Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Longest Cocktail Party: An Insider's Diary of The Beatles, Their Million-Dollar 'Apple' Empire and Its Wild Rise and Fall

by Richard DiLello

The Longest Cocktail Party is among the most fascinating Beatles books ever written. It is a unique document of its time. Keenly sought by fans and collectors of rock'n'roll history, Richard DiLello's Apple memoir has been unavailable since its first publication in 1972.

Working at the London headquarters of Apple, The Beatles' inspired and erratic enterprise in pop music from 1968 through 1970, DiLello advanced from the position of 'House Hippie' to a brief and final role as Director of Public Relations.

The Longest Cocktail Party recounts the hilarious and often shocking incidents that were the daily life of Apple. The riotously colourful cast of bizarre and eccentric visitors that swirled around The Fab Four provides the fabric of the book. DiLello's candid account of the dramatic chaos inside The Beatles' headquarters is coloured with affection, as well as a cool, sardonic view of intrigue and self-indulgence.

Full of period detail, The Longest Cocktail Party is paced like a fifty-yard dash. At the same time, it is an immensely poignant portrait of the demise of The Beatles, a social document of pop culture and a narrative of the death of the '60s dream.

This edition comes with a new foreword by the author and many exclusive photographs.



1 - The House Hippie

SO HOW DID you come to get this job? What were you doing before and where are you from?"

"I don't really like talking about myself -"

"Well look, this book is your idea not mine. I mean you've got to say something."

"I was born on September 28, 1945, at 8 A.M. at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital, New York, New York."

"And then what? You can't just say, 'I was born on September 28, 1945, at 8 A.M. at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital, New York, New York.' You've got to go on from there. Then what happened?"

"At twenty-two I found myself in San Francisco in the summer of 1967 trying to figure a way out of California where I'd been for five years because I really wanted to come to England."

"So you came to England."

"Yes, in November of '67 and London was miserable so I went to North Africa for four months and when spring rolled around I made it back to England."

"How did you land this job?"

"I was at someone's house one night and I picked up one of the musical papers and there was this picture of Derek Taylor, the Beatles' Press Officer, he looked like he was walking right out of the paper and he was talking about this thing called Apple."

"Where did you know Derek from?"

"My Hollywood days. Everybody knew Derek."


"So I went in to see him and say hello and asked him for a job."

"Just like that?"


"What did he say?"

"He told me he'd think about it for a while and told me to call him back in a few days."

"And what happened when you called him back?"

"He said, 'Come in next Monday and start work.' But there was the problem of a work permit. He wrote to the Home Office requesting an application for working papers for a foreigner already in Great Britain. In reply to the standard Home Office query that was sent him he wrote a charming but rambling abstract letter which must have raised a few question marks because a few days later a man from the Home Office called Derek. He said, 'Mr. Taylor, we have your application for working papers for a Mr. DiLello but your letter has me a bit confused as to what it is that Mr. DiLello does that an Englishman can't do.' Well, Derek was in there like that! 'He's a young man of great importance to a company such as ours which has to deal with artists who happen to be much closer to his age than to mine and, I might add, to our employers, The Beatles, who themselves are rapidly approaching thirty. He's able to relate to them in such a manner that I find at times impossible. I've got a wife and five children that I go home to every night and at times jumping this generation gap is a very strenuous ordeal. He's in touch with the current record scene in America where the largest percentage of our record sales come from. He has his fingers on the pulse beat of the times! He's literate, informed and in fact totally indispensable to this company. Because of his previous background as what we call a gofer in the record business, he has a practical working knowledge of this very important overseas market. This is an industry that is as elusive and erratic as quicksilver. We cannot afford to be out of touch with its needs, direction and fluctuating whims.'"

"And what did the guy from the Home Office say to that!?!"

"He said, 'Yes, well I understand a bit better but, uhh, exactly what is it that he does?'"

"He's The House Hippie!!!"

"Ahh! Now I understand perfectly, Mr. Taylor. I'll be putting my recommendation this afternoon for the young man's working papers. We'll say he's the Client Liaison Officer rather than The House Hippie. It sounds better. Well, sorry to have taken up so much of your time. Best of luck to you and the company. Good-bye."

And that's how I became The House Hippie of Apple Corps, Ltd.

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