PAUL AND GEORGE 1969
(arguing about the song 'Two Of Us' during filming for the movie 'Let It Be')
PAUL: "It's complicated now. We can get it simpler, and then complicate it where it needs complications."
GEORGE: "It's not complicated."
PAUL: "This one is like, shall we play guitars through 'Hey Jude' ...well, I don't think we should."
GEORGE: "Ok well I don't mind... I'll play, you know, whatever you want me to play, or I won't play at all if you don't want to me to play. Whatever it is that will please you... I'll do it!"
JOHN: "I wish that we could start hearing the tapes now. Like-- Do it, and then hear what it is. Is it just 'cuz we don't feel like it, or is it 'Does the guitar sound alright, really.'"
(on songwriting for Beatle albums)
GEORGE: "The most difficult thing for me is following Paul's and John's songs. Their earlier songs weren't as good as they are now, and they obviously got better and better, and that's what I have to do. I've got about 40 tunes which I haven't recorded, and some of them I think are quite good. I wrote one called 'The Art Of Dying' three years ago, and at that time I thought it was too far out, but I'm still going to record it. I used to have a hang-up about telling John and Paul and Ringo I had a song for the albums, because I felt at that time as if I was trying to compete. I don't want the Beatles to be recording rubbish for my sake just because I wrote it-- and on the other hand, I don't want to record rubbish just because they wrote it. The group comes first."
PAUL 1969(following his marriage to
Q: "Paul, What does it feel like to be married at last?"
PAUL: "It feels fine, thank you."
Q: "Is this going to change your life much do
PAUL: "I don't know really. I've never been
Q: "When did you decide to get married, and
what prompted it?"
PAUL: "About a week ago. We just decided to do it rather than think about it."
Q: "How do you feel about being father to a
six year old?"
PAUL: (smiling to Linda's daughter
Heather) "It's terrible... I hate it!"
HEATHER: "You meanie."
PAUL: (jokingly) "It's going to be a
RINGO 1969(reflecting on the Beatles' touring days)
RINGO: "It was the
best time and the worst time of my life. The best
because we played alot of good music, and we had alot of good times. And the worst time because touring is
never a pleasure. Playing was always the pleasure,
but what goes with it, especially for a group as big
as us. It was like 24 hours a day with no break...
with the press and people fighting to get into your
room, and climbing 25 stories of drainpipes knocking
on your window. I mean it never stopped. And if you
do too much touring... with what was going on around
us... I personally would have gone insane."
JOHN 1969(regarding criticism of the
JOHN: "It's a peace demonstration. We're saying this is another way of
doing it. This needn't be the way for you, but you
think of something better. Don't criticize, you do
something about it. Do something besides being more
Q: "In other words, you're sitting here in bed because it's non-violent?"
JOHN: "It's an example of non-violence. Imagine if the
American army stayed in bed for a week, and the
Vietnamese army... or President Nixon or Chairman
Mao. Imagine if the whole world stayed in bed.
There'd be peace for a week, and they might get to
feel what it's like."
Q: "While you're in
bed and giving press conferences in pillow cases, are you laughing at us?"
JOHN: "Not any more
than you're laughing at us, you know. I mean, we have a laugh. We think it's funny that the front page news should be the fact that two people went to bed on
their honeymoon. We see the funny side of it. And in
Vienna, which is a pretty square place, there's all
these beautiful photographs of microphones being held to a bag, as if waiting for the bag to speak. But
we're serious about the PEACE bit. Alot of people
want peace, but you gotta really sell the idea. All
we're really doing is donating our holiday for the
cause... and it's more convenient for us to do it in
one spot than to go around doing press
war and peace)
JOHN: "People sit
around pointing fingers at Nixon and the leaders of
the countries, saying, 'He gave us peace,' or 'He
gave us war,' when it's our responsibility what
happens around the world. It's our responsibility for Vietnam, and all the other wars that we don't quite
hear about. It's all our responsibility, and when we
all want peace we'll get it. People have said we're
naive for trying to sell peace like a car, or bar of
soap. But I ask ya, is the Ford company naive... or
the soap powder company? Their selling the same old
soap that's been around for two thousand years, but
now it's 'New Blue Soap.' Well, we're selling 'New
Blue Peace!' ...and we hope some of you buy it!"
police actions against peaceful
establishment knows how to beat people up. They know
how to gas them. They have the arms and the
equipment. They know how to be violent... they've
been running it on violence for two thousand years,
or a million, or whatever it is. Nobody can tell me
that violence is the way after all that time. There
must be another way."
JOHN 1969(during the bed-in for peace)
Q: "Why do you feel you can succeed at achieving peace where others have failed?"
JOHN: "It's like saying, 'Why bother keeping Christianity alive just because Jesus was killed.' You see, we don't think people have really tried advertising peace before. If anybody thinks our campaign is naive, then that's okay. Let them do something else... and if we like the idea maybe we'll join in. But otherwise we'll carry on. We'll do the things that suit us best. Publicity is our game... because of The Beatles, that's the trade I've learned."
Q: "Is there one particular incident that got you started on this peace campaign?"
JOHN: "It just built up over a number of years actually. The thing that really struck it off was a letter we got from a guy called Peter Watkins who made a film called, 'The War Game.' It was a very long letter stating just what's happening... how the media is really controlled, how it's all run, and everything else that people really know deep down. He said, 'People in your position have a responsibility to use the media for world peace.' And we sat on the letter for about three weeks thinking, 'Well, we're doing our best. All you need is love, man.' That letter just sort of sparked it all off. It was like getting your induction papers for peace."
PAUL 1969(his original statement on the 'Paul Is Dead' rumors)
"Do I look dead? I am fit as a fiddle. I am alive and well and concerned about the rumors of my death. But
if I were dead, I would be the last to know."
GEORGE 1969(on the 'Paul Is Dead' rumors)
GEORGE: "The rumors are too stupid to bother denying."
JOHN 1969(on the 'Paul Is Dead' rumors)
"It's alot of nonsense. Paul McCartney couldn't die without the world knowing it. The same as he couldn't get married without the world knowing it. It's impossible-- he can't go on holiday without the world knowing it. It's just insanity. But it's a great plug for 'Abbey Road.'"
RINGO 1969(during a break from The Beatles
RINGO: "I'm the laziest
Beatle. I'm quite happy to finish an album and go sit back. I can enjoy myself just sitting back and
playing with all the toys, and the kids and the
wife... I enjoy playing with the wife."
JOHN 1969(reflecting on the British
JOHN: "When it started
with me, Paul, George, and Ringo... we said listen
man, here's another field of professionalism that
doesn't need any qualifications except that you gotta get down to it and want to do it. And everybody at
the same time was finding that out. I mean, I had my
guitar... Mick Jagger had his in London... Eric
Burdon was up in Newcastle... and we were all going
through the same changes at once. We all discovered
that the values didn't mean a thing, and you could
make it without college. It's nice to be able to read and write, but apart from that I never learned
anything worth a damn."
1969 PHOTO BANK
performing again as a Beatle)
"Would you like to see The Beatles perform Live
JOHN: "I'd think about it, yea. Performing as
a Beatle is a harder problem than performing as John
Lennon. Whatever happens, The Beatles will get
knocked. They're going to say, 'It wasn't as good'
whatever happens. We have such a thing to live up to. To do a live performance as The Beatles takes alot of consideration. So I'd think about it. It's not out of the question, it's just a big responsibility. There
is such a mystique about The Beatles that they'll be
expecting God to perform... and we're not. Maybe
Elvis did the best thing by waiting a long time... (laughs) Then they're so pleased to see you that
they don't care what you do."
GEORGE 1969(following the release of
GEORGE: "The song 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' is one of Paul's which we've been trying to record for ages. It's one of those instant, whistle-along tunes which some people hate, and other people really like. It's a fun song, but it's kinda sick because Maxwell keeps on killing everyone. But I think my favorite one on the album is 'Because.' The lyrics are uncomplicated... but the harmony was actually pretty difficult to sing. I think it's one of those tunes that will definitely impress most people."
PAUL 1969(following the release of
PAUL: "On the new
album I like 'Come Together,' which is a great one of John's. I like George's song 'Something.' For me I
think it's the best he's written. And I like John's
'Because' on the second side. To say, 'Because the
world is round it turns me on' is great. And 'because the wind is high it blows my mind.' And, also the long one on the second side with the end bit, I think that works good. I like all the other songs as well.
I don't think there's a bad track on it, but those
are my favorites."
(following the release of 'Abbey
GEORGE: "I wrote the song
'Something' for the album before this one, but I
never finished it off until just recently. I usually
get the first few lines of words and music together,
both at once... and then finish the rest of the
melody. Then I have to write the words. It's like
another song I wrote when we were in India. I wrote
the whole first verse and just said everything I
wanted to say, and so now I need to write a couple
more verses. I find that much more difficult. But
John gave me a handy tip. He said, 'Once you start to write a song, try to finish it straight away while
you're still in the same mood.' Sometimes you go back to it and you're in a whole different state of mind.
So now, I do try to finish them straight away."
Q: "If you had it to do
all over again would you do anything different?"
JOHN: "I don't regret a thing, you know.
Especially since meeting Yoko. That's made everything worth while."
Q: "What especially attracted you to Yoko?"
JOHN: "Well... she's me in drag."
JOHN: "But I don't regret anything I've done.
Meditation I still believe in. I don't regret taking
drugs because they helped me. I don't advocate them
for everybody because I don't think I should, but for me it was good. And India was good for me. I met Yoko just before I went to India, and had alot of time to
think things out there. And I came home and fell in
love with Yoko, and that was the end of it."
PAUL 1969(on lack of
Q: "What are the
trappings of being 'Beatle Paul'?"
PAUL: "Lack of privacy. That's the trapping.
The thing is, I like it when we're working or when I
come to Apple. I expect to do autographs, because you have to switch-on. But, like anyone, I also love to
switch-off. You come home after a long day's work and you want to switch-off... and there's still people
outside the house."
JOHN 1969(on Apple and Brian Esptein)
Q: "Are you happy with the way Apple is shaping up?"
JOHN: "No, not really. I think it's a bit messy and it wants tightening up. We haven't got half the money people think we have. We have enough to live on but we can't let Apple go on like it is. We started off with loads of ideas of what we wanted to do-- an umbrella for different activities. But like one or two Beatle things, it didn't work because we aren't practical and we weren't quick enough to realize that we need a businessman's brain to run the whole thing. We did it all wrong with Paul and me running to New York saying we'll do this and encourage this and that. It's got to be a business first. We know that now. It needs a new broom and alot of prople there will have to go. It doesn't need to make vast profits, but if it carries on like this all of us will be broke in the next six months."
Q: "Do you miss Brian Epstein's guidance?"
JOHN: "Sure we miss him. His death was a loss. That's probably what's the matter with Apple or the Beatles at the moment-- Brian's death left us on our own. He handled the business and we find it hard to do."
RINGO 1969(on the realities of business)
RINGO: "We have to turn into businessmen because of what we started, you know. I mean, we started it (Apple) as like a toy-- because we weren't businessmen, and we didn't know what it involved, and we'd just started this great empire thinking we could do it whenever we felt like. But it ended up that we couldn't, you know, we had to go in. So what we're really doing now is paying for when we opened it and played about. Because we used to keep everybody on forever, you know, just because they were like a mate or a pal. They never did the jobs what we used to keep them on. You know, it's like another time we were being played on. So now, if they can't do the job then they have to leave, you know, which is fair. If you don't do your work then you've gotta go somewhere else, you know."
JOHN 1969(on the realities of The Beatles' fame)
JOHN: "The Beatles made it, stopped touring, had all the money and fame they wanted, and found out they had nothing. And then we started on our various LSD trips, the Maharishi, and all the other mad things we did. It's the old bit about money, power and fame not being the answer. We didn't lack hope just because we were famous though. I mean... Marilyn Monroe and all those other people had all the things The Beatles had but were still very unhappy. John and Yoko have the same problems of the position we're in or the money we have. We have exactly the same paranoias as everybody else, the same petty thoughts... everything goes just the same for us. We have no super answers that come as a result of The Beatles or their power."
RINGO 1969(on Beatle fans)
RINGO: "We all have our special fans. If all four of us had to stand in front of a million fans, and they lined up behind the one they liked best... I think Paul would get the most. John and George would get joint second. And Ringo would be last. That's what I think. With John and Paul, their own fans tend to not like the other one as much. But with me, I get John fans and Paul fans as well. They all like me at the same time as their own special favorite. So perhaps if you counted 'second' votes, I might win. They all want to mother me. I bring out the maternal bit, sentimental little Ritchie. Old women like me as well as little girls. I always got that even as a kid."
PAUL 1969(on high society dining)
PAUL: "As Beatles, we've
gone through millions of superficial changes which
mean nothing and haven't changed us. For example, in these posh places you
may get to like avocado and spinach. You learn about wine, and that's the scene for awhile. But after
you've done all that, you realize the waiter's just there to ask you what you want, not what everyone expects you to want. So if you feel like cornflakes for lunch... you just ask for 'em... without feeling like a northern comedian."
(on being a Beatle)
GEORGE: "Being a Beatle is the same as any job. It's up and down,
you know. And maybe for us it goes up higher... but
it comes down lower. Relativity. So if we have a bad
time, it's really bad, and if we have a good time
maybe it's really good. People see showbiz, and all
they think of is, 'Oh, all that money you've got,'
but the problems that come along with that are
incredible. And, I tell ya, for every hundred pounds
we've earned, we've gotten a hundred pounds worth of
problems to balance it. It's ironic really. We've all got a big house and an office, but to actually get
the money you've earned is virtually impossible. It's like it's illegal to keep the money you earn."
RINGO 1969(on The Beatles' appeal)
RINGO: "I think the four of us together, all sort of equal, make us one big whole. We're different from each other, yet alike. When you have a single leader and a backing group, you either take him or leave him. With four, you can associate with one of us and still like the rest of us. If you didn't like Elvis, that was that. With four of us there's more to go on."
JOHN 1969(on breakup rumors, and the future of The Beatles)
"Do you expect The Beatles to remain a foursome?"
JOHN: "I have no idea. If we're comfortable
enjoying being Beatles, we'll do it. When we don't,
we wont. That's always been the case. The last four
years, everytime we've made a record, it's been a
decision on whether to carry it on from there. In the old days, Paul and I would knock off an LP and write
most of the songs on it. Nowadays there's three of us writing equally good songs wanting that much space.
The problem is now, do you make a double album
everytime which takes up six months of your life, or
do you spend three or four months making one album, and
get two tracks each. It's just a physical problem,
and what we'll do, and whether we'll do it or not,
I've no idea."