February 9

Bill Nemitz: Checking out Beatles ‘hype’ became magical history tour

A Saco man and his teenage friends got themselves into a prized position to see the Fab Four in 1964.

(Continued from page 2)

click image to enlarge

The Beatles, from left, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, are shown in their New York hotel after their arrival on Feb. 7, 1964. Nine days later, the Beatles made their second TV appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, which was broadcast live from the Napoleon Ballroom of the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach.

1964 File Photo/The Associated Press

click image to enlarge

Steve McManus, left, and Bob Saxon in 1965, a year after they saw the Beatles in Miami Beach.

Photo courtesy of Steve McManus

Bob, 66, stayed put in Fort Lauderdale and, as president of International Yacht Collection, has become a big shot in yachting the world over.

John Kreitner, 67, also still in Fort Lauderdale, is a retired mailman.

They keep in touch to this day – Steve and Bob spoke by phone within hours of John Lennon’s murder in 1980.

“We saw him,” Steve told Bob. “He actually looked at us while he was singing that day.”

Now for the truly maddening part: To a man, none of them can recall what happened to the pair of unused tickets the two kind ladies gave them just before fate took over. Tickets which, based on Steve’s perusal of eBay last week, could now fetch upward of $10,000 apiece in a supercharged Beatles memorabilia market.

“The best we can figure is that John might have tossed them in the trash on the way out of the lobby,” Steve said. “If only I’d known.”

Still, if it’s any consolation, the tickets are only slips of paper. In the end, they had nothing to do with the still-vivid memory of the day three supermarket bag boys piled out of a ’58 Chevy, sneaked through an open door and stumbled upon history in the making.

Go ahead, eBay. Try putting a price tag on that.

Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:


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