Walnut Ridge's fast hello, goodbye with Beatles | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 19, 2011

Walnut Ridge's fast hello, goodbye with Beatles

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 12:23 PM

beatles.png

Everybody's written plenty about Walnut Ridge's effort to make some tourist capital out of the Beatles' brief airport stop in the town 47 years ago. They came and went on a visit to a Missouri dude ranch.

But I like the Wall Street Journal's bemused take on it today.

"The Beatles were there for about 15 minutes!" jokes former musician Bob Tucker, part of the Beatles' opening act on that tour, Bill Black's Combo. Now an Arkansas businessman, he amusingly calls the tourism drive "the biggest stretch in the history of show business," though he doesn't blame boosters for trying.

Walnut Ridge isn't alone, either, in marketing oddities.

"If people will get off a highway to see the largest ball of twine, well, this is a lot more interesting than that," says Carrie Mae Snapp, who headed the town's "Beatles 4 Evermore" fan club in 1964 at age 14, but only managed to snag a photo of the back of Mr. McCartney's head as he boarded the airplane. "I picked up some cigarette butts at the airport. I might have some John Lennon DNA."

While boosters are eager to capture the spotlight, and rake in a few sales-tax dollars, they have maintained a distance from the current owners of the former Pigman Ranch in Missouri, a nonprofit organization that is selling lots for development under the slogan "The Beatles Slept Here."

The Buildings for Babies Ranch Foundation plans to auction off the ranch's furnishings as Beatles memorabilia, including the toilet: "Sit on the same throne as the Beatles!" a marketing brochure exclaims. Its chief executive, who says the group aids underprivileged children, expects the bathroom set to fetch $25,000.

Ms. Snapp captured several of the Beatle photos in a slideshow posted by the WSJ.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (25)

Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Deputy killed, police chief wounded in Sebastian County. Suspect in custody

    40/29 TV reports that two law officers were shot about 7 a.m. today near Hackett in Sebastian County and at mid-afternoon came word that one of them had died. Later in the day a suspect was taken into custody in the shooting.
    • Aug 10, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation