It was September 8, 1964. The Beatles, the most popular act in all of show business, were in the midst of their 1964 summer tour, their first major tour since achieving international stardom. This to be the U.S.-Canada leg of the tour; the boys had just played September concerts in Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit, before moving on to Canada and their concert in Toronto the previous day.
All was well on the tour so far, the Beatle routine was rolling smoothly along as usual- the fainting, the crying, the hysterical teenaged girls, the screaming fans, the 30-minute or so concert by the Fab Four, the mad exit of the latest city and on to the new stop for more of the same.
The Beatles’ day started with the boys’ morning arrival at Dorval Airport in Montreal. It was raining and 5,000 rain-drenched fans had waited patiently to catch a glimpse of their mop-topped idols. There were 117 Royal Canadian Mounted Police were on-site to control the crowd.
Unfortunately, the Beatles were quickly swept away in two minutes flat because of the bad weather, leaving the expectant fans disappointed. But this was small potatoes compared to what what coming next.
What followed was to be one of the strangest, oddest, weirdest chapters in the long, colorful, unbelievable story of the Beatles. The Beatles, or to be exact, one Beatle, had received death threats.
Most Beatle fans are aware of the death threats Beatle John Lennon received in 1966, when he proclaimed that “the Beatles were more popular than Jesus,” but few realize that Ringo was the first Beatle to actually receive death threats.
It seems that a group of radical French-Canadian separatists, assuming that Beatle drummer Ringo Starr was Jewish, had put out death threats on him. Why the assumption? Ringo’s inordinately big nose. (!!!!)
The Fab Four were scheduled to play two concerts at the forum in Montreal that evening, one at 4:00 pm and one at 8:30 pm. The opening acts did their performances, in turn and as…