Interview: Playboy

Playboy: When people see you in the street, do you ever have any action?

George: Well, not really, because when you’re walking about, you don’t bump into groups of people as a rule. People don’t walk ’round in gangs, as a rule.

Playboy: Can you even go out shopping without getting mobbed by them, individually or collectively?

John: We avoid that.

Paul: The mountain comes to Mohammed.

George: The shop comes to us, as he says. But sometimes we just roll into a store and buy stuff and leg out again.

Playboy: Isn’t that like looking for trouble?

Paul: No, we walk four times faster than the average person.

Playboy: Can you eat safely in restaurants?

George: Sure we can. I was there the other night.

John: Where?

George: Restaurants.

Paul: Of course we’re known in the restaurants we go in.

George: And usually it’s only Americans that’ll bother you.

Playboy: Really?

George: Really. If we go into a restaurant in London, there’s always going to be a couple of them eating there; you just tell the waiter to hold them off if they try to come over. If they come over anyway you just sign.

Ringo: But you know, the restaurants I go to, probably if I wasn’t famous I wouldn’t go to them. Even if I had the same money and wasn’t famous I wouldn’t go to them, because the people that go to them are drags. The good thing when you go to a place where the people are such drags, such snobs, you see, is that they won’t bother to come over to your table. They pretend they don’t even know who you are, and you get away with an easy night.

George: And they think they are laughing at us, but really we’re laughing at them… ‘cuz we know they know who we are.

Ringo: How’s that?

George: They’re not going to be like the rest and ask for autographs.

Ringo: And if they do, we just swear at them.

George: Well, I don’t, Beatle people. I sign the autograph and thank them profusely for coming over, and offer them a piece of my chop.

John: If we’re in the middle of a meal, I usually say, ‘Do you mind waiting till I’m finished?’

George: And then we keep eating until they give up and leave.

John: That’s not true, Beatle people!

Playboy: Apart from these occupational hazards, are you happy in your work? Do you really enjoy getting pelted by jellybeans and being drowned out by thousands of screaming subteenagers?

Ringo: Yes.

George: We still find it exciting.

John: Well, you know…

Paul: After a while, actually, you begin to get used to it, you know.

Playboy: Can you really get used to this?

Paul: Well, you still get excited when you go onto a stage and the audience is great, you know. But obviously you’re not as excited as you were when you first heard that one of your records had reached number one. I mean, you really do go wild with excitement then; you go out drinking and celebrating and things.

Ringo: Now we just go out drinkin’ anyway.

Playboy: Do you stick pretty much together off-stage?

John: Well, yes and no. Groups like this are normally not friends, you know. They’re just four people out there thrown together to make an act. There may be two of them who sort of go off and are friends, you know, but…

George: Just what do you mean by that?

John: Strictly platonic, of course. But we’re all rather good friends, as it happens.

Playboy: Then do you see a good deal of one another when you’re not working?

Paul: Well, you know, it depends. We needn’t always go to the same places together. In earlier days, of course, when we didn’t know London, and we didn’t know anybody in London, then we really did stick together, and it would really be just like four fellows down from the north for a coach trip. But nowadays, you know, we’ve got our own girlfriends… they’re in London… so that we each normally go out with our girlfriends on our days off. Except for John, of course, who’s married.

Playboy: Do any of the rest of you have any plans to settle down?

Paul: I haven’t got any.

George: Ringo and I are getting married.

Ringo: Oh? To whom?

George: To each other. But that’s a thing you’d better keep a secret.

Ringo: You better not tell anybody.

George: I mean, if we said something like that, people’d probably think we’re queers. After all, that’s not the sort of thing you can put in a reputable magazine like Playboy. And anyway, we don’t want to start the rumor going.

Playboy: We’d better change the subject, then. Do you remember the other night when this girl came backstage…

George: Naked…

Playboy: Unfortunately not. And she said…

George: It’s been a hard day’s night.

Playboy: No. She pointed at you, George, and said, ‘There’s a Beatle!’ And you others said, ‘That’s George.’ And she said, ‘No, it’s a Beatle!’

John: And you said, ‘This way to the bedroom.’

Playboy: No, it was, ‘Would you like us to introduce you to him?’

John: I like my line better.

Playboy: Well, the point is that she didn’t believe that there was such a thing as an actual Beatle ‘person.’

John: She’s right, you know.

Playboy: Do you run across many like her?

George: Is there any other kind?

Playboy: In America, too?

Ringo: Everywhere.

Playboy: With no exceptions?

John: In America, you mean?

Playboy: Yes.

John: A few.

Paul: Yeah, some of those American girls have been great.

John: Like Joan Baez.

Paul: Joan Baez is good, yeah, very good.

John: She’s the only one I like.

George: And Jayne Mansfield. Playboy made her.

Paul: She’s a bit different, isn’t she? Different.

Ringo: She’s soft.

George: Soft and warm.

Paul: Actually, she’s a clot.

Ringo: …says Paul, the god of the Beatles.

Paul: I didn’t mean it, Beatle People! Actually, I haven’t even met her. But you won’t print that anyway, of course, because Playboy is very pro-Mansfield. They think she’s a rave. But she really is an old bag.

Last updated: 27 April 2010
Live: ABC Cinema, Exeter
Live: ABC Cinema, Plymouth
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