Fan's letter led to Beatles meeting

Carol Hill saw The Beatles perform in Melbourne ... she's still a big fan. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

Carol Hill saw The Beatles perform in Melbourne ... she's still a big fan. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

JOHN Lennon thrust a big bouquet of roses into the arms of Launceston's Carol Hill saying, ``Here you are love''.

It was 50 years ago since that moment when a 19-year old Carol sat on the floor of The Beatles room at the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne.

It was there she met the famous Liverpool mop-tops - Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr - during their Australian tour.

The young Carol had written an 812-page fan letter to the British rock band and was given the opportunity to show the letter to her idols.

``I wrote a gushing fan letter, as people did in those days, and it ended up being a lot longer than I imagined,'' Mrs Hill said.

``I didn't have a clue what to do with it so I sent this fan letter to Keith Dunstan who was a columnist for  The Sun  and I asked Mr Dunstan if he could see that The Beatles got this letter, because I wasn't going to chuck it out after 812 pages.''

Mrs Hill said  The Sun  tracked her down and organised for her and a chaperone, her older brother Geoffrey, to meet The Beatles.

``They paid for everything. The airfares, the hotel, the concert - it was an incredible experience.

``The Beatles were absolutely marvellous guys, really down to earth, no big heads, and you could tell they couldn't quite believe that this was happening.  They were just so great.''

 The Examiner's  front page on June 12, 1964, reported on Mrs Hill's letter, which had told the four band members how Beatle-mania began in Tasmania.

``Everybody dresses up in Beatle clothes, we wear Beatle wigs and have cakes with Beatles on them in icing,'' Mrs Hill said in 1964.

She said she remembered the screaming at The Beatles concert at Festival Hall which continued all night at the hotel.

``You heard a little bit of music but it was just mainly the hysteria and the screaming, but everyone was having a great time. Being there was what it was all about.

``[Back] at the hotel there were just hundreds of fans who stayed all night outside, hoping to catch a glimpse, and if anything moved they would just start screaming.''

Mrs Hill said she still enjoyed The Beatles' music.

``I liked  Roll Over Beethoven  and  All My Loving  but I liked all of their stuff even when they changed direction. Their music really holds up.''

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