The Fab Four discuss Hamburg and their '66 LP in these archive pieces from NME
I asked him about The Beatles’ film situation.
“Still the same,” said Paul, flatly. “There’s nothing yet, but we don’t mind waiting. One thing is definite, in the next film we want to do all the music ourselves. It hasn’t been what we’ve wanted before, with us writing songs and others doing the score. I suppose we’ll also get down to a musical one day, but you can bet it won’t be like any other musical. We don’t want to do any of that stuff Lionel Bart was doin’ 50 years ago.”
He fingered a red carnation in his lapel (all The Beatles had them; gifts of a girl at London Airport terminal, where they’d been for cholera injections in time for their Far East tour).
“I’m learning all the time. You do, if you keep your eyes open. I find life is an education. I go to plays and I am interested in the arts, but it’s only because I keep my eyes open and I see what’s going on around me. Anyone can learn… if they look. I mean, nowadays I’m interested in the electronic music of people like Berio and Stockhausen, who’s great. It opens your eyes and ears.
“On the LP, we’ve got this track with electronic effects I worked out myself, with words from the Tibetan Book Of The Dead. We did it because I, for one, am sick of doing sounds that people can claim to have heard before. Anyway, we played it to the Stones and The Who, and they visibly sat up and were interested.
“We also played it to Cilla… who just laughed!” He himself grinned at the memory.
Before our bathroom interview, Paul, John, George and Ringo had taken part in a small press conference in another odd location: a spartan-looking changing room of the kind we used to have at school. There were no seats and the few invited journalists had to mingle with the famous four as best they could. I saw that no-one seemed to be speaking to Ringo, who stood on his own in a corner, so I struggled over and almost strangled myself on a coat rack in the process.
It was the same old Ringo: pleasant, but a little staccato with the conversation. “Yeah, life’s great,” he confirmed. “Bin workin’ hard though. Not much time to rest. When I’m free? Well, I get up about two-ish most days, and I usually go clubbing till three in the mornin’. I like that. If it’s a nice day I go over and have a swim in John’s pool. I’d get one meself, but it’s not worth it when John’s is just up the road.
“Me buildin’ business? Not bad, not bad. We’ve sold quite a few flats and my firm’s been doin’ a bit of work round at George’s and John’s places.”
“So you’ve been making a bit of money out of George and John?” I ventured brightly.
“Yeah,” said Ringo mournfully.
I bade farewell as Ringo shouted drily to an amiable-looking Mr Epstein nearby: “Alan Smith’s gonna do a fantastic, exclusive article all about me.” I hastened over to John and George in another corner.
“…it’s like any job,” George was saying. “You work hard so you can sit back when you want to. That’s what we’ve done. We’ve got ourselves into this position so we can relax a bit. No, we’re not rushing into a film. We’ll wait 10 years if we have to. Why rush?
“No, we’re not thinking of writing a script ourselves. It’s not our job. Yeah, there’s someone special I’d like to meet when we go to Germany next week – Adolf Hitler!
“Yeah, there is a good reason why we don’t do too many appearances in Britain. We’ve got to live here as well as work. If we don’t appear too often, it makes it easier for us to live out of the public eye. No, we…” The door opened and the rest of it was hidden by the noise of the hubbub outside. There’s no doubt about it: it’s still a hectic life, being a Beatle.