Interview: Playboy

Playboy: You guys seem to be pretty irreverent characters. Are any of you churchgoers?

John: No.

George: No.

Paul: Not particularly. But we’re not antireligious. We probably seem antireligious because of the fact that none of us believe in God.

John: If you say you don’t believe in God, everybody assumes you’re antireligious, and you probably think that’s what we mean by that. We’re not quite sure ‘what’ we are, but I know that we’re more agnostic than atheistic.

Playboy: Are you speaking for the group, or just for yourself.

John: For the group.

George: John’s our official religious spokesman.

Paul: We all feel roughly the same. We’re all agnostics.

John: Most people are, anyway.

Ringo: It’s better to admit it than to be a hypocrite.

John: The only thing we’ve got against religion is the hypocritical side of it, which I can’t stand. Like the clergy is always moaning about people being poor, while they themselves are all going around with millions of quid worth of robes on. That’s the stuff I can’t stand.

Paul: A new bronze door stuck on the Vatican.

Ringo: Must have cost a mighty penny.

Paul: But believe it or not, we’re not anti-Christ.

Ringo: Just anti-Pope and anti-Christian.

Paul: But you know, in America…

George: They were more shocked by us saying we were agnostics.

John: Then they went potty; they couldn’t take it. Same as in Australia, where they couldn’t stand us not liking sports.

Paul: In America, they’re fanatical about God. I know somebody over there who said he was an atheist. The papers nearly refused to print it because it was such shocking news that somebody could actually be an atheist… yeah… and admit it.

Ringo: He speaks for all of us.

Playboy: To bring up another topic that’s shocking to some, how do you feel about the homosexual problem?

George: Oh yeah, well, we’re all homosexuals, too.

Ringo: Yeah, we’re all queer.

Paul: But don’t tell anyone.

Playboy: Seriously, is there more homosexuality in England than elsewhere?

John: Are you saying there’s more over here than in America?”

Playboy: We’re just asking.

George: It’s just that they’ve got crewcuts in America. You can’t spot ’em.

Paul: There’s probably a million more queers in America than in England. England may have it’s scandals… like Profumo and all… but at least they’re heterosexual.

John: Still, we do have more than our share of queers, don’t you think?

Paul: It just seems that way because there’s more printed about them over here.

Ringo: If they find out somebody is a bit bent, the press will always splash it about.

Paul: Right. Take Profumo, for example. He’s just an ordinary…

Ringo: …sex maniac.

Paul: …just an ordinary fellow who sleeps with women. Yet it’s adultery in the eyes of the law, and it’s an international incident. But in actual fact, if you check up on the statistics, you find that there are hardly any married men who’ve been completely faithful to their wives.

John: I have! Listen, Beatle people…

Paul: Alright, we all know John’s spotless. But when a thing like that gets into the newspapers, everybody goes very, very Puritan, and they pretend that they don’t know what sex is about.

George: They get so bloody virtuous all of a sudden.

Paul: Yes, and some poor heel has got to take the brunt of the whole thing. But, in actual fact, if you ask the average Briton what they really think of the Profumo case, they’d probably say, ‘He was knockin’ off some bird. So what?’

Playboy: Incidentally, you’ve met Mandy Rice-Davies haven’t you?

George: What are you looking at ‘me’ for?

Playboy: Because we hear she was looking at you.

John: We did meet Christine Keeler.

Ringo: I’ll tell you who I met. I met whats-her-name… April Ashley.

John: I met her, too, the other night.

Playboy: Isn’t she the one who used to be a man, changed her sex and married into nobility?

John: That’s the one.

Ringo: She swears at me, you know. But when she sobers up she apologizes.

John: Actually, I quite like her. Him. It. That.

Paul: The problem with saying something like, ‘Profumo was just a victim of circumstances’ or ‘April Ashley isn’t so bad, even though she’s changed sex’ – saying things like that in print to most people seems so shocking; whereas in actual fact, if you really think about it, it isn’t. Just saying things like that sounds much more shocking than it is.

Ringo: I got up in the Ad Lib the other night and a big handbag hit me in the gut. I thought it was somebody I knew; I didn’t have my glasses on. I said, ‘Hello,’ and a bloody big worker went ‘Arrgghhh.’ So I just ran into the bog… because I’d heard about things like that.

Playboy: What are you talking about?

George: He doesn’t know.

Playboy: Do you?

George: Haven’t the slightest.

Playboy: Can you give us a hint, Ringo? What’s the Ad Lib, for example?

Ringo: It’s a club.

George: Like your Peppermint Lounge and the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. It’s the same thing.

Paul: No, the English version is a little different.

John: The Whiskey-A-Go-Go is exactly the same, isn’t it? …only they have someone dancing on the ceiling, don’t they?

George: Don’t be ridiculous. They have ‘two’ girls dancing on the roof. In the Ad Lib they have a colored chap. That’s the difference.

Playboy: We heard a rumor that one of you was thinking about opening a club.

John: I wonder who that was, Ringo.

Ringo: I don’t know, John. There was a rumor, yes. I heard that one, too.

Playboy: Is there any truth to it?

Ringo: Well, yes. We were going to open one in Hollywood, but it fell through.

John: Dino wouldn’t let you take the place over.

Ringo: No.

Paul: And we decided it’s not worth it. So we decided to sit tight for six months, and then buy…

George: …America.

Playboy: Have you heard about the Playboy Club that’s opening in London?

Ringo: Yes. I’ve heard about it.

Playboy: What do you think of our clubs?

Ringo: They’re for dirty old men, not for the likes of us – dirty young men. They’re for businessmen that sneak out without their wives knowing, or if their wives sneak out first, or those who go out openly.

George: There’s no real fun in a Bunny’s fluffy tail.

Playboy: Then you don’t think a club will make it here?

George: Oh yes, ‘course it will.

Ringo: There’s enough dirty old men here.

Playboy: Have you ever read the magazine?

John: Yes.

George: Yes.

Ringo: I get my copy every month. Tits.

Playboy: Do you read any of the philosophy, any of you?

Paul: Some of it. When the journey’s really long and you can’t last out the pictures, you start reading it. It’s OK.

Playboy: How about Playboy’s Jazz Poll? Do you read it, too?

John: Occasionally.

Playboy: Do you enjoy jazz, any of you?

George: What kind?

Playboy: American jazz.

John: Who, for example?

Playboy: You tell us.

Paul: We only dig those who dig us.

Playboy: Seriously, who? Anyone?

John: Getz. But only because somebody gave me an album of his… with him and somebody called Iguana, or something like that.

Playboy: You mean Joao Gilberto?

John: I don’t know. Some Mexican.

Playboy: He’s Brazilian.

John: Oh.

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