Beatles Browser One

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Pete Best – singing spotBut on January 5 1970, he wrote, “I’m saddened to have to tell you that Paul McCartney doesn’t want to be written about at the moment – at least, not by me. I gather that for some time now the Beatles have been moving more and more in separate directions. Paul went to a recording session for a new single last Sunday which was apparently the first Beatles activity in which he’d engaged for nearly nine months. He doesn’t quite know where his future lies, and above all he doesn’t want to be under observation while he decided. I quite understand how he feels, but coming on top of the Pinter turndown, it’s a bit of a blow.”

Tynan also wrote to John Lennon on April 16 1968:

“Dear John L.,
You know that idea of yours for my erotic revue – the masturbation contest? Could you possibly be bothered to jot it down on paper? I am trying to get the whole script in written form as soon as possible.”

John replied, “You know the idea, four fellows wanking – giving each other images – descriptions – it should be ad-libbed anyway – they should even really wank which would be great.”

Lennon did indeed end up writing a sequence included in Tynan’s revue, which came to be known as ‘Oh, Calcutta!’

Pete Best was given his own singing spot with the Beatles in 1961. One of the numbers he sang while sitting at his drum kit was Carl Perkins’ ‘Matchbox’ and another number was one which Paul had written called ‘Pinwheel Twist.’ Paul sat in the drum seat during this one while Pete sang and did the Twist on stage.

The first girl Paul McCartney ever kissed was named Grace Pendleton. He was eleven at the time and they both attended Belle Vale School. Paul recalled, “I went past her house in Speke, where I used to live, and I saw her navy blue knickers on the washing line. When I got to school I said, ‘I saw your knickers on the line,’ and she said, ‘Well, they’re clean and they’re paid for!’”

John was influenced in his early writing by Lewis Carroll and ‘Alice In Wonderland’ was one of his favourite books. He also loved the ‘Just William’ series of books by Richmal Crompton and Crompton was actually one of the names on the list to appear on the ‘Sgt Pepper’ cover, although the image wasn’t used. When he settled in Kenwood in the mid-1960 the books he owned included works by Swift, Tennyson, Tolstoy and Oscar Wilde. He still retained ‘Just William’ books in addition to ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott, ‘Forty One Years In India’ by Field Marshall Lord Roberts and ‘Curiosities Of Natural History’ by Francis T. Buckland. He also discovered the works of Aldous Huxley in 1966 and Huxley was included on the ‘Sgt Pepper’ album.

While they were trying to relax and seek a bit of peace and quiet in their dressing room backstage at the Odeon, Hammersmith during their Christmas show, the Beatles were often irritated by visitors. A Scandinavian representative of EMI came into their dressing room and sat around for a while, watching them tune their guitars. He attempted some conversation, “Tell me,” he said, “what is the best thing about being a Beatle?”

John Lennon looked at him and without registering any expression on his face said, “The best thing about being a Beatle? Well, I guess it has to be that we meet EMI sales reps from all over the world.”

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones only ever appeared on a bill together on two occasions. The first time took place at the ‘Great Pop Prom’ at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 15 September 1963 and the second at the NME Poll Winners Concert in 1966.

All four Beatles appeared on the panel of the popular television pop show ‘Juke Box Jury’ on December 7 1963. The special edition of the BBC television series was filmed on stage at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool and was compered by David Jacobs.

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