Tony Spina/Detroit Free Press
The Beatles with WT Rabe (in crewcut), Olympia Stadium, Detroit.
John Lennon was killed December 8, 1980. September 6, 1964, at Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Lennon foreshadowed his death. This report by KPCC's John Rabe features exclusive sound from a news conference held between concerts and recorded by WT Rabe, John's father.
"Can we keep the noise level down just a little?" the Beatles' press officer Derek Taylor asks.
The Beatles had two weeks left on their American tour and had doubtless been asked the same questions a million times -- about their hair (they didn’t grow it out to make a fashion statement), about the screaming girls (they’re flattered), about the deeper meaning of their songs (there isn’t one).
They answer politely, and when it comes to music, plug their favorite groups, and even get in a few pointed political comments, singling out the Motown and Tamla labels, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and the "dirty" segregation of blacks at some concerts.
Someone asks, “Who keeps track of all the money you’re making?”
The Beatles answer, "Clever accountants."
Reporter: "Who keeps track of the accountants?"
The Beatles (in unison): "The police."
The last exchange is chilling.
Derek Taylor (repeating a question from a reporter): "Is it true they’re leaving show business in a year?"
John Lennon: "No."
Uniknown Beatle: "Not as far as we know, anyway."
John Lennon: "Unless we get shot or something."