Toledo band turned down chance to open for BeatlesWritten by Katherine Timpf | | email@example.com
Toledo’s ’60s rock ‘n’ roll band The BG Ramblers were like The Beatles before the British band even became big.
“My husband had The Beatle haircut before The Beatles,” said Jenny Price, wife of the band’s guitarist, Bill Price. “He actually changed it because he didn’t want people to think he was trying to look like The Beatles.”
By the end of his time in the band, Bill’s connection to The Beatles would be more than just a haircut.
On Feb. 16, 1964 — a date Bill Price remembers with clarity — The Ramblers were playing a Beatles tribute show at the Peppermint Lounge in Miami, and The Beatles attended to show their appreciation. The Ramblers took a break to meet them.
“There were no photographs allowed with The Beatles; nobody could take a photo … they were really hot, really, really big,” Price said. … “We were walking them out the door and [manager] Brian Epstein says, ‘No photographs,’ and Ringo says, ‘Hey;’ he throws his arms around us and says, ‘These are our buddies, take the picture.”
That night, Epstein asked The Ramblers to open for The Beatles.
“We thought we were as good as they were, so we turned them down,” Price said. “Some years later, we found out no one remembers voting to not go with the Beatles. The leader said [the] final decision was to not go and the leader of the group is the only one who won’t come to any of the reunions.”
When he realized how great of an opportunity he had passed up, Price was so upset he had to take a break from music.
“I guess the opportunity came by and it came by so fast it just was over,” Price said.
I could never get over it after we turned down an opportunity or let it slide by. I could not get my heart back into it at that time.”
The Peppermint Lounge has since been torn down, and Price now works as an insurance agent. He also plays music again and is able to look back on his Ramblers days fondly.
“I felt quite bitter then for a while, but I’m fine with it all now,” Price said. “Things change over time … [It was] one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in my life; so it’s a good thing. I look back and enjoy the fact that I was able to even meet them.”