Interview in Hong Kong

6.00pm, Wednesday 10 June 1964 (49 years ago)

The Beatles took a flight to Sydney, Australia, the day after their two shows at Hong Kong’s Princess Theatre. They were joined by Australian disc jockey Bob Rogers, who accompanied them throughout this leg of the tour.

While waiting for their flight at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak airport, Rogers took the opportunity to interview The Beatles. He began the recording by introducing them to the tune of Waltzing Matilda.

Q (sings): Here are the Beatles…

John and George (singing): Waltzing Matilda. Waltzing Matilda. You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me…

Q: Don’t ask me what a jumbuck is. I don’t know.

George Harrison: Oh well. We know what a Frank Ifield is, though, don’t we?

Q: Aye! And a Rolf Harris.

John Lennon: Cobber.

George (sings): Tie me kangaroo down sport…

John: Cobber.

Q: Well, in 24 hours overnight you’ve come from summer to winter. How do you think that’s going to affect your health?

John: I don’t think it’ll affect it at all.

George: We’re always just naturally unhealthy, so it doesn’t matter.

Q: And you’re gonna wear these Hong Kong suits that you’ve had made.

John: George and I haven’t had any made.

Q: Haven’t you?

John: No.

George: No, ’cause we’re saving up.

Q: We read about it in the papers.

John: Ah well, you never believe what they write in the papers. Paul‘s had one. That’s all. He’s had two.

George: Yeah. Our road managers have had one or two.

Q: Now what are you gonna do while you’re in Australia? Are you going to be able to get out, or are you going to have to be locked in your rooms all the time?

George: We don’t really know till we get to wherever we’re going.

John: We don’t expect to get out, anyway. If we do it’s, er, lucky, you know.

George: If we do it’s a lucky.

John: It’s a lucky. That say me.

Q: You can’t go on living in a prison like this all your lives?

John: Well, it won’t last all our lives, will it.

Q: How long do you think it’ll last?

John: Well, don’t ask me that. But we know it won’t last all our lives. That’s enough.

Q: Now Paul, you bought a Chinese suit.

Paul McCartney: Yes that’s true. Two, I got.

Q: How much did you pay for them?

Paul: It wasn’t very dear. About 10 quid, I think.

Q: I thought, being the Beatles, they’d charge you twice as much. Did you have a chance to barter with the man?

Paul: Yeah. Oh it was great, actually. ‘Cause somebody said you’ve got to haggle and get the prices down, so I did. It was quite good. Some little fellow was selling some ornaments and he wanted 160 dollars for them. No. He was selling a watch. That’s it, wanted 160 Hong Kong dollars for it. So I kept saying to him ‘No, it’s not right! Not right! Hundred dollars, that’s right!’ Anyway, I got him down to a hundred dollars. It was probably worth about 30 dollars, mind you.

Q: Do you want to buy anything in Australia?

Paul: Yes, definitely.

Q: Like what?

Paul: Er, anything in particular… I dunno. I think everyone who goes to Australia buys a boomerang, don’t they? I think I’ll skip that one. It’s a bit… I don’t fancy it. There’s not much chance to use it in London, really.

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