ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW:
In a brief conversation that appeared on the BBC Radio program 'Scene And Heard', George Harrison spoke with reporter Miranda Ward from the set of the Beatles made-for-TV film, 'Magical Mystery Tour.' George talks about the concept behind the Beatles new film project, and also shares his interests in Indian culture and spirituality.
The interview was recorded on September 13th 1967, and would be aired two weeks later on September 30th. 'Magical Mystery Tour' would be telecast on BBC Television on December 26th.
- Jay Spangler, www.beatlesinterviews.org
GEORGE: "The contract we signed with United Artists is for three films, two of which we've done. The third one, the thing is, we can do it any time we want. We havent so far done the film because we didn't want to make a film just to make some money. We wanted to do a film that might mean something to either us or to the people who go to watch it. So the thing is, over the last year or two since 'Help', we've had thousands of ideas but they've all been 'Help' and 'Hard Day's Night' revisited. It's no good. We've got to have something good, how we visualize the film. It's got to be at least the difference between the song 'Help' and 'Sgt Pepper,' as the movie has got to be that progressed too. So we haven't made it until we feel it's right... and I think we should start it 'round about next February. And if we do, we'll probably end up by not having a big production team film it all."
Q: "Rather like you're doing this one."
GEORGE: "Yeah. This part that we've been doing is mainly just to tie the whole show together, because it's called a Magical Mystery Tour, then this is just a typical coach tour, but anything can happen. You see, that's the difference because it's magic, then we can do anything. So these parts, these sequences, we just had a few ideas. It's mainly just to show the people getting on the coach and a few little things that happen during the course of the coach trip."
Q: "How does it feel to be out on the road again as 'The Beatles'?"
GEORGE: "Uhh, yes. I dunno. I've never really known what it's been like as The Beatles. (laughs) Because, you see, The Beatles is still something abstract as far as I'm concerned. You know, it's something that other people see us as The Beatles, and I TRY to see us as The Beatles but I can't."
Q: "At the beginning, didn't you feel like a Beatle?"
GEORGE: "Uhh, I suppose I did, yeah. In fact I do sometimes, you see, when it's in the midst of all this and people are saying 'Beatles this' and 'Beatles that,' then I've got to accept the thing that they think I'm a Beatle. I'm willing to go along with it, you know, if they want me to be a Beatle then I'll be one."
Q: "When did you first start becoming interested in Indian culture and religion?"
GEORGE: "Probably about two years ago, and uhh... I don't really know exactly when, but when I first noticed that I was interested with the music first of all, I think, and along with that I'd heard stories of people in caves. Yogis, as they're known. People levitating and demateriealizing. (laughs) And doing all sorts of wonderous things. And then, through the music... with meeting Ravi (Shankar), it was great because he's a Braman which is a high sect. And uhh, just all the groovy people are bramans, like the scientists, religious people and musicians, and all those. And then in the end, I'd like to become this myself. I'd just like to have this quality that these people have, which is a spiritual thing. And I think with us having all the material wealth that we need... you know, the average person feels that if they had a car and a telly and a house, and that's where its at. But if you get a car and a telly and a house and even, you know, a lot of money, your life's still empty because it's still all on this gross level. And what we need isn't material, it's spiritual. We need, sort of, some other form of peace and happiness. And so, that's why the Indian people all seem very peaceful and as though they have found something, because they haven't had the material wealth. They've had to look at themselves for some answer, and they've found it inside themselves."
Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from audio recording of radio interview