The Beatles Ultimate Experience
Beatles Ultimate Experience: Beatles Photos & Quotes Database: 1964
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(just before their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance)

"Paul, what do you think of your upcoming trip to the States? I understand in about a week you're going to be on The Ed Sullivan Show."

PAUL: "Yeah, that's right. We're going to do the show in New York and we're taping one for later release. Then we go down to Miami, I can't wait! And we do another Sullivan show there. Before that, we do Carnegie Hall, don't we?"

Q: "How were you selected for Ed Sullivan? Was he in England and caught your act or something?"

GEORGE: "We were arriving from Stockholm into London airport and at the same time the Prime Minister and the Queen Mother were also flying out, but the airport was overrun with teenagers. Thousands of them waiting for us to get back. Ed Sullivan arrived at that time and wondered what was going on."

(press conference upon their arrival in America)

"Will you sing a song for us?"

BEATLES: (in unison) "No!"

Q: "There's some doubt that you CAN sing."

JOHN: "No... we need money first."


Q: "Are you going to get a haircut while you're here?"

RINGO: "Nope!"

PAUL: "No thanks."

GEORGE: "I had one yesterday."


RINGO: "That's no lie. It's the truth. You should have seen him the day before."

Q: "What do you think your music does for these people?"

JOHN: (comically) "Uhh... Mmmm... Well..."

RINGO: "It pleases them, I think. It must do, because they're buying it."

Q: "Why does it excite them so much?"

PAUL: "We don't know. Really."

JOHN: "If we knew we'd form another group and be managers."


(during their first American tour)

"Have you been influenced by any one American artist?"

GEORGE: "In the early days it was Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly. But there's no one we tried to copy."

Q: "What are your ambitions?"

PAUL: "We used to have lots of ambitions. Like number one records... Sunday Night at the Palladium... The Ed Sullivan Show... to go to America. I can't really think of anymore. We're living an awful lot of them."

Q: "Do you think this is a fad?"

JOHN: "Obviously. Anything in this business is a fad. We don't think we're going to last forever. We're just going to have a good time while it lasts."

(on their first American visit, and future projects)

Q: "What brings you to the U.S. at this particular time?"

GEORGE: "Well, we're over here to do three Ed Sullivan TV shows, and meet the press, and a bit of a rest on Miami Beach."

Q: "Are there plans for a movie?"

GEORGE: "Yeah. Well, when we get back to England from this current visit of America..."

JOHN: (giggling) " America."

GEORGE: " America, yeah. Well, you see, we're making a film-- which we don't know the title of-- but it should be a film just about us."

PAUL: "We don't know the script, and we don't know what songs will be in it."

GEORGE: "It should be released in the states by the end of this year sometime, we hope."

JOHN: (laughing) "With no title and no songs!"

PAUL: "And no script."

PAUL 1964
(during their first American visit)

Q: "What are your ambitions?"

PAUL: "We used to have lots of ambitions. Like number one records... Sunday Night at the Palladium... The Ed Sullivan Show... to go to America. I can't really think of anymore. We're living an awful lot of them."

(press conference excerpt)

"What do you think of the rumors that get spread about you in gossip magazines?"

JOHN: "I don't give it much thought... other than the one about my wife having more children than I can account for."


Q: "What do The Beatles think of topless swimming suits?"

PAUL: "We've been wearing them for years!"


PAUL 1964
(on writing the song, I Want To Hold Your Hand)

"I Want to Hold Your Hand is at the top of the charts. How did you write that?"

PAUL: "Let's see, we were told we had to get down to it. So we found this house when we were walking along one day. We knew we had to really get this song going, so we got down in the basement of this disused house and there was an old piano. It wasn't really disused, it was rooms to let. We found this old piano and started banging away. There was a little old organ too. So we were having this informal jam and we started banging away. Suddenly a little bit came to us, the catch line. So we started working on it from there. We got our pens and paper out and just wrote down the lyrics. Eventually, we had some sort of a song, so we played it for our recording manager and he seemed to like it. We recorded it the next day."

(regarding the Beatle haircut)

"Where do your hair-dos originate from?"

GEORGE: "Our scalps."

(on tabloid rumors)

"Do rumors ever bother you?"

RINGO: "Some of them, you know. Some of the silly ones-- like the one with Anna Margaret."

JOHN: "Ann-Margaret."

RINGO: "Ann Mar... Ann... Anna..."

JOHN: "Ann-Margaret."

RINGO: " know, saying I don't phone her anymore 'cuz she can't understand me. I've never met the girl or anything, there's all this big thing, Ringo and Anna Margaret going steady and all."

JOHN: (yells comically) "We know you love Ann-Margaret!!"

Q: "There's also this thing about Haley Mills in the paper, too."

RINGO: "Haley Mills is the worst one."

JOHN: "That's the worst rumor."

RINGO: "It's so silly anyway-- Even if we have a photo with President Johnson, most people would probably say we're going steady!"

(upon returning home to England from their first US visit)

Q: "What impressed you most about the place? Did you have time to take anything in properly?"

GEORGE: "Oh, yeah. I think I enjoyed the sun in Miami most of all. You know-- healthy."

Q: "Did you have a chance to get away from anybody at any time on the trip?"

GEORGE: "Yeah."

RINGO: "He got away from me-- twice!"


Q: "Did you ever have a chance, John, to just get away on your own without anybody recognizing you?"

JOHN: "Yeah. We borrowed a couple of millionaires houses, you know."

Q: "You could afford to BUY a couple of millionaire's houses, couldn't you?"

JOHN: "Yeah, we'd sooner borrow 'em. It's cheaper."


JOHN: "And we did a bit of water-skiing. Well, sort of, anyway."

RINGO: "Yeah, we had a great time."

(returning to London Airport from America)

Q: "We're told that you've come back from America millionaires."

PAUL: "Naw, you're kidding."

JOHN: "Next time."

Q: "Ringo, I hear you were manhandled at the Embassy Ball."

RINGO: "Not really. Someone just cut a bit of my hair, you see. (turns head) Can you see the difference? It's longer, this side."

Q: "What happened exactly?"

RINGO: "I don't know. I was just talking, having an interview just like I am NOW!"

(John and Paul begin lifting locks of his hair, pretending to cut it.)

RINGO: "I was talking away and I looked 'round, and there was about 400 people just smiling. So, you know... What can you say!"

JOHN: "What can you say!"

RINGO: "Tomorrow never knows!"

(John laughs)

(accepting at the Variety Club Awards)

"It's very nice indeed to get... especially to get ONE EACH because we usually have a bit of trouble cutting them in fourths."

(Sydney Press conference: regarding Beatle finances)

Q: "Are you individually millionaires yet?"

JOHN: "No, that's another lousy rumor. I wish we were."


Q: "Is Brian Epstein a millionaire?"

JOHN: "No, even he's not one, poor fellow."

Q: "Where does all the money go?"

JOHN: "Well, alot of it goes to Her Majesty!"

GEORGE: "SHE'S a millionaire!!"


JOHN 1964
(regarding his book, 'In His Own Write')

"John, did you entirely write your book or were you given help?"

JOHN: (jokingly) "No, I mean-- who's gonna help you with a thing like that!"


JOHN: "No, if I write... You get ghost writers for novels and things. I wrote in the beginning, Paul wrote the intro, and helped with a couple of the stories. He was only mentioned on one because they forgot. But that's all."

PAUL 1964
(regarding the re-release of the single, 'My Bonnie')

"Paul, do you have any objection to the releasing of your early records that were made with people like Tony Sheridan in Hamburg?"

PAUL: "Well you know, not really. But if we could stop 'em, we would. 'Cuz I think they're a bit old hat. You know, it's all our old stuff. And so yea, if we had a say in it... they wouldn't be released. But we've got no say in it, and we signed a contract when we were about eighteen, you know. We had no manager and we didn't know what we were doing. And consequently, we can't do a thing about it."

(on The Beatles' sound)

"Are The Beatles responsible for what's called the 'Mersey Beat'?"

GEORGE: "Well, at the time that we started to make records, the current trend in Britain was Cliff Richard, and the Shadows, and sort of ballads. But we've been playing for years-- ever since the first Rock and Roll started, when we didn't like the ballad stuff. So we just carried on playing it, and eventually we wrote our own songs. And when we managed to record, then they caught on and all the groups changed over again."

Q: "How do you feel about all these other groups following your style now?"

GEORGE: "It's great. I mean, they say it's the biggest form of flattery, isn't it."

Q: "Do you, yourselves, really think that you've got talent?"

GEORGE: "Yeah. The thing is, none of us profess to be individually great musicians, or very talented. But the thing is, as a group, I think we're good. I think we're much better as a group than we are individually."

PAUL 1964
(on songwriting)

"You and John togther have written most of the hit songs. Do you have any formula or system that you use when you're writing these songs?"

PAUL: "No, uhh, no. You know, they happen lots of different ways. Sometimes maybe he'll write a whole song himself, or I will, but we always say that we've both written it. Sometimes the lyric does come first, sometimes the tune-- sometimes both together. Sometimes he'll do one line, sometimes I'll do one line. It's very varied."

Q: "I notice that some other singers are singing your material too."

PAUL: "Yea. A recent example-- with Peter And Gordon in England, they recorded 'A World Without Love.' And it's gone right to the top in America, England, everywhere."


(on Ringo's tonsils)

"Ringo, you've been talking about a new EP, and I have news that the extended-play will include 'Matchbox' on it."

RINGO: "Yes, I'm featured on it. Actually it was written by Carl Perkins about six years ago."

JOHN: "And he was at the session."

RINGO: "Oh! Carl came to the session. I felt very embarrassed. I did it just two days before I went in the hospital (with tonsilitis) so please forgive my throat."

Q: "Do you think somebody may raffle Ringo's tonsils, or sell them at a high price if they are taken out?"

JOHN: (jokingly) "I've met alot of doctors who've got a great collection."

GEORGE: "Legally you see, Ringo, they still belong to you. So they couldn't sell them, could they. You could sue them.

Q: (jokingly) "Does Mr. Epstein get a quarter of your tonsils?"

RINGO: "Well, he can have 'em all. I'm not worried about 'em personally."

JOHN: "I'd worry about them if I were you. Dreadful operation. I knew a man once-- never saw him again. Dead. You'll never sing 'Boys' again!"

GEORGE: "You could have 'em out-- you've had everything else out."

JOHN: "He's had alot out-- Ringo."

GEORGE: "There's not much left of Ringo, actually."

(on The Vienna Boy's Choir)

"The Vienna Boy's Choir is in town."

PAUL: (jokingly) "Ahhhh! We must go and see 'em! I've heard they're a rave!"

RINGO: "I believe they're wild, man. You gotta watch it when they're on."

PAUL: "They blow up a bit of a storm, those fellas. Have you shakin-their-heads seen 'em?"

RINGO: "I've seen 'em. Yeah."

JOHN: "Vienna Boy's Choir Mania, I'd call it."

(on fans throwing Jellybaby candies on stage during concerts)

"George, Jellybabies have been thrown again, and does this worry you?"

GEORGE: "Yeah. I don't like them at all. 'Cuz they are so dangerous when they come in big numbers like it does at a show that size. You know, if you get one in your eye you're just blind, aren't you, for life."

JOHN 1964
(wrapping up the Australian portion of their 1964 World Tour)

"John, what are your final thoughts about this tour?"

JOHN: "It's been good!"

Q: "How are you feeling about this (upcoming) American tour which is apparently going to be even more hectic?"

JOHN: "Well, I don't think it can be more hectic! I'm not thinking about it anyway because I'm too tired."

Q: "Are you looking forward to seeing your family again?"

JOHN: (weary smile) "I am. Yes. Very much."

Q: "John, what would you say are the most-asked questions on this tour?"

JOHN: "Probably, 'How does our city compare with the last city you were at,' or our country compare with other countries. It's important to alot of people. I don't blame 'em, you know... that's the main question. 'How are we, or our kids, compared with so-and-so's kids.'"

(just before the premiere of 'A Hard Day's Night')

"George, you are going back to England and to Liverpool to see your film. Have you actually seen the film yet?"

GEORGE: "Yeah, we saw it just before we came away. It wasn't completely finished. It was more or less finished. They had the very first opening shot missing, and alot of the sound effects and background weren't there."

Q: "Were you impressed by The Beatles' acting?"

GEORGE: "I don't know. It's hard to look at it from a bit of different view, you know. It's actually... It's us, so we can't... None of us think we're good actors, but we're quite happy with the film considering it's our first. (giggling) It could have been alot worse."

JOHN 1964
(on songwriting for the movie, 'A Hard Day's Night')

JOHN: "Paul and I enjoyed writing the music for the film, but there were times when we honestly thought we'd never get time to write all the material. We managed to get a couple finished while we were in Paris, and three more completed in America soaking up sun on Miami Beach."

(regarding the movie, 'A Hard Day's Night')

JOHN: "I thought 'Cheeky' was universal. I thought it was English, and the other day I got a couple of letters saying, 'From your film, John... what does Cheeky mean?' And I thought it was obvious it just means sort of hard-faced, only light-heartertedly. You know, sort of 'the nerve of that fellow.'"

RINGO: "It's like, it's a lighthearted 'get lost,' I'd say."

JOHN: "I say to him 'gear costume,' which means 'I admire your costume greatly.' And he says 'Swap' in a rather effeminate voice, meaning exchange (costumes). And I says to him 'cheeky' meaning hard-faced naughty boy, you see. Because he is isn't he? I mean you could tell by the way he looked at him."

RINGO: "Oh! Oh, a very bad boy."

(regarding the movie, 'A Hard Day's Night')

"Were there any scenes from 'A Hard Day's Night' that did not make it into the final picture?"

PAUL: "There was a scene where I'm supposed to be picking on Ringo and saying, 'It's all your fault.' And as I was saying it, I kept flapping my arms up and down... I don't know why. I must've thought I was a good actor. (laughs) I was just sort of flapping my arms around and saying, 'It's all your fault.' And he couldn't stand it... he was giggling away. So then I started laughing and we just collapsed. We did so many takes of it."

RINGO: "Twelve takes on that one."

PAUL: (giggles) "...and they cut the bit in the end."

JOHN 1964
(on making the movie: 'A Hard Day's Night')

"What's your favorite part of the film?"

JOHN: "All of us liked the bit in the field where we all jump about like lunatics because that's pure film, as the director told us, you know, it's pure filming and we could've been anybody, but we enjoyed it."

For more on the film 'A Hard Day's Night,' check our Movies~Database

(on what comes next if their success should fade)

"What are you going to do when the day of the Beatles' fame is over. You've written a book which was quite successful. Do you intend to keep on writing, for instance?"

JOHN: "Yeah, I'll do it anyway, you know, whether we're famous or not. I did it before we were famous, so I'll do it after we're famous."

Q: "What about the rest of you?"

PAUL: "Well, John and I, if he's not writing too much, will probably carry on songwriting. Because it's... You know, we don't look upon it as a business. It's a hobby more than anything. So we'll probably carry on."

RINGO 1964
(on touring, and recreation)

Q: "What about your return to the U.S? Do you look forward to it?"

RINGO: "Yeah, I can't wait! (excitedly) Wooo!!!"

Q: "You enjoyed it before?"

RINGO: "Yeah, it was marvelous, you know-- loved it. Fantastic time. The best part about this tour is that we see more of the States than last time 'cuz we only went to Washington, New York, and Miami. So it's good that we'll see alot more."

Q: "For recreation, how can someone as famous as a member of the Beatles possibly be able to go out and do what the average person does?"

RINGO: "We don't go out, you know, and do what the average person does. We have to stay in, or if we're off-- we stay in all day anyway and just play records, or when the TV starts we put that on, or you know, we just amuse ourselves. But we can go out and about. In London there's about three clubs we can go to... where it's okay for us to go."

(on teenage Beatle fans)

GEORGE: "Alot of rot is talked about kids getting out of hand and suchlike. Even a kid who is quiet on her own takes the opportunity of letting off as much steam as possible when she's with the gang. It doesn't mean she's out of control-- just that she's learnt how to have fun. Boys are the same-- they let off steam in different places. Girls hang around stage doors or in the front stalls-- boys inside a football ground or at a boxing match. But whatever way you look at it, the Beatles... and every other group in the top twenty... rely entirely on the fans. It would be no good finding a good song and making a terrific recording of it if there were no fans around to decide whether they liked it or not."

JOHN 1964
(on The Beatles' Shakespeare sketch for BBC-TV)

Q: "Last night I saw the television show that you did which has been shown in England but not here in America. In the show you included some comedy, but you were the only female."

JOHN: (jokingly) "Hey, I don't like your insinuations, Mister!!"


JOHN: (in a macho voice) "We was doin' Shakespeare!! And I had to be Thisbe, the girl!!"


Q: "Why were you chosen to be Thisbe?"

JOHN: "Because if anyone likes dressing up more stupid than the rest, I enjoy it, you know. I was asked to do it because they thought I had the deeper voice."

Q: "You have a very sharp wit. Do you ever plan to put some comedy into your stage act?"

JOHN: "We used to do it, especially in the old Cavern days... Half the whole thing was just ad-libbed. We used to just mess about and jump into the audience and do anything."

PAUL 1964
(on songwriting and arranging)

Q: "When you write music... which you do a great deal with John Lennon... you write it very much, and marvelously, in the current idiom. Do you feel that later on, when you move into another period... say in five years time... you'll be writing in the same idiom? Or different? Will you change with the times?"

PAUL: "I think it's just the arrangements. For instance, 'From Me To You.' It could be done as an old Ragtime tune... especially the middle-eight. And so, we're not writing the tunes in any particular idiom. So in five years time, we may arrange the tunes differently... but we'll probably write the same old rubbish!!"


RINGO 1964
(backstage at Wembley Stadium)

"There are ten thousand people in this auditorium right now. There must be another ten thousand outside. What is the story on your police escorts?"

RINGO: "We just came in a small van, you know-- boarded up. and we just drove in like workers. We just sat in the back and the police drove us in, in plain clothes."

Q: "We came in with George Harrison's mother, and there were so many people who recognized her and were banging on the car."

RINGO: "Yeah."

Q: "Doesn't this bother you after a while?"

RINGO: (jokingly) "Well, it doesn't bother me if they bang on Mrs. Harrison's car."

Q: (laughs)

PAUL 1964
(on Beatle fans)

"Paul, why do teenagers scream when The Beatles appear?"

PAUL: "None of us know. We kind of like the screaming teenagers. If they want to sit out there and shout, that's their business. We aren't going to be like little dictators and say, 'You gotta shut up'. The commotion doesn't bother us anymore. It's like working in a bell factory. After a while you get used to the bells."

PAUL 1964
(regarding The Beatles Live on stage)

"In your act right now, there are special places where you, with your bass guitar, make a gesture toward Ringo, and he in turn makes a gesture with his hair. Are things like that planned ahead of time?"

PAUL: "No actually. I think I know the bit you're talking about. Those things all just sort of start off at the time. There's just one bit where Ringo and I play the same thing together, you know. And I normally turn 'round because it's more fun. It might look a bit mad to some people, I suppose. But it just sort of swings a bit more like that, you know."

(during the 1964 World Tour)

"You Beatles have conquered five continents. What would you like to do next?"

BEATLES: (in unison) "...conquer Six!"


(regarding the British press)

"What do you think when your families are involved in gossip talk?"

RINGO: "I dont like it."

JOHN: "The main thing about our families is that reporters can come up and con... I mean, our parents and relations don't know anything about the business. So any reporter can come up to someone like Mrs. Harrison, George's mother, and she doesn't know what to say... like, 'No, I don't feel like talking.' They just talk."

RINGO: "They take advantage of them, because they're just sort of in the middle... and they just don't know what to do."

RINGO 1964
(on waving to fans)

Q: "I understand you poked your head out of the window in the last hotel you stayed in and it caused quite a stir."

RINGO: "Usually we never put our heads anywhere near the windows, because as soon as we arrive the police always say,'Now don't go near the windows and don't wave, don't do anything!' And so we don't... but then all the lunatics, in the floor above us or below, put wigs on and wave out the window. And when you're fifteen floors up the fans can't tell from the street... and then we get the blame anyway. So we just don't go near the windows now, you know. But last night they said, 'Go on and give 'em a wave because you're leaving tomorrow,' because they were good cops and we got on well with them, you know."

PAUL 1964
(regarding their world-wide fame)

"None of us think of ourselves as famous or anything. We just sort of think-- it's us, the same group who was playing in the Cavern-- but we're just getting a bit more money or there's more people coming to our concerts. It just feels like we're doing well at concerts for some strange reason, you know. There's more to it than that but I don't think any of us think too much about it really. But it never fails to thrill us. It still knocks us out."

(regarding his love of music and guitars)

Q: "Are you the most musical of The Beatles?"

GEORGE: "Depends what you mean. People have said I am, just because I admit to liking Segovia's guitar playing and they think that's all very highbrow and musical. I believe I love my guitar more than the others love theirs. For John and Paul, songwriting is pretty important and guitar playing is a means to an end. While they're making up new tunes I can thoroughly enjoy myself just doodling around with a guitar for a whole evening. I'm fascinated by new sounds I can get from different instruments I try out. I'm not sure that makes me particularly musical. Just call me a guitar fanatic instead, and I'll be satisfied."

(San Francisco press conference)

Q: "Now that you've made a movie, do you dig the acting bit?"

JOHN: "We don't profess to be actors."

PAUL: "Besides... it's only Americans that 'dig.'"

JOHN: "Dig?"

PAUL: (jokingly) "Dig your baby, daddy!"

JOHN: "Oh, I get it."

PAUL: "With it!!"

Q: "In America, the current slang is: 'tough,' 'boss,' and 'dig.' What are some of England's?"

JOHN: "They're ever-changing, you know, Madam. 'Alec Douglas-Hume,' That's a big one. 'Wilson,' Everyone does it."

PAUL: "Harold Wilson?"

JOHN: "Always!"

PAUL: "There's alot of slang. 'Barry Goldwater.'"

JOHN: "That's a new one over there. It means, 'Drag.'"

(San Francisco press conference)

Q: "Ringo, how do you feel about the 'Ringo for President' campaign?"

RINGO: "Well, it's rather... It's marvelous!"

Q: "Assuming you were President of the United States, would you make any political promises?"

RINGO: "I don't know, you know. I'm not sort of politically minded."

JOHN: "Aren't you?"

RINGO: "No, John. Believe me."

PAUL: "I think you should be President."

JOHN: "I saw you dancing with Bessie Braddock."

Q: "How do the other guys feel about Ringo being nominated for President?"

JOHN: "We think he should win, you know."

PAUL: "Yes, we think he should."

GEORGE: "Definitely in favor."

Q: "Ringo, would you nominate the others as part of your cabinet?"

RINGO: "Well, I'd have to... wouldn't I?"

GEORGE: "I could be the door."

RINGO: "I'd have George as treasurer."

JOHN: "I could be the cupboard."

RINGO: "He looks after the money."

(looking ahead to their second feature film)

"We'll be making another film in February, but I've no idea what it'll be all about. I hope there are no songs in it. It was alright getting songs in the last one because we had an excuse, they worked into the film alright. But I don't like these films where everybody bursts into song for no reason... and you have a full orchestra blasting out from nowhere. I'd prefer making a film without any singing."

(looking ahead to their second film)

"What are your plans for movies?"

PAUL: "We've got to do a new one in February. Februar-ar-ary. There aren't... we haven't made any plans for it as yet. We talked to the director."

Q: "No plans?"

PAUL: "No, nothing."

GEORGE: "No title, no script."

RINGO: (jokingly) "No script-- No actors."

(on being 'naturals')

"One thing I've noticed about The Beatles is that you don't come on with 'big star' attitudes."

GEORGE: "I think that's one of the big points that has contributed to our success, because we have been naturals. We've always disliked that sort of phoney star image, you know, and we'd much rather be ourselves. We've always thought, 'If they don't like us how we are... then hard luck.' And they did, you know. The people like natural people better I think."

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