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Memento : Issue 27
Beatles found in our files! It may seem like yesterday, but the Beatles' only Australian tour was exactly 40 years ago. While nearly everyone has jumped on the Beatles bandwagon this year, we too can boast of our own slice of Beatles memorabilia. Despite their fame, once the Beatles had a ticket to ride to Australia they still had to complete an incoming passenger card. The signed cards for the Fab Four (well, Fab Three plus fill-in drummer Jimmy Nicol) dated 11 June 1964 are in our collection. Ringo arrived in Sydney with Beatles' manager Brian Epstein a day later, so we have their arrival cards too. The Beatles' cards provide interesting snippets of information -- such as their ages, date of their visit, occupation, where they lived and how long they intended to stay. You'll also find the answer to a possible trivia question -- what is John Lennon's middle name? Think of a current Australian leader. One curious detail on John's arrival card relates to his marital status. The box marked 'single' has been ticked and then crossed out, and the box marked 'married' has been ticked. Did John first try to hide his marriage to Cynthia Powell? Did he think better of it, being an official document? Possibly, but because the handwriting seems to be the same on all three Beatles' cards, it's plausible that someone else completed the details for the band and initially forgot John was married. Although the Beatles' details may have been filled in by someone else, their signatures are definitely authentic. When they arrived in Australia, the Beatles had just finished their third album and their first film -- A Hard Day's Night -- and were at the peak of their popularity. Australians turned out in droves in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, including an estimated 350,000 people who lined the long and winding road from Adelaide airport to the Southern Australia Hotel. The Fab Four crammed 20 concerts into a whirlwind 10 days, performing twice a night in Adelaide (4 concerts), Melbourne (6 concerts) and Sydney (6 concerts) before flying out to New Zealand for a week and returning to Australia for four more appearances in Brisbane. The Beatles' arrival cards have now been digitised and are on our website at www.naa.gov.au. To see the cards of John, Paul and George, simply click on RecordSearch, key in A1225, 9--12 June 1964 NSW next to 'Reference number' and then click on 'View digitised copy'. For Ringo's card, key in A1225, 12--14 June 1964 NSW. All smiles! Paul, George, Ringo and John in one of our ABC publicity photos. NAA: SP1011, 1050 Just a snippet of John's arrival card. NAA: A1225, 9--12 JUNE 1964 NSW 8 MEMENTO News from the National Archives Courtesy of ABC Archives