MUSIC MONDAY the beatles anthology 1

the beatles anthology 1 part 1

You may be interested in links to the other posts I have done on the Beatles and you can click on the link below: FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 288, LINKS TO 3 YEARS OF BEATLES POSTS (March of 2015 to Feb of 2018) Featured artist is Mark Dion

That’s better, Johnny
The Wild One Released 1954 You know I missed you. Ever since the club split up I missed you
We all missed you. Do you miss him?
Yeah! All the Beetles missed you
Let’s go back and get ’em, eh? – I’m game
To the temple. A man’s got to do what he’s got to do
Let’s go back, back, back, back, back…
My mother used to say because I was born the Second World War started
Richard Starkey Born Liverpool 7th July 1940
I was with mother until about four, then my father split
He was a merchant seaman. It was 1940 and the war and all that
John Winston Lennon Born Liverpool 9th October 1940
My mum was a Catholic, dad was a Protestant
They got married quite late. I think they had me when they were 40
James Paul McCartney Born Liverpool 18th June 1942
At the time I was born my father’s job was driving a bus
I lived in a two-up and two-down, 12 Arnold Grove
George Harrison Born Liverpool 25th February 1943
My mum was a nurse
She was a midwife as well
My dad was a cotton salesman
My father and my mother split when I was about four
I was with mother up to then, then I was brought up by an aunty
Dad was a… he made cakes
so we always had sugar through the war
She ended up doing a lot of jobs as he left when I was three
He decided that was enough of that
She did any job she could get to feed and clothe me
My mother was from an Irish family called French
She had lots of brothers and sisters
My grandmother lived in Albert Grove, which was next to Arnold Grove
I was terrible at school. I wasn’t there much as I was often sick
I had peritonitis when I was six and a half – a burst appendix
They told my mother that I’d be dead three times-but I’m still here
My dad was an amateur musician who played piano
I’ve memories of lying on the floor, hearing him play
When my parents were younger they listened on an old crystal radio
John really loved his mother. I loved her too
She played the ukelele. To this day…
if I meet grown-ups who play ukeleles, I love them
Everybody has their party piece in Liverpool
My mother’s was Little Drummer Boy. She sang it to me
I’d sing Nobody’s Child to her and she’d always cry
Rock’n’roll meant it was real, everything else was unreal
It was the only thing to get through to me, at 15, of all the things happening
You can’t imagine a time when rock’n’roll was only one of the musics
Whatever record was being played, you’d try and listen to it
You couldn’t even get a cup of sugar, let alone a rock’n’roll record
There was no such thing as an English record
The first English record that was anything was Move It by Cliff Richard
Before that there’d been nothing
You’d listen to whatever was on the radio in those days
I listened to a lot of country and western – skiffle was coming through
There were lots of people coming up and one of them was Buddy Holly
We loved his vocal sound and we loved his guitar playing
But most of all was the fact that he actually wrote the stuff himself
That’s what turned us on
I was at art school for five years
They’d only allow jazz to be played – no rock’n’roll in those days
We conned them into letting us play rock’n’roll by calling it blues
As I became a teenager
I was 12 or 13 when I first heard Fats Domino, I’m in Love Again
That was the first what I would call rock’n’roll record I ever heard
Even Bill Haley was around then
I remember being in school when I was a kid
Somebody had a picture in one of the musical papers… of Elvis
It was an advert for Heartbreak Hotel
I just looked at it and thought, he’s just so good looking, just perfect
When I was 16, Elvis was what was happening
A guy with long greasy hair wiggling his ass and singing Hound Dog
That’s Alright Mama and those early Sun Records-his great period
That’s him-the guru we’ve been waiting for-the messiah has arrived
One of our favourite records was Searchin’by the Coasters
We heard people like Big Bill Broonzy. I think he did a tour of England
I was a big fan of his and Frankie Laine
All those train songs, Rock Island Line and all that stuff
Lonnie Donegan
Suddenly here was a rock’n’roll hero who had glasses
Buddy Holly and The Crickets
The first music I can remember hearing as guitar-oriented music
was Jimmie Rodgers, “The Singing Brakeman”
I had no idea about doing music as a way of life…
until rock’n’roll hit me and that changed my whole life
Drums were the only thing I wanted. I never looked at guitars or anything
My dad used to be a trumpet player and for my birthday
he bought me a trumpet from Rushworth and Drapers’ music store in Liverpool
At 16 I re-established a relationship with my mother for about 4 years
She taught me music, first the banjo, then I progressed to guitar
My first song was Ain’t That A Shame, an old rock hit, Fats Domino
When I was 13, 14, I used to be at the back of the class, drawing
Trying to draw guitars, big cello cut-away guitars with ‘F’ holes
Little solid ones with pointy or rounded cut-aways
I was totally into guitars
I heard about a kid who had a guitar and it was ???3.10s
Just a little acoustic, round hole guitar
I got the û3.10s from my mother, a lot of money in those days
I suddenly figured out I couldn’t sing with this thing in my mouth
so I went back to the shop and traded it in for a guitar
That was a Zenith, the first guitar I ever had
I was about 16
I bought a thirty-bob bass drum – thirty shillings
Just a huge one-sided bass drum
It’s a family joke now – “The guitar’s OK for a hobby but won’t earn you any money”
We’d travel the whole of Liverpool to see someone who knew a new chord
I remember once hearing about a bloke who knew B7
We knew E and A – Those are quite easy – but we didn’t know B7
That was the missing link. The other chord. The lost chord
We trooped across Liverpool, changed a couple of buses, found this fella
He showed us dum, dum dum – B7
We learned it from him, went home to our mates and went…
Got it!
Paul and I used to just kind of get together, play it a bit
We were just schoolboys. There were no groups till a bit later
In those days we were desperate to get anything
Whatever film came, you’d try and see it
The Girl Can’t Help it Released 1956
You went to those movies with Elvis or somebody in them in Liverpool
Everybody was waiting to see him – I’d be waiting there too
They’d all scream when he came on the screen
So we thought, that’s a good job!
When The Girl Can’t Help It came along
Instead of us looking at old black and white movies and thinking
“There’s Clyde McPhatter, there’s Fats Domino”
people we loved, who were being treated quite shabbily
suddenly this was in colour and in widescreen
At the start of Girl Can’t Help lt, Tom Ewell comes on and says…
Gorgeous, life-like colour by Deluxe
Sometimes you wonder who’s minding the store
You cut to Jayne Mansfield and that’s it-the game’s over
I went to see Rock Around The Clock in the Isle of Man
My grandparents took me and it was sensational
They ripped up the cinema and this was good for me to see
Bill Haley and The Comets
I went to grammar school with Paul
We started in the same class, then we went into different streams
But basically I knew him since I was about eleven
I didn’t really know him like a friend until a number of years later
I met George at the Liverpool Institute as well
He was a year younger than Paul and I
Neil Aspinall Schoolfriend I met George-we used to smoke behind the air-raid shelters
George and I lived near each other in Liverpool, just a bus stop away
I’d get on the bus and then the stop afterwards George would get on
Being close in age, we’d sit together and we’d talk about stuff and that
In fact he was, I think, about one and a half years younger than me
A big age difference at that time so I suppose I talked down to him a bit
as you do to a kid one and a half years younger than you
When he’s sort of 14 and a half and I’m sort of 16
Perhaps I talked down to him because I’d known him as a younger kid
He was always nine months older
Even now, he’s still nine months older
Paul met me the first day I did Be Bop A Lu La live on stage
A mutual friend brought him to see my group, The Quarry Men
I had a mate at school called lvan Vaughan
We were born on the same day so we were great mates
One day he said do you want to come to the Woolton Village Fete?
We went along one Saturday afternoon to the field where they had the fete
There was a wagon, and on the back of this a little stage
On stage were a few lads
One particular guy I noticed at the front had a checked shirt
Blondish hair, a bit curly, sideboards, looking pretty cool
He was playing guitar, not a very good one
But he was making a good job of it and I remember being impressed
He was doing a song by the Del Vikings called Come Go With Me
He obviously didn’t know the words
He was pulling in lyrics from blues songs, so instead of going
“Come, little darling, come go with me” which is right
he’d got “Down down down to the Penitentiary”
He’d be doing the sort of stuff he’d heard on Big Bill Broonzy records
I thought, that’s clever, he’s pretty good. That was John
We met and talked after the show and I saw he had talent
He was playing backstage, doing Twenty Flight Rock by Eddie Cochran
The thing that impressed him most was I knew all the words
I was the singer and the leader, I made the decision to have him in the group
Was it better to have a guy who was better than the people I had, or not?
That decision was to let Paul in and make the group stronger
I asked him on our first meeting “Do you want to join the group?”
I think he said yes the next day
George came through Paul
“I’ve got this friend who’s really good, you know”
He said well yeah, like what, and I said he plays Raunchy perfectly
We all loved that song so we said well, got to try him out
We ended up on the top deck of an empty late night bus, just us
and we said “Go on, George, get your guitar out, you show him”
Sure enough-note perfect – Raunchy. “You’re in”
The first thing we ever recorded was That’ll Be The Day, a Buddy Holly song
and one of Paul’s, called In Spite of All The Danger
That record, the first we ever made, is in Liverpool somewhere
First Recordings 1958
Everybody hung around at the Jacaranda Club near the art school
and near Paul and George’s school in the centre of Liverpool
This was before we really formed a band, just me, Paul and George
We used to show up for gigs with just three guitars
The person booking us would say “Where’s the drums then?”
To cover this eventuality we’d say “The rhythm’s in the guitars”
We once tried to do this audition for Carol Levis Discoveries
Everybody would go on and audition
Then they’d pick out somebody and go “OK, you, you and you”
They’d pick out about 20 different acts
They’d have a clapometer and the winner would go on to the final
It just kept on going. We went in for one of those
We were on the train to Manchester, rehearsing our act
Only me and George had our guitars. John must have sold his or bust it
OK, there’s just the two of us with guitars
As it happened it looked good. Paul was left-handed
I was right-handed-still am –
John was in the middle, standing with a hand on each shoulder
“Think it over, what you just said”
Me and George – John did the lead and we were also going to do Rave On
We did it, he put his arms around us and it was OK. We didn’t win, as usual
but I believe that day some unfortunate person in the theatre
was relieved of his guitar
Stuart Sutcliffe Stuart was John’s friend from art college. He was a very good painter
We were jealous of John’s friendship, John being a bit older than us
He was a little bit, you know…
You wanted to sit next to him on a bus – he was the older fella
So when Stuart came in he was taking a bit of that position away from us
We had to take a little bit of a back seat
The story was that he sold his painting to a John Moore exhibition
So the question was what do you do with 75 quid?
We said “That happens to be the exact amount it takes to buy a Hofner bass”
That would be a great thing to spend the money on
He said “No, I’m a painter, I’ve got to spend it on paints”
We said “No, Stuart, really” and John and I gave him a persuasive argument
that the best thing to do, obviously, was to buy this Hofner bass
Which he did. The only trouble was, he couldn’t play it
But it was better to have a bass player who couldn’t play
than to not have a bass player at all
Early Recordings Made in Liverpool – 1960
Ringo was a professional drummer who sang and performed
in one of the top groups in Liverpool before we even had a drummer
Rory and the Hurricanes were the first who wanted to get into rock’n’roll
We were playing skiffle before that
and he had this rock’n’roll blonde hair attitude
Johnny Guitar was just, for me, Liverpool’s Jimi Hendrix at the time
The one good story about Rory and the Hurricanes, of which I was a member…
We were playing the Cavern and Johnny Guitar had a radio
He plugged his guitar into the radio so we could be a bit more rock’n’roll
They threw us off for being rock’n’roll. He plugged in the radio-get OFF!
John thought of the name Beatles and he’ll tell you about it now
I had a vision when I was 12
I saw a man on a flaming pie and he said “You are Beatles with an A”, and we are
John put this thing in Mersey Beat
which was also started by Bill Harry who went to art college with John
just saying that this little guy appeared on a flaming pie –
you know, in the sky-and said “Let there be Beatles-with an A”
John got the name Beatles ages ago
Everybody was thinking of a name and he thought of Beatles
I was looking for a name like the Crickets, that meant two things
and from Crickets I got to Beatles
When you said it, it was crawly things; when you read it, it was beat music
That’s better, Johnny
You know I missed you. Ever since the club split up I missed you
We all missed you. Do you miss him?
Yeah! All the Beetles missed you
When we started off we had a manager in Liverpool called Allan Williams
He was a small bloke, with a high voice, little Welsh accent
He was a great motivator, he was very good for us at the time
He eventually got us an audition at one of his clubs, the Blue Angel
It was for Larry Parnes
who had a big stable, so-called, of rock stars in London
so this was a big opening to get this audition
We showed up there
I think half the groups in Liverpool showed up that day
Photos were taken – this is us at the audition
Something for Larry to look at
We always had to ask Stuart to turn away from the camera
As he couldn’t play that well. We might be in A and he might be in A flat
Someone might spot this-we always noticed where people were on the guitars
So there are a few photos of Stuart with his back to the camera
That was the reason
We got the audition – Larry picked up quite a few Liverpool groups
Our only disappointment was that all the people in his stable
were like… Marty Wilde
They all had very furious names, Billy Fury, somebody Tempest,
Storm, Hurricane-they were all tempestuous names, you know
There’s Ron Whitcherley, 17, known to his fans as Billy Fury
Guaranteed û1000 in his first year
Roy Taylor, 18, alias Vince Eager, û5000 by his fifth year
We thought this would be great, but we ended up with Johnny Gentle
Slight disappointment in the name department there
John Askew-or Johnny Gentle – 22, from Merseyside
Duffy Power, real name Raymond Howard, 17
All – Eager, Power, Gentle, Fury – in the lucrative business, as someone said
of putting teenage growing pains to music
Do you re-christen all your boys?
Larry Parnes Oh yes, I think this is terribly important
Otherwise they would go on the stage with unsuitable names
They wanted a more imaginative name than The Beatles
They came up with Long John Silver and the Beetles and we thought no
It ended up as Long John and the Silver Beetles
We became the Silver Beetles for this tour of Scotland
So we thought, if the name of the group’s been changed and he’s Long John
We all changed our names but people thought that John didn’t – John was cool –
but he was Long John for that tour. He was quite happy to be Long John too
I thought, if he’s changing it maybe we all should
We all fancied it, our first foray into professional entertainment
Well, that’s what you do, isn’t it? You change your name
I became Paul Ramon, for some reason
I thought it was a very exotic French-sounding name
And I was Carl Harrison
It doesn’t sound like a stage name now, it’s just that I loved Carl Perkins
Stuart became Stuart de Stael
He liked Nicholas de Stael, an abstract expressionist painter
Anyway, that was a pretty pathetic tour. By the end of it we were broke
We had no money, we were all cold, freezing, and just miserable
That was it. We came back to Liverpool and nothing happened really
I felt really sad – we were like orphans or something
Our shoes were full of holes, our trousers were a mess…
Larry Parnes’ fella, Johnny Gentle, had this posh suit and stuff
I remember trying to play Won’t You Wear My Ring
That’s what he was doing – one of those Elvis tunes
And we were crummy, we were really an embarrassment
We didn’t have amplifiers or anything
And so I would say to the others when we were all depressed
thinking the group was going nowhere and this is a shitty deal
I’d say “Where are we going, fellas?”
They’d go “To the top, Johnny” in pseudo American voices
I’d say “Where’s that, fellas?” “To the toppermost of the poppermost”
I’d say “Right”, then we’d all cheer up
Derry and the Seniors got offered a job in London
Give up your jobs and come to London and you’re going with Larry, right?
They gave up their jobs and then didn’t get a gig
so they were a bit pissed off
They said “We’re going to London, we’ll get Parnsey and beat him up”
Allan Williams, the club owner who did the audition…
probably the first big groupie of Liverpool, drove them to London
He said bring your instruments, lads, you might get a gig
So he got them a gig in the Two I’s in London
This fella, Bruno Koschmider, from a club in Hamburg…
I think it was him, he saw them and booked them to go to Germany
Later he said he wanted another band – we were probably cheap
Allan Williams said OK, lads, you can have this job in Germany
The only problem is he’s asked for a 5-piece band
At that point Paul was the drummer because all the drummers didn’t show up
So that’s where I said “OK, I remember this guy…” and we went up to this club
Pete Best-he had a drum kit for Christmas
He was known on Merseyside as mean, moody and magnificent
We had all sorts of different drummers
Few people owned drum kits. They’re expensive
And they were usually idiots
We got Pete Best because we needed a drummer to go to Hamburg
He came down to the Jacaranda Club
We did a quick audition, jumped in the van and went to Hamburg
We ended up in Hamburg very late one night
There was no one there to meet us, but we could find Hamburg off the map
But St Pauli district and the Reeperbahn… but everyone knew
We found the street and the club but it was all closed
We had no hotel or anything and it was now bedtime
We managed to shake up someone from a neighbouring club
They opened the club and we slept in the alcoves on the red leather seats
The second night we moved into the Bambi Kino for 2 or 3 months
I remember Rory Storm and his group coming with Ringo to see us
They arrived a bit later and came to see how the groups were living
They were really shocked
One of us had a Union Jack over us to keep warm
Rory and I were staying in one room in the German Seamen’s Mission
That was luxury-absoloute bloody luxury
Before we got to the club, the Kaiserkeller
Howie Casey, sax player from Liverpool
who also played a lot with Paul McCartney later on
They were sleeping for a while in the back of the club
I’ll never forget when we arrived they said:
“This is where you live”
Just a couple of old settees and Union Jacks for sheets
We don’t want this, we’ve got suits, we’re leaving, blah, blah, blah
So we went to this life of luxury in the German Seamen’s Mission
Everything else was such a buzz
In the middle of the naughtiest city in the world at 17 years old
It was exciting
And learning about the gangsters, the transvestites
You know, it was like that – there’s the hookers…
We were just kids let off the leash, straight from Liverpool to Hamburg
We were used to little Liverpool girls
but in Hamburg if you got a girlfriend she’s likely to be a stripper
The only kind of people who were around late at night there
For someone who’d not really had much sex before, which we hadn’t
to be suddenly involved with the sort of hard-core striptease artist
who obviously knew a thing or two about sex, was quite an eye-opener
That was also a point of our lives where we found Dexedrine
Uppers, you know, pills
The only way we could continue was to be on Preludin, they were called
We bought them over the counter so didn’t think we were doing anything
But you’d get really wired and go on for days
So with beer and Preludin, that’s how we survived
We used to just be up there frothing at the mouth, just stomping away
Those were the days
In Hamburg, ‘cos we had to work 6 or 7 hours a night –
on stage, with no rest –
the waiters always had these pills called Preludin
When they saw the musicians falling over with tiredness or drink
they’d give you the pill
You’d take the pill and you’d be talking, you’d sober up
You’d work until the pill wore off, then you’d have to have another
I think that’s where we found our style
We developed our style because of this fella who used to say:
“You’ve got to make a show for the people. Mach Schau”
so we used to Mach Schau and John used to dance round like a gorilla
We’d all knock our heads together and things like that
When we met in Germany, they played one club, we played another
They were just great by then
I used to like… we’d do 12 hours at a weekend between two bands
when we ended up at the same club
If they had the last set, I’d be semi-drunk, demanding slow songs
He used to like the sort of blues feel of the late night sessions
There was hardly anybody there. I could see what he liked about it
We were playing a bit more for ourselves by that time of night
because there was no one in
This was all sort of bluesey – B sides and lesser known tracks
His particular favourite-he always used to request it-was 3.30 Blues
We made friends with a lot of people
Our real friends were the ones known now…
Klaus Voormann
Jurgen Vollmer
and Astrid, who took all the famous photographs of us at that period
They liked all the rock’n’roll stuff, the quiffed back hairdos…
the leather outfits, the shades
They weren’t really rockers or mods, they were something in the middle
They called themselves ‘exies’ – existentialists
They were art students really
Our best work was never recorded
We were performers in Liverpool, Hamburg and round the dance halls
What we generated was fantastic
I was 17 when we first went out there and went to the Indra Club
and then got moved to the Kaiserkeller
That ended up with us getting the gig to go to the Top Ten Club
Right before that happened, I got busted for being under age
They had this situation in Germany I’d never come across before
which was a curfew
After 10 o’clock at night anybody under 18 had to get out
I was only 17, I was in the band and I started getting worried
Eventually somebody found out we didn’t have any work permits or visas
so they started closing in on us
The Police came one day and they just booted me out
That was at a critical time because we’d decided –
we’d been offered a job to go to this other club
The Top Ten was the club we were ambitious to play at
It was a slightly better club, it was on the main Reeperbahn
As we were leaving, me and Pete Best were packing up-the last to leave
He found a condom in his luggage
What we did, just for a laugh, outside in the corrider –
concrete, nothing could have caught fire at all –
we pinned it up on the wall and for a boyish prank we set fire to it
So it left a little sort of black rubber stain on the wall
That was like “Right, we’re going, hey hey, on to better things”
The fella wasn’t pleased we were going to the new club anyway
because we were taking all our business, all his business
So he rang the police and we were just walking down the Reeperbahn
We were put in jail for about 3 hours – first time in our lives
Bloody hell, a German jail!
The new club owners where we were going to
gave them a bottle of scotch or something and got us out
Well, Paul and Pete got deported
for burning the condom on the wall
So they were back before me, and John got back about two days later
I was really happy, thinking, oh great! That’s the supportive nature you see
Stuart stayed there ‘cos he decided to get verheiratet with Astrid
We went back when I was 18, we were backing up Tony Sheridan
At that point this fella came into the club
They said he’s a famous producer and musician, Bert Kaempfert
His claim to fame was he had a number 1 hit in America
Not only was he a record producer
but he had a hit in America called Wonderland by Night
It turned out to be a trumpet solo
He came in and this buzz went around “We’ve got to be really good
“We may get a chance to record” – which we did
He came back and asked us to come in the studio with Sheridan and record
We were all pleased with ourselves
But he just wanted us to back up Sheridan
I remember feeling depressed but we did get to do My Bonnie
While we were out there, we started to see other groups
and started to get a little bit dissatisfied with Pete
I remember him not turning up for gigs and we kept getting Ringo in
Ringo Starr, who changed his name before all of us
He had a beard and was grown up and had a Zephyr Zodiac
which was a very big car in those days
Nobody had this, it was a knock-off probably
Fell off the back of a showroom
Ringo kept sitting in with the band and it seemed like this was it
This happened 3 or 4 times and then that was the end, we were just pals
We’d have a drink after it and then I’d be back with Rory
Around this time Stuart and I got a little bit fraught too
I claim that I was trying to make sure we were musically very good
but this did create a couple of rifts
I could have been more sensitive but who’s sensitive at that age
When we first met him he couldn’t play at all-when he first got a bass
He learned a few tunes – occasionally it was a bit embarrassing
If it had a lot of changes to it he was… but he knew that too
That’s why he was never really at ease being in the band
That’s why he left after the gig in Hamburg – to go back to art college
At that point Paul was still playing guitar
I remember saying “One of us is going to be the bass player”
I said I’m not doing it and John wasn’t doing it either
He went for it
He became the bass player so then we were a four-piece band
In Liverpool we got quite a few bookings – they thought we were German
They billed us from Hamburg and said “You speak good English”
We went back to Germany. We had a bit more money so bought leather pants
We looked like 4 Gene Vincents, only a bit younger, I think
Back in Liverpool, all the groups were doing this Shadows stuff
The Shadows
That’s why we became popular because they couldn’t believe it
There were all these dum de dum de dum…
and then suddenly we come on – wild men in leather suits
I think Pete Best said to them
that I’d drive them to the gigs and stuff
I think I got a pound a night, or a pound a gig
Five bob off each of them
They needed transport to get to the Cavern and wherever
We played the Cavern before we ever went to Hamburg, I believe,
in the days when it was a jazz and folk club
I remember playing there and them handing us notes saying:
“Stop playing this music, this is a jazz club”
We were saying “We’d like to do this tune by Leadbelly
“It’s called Long Tall Sally”
We’d do it… and finally they kicked us off
The Cavern is their home
Cathy – A Fan from the Cavern Club It’s where they first started and where they’ve played most
I’ve had a couple of requests to do Kansas City so we’d like to do it
We did well at the Cavern and attracted some big audiences
And the word got around
A kid had gone into Brian’s record store and had asked for My Bonnie
He found out that the Beatles were supposed to be a Liverpool band
and were playing the Cavern so he came down to check us out
I remember Bob Wooler, the disc jockey, saying:
“We have a Mr Epstein who owns NEMS Enterprises in here”
Everybody was going “Ooh, wow, big, big deal”
This was quite a new world for me
I was amazed by this sort of dark, smoky…
dank atmosphere with this beat music playing away
Brian Epstein The Beatles were then just four lads on that rather dimly lit stage
somewhat ill-clad
Their presentation left a little to be desired as far as I was concerned
I’d been interested in the theatre and acting for a long time
but amongst all that, something tremendous came over
I was immediately struck by their music
their beat and sense of humour on stage
Even when I met them I was struck again by their personal charm
It was there that really it all started
Brian had this shop. And it was good – we used to pick up records
He wanted to manage us and we weren’t going anywhere anyway
We said you might as well. He got us jobs, he got us a bit more money
then started getting us radio shows and things like that
Then we got into our suits – he talked us out of the leather suits
It was a bit old hat anyway, all wearing leather gear
and we decided we didn’t want to look ridiculous
Often people would laugh
and we didn’t want to appear as a gang of idiots
Brian suggested that we just wore ordinary suits
It was later put around that I’d betrayed our heavy leather image
and I wanted us to get suits
but I seem to recall that we all went quite happily
I didn’t drag anyone to the tailors, they all went quite happily
We gladly switched into suits
if we were going to get more money, get some more gigs
Brian was a beautiful guy – Brian Epstein
An intuitive, theatrical guy
He knew we had something and he presented us well
I remember we had to drive to London on New Year’s Eve
and we did a session for Decca, an audition for Decca
Decca Audition Tape Recorded New Year’s Day 1962
When you hear the tape, it’s pretty good
It’s not great but it’s certainly good for then
Dick Rowe, the man who didn’t sign us – the head of Decca –
said “Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein”
So Brian then had this tape which he hawked around
I think somebody in the HMV shop on Oxford Street
knew George Martin and told Brian to go and play the tape to him
and he gave us the audition at Abbey Road
George hadn’t done rock’n’roll and we’d never been in a studio
So we learnt a lot together
He had a great musical knowledge and background
They were fairly irreverent, even in those days, which I loved
I like a bit of rebel in people and I liked their sense of humour
After all, that was my main stock-in-trade too
They liked what I’d been doing with Peter Sellers and the Goons
George Martin Record Producer I thought they had tremendous charisma
I knew that that alone would sell them
We did a reasonable audition but he didn’t like our drummer
I said to Brian Epstein if… when we do the next session
I won’t interfere with you and the Beatles but I’ll provide the drummer
We really started to think we needed “the great drummer” in Liverpool
Historically it may look like we did something nasty to Pete
It may have been we could have done it better but the thing was –
as history also shows – Ringo was the member of the band
It’s just that he didn’t enter the film until that particular scene
It was a Wednesday and Brian called
I don’t remember John calling, although it’s in somebody’s book
“Would you join the band?”
I said “What do you mean?” and he said “Really join the band”
I said “Sure, yeah, when?” and he said now
I said “No, I can’t do that – we’ve got these other four guys here
“We’d got a gig for months and I can’t just pull out now”
So I said “I’ll join you Saturday”
We used to have Saturday off. That’s when they changed the campers
So I gave Rory until Saturday to bring someone in for Sunday
which I thought was giving him a hell of a lot of time, and that was it
We played the Cavern – there was a lot of fighting and shouting
Half of them hated me, half of them loved me
A few people shouted “Ringo never, Pete Best for ever”
After about half an hour I said “Oh, bugger off”, and stepped out…
The Cavern had three tunnels
We stepped out of what was the dressing room into this dark tunnel
and some guy butted me right in the eye
That was a bad day – and then I got hit by a bus
George fought for me
At this midday session at the Cavern we proudly present the Beatles
The Cavern Club 22nd August 1962
We want Pete!
When Ringo came to the session for the first time
nobody told me he was coming
I’d booked Andy White and told Brian Epstein I was doing this
I said I just want the three others
Ringo expected to play and I said, “No, I’ve been bitten once
“I don’t even know who you are. We’re having Andy White”
I was devastated. I came down ready to roll
and…”We’ve got Andy White, the professional drummer”
But he’s apologised several times since, has old George Martin
But it was devastating and then we did that, which Andy plays on
Then we did the album, which I play on
So Andy wasn’t doing anything so great
Well, nothing I couldn’t copy when we did the album
Ringo bears those scars to this day
He says “You didn’t let me play, did you?”
Their first record, Love Me Do sold 100000 copies
It came to the charts in two days and everybody thought it was a fiddle
because our Manager’s stores send in these record returns
Everybody down south thought he was buying them himself
or fiddling the charts-but he wasn’t
It was bought by the kids. We had a big following
Who’d had a record? Arthur Askey was the last, I think, from Liverpool
It got to 17 within the following weeks
I don’t recall what happened to it then, it probably just died off
but the next time we went to EMI they were really more friendly
“Oh, hello lads, come in”
It was quite normal in those days to find material for artists
by going to Tin Pan Alley and listening to all the publishers’ wares
That was a regular part of my life. I’d spend ages looking for songs
And for the Beatles I was really looking for a hit song
It didn’t matter so long as it suited the group
Love Me Do was the best one they were able to offer
I found the kind of song I was looking for – one by Mitch Murray
called How Do You Do lt? and I was convinced this was a hit song
It wasn’t the most marvellous song I’d ever heard in my life
but it had that essential element to appeal to a lot of people
and we did record it – John took the lead
George said “If you want a number 1 song, this is it”
We said “Yeah, but we can’t go back to Liverpool singing that
“We cannot be seen with that song”
So we never issued it
I gave it to Gerry and the Pacemakers and it did become number 1
George Martin asked if we’d anything we’d like to do
We’d got a song called Please Please Me
John had just written it, a slow Roy Orbison kind of thing
“Come on, please please me.” Big note at the end, just like Orbison
I’d heard him doing Only The Lonely and I was trying to…”Please Me”
and I was always intrigued by the words of…
“Please lend your little ears to my pleas,” a Bing Crosby song
I was always intrigued by the double use of the word ‘please’
And I said, OK. Let’s try your song, let’s see if it works
At the end of the session I was able to say to them:
“You’ve got your first number 1. Great!”
Bob Wooler got on the stage, telegram in hand: “I’ve got news for you”
He looked terrible, we thought something disastrous had happened
“Please Please Me has reached number 1 in the national charts”
The lads themselves just stopped and looked at him
They thought he was joking – he must have been
Lots of people who didn’t know the Beatles started cheering and clapping
Three rows of girls at the front all started crying
It was a terrible night
We knew then, they’ll get famous and go away
They won’t belong to us no more
Subtitles: Screentext

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