John Lennon was easy to interview. If he was in the right mood, in the right humour and didn’t just say, get lost; if it didn’t happen to be a day he had decided was a day for not talking, then he was easy.
Paul loved talking, but could be careful and calculating, not really giving himself away. George had hobbyhorses, from which it could be hard to unmount him, some of them very boring. Ringo was amusing, but in the end had not a lot to say.
John, at the right time, told you everything, asked or unasked, bashing and lashing out all over the place, his friends and enemies, rubbishing himself as much as anyone or anything else.
That one episode of spongebob where the Flying Dutchman is like “DAVY JONES’S LOCKER” and it like switches to the inside of a gym locker and Davy Jones is just standing there and they’re playing fucking Day Dream Believer?
Happiness and love can be found wherever you look. Things may seem bleak right now, but everything will be fine and there are people in the world who will keep you upright. From myself and the fellas above, have a brilliant day, love one another and spread all the peace and love you can manage :)
Ivor Davis (author of The Beatles and Me On Tour) on each of the Beatles:
JOHN: wickedly funny, who spoke his mind and it often came back to bite him. Witness that Jesus statement that landed him in hot water. But brilliant and like Robin Williams a bit of a genius.
PAUL: Very PR-oriented. The most approachable of The Beatles, who knew the value of hobnobbing with the media and being nice.
GEORGE: Really uncomfortable with strangers at first. He was a bit sullen at first and the kind of guy who warmed to you later – once he felt more relaxed and got used to you.
RINGO: The newbie in The Beatles pack. Definitely the fourth banana. But as Brian Epstein said later, America made Ringo. By the time they flew home in September 1964, Ringo had become the most popular Beatle.
- Interview with Marshall Terrill for Daytrippin’ magazine (2014)
On August 24, 1964, The day after their concert at the Hollywood Bowl, the Beatles spent the day as guests of honor at a charity event for the National Hemophilia Association at the home of Alan Livingston, Capitol Records President, in California. The event was attended by many Hollywood celebrities and their children eager to meet the Beatles
It was a perfect summer afternoon. When I arrived, the police, fortified by a large contingent of Burns security guards, were out in full force, and several hundred screaming fans already were lining the streets outside the long, bungalow-style home. Local television stations had set up cameras, and reporters breathlessly waited to interview the arriving guests, as though they were covering the Oscars red carpet.
Then the nervous cops, hired for the afternoon, decided to close off the street for three hours - which led to a fracas with an angry neighbour who threatened to sue Livingston. She relented when she was invited to come and see for herself what all the fuss was about.
Some of the edgy police officers got a bit too carried away with their assignment. When Brian arrived alone in a taxicab, they refused to let him through. ‘No one gets in without an invitation’ an officious cop told him. ‘Your name is not on our list.’
‘I’m the Beatles manager,’ Brian declared. 'Yeah, and I’m the King of Siam,’ the officer retorted. Just as Brian’s blood was about to boil over, the band arrived and Brian was spared the indignity of having to argue his case.
The Beatles were in their Sunday best, shoes polished and nattily attired in their narrow-lapel suits - except for Ringo, who wore a bright blue jacket and no tie, a transgression for which he was taken aside and quietly scolded by Brian. John sported wraparound sunglasses, and Paul and George reluctantly stubbed out their cigarettes and prepared to face the inevitable.
'Is there a drink about?’ George asked. 'Later.’ Brian hissed. 'This is a children’s charity.’
- Ivor Davis (The Beatles and Me on Tour by Ivor Davis)
Everybody who has been close to The Beatles over the years says that George is the one who has changed most of all. Even fans who have followed George’s progress over a relatively short time say he has changed. He was looked upon by many as the most handsome Beatle at one time. Now fans are always complaining about George letting his hair and mustache grow too unruly and untidy.
That is a superficial change. The inner ones are much more important. George, through being the youngest, was for a long time considered the youngest in every sense. In comparison with John and Paul, most people who knew all three always looked upon George as just a boy. John and Paul were precocious, physically, sexually, and in their talent. They were writing songs long before George ever thought about it.
George did have a slight inferiority complex. Not seriously, more a hero-worshiping of John. Cyn remembers him always hanging around when she wanted John on his own. So does Astrid, when she was trying to be alone with Stu. George wasn’t academic in school and didn’t show many signs of being clever the way Paul did. Taking an ordinary apprenticeship, compared with Paul the bright sixth-former and John the art student, made people unfairly think George wasn’t as good as the others. Ivan Vaughan, who was at the Liverpool Institute with Paul and George, admits he couldn’t at first see what Paul and John saw in George. “He just didn’t seem as witty or as clever.” Julia, John’s mother, was horrified when John dragged along another baby-faced friend to meet her. She’d already thought Paul just a kid.
“He was a lovely little boy,” says Astrid, telling of their Hamburg days. “He was just little George. We never judged him in any way, the way we used to work out how intelligent or clever Stu, John and Paul were. He didn’t develop as quickly as the others had done. But he wasn’t stupid. No one thought that for one minute. He made lovely jokes at his own expense, sending himself up for being young. I gave them all their Christmas presents one year, all wrapped up. John opened his first and it was an Olympia Press version of the Marquis de Sade. George picked up his and said, ‘What’s in mine then, comics?’”
George of course always had his guitar, if apparently nothing else. He was even more fanatical about mastering it than Paul or John and was much better than they were. He hardly smiled onstage, he was so busy concentrating. But he wouldn’t try to do anything else for a long time, such as drawing. He thought he wasn’t clever enough.