Interview: Playboy

Playboy: By the way, what are Beatle people?

John: It’s something they use in the fan mags in America. They all start out, ‘Hi there, Beatle people, ‘spect you’re wondering what the Fab Foursome are doing these days!’ Now we use it all the time, too.

Paul: It’s low-level journalese.

John: But I mean, you know, there’s nothing wrong with that, It’s harmless.

Playboy: Speaking of low-level journalese, there was a comment in one of the London papers the other day that paralleled you guys with Hitler. Seriously! It said that you have the same technique of drawing cheers from the crowd…

Paul: That power isn’t so much us being like Hitler; it’s that the audiences and the show have got a sort of, you know, Hitler feel about them, because the audience will shout when their told to. That’s what the critic was talking about. Actually, that article was one which I really got annoyed about, ‘cuz she’s never even met us.

Playboy: She?

Paul: The woman who wrote it. She’s never met us, but she was dead against us. Like that Hitler bit. And she said we were very boring people. ‘The Boresome Foursome,’ she called us. You know, really, this woman was really just shouting her mouth off about us… as people, I mean.

Ringo: Oh, come on.

Paul: No, you come on. I rang up the newspaper, you know, but they wouldn’t let me speak to her. In actual fact, they said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you, the reason we don’t give out her phone number is because she never likes to speak to people on the phone because she’s got a terrible stutter. So I never did actually follow it up. Felt sorry for her. But I mean, the cheek of her, writing this damn article about us. And telling everybody how we’re starting riots, and how we’re such bores… and she’s never even met us, mind you! I mean, we could turn around and say the same about her! I could go and thump her!

George: Bastard fascist!

Playboy: Ringo…

Ringo: Yes, Playboy, sir?

Playboy: How do you feel about the press? Has your attitude changed in the last year or so?

Ringo: Yes.

Playboy: In what way?

Ringo: I hate ’em more now than I did before.

Playboy: Did you hear about the riot in Glasgow on the night of your last show there?

John: We heard about it after.

Playboy: Did you know that the next day there was a letter in one of the Glasgow papers that accused you of directly ‘inciting’ the violence?

Ringo: How can they say that about us? We don’t even wiggle. It’s not bloody fair.

George: Bastards!

Paul: Glasgow is like Belfast. There’ll probably be a bit of a skirmish there, too. But not because of us. It’s because people in certain cities just hate the cops more than in other cities.

George: Right.

Paul: There were ridiculous riots last time we were there… but it wasn’t riots for us. The crowd was there for us, but the riots after the show…

Ringo: All the drunks come out, out of the pubs.

Paul: …it was just beatin’ up coppers.

Playboy: They just used the occasion as a pretext to get at the cops?

George: Yeah.

Paul: In Dublin this trip, did you see where the crowd sort of stopped all the traffic? They even pulled a driver out of a bus.

John: They also called out the fire brigade. We had four fire engines this time.

Playboy: People were also overturning cars and breaking shop windows. But all this had nothing to do with your show?

Paul: Well, it’s vaguely related, I suppose. It’s got something to do with us, inasmuch as the crowds happen to be there because of our show.

John: But nobody who’s got a bit of common sense would seriously think that 15-year-old girls are going around smashing shop windows on account of us.

George: Certainly not. Those girls are ‘eight’ years old.

Playboy: This talk of violence leads to a related question. Do you guys think there’ll be a war soon?

George: Yeah. Friday.

Ringo: I hope not. Not just after we’ve got our money through the taxes.

John: The trouble is, if they do start another war, then everybody goes with you.

Playboy: Do you think the Rolling Stones will be the first to go?

Paul: It won’t matter, ‘cuz we’ll probably be in London or Liverpool at the time, and when they drop the bomb, it’ll be in the middle of the city. So we probably won’t even know it when it happens.

Playboy: We brought this up for a reason, fellows. There was an essay not long ago in a very serious commentary magazine, saying that before every major war in this century, there had been a major wave of public hysteria over certain specific entertainers. There was the Irene Castle craze before World War One…

Paul: Oh yes.

George: I remember that well.

Playboy: And then, before World War Two, there was the swing craze with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, and all the dancing in the aisles. And now you – before….

John: Hold on! It’s not our fault!

Playboy: We’re not saying you may have anything to do with inciting a war…

Paul: Thanks.

Playboy: But don’t you think you may be a symptom of the times, part of an undercurrent that’s building up?

Paul: That sort of comparison just falls down when you look at it, really. It’s just like saying that this morning a fly landed on my bed and that I looked at my watch and it was eight o’clock, and that therefore every morning at eight o’clock flies land on the bed. It doesn’t prove anything just ‘cuz it happens a few times.

Playboy: Let’s move on to another observation about you. Did you know that the Duke of Edinburgh was recently quoted as saying that he thought you were on the way out?

John: Good luck, Duke.

George: No comment. See my manager.

Paul: He didn’t say it, though. There was a retraction, wasn’t there?

John: Yeah, we got a telegram. Wonderful news.

Paul: We sent one back. Addressed to ‘Liz and Phil.’

Playboy: Have you ever met the Queen?

John: No. She’s the only one we haven’t met. We’ve met all the others.

Paul: All the mainstays.

Playboy: Winston Churchill?

Ringo: No, not him.

John: He’s a good lad, though.

Playboy: Would you like to meet him?

George: Not really. Not more than anybody else.

Paul: I dunno. Somebody like that you wish you could have met when he was at his peak, you know, and sort of doing things and being great. But there wouldn’t be a lot of point now, because he’s sort of gone into retirement and doesn’t do a lot of things anymore.

Playboy: Is there any celebrity you would like to meet?

Paul: I wouldn’t mind meeting Adolf Hitler.

George: You could have every room in your house papered.

Playboy: Would you like to meet Princess Margaret?

Paul: We have.

Playboy: How do you like her?

Ringo: OK. And Philip’s OK, too.

Playboy: Even after what he supposedly said about you?

Ringo: I don’t care what he said, I still think he’s OK. He didn’t say nothing about me personally.

Paul: Even if he had said things about us, it doesn’t make him worse, you know.

Playboy: Speaking of royalty…

Paul: Royalty never condemns anything unless it’s something that they know everybody else condemns.

Ringo: If I was royal…

Paul: If I was royal, I would crack long jokes and get a mighty laugh… if I was royal.

George: What would ‘we’ do with Buckingham Palace? Royalty’s stupid.

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