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There were many reasons why they came. But they all came to see one person: Bob Eubanks.

The iconic TV personality was in Laguna Woods on Sept. 23 to present his Backstage with the Beatles touring show at the Performing Arts Center, sponsored by the Boomers Club.

Around 40 show-goers paid $25 a person extra to schmooze with Eubanks for an hour before the show, with proceeds from the meet and greet going to the Florence Sylvester Senior Center.

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When Eubanks arrived in one of the PAC dining rooms, a buzz swept the room. Fans lined up to have their photos taken with the living legend, who is best known for hosting TV’s “The Newlywed Game” on and off since 1966. His face and voice are also familiar as the announcer of Pasadena’s Rose Parade with Stephanie Edwards on Los Angeles’ KTLA TV station for decades.

A lesser known fact about Eubanks’ early career: He brought the Beatles to L.A. and produced their shows in 1964, ’65 and ’66. The first two concerts were at the Hollywood Bowl and the third was at Dodger Stadium.

So those who came to meet the man Saturday had a variety of reasons why he meant so much to them.

Jim Cirivello wanted to meet Eubanks because he is an aficionado of “The Newlywed Game.”

“I have some 80 episodes on tape and I watch them every night,” he said with a grin.

Allison Sheets also watched the show for a long time, recalling how “striking” Eubanks was on TV.

Gerry Saunders, an admitted rock ’n’ roll groupie, was thrilled to get Eubanks’ signature on the back of a poster for the PAC show.

“I  love the Beatles and I remember him (Eubanks) from TV,” she said.

Another attendee with a strong Beatles connection was Philip Taylor, a Brit who says he has loved the Beatles since he saw them perform in England in 1962.

He was with friend and fellow Village resident Lynn Cline, who said she is Paul McCartney’s first cousin once removed and communicates with the Beatle regularly.

“My grandmother and her sister raised Paul after his mother died when he was 14,” Cline said. “My grandfather was Uncle Albert of the famous Beatles song.”

A copy of the 1964 concert contract signed by Eubanks and Beatles manager Brian Epstein was available for purchase, along with copies of photos of the press conferences before the 1964 and ’65 shows. Cline said she planned to take those copies to the Beatles office in London to add to their archives if they are not already there.

Shelley Sachs said she not only attended all three of the Beatles shows in L.A. but was able to go to the press conference at Eubanks’ Cinnamon Cinder nightclub with her aunt, who was “in the industry.”

“It was before the first performance, Aug. 23, 1964, and I was driven in a limo with Bob and the Beatles’ manager,” she recalled with a smile.

Bert Ross and Gene Nalbandian munched on meet-and-greet snacks after chatting with Eubanks. Ross said he grew up watching “The Newlywed Game” and saw the Beatles perform in 1965.

Nalbandian labeled Eubanks “legendary” for his TV work and for introducing the Beatles’ shows. “He has a good personality,” he added.

Eubanks proved that to be true with his quips at the meet and greet and lively conversations with the fans, many of whom sat down with him as he signed whatever papers they wished.

Eubanks said what he remembers most about the Beatles is that “they changed the music world.” He didn’t know it at the time, though. “I’m amazed that they still have so many fans,” he said.

In his touring show, Eubanks relates many lesser known stories and remembrances of the group, punctuated with lively performances by Beatles tribute band Ticket to Ride.

“There’s so much serious junk going on in the world right now that if I can make someone smile, I’m happy to do it,” he said of his show.

Eubanks has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his early work as a radio DJ and with a lifetime achievement Emmy award.

He has remained a fan favorite to this day.

Meet-and-greet attendee Leslie Parsons said she was happy to support the senior center but summed up the reason she and so many others came succinctly and simply: “He’s Bob Eubanks!”


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