meet the beatles for real


George with John & little Nicola (Nikki Hale) on the Magical Mystery Tour bus - September 1967 Photo Sources: Pinterest Gif: original

Courtesy of ‘Meet The Beatles For Real" comes this excerpt from the fanzine, 'Strawberry Field Forever’ issue number 51

'Little Nicola wasn’t specifically chosen, or cast, to go on the bus. She only went along because her second cousin was given the job of recruiting the passengers for the trip and the first one she picked was Nicola’s grandmother, Amy Smedley. A little nepotism goes a long way; Amy brought along her daughter, Pam Hale, Nicola’s mom, and since Nicola was only four she certainly couldn’t stay at home alone … so, as one of the Magicians said, “back on the bus!”

“I have a vivid memory of fighting with Paul McCartney on the floor of a hotel,” she relates, “and playing table football with John Lennon and Ringo Starr. I remember John Lennon asking my mother for sixpence. There was a party; the whole family dressed up real weird as witches and wizards. Everybody there was dressed up in Superman costumes and stuff and I felt kind of out of place. I remember Ringo played soccer with me and he bought me a little African drum. And I remember being spoiled a lot!

Her father remembers it a bit differently, as might be expected. "Nikki was more interested in the cameras than the Beatles!” But he also goes on to say that “My mother-in-law expected the Beatles to be strange and weird. But the Beatles were always nice and polite. In the evenings, John or Paul played piano and led everyone in sing-songs. And John hadn’t brought enough underpants so my mother-in-law bought him some.”


Beatle fans are a loyal group. By 1978, Paul had been broken up with Jane Asher for 10 years and he had married Linda and had children. Jane was in his past, but she was still someone near and dear to Beatle fans everywhere. Jane is so much more than just Paul’s ex-girlfriend because they were together all during the Beatle years and she is the muse of several of his songs. She was always well-loved by the fans during the time and always remained part of the “Beatle circle” as far as fans were concerned, even if she was no longer in touch with them. In 1978, Jane was in a play that was in London called “Whose Life is it Anyway?” And fans, Mary Ann Hockman and Marie Lacey had the opportunity to meet with her on a few occasions during the run of the show. Marie wrote about her encounters with Jane for the Aug/Sept 1979 issue of “The Write Thing.” While Mary Ann’s photographs appeared in the Oct/Nov 1978 issue of the same fanzine.

Our next visit with Jane was in August 1978. She was starring with Tom Conti in “Whose Life is it Anyway?"about a young man’s right to die after being paralyzed from the neck down in an auto accident. Jane was one of his doctors.

Doylene, Susie, Ann andI went to see Jane at the stage door. Susie had brought over a beautiful doll form America for Katie (Jane daughter who was 4 years old) and gave it to Jane from all of us. Jane was thrilled. We explained that we had already seen the play and enjoyed it and we were stopped by to see her befor ethe show and say hello. She told us we should have come after the play so we could have time to talk and have a drink together. Since we hadn’t done that, she said, "You must come over ot the house for tea” So we made arrangements to visit at 10 o'clock the next day.

The next morning we arrived at Jane & Gerald’s home in Chelsea just as Gerald was leaving. He greeted us and said Jane was waiting for us upstairs. Gerald is a cartoonist and can be remembered for his caricature of the Beatles that appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in 1967.

They own the whole hosue, but up until recently only dwelled on the second floor. A sectretary took us upstairs, asking if we were there to see Mr. Sharfe or Mrs. Scharfe, so I told her “Mrs. Scharfe,” although in a recent interview Jane said she was not married and acting was still her first love. We were welcomed by 4 year old Katie, holding our doll which she had also named “Kate.” Jane appeared form the kitchen and we all sat down and had tea. Jane todl us she was leaving the play inSeptember (she was tired of it), but that she hped TomConti would be chosen for the lead in the NY production. I asked her if the lines came as second nature and she said yes, that she thinks about other thingn constantly and sometimes goes into shock when she suddenly realizes she’s on stage, thinking “where the hell am ?!?” She asked about our travles and I told her we’d just been to Dorset and she told us that they had considered moving there because it was beautiful and so magical.

Jane’s mother lives on Abbey Road in St. John’s Wood, in face she was going to have lunch with her that day, and she asked where we were staying and told us that she, too once had a flat in Maida Vale (in ‘68 right after she broke up with Paul).

She said her brother Peter, lives in California now and they had gone to visit him and took Katie to Disneyland. Katie picked up a pear form a bowl on the table and asked, “Mummy” to cut it and peel it for her. Afterward, she said, “Mummy, I wonder if one should et the pits?” Jane told her she shouldn’t bu tit wouldn’t do her any harm fi she did. “Nut you see, Mummy, the point is, I already have et them!!” Cute!

It was getting time to leave so I asked if we could take a picture before we left, which Jane agreed to. Katie loves cameras and took a photo of Jane with Susie’s camera. Katie wanted to get in the pictures so I asked Jane if that was alright and she replied, “Normally I don’t allow it, but for you, yes.”

She was telling us all about the renovations of the house and how we’d see a big change the next time we came. She kept saying, “really, you mustn’t wait so long to come again.” It was such a good feeling to be sincerely welcomed by such a warm and pleasant person as Jane.


June 1964 - The Beatles arrive in Wellington New Zealand and receive a traditional sign of welcome by receiving a hongi from a lovely Maori greeter. Today in Beatles History, 23 June 1964, they perform a second night at Wellington’s Town Hall. 

Photo Sources: Meet The Beatles For Real,  Alexander Turnbull Library.  Morrie Hill

_Paul McCartney and/e Geoff Emerick; England/Inglaterra; London/Londres; Abbey Road; EMI Studios; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; 1967.

_Photo/Foto: Leslie Bryce.

_Source/Fonte: Meet The Beatles for Real.


Forty six years ago today, March 18, 1969 George Harrison and Pattie Boyd-Harrison appeared at Esher and Walton Magistrates’ Court to face marijuana possession charges. They were each later fined £250 plus 10 guineas each in court costs on 31 March 1969.

Photo Credits - Top - John Rogers/Redferns I  Gif - original I Bottom image - Meet The Beatles For Real blog/Sara Schmidt

‘I’m a tidy sort of bloke  I don’t like chaos, I kept records in the record box, tea in the tea caddy and pot in the pot box. This was the biggest stick of hash I have ever seen and obviously I’d have known about it if I’d have seen it before’ - George on his pot bust - excerpt from the book, ‘Mystical One: George Harrison : After the Break-up of the Beatles’ by Elliot J. Huntley

‘In my opinion he didn’t have to be busted because he was doing nobody any harm. I still believe what they did was an intrusion into {their} personal life.’ - Derek Taylor, Anthology interview

_John Lennon and/e Paul McCartney; London/Londres; Chiswick Park/Parque Chiswick; May 20th 1966/20 de maio de 1966.

_Photo/Foto: Robert Whitaker.

_Source/Fonte: Meet The Beatles for Real.

_Please, don’t smoke/Por favor, não fume.

_Paul McCartney; England/Inglaterra; Middlesex; Teddington; ABC Studios/Estúdios da ABC-TV; Thank You Lucky Stars; July 11th 1964/11 de julho de 1964.

_Sources/Fontes: “Do you have any BEATLES photos I’ve never seen before?”/Music Corner/ Steve Hoffman Music Forums; Meet The Beatles For Real.

_John Lennon, Paul McCartney and/e Ringo Starr; The Beatles; Sweden/Suécia; Stockholm/Estocolmo; October 23rd 1963/23 de outubro de 1963.

_The Beatles, drinks and food/Os Beatles, bebidas e comida.

_Source/Fonte: Meet The Beatles for Real.