The Beatles: Interviews 1962-1963

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Transcript of The Beatles: Interviews 1962-1963


    MONTY LISTER: It's a very great pleasure for us this evening to say hello to an up-and-coming Merseyside group, The Beatles. I know their names, and I'm going to try andput faces to them. Now, you're John Lennon, aren't you?"JOHN: "Yes, that's right."MONTY: "What do you do in the group, John?"JOHN: "I play harmonica, rhythm guitar, and vocal. That's what they call it."MONTY: "Then, there's Paul McCartney. That's you?"PAUL: "Yeah, that's me. Yeah."MONTY: "And what do you do?"PAUL: "Play bass guitar and uhh, sing? ...I think! That's what they say."MONTY: "That's quite apart from being vocal?"PAUL: "Well... yes, yes."MONTY: "Then there's George Harrison."GEORGE: "How d'you do."MONTY: "How d'you do. What's your job?"GEORGE: "Uhh, lead guitar and sort of singing."MONTY: "By playing lead guitar does that mean that you're sort of leader of the group orare you...?"GEORGE: "No, no. Just... Well you see, the other guitar is the rhythm. Ching, ching,ching, you see."PAUL: "He's solo guitar, you see. John is in fact the leader of the group."MONTY: "And over in the background, here, and also in the background of the groupmaking a lot of noise is Ringo Starr."RINGO: "Hello."MONTY: "You're new to the group, aren't you Ringo?"RINGO: "Yes, umm, nine weeks now."MONTY: "Were you in on the act when the recording was made of 'Love Me Do'?"RINGO: "Yes, I'm on the record. I'm on the disc."(the group giggles)RINGO: (comic voice) "It's down on record, you know?"MONTY: "Now, umm..."RINGO: "I'm the drummer!"(laughter)MONTY: "What's that offensive weapon you've got there? Those are your drumsticks?"RINGO: "Well, it's umm... just a pair of sticks I found. I just bought 'em, you know, 'cuzwe're going away."MONTY: "When you say you're going away, that leads us on to another question now.Where are you going?"RINGO: "Germany. Hamburg. For two weeks."MONTY: "You have standing and great engagements over there, haven't you?"RINGO: "Well, the boys have been there quite a lot, you know. And I've been there with

  • other groups, but this is the first time I've been there with the Beatles."MONTY: "Paul, tell us. How do you get in on the act in Germany?"PAUL: "Well, it was all through an old agent."(laughter)PAUL: (chuckles) "We first went there for a fella who used to manage us, and Mr. AllanWilliams of the Jacaranda Club in Liverpool. And he found the engagements so we sortof went there, and then went under our own..."JOHN: "Steam."PAUL: "Steam... (laughs)JOHN: " they say."PAUL: "As they say, afterwards, you know. And we've just been going backwards andforwards and backwards and forwards."MONTY: (surprised) "You're not busy at all?"PAUL: (jokingly) "Well yes, actually. Yes. It's me left leg. You know. The war."(laughter)MONTY: "George, were you brought up in Liverpool?"GEORGE: "Yes. So far, yes."MONTY: "Whereabouts?"GEORGE: "Well, born in Wavertree, and bred in Wavertree and Speke -- where theairplanes are, you know."MONTY: "Are you all 'Liverpool types,' then?"RINGO: "Yes."JOHN: "Uhh... types, yes."PAUL: "Oh yeah."RINGO: "Liverpool-typed Paul, there."MONTY: "Now, I'm told that you were actually in the same form as young RonWycherley..."RINGO: "Ronald. Yes."MONTY: " Billy Fury."RINGO: "In Saint Sylus."MONTY: "In which?"RINGO: "Saint Sylus."JOHN: "Really?"RINGO: "It wasn't Dingle Vale like you said in the Musical Express."PAUL: "No, that was wrong. Saint Sylus school."MONTY: "Now I'd like to introduce a young disc jockey. His name is MalcolmThreadgill, he's 16-years old, and I'm sure he'd like to ask some questions from theteenage point of view."MALCOLM THREADGILL: "I understand you've made other recordings before on aGerman label."PAUL: "Yeah."MALCOLM: "What ones were they?"PAUL: "Well, we didn't make... First of all we made a recording with a fella called TonySheridan. We were working in a club called 'The Top Ten Club' in Hamburg. And wemade a recording with him called, 'My Bonnie,' which got to number five in the German

  • Hit Parade."JOHN: "Achtung!"PAUL: (giggles) "But it didn't do a thing over here, you know. It wasn't a very goodrecord, but the Germans must've liked it a bit. And we did an instrumental which wasreleased in France on an EP of Tony Sheridan's, which George and John wrotethemselves. That wasn't released here. It got one copy. That's all, you know. It didn't doanything."MALCOLM: "You composed 'P.S. I Love You' and 'Love Me Do' yourself, didn't you?Who does the composing between you?"PAUL: "Well, it's John and I. We write the songs between us. It's, you know... We've sortof signed contracts and things to say, that now if we..."JOHN: "It's equal shares."PAUL: "Yeah, equal shares and royalties and things, so that really we just both writemost of the stuff. George did write this instrumental, as we say. But mainly it's John andI. We've written over about a hundred songs but we don't use half of them, you know. Wejust happened to sort of rearrange 'Love Me Do' and played it to the recording people, and'P.S. I Love You,' and uhh, they seemed to quite like it. So that's what we recorded."MALCOLM: "Is there anymore of your own compositions you intend to record?"JOHN: "Well, we did record another song of our own when we were down there, but itwasn't finished enough. So, you know, we'll take it back next time and see how they likeit then."(long pause)JOHN: (jokingly) "Well... that's all from MY end!"(laughter)MONTY: "I would like to just ask you-- and we're recording this at Hume Hall, PortSunlight-- Did any of you come over to this side before you became famous, as it were?Do you know this district?"PAUL: "Well, we played here, uhh... I don't know what you mean by famous, you know.(laughter)PAUL: "If being famous is being in the Hit Parade, we've been over here-- we were hereabout two months ago. Been here twice, haven't we?"JOHN: "I've got relations here. Rock Ferry."MONTY: "Have you?"JOHN: "Yes. Oh, all sides of the water, you know."PAUL: "Yeah, I've got a relation in Claughton Village-- Upton Road."RINGO: (jokingly) "I've got a friend in Birkenhead!"(laughter)MONTY: "I wish I had."GEORGE: (jokingly) "I know a man in Chester!"(laughter)MONTY: "Now, that's a very dangerous thing to say. There's a mental home there, mate.Peter Smethurst is here as well, and he looks like he is bursting with a question."PETER SMETHURST: "There is just one question I'd like to ask. I'm sure it's thequestion everyone's asking. I'd like your impressions on your first appearance ontelevision."

  • PAUL: "Well, strangely enough, we thought we were gonna be dead nervous. Andeveryone said, 'You suddenly, when you see the cameras, you realize that there are twomillion people watching,' because there were two million watching that 'People AndPlaces' that we did... we heard afterwards. But, strangely enough, it didn't come to us. Wedidn't think at all about that. And it was much easier doing the television than it wasdoing the (live musical performance) radio. It's still nerve-wracking, but it was a bit easierthan doing radio because there was a full audience for the radio broadcast."MONTY: "Do you find it nerve-wracking doing this now?"(laughter)PAUL: (jokingly) "Yeah, yeah."MONTY: "Over at Cleaver Hospital, a certain record on Parlophone-- the top side hasbeen requested. So perhaps the Beatles themselves would like to tell them what it's goingto be."PAUL: "Yeah. Well, I think it's gonna be 'Love Me Do.'"JOHN: "Parlophone R4949."(laughter)PAUL: "'Love Me Do.'"MONTY: "And I'm sure, for them, the answer is P.S. I love you!"PAUL: "Yeah."


    Things are beginning to move for the Beatles, the R&B styled British group whichcrashed into the NME charts this week at No. 17. The disc -- 'Please Please Me' -- followsclosely on the heels of their first hit 'Love Me Do,' written by group members JohnLennon and Paul McCartney.Says Paul: "We also wrote 'Please Please Me,' but that hasn't exhausted our supply ofcompositions. We've got nearly a hundred up our sleeves, and we're writing all the time!"I suppose 'writing' is the wrong word. John and I just hammer out a number on ourinstruments. If we want anyone to hear it, we record it, then send them a tape."We've had disappointments, but coming in at No. 17 has pleased-pleased us!" hequipped.The boys are rehearsing their act for the forthcoming Helen Shapiro tour when I met themin their hometown of Liverpool on Sunday. And at Norrie Paramor's request, they werecomposing a song for Helen to record when she goes to Nashville shortly.Said Paul: "We've called it 'Misery,' but it isn't as slow as it sounds. It moves along atquite a steady pace, and we think Helen will make a pretty good job of it. We've also donea number for Duffy Power which he's going to record."This isn't the Beatles' first taste of success. The clipped negro sound they achieve hasbrought them a fantastic following in Germany, where they had a Polydor single in thecharts more than a year ago. They spent Christmas performing in Hamburg -- their fifthvisit.

  • In the North of England, too, they've built up a reputation that takes some beating. In thepast I've seen them billed with equal prominence alongside such names as Little Richardand Joe Brown!Talking of Little Richard, the rock 'n' roll star became one of the Beatles' biggest fansduring his recent visit. He told me: "I've never heard that sound from English musiciansbefore. Honestly, if I hadn't seen them with my own eyes I'd have thought they were acolored group from back home."So far it seems that only Northern fans and visiting American stars have appreciated theirtalents (the Crickets went overboard when they heard them), but 'Please Please Me' willchange everything. Already Southerners have been flocking to buy the disc since it wasreleased two