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Beatles Interviews Database: Ringo Starr Interview: London 1/21/1969
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On January 21st 1969, Ringo Starr chatted in London with David Wigg. This interview would air a few days later on the BBC Radio-One program ‘Scene and Heard.'

In this conversation with Ringo Starr, David Wigg asks about a "controversial week for the Beatles," stating that perhaps the group wasn't "as rich as everyone thought they were." This is in reference to John Lennon's famous and somewhat exaggerated remarks appearing in 'Disc and Music Echo' newspaper just a few days before. Lennon had stated: "Apple is losing money. If it carries on like this, we'll be broke in six months."

Wigg would later remember of his chat with Ringo, "The first interview was conducted from the back of his chauffeur driven grey Mercedes enroute from Ringo's home to a medical examination in London. This was necessary before he started work on The Magic Christian (film). Ringo made no attempt to disguise the fact that there had been some disharmony within the group."

At the time of this interview, the Beatles were in the midst of the Let It Be sessions. Their famous 1969 rooftop performance, as seen in the film 'Let It Be,' would take place just nine days later.

In addition to being a BBC radio personality, David Wigg was also famous for being a columnist for the Daily Express, as well as the London Evening News. In 1976, Wigg would release a double album featuring his interviews with each of the four Beatles, entitled 'The Beatles Tapes.'

                                          - Jay Spangler,

DAVID WIGG: "Last week was quite a controversial week for the Beatles."

RINGO: "Yeah."

DAVID: "How close are you? We've had reports that you're not as close you used to be, and that the Beatles aren't as rich as everyone thought they were and they might have to close down Apple."

RINGO: "Well... shall we take them one at a time?"

DAVID: (smiling) "Yes."

RINGO: (chuckling) "Alright, what was the first one?"


DAVID: "Are you as close?"

RINGO: "Yes. You know, there's that famous old saying, you'll always hurt the one you love. And we all love each other and we all know that. But we still sort of hurt each other, occasionally. You know... where we just misunderstand each other and we go off, and it builds up to something bigger than it ever was. Then we have to come down to it and get it over with, you know. Sort it out. And so we're still really very close people. What was the second one?"

DAVID: "Do you see the Beatles going on like they are at the moment for a long time in the future or do you see a split very soon?"

RINGO: "It depends what you mean as a split, I mean, we split..."

DAVID: "Go your separate ways."

RINGO: "Completely, no. We'll never go... Oh, I can't say never. But I mean, we won't go our separate ways after this album. And we'll always be tied up with each other in some way, because we signed a lot of papers. It says we stay together for 20 years or something. And Apple closing, you know, is... is silly. We have spent a lot of money, because we don't earn as much as people think. 'Cuz if we earn a million then the Government gets 90 percent and we get 10.000. And we, we didn't sort of realize how much we were spending, you know. Like, someone pointed out, to spend 10,000 you have to make a 120. But we just spent it as 120. So what we're doing now is tightening up on our own personal money and on the company's money, you know. We're not just giving as much away on handouts and things like that, you know, and as many projects. We're gonna cut down a bit till we've sorted ourselves out again and do it properly as a business."

DAVID: "Do you feel you have been a bit careless with money?"

RINGO: "Yes, I think we have. But it's not that we're broke. On paper we're very wealthy people. Just when it gets down to pound notes, we're only half wealthy." (laughs)

DAVID: "Are you concerned about public opinion? There is suggestion that your popularity isn't as strong as it used to be."

RINGO: "No, it isn't. It's because, you know, when we first started we were the nice clean mop tops and every mother's son. And everyone loved us. And then suddenly, you know, there's a few things that they don't understand, and they don't get, and they don't like. And so it turns them off us a bit, you know. But I still think we're very popular. It's just that, we're men now, you know. We're a bit older than those lads that started out. And we've got a lot of things to do, you know. And you've got to do a few of them. It doesn't matter, you know, what people say. You can't live all your life by what they want. You know, we can't go on forever as four clean little mop tops, playing She Loves You."

DAVID: "You seem to be the more industrious Beatle."

RINGO: "No, I'm the laziest Beatle, actually."

DAVID: "Are you?"

RINGO: "Yes, see? That's just my image."


RINGO: "I'm quite happy to finish an LP and go and sit back. I can enjoy myself just sitting back, you know, and playing at home with all the toys, and the kids, and the wife. (jokingly) I enjoy playing with the wife."


Source: Transcribed by from audio copy of the interview

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