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The Beatles - Interview w/ Sandy Lesberg, 1965 (Part 1)

On May 9th 1965, the Beatles spoke at length with Sandy Lesberg at the Dolphin Restaurant in London, following a full day of shooting for their second feature film, ‘Help!’ The group appears to have an unusually comfortable and fun rapport with Lesberg, as they chat humorously about film producer Walter Shenson, and candidly about American news journalist Walter Winchell. 

In later years, Lesberg would describe his interview with the group as “…more like a rap session. All four Beatles were completely at ease. I tell a joke and Paul McCartney says, ‘I don’t think that’s very funny.’ There’s a lot of banter… They were running roughshod all over me, quite frankly.” (beatlesinterviews.org)



Q: Would you like to do a little bit of that song that you wrote for the picture, Paul?

PAUL: Uhh… I’ll tell you what, though. What we’ll do is we’ll promise to send you a copy just before it’s released. Right? So you’ve got the– That’s an exclusive. Isn’t it? I mean, that’s a favour.

Q: I’m not Hedda Hopper [columnist], I don’t need…

PAUL: (jokingly) Right. You won’t get it then. If you’re gonna be like that.

JOHN: If we thought you were Hedda Hopper we wouldn’t have let you in here… Hedda Hopper was coming in on her bike.

Q: (laughing) Did she ever interview you?

PAUL: She was at a party with a big hat. She’s great. Good. Good girl, yeah. In Hollywood.

GEORGE: She hopped past us.

PAUL: Hopped past, yeah. Who’s that other fella, though, that we don’t like?

JOHN:That other fella!” What do you mean, “that other fella”?

PAUL: (laughing) I mean… I mean, who’s that fella?

Q: Bye, Hedda.

PAUL: Who’s that fella? Walter Winchell!

Q: What about it? Did he interview you?

PAUL: Don’t speak to me about him!

JOHN: He’s stupid.

Q: Why is he stupid, John?

JOHN: He’s stupid ‘cause he just lies and writes a lot of trash.

Q: Have you ever met him, John?

JOHN: No, but he keeps writing things about Paul which are lies, y’know, so he must be off his head.

PAUL: I’ve said many a time that he’s just a bit off his head. I think he’s, um– I don’t know what’s happened to him, y’know. Everyone said he used to be good. But he’s– I tell ya, it’s just lies. He says I’m married, you see. And I’d like to say, Mister Winchell– Walter sir, if you’re listening– I’m not! (jokingly) I told him, didn’t I?

Q: Is that the lie he’s been telling about you?

PAUL: Yeah! I mean you know, that’s pushing it, isn’t it.

JOHN: But he goes on and on writing it, you know, as if he knows. He doesn’t know anything, that old Winch.

Q: Goodbye, Walter. (jokingly) I’m taking inventory of the people I’ve lost as friends on this show. 

PAUL: No, look–

JOHN: I like Hedda Hopper. She’s nice.

PAUL: Hedda’s great, yeah. Everybody else is great! 

Q: (laughs) 

PAUL: It’s not that we’ve got anything against Walter– is it, Walter! No, of course it isn’t.

Q: What, George? What, George says something I want to get– What do you say, George?

GEORGE: Walter Wimpy.

Q: Alright, bye, George.