ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW:
On June 26th 1966 the Beatles traveled by train from Essen to Hamburg, Germany. The Beatles would give two shows in Hamburg at Ernst Merck
Halle. This was the first time since
January 1st 1963 that the group or any of it's members had returned to Hamburg, the city
that had played such a large role in their early development.
The press conference in Hamburg is notable for being among some of the
most lame and irrelevant questions ever put to the Fab Four. The group quickly became frustrated
with the quality of these questions, prompting John Lennon
to say quietly to the other Beatles, "What kind of questions are these?" and asking aloud,
"Anybody from the press here?" When the low quality questions continued later in the press conference, Lennon can be heard saying
"Fucking hell!" quietly to the other Beatles, in his frustration.
Luckily, not all of the questions fall into this category. The Hamburg press also managed to ask the Beatles
about the influence of Hamburg on their career, about their opinion of the recent controversial availability of birth control
pills, and also about the infamous 'Butcher Cover' photo that had adorned the front covers of recalled copies of their
Capitol LP "Yesterday And Today" in the States.
The following press conference was held between the two performances at Ernst Merck Halle in Hamburg, West Germany.
Following their Hamburg concerts, the Beatles would travel to the Far East for shows in Tokyo and Manila before
returning to London on July 8th. Their 1966 North American Tour would begin in Chicago on August 12th.
- Jay Spangler, www.beatlesinterviews.org
Q: "Do you think your time in Hamburg has been important to your career?"
PAUL: "Why? Because it was just very good, and we played a lot and it was good for us.
And the people were a good audience."
Q: "How many girls have you had here in Hamburg?"
PAUL: "One or two, you know. How many have you had?"
JOHN: "What do you mean, 'Have'?"
Q: "John, what do you think of Henry Miller?"
JOHN: "Henry Miller? He's alright. (pause, then continues jokingly) I wouldn't go to BED with him."
GEORGE: "He's not as good as Henry Mancini."
Q: "Paul, what is your opinion concerning the anti-baby pills?"
PAUL: "The anti what?"
JOHN: "The pill."
PAUL: "Oh. Well it's good. Umm, it's very good, obviously."
JOHN: "I wish they had it a few years ago, you know."
PAUL: "It's normal, you know, isn't it. Everyone should use it if they need to."
JOHN: "Yes. (chants) We want the pill!"
Q: "George, where do you want to dance tonight?"
GEORGE: "It doesn't matter WHERE you dance, as long as you're dancing."
Q: "What is the matter with Peter Sellers? What has he been doing?"
RINGO: "I don't know what's the matter with him. What are you saying, you know."
JOHN: "We don't know about that."
Q: "Do you know the German language still?"
PAUL: "Oh yes. Perfectly."
Q: "John, what about..."
JOHN: (to the reporter) "You've had more than one! I think you're soft."
PAUL: "Tell him, Johnny."
JOHN: "Ahh, he's 'What about this and what about that.'"
Q: "George, do you wear long pants in wintertime?"
GEORGE: "You mean, winterhosen?"
Q: "Your laterst record is just marvelous. But why do you start to
PAUL: "Well you know, I dunno... We keep changing, uhh Sir. And it just gets
noisier and then it gets quieter, and it gets noisier again. You know, it's one of those
Q: "Did you choose the new Beatles sound?"
PAUL: "We don't know what it's going to be. It just changes record by record."
Q: "John, somebody says you've stolen parts of your books."
PAUL: (jokingly) "Is this true?"
JOHN: "Well, I have. It's true."
Q: "From James Joyce, or..."
JOHN: "Nah, not him. Some old Italian translation book or something. I thought it was
dead and buried but they found out."
YOUNG BOY: "Ringo, if your little son says, 'Please use a spoonful of spinach. Spooning
it on your face will ensure your complexion..."
PAUL: (trying to understand the young boy's english) Do you enjoy your complexion...?"
RINGO: "I dont think so. I don't mind it white like this."
Q: "Ringo, will Zak follow you to Tokyo?"
JOHN: (to the others) "What kind of questions are these?"
RINGO: "No, no."
JOHN: "Anybody from the press here?"
RINGO: "You know, any questions."
GEORGE: "Where's all the other Chris Hutchins."
Q: "John, when you arrived in Munich, Paul wore black dress, and you wore white
JOHN: "Yeah, a shorty miniskirt."
Q: "...George wore red dress, and Ringo wore brown dress. Black, white, red and brown.
Did you think anything?"
JOHN: "We never noticed, you know. It was you that was looking at us."
Q: "Ringo, what do you think about coming back to Hamburg?"
RINGO: "It's ok."
Q: "That's all?"
RINGO: "What else ya want?"
Q: "Do you want to see The Star Club?"
PAUL: "If we get a chance, but we may not be able to. Depends."
Q: "What will you do tomorrow until 5 O'Clock when you are on your way?"
Q: "What do you think about your fans in Germany?"
RINGO: "They're good, you know. They're the same as everywhere else, only there's
more boys in Germany."
Q: "Do you believe your book is literature, or do you believe just for fun?"
JOHN: "It's both, isn't it? I mean, it doesn't have to be one or the other."
Q: "Do you think it's GREAT literature like James Joyce?"
JOHN: "It's nothing to do with James Joyce, you know. I mean, you've been reading
the wrong books and magazines. It's nothing to do with it. It's just a book, you know."
Q: "Would Paul make music to go with your books?"
JOHN: "Well, I'll make it me-self, if anybody's gonna do it."
PAUL: "You're not really writing songs."
Q: "What do you dream of when you sleep?"
PAUL: "The same as anyone else dreams of. (laughing) Standing in your underpants."
JOHN: "What do you think we are? What do you dream of? (quietly, to the other Beatles) Fucking
PAUL: "We dream about the same things as everyone."
Q: "Ringo, what do you dream?"
RINGO: "I just dream of everything like you do, you know. It's all the same."
JOHN: "We're only the same as you, man, only we're rich."
BILL RAMSEY: "Do you remember Bill Ramsey?"
PAUL: (excitedly) "Bill Ramsey, do I remember him? I've got all your records."
BILL RAMSEY: "Why don't you write a number for me, man?"
PAUL: (jokingly) "Well, we're going to!"
Q: "Paul, do you see a chance of coming back to Hamburg at a certain time?"
PAUL: (pause) "Well... we're back!"
PAUL: "Oh, again? I don't know, really. You'll have to ask Mister Brian Epstein, M.B.E."
Q: "Would you like to come back?"
PAUL: "Oh yes. I would like to come again."
FEMALE: "Why are you all so horrid snobby?"
PAUL: "We're not horrid snobby."
FEMALE: "Yes you are."
JOHN: "That's your version."
GEORGE: "It's only in your mind, we are."
JOHN: "Because we're not flattering you."
PAUL: "You know... You expect, sort of, nice answers to ALL the questions. But if the questions
aren't nice questions, they don't have to have nice answers. And if we don't give nice answers, it doesn't
mean we're snobby. It just means we're natural."
(other reporters respond with a large round of applause)
Q: "Paul, do you think the new LP (Revolver), which you've just released in London, will be a turning
point for the Beatles?"
PAUL: "I don't know, really."
GEORGE: "Well, it's a little turning point, like every LP, but you know, it's not gonna change
the whole musical world, is it."
Q: "Paul, what do you think about your music?"
PAUL: "Umm, I like it. I like it but umm... (pause) it's not the best. But it's okay."
Q: "John, what do you think about this photo on the last single disc in England with the meat
on your shoulder?"
JOHN: "It wasn't on the last single. They don't have photos on singles in England. It was a
photograph on an LP in America."
Q: "I've seen it in advertising..."
JOHN: "Yeah, but it's not... It's only an advertisement. It's just us with some meat."
JOHN: "That's all it is. Look at it again. It's just a picture of us with some meat. (pause)
TONY BARROW: "Last question."
Q: "To Brian Epstein..."
JOHN: (jokingly) "...with love."
Q: "Do you influence the Beatles when they do their records, or is it only up to George Martin?"
BRIAN EPSTEIN: "It's not... Well, it's up to them, the Beatles. They influence themselves."
PAUL: (comical voice) "Hmmm, right."
Q: "Have you seen in Germany that we have no real show business?"
JOHN: "You don't want any, you know."
Q: "We don't have any clubs, for instance."
JOHN: "Well, I don't know, you know. We've only ever been to Hamburg before
and there's enough clubs there to make up for it."
TONY BARROW: "Right, this must be the last question."
Q: "You're successful now for many, many years. Are you sometimes very tired about it?"
PAUL: "No, I don't think... You know, if we were tired then we'd stop, because there's no need
to. We've started out wanting money like everybody else. But when you get money, you don't HAVE to go on,
you know. But we only go on 'cuz we enjoy it. We enjoy making records and we enjoy singing, and things.
That's the only reason. And having money as well, but the other one is the main reason."
Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from audio copy of the press conference