The Beatles Ultimate Experience
August 28, 1963
- ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW:
JOHN: "The best thing was (Love Me Do) came to the charts in two
days. And everybody thought it was a fiddle because our manager's stores
send in these... what is it... record things."
The Beatles pondered their past, present and future during this
insightful dressing room interview filmed by BBC-TV. The interview
footage was first broadcast in Britain during October 1963 as
part of a BBC documentary entitled, "The Mersey Sound."
JOHN: "Returns. And everybody down south thought 'Oh, aha!
He's buying them himself or he's just fiddlin' the charts,' you know,
but he wasn't."
GEORGE: "Actually we'd been at it a long time before that. We'd been to
Hamburg. I think that's where we found our style... we developed our style
because of this fella. He used to say, 'You've got to make a show for the people.'
And he used to come up every night, shouting 'Mach schau! Mach schau!' So we
used to mach schau, and John used to dance around like a gorilla, and we'd
all, you know, knock our heads together and things like that. Anyway, we got
back to Liverpool and all the groups there were doing 'Shadows' type of stuff.
And we came back with leather jackets and jeans and funny hair-- maching schau--
which went down quite well."
JOHN: "We just wore leather jackets. Not for the group-- one
person wore one, I can't remember-- and then we all liked them so
it ended up we were all on stage with them. And we'd always worn
jeans 'cuz we didn't have anything else at the time, you know. And
then we went back to Liverpool and got quite a few bookings. They
all thought we were German. You know, we were billed as 'From Hamburg'
and they all said, 'You speak good English.' (smiles) So we went
back to Germany and we had a bit more money the second time, so we
wore leather pants-- and we looked like four Gene Vincents, only
a bit younger, I think. (smiles) And that was it, you know. We just
kept the leather gear till Brian (Epstein) came along."
PAUL: "It was a bit, sort of, old hat anyway-- all wearing leather gear--
and we decided we didn't want to look ridiculous going home. Because more often
than not too many people would laugh. It was just stupid. We didn't want to
appear as a gang of idiots. And Brian suggested that we just, sort of, wore
ordinary suits. So we just got what we thought were quite good suits, and got
rid of the leather gear. That was all."
(Next, the topic of discussion turned to the present fame of the
group, and the sudden glare of media attention.)
GEORGE: "We do like the fans and enjoy reading the publicity
about us, but sometimes you don't realize that it's about yourself.
You see your pictures and read articles about George Harrison, Ringo
Starr, Paul and John-- but you don't actually think 'Oh, that's me.
There I am in the paper.' (smiles) It's funny. It's just as though
it's a different person."
RINGO: "When we go home, we go in early in the morning when we've finished
a job, and the kids don't know you're at home. But if they find out, where
I live, they get the drums out and beat it out! (laughs) 'Cuz it's a play street
and, you know, there's no traffic or nothing bothering them. Once when the
boys came for me-- they popped in to see me Mum and me Dad, you know-- we had
to go out the back 'cuz there were twenty or thirty outside. And they wouldn't
believe me mother, you know, knocking and saying 'Can we have their autographs.'
So it built up so much. There was about two hundred kids all around the door,
peeping through the window and knocking."
RINGO: (laughs) "In the end, me mother was ill, you know--
terrified out of her life-- with just all these kids and boys and
girls, you know."
GEORGE: "They send us alot of Jellybabies and chocolates and
things like that, just because somebody wrote in one of the papers
about presents and things that we'd had given to us. And John said
he'd got some Jellybabies and I ate them. But ever since that we've
been inundated. We get about two-ton a night. (smiles) But the main
trouble is they tend to throw them at us when were on stage. (laughs)
And, uhh, once I got one in my eye which wasn't very nice. (holds
finger to eye) In fact I haven't been the same since."
JOHN: "It all sounds complaining, but you know, we're not.
We're just putting the point that it affects your home more than
it does yourself, you know, because you know what to expect but your
parents and family don't know what's happening."
(The Beatles were then asked what they saw in their own future, and
how long their fame might last.)
JOHN: "'How long are you gonna last?' Well, you can't say, you
know. You can be big-headed and say, 'Yeah, we're gonna last ten
years.' But as soon as you've said that you think, 'We're lucky if
we last three months,' you know."
PAUL: "Well, obviously we can't keep playing the same sort
of music until we're about forty-- sort of, old men playing 'From
Me To You'-- nobody is going to want to know at all about that sort
of thing. You know, we've thought about it, and probably the thing
that John and I will do, uhh, will be write songs-- as we have been
doing as a sort of sideline now-- we'll probably develop that a bit
more we hope. Who knows. At forty, we may not know how to write songs
GEORGE: "I hope to have enough money to go into a business
of my own by the time we, umm, do 'flop.' (laughs) And we don't know--
it may be next week, it may be two or three years. But I think we'll
be in the business, either up there or down there, for at least another
RINGO: "I've always fancied having a ladies hairdressing salon."
RINGO: (undeterred) "You know, a string of them, in fact! Strut
'round in me stripes and tails, you know. 'Like a cup of tea, Madam?'"
Source: Video copy of original film footage