The Beatles Ultimate Experience
Beatles Ultimate Experience: Beatles Photos & Quotes Database: 1968
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(recalling the inspiration for the song, 'Blue Jay Way')

GEORGE: "Derek Taylor got held up. He rang to say he'd be late. I told him on the phone that the house was in Blue Jay Way. And he said he could find it okay... he could always ask a cop. So I waited and waited. I felt really nackered with the flight, but I didn't want to go to sleep until he came. There was a fog and it got later and later. To keep myself awake, just as a joke to pass the time while I waited, I wrote a song about waiting for him in Blue Jay Way. There was a little Hammond organ in the corner of this house which I hadn't noticed until then... so I messed around on it and the song came."

RINGO 1968
(joking about the song 'Lady Madonna')

RINGO: "It sounds like Elvis, doesn't it? No, it doesn't sound like Elvis... it IS Elvis. Even those bits where he goes very high."

PAUL 1968
(upon returning from India)

Q: "So you feel better after your vacation of meditation in India?"

PAUL: "Yes. Yes. Except for the flight. That's quite a long one, so I'm a bit shattered... but the meditation? It's great!

Q: "What exactly have you been doing? How do you meditate?"

PAUL: "You sit down. You relax. And then you repeat a sound to yourself. And it sounds daft... but it's a great system of relaxation. We meditated for about two hours in the morning and three hours in the evening. And then the rest of the time we sun bathed and had fun."

Q: "Paul, what about the extreme poverty in India? Presumably you saw some of this while you were there."

PAUL: "Oh yea. The Maharishi's idea is to stop the poverty at it's root. You see, if you just give handouts to people, it'll stop the problem for a day or a week, you know. But in India there's so many people that you'd really need all of America's money poured into India to stop it. So you've got to get at the cause of it and persuade all the Indians to start doing things... because their religion is very fatalistic. They just sort of sit down and think, 'God said this is it, so it's too bad. We can't do anything about it.' The Maharishi is trying to persuade them that they can do something about it."

(remembering the events of Paul's 1967 LSD admission)

PAUL: "Some newspaper reporter came up and he said, 'Have you had LSD?' So I thought, 'Well, I'll either be cagey here or I'll be honest,' so I said, 'Yes!'"

JOHN: "And it was his responsibility for reporting it."

PAUL: (laughs)

JOHN: "So they had him on TV asking, "Why did you say this... Why did you say this?' And they just kept asking him, 'Did you take it?' So he said, 'Yea.' But he said, 'You don't print this bit of film, man. I don't want to spread it, it's private.'"

PAUL: (laughs) "They asked me the question, and I gave them an honest answer, you know. I just spoke the truth... and the truth is sometimes painful."

(excerpt: appearing on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, with guest host Joe Garagiola)

Q: "How about this new organization, 'Apple'?"

JOHN: "Oh yeah. Well you see, our accountant came up and said, 'We got this amount of money. Do you want to give it to the government or do something with it?' So we thought..."

Q: "Which government?"

JOHN: "Oh... Any old government."


JOHN: "So we decided to play businessmen for a bit, because, uhh, we've got to run our own affairs now. So, we've got this thing called 'Apple' which is going to be records, films, and electronics-- which all tie-up. And to make a sort of an umbrella so people who want to make films about... grass... don't have to go on their knees in an office, you know, begging for a break. We'll try and do it like that. That's the idea. We'll find out what happens, but that's what we're trying to do."

PAUL: "If you want to do something, normally you've got to go to big business and you've gotta go to, them, the big people, you know."

JOHN: "You don't even get there. Because you can't get through the door 'cuz of the color of your shoes."

PAUL: (laughs) "But you know, people are normally... Big companies are so big that if you're little and good it takes you like 60 years to make it. And so people miss out on these little good people. So we're trying to find a few."

Q: "Paul, is that because of your background? You came from a poor background."

JOHN: "It's no sort of... it's just a common thing."

PAUL: "There's a little bit of that."

Q: "If you didn't feel it as a youngster, you wouldn't feel it now."

JOHN: "Yeah."

PAUL: "Yeah that's right, you know. It's just 'cuz, we know what we had to fight to, sort of..."

Q: "Was it tough for you to get started?"

JOHN: "Well, no tougher than anybody else, you see, but George said, 'I'm sick of being told to keep out of the park.' That's what it's about, you know. We're trying to make a park for people to come in and do what they want."

PAUL: (comical voice) "Symbolically speaking."


Q: "Is he the spokesman, would you say, John?"

JOHN: "Well, if his spokes are working, he is. And if mine are..."


RINGO 1968
(on The Beatles' changing image)

RINGO: "When we first started we were the nice clean moptops 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... or they don't like, and maybe it turns them off a little bit. It's just that we're men now. We're a bit older than those four lads that started out... and we've got alot of things to do, you know. And you've got to do a few of them. It doesn't matter what people say. You can't live all your life by what other people want. We can't go on forever as four clean little moptops... playing 'She Loves You.'"

(on being a musician)

GEORGE: "I'm a musician and I don't know why. Many people feel that life is pre-destined. I think it is vaguely, but it's still up to the person which way your life is going to go. All I've ever done is keep being me, and it's all worked out... like magic. I never planned anything, so it's obvious that that's what I am destined to be. I'm a musician. It's my gig."


JOHN 1968
(on songwriting, during the 'White Album' period)

JOHN: "I've got another one here... a few words... I think I got them from an advert. 'Cry baby cry, make your mother BUY.' I've been playing it over and over on the piano. I've let it go now, but it will come back if I really want it. Sometimes I get up from the piano as if I've been in a trance, and I know I have let a few things slip away which I could have caught had I wanted something."

PAUL 1968
(during the recording of 'The White Album')

Q: "Did you write alot of music while you were in India?"

PAUL: "Yea. We're recording all that now. We've just gone into the studios and we're recording the material that we wrote over there. I think it will probably take a couple of months to complete all the recordings."

Q: "Are you concerned about now being seen as businessmen because of Apple?"

PAUL: "It doesn't bother me how people see us. It really matters to all of us what we really are. It matters to me personally what I am, and I don't feel like a businessman. I also don't feel like a performer anymore just because I haven't performed for so long. I feel more like a recording artist these days."

JOHN 1968
(following the release of the 'White Album')

JOHN: "What we're trying to do is rock 'n roll, 'with less of your philosorock,' is what we're saying to ourselves. And get on with rocking because rockers is what we really are. You can give me a guitar, stand me up in front of a few people. Even in the studio, if I'm getting into it, I'm just doing my old bit... not quite doing Elvis Legs but doing my equivalent. It's just natural. Everybody says we must do this and that but our thing is just rocking. You know, the usual gig. That's what this new record is about. Definitely rocking."

PAUL 1968
(following the release of 'The White Album')

PAUL: "It's a return to a more rock and roll sound. We felt it was time to step back because that's what we wanted to do. You can still make good music without going forward. Some people want us to go on until we vanish up our own B sides."

RINGO 1968
(on his place in history)

RINGO: "I'm not the creative one. I know that. If Rory Storm hadn't come along... and then The Beatles... I would have continued running around in teddyboy gangs. Today, well... I'd probably be a laborer. I'm glad I'm not, of course. It'll be nice to be part of history... some sort of history anyway. What I'd like to be is in school history books and be read by kids."

(regarding the 'Yellow Submarine' movie, and the Maharishi)

PAUL: "We're just in it as drawings. It's us animated."

Q: "Did Magical Mystery Tour put you off making a film completely yourselves?"

GEORGE: (jokingly) "Yeah, we're only gonna be cartoons forever now, because they really put us off... those no good, damn critics."

PAUL: (laughs) "It's a new career piece."

Q: "The cartoon makes a bit of fun at the Maharishi. Does this mean you're finished with him?"

PAUL: "It's not that we're FINISHED with him, but it was a bit of a phase. He's still a great fella, and everybody's fine... but we don't go out with him anymore."

RINGO 1968
(responding to reports of tension within the group)

Q: "Are The Beatles still as close as they used to be?"

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

JOHN 1968
(on image versus reality)

JOHN: "I'm not a mixer. My so-called outgoing image is all false. I kept it up for years, but I'm not a loudmouth. It was a character I put on... as a defense. I cried wolf, and now I'm paying for it. I know it sounds like a moan. Perhaps it's just because the grass is always greener."

(on wealth and experimental lifestyles)

GEORGE: "We're in a position to try new things which others can't or won't. Like drugs. People doing ordinary jobs just couldn't have given the time we did to looking into all that. If Mick Jagger had gone to jail for taking pot, he would have been the best person it could have happened to. Being rich and famous makes it easier to go through with that sort of thing. That would have been much better than, say, if it had happened to someone with no money who it could have ruined."

JOHN 1968
(on joking around)

JOHN: "I miss playing soft jokes on people. I used to do it on trains... go into other people's compartments and pretend to be soft. I still feel an urge to do that. We were on the way to Wembley once in a van. We wrote on a piece of paper, 'Which way to Wembley?' We spoke in a foreign language and pointed to a map of Wales. Everybody went mad putting us right. Then one time we did try disguises so we could get around. George and I went through customs in long coats and beards thinking no one would recognize us, but they all did. Paul was the best. He pretended to be a weird photographer... coming out with alot of psychological gibberish. He even fooled Brian."

RINGO 1968
(on being Ringo)

RINGO: "I saw a program on TV the other day about the effect a long period in the hospital can have on a child. It can make them very withdrawn. I'm beginning to see now that I am what I am because of the kind of upbringing I had... with no father and my mother always out of work. It did make me very quiet and introverted. I'm only figuring myself out now... though I was very happy at the time."

(regarding Apple)

GEORGE: "We've gotten very involved with this business thing, which actually we were always involved in. Maybe people think it's a drag, but we were always involved with it anyway. When Brian Epstein died, we suddenly realized we had to sort it all out."

PAUL 1968
(regarding Apple)

PAUL: "The idea of Apple is that even if you are a clerk in an Apple office or in anything to do with Apple, we really do try to turn you on. There is a definite effort to turn people on in this building. The people who don't want it, who don't like it, will go back to being hired clerks because they'd rather do that. But if you want to come here in order to be a sort of turned-on clerk, that's great. I think occasionally too much of it goes on and you don't get much work done because everyone's so busy turning each other on. But it is nicer. I mean it really is a different atmosphere in this place from any building I've ever been in."

JOHN 1968
(reflecting on being given MBEs by the Queen)

JOHN: "All we did when we were waiting in the Palace was giggle. We collapsed, the whole thing was so funny. There was this guardsman telling us how to march and how to curtsey when we met the Queen. We knew in our hearts that she was just some woman, yet we were going through it. I really think the Queen believes in it all. She must. I don't believe in John Lennon Beatle as being any different from anyone else because I know he's not. I'm just a feller. But I'm sure the Queen must think she's different."

RINGO 1968
(on Beatle finances)

RINGO: "We have spent alot of money, because we don't earn as much as people think. If we earn a million then the government gets ninety percent. And we didn't sort of realize how much we were spending. Someone pointed out that to spend ten thousand you have to make one hundred and twenty thousand. So what we're doing now is tightening up our own personal money, and the company's money, you know. We're going to cut down a bit until we've sorted ourselves out again, and do it properly as a business. It's not that we're broke. On paper we're very wealthy people... it's just when it gets down to pound notes... then we're only half-wealthy"

(on the past and future of The Beatles)

GEORGE: "We've all come together along the same path. We've been together a long time. We learned right from the beginning that we're going to be together. We haven't really started yet. We've only just discovered what we can do as musicians, and what thresholds we can cross. The future stretches out beyond our imagination."

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