Beatles, The

ARTICLE ABOUT George Harrison (Beatles) FROM New Musical Express, December 27, 1969

It is always wonderful, in my opinion, to find these very old articles with the late, great Mr. Harrison. He has written some wonderful music and has been important in my musical education. He lives on forever through his melodies!
Read on.


Question time with George Harrison

By Roy Carr

Q: Do you miss “live” gigs?
A: I have done… I always try and play as much as I can on sessions but it’s not the same, it’s the idea of being up there not knowing what you’re doing in front of a lot of people which is the fun of it.
I hope that the Beatles will tour again, but it’s so difficult, not just to get us together to do it. I just couldn’t stand going through all the police and crowds and helicopters into the Shea Stadium and the scene that goes with it.
It’s like Dylan because I know that he’s gone through the cycle where he’s getting back into wanting to play.

Q: Certain publications gave front page news that the Beatles together with the Stones, were going to jam with Dylan at the Isle of Wight… what happened?
A: I’m sure that it was the promoters of the I.O.W. that gave the story just to help pull in more people, because Dylan would have been paid a certain amount of money so they really wanted to make a lot of bread there, you can’t blame them.


But it was all just speculation. Like I played a little with The Band, but not on stage or anything, but while they were rehearsing for that gig. I’m quite friendly with them.

Q: Do you intend to do any solo recordings like John has done with Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band, will there in fact be a George Harrison album?
A: Possibly, but not really for the reason that I want to do my own thing, mainly because I’ve got so many tunes that I’d like to get them out; then I can go on to new things.

Q: You seem a far more peaceful person than you did, say three years ago.
A: Yes I am.

Q: Do you find that a lot of the pressure is off?
A: There’s a lot of pressure off here in England, but if it was publicised that I was going to be here then I would have to be in the dressing room instead of having a drink here with you.
You see that’s the difference between doing something like this gig and the Plastic Ono and appearing as the Beatles.

Q: When I saw John, Eric, and the Ono Band In Toronto the sound that they got was similar to that of your earlier days.
A: Well, it was because they were doing the Cavern tunes… “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Money,” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.”

Q: Another thing I noticed was that the crowd was very well behaved.
A: Generally I think pop crowds, especially the bigger they get, the more peaceful they become. To be fair to the British Press and police they did praise the kids at Hyde Park for both the Stones and Blind Faith shows.

Q: Do many of your “friends” sit-in on Beatles recording sessions?
A: We’ve done a few things, one where Brian Jones played with us, and it started to get that any friends who were around sat in.



Eric, in fact, played on a tune of mine “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” If there are any friends around then they can play.

Q: I’ve noticed, that with the last few Beatles albums that they seem to take more repeated plays before you get into them.
A: That’s good point. I’m glad you asked that because it means that it will last longer if you play it more and more and its gets better; because there’s a lot of music around that sounds really great and then you play it twice and then you’re not interested, I do it myself.
I’ve found that the Band’s new album is one of those albums that grows on you the more you hear it… it’s so nice.

Q: It’s become obvious that with each new Beatles album both the writing and performance has greatly matured.
A: Well that’s life really, you’re supposed to get better. It’s like the Stones… “Honky Tonk Woman” is musically so good even though it’s only three chords, yet it’s really so good.

Q: Apple only has very few artists on it’s books, would you like to feature more artists?
A: Actually I’d like to have about four acts on Apple who were really great and that’s it. I’d like Apple to be The Beatles, Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and Delaney & Bonnie and that’s it… who needs anything else.
Oh yes, I think Billy Preston’s very good and eventually he’ll get through to the people.

Q: It seems that some values seem to get distorted nowadays. It happens that an act can give a bad performance yet still receive a standing ovation just because they are “in,” yet many outstanding artists get overlooked.
A: Yeah, it’s like Delaney & Bonnie, they’ve been playing this stuff for a few years, but it’s only now that the audiences are getting round to them.
It’s allright playing above an audience’s head if you`re not interested in an audience; it’s better to try and play something really better than the sort of music that they are normally used to and to try and bring them with you which is the whole process of evolution, to raise the standard of everything but not to leave anybody behind.

Q: Do you find that since you’ve mixed and played with these other musicians that you view both your own and Beatle music in a different perspective?
A: No, not really, we’ve always been influenced by anything good around us, or whatever we like rubs off on us, and then the moment we write a song and the Beatles record it then it becomes a Beatles tune.


It could be that on some of our tunes we try and imitate somebody else. It’s like things in the early days. We recorded “Twist and Shout,” “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” people thought that they were our own songs and that we’d written them.
If as the Beatles we were to cover say Elvis` new record then it would be like a Beatles record. Even if we tried to copy it note for note we couldn’t: that’s why we got that sort of sound or whatever they thought was the Beatles sound.

Q: When you are at home listening to records would you pull out an old Beatles album and play it?
A: I think most people who make records go through a period where they don’t generally play their own stuff; they’ll play it when it’s new and then they are usually fed up with it by the time it’s released.
But I may play it after a year or two years, suddenly one night for some reason, like nostalgia. I may dig out something in particular just to check up because normally you think well that’s good at that time but you come back to it two years later just to try and relate with yourself.

Q: Of all the Beatles sides that you’ve made is there any particular one that you feel that if you ever played as good as that again you’d be satisfied?
A: No, I’ve never played half as good as I’d like to but there’s been total, like as a whole there are certain records that I have enjoyed and liked.
They all represent a certain time and a certain feeling and to take them out of context…


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ARTICLE ABOUT Ringo Starr (The Beatles) FROM New Musical Express, March 29, 1969

Mr. Starr is a very likeable guy, indeed! He always struck me as very down to earth. A man you could have fun with, have a drink with, completely forgetting that he was in the biggest group in history while you were at it.
There probably should be more people like Mr. Starr in this world!
Read on!


NMExclusive in depth film location interview with RINGO

We`re not mop tops any more

he tells Nick Logan

A DESERTED Centurion tank and a “dummy” tree up-turned in a ditch provide the first bizarre indications that we’ve arrived. A viciously cold wind sweeps in across the common, buffeting the white tent in the distance and the group of moving figures that together form an oasis of life amid the unfriendly sea of bracken and stubbly brown grass.
Out there on Chobham Common in wildest Surrey they are on location filming a Beatle and an ex-Goon in “The Magic Christian.”
As the only route out to the film unit is not so much a road as a switchback over a mudbath, the wisest move is to adjourn to the mobile press office parked among a cluster of vehicles off the road while a courier with a walkie-talkie is dispatched to relay our presence to Mr Starr.
The press room is inside what looks from the outside like a much travelled furniture truck and in fact is, except that inside it is plushly furnished with heater, phone link, desk, leather settee and well-stocked bar. “First in the world — ingeniously incognito” gloat the publicity people with justifiable pride.
When, eventually, the familiar Beatle face appears grinning at the rear it is a Ringo attired in tweedy plus fours and deeerstalker and accompanied by the sound of stomping feet shaking mud from a hefty pair of labourer’s boots.


“You’ve never done, me before,” says Ringo as welcome, begging a few minutes grace to get his circulation on the move.
If John is the Beatle the public has singled out for the brunt of ridicule and contempt, then Ringo is the Beatle they cling to for reassurance as the flack of shattered images falls about their heads.
Ringo is the cosy Beatle, the good-old-moptop-Beatle-boy who is nearing his thirtieth year — as everyone keeps reminding him.
“I think maybe people think they are safe with me,” says the least objectionable or the most lovable Beatle, whichever way you look at him. “I am married. I am a family man. There is nothing bad — bad from the public’s view — to publish about me.
“I try to keep two lives going. One is only to do with me and mine and the other is to do with thous and thine.
“I agree to give them the Beatle, the Ringo. But the Ritchie I prefer to keep for my family.”
And John? “John has just had a divorce and been busted so of course he is sorted out for it. People forget that divorce is happening all over the world. But Mrs Smith, she never gets a mention.
“I don’t know what people think of John at the moment. Maureen was in Liverpool and I know a lot of people there are saying that he has gone a bit crazy. But all he is doing is not keeping up with the image they have created and they think he has gone off his head.
“All we are is nice people. I’m not being smart saying that. We are just nice people.”

To the action

Ringo’s services were required back on the common so we piled into a crowded Land Rover, collected Peter Sellers, and with a warning “Mind your heads in the back” and a cry of “All the fun of the fair” from Mr Starr we made our bumpy way to where the action was.
Sellers, playing the richest man in the world, and Ringo, his adopted son, were supposed to be on a grouse shoot in which the army intervenes. The two are required to stroll side by side, guns in hand, down a slope. No dialogue needed. It is over in five minutes. “No need for Orson Welles to worry there,” cracks Ringo, as we make our way back.
Meanwhile, back at the camp, it is lunchtime and with Mr Starr and Mr Sellers in the rear of Mr Starr’s silver-grey Mercedes it is off to the village pub where a table and steaks have been booked.
While Ringo reaches for the wine and attacks his steak, we discuss the Beatles’ bad press and he argues that it goes in cycles, and that what might be bad for the public to read is not necessarily bad press for them.


Dirty scruffs

“One minute the press will be all over you saying good old Beatle boys. Next year it will be those dirty old scuffs.
“I prefer it when it is nice but the other doesn’t bother me any more.” A shrugging of Beetle shoulders is accompanied by morose Ringo expression.
Can he put his finger on the turning point of what was for a long time a good relationship with the press?
“Drugs,” he answered. “But there was a lot before that. It always has depended on the journalist or the paper, however they felt at the time. They can write a story good or they can write it bad.
“For instance when we were on tour you might find in one paper it was `Beatlemania In Bradford` and in another `Beatle Rioters Smash Up Bradford.’
“Perhaps the reporter came round and tried to get an interview and couldn’t get in, so he went off and wrote it badly. If they managed to get in and we gave them Scotch then it would be good old Beatles doing a grand job for Britain.”
Does he always understand the actions of his fellow Beatles?
“No, I don’t always understand, but then I am in a privileged position of being the person who is probably closest to them and I can go and ask.
“I read the paper like anyone else and I think what’s this, what’s going on? But then I can go and ask them what it’s all about.”
The lady who served our steaks came to tell Ringo that she had a daughter away at school who’d be ever so popular if she had his autograph. Ringo obliged.
What was his reaction to John and Paul’s weddings?
“Fantastic. I heard about Paul’s when he phoned me to tell me and I heard about John through the office. I knew why he went away, that he was going abroad somewhere to marry but I didn’t know where or when.”
On to the cheese and buscuits and talk about his son Zak, who is now nearly four and approaching the age where his schooling must be considered. Ringo expresses interest in Summerhill, the “freedom” school. “I hated my schooldays,” he says suddenly. No, he wouldn’t send his son to public school, unless he asked to go himself.

Time to die

Twenty-eight now Ringo enters his thirtieth year in July. When I was 18 I thought that was the time to die. But the old thing is true about being as old as you feel. I don’t feel old and I don’t think I look my age. It doesn’t worry me.”
His role in “Candy,” he feels, came off well but he adds that in that and in “Magic Christian” he is largely playing himself. His next film, he hopes, will see Ringo develop as an actor who can sustain a totally different character for 90 minutes.
He doesn’t find acting particularly difficult. “`Candy’ was the test and I thought it was easy, so I felt confident to accept this one.”
A film featuring all the Beatles is now closer than it’s been for a long while, he says, because for the first time all four have agreed that they should do one.
It is now just a question of the right script — which won’t be easy. “Everything that has come up has been ‘Hard Day’s Night’ or `Help’ and the casting was like in those films.
“It was just the four-lads-rags-to-riches thing in different forms. John would be witty, Paul would be pretty, I would be shy and George would be George.
“If we do one Paul and I should be baddies. Why? Because no one would expect Paul and I to be naughty.
“People really have tried to type cast us. They think we are still little mop tops and we are not.”
Current Beatle work involves the completion of their next LP and among the several tracks so far recorded is one by Ringo titled “In An Octopus’s Garden (Or I Would Like To Live Up A Tree).”
Virtually certain to be their next single is “Get Back,” which features organist Billy Preston.
What’s it like?
“Paul takes lead vocal and you can say it’s a lovely little toe-tapper.”
With an infectious beat that’ll get your feet tapping?
“Yes,” says Ringo grinning. If you can sit down when this one is on says Ringo Starr then you’re a stronger man than I am.
“Put that in. It`ll give me a smile when I read it. It’ll make me happy.”
Lovable shake of moptop head.


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ARTICLE ABOUT George Harrison (The Beatles) FROM New Musical Express, September 21, 1968

If you listen to the track “Sour Milk Sea” by Jackie Lomax, written by Harrison, there is no doubt that the title of this interview is as correct as they come. The track is a really good early rocker, harder than most of those who haven`t heard it would believe.
Read on!


George is a rocker again!

He confesses to Alan Smith

THROUGH rain, tempest and flood, George (` Hey Jude ‘ is at No. 1) Harrison drove up to London this week to join his mate Jackie Lomax for a cuppa tea and a chat. I sat with them in the new Apple offices in Savile Row, in comfort and style beneath the white angels and the cherubs frolicking on the ceiling in Georgian splendour. And as we talked, our chairs sank deep into the green Wilton that stretched miles towards the vast white walls of the beautiful room.
It was all very posh and awe-inspiring and – had I not been in the company of such normal people – I suspect, I might easily have succumbed to illusions of grandeur complaining about the terrible servant problem one gets in London these days.
We talked mainly around the theme of “Sour Milk Sea,” that boom-boom kick-in-the-stomach rocker which George wrote and produced and which Jackie sings on his Apple single released two or three weeks ago.
The idea of them getting together emerged somewhere around 1963, but the Beatles suddenly had a few other matters to attend to. Jackie left the Undertakers, kicked around, went to America and came back again, and, only now are he and George getting the time to work out ideas.
I told George it had been a bit of a surprise to find him writing and producing this big rocking number, considering the aura of Indian influence he’d built up over the last couple of years. Was it a deliberate attempt to smash his image?
George: “This is the problem. You see, I’ve got my `Wonderwall` album coming out in a couple of weeks, and that’s very Indian-influenced.

It’s not me

“But the thing with that is, I recorded it in December of last year and January 1968. I still like it. I still think it’s very good. But it’s not me.
“I`m back to being a rocker now… for a bit, at least! You go through so many changes and realisations, and so often you come right back where you started.
“I’ve realised another thing, that you can write a melody and it can be absolutely anything you like. It can become a jazz song, a folk song, a rock ‘n’ roll song — it can be anything. It just depends how you treat it.
“For instance, you could sing `Long Tall Sally’ very sweet, or you could even do it as an Indian song if you wanted to. It’s really a matter of concept.



“I’ll tell you one of the things that influenced me in music in the last few months… around June I went to America because I’d promised to do a little part in this film of Ravi Shankar’s. And around that time I had my sitar, and something happened whereby we never got the flight back from Los Angeles, and we ended up going to New York for two nights.
“Well, the general influence of the music… just to go to America… it has an effect. If I was to go to the States now, this week, I’d pick up something of the vibration of what’s going on.
“What I got over there last time was like the thing of Electric Flag and all that. That’s what’s going on over there.”
I said some people might feel what was a Beatle doing saying he was still greatly influenced by the pop music of others, when it was generally felt that the Beatles were themselves the Leaders of Influence.
George didn’t see it that way. Said he: “We are only a collection of all the things we’ve ever been influenced by. We don’t copy, of course. But the feel of the music in the States was heavy, and I happen to like that, and it just happened that when I got to New York there were people there like Jimi Hendrix and all of them and I really like what they’re doing.
“After that I felt: Well, to go into one thing, you’ve got to neglect something else. For me to go into rock ‘n’ roll and become, a rock ‘n’ roll guitarist as I want to, I’ve got to neglect Indian music.
“As for me working on the rock scene with Jackie, our general idea is just to do a lot of tracks to see what comes out next. We’re mainly doing Jackie’s compositions at the moment, not mine.
“It’s a funny thing, but I wrote ‘Sour Milk Sea` in Rikishesh in ten minutes. I didn’t have a guitar in India, and John had a guitar, but was always playing it and there was only about ten minutes or half an hour, say, of an evening when I borrowed his guitar and wrote that song.

Always rock

“Even though I was in India, I always imagined the song as rock ‘n’ roll. That was the intention.”
And with sales of “Sour Milk Sea” gathering momentum and Jackie’s record looking as if it could do very well for itself if it doesn’t watch out, how does George rate its chances?
Answer: “I don’t think it’s an obvious hit, but I think it’s a very good record. The whole thing of it is very good, although I think that, in a way, it goes above the heads of some people. It’s not the type of record your mums and dads and all those type of people would buy – like a Mary Hopkin record.
“The thing is, you either have the choice of trying to make a hit, or trying to do what you want to do. And we made that choice… Jackie’s whole thing is rock ‘n` roll, and we both like that heavy, tight sound.
“We’re now thinking of all those people who like rock `n` roll music — and there’s a hell of a lot of people who just want to hear that boom-boom sort of thing.”
Now he’s on his rock kick, however, how does George feel about some of his earlier, Indian-influenced work — “Inner Light,” for example?
He gives a grin. “That was one of my precocious things.
“Very precocious, I am, when I get going.”


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ARTICLE ABOUT Paul McCartney (The Beatles) FROM New Musical Express, August 17, 1968

Sort of a strange interview with McCartney this, but also some food for thought. The journalist, Alan Smith, was made editor in 1972, and was told by its owner IPC to turn things around quickly or face closure. To achieve this, Smith and his assistant editor Nick Logan raided the underground press for writers such as Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent, and recruited other writers such as Tony Tyler, Ian MacDonald and Californian Danny Holloway. According to The Economist, the New Musical Express “started to champion underground, up-and-coming music….NME became the gateway to a more rebellious world.
By the time Smith handed the editor’s chair to Logan in mid-1973, the paper was selling nearly 300,000 copies per week and was outstripping Melody Maker, Disc, Record Mirror and Sounds.
Good job, Mr. Smith! Good job indeed!
Read on!


`Beatles loose habit of recording`

Paul McCartney in a no-punches pulled interview with NME`s Alan Smith

HOT sun on the back of my neck, exhaust fumes at the back of my throat, four friends in front of the tape recorder. Left to right Mr. Derek Taylor, Mr. James Paul McCartney, Mr. Peter Asher and Mr. Tony Bramwell, some of whom may be known to you. Hand reaches down to the recording button… push forward… raise the mike and speak.
Inhibited by the wayside Question Time, and the first enquiry is an inarticulate one. “Films? How about films? I mean, you must give me something specific… the United Artists commitment…”
P. Mac Cee: The only trouble is, Alan, I don’t like to be specific. Now, I wouldn’t mind if I had a few things to say. But I’m afraid it has to be… it has to be… general.”
Looks like it’s going to be hard going this. Yes, but, I say, and Paul sends the whole thing up wid dis sudden Brooklyn bit about we’s just a group of boys who get togedder, by d’roadside, an’ we’s gonna make it big wid our next album on d’ Apple label’.
Yes, yes, I struggle, but the commitment to United Artists…

A few films in the air

P. Mac Cee: “Right, well go on, and I’ll give you some evasive generalisation! There’s a few films in the air. There’s films I’d like to make on my own, with not me in ’em, just people in ’em. Just anything films.
“Films of what goes on. Films of grass. Films of people moving about. And then films I’d like to make with the Beatles band. Which would be musical films.
“But… they shouldn’t just be musical films, which everybody offers. They should be the other thing as well. And it’s probably going to be up to us to think of it, because people don’t seem to be coming forward with offers.”
It’s going nicely now. I’m warming up to it. I ask if the Beatles are now dedicated to making money, for whatever reason.
“No, that’s not what we’re dedicated to. We’re dedicated to making what should be made, and incidentally — there’ll be money.
“If you didn’t need money to get things, and if you got things by swopping ’em, then by a roundabout method we’d be dedicated to swopping.
“We`re only dedicated to doing.”
But then, I say, you’re obviously out to expand Apple and make it a thriving business concern, and Mr. Asher agrees but points out that the reason is not to make a fortune. Mr. Taylor agrees and says the Apple policy is to make and sell hits, hits, hits – hit records, hit films, and hit electronics.
Suddenly: “There’s something else you want to know, Alan, and I’m willing to give it to you. But if you just sort of say: ‘Films,’ then I’ll say: Right, Alan, Eggs.”
Get a bit hurt. Ah yes, I say, but you know what I want to know. “Yes,” beams Paul, “I know I do!”
Mr. Derek Taylor puts it all in focus: he interviews me. Alan Smith, he says — are you dedicated to making money, as it is said of you that you are? I have to admit it, I am. I believe money will help my loved ones and me to live in comfort and style. “And style?” emphasises Mr. Taylor – “you’re in good shape, Alan.” It was nice to have me on the show.


Uncomfortable grilling

I’m being put down, and although goodwill dilutes the sting, it’s still a bit uncomfortable being grilled by so many chefs at the roadside barecue.
So it’s back to the car and I think Right, Mate. No punches pulled this time. Turn the tape over, put it at the beginning, switch on and know I’m wiping out Cilla Black and Davy Jones with every word.
Do the bold bit about now look here, I interview many artists and most of them are specific, you know.
“O.K. then,” says P. Mac Cee, feet up and defences coming down.
“Whenever we lay off recording for a long period of time — which we do – we get out of the habit, and it’s not together and its not happening. It takes us a couple of weeks to get to know each other again and how we play.
“For instance, when I went to LA, I heard things on the radio that completely changed a lot of things I’d been thinking about music and about sounds I was hearing. So it made me write a couple of songs differently or arrange them differently.”
Hint of things to come… “So now it’s getting back to how it should be again… rockers… rocking! Which is where the Beatles should be and what we should be doing.”
Long discussion about Apple and what it means and what it stands for. Paul points out that in the past there were creative people who had to go on their knees for work, and for records and films and to get the breaks, man. “And everyone gets down on their knees and grovels a bit.”

Don’t have to grovel at Apple

The idea now is that Apple is an organisation where you don’t have to do that, where if you’re good you get recognised. The trouble is that so much of the pop and record business at the moment is run by people who don’t have a clue what it was about.
The ones who do know — it shows. Jerry Wexler, Herb Alpert, Berry Gordy and so on. When you have thinking, involved people like this, it isn’t necessary to depend all the time on The Big Fat Men.
Start to get around to the no-punches-pulled bit. Talk about cripples (or disabled persons, as my correspondent of last week tells me. Sorry. A word can cut like a knife.)
What about helping people like this, I ask. What about giving them the money to buy things to make things, to obtain their satisfaction and self-respect?
Paul: Well, what about helping the cripples?
Me: Well, why not?
Paul: Well, why?
Me: Because maybe they’re having a hard time of it, and you’re doing all right. Don’t you believe in human kindness?
Paul: Cripples are not necessarily having a hard time of it. And even if they are having a hard time of it — it’s their hard time. It is, man. It doesn’t matter what you say about helping cripples or India… there’s no way to pour millions of pounds into India and make India all right.
Let me get to your conscience, I say. You must have seen, in India, people with their bellies hanging out with hunger. No, says Paul. I didn’t see that. Have you?
But doesn’t it worry you? “No,” says Paul flatly, “starvation in India doesn’t worry me one bit. Not one iota. It doesn’t, man.
“And it doesn’t worry you, if you’re honest. You just pose. You don’t even know it exists. You’ve only seen the Oxfam ads. You can’t pretend to me that an Oxfam ad can reach down into the depths of your soul and actually make you feel for those people — more, for instance, than you feel about getting a new car.
“If it comes to a toss-up and getting a new car, you’d get a new car. And don’t say you wouldn’t —’cos that’s the scene, with you and most people.
“The point is also `Do you really feel for Vietnam?’ and the answers are the same, Maybe I’d rather listen to a rock record than go there to entertain, and maybe, underneath, that’s the truth in all of us. I know one is morally better than the other, but I know I’d never get round to it. I’d be a hypocrite.”

Everything is God

Says he believes in something called God, but anything and everything is God. Never thinks about eternity or outer space — more concerned with inner space.
The Crunch. Ask him to analyse himself and tell him I have always believed him to be Likeably — repeat, likeably — insincere.
Pause. “To you, possibly,” says Paul. “Because I think ‘Here’s NME newspaper. I don’t think Alan Smith, person, at all. I think I have to watch what I say because you don’t say certain things to papers. I think maybe NME – Enemy!
“Whenever I’m faced with a Pop Press Conference or a drink with the reporters, I can’t be sincere… ‘cos I wouldn’t be there. But I suppose that by being pleasantly insincere, I can at least get to know people on some level in the short space of time.”
Long conversation and then, finally, a statement. “The Truth about Me,” says Paul, “is that I’m… Pleasantly Insincere!
“And really that’s the Whole Truth, and nothing but.”


Mr. Rachid at the 007 club? Was this for real?

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ARTICLE ABOUT The Beatles FROM New Musical Express, May 27, 1967

To live under the scrutiny and attention that the most famous people in the world experience has never been easy. It can be very tough when everyone wants your attention – even when you try to eat. There are some definitive perks of being famous at the level that Beatles were, but in the long run I guess you should appreciate your anonymity.
Read on!


Dinner with the Beatles

By Norrie Drummond

JOHN LENNON walked into the room first. Then came George Harrison and Paul McCartney, followed closely by Ringo Starr and road managers Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans. The Beatles had arrived at a small dinner party in Brian Epstein`s Belgravia home, to talk to journalists and disc jockeys for the first time in many months.
For almost a year they have been virtually incommunicado. No interviews, no public appearances, no “live” TV dates. We knew they were making an LP and that they intended to start work on another film, but that was all, apart from the occasional snatched photograph of a not particularly happy-looking Beatle.

New look

We saw the new John Lennon look when he was filming in “How I Won The War”. We saw the change in George Harrison when he returned from India and we learned that Ringo and Paul had grown moustaches.
Their last single “Penny Lane”/ “Strawberry Fields Forever” failed to make No. 1 and the rumours and speculation started. Only last week one newspaper described them rather incongruously as “contemplative, secretive and exclusive”.
Well the Beatles are contemplative. So what? And secretive? Only when it’s required of them. As for exclusive, surely they’ve always been that.
But the Beatles most certainly have not become four mystical introverts as some people would have us imagine.
Despite their flamboyant clothes which made even Jimmy Savile look startled, the Beatles are still the same sane, straightforward people they were four years ago. Their opinions and beliefs are the same only now they understand why they believe in them.
“I’ve had a lot of time to think,” said John peering at me through his wire-rimmed specs, and only now am I beginning to realise many of the things I should have known years ago.
“I’m getting to understand my own feelings. Don’t forget that under this frilly shirt is a hundred-year-old man who’s seen and done so much — but at the same time knowing so little.”
John regards the Beatles’ new LP “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” as one of the most important steps in the group’s career.

Just right

“It had to be just right. We tried and I think succeeded in achieving what we set out to do. If we hadn’t then it wouldn’t be out now.”
Apart from his green frilly shirt John was wearing maroon trousers and round his waist was a sporran.
Why the sporran, I enquired. “A relative in Edinburgh gave it to Cynthia as a present and as there are no pockets in these trousers it comes in handy for holding my cigarettes and front door keys.”
I joined George sitting quietly on a settee nibbling on a stick of celery. He was wearing dark trousers and a maroon velvet jacket.
On the lapel was a badge from the New York Workshop of Non Violence. Their emblem is a yellow submarine withwhat looked like daffodils sprouting from it.
“Naturally I`m opposed to all forms of war,” said George seriously. “The idea of man killing man is terrible.” I asked him about his visit to India and what it had taught him.

Wrong idea

“Firstly I think too many people here have the wrong idea about India. Everyone immediately associates India with poverty, suffering and starvation but there’s much, much more than that. There’s the spirit of the people, the beauty and goodness.
“The people there have a tremendous spiritual strength which I don’t think is found elsewhere. That’s what I’ve been trying to learn about.”
George has taken the time to find out about many religions. Not merely just to dabble in them but really to learn and know.
He believes that religion is a day-to-day experience. “You find it all around. You live it. Religion is here and now. Not something that just comes on Sundays.”
What had he been doing for the past year, I asked. Didn’t he ever get bored? “Oh I’ve never been bored, there’s so much to do, so much to find out about,” he said enthusiastically. “We’ve been writing and recording and so on.”
The LP “Sgt. Pepper” took them almost six months to make and it has received mixed reviews from the critics. Having achieved world-wide fame by singing pleasant, hummable numbers don’t they feel they may be too far ahead of the record-buyers?


Very aware

George thinks not: “People are very, very aware of what’s going on around them nowadays. They think for themselves and I don’t think we can ever be accused of underestimating the intelligence of our fans.”
John agrees with him. “The people who have bought our records in the past must realise that we couldn’t go on making the same type for ever. We must change and I believe those people know this.”
Of all four Beatles Ringo, I think, is the one who has changed the least. Perhaps a little more talkative, more forthcoming. The one whose personality isn’t quite as obvious as the others and still the most reticent.
He is very contented and what’s best by the others is all right by him. What had inspired the sleeve cover of the album — a montage of familiar faces crowding round the Beatles? “We just thought we’d like to put together a lot of people we like and admire,” said Ringo.

Part Beatle

Included in the picture are Diana Dors, Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Shirley Temple, Max Miller, Lawrence Of Arabia, Bob Dylan and Stuart Sutcliffe the former member of the Beatles who died in Hamburg.
I drifted over to where the now clean-shaven, and much thinner Paul was sitting sipping a glass of champagne. He greeted me in his usual charming manner and enquired after my health.
“You know,” he said “we’ve really been looking forward to this evening. We wanted to meet a few people because so many distorted stories were being printed.
“We have never thought about splitting up. We want to go on recording together. The Beatles live!” he said raising his glass in the air.
At this stage I should mention that although all four Beatles are extremely charming and courteous, they are still the masters of subtle evasion.
No one, in my experience, has perfected to such an art how to give a feasible answer to a pointed question without saying yes or no.
They’re not sure whether they’ll be making any personal appearances in the future although they’d like to; plans for their next film are scanty and they’re working on a new single which they’re not sure about.
As I said, secretive when they need to be and still very, very exclusive.

JUST a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace stands Brian Epstein’s four-storey Georgian house. On either side live doctors, business executives, architects and actors — several houses in the quiet street are up for sale.
Parked outside Epstein’s house is a Rolls-Royce but it’s not his — probably the architect’s. The car he generally uses — a white Mini — is on the other side of the street. Behind it stands a black Mini with smoked windows. It belongs to George.
The door-bell is answered by Epstein’s driver Brian, who says: “Go straight in. They’re up there somewhere.” Through the glass doors and on a shelf on the right is an antique clock — a Christmas present from Paul McCartney to Brian Epstein, who is standing beside it.
He is telling disc jockeys Jimmy Savile, Alan Freeman and Kenny Everett about the LP cover. Brian is delighted with it. Also in the room is Peter Brown, Brian’s right-hand man who resembles a 30-year-old Ernest Hemingway.
In the centre of the room is a table laden with salads, radishes, fruit, cheeses, eggs, cream, hams and loads of other goodies.
The Beatles are at the moment upstairs surrounded by a horde of photographers. Brian welcomes the other guests as they arrive while Peter Brown plies them with champagne. Brian’s secretary Joanne Newfield flutters around delightfully, making everyone feel at home and the Beatles’ press officer Tony Barrow distributes cigarettes.
Photographers start coming down the stairs then road manager Neil Aspinall — now wearing a moustache — appears with the group.
“Just one more shot on the doorstep boys,” Tony Barrow instructs the photographers.
Two minutes later the Beatles reappear minus the photographers. George and John head for the table and start eating, Paul tries to, but is cornered by two enthusiastic writers. Ringo stands smoking and talking to Jimmy Savile who’s wearing a jacket which looks like one of Fatty Arbuckle’s cast-offs.
Paul is trapped over at the window by the two scribes and begins looking round for someone to rescue him, Tony Barrow asks everyone to go upstairs to the lounge. Everyone wanders up to the spacious lounge where the LP is playing. For a couple of hours everyone chats and drinks.
Brian Epstein leaves early to head to his country cottage in Sussex. George is the first Beatle to leave — somewhat abruptly. One writer has apparently put his foot in it and upset him.
The other three slowly drift off and the evening draws to a close.


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