Interview: Playboy

Playboy: Are you guys getting tired of talking?

John: No.

Paul: No. Let’s order some drinks. Scotch or Coke?

John: I’ll have chocolate.

George: Scotch for me and Paul… and chocolate for the Beatle teenager.

John: Scotch is bad for your kidneys.

Paul: How about you, Ringo? Don’t you want something to keep you awake while you’re listening to all this rubbish?

Ringo: I’ll have a Coke.

John: How about you, Playboy? Are you a man or a woman?

Paul: It’s a Beatle people!

George: Who’s your fave rave?

Paul: I love ‘you!’

George: How gear.

Playboy: Speaking of fave raves, why do you think the rock ‘n’ roll phenomenon is bigger in England than in America?

John: Is it?

Paul: Yes. You see, in England… after us… you have thousands of groups coming out everywhere, but in America they’ve just sort of had the same groups going for ages. Some have made it and some haven’t, but there aren’t really any new ones. If we’d been over there instead of over here, there probably would have been the same upsurge over there. Our road manager made an interesting point the other day about this difference in America. In America the people who are big stars are not our age. There’s nobody who’s really a big star around our age. Possibly it may seem like a small point, but there’s no conscription… no draft… here. In America, we used to hear about somebody like Elvis, who was a very big star and then suddenly he was off to the Army.

John: And the Everly Brothers.

Paul: Yes, the Everly Brothers as well went into the Army at the height of their fame. And the Army seems to do something to singers. It may make them think that what they’re playing is stupid and childish. Or it may make them want to change their style, and consequently they may not be as popular when they come out of the Army. It may also make people forget them, and consequently they may have a harder job getting back on top when they get out. But here, of course, we don’t have that problem.

John: Except those who go to prison.

Paul: It’s become so easy to form a group nowadays, and to make a record, that hundreds are doing it – and making a good living at it. Whereas when we started, it took us a couple of years before record companies would even listen to us, never mind give us a contract. But now, you just walk in and if they think you’re OK, you’re on.

Playboy: Do you think you had anything to do with bringing all this about?

John: It’s a damn fact.

Paul: Not only us. Us and people who followed us. But we were the first really to get national coverage because of some big shows that we did, and because of a lot of public interest in us.

Playboy: What do you think is the most important element of your success… the personal appearances, or the records?

John: Records. Records have always been the main thing. P.A.s follow records. Our first records were made, and then we appeared.

Playboy: Followed closely by Beatle dolls. Have you seen them?

George: They’re actually life size, you know.

Playboy: The ones we’ve seen are only about five inches high.

Paul: Well, we’re midgets, you see.

Playboy: How does it make you feel to have millions of effigies of yourselves decorating bedsides all over the world? Don’t you feel honored to have been immortalized in plastic? After all, there’s no such thing as a Frank Sinatra doll, or an Elvis Presley doll.

George: Who’d want an ugly old crap doll like that?

Playboy: Would you prefer a George doll, George?

George: No, but I’ve got a Ringo doll at home.

Playboy: Did you know that you’re probably the first public figures to have dolls made of them… except maybe Yogi Berra?

John: In Jellystone Park. Do you mean the cartoon?

Playboy: No. Didn’t you know that the cartoon character is based on a real person… Yogi Berra, the baseball player?

George: Oh.

Playboy: Didn’t you know that?

John: I didn’t know that.

Paul: Well, they’re making ‘us’ into a cartoon, too, in the states. It’s a series.

John: The highest achievement you could ever get.

Paul: We feel proud and humble.

Playboy: Did you know, George, that at the corner of 47th Street and Broadway in New York, there is a giant cutout of you on display?

George: Of me?

Playboy: Life size.

Ringo: Nude.

Playboy: No… but the reason we mention it is that this is really a signal honor. For years on that corner, there’s been a big store with life-size cutouts of Marilyn Monroe, Anita Ekberg, or Jayne Mansfield in the window.

John: And now it’s George.

Paul: The only difference is that they’ve got bigger tits.

Ringo: I suppose that’s one way of putting it.

George: The party’s getting rough. I’m going to bed. You carry on, though. I’ll just stop my ears with cotton… so as not to hear the insults and smutty language.

Playboy: We’ve just about run out of steam, anyway.

John: Do you have all you need?

Playboy: Enough. Many thanks, fellows.

John: ‘Course a lot of it you won’t be able to use – ‘crap’ and ‘bloody’ and ‘tit’ and ‘bastard’ and all.

Playboy: Wait and see.

Ringo: Finish your scotch before you go.

John: You don’t mind if I climb into bed, do you? I’m frazzled.

Playboy: Not at all. Good night.

Ringo: Good night, Playboy.

George: It’s been a hard day’s night.

Last updated: 27 April 2010
The Beatles live: ABC Cinema, Exeter
The Beatles live: ABC Cinema, Plymouth
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