Loud & Clear: What it was like to look like a Beatle in 1964

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(Photo: Chet Carmen at 7/11)
The very Beatle-ish Chet Carmen surrounded by girls at a Denver convenience store on Aug. 26, 1964, on his way to see The Beatles play Red Rocks.

But Carmen didn’t cut it off. Instead, he showed up at Red Rocks Amphitheatre when The Beatles swept through Colorado in 1964. And, while there, he says, he got mobbed, as if he were a Beatle. Specifically, he says, he resembled band member John Lennon.

Carmen enjoyed the attention he got at Red Rocks. It was a good way to meet girls, he says.

“The girls wanted to touch my hair,” he says. “I got swarmed.”

Carmen is telling his story today as part of "Colorado Matters'" regular segment getting feedback from listeners. Carmen heard the program's recent interviews about The Beatles' appearance at Red Rocks in 1964, which took place 50 years ago last week.

The Red Rocks show wasn't Carmen's last up-close experience with Beatlemania, he says. Not long after the show, he met a woman who ran a record store and they talked about The Beatles (of course). Like the women at Red Rocks, the record store owner also thought that Carmen looked like Lennon, and she exchanged telephone numbers with him. Days later, she called Carmen and asked him to go to Dallas, he says.

(Photo: Chet Carmen and George Harrison)

The Beatles were playing a show there, and, Carmen's story goes, he convinced his guardians to let him go and soon found himself in a hotel room with The Beatles. In a photo of band member George Harrison and the group's manager sitting on a couch, Carmen says he, then 17, is in the background -- not Lennon or any another Beatle. Carmen has his word and the photo to back up his claims 50 years later.

He says he spoke with Lennon in Dallas. “He said, ‘Hi. I’m John Lennon.' That made me giggle. I knew he was John Lennon. He could have just said, ‘Hi.’”

When they met, Lennon wore jeans and a suede jacket; he wasn’t decked out in a collarless grey suit, as the Beatles often were, Carmen says, adding, "They were just regular guys."