Who's your favourite Beatle?
Band refused to accept suggestion they should be role models and quit smoking
The Beatles were the biggest band in the world in 1964, and they had finally come to Toronto.
After their first Canadian stadium show in Vancouver on Aug. 22 that year and playing dates in the United States, they reached Maple Leaf Gardens on Sept. 7.
Fans weren't sure they'd last
Even their biggest fans predicted their popularity wouldn't last forever. Two girls interviewed by the CBC's Larry Zolf gave them six months — "at least," one added.
Not everyone was enamoured: Zolf found a group of boys in the crowd who said they didn't like the band. "The Beatles are bad news," said one, after another said he preferred Peter, Paul and Mary and a third said they wouldn't last.
Zolf was there to capture the frenzy for the for the CBC-TV program This Hour Has Seven Days and it seemed everyone outside the Gardens that day had their favourite Beatle.
"Ringo for kingo!" shouted one boy.
"What happens to you when you see Paul?" Zolf asked a McCartney fan. "I go nuts, I guess," she replied.
Another girl said she found John Lennon appealing. Why? "I don't know ... I think he's good-looking."
"I love George," said her friend, wearing a badge emblazoned with Harrison's first name. "He's just fabulous."
The Beatles played two concerts that day.
Role models? Not them
Inside the Gardens between shows, the band didn't accept the suggestion by a Toronto reporter that they were setting a poor example for their teenage fans by smoking in public. When he asked if they'd consider quitting, their responses were unanimous.
"No. Why should we?" replied Lennon. "Everybody smokes in front of everybody else."
"And we don't set examples to people," said Harrison.
"Why should we? We even drink," said McCartney, to laughter from the assembled press.