A BEATLES' HARD-DIE'S SITE

Beatles Talkin' 1963 - 1

RINGO 1963
(on his musical beginnings)

Q: "Ringo, it's been suggested that boys coming from the particular area that you've come from, if you'd hadn't found an interest in music, might have found it much more difficult to get out and make a go of life. Would you comment on this?"

RINGO: "I think it's true, you know. I mean, when I was sixteen I used to walk along the road with the rest of the lads, and we'd have all our trade coats on. You know, we'd had a few knocks with other rival gangs, sort of thing. But then I got the drums, and the bloke nextdoor played a guitar. I got a job and we started playing together. And another bloke from work made a bass out of an old tea chest... you know them days. This was about '58, mind you. And we played together, and then we started playing on dances and things, you know, and we took an interest in it. Then we stopped going, you know, out to sort of hanging around corners every night."

PAUL 1963
(on The Beatles' career before their recent fame)


Q: "You were very much younger when this enormous success started, and you're riding the summit of it now. Do you see it as interfering with the flow of your life?"

PAUL: "I don't really know what you mean by 'very much younger.' It was only a year ago."

Q: "But you've been working since '58, haven't you?"

PAUL: "Well, yeah... not working, you know. I mean, strictly speaking we've been out of work since '58 and we've been doing this as a hobby. 'Cuz we've only been doing it as semi-pros. I left school and went right into it. And we were only sort of picking up a few quid a week, you know. It really wasn't work. I think the main thing is now that, as we've got ourselves a bit of security... we don't really have to worry, at the moment anyway, what we're gonna do after it. So we don't."

JOHN 1963
(regarding the beginnings of The Beatles)


JOHN: "We started and finished several groups until we got one together that had the beginnings of a new sound. By then George had joined us. We began to do well as semi-pros. Then one day our big break came with an offer to appear at The Star Club in Hamburg. This is a kind of super-Cavern, where just about everyone who is anyone on the Liverpool scene has played at some time or another."

PAUL 1963
(regarding their Hamburg tours)


PAUL: "Back home in Liverpool we'd only ever done hour-long shows, so we just did our best numbers over and over again. But in Hamburg we had to play for eight hours, so we really had to find a new way of playing. We played very loud in Hamburg... bang, bang all the time. The Germans loved it. The first time it was pretty rough. One night, we accidentally singed a bit of cord on an old stone wall in the corridor, and the owner of the place had the police on us. He'd told them that we tried to burn his place down, so they said, 'Leave please.' Funny really, because we couldn't have burnt the place if we had gallons of petrol... It was made of stone."

RINGO 1963
(regarding his earliest days with The Beatles)


RINGO: "The Beatles drummer was sick, so they asked me if I would sit in, you know, just for the day... just until he got better. I did that, and then I went off with another group when they got him back. Then he was sick again. So everytime he was sick they used to come and ask me to sit in. I loved it, you know, because they were a much better group than the one I was with."

JOHN AND RINGO 1963
(regarding the Beatle haircut)


Q: "Is the haircut an act by accident or design?"

JOHN: "Accident."

Q: "You didn't have time to get your hair cut in the first place?"

JOHN: "No, it just happened, you know. Ringo's was by design because he joined later."

RINGO: "Yeah, I designed it."
(laughter)

GEORGE 1963
(on Hamburg)


GEORGE: "We'd been to Hamburg. I think that's where we found our style... we developed our style because of this fella. He used to say, 'You've got to make a show for the people.' And he used to come up every night, shouting 'Mach schau! Mach schau!' So we used to mach schau, and John used to dance around like a gorilla, and we'd all, you know, knock our heads together and things like that. Anyway, we got back to Liverpool and all the groups there were doing 'Shadows' type of stuff. And we came back with leather jackets and jeans and funny hair, maching schau... which went down quite well."

JOHN 1963
(regarding the effect Brian Epstein had on their stage show)

JOHN: "We wore leather jackets in Hamburg... and we'd always worn jeans because we didn't have anything else at the time. Then when we went back to Liverpool, they all thought we were German because we were billed as: From Hamburg. They all said, 'You speak good English.' (smiles) And we just kept on with the leather gear until Brian came along."

PAUL 1963
(about the group's name)


Q: "Paul, where did the name Beatles originate?"

PAUL: "John thought of it first of all. Just as a name; just for a group, you know. We just didn't have any name. Well, oh yeah; we did have a name, but we had about ten of 'em a week, you know... and we didn't like this idea so we had to settle on one particular name. And John came up with the name Beatles one night. And he sort of explained how it was spelled with an 'E-A,' and we said, 'Oh yes, it's a joke.'"

JOHN 1963
(regarding 'Love Me Do' on the British charts)


JOHN: "It came to the charts in two days. And everybody thought it was a 'fiddle' because our manager's stores send in these... what is it... record returns. And everybody down south thought, 'Aha! He's just fiddling the charts.' But he wasn't."

PAUL 1963
(on left-handedness)


PAUL: "The only thing I couldn't cure myself of was being left-handed. I do everything with my left hand, and no matter how I try I can't change the habit. I just seem to do everything back to front. I used to even write backwards. Every time the schoolmasters would look at my handwriting they would throw swinging fits."

JOHN, PAUL, AND GEORGE 1963
(on how long The Beatles' recent fame might last)

JOHN: "How long are you going to last? ...well you can't really say, you know. You can be big headed and say, 'Yea we're gonna last ten years,' but as soon as you've said that you think, 'We're lucky if we last three months,' you know."

PAUL: "We've thought about it, and probably the thing that John and I will do will be to write songs... as we have been doing as a sort of sideline now. We'll probably develop that a bit more."

GEORGE: "I hope to have enough money to go into a business of my own by the time we do... ummm... flop. I mean, we don't know. It may be next week, it may be two or three years."

GEORGE 1963
(regarding the Liverpool sound)


Q: "George, what is the status of rock & roll in England today? Is that what you call your music?"
GEORGE: "No, not really. We don't like to call it anything. The critics and the people who write about it have to call it something... and they didn't want to say it was rock & roll because rock was supposed to have gone out about five years ago. They decided it wasn't really rhythm and blues, so they called it the Liverpool sound... which is stupid, really. As far as we are concerned it's the same as the rock from five years ago."

Q: "Can you describe the Liverpool sound?"

GEORGE: "It's more like old rock... but everything's just a bit louder. There's more bass and drums, and everybody sort of sings loud and shouts."

PAUL 1963
(on what comes after Beatle success)


Q: "None of you are really concerned with going on in this field as a profession?"

PAUL: "Yeah, of course we are. I think all of us really, if it suddenly flopped, then we would do something in this profession. But what we mean... like the conventional answer is, 'I'd like to do ballads and films and straight-acting,' which is so corny. Because half the people who say that can't act or ballad or film. So, umm, we probably wouldn't want to do that unless we thought we could do it. We're having a bash at a film next year, and if we find that any of us can act, say, one out of us may become actors. But we haven't got any great hopes of being actors at the moment."

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