Ever been to a press conference? A real press conference with, say, Paul McCartney and John Lennon of the Beatles? You haven't? Well, then, grab your note book, pen, and camera, and come along with us for the super-exclusive of the decade!
Come with us to the Americana Hotel in New York City. Come with us to meet Paul McCartney and John Lennon. They are holding a press conference here today to announce the transformation of Beatles, Ltd., into Apple Corps, Ltd., a company to serve as headquarters for their projects in films, records, electronics, and merchandising.
(But even business for the Beatles can be a creative thing: one Apple exec told us that a board meeting was held here last weekend on board a rented Chinese junk anchored in the harbor!)
Come with us into the room. It is filled with newspapermen, photographers, magazine writers, representatives from radio and television, and even a few screaming fans who have managed to sneak through the hotel's tight security system. Everyone has a question to ask.
All of a sudden, they are here!
Q: What are your feeling about the Maharishi?
John: I think the Maharishi was a mistake. His teachings have some truth in them, but I think that we made a mistake.
Q: Do you think that other people who see the Maharishi are making a mistake?
John: It's up to them.
Paul: He's human, that's all. We thought that there was more to him than what there was, but he's human. For a while, we thought he wasn't you know.
Q: Do you have any new philosophical leaders?
Q: What was there about the screenplay for The Yellow Submarine that made you favor it over the screenplays you rejected?
John: We never saw it. But the drawings are nice.
Q: Will you be making any more public appearances?
John: I don't know.
Paul: We may be.
Q: Why are you here today?
John: To do this.
Q: What is "this"?
John: What's it look like?!?
(Everyone laughs as the "game" of press conference becomes more and more absurd.)
John (continuing): Well, you know. What are you doing here?
Q: What is this Apple Corps that you've initiated?
John: It's a business concerning records, films, electronics, and--as a sideline--"manufacturing" or whatever it's called. We just want to set up a system whereby people who just want to make a film about anything don't have to go on their knees in somebody's office--probably yours!
(Laughter and applause.)
Q: Could you be a little more specific--
Q: --about the profits of Apple Corps and where they will go? And where did you get the name?
John: Well, it's just--what can you call it?--Apple. It's to do what I said, you know, in a businesslike way, but business and pleasure might be feasible.
Q: This is your first trip to New York in four years. Would you say that your popularity is waning somewhat?
John: We don't really think about it in those terms.
Q: Do you plan to come back (to New York) as a group?
John: We don't plan. We (Paul and I) just came suddenly. We look after our own affairs and we don't plan. Now, we haven't a manager, and there's no planning at all.
Paul: This is chaos.
Q: Did you find the same kind of hysteria there to greet you when you came into New York this time as was there on previous occasions?
John: Well, I saw something going on at the airport. You could see as well as me that I was being hustled along there. It feels the same whether it was five kids or five thousand. The same atmosphere is there.
Q: John, it said in the press release that you plan to make a film of A Spaniard in the Works.
John: Yeah. That's a rough book to read at times. It depends on how you feel.
Q: How do you plan the film?
John: Yeah, well, I really can't explain it. I'll just have to make the film out of the two books (In His Own Write, too). How I'll do it, I don't know--but I'll do it. I can't really say how I'm going to do it. I haven't got it on paper, you know.
Q: Mr. Lennon, there seems to be a ferment going on among students in Germany, France, and the United States--but not in England.
John: Yes, there's something going on, but we're just a bit more tweedy there.
Paul: It's going on, but they just do it in an English way, whatever that is.
Q: Do you have any idea why that is?
John: No, but there's some clue they're giving us. I'm not sure. Something's going on, but "I don't know what it is, Mr. Jones," ditto.
Q: Why haven't the Beatles been more political?
John: Do you mean, Why haven't we joined one of the clubs?
John: Well, a lot of this has been talked about before. If there is anything in particular, just ask.
Q: Well, what about the war in Vietnam?
John: We came out against it years ago. Where have you been?
Paul: In Vietnam?
Q: I heard that you were in New York because of a lawsuit--
John: Rubbish. We're here to talk about apples, you know.
Q: Is it true that Ringo wants to be in a Broadway play?
John: It's being filmed by the National Theater in England. I don't know what's going on here!
Q: Do you have any plans for showing Magical Mystery Tour in this country?
John: Yes. We'll put it on in the street with a screen and a projector.
Q: According to the press release, Apple will be making animated cartoons, TV programs, and TV commercials. What sort of thing will your company do that we don't see on TV now?
John (to Paul): We don't know, do we?
John: We haven't started.
Paul: We only came over here to plan it so we don't know too much about it yet. We'll tell you about it quietly someday--you know, give you the old program.
(A photographer with a heavy Brooklyn accent bellows out, "Hey, kid, will you get your hand out of my picture!?!" Everyone laughs.)
John: All human hands out of the pictures, please!
Q: Are the Beatles still meditating?
Paul: Yeah, now and then.
John: At this moment!
Q: Do you ever want to trip out again?
John: You never know, do you? It's hard to be very specific . . . because I don't know what I'm doing, do I!?!
Q: What kind of electronic devices do you plan to manufacture?
Paul: Ah, the electronic things. Well, they're not like gimmicks. They are just great inventions. Our friend Alex over there (on the podium) is a genius. And he's beautiful, he's just incredible.
John: There's no such thing as a genius, you know. But if there are any, he's one.
Q: Can you give us an example (of product)?
John: No! You know about those long, nasty men in brown raincoats and sunglasses that you discover in the business world. And so, you don't say what it is until it's out, do you?
Paul: But it's incredible.
Q: The press release says that you have established a foundation for selected charities. Can you explain?
John: Well, it's a fund not specifically for charities, you know. But there is some way in which you can do something where you set up a foundation to pay for people who want to make films about a glass on a table. There's some way of doing it. So, we'll find out and do that.
Q: Have any of Alex's inventions been used on any of your records?
John: No--but possibly on our next record.
Q: Why did you return to an almost Mersey-like beat for "Lady Madonna"?
John: Because we felt like it.
Paul (smiling): There's nothing in it, but that was it. "A record like any other would smell as sweet!"
Q: Speaking of politics, what do you think of the Liberian Movement for Liberation?
John: I haven't heard about it. But good luck to 'em!
Q: What do you think about what's been going on at Columbia University?
Paul: What's been going on?
John (to Paul): They've been on strike, the same thing that's going on elsewhere. Something's going on!
Q: Are drugs more important to the youth of today than they were four years ago?
John: I don't know what they're doing. I have no idea.
Paul: It's probably about the same. Maybe a little less.
Q: Can you give us some idea of the capitalization of Apple?
John: No. We can only use our common sense and have the right people to handle these things like capitalization.
Paul (to John): What's that mean? Capitalization?
Q: How much money are you putting in?
John: I don't know--and that's the joke!
Paul: We'll do the details some other time--because we don't know.
Q: We hear that you are about to make a distribution deal for films with a major U.S. corporation. Will this influence your choice of material?
John: Any deals we make will be short-term. We'll be sure to get what we want. Otherwise, we won't do it. So, we'll make sure.
Q: I'd like to ask you about the Apple Foundation for the Arts.
John: It's not for the arts! (To an Apple promo man:) Who slipped that one on?!?
Paul: It's an easy way to make a film. Say that somebody wants to make a film like Andy Warhol did on the Empire State Building. Most people wouldn't want to finance it because it wouldn't be commercial. Well, if you finance it through a foundation, it doesn't have to be commercial. That's all it is.
Q: Are you giving away some sort of Beatles scholarships?
Paul: Yeah, but don't put it that way! It sounds terrible! We're just giving them away.
John: We'll see what happens.
Paul: Well, if we give one away to someone, it will be commercial in a way, too. Because, later, that someone will do another film--for us!
Q: Will Apple also be grooming new talent?
John: We hope so. Groups, actors, anything.
Q: Will you open a school in London?
Paul: Well, that's an idea. All we've got to do now is to get it set up on its feet. Then, what follows will be a natural progression.
Q: Do you plan to have scouts or representatives go out and look for new groups?
John: We'll have to find out how you do it--or how you meant to do it--and if that's the way you should do it. Then, we'll find out.
Paul (laughing): So, leave your tapes at the door as you go out!
Q: Is it possible that Apple can do anything about what's happening in radio?
John: British radio, huh?
John (furrowing his brow): Radio, yes.
Paul: That's worse!
John: Radio's worth looking into, you know. There's a lot of things to do.
Paul: At the moment, you know, we do the four things. It hasn't gone into radio yet--but it might.
Q: Are your records still banned in South Africa?
John: I believe so. Well, I mean, what do you think of South Africa?
Q: John, do you plan to write any more books?
John: I'm not planning on it, but I do have bits of paper with words on them.
Q: Do the individual members of the group have specific areas of interest in Apple?
John: Well, it might develop that way. There's nothing planned.
Q: Will it be difficult to follow up Sgt. Pepper with something better?
Paul: Yes, it will be difficult all right!
John: But no more difficult than it was to do.
Paul: Oh, it'll be all right, the next one. Don't worry.
Q: When will the next record be?
Paul: I don't know.
John: We start it when we get back.
Q: How would you describe your mental state right now?
John: It depends on what you're relating it to.
Q: Where are you planning to build your new recording studio?
John: It'll be in the dungeons of our office.
Q: Who's designing it?
John: Alex, from the Electronics Division.
Q: How many tracks will there be? Eight or 12?
John: Oh, millions. Millions. One track for each finger.
Q: Why did you choose the name, Apple?
John: Why did you choose the names your kids have got?
Paul: It's just a name.
John: I mean, there's nothing to it.
Paul: A is for Apple. It's very simple, you know!
John: An Apple for the teacher.
Q: Will any of the three gentlemen standing next to you control the production money?
John: They will, sort of, but the final say is with us.
Q: You'll get the money?
Paul: Yeah. You see, we don't know anything about business yet, so they do it--and they're good at it. All we do is to apply common sense to it.
Q: Where are the other two Beatles?
John: No idea.
Paul: In bed, probably! Oh, in England.
Q: What are your plans for opening a club in New York?
John: I don't know. There aren't any real plans.
Q: What about the rumors that you're going to buy Generation?
John: What about them? I didn't hear of it till Sunday myself!
Q: Will the four Beatles own 100 per cent of Apple? And will you be equal partners?
Q: Do you think that some of your records are influencing the minds of the younger generation?
John: Well, everybody's records influence the mind, you know. All at once. Everything influences everything. Nillson's my favorite group.
Q: Would you comment on the mood of youth around the world, the protest movement, and what's going on?
Paul: People want to know what's going on, and no one knows at the moment.
John: Whether the movement is right or wrong, it's better than no movement.
Q: Do you have any specific reason for going on The Tonight Show tonight?
John: I don't know what happened.
Paul: We just seemed to be on it.
Q: I just wanted to ask you how you are!
Paul: Quite well! Hey, an' 'or 'r' you!?!
Paul: "Six feet high and rising"?!?
Q: Would you say that Magical Mystery Tour is a better or worse album than Sgt. Pepper?
John: It's not an album, you see. It's turned into an album over here, but it was just music from the film. Then, it's not an album.
Q: Has the film been bought over here?
John: I haven't a clue and I really don't care.
Q: Do George and Ringo feel the same way as you do about the Maharishi?
John: Yes. We tend to go in and out together, I mean, with a few spaces. So, yes.
Q: Are the Beatles going to make another movie this summer?
John: Well, we don't know when we're going to make it, but it will be this year or the early part of next year.
Q: What did you think of the critical reception to Magical Mystery Tour?
John: Well, I mean, it's-- It doesn't matter. But it does. Oh, it really doesn't matter, you know. Why it's no on now is what matters.
Paul: They (the critics) were disappointed.
Q: Were the criticisms valid?
John: Valid? I didn't see any valid points. It was just hysteria and that bit.
Paul: You see, they expected a tinselly Christmas show--because it was shown on Christmas--and you know that it was very different from that--so we shocked them a bit!
John: They didn't like it, you know. They thought we were stepping out of our roles. They like us to stay in the cardboard suits they designed for us.
Q: What roles do they want you to stay in?
John: Well, whatever image they have for themselves, they're disappointed if we don't fulfill it. We never do, so there's always a lot of disappointment.
Q: Do you think press conferences are a drag?
John: Well, they're not something I choose to do, but they're fun. It's work and business.
Q: Paul, what do you think of Jimi Hendrix?
Paul: He's great.
Q: Why do the Beatles meditate?
Paul: Because it seems to be nice. Like cleaning your teeth, you know, it just has some kind of end product.
Q: What do you think of the Mothers of Invention?
Paul: I think they're doing very well.
Q: What did the Beatles have to do with the creation of the marvelous fantasy characters in The Yellow Submarine?
Paul: Not much. There's a really good artist named Heinz (Edelmann) who created them.
Q: Do you plan to sing in French or in any other language other than English?
John: No, we don't make plans. We did "She Loves You" in German, and that was about it, I think.
Paul (smiling): Then, the English version became a hit, you know.
Q: How often do you turn on?
John: It's happening all the time, you know.
Q: Will you be doing a TV special soon?
John: I don't know.
Paul: Maybe. Quite possibly.
John: We've got to do another album. We don't know what happens until we do that.
Q: Have you ever thought of making a record, a film, or a TV special over here?
John: It's quite possible, yes. Why not? Except that we live over there.
Q: But you could fly over again.
John: Yeah, sure. But is it worth the journey?
Q: Are there any plans for an Apple clothing store in the United States?
John: No. No plans.
Q: What is the meaning of "I Am the Walrus"?
John: It just means, I am the walrus. Or I was when I sat down, you know.