55 years ago, the Beatles came out for a weekend at this family's Missouri ranch

Bud Kennedy, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Entertainment News

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Hardly anyone asks Reed Pigman anymore about the time the Beatles came over to his house.

But then again, hardly anyone in 1964 knew when they visited a Fort Worth family's Missouri ranch.

In a thick file in his office at Fort Worth Meacham Airport, Pigman keeps snapshots of a top-secret charter airline side trip that remains mostly unknown to Beatles fans.

Pigman was 14. It was 55 years ago, after the Beatles' first raucous concert at the Dallas Convention Center.

Exhausted after a 25-stop U.S. tour met by hysterical fans and screaming crowds in every city, the suddenly famous rock band took a day's stopover at their Fort Worth-based charter pilot's Ozark Mountains ranch.

Only a handful of boys in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, were on hand to see George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr get off an American Flyers Airline Lockheed Electra and transfer for the trip to the ranch near Alton, Mo.


But word got out, and fans from as far away as St. Louis gathered both at the ranch gate and at the airport for their departure.

"It's not listed in the tour stops -- to this day 99% of Beatles fans don't know this happened," Pigman, now 69, said last month on the 55th anniversary of the visit.

But his Wayside Junior High classmates knew his family had the Beatles over.

"They came to our house and hung out with us," he said.


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