Beatles, 60 years ago today on the Ed Sullivan Show

When Muhammad Ali made the Beatles look stupid

The photographer Harry Benson he recalled on the pages of the New York Post when, in February 1964, he accompanied i Beatleson their first trip to the United States, to meet the legendary boxing champion Muhammad Aliwhich at the time was still called by its real name, Cassius Clay.

The match between them was not the best, according to what the now 94-year-old Benson reported, the boxer provoked them as he used to do with his opponents in the ring. Here are the photographer’s words: “Ali belittled them. ‘Do you think you’re beautiful? You are not so beautiful: you are small, small, little men. Look at me!’ They didn’t like it, especially Lennon and McCartney. He didn’t particularly like their music, and he told her so. Then, John said to me, ‘He made us look really stupid, and it’s your fault, Benson.’”

The photographer claims that i BeatlesJohn, Paul, Ringo and George refused to talk to him for three months. George Harrison he once described the boxer as “quite nice” stating that he “asked” to meet the group, but Harry Benson he doesn’t remember the story the same way. “He couldn’t care less about them.”

When Ali died in 2016, Paul McCartney he published a photograph of their meeting accompanying it with these words: “I loved that man. He was amazing from the first day we met him in Miami. He was a nice, kind man with a great sense of humor.”