Favorite

Fab Four touchdown 

click to enlarge THE WAY THEY WERE: Beatles in 1964.
  • THE WAY THEY WERE: Beatles in 1964.
Fab Four touchdown With Beatlemania in full effect, and movies, TV, records and tours, it was a busy time for the rockers. The Beatles had tried marijuana for the first time just a few weeks before, on Aug. 28, with Bob Dylan. The same week, the band was on the cover of Life magazine. On the tour was Reed Pigman, who owned a dude ranch near Alton, Mo., just a few miles from the Arkansas state line and convinced the band to take a break there between the Dallas Memorial Auditorium show and a benefit for cerebral palsy research in Times Square. Walnut Ridge, with its former Air Force training base, was the nearest airstrip that could handle the plane. The plane’s lights were spotted by Jack Allison, owner of the local teen hangout, the Polar Freeze Drive-In; he dispatched some of his clientele to check it out. Jonesboro director Michael Bowman and producer Kim Inboden explore the story in their documentary “When I Was Younger: A Weekend with the Beatles.” Walnut Ridge’s Carrie Mae Snapp, 14 years old in 1964, gets the most face time in the short film: “I was playing all the Beatles songs on my little record player,” she says of the night she found out the Beatles had been in town. “Working myself into a frenzy. The people who sing on this piece of vinyl have been ... in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas!” About 3 a.m., the Beatles arrived at Pigman’s ranch, west of the Eleven Points River, apparently geared for fun. Their entourage of 10 included manager Brian Epstein and Bill Black. They spent Saturday drinking, playing poker, driving go-carts, fishing, swimming and riding horses. George Harrison even knocked the door off a ranch pickup while driving a rented 1960 Ford Fairlane. In Lawrence County, word had spread, and many had gathered at the airport Sunday morning, Sept. 20, to Beatle-watch. Snapp convinced her parents to skip church so she could be there. A crowd encircled a small plane that landed around 10 a.m., but it turned out to be a cropduster. An hour later, the actual plane arrived — and it soon became apparent Harrison and Paul McCartney had been parked in a car across the field watching the whole scene before they boarded. The documentary includes a few frames of footage of the musicians traversing the tarmac onto the plane. The crowd kept a respectful distance, and wasn’t acknowledged by the band. The Beatles flew from Walnut Ridge to New York. From there, they played the benefit, and flew on to London for a longer break from their remarkable 1964 world tour. The Beatles’ stop may have been a memorable holiday for the group, but the visit seems to have made an even greater impression on those who lived there. “To a 14-year-old,” Snapp says, “you were suddenly validated. It made you just as important as ... if they had come to your house for Sunday dinner. You’d be glad to give them the best piece of chicken.” listening • “Leave My Kitten Alone” • “A Hard Day’s Night” • “One After 909”
Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Stephen Koch

  • "Dream Land: Little Rock's West 9th Street" premieres on AETN tonight

    "Dream Land: Little Rock's West 9th Street," an hour-long documentary on the storied street by the Arkansas Education Television Network, premieres tonight at 7 p.m.
    • Apr 6, 2017
  • Gladys Knight at Robinson Center

    Also, Paul Rucker at Inverse Performance Art Festival, Funkanites kick off Jazz in the Park, Kate Campbell, Sad Daddy and more
    • Mar 30, 2017
  • Green Day at Verizon Arena

    Also, Dropkick Murphys, Captured! By Robots, Terrance Simien, Hot Springs Gallery Walk, Son Volt, Scott Kelly, Valley Queen, CeDell Davis, 'Phantom of the Opera'
    • Mar 2, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Latest in Arkansongs

  • Floyd Cramer's country keys

    Floyd Cramer, who grew up in Huttig, became one of the most important piano players in the development of country music.
    • May 3, 2007
  • Dorough finds his voice

    From his beginnings in Cherry Hill, Bob Dorough knew music was his thing.
    • Mar 15, 2007
  • ‘Sunday Afternoon’

    Soundtrack album forges on without film.
    • Jan 25, 2007
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Event Calendar

« »

April

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30  

Most Viewed

  • Cool blue

    A Q&A with author Katie Kitamura.
  • A shoot-'em-up

    Ben Wheatley's 'Free Fire' is not much more.
  • Alice Cooper at Robinson Center

    Also, Poetry on Pinnacle, SeanFresh, Fantastic Cinema & Craft Beer Festival, Sinkane, Etsyfest, Alexi Kenney, Monster Truck Jam and more
  • Call to arms

    Basketball season's behind us, spring football practice hasn't culminated yet, and baseball hasn't quite revved up to the ever-beguiling postseason, so Pearls this go-round is a bit of a hodgepodge.
 

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