The Beatles Ultimate Experience
Beatles Ultimate Experience: Beatles Photos & Quotes Database: 1967
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PAUL 1967
(on the new attitudes of the late-sixties)

PAUL: "People that say music is just controlled music, and art is just landscapes and things... aren't right, because it's other things as well. I think alot of people have shut themselves in a bit, you know. They've got all these rules; Rules of how to live, how to paint, how to make music-- and it's just not true anymore. They don't work; all those rules. You can't apply them, because it means then that you're assuming that you know it all. You know, (uses his hands to divide the past, present and future) primitive man, us, and something else. And WE don't know it all yet. Because what's been done before isn't necessarily the answer. There could be another answer, you know."

(on The Beatles' decision to stop touring)

JOHN: "When we were away from it for a while it was like school holidays. You hadn't done any work for a bit and you just remembered the laughs. You looked forward to it again... until you got back and were fed up. But we've had enough performing now. I can't imagine a reason which would make us do any sort of tour ever again."

GEORGE: "It's like the end of a cycle. In Hamburg we had played for up to eight hours at a stretch, loving it all. It was a real freak-out in those days. The things we did were really wild. Back in Liverpool, we were part of the audience. We lived our lives with them. The Cavern was fantastic, all jokes and laughs. It was so intimate. Then came touring, which was great at first... but it got played out. We got in a rut, going round the world. It was a different audience each day, but we were doing the same things. Nobody could hear. It was just a bloody big row."

(on recording in the studio)

GEORGE: "Now that we only play in the studios, and not anywhere else, we have less of a clue what we're going to do. Now when we go into the studio we have to start from scratch, just thrashing it out and doing it the hard way. If Paul has written a song, he comes into the studio with it in his head. It's very hard for him to give it to us, and for us to get it. When we suggest something, it might not be what he wants because he hasn't got it in his head like that. So it takes a long time. Nobody knows what the tunes sound like until we've recorded them and listen to them afterwards."

(during the recording of the 'Sgt. Pepper' album)

GEORGE: "When we make a record, we may be knocked out by it when we first do it... but then when we listen to it a few times we begin to feel that it's not as good as we think it is. That's the way it happens. With the Revolver album, when we first did it, we were just really knocked out with lots of the tracks. But then, by the time the record is issued, we're a bit fed up with it and looking towards recording the new one."

JOHN 1967
(on the song, 'A Day In The Life')

JOHN: "I was writing the song with the 'Daily Mail' propped up in front of me on the piano. I had it open to the 'News In Brief' or whatever they call it. There was a paragraph about four thousand holes being discovered in Blackburn Lancashire. And when we came to record the song there was still one word missing from that verse... I knew the line had to go, 'Now they know how many holes it takes to --something-- the Albert Hall.' For some reason I couldn't think of the verb. What did the holes do to the Albert Hall? It was Terry Doran who said 'fill' the Albert Hall. And that was it. Then we thought we wanted a growing noise to lead back into the first bit. We wanted to think of a good end and we had to decide what sort of backing and instruments would sound good. Like all our songs, they never become an entity until the very end. They are developed all the time as we go along."

(on the song, 'Within You Without You')

GEORGE: "I'm writing more songs now that we're not touring. The words are always a bit of a hangup for me. I'm not very poetic. 'Within You Without You' was written after dinner one night at Klaus Voorman's house. He had a harmonium, which I hadn't played before. I was doodling on it when the tune started to come. The first sentence came out of what we'd been doing that evening... 'We were talking.' That's as far as I got that night. I finished the rest of the words later at home."

PAUL 1967
(responding to questions following his admitted use of recreational drugs)

Q: "Paul, how often have you taken LSD?"

PAUL: (pause) "About four times."

Q: "And where did you get it from?"

PAUL: "Well, you know, if I was to say where I got it from, you know, I mean... it's illegal and everything... it's silly to say that, you know. So I'd rather not say that."

Q: "Don't you believe that this is a matter which you should have kept private?"

PAUL: "Mmm, but the thing is... I was asked a question by a newspaper, and the decision was whether to tell a lie or tell him the truth. I decided to tell him the truth... but I really didn't want to say anything, you know, because if I had my way I wouldn't have told anyone. I'm not trying to spread the word about this. But the man from the newspaper... is the man from the mass medium. I'll keep it a personal thing if he does too you know... if he keeps it quiet. But he wanted to spread it so it's his responsibility, you know, for spreading it not mine."

Q: "But you're a public figure and you said it in the first place and you must have known it would make the newspaper."

PAUL: "Yeah, but to say it is only to tell the truth. I'm telling the truth, you know. I don't know what everyone's so angry about."

Q: "Do you think that you have now encouraged your fans to take drugs?"

PAUL: "I don't think it'll make any difference. I don't think my fans are going to take drugs just because I did, you know. But the thing is-- that's not the point anyway. I was asked whether I had or not. And from then on, the whole bit about how far it's gonna go and how many people it's going to encourage is up to the newspapers, and up to you on television. I mean, YOU'RE spreading this now, at this moment. This is going into all the homes in Britain. And I'd rather it didn't. But you're asking me the question-- You want me to be honest-- I'll be honest."

Q: "But as a public figure, surely you've got the responsibility to..."

PAUL: "...No, it's you who've got the responsibility. You've got the responsibility not to spread this NOW. You know, I'm quite prepared to keep it as a very personal thing if you will too. If you'll shut up about it, I will."

(on psychedelic drugs)

GEORGE: "In the physical world we live in there is always duality... good and bad, black and white, yes and no. There's always something equal and opposite to everything. That is why you can't say LSD is good or bad, because it's both good AND bad. I don't mind telling people I've had it. I'm not embarrassed about it. But we don't want to tell anyone else to have it. That's something that is up to the person himself."


JOHN 1967
(regarding religion and drugs)

JOHN: "Studying religion has made me try to improve relationships, not to be unpleasant. It's not a conscious move to change my personality. I'm just trying to be how I want to be, and how I'd like others to be. Drugs have probably helped my understanding of myself better, but not much. Not pot. That's just a harmless giggle. LSD was the self-knowledge which pointed the way. I was suddenly struck by great visions when I first took acid. But you've got to be looking for it before you can possibly find it. Perhaps I was looking without realizing it. Perhaps I would have found it anyway. It would have just taken longer. The first time we took acid was really an accident. Me and George were at a dinner and someone gave it to us when we didn't know much about it... and we weren't supervised which you should be. We did think we were going barmy."

(on material wealth and drugs)

GEORGE: "The Beatles got all the material wealth we needed, and that was enough to show us that's not what it's all about. We are all living in the physical world, and yet what we are all striving for isn't physical. We get so hung up on things like cars and television and houses, yet what they can give you is only there for a little while, and then it's gone. LSD isn't a real answer either. It enables you to see alot of possibilities that you may not have noticed before, but it isn't the answer."

PAUL 1967
(regarding The Beatles' recording session of 'All You Need Is Love' on the first Worldwide TV broadcast)

PAUL: "We had been told we'd be seen recording it by the whole world at the same time. So we had one message for the world-- Love. We need more love in the world."

(following the death of Beatles' manager Brian Epstein)

GEORGE: "As much as we'd learned about spiritualism, we tried to pass on to him (Brian), and he was equally as interested as we are. I spoke to him the evening before we first saw Maharishi's lecture, and he was in great spirits. When we got here, we got a call saying that Brian would follow us up and be here Monday."

Q: "I understand that this afternoon the Maharishi conferred with you all. Can I ask what advice he offered you?"

JOHN: "He told us... not to get overwhelmed by grief. And whatever thoughts we have of Brian, keep them happy... because whatever thoughts we have will travel to him where ever he is."

(reaction to the death of Brian Epstein)

JOHN: "I can't find words to pay tribute to him. It is just that he was lovable, and it is those loveble things we think about now."

PAUL: "This is a terrible shock. I am terribly upset."

GEORGE: "He dedicated so much of his life to the Beatles. We liked and loved him. He was one of us."

RINGO: "We loved Brian. He was a generous man. We owe so much to him."

JOHN 1967
(on Brian Epstein's death)

JOHN: "We all feel very sad but it's controlled grief, controlled emotion. As soon as I find myself feeling depressed, I think of something nice about him. But you can't hide the hurt. I went to the phone book and saw his name and it hit me a few minutes ago. The memory must be kept nice but of course there's something inside us that tells us that Brian's death is sad. It hurts when someone close dies and Brian was very close. You know, we've all been through that feeling of wanting a good cry. But that wouldn't get us anywhere, would it? He might be dead physically but that's a a negtaive way of thinking. He helped give us the strength to do what we did, and the same urge is still alive. It's up to us now to sort out the way we and Brian wanted things to go."

(regarding the counter culture)

GEORGE: "The hippies are a good idea. I love all these people... the ones who are honest and trying to find a bit of truth, and to straighten out the untruths. I'm with them one hundred percent. But when I see the bad side of it I'm not so happy. The thing is, everybody is potentially divine. It's just a matter of self-realization before it will all happen. The whole point of life is to harmonize with everything and every aspect of creation."

RINGO 1967
(on meeting the Maharishi)

RINGO: "The four of us have had the most hectic lives. We have got almost anything money can buy. But when you do that, the things you buy mean nothing after a time. You look for something else... for a new experience. We have found something now which fills the gap for us. Since meeting the Maharishi, I feel great."

JOHN 1967
(on drugs versus meditation)

JOHN: "We've had enough acid. It's done all it can do for us, you know. There's no going any further with it. It only does so much. Meditation is much healthier... I like it better actually. You just feel more energetic for doing work, or anything. You just come out of it and it's like... (snaps fingers) ...Let's Get Going!"

RINGO 1967
(on lack of privacy)

RINGO: "People just stare at us everywhere, as if we were a circus. I can understand it when I am Ringo the Beatle... but when I am Ritchie the person, I should be freer. I suppose I can't expect that. They've heard so much, and want to see you. Fame, that's what it is. They don't realize we've stopped touring. They still want to gape."

(regarding the song, 'I Am The Walrus' being banned by the BBC due to the word 'knickers')

PAUL: "Everyone keeps preaching that the best way is to be 'open' when writing for teenagers. Then when we do we get criticized. Surely the word 'knickers' can't offend anyone. Shakespeare wrote words alot more naughtier than knickers!"

JOHN: "We chose the word because it is a lovely expressive word. It rolls off the tongue. It could 'mean' anything."

(on the song, 'I Am The Walrus')

GEORGE: "People don't understand. In John's song, 'I Am The Walrus' he says: 'I am he as you are he as you are me.' People look for all sorts of hidden meanings. It's serious, but it's also not serious. It's true, but it's also a joke. And I really like the fact that John had the girl 'take her knickers down' in the song. It's great! So my question is, why couldn't you have people fuck in a song as well. It's going on everywhere in the world all the time. Why can't you mention it! It's just a word made up by people, so why can't you use it in a song? We will eventually."

PAUL 1967
(on the non-conformist spirit of The Beatles)

PAUL: "I'm the most conservative of the four of us. Not compared with outside people. Compared to my family I'm a freak-out. Each of us still has our basic role in the group, but we will always appear to be changing because we don't conform. It's this not conforming and wanting to do something different which keeps our music different. I could sit back now and be a company director until I'm seventy, but I wouldn't learn as much as I would by trying new things. We've always not conformed. People said we had to wear the school blazer... but if you have enough confidence, you don't have to wear a school blazer through life, as so many people think you have to."

RINGO 1967
(on acting in movies)

RINGO: "I'm quite interested in films. I know people said I was okay in 'A Hard Day's Night,' but I had no idea what was going on. I had lots of films offered to me after that, but they were all big star things... expecting me to carry the show. I nearly agreed to do one about Sherlock Holmes with me as Doctor Watson, but I thought it was too big. I don't want to try and carry anything yet. I took 'Candy' because it wasn't too big a part and there was other stars... Marlon Brando, Richard Burton and Peter Sellers. I thought, 'They will be carrying the film, not me, and I'll learn from them.'"

PAUL 1967
(on spiritualism and drugs)

PAUL: "God is in everything. God is in the space between us. God is in the table in front of you. For me it just happens that I realized all this through acid, but it could have been through anything else."

JOHN 1967
(regarding his bond with the other Beatles)

JOHN: "If I am on my own for three days, doing nothing, I almost completely leave myself. I'm at the back of my head. I can see my hands and realize they're moving, but it's like a robot who's doing it. I have to see the others to see myself. Then I realize there is someone like me so it's reassuring. We were recording the other night, and I just wasn't there. Neither was Paul. We were like two robots going through the motions. We do need each other alot. When we used to get together after a month off, we used to be embarrassed about touching each other. We'd do an elaborate handshake just to hide the embarrassment... or we did mad dances. Then we got to hugging each other. Now we do the Buddhist bit... arms around. It's just saying hello, that's all."

PAUL 1967
(on criticism of the film, 'Magical Mystery Tour')

PAUL: "Was the film really all that bad compared to the rest of Christmas TV? You could hardly call the Queen's speech a gasser. We could put on a moptop show, but we really don't like that sort of entertainment anymore. We could have sung carols and done a first-class Christmassy show starring The Beatles with lots of phoney tinsel like everyone else. It would have been the easiest thing in the world, but we wanted to do something different. So maybe we boobed... maybe we didn't. We don't say it was a good film. It was our first attempt. If we goofed, then we goofed. It was a challenge and it didn't come off. We'll know better next time. We knew from the beginning that we were just practicing. We knew we weren't taking time or doing things properly. But when you've spent a long time on something, you begin to feel that perhaps it's better than it really is. In a way I'm glad it was badly received. It's like this challenge for us to now do something properly again."

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