Prisoners on Floor 33

The following article appeared in New Musical Express on August 20, 1965, pages 3 & 12.

The most spectacular concert in American history! An invitation to a party from Frank Sinatra! And a police force that cordoned-off a square mile of New York City!
These are just some of the thrills The Beatles have encountered during their first four days of this historic American tour.
During those four days, John, Paul, George and Ringo have been the sole occupants of the 33rd floor of New York's Warwick Hotel.
To get within half a mile of the hotel you have to prove to police at specially erected barriers that you are either staying there or visiting another building nearby. Even the hotel's employees have to show a Beatle pass to get to work!
At the Warwick itself there are guards in the lobby, riding in the lifts and on Floor 33.
On the night we arrived (last Friday) THe Beatles had to cancel a plan to go to teh Copacabana and see The Surpremes!
The atmosphere in the streets here is hot and sticky, which stimulates Beatle frenzy, and the police refused to let them out-in case riots started.
And on Monday night The Beatles had to say "no" to an invitation from Frank Sinatra to a late-night dinner party.
"We would love to go," said George Harrison, "but the police won't give permission for anything. We would cause a lot of chaos if we went out."
Sinatra's representative was sent on his way with word that The Beatles would be pleased to entertain him in their suite if he'd care to visit.
But he didn't care. The Surpremes, Del Shannon and Bob Dylan were the only callers that night.
I travelled to Shea Stadium on Sunday night wtih Mick Jagger, Keith Richard and Andrew Oldham after spending the day with them on board the luxury yacht Princess, which belongs to the Stones' American lawyer Alan Klein.
During the day I talked with The Beatles over the yacht's radio telephone and Mick spoke to George Harrison about plans for that evening. At that stage The Beatles were anxious to come aboard the yacht after their show, but police security later prevented it.
George was talking through the hotel switchboard but during the conversation he gave the hush-hush number of a private line to their suite. He didn't realize, however, that he was speaking to us on a radio telephone with something like two thousand other vessels in the Hudson River basin tuned in! Needless to say that secret number was jammed for the rest of our stay in New York.
After the call and we lazed in the sunshine, Mick told me: "I don't envy those Beatles. Look how much freedom we have and they're locked up in their hotel bedrooms without being able to take a car ride, let alone do something like us."
Then he played Bob Dylan's latest single, "pressed secretly for us eager maniacs" and danced in the extrovert style that identifies him on stage.
We found that a radio station had monitored the call and broadcast the Stones' plans to land at a berth near that stadium. We had to run ashore and jump into a waiting car, which took our small party through an entrance at the side of the stadium.
"It's frightening," exclaimed Jagger.
"It's deafening," retorted Richard.
The roar of the crowd already enjoying the show was something like a dozen jets taking off.
We were rushed through the artists' entrance and met The Beatles, standing ready to go on stage.
"It's the famous Stones!" yelled John Lennon.
"Who are all these people?" yelled a harassed cop.
"They're the same as Beatles," roared Lennon.
The cop bawled back: "Nobody can stand in the aisle. There's a fire regulation."
"Then put it out," quipped George.
The cop gave in just as The Beatles were called on stage. They had to run across the baseball diamond to the rostrum in the centre. And as they did 56,000 fans went hysterical!
We knew beforehand that this had to be The Beatles' greatest concert with an audience like that.
But nobody could have forseen the pandemonium unleashed as the four went through hit after hit, building the fevered excitement with each number.
The crowd roared approval as Lennon played an organ with his elbow in "I'm Down". And many fans broke through the 2,000-strong police cordon around the edge of the baseball diamond only to be brought down in rugby tackles by a new line of guards nearer the stage.
It was an unbelievable experience. But it also was a great relief when it all ended. There was a great tension-not only from the brilliance of The Beatles, but from the feeling of apprehension of what could happen if the crowd got out of control.
But it was all's well that ends well. Said George to me in the hotel afterwards: "It was terrifying at first when we saw the crowd. But I don't think I have ever felt so exhilarated in my life. It was unbelievable that so many people wanted to see us. Even though we are used to big crowds, this surprised us."
John added: "It would have been better still if we could have heard what we were playing. I wasn't sure what key I was in in two numbers. It was ridiculous!"
Paul said: "Fantastic! Wonder if we'll ever be able to do it again?"
Ringo nodded, but said nothing.
Later the Stones joined The Beatles in a rave-up celebration-back on Floor 33!

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