ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW:
On April 1st 1964, the Beatles chatted with Australian interviewer Bernice Lumb. The talk took place
at Brian Epstein's Nems offices in London. At the time of this interview the Fabs were on a break
from shooting their first feature film, 'A Hard Day's Night.'
During the course of this interview, John Lennon utters the phrase 'There's a little yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu.' The phrase was originally a Goon Show parody of a line in a famous poem by J. Milton Hayes entitled 'The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God.' While it is not clear if Lennon was familiar with Hayes' poem, he admittedly was a huge fan of the groundbreaking BBC-Radio program 'The Goon Show' featuring Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. Lennon would revisit this phrase again 16 years later in the lyrics of his song 'Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like These.'
Paul McCartney was the only Beatle not present for the following interview.
- Jay Spangler, www.beatlesinterviews.org
Q: "I don't expect anyone to believe this, but I am actually with the Beatles in London. This is my first
trip to London."
JOHN: "Congratulations, do you like it?"
Q: "I certainly do! John, you've written this book..."
RINGO: (jokingly) "It's my book."
JOHN: "Oh! That's Ringo's copy, but I wrote it."
Q: "Tell me about this please, John, because it says 'In His Own Write' and this means quite something."
RINGO: "He writed it himself, you see."
JOHN: (correcting) "Wroted it! Wroted it! (jokingly to the interviewer, about Ringo) He's very higgorant."
GEORGE: "This is George speaking. This is my first trip to London."
JOHN: "That's rude, that... George."
Q: "Tell me your impressions of London, George."
GEORGE: "Yeah well, it's very nice, you know. I thought there'd be more..."
JOHN: "Not as hot as Sydney."
GEORGE: "Yeah, it's not as hot as Sydney, but Dave was pretty cool, wasn't he?"
JOHN: "Yeah. And Arthur's very hot, I believe."
Q: "Oh Ringo, I've just realized... I've got to show you something." (shows her ring)
RINGO: "It's marvellous. I was looking at it, actually. What does it mean?"
Q: "It's a dragon."
JOHN: (narrating for the audio-only interview) "They're looking at the ring on Bernice's hand at the moment.
It's a sort of green dragon... and a gold thingy."
GEORGE: "Funny looking... Like a dragon."
JOHN: "On her left hand - the second finger from the little one. Have you got the picture, Cobber?"
RINGO: "What do you call them charms you're wearing 'round your neck."
Q: "'Round my neck? I haven't got any charms."
GEORGE: "That's called a sweater."
RINGO: "What do you call them?"
JOHN: "I call them Eric."
RINGO: "I don't know what they're called... the little green idols you wear."
JOHN: "There's a little yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu."
RINGO: "I give up!"
Q: "I'm having a ball! Now tell me something. How do you people manage to live? You cannot walk anywhere without
people trying to tear you apart."
GEORGE: "Well it's like this, Bernice."
BEATLES: (singing together) "We could never walk down this street before. We could never walk down this street before."
GEORGE: (from the song 'From Me To You') "If there's anything that you want. If there's anything I can do..."
JOHN: "That's without echo chambers."
RINGO: "That's without backing."
JOHN:" Don't be put off. We're only joking, Cobbers."
Q: "Oh you're 'with it' now."
JOHN: "...'ello Cobber! That's all I can say."
Q: "The thing that I've loved about the interviews I've heard with you two is that you have sent everybody sky high."
RINGO: "There's three of us."
Q: "Yes I know."
JOHN: "Well, we don't take much notice of Ringo."
Q: "Ringo, you're being beautifully talkative tonight. Someone told me you'd only say 'yup' and 'nope.'"
RINGO: "Well I'm learning, you see. They're teaching me more words now."
JOHN: "Say the bit..."
RINGO: "Which one?"
JOHN: "The bourgeois..."
RINGO: "Oh! (from 'A Hard Day's Night' movie) There you go, hiding behind a smokescreen of bourgeois cliches!"
JOHN: "That's his line."
RINGO: "I don't go messing about with your tape recorder, do I?"
JOHN: "Carry on the interview."
RINGO: "Why John, why? I mean, I'm talking, aren't I? Don't stop me now."
JOHN: "Rolf Harris, your mate from Australia, is standing for Parliament over here. And we hope he gets in."
RINGO: "Nice lad. We were on a show together."
JOHN: "Do you know Rolf? You must know Rolf Harris..."
Q: "I've met Rolf!"
JOHN: "Well there you go. I'm only lying, of course, but it's a nice way to get Rolf in the story, you know."
Q: "Tell me something now... you've written a number. And I met the two lads who are singing it." (referring to Peter And Gordon's recording of Lennon/McCartney's 'World WIthout Love.')
RINGO: "Oh yes."
JOHN: "Oh... Peter and Go-Go! Well that number's very old. We wrote that when we were teenage school buddies. Paul
and I did. Paul's not here. He said Hi or Hello. But luckily I'm here to tell you about it. Bighead talking, John. Hand
you over to George. Pinhead."
JOHN: "Yeah. Pinhead."
GEORGE: "Did you know Ringo was an Aborigine?"
Q: "Now tell me about this, George..."
GEORGE: "We found him. He was a bald Aborigine. And he was cycling..."
JOHN: "Before we made it."
GEORGE: "Yeah. He was cycling 'round the Eclipse of Wales, wasn't he?"
RINGO: "He was."
GEORGE: "With a bone through his tooth. And we saw him, sort of..."
JOHN: "From afar."
GEORGE: "...passing percussive persuasions through the bongos."
RINGO: "There you go, hiding behind a smokescreen of bourgeois cliches!"
GEORGE: "So we found him there and he fitted into the group, you see. But since then we've
cleaned him up a bit, and growed his hair a mighty mass."
JOHN: "You're not going to change the basic rugged concept of my personality, are you?"
Q: "It's Ringo's personality."
JOHN: "No, that's another... We're doing lines from the film, you see."
RINGO: "Just remembering lines from the film."
JOHN: "You see what a boring film it's gonna be... all that rubbish in it."
GEORGE: "At the moment we're flicking our ash."
JOHN: "...on Brian Epstein's carpet. That's our manager. But we don't care."
RINGO: "We bought it."
Q: "Hey tell me kids... Have they written a script for you?"
GEORGE: "Oh aye!"
RINGO: "Alun Owen wrote the script."
JOHN: "Alun Owen. A fella that writes plays about Liverpool and Ireland and that."
GEORGE: "He writes many plagues and music halls."
JOHN: "They let us loose a bit, you know. We changed a lot of it but they've got a basic thing."
Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from audio copy of the interview