Saturday, May 24, 2008

Beatles Talk

Another in the special series in which FREDERICK JAMES lets his tape recorder listen in on informal conversations between John, Paul, George and Ringo.

John Lennon and Paul McCartneyThis Month: PAUL AND JOHN

This month, Beatle People, I would like to give you an unbiased lecture about a truly sensational new book to be published, price ten and sixpence, on 24th June by Jonathan Cape, who are very good publishers as everybody knows.

PAUL: Hey! Wait a minute. He said an informal conversation not a flippin' commercial. We're both supposed to discuss things. Like the film frinstance.

You discuss the film, frinstance, and I'll discuss this book. It's called "A Spaniard In The Works", folks, and it would be cheap at half the price.

PAUL: Don't you mean twice the price?

You see, Beatle People, my learned colleague agrees that it's worth twice the price. Printed throughout in two glorious colours. Brown and green. Printed on real paper too, Beatle People. You can't lose, can you?

PAUL: Don't forget what John says. 24th June. Jonathan Cape. Ten and sixpence. "A Spaniel In The Circs."

"A Spaniard In The Works." Good grief, you'll have a Rolling Stone rushing out a book called "A Spaniel In The Circs" and all my good work will be undone. I say again, sir, undone with a capital UN.

PAUL: As I was about to say before I was Beatled, we've finished filming "Help!". Actually the last scenes were done at Twickenham a couple of weeks back but we've been called into the studios several times since for overdubbing. That means, well, you know when you see an outdoor scene in a film and the actors are miles away from the camera. Well, they can't use microphones or you'd notice them growing out of bushes or sticking round the corner of buildings. So if there is any dialogue in scenes like this they have to put it on the soundtrack afterwards. That's called overdubbing.

JOHN: There is no overdubbing in "A Spaniard In The Works", folks. No cheating and miming like that. "A Spaniard In The Works" is live, LIVE, L-I-V-E. All Live. The book was written indoors using only close-range microphones, typewriters, ciggie-packets and green and brown ballpoint pens for the drawings. Remember, folks, only "A Spaniard In The Works" comes to you completely free from skin-irritating overdub.

PAUL: In Nassau we had to keep out of the sun because the scenes we did out there come at the very end of "Help!" and it would look funny if we were all brown and tanned in the snow sequence which you see earlier on and then pale and unhealthly in the Bahamas bit. All sorts of odd people that you'll know play parts in "Help!". Roy Kinnear, Frankie Howerd. The Queen Mother was nearly in one scene--but that was unintentional. She was driving by the film location in Nassau on her way to the airport after touring Jamaica.

JOHN: Pity she didn't stop and join us.

PAUL: We had a fabulous time down on Salisbury Plain a couple of weeks back. We did four days of location filming there with tanks and troops which were on loan from the Army. Bit chilly after Nassau with lots of rain showers and a cold wind but, without giving away any production secrets, I think the Salisbury scene is one of the funniest of the lot!

Fun, fun, fun, with them chasing us, and us chasing them, as me chasing you and where's the tea Mal.

PAUL: One of the greatest free evenings we had during the making of the film was at Obertauern in the Austrian Alps. There isn't a great deal of night life but we made some of our own. It was the assistant director's birthday and we were at the Marietta Hotel. Dick Lester found an old piano in the hotel and we all had this gear sing-along session.

It's a new craze. Yes, folks, it's all the rage. Have your own read-along session at home! A complete do-it-yourself and read-along kit comes free inside every brown and green copy of "A Spaniard In The Works".

PAUL: There's not much more I can say about the film without giving away very hush-hush secrets about the story. There's going to be a Royal Premiere in London on 29th July. At the Pavilion in Piccadilly Circus where "A Hard Day's Night" opened last summer. Then the film will start going the rounds in August and there's a New York premiere a week later. We do a European tour in June but we'll be back home long before the premiere. All I can say is I hope everyone enjoys the film. In a lot of ways we're all sorry the production is finished 'cos we had a great time making it.

JOHN: Is that all you've got to say?

PAUL: Yes, I think so.

JOHN: Well, if you've quite finished, perhaps you don't mind me having a quick word with Beatle People about this book.

PAUL: Which book is that, John? it says on this ciggie paper you've just handed me.

I don't like talking about it really. People will think I'm plugging.

PAUL: Ah, go on, John, nobody'll think that.

No, I can't. I'm bashful.

PAUL: Please. . . .

All right. Read all about "The National Health Cow" and "Cassandle" (on different pages). Read all about "Silly Norman" and "Benjamin Distasteful" (both in glowing green and beatle brown). These and fourteen other unbelievable fables before your very mouth in "A Spaniard In The Works".

PAUL: Aren't there drawings too, John? you asked me to say when you stopped the tape recorder just now.

JOHN: Yes, yes. Well, sort of. One of them (in brown and green which are very artistic colours and especially cheap to print, you see) is a full-page drawing of a fat bugie. Beatle People will be interested to know that I ate nothing but SWILL, the new deodorant bird seed, for six weeks in order to get into the right mood to draw this particular picture.

PAUL: What happened?

I fell asleep on my perch--but the picture came out O.K. I drew it in two minutes flat. Flat on my face at the foot of the perch.

PAUL: And what is the title of this new book of yours, John?

JOHN: Oh, I'm so sorry. Didn't I mention it? . . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for posting these valuable historical documents not to be found anywhere else on the web. A true service.

- beatliophile