Saturday, May 31, 2008

Beatles Talk

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

Q: Have you ever considered discontinuing your performances and just keeping on your writing activities?

PAUL: Well, when we're 80 we won't be performing, but we may be writing. If someone will hold the pen steady for us.

GEORGE: It's not a matter of discontinuing performances--it's more a matter of spending much more time on recording and, of course, writing. In 1967 recording will be the most important thing from our point of view so we're sure to spend a lot of extra time concentrating on that.

Q: Does that mean there's no truth in the rumours that The Beatles are disbanding?

JOHN: Just because I went off to do the film all these rumours got out of proportion. I'm not going to say I won't do other things on my own. And the others will do the same when they want to. But that need not affect The Beatles. No, we're not disbanding.

Q: You always make a Christmas record for your fan club members. This latest one was a bit different and you worked from a professional script. Who wrote that for you?

RINGO: Professional? How about that! No, nobody wrote it for us. We worked it out between us. Paul did the most work on it. He thought up the "Pantomime" title and the two song things.

PAUL: The thing is we'd done three previous fan club records and we thought it was time we had an entirely new approach.

Q: Was the drawing on the "Pantomime" record cover really an original McCartney design, Paul?

PAUL: I drew it myself if that's what you mean. There's a sort of funny pantomime horse in the design if you look closely. Well, I can see one there if you can't!

Q: Do parents lead their children the wrong way?

PAUL: There's just a big gap between the generations which, somehow, has to be bridged. I don't think most children think of their parents as fellow human beings until they're 16, or older. Then they realise their parents are just people like them and not some sort of great big giants to be feared.

Q: Whose idea was "Tomorrow Never Knows"?

PAUL: The song was John's idea but we all had a bash at it.

Q: What do you think of mini-skirts and do you think they'll go higher?

PAUL: I like mini-skirts, I think they're fine. In Victorian times people were ashamed to show their ankles--now it's gone a bit higher. It may even go higher still. Whoopee!!!

Q: Some of your fans would prefer you tried some more of the very simple songs like "Please Please Me" or "I Want To Hold Your Hand". Are you determined to stick to your guns and go all "way-out"?

JOHN: "Yellow Submarine" was a simple song but we spent much more time on it than we did on "Please Please Me". We're not being complicated for the sake of it. It's progress, expansion, experiments--all looking for something new, that's all.

Q: Until you brought out the "Collection of Oldies" album nobody in Britain had been able to buy your recording of "Bad Boy". Don't you think it should go on a single?

RINGO: Not at this stage it shouldn't. It's an "Oldie". We made "Bad Boy" in the first half of 1965. It wouldn't be fair to put that out in 1967 as a single. So it went with fifteen other "Oldies" on an LP.

Q: George, what's your personal ambition for the New Year?

GEORGE: Personally, or speaking for the group? Well, I suppose it's the same thing really if we're talking about work. I just want to find out more and do things better than I did them last year. Everything from playing the guitar to appreciating artistic things.

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