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Beatles Interviews



The Beatles
Washington, DC, February 11, 1964

Question: Do any of you have any formal musical training?
John: You're joking.
Question: What do you think of President Johnson?
Paul: Does he buy our records?
Question: What do you think of American girls and American audiences?
John: Marvelous.
Question: Here I am, surrounded by the Beatles, and I don't feel a thing. Fellas, how does it feel to be in the United States?
John: It's great.
Question: What do you like best about our country?
John: You!
Question: I'll take that under advisement. Do you have any plans to meet the Johnson girls?
John: No. We heard they didn't like our concerts.
Question: Are they coming to your performance tonight?
Paul: If they do, we'd really like to meet them.
Question: You and the snow came to Washington today. Which do you think will have the greater impact?
John: The snow will probably last longer.
Question: One final question. Have you ever heard of Walter Cronkite?
Paul: Nope.
John: NBC News, is he? Yeah, we know him.
Question: Thanks, fellas. By the way, it's CBS News.
George: I know, but I didn't want to say it as we're now on ABC.
Question: This is NBC, believe it or not.
John: And you're Walter?
Question: No, I'm Ed.
John: What's going on around here?
Question: What do you think of your reception in America so far?
John: It's been great.
Question: What struck you the most?
John: You!
Ringo: We already did that joke when we first came in.
George: Well, we're doing it again, squire!
Question: Why do you think you're so popular?
John: It must be the weather.
Question: Do you think it's your singing?
Paul: I doubt it. We don't know which it could be.
Question: Where'd you get the idea for the haircuts?
John: Where'd you get the idea for yours?
Paul: We enjoyed wearing our hair this way, so it's developed this way.
Question: Well you save on haircutting at least.
Paul: Roar...
John: I think it costs more to keep it short than long, don't you?
Paul: Yeah, we're saving our money.
Question: Are you still number one in Europe?
George: We're number one in America.
Question: Where else are you number one then?
Paul: Australia, Denmard, and Finland.
Question: And you haven't any idea why?
Ringo: We just lay down and do it.
John: In Hong Kong and these other places, suddenly you're number one years after putting out your records. Even here, we're got records we've probably forgotten.
Question: You call your records "funny records"?
John: "Funny," yeah, the ones we've forgotten.
George: It's unusual because they've been out in England for over a year. Like "Please, Please Me" is a big hit over here now, but it's over a year old.
Question: Do you think they're musical?
John: Obviously they're musical because it's music, isn't it! We make music. Instruments play music. It's a record.
Question: What do you call it, rock and roll?
Paul: We try not to define our music because we get so many wrong classifications off it. We call it music even if you don't.
Question: With a question mark?
George: Pardon?
John: We leave that to the critics.
Question: Okay, that's it. Have a good time in America.
John: Thank you. Keep buying them records and look after yourself.


New York, February 12, 1964

Question: John, is the reaction to the group the same here as in England?
John: I find it's very similar, only over here they go wilder quicker, know.
Question: Will you sing a song for us?
John: No. Sorry, we need money first.
Question: How much money do you expect to make here?
John: About half a crown. Depends on the tax. How much have you got?
Question: Some of your detractors allege that you are bald and those haircuts are wigs. Is that true?
John: Oh, we're all bald. Yeah. And deaf and dumb too.
Question: What is the Beatle sound?
John: Well, as far as we are concerned, there's no such thing as a Liverpool or even a Beatles sound. It's just a name that people tag on.
Question: One of your hits is "Roll Over Beethover." What do you think of Beethoven as a composer?
Ringo: He's great. Especially his poems.
Question: Are these your real names?
Paul: Yeah, except Ringo. His name's Richard Starkey. He's called Ringo because of his rings, you know. And Starr, he didn't like Starkey.
Question: Do all the Beatles write songs?
John: Paul and I do most of the writing. George has written a few. Ringo hasn't, because it's hard to write something on the drums, isn't it?
Ringo: Yes.
Question: How do you account for your fantastic success?
Paul: We wish we knew.
John: Good press agent.
Question: Why do millions of Beatles fans buy millions of Beatles records?
John: If we knew, we'd form another group and become their managers.
Question: What do you think of American girls compared to British girls?
Paul: The accents are different, of course. In films American women always seem to be bossing the men, being superior in business and things. But from what I've seen, they're not. They're very similar to British women, just ordinary people, very nice.
Question: Where did the name "Beatle" come from?
George: We were just racking our brains and John came up with the name Beatle. It was good because it was the insect and it was also a pun, you know, "beat," on the beat. We liked the name and we kept it.
Question: Have you been influenced by any one American artist?
George: In the early days, it was Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly. But there's no one we tried to copy.
Question: Why do you wear your hair in such an unusual style?
George: Well, I went to the swimming baths and when I came out my hair dried and it was just all forward like a mop. I left it like that. When Ringo joined the group we got him to get his hair like this because by then people were calling it the Beatle cut.
Question: Do you contemplate becoming permanent residents of the US?
George: I love the States, but if we came to live over here everybodymwould go mad. It's like Elvis, if he went to, say, Australia and then suddenly decided to live there. What would all the American people think?
Question: Paul, what are your ambitions?
Paul: We used to have lots of amnitions. Like number one records; Sunday Night at the Palladium; The Ed Sullivan Show; to go to America. A thousand ambitions like that. I can't really think of any more. We've lived an awful lot of them.
Question: Paul, what is your aim in life?
Paul: To have a laugh, you know, to be happy.
Question: John, is it a fad?
John: Obviously. Anything in this business is a fad. WE don't think we're going to last forever. We're just going to have a good time while it lasts.


Blokker, The Netherlands, June 6, 1964

Reporter: Here they are in the bar sitting behind me, the Beatles!
John: Yeah...
Question: First of all, introduce yourself.
John: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Jimmy Nichol.
Question: You want to get married?
Paul: No good...no good, marriage.
John: Good!
Paul: I don't know yet, maybe when I got some more money.
Question: You got money?
John: You got more!
Question: What do you think of the Dutch girls?
Paul: Great, yeah.
Question: They're good? Why?
Paul: Well, all girls are good actually.
Question: What makes a girl good?
Paul: I don't know, do you?
John: I know, I'm just helping him.
Question: You're on, Jimmy. Do you find it difficult to take over the role of Ringo?
Jimmy Nichole: No, not really, no. Because Ringo I can never replace. I can never make up for what Ringo is, you know.
Question: How long will you be doing this?
Jimmy: Until next Thursday.
Question: How is Ringo, by the way?
George: He's ill!
Question: Do you consider the records you made with Tony Sheridan in the Star Club in Hamburg real Beatles records?
George: No, no, because on most of it Tony Sheridan sings and it's two years ago, you know. Anyway, it's not a very good record.
Question: Do you play any other instrument besides the guitar and drums?
John: I play mouth organ and a little piano.
Paul: I play a little piano, about that big, a very little piano. I think we all play a little bit on other instruments.
Question: Who mends your stockings when you're on your travels?
George: Stockings? Socks! Nobody, we just have them washed.
Question: Do you think all the hysterics are necessary for your act?
Paul: No, not necessary. But it helps give a good atmosphere, we don't mind. It's nice when there's a lot of noise about. It's like a football match with a lot of noise going on. It produces a good feeling.
John: Goal! Goal!
Question: But why is it always the girls?
John: If it was all just boys, it would be a bit funny, wouldn't it?
Question: I want to ask you whether you will go ahead with any musical change in direction?
Paul: You never know. People always say we've changed, but we can't notice. So we probably will change our records. We wouldn't do anything drastic, like sing with a big band or anything, you know, because we don't enjoy that kind of music.
Question: You do this kind of music because you enjoy it?
Paul: We love it, you know, that's the main reason. If we didn't, we'd give it up tomorrow.


Adelaide, Australia, June 12, 1964

Question: Paul, what do you expect to find here in Australia?
John: Australians, I should think.
Question: Do you have an acknowledged leader of the group?
John: No, not really.
Question: We heard that you stood on your head on the balcony outside, is that right?
Paul: I don't know where you hear these rumors.
Question: John, has the Mersy Beat changed much since you've been playing it?
John: There's no such thing as Mersey Beat. The press made that up. It's all rock'n'roll.
Question: Do you play the same way now as you did?
John: It's only rock'n'roll. It just so happens that we write most of it.
Question: Did Buddy Holly influence your music?
John: He did in the early days. Obviously he was one of the greats.
Paul: So did James Thurber, though, didn't he?
John: Yeah, but he doesn't sing as well, does he?
Question: Have you been practicing up on your Australian accents?
George: No, guvnor, not at all.
Question: Do you think you will be writing any songs with Australian themes?
John: No, we never write anything with themes. We just write the same rubbish all the time.
Question: Do you play the kind of music you want to or the music you think people want to hear?
John: Well, we've been playing this kind of music for five or six years, something like that. It's all just rock'n'roll. It just happens that we write it.
Question: What do you think made the difference that put you up above other groups?
George: We had a record contract.
Question: What record do you all agree is generally your best recording? Not the best seller, but rather the best musically.
John: We always like the one we just made, don't we? So "Long Tall Sally."
George: I like "You Can't Do That," personally.
Question: What about you, Jimmy? How do you feel being in with the Beatles? A newcomer standing in for Ringo?
Jimmy: It's a good experience, man.
Question: How is Ringo?
Jimmy: He's much better. He joins us on Sunday.
Question: What do you do then?
Jimmy: I go back to London, where they're fixing up a band for me. I'll do some television...
John: And he's away.
Question: You're progressing pretty well with your Beatle haircut.
Jimmy: I've been growing it for about three months now.
Question: How long does it take to get a magnificent mane like this?
John: I can't remember being without it.
Question: Do you ever go to the barber's, John?
John: No. I haven't had my hair cut since the film. The woman on the film cut it. I don't trust anybody else.
Question: This is the film, Beatlemania, is it?
John: No, it's not called that. That's anothe one. A Hard Day's Night it's called.
Question: Are you satisfied with the finished product?
John: Well, it's as good as it can be with anybody that can't act.


Melbourne, June 15, 1964

Question: How do you feel about your responsibilities? I mean teenagers dwell on your every comment and action. Do you feel vey responsible towards this?
Paul: We never used to believe it. We used to open a magazine and it would say so-and-so doesn't drink, doesn't smoke. We just act normally and hope other people don't think we act funny.
Question: I know you say you act normally, but how can you when you're getting so much money? When everywhere you go people go so crazy you can't see anything.
John: Normal in the environment that surrounds us.
Question: John, you started something called a skiffle group. Now, does this automatically grow into what now is the Beatles or did this come about over a period of years?
John:Over a period of time. See, I( met Paul first and he sort of joined us. Then George. It was just us three.
Question: What did you think of the Adelaide reception?
Paul: It was good.
Question: Was it like anything you've ever had before?
Beatles: No.
Question: Do you think it was well conducted?
John: Yes, everyone was well behaved.
Question: Do you ever get this feeling that someone's going to knock you off or something?
Paul: Nah.
Question: How long do you rehearse a new number when making up a new song?
Paul: Normally with new numbers we don't rehearse them until we record them.
Question: John, I remember the launching of the careers of Frank sinatra and Johnny Ray, Elvis Presley, but this to my mind is unprecedented by the fantastic buildup and publicity and all the press agents. I'm not detracting any way from the talent that you obvioulsy have. How much do you attribute to Brian Epstein and his public relations men? And how many are there to your knowledge?
John: We've only ever had one. We didn't even have that one until about six months ago.
Question: Do you think Brian Epstein is going to wave his magic wand sometime and include you as a fifth Beatle or a stand-in drummer for Ringo permanently?
Jimmy: That I don't know.
Question: Have any of you ever been involved in any zany publicity stunts?
John: No. We've never had to, actually.
Paul: When we first started up we didn't have a manager or anything so we sat around trying to think of them.
Question: What would be your most exciting moments in show business?
George: I can't remember, there's so many ever since last September. Everthing's been exciting. I think when we had got to America and found that they'd gone potty on us. And when we'd got back to Britain last October we'd been touring Sweden and when this Beatlemania thing started. We hadn't heard about it because we were away. We just landed in London and everyone was ther smashing the place up.
Question: In your wildest dreams did you ever think you'd reach the state you have reached now?
John: No. Nobody imagined anything like this.
Question: What about your act tonight, at the Centennial Hall. How long will it last, your particular segment?
Paul: Thirty minutes, each house.
Question: Are you constantly changing your act?
John: Well, depending on what city or state and which song is more popular. Sometimes we change the order.
Question: What about when you played the Royal Variety Performance for Her Majesty? Same act as always?
Paul: Yeah.
Question: Do you get nervous before any shows?
John: All of them.
Question: Any trouble with the hordes of screaming fans outside of the hotel. Do you sleep through all that sort of thing?
John: They never stay out there all night screaming.


San Francisco, August 19, 1964

Question: How was your trip?
John: Like any plane trip, boring.
Ringo: We've been going seventeen hours now.
Question: Did you see more of this town than you did last time?
Ringo: I only saw he airport.
Question: Who is your tailor?
Paul: A fellow called Dougie Millings of London.
Question: Do you know his address?
Paul: Great Portney Street in London.
John: He keeps moving with all the profit he makes.
Question: How frightened were you when you looked at the cage you were to be photographed in upon your arrival?
John: It wasn't bad because somebody had been up there and tested it out.
Ringo: In fact, al the press went up and tested it.
Question: Why did you leave so soon?
Ringo: It got cold.
John: Some people said climb up on the thing and wave and then they said get off. So we came down.
Paul: We're very obedient.
Question: Why did you start the tour in San Francisco?
Ringo: You'll have to ask someone else. We're never told.
John: We don't plan the tours, they're planned for us, you see. We just say we don't want to go to say, Bobboobooland. We leave the rest of the world open and it's all planned for us.
Question: How do you like not having any privacy?
Paul: We do have some.
John: We just had some yesterday, didn't we, Paul? Tell them.
Paul: Yes, yes.
Question: Ringo, you didn't look too happy when you got off the airplane. Was there any reason?
Ringo: If you'd been on it fifteen hours, how would you look?
John: How would he look, Ringo?
Ringo: I don't know. Look at him now.
George: A bit of a fried face, if you ask me.
Question: Where are your cameras? Do you still take pictures?
Ringo: Well, John hasn'tt sold his. I just forgot mine. They got me up too early.
Question: Which one is married?
Ringo: John is married. We'll all get married in the end.
Paul: We will, in the end?
John: You mean, you're not funny like the rumor says?
Ringo: Two of three years, plenty of time.
Paul: Lots of rumors in America.
Question: Have you been writing now?
John: Yes. I wrote all the way over on the plane.
Question: Now that you've made a movie, do you dig the acting bit?
John: We don't profess to be actors.
Paul: It's Americans that "dig."
John: Dig?
Paul: Dig your baby, daddy!
John: Oh, I get it.
Paul: "With it"
Question: In America, the current slang is "tough," "boss," and "dig."
Paul: They change all the time.
Question: What are some of your hip words in England?
John: They're ever changing, you know, madam. "Alec Douglas," that's a big one. "Wilson," everybody does it.
Paul: "Harold Wilson."
George: Always.
Paul: "Barry Goldwater."
John: That's a new one over there. It means "drag."
Question: What does it mean over there?
John: It means "happy days are here again."
Question: Ringo, how do you feel about the "Ringo for President" campaign?
Ringo: It's marvelous.
Question: If you were president, what political promises would you make?
Ringo: I don't know. I'm sort of politically weird.
John: You are?
Ringo: No, John, believe me.
Paul: I think you should be president, Ringo.
Question: How about you other guys, how do you feel about Ringo being nominated for president?
John: We think he should win. Definitely in favor.
George: Yes.
Question: Would make them part of your cabinet?
Ringo: I'd have to, wouldn't I?
George: I could be the door.
Ringo: I'd have George as treasurer.
John: I could be the cupboard.
Ringo: George looks after the money.
Question: Are you going to Miami this year?
George: No. We're going to Florida to do a show in Jacksonvill at the Gator Bowl.
Question: What sports do you like?
John: We don't like any sports except swimming. We all swim.
Question: When are you going to work on your next book?
John: All the time.
Question: Do you keep little notes?
John: Yes, here and there.
Question: Ringo, can you show us your rings?
Paul: Go, go.
John: Show him.
Ringo: Anybody want to see these? And don't keep saying I change them.
Question: What do you boys plan to do in San Francisco other then sleep?
Ringo: Just play the Cow Palace, that's about it.
Question: You're not going to see the town?
Ringo: No, we're not going to see your beautifu city that w've heard so much about.
Question: Why not?
George: It would take too much organization, wouldn't it?
Ringo: You won't see anything just speeding along in a car.
Question: I started this whole campaign of you running for President...
Ringo: It's very nice, but I don't think I'll win.
Question: We think it would be good relief to have you over here.
Ringo: Okay, you get me in and I'll come over here and we'll sort it all out.




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