The Beatles

The American Tour with Ed Rudy

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Such was the wildfire success of the Beatles' first appearance in America that several hangers-on from the media tried to poach some stardust from the tour. Murray the K was the most famous example. Lesser known, but no less persistent, was one Ed Rudy, who claimed to be the only "reporter" to follow the group for the entire tour, a boast that he parlayed into this weird souvenir album from the period. Side one contains a collage of comments by crazed East Coast fans, press conferences with now-familiar quotes, and Rudy proudly fighting the mob in D.C. No shrinking violet, Rudy has a loud Bronx honk of a voice -- run through a reverberation unit to give it an even more imposing tone -- and he comes up with catchy phrases like "the lyrical Liverpudlian lads" and penetrating questions like "when are you going to retire?" The Beatles tolerate him at best -- with tongues planted in cheek, they give him personal promos; even Beatles roadie Mal Evans gives him a plug. Side two contains a more restrained interview with George Harrison by telephone from Miami, without the reverb chamber. George actually starts to offer some keen insight about early British press descriptions of their music, which goes right over Rudy's head as he plows on to the next predictable questions about how they got the name, their hairstyles, etc. (to his credit, he returns briefly to the subject near the end of the interview). Cheaply packaged, with rubber-stamped printing on a white cover, this was one of the first Beatles exploitation interview albums.