Miss Chicago

A local beauty queen, either Miss Illinois or Miss Chicago, cornered me in my office a few days before the Beatles’ Comiskey Park show in 1966. She said she could barely tell me how thrilled she was to meet me, because it was her ambition to “be with” all the Beatles.
I tried not to look as embarrassed as I felt. The big promoter is supposed to be used to this kind of thing, but I had always managed to avoid it. I was in the promotion business, not the procurement business. This time, I decided it was not for me to be so judgmental. lf that’s what tums you on, then God bless you. I agreed to introduce her to the tour manager, who promised to introduce her to the four kids. I never found out if she accomplished her mission.
That was fine with me. In a strange sense, it was the beginning of my decades of grappling with male chauvinism. It was the first time I had been confronted with a woman doing what so many men dreamed of doing.
Of course, this was all a bit delicate compared to what became routine in the business a few years later. By the end of the 1960s the more successful rock bands had developed a neat four-part job description for the promoter: get us the limo, get us laid, get us stoned, get us out of trouble. All the Beatles wanted to get, in those innocent early days, was out of the concert hall in one piece.
To the guardians of public propriety, the idea that young girls could be expressing such unprecedented and open sexual interest in males, even these androgynous, unprepossessing boys, was quite confusing. Suddenly women were acting out their fantasies just like men had always tried to, and with somewhat more success, in many cases. It was a harbinger of the kind of independence that was beginning to pop up all over the culture, in the most unexpected places, and it would be years before the establishment figured out how to meet it on its own ground, get friendly with it, and remove its teeth.

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