb. 9, on the Ed Sullivan show. It was more exciting than when Elvis first made it big! At the senior prom that year, the DJ played some Beatles hits.

We had just graduated from high school when it was advertised that The Beatles were going to be at the Hollywood bowl in August. My friends Gerry, Linda and I talked about trying to get tickets, but they sold out. And, it was far beyond what three recent graduates could afford. Who had the money to buy a ticket for anything, let alone The Beatles?

But we agreed on the crazy idea of driving to the Hollywood Bowl and sitting in the parking lot to listen. That’s as close as we could get. The caper was set! We even drove over to the Bowl days before and did a recon job of the parking lots. Could we get in? Could we hear okay? Would there be security guards there shooing away unwanted teenagers like us?

On the night of the concert, all three of us were so excited about going, you’d think we actually had tickets. But all we had was a crazy idea, a plan and hopefully some good luck. When we knew the concert was well underway, we drove into a parking lot that wasn’t guarded, and right off the bat we could hear the sound of The Beatles. We were sitting in the car, singing and playing air guitar and an invisible set of drums. It was almost like being inside.

The crowds started to filter out and walk to their cars — singing, laughing, waving. More energy than I’d ever experienced at my young age of 18. It really was exhilarating and intoxicating. We waved back at them. Everyone was smiling. You could just feel the excitement!

Gerry started driving us home. We left Hollywood and got on the freeway.

I saw it first, a black limo in the fast lane. Gerry moved up in his lane and ran parallel as we tried to see who was inside. In the 60s in L.A., if you saw a limo, it was somebody. Gerry started to honk the horn, and we started to wave.

Suddenly the limo’s side window came down, and waving back at us was THE BEATLES! All four of them, waving, making faces and acting as crazy as we were! This went on for about a mile. Then they waved goodbye, the window came up and they were gone.


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