Saturday, May 31, 2008

Beatles Talk

Recorded press conference excerpts transcribed in question and answer form by Frederick James

Q: A couple of years ago you said you were most influenced by people like Chuck Berry and LaVern Baker. Who do you admire now?

PAUL: Byrds, Mamas and Papas.

JOHN: Beach Boys are great. Spoonful are nice. We like a lot of American groups. I still like Chuck Berry. I haven't burnt his records or anything!

Q: A disc jockey said the last few bars of "Rain" were recorded backwards. Is this true and, if so, whose idea was it?

JOHN: It is true. After the session--it ended about four or five in the morning--I went home with a tape to see what else we could do with the song. I was sort of half asleep and not knowing what I was doing I played the tape backwards on my own machine. That's how it happened.

Q: Is there any special significance in the term "Yellow Submarine"?

PAUL: No, not really. It's a happy place. We were trying to write a children's song. That was the basic idea and there's nothing more to be read into it.

Q: George, do you feel that Indian music will be more influential in pop music in the future?

GEORGE: I personally hope there will be more Indian influence generally in music because it's worth it. I'd just like to see more people appreciating it.

Q: Do you get tired of this whole hokus pokus--the press conferences, the screaming crowds--and decide you'd just like to sit back on your fat wallets and forget the whole thing?

JOHN: When we feel like that we take a fat holiday on our fat wallets. Then we get fed up with holidays and feel like coming out and doing all this again. There's time to fit everything in, you know, a little of everything.

Q: What really does inspire young people today?

JOHN: I don't know, honestly. What we're doing inspires them to a very limited degree but just to enjoy themselves.

PAUL: They get inspired by people who talk honestly to them. And not by people who take the long way round and talk in riddles. If they believe us about some things it's because we can say it like they think it. Because you know we're exactly the same. We don't pretend to be anything better than we are.

Q: Are you going to have a hand in writing your next movie?

JOHN: Who? Me? I don't think so. I'd sooner leave somebody else to write our film scripts. I don't know how to do it.

Q: Gentlemen, you received medals for assisting the economy a year ago. The economy seems to be in pretty rough shape right now and . . .

GEORGE: And we're still assisting it!

Q: . . . I was wondering if you have anything to give it a fresh boost?

JOHN: We could give them the medals back!

Q: Who is that young man with the lengthy haircut to your right rear?

JOHN: That's no haircut that's good old Dave. Dave Crosby from The Byrds. A mate of ours.

Q: What normal everyday things would you like to do which you cannot because you're a Beatle, Ringo?

RINGO: The thing is that when we're off, I live quite normally. It's only on tour that we're The Beatles and it's all like this.

Q: Is it my imagination or are you boys doing a little less physical effort on the stage now?

PAUL: I don't know. Probably you're right. I mean you manage to sort out after a few years just how much jumping about will produce just how much sweat.

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