ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW:
On April 11th 1965, during a break from the 'Help!' movie set, the Beatles performed at Wembley Stadium for the New Musical Express Poll Winners concert. Following this performance, the Beatles were rushed to the ABC television studios in Teddington, for a live TV appearance with Eamonn Andrews. On this program, The Beatles lip-synched in music video style to 'Ticket To Ride' and 'Yes It Is,' and joined Eamonn in an extended live-TV interview. Also joining in on the questions and conversation were Wolf Mankowitz and Katherine Whitehorn.
Two days later, the Beatles would return to the EMI recording studios to begin and complete the recording of the song 'Help!' all in the space of a single evening.
- Jay Spangler, www.beatlesinterviews.org
EAMONN: "I can't begin this show without starting off and congratulating Ringo. Ringo, congratulations."
RINGO: "Thank you."
PAUL: (jokingly) "Congratulations."
EAMONN: "How does it feel to be an expectant dad?"
RINGO: "Not so bad, you know. Not so bad. I hope it's a boy or a girl."
JOHN: "It might be an eye."
EAMONN: "Well, when it does come-- boy or girl-- George, you may well go to John here for some advice."
JOHN: "George isn't having one."
GEORGE: "That's my name, that's me."
JOHN: "Mine's two. I think."
EAMONN: "Will you be able to give him some good advice?"
EAMONN: "No? Anyway... I know that you're working on your new film, and that means that you've less spare time than you ever had before. And I'm very delighted that you gave us some of your spare time tonight."
JOHN: (comical voice) "It's a pleasure coming."
PAUL: "It's nice to be here."
EAMONN: "Now this is your second film. The first one was compared to the Marx Brothers. Remember?"
JOHN: "Oh, aye."
PAUL: "Yes. Yes, well..."
EAMONN: "Have you ever seen the Marx Brothers?"
PAUL: "Yes. Nothing like us."
EAMONN: "Nothing like you. I believe that."
PAUL: "And we're nothing like them."
EAMONN: "Well, what sort of thing-- this is addressed to all of you-- What sort of thing makes you fellas laugh?"
PAUL: "Uhh... The Marx Brothers."
EAMONN: "John, do you have any preference anymore when you go to the cinema?"
JOHN: "I like to see Ringo."
EAMONN: "You do."
JOHN: "Very good. Yes."
EAMONN: "Ringo, any preference in comedy? Slapstick or smart talk, or what?"
RINGO: "Laurel and Hardy."
GEORGE: "Uhh, well... Just recently, we've seen the last few Peter Sellers' films, I like all that, you know."
PAUL: "Peter Cook. Great."
RINGO: "Yeah. He's great."
JOHN: "I like the other fellow-- Lionel Humpty, or whatever his name was."
PAUL: "No. Lionel Stander."
JOHN: "Just a couple of plugs, Eamonn."
EAMONN: "Which of you, in the film-- I know that you're playing yourselves, The Beatles-- Which of you is the best actor?"
EAMONN: "Why are you the best actor, John?"
JOHN: "'Cuz Ringo said."
RINGO: "I always say he's the best. He pays me."
EAMONN: "Now, in these two films-- in this one and the one you did before-- you are playing yourselves, The Beatles. Do you have any thoughts of the future, you know, in a separate way to be actors? As other parts besides the parts of The Beatles?"
JOHN: "No. Couldn't do it."
PAUL: "We can't act, you know. We're no good."
JOHN: "They do so many cuts, it looks as though we're nearly acting. But we're not."
GEORGE: "Paul's gonna play Cathy in..."
EAMONN: "Wuthering Heights?"
GEORGE: "Yeah, that's right, Paul's Cathy."
PAUL: "Yeah. Wuthering Heights. It's my big ambition. No, but, uhh... We're not good enough as actors 'cuz they get, as John said, they get people around us in the film, and just stick us in in a little bit. Then there's a whole big pile of acting. And it looks as though we can act. But we can't."
GEORGE: "It's a good director."
RINGO: "I hope he's watching."
EAMONN: "Well, they say that directors are important, but don't you have any ambitions to be actors? Ringo?"
RINGO: "I'd like to be an actor."
EAMONN: "Do you see yourself in any particular kind of part?"
RINGO: "Any part."
JOHN: "You can have them all."
RINGO: "I want to keep working. It's good fun, you know. Apart from all the terrible bits, it's great."
EAMONN: "Even if you don't see yourselves as actors, boys, Everyone is interested in what you have to say and what you think about. How do you see the future? You know, the long distance future, like when you're thirty-five or forty?"
JOHN: "Through a glass."
PAUL: "We've never planned, you know. And we're not planning now, still."
EAMONN: "Do you really mean that you don't think about the future, John?"
JOHN: "Well, we don't think about..."
GEORGE: "We play it by ear. That's what our press representative tells us."
RINGO: "What's he say?"
GEORGE: "We play it by ear."
JOHN: (jokingly) "Do we?"
GEORGE: "I do. I've got big ears. Listen to this."
EAMONN: "But surely, at least two of you-- Ringo now, and you John, as married men you must give some concern to the future."
JOHN: "Ahh, well. We do have a bit more responsibilities than the others, you know. We keep Paul and George in hand, you know. (jokingly) Ooo, I'm on!"
EAMONN: "Now how about this, Ringo-- Do you think, 'What am I going to be in ten or fifteen years time?'"
RINGO: "No. 'Cuz I know, you know."
RINGO: "The only thing I'll be in ten years is 'old.'"
GEORGE: "And withered."
RINGO: "And Withered Heights."
PAUL: "I like it."
RINGO: "It was funny when someone said it before."
EAMONN: "Your success, anyway, is obviously... is assured. What do you think? You must get a great smile from all the psychologists and journalists and social thinkers who try and analyze the reason for your success."
PAUL: "It's rubbish, you know. I think so."
GEORGE: "We owe it all to our manager."
PAUL: "I don't think they know what they're
talking about. 'Cuz they just try and analyze, you know, and it's not that deep. They try and go into it, and there's nothing there, really. Is there?"
EAMONN: "Well, of course, there's a great deal there. Have you ever sat down yourselves and said-- apart from your musical ability-- 'What is it that's made us such...' because you are, as you know, a phenomenon. What caused it?"
JOHN: "We don't know at all. We're always asked, you know, but we haven't a clue. I don't think anybody has."
PAUL: "What made you, Eamonn?"
EAMONN: "Ahh! That's a good question. But I have a quote here from somebody who said-- a famous New York psychologist said, 'The Beatles symbolically kill off the older generation. They show how neglected and misunderstood they believe themselves to be.' What does that mean?"
JOHN: "I don't know what it means. Ask him! It's alot of rubbish, that. Alot of rubbish, New York psychologist."
EAMONN: "I don't know what it means, that you 'symbolically kill off the older generation.' Do you have any feelings...?"
PAUL: "It's not true, you know. They think that we're sort of going around chopping everyone to bits and things, but we're not. Alright, Dad."
JOHN: (to Paul) "Is your Dad here?"
PAUL: "No, he's at home. Alright, Dad."
EAMONN: "It's alright, Dad. He's not going to kill off the older generation. Is that what you mean?"
PAUL: "No, I'm not. No."
EAMONN: "But there must be some answer that has occurred to you that has made this success, apart from the music. Have you seen any single quote that you said, 'That's it. That must be why we did it'?"
JOHN: (jokingly) "Well, the way I look at it is..."
JOHN: "That's the way I see it, anyway."
EAMONN: "George, do you think that they're all just looking for reasons that don't exist?"
GEORGE: "Umm, nobody likes to think there isn't any real reason. But, you know, I'm sure they're wrong because we've just done it the same way as everybody else. But we've just had a laugh and a smile, and a smile and a laugh. Haven't we?"
JOHN: "And a laugh and a smile."
GEORGE: "...you know, and just played it by ear."
JOHN: (to George) "You SAID that."
GEORGE: "I'm saying it again!"
PAUL: "He's trying to get a catch-phrase!"
EAMONN: "At what point did it begin to surprise you? Did you sit back and be amazed, or was it too gradual? Does it creep up on you?"
RINGO: "I was amazed the day we got paid."
JOHN: "Ringo speaking."
RINGO: "That's me."
EAMONN: "We're also being joined by 'Observer' columnist-- delighted to welcome her back-- Katherine Whitehorn. And also by writer Wolf Mankowitz."
JOHN: "He's been on before?"
EAMONN: "He has indeed, and I hope he'll be on again, too."
WOLF: "He won't if he carries on the way he's been carrying on tonight."
PAUL: (jokingly) "Tell him, Wolf!"
WOLF: "Terrifying giggle he's got tonight."
PAUL: "Get him, Wolf!"
JOHN: "Get him, Wolf! Fetch him!"
WOLF: "Show us your picture, John. Show us your pictures."
JOHN: (jokingly) "Only if you show me yours."
WOLF: "After the show."
JOHN: "Oh dear. Not here."
EAMONN: "Katherine, in your column this morning, you were talking about a situation that will soon involve Ringo here-- about what to say-- the problem of giving an honest opinion of a new baby. You know, when someone says, 'Here's the new baby,' what do you say! Have you got any tips that can be offered? Not necessarily to Ringo, but to his colleagues, what they say?"
KATHERINE: "All I said was that, if you don't know what to say about the kid-- the uglier it is, the more pleased the parents are if you say, 'It's just like you.'"
RINGO: "They all look the same to me."
GEORGE: "It's easier to have an old children."
EAMONN: "To have a what, George?"
GEORGE: "An old children. An old child. Children."
PAUL: "I don't get that. Could you please explain it?"
JOHN: "It must be deep."
WOLF: "It's a deep remark."
GEORGE: "It's not deep."
EAMONN: "Wolf, you too, like Katherine, joined the ranks of the Sunday columnists today. Apart from what you said just now about John's giggle, I quote you, you said that 'although the Beatles make a cult of casualness, I don't think the Beatles are at all modest.' Would you care to repeat that now in front of them?"
WOLF: "I don't think the Beatles are at all modest."
JOHN: "He's right."
RINGO: "Neither do we."
JOHN: "He spotted it, didn't he?"
KATHERINE: "Well, what have they got to be modest for?"
WOLF: "I think they're four highly... well I mean, much of their publicity points out their modesty-- which derives from their casualness-- which derives from the contempt with which they treat their audiences, essentially."
EAMONN: "Do you think that they treat their audiences with contempt?"
WOLF: "Oh yes. They're so assured of the reaction of the audience that they..."
JOHN: "You're joking! You're wrong there! We mightn't be modest, but for instance, today we did a show-- it's the first time we've done anything for months, live, and we were petrified!"
WOLF: "Why is that?"
JOHN: "'Cuz we've been making a film, you see, actually. (jokingly plugging) ...and it's on United Artists... and we were petrified today. We always are. So we're not that immodest."
WOLF: "But I mean, personal appearances don't actually hurt the sales of your records. I mean, your last record presubscribed three hundred and fifty thousand."
JOHN: "No, that doesn't mean to say it's gonna jump in like everybody thinks."
PAUL: "'Cuz those..."
JOHN: "That means that dealers have ordered... Sorry 'bout that, Paul."
PAUL: "It's alright, John."
JOHN: "The dealers have ordered that many. But it doesn't mean to say people are gonna buy them. It's when they've ordered them, and people come and buy them from them."
WOLF: "Three records ago, it was presubscribed one million."
PAUL: "I know but that's..."
GEORGE: "Sorry about that, Wolf!"
WOLF: "No, I don't mind!"
PAUL: "That's only the dealers. That's not the..."
JOHN: "But it's still only the dealers. It's not people putting their names down to buy records."
WOLF: "I'm just saying it's not symptomatic of a modest regard for audiences that artists appear on television in front of some ten million possible buyers of records. I mean, I'm not knocking you, I'm just being realistic."
EAMONN: "You switched the subject, Wolf, in a way."
KATHERINE: "Well look, Wolf. I mean, you're leaving us out, aren't you? They do it for the money just like anybody else, like-- might be you or me."
PAUL: "Right, Misses. Right on."
EAMONN: "But you were saying that they're deliberately mixing modesty with assurance in front of an audience. I don't believe that. As John has said, that even the Beatles, with all their experience, will ever go out in front of an audience and be assured that they've got a good audience."
PAUL: "Every time we..."
JOHN: "And the better we... Oh. Sorry, Paul!"
PAUL: "It's alright, John. Every time we release a record, we really are terrified that it's not going to make it. Honest."
WOLF: "Well, why is that, do you think?"
JOHN: "People expect it."
WOLF: "With the size of the success machine that you now have massed behind you, why do you have to be nervous?"
JOHN: "Well, it's worse for us than other people, 'cuz we've got to keep up doing what we've done before. If we don't do it as well, people will knock you. Even though you're doing better than anybody else and you're doing it not as well as you did before, you're in trouble.
WOLF: "But now you're a serious incursion into the film business. Your last film grossed very big money at the box office."
PAUL: "Yeah. That doesn't mean to say that our next film is gonna be the biggest flop out, you know. Could be! You can't presubscribe things like films, or the 'goodness' of records."
WOLF: "There is a certain algebra to these things. It's known, for example, that though James Bond films will eventually drop off, they will build an accumulative business based upon the business they did before. Similarly, the next Beatles film must do something very near to the business of the last Beatles film."
PAUL: "Yeah, but what... You weren't saying that before. You were saying that the thing about the presubscribed thing is that it doesn't matter whether it's good or bad. But it does, you see. It really does. If the word gets 'round that this next film's a bad film, however presubscribed it is, it'll be a flop, you know. And the third one will really finish us."
JOHN: "Even if the third one's very good, if the second one doesn't make it..."
PAUL: "You can do bad things, you know. I mean, maybe you think we do now."
EAMONN: "I think that the Beatles are in the situation of the-- to use a metaphor I'm used to-- a boxer who has never been beaten. Each fight gets tougher because he hasn't had a defeat."
WOLF: "So for that reason, you need to have a genuine modesty towards the audience. That's what we're arguing."
PAUL: "Yeah. The modesty is..."
WOLF: "You're frightened of the audience."
PAUL: "Well it's, sort of, as opposed to conceited, really. You can't be conceited and still worry that every time you go on the people aren't gonna like you."
JOHN: "I think you can. I think you can be conceited but you can still worry. I've met lots of conceited people who are worried before they go on. I don't think the two things connect at all, you know. You can be conceited and worry yourself sick."
EAMONN: "You can't be fully conceited and worried. If you're totally conceited, you just don't worry."
KATHERINE: "Oh, I don't know. What about Alfred Lundt? When they..."
JOHN: "Who's that?"
RINGO: "What about him?"
JOHN: "What about him, eh?"
KATHERINE: "You might have heard of him. He was a century and a half before your time, maybe. But there was a story about he and his wife Lyn Fontaine, and he was saying, 'How was I?' in this evening's performance. And she said, 'You were just fine, you were marvelous. I was absolutely terrible. You did look a little tired, but you were just a terrific actor. But I was ghastly. I was appalling, I don't know how I got through it.' And when she'd finished depraving herself, he said, 'I was a little tired, was I?' So you could call him not conceited."
EAMONN: "Well Wolf there, a moment ago, mentioned the algebra of the box office, which you..."
EAMONN: "...picked up straight away."
JOHN: "He mentioned that."
PAUL: (jokingly) "Straight away, Eamonn. You and me, eh? Education."
EAMONN: "Now before we go any further, I'm just going to
quote from Brian Epstein's book..."
JOHN: "Why don't you quote from mine? It's cheaper."
EAMONN: "...'Cellarful Of Noise,' and he describes you
as 'four young men in their early twenties, who left school before they should, who can neither read music nor write it. Who care not a fig or a damn or a button for anyone, save a tight, close-guarded clique of less than a dozen.'"
JOHN: "It's twenty-four now. We've met some more people."
EAMONN: "Have you? Is that basically still true? The last part of it?"
PAUL: "Well it's true with most people, isn't it? That you've got your circle of friends, you know. It's not true that we don't care a damn about anyone. We care more particularly for our circle of friends, I think. I think that's true about anyone, really. Isn't it?"
EAMONN: "Well, what..."
PAUL: "Or have I slipped up, Eamonn?"
EAMONN: "No, I was..."
EAMONN: "Well, I was fascinated to read this. It's got up to twenty-four, John says. Who are the twenty-four? What sort of people are they that you have time for? Because you haven't much time in your lives, anyway. What sort of people are your friends? Who is this clique?"
PAUL: "You know..."
JOHN: "I can't think of anyone that loves us, really."
GEORGE: "People like us, in the same business as us."
PAUL: "People with the same interests, really. 'Cuz we don't get a chance to talk about other things. You know, we talk 'shop' alot of the time. Like the Stones, you know. We're always chatting to them about records."
Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from an audio copy of the TV interview