the beatles book monthly

Paul: (bad American accent) And we’ll be back in the US of A around the time our film comes out in August, folks. 

Ringo: That didn’t sound a bit American.

Paul: Well, nobody’ll ever know that when they read it in the book, will they?

Ringo: Go on, then. Talk about the film in an American accent.

Paul: Okay. It’ll be finished by the middle of May and it will be made in colour.

Ringo: There you are. I told you they’d be able to tell.

Paul: How do you mean?

Ringo: I distinctly heard you say c-o-l-o-u-r instead of c-o-l-o-r.

Paul and Ringo interviewing each other for The Beatles Book Monthly, March 1965.

GEORGE: THE FRIENDLIEST BEATLE

THE SECOND IN A SERIES OF PROFILES IN WHICH TONY BARROW EXPLAINS WHAT THE BEATLES WERE REALLY LIKE

George always got along well with the ladies. He was known for it within the Beatles’ circle. When the Beatles did a television special involving dancers, George would steam in there like a shot to chat up the best-looking showgirls, two or three at a time. They said he was cheeky, had a smashing smile and stared deep into their eyes.

Other people had very different views. Some thought George was the shy Beatle, the one who said very little. He frowned a lot on stage, giving fans a false impression that he was being temperamental. He wasn’t really in a bad mood, just trying hard to hear if his guitar sounded right through the loudspeakers.

Not only was George the Beatle who changed most during the lifespan of the group, he was the one who was seen totally differently by different people. To some he was serious, studious and sometimes sulky. Others saw him as a pleasant, chummy and cheerful lad. Others would say he was far too deep for them. In a way, everyone was right and he was all of these things and more. George wasn’t a simple person to assess, even once you got to know him, but the one characteristic which never changed was his fundamental sincerity. George genuinely believed in what he said and did.

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“The business side of it is trying to take something and then talk about it so much so as to spread more and more ripples, until they become waves, whereas my own personal life, having been all waves, has to change to a normality where I try to stop the waves, quieten them down to make myself a calm little pool. It is hard work trying to do that with your life.”

~”I, Me, Mine” page 43

THE DAY THEIR PLANE CAUGHT FIRE

by Tony Barrow

[…] But it wasn’t Paul who spoke out about his dislike of planes when the Fab Four used to tour. George Harrison was the one who openly discussed his hatred of spending time in the air, declaring that he felt physically sick whenever the time approached for each take-off and he was always afraid the aircraft he was on would crash. 

In the late autumn of 1967, more than a year after the Beatles had stopped touring, the four boys met to fix a running order for their set of soundtrack recordings from ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. I remember George studying his handwritten list of tune titles and making a note beside one in ballpoint which I looked at afterwards. I expected to see some critical comment about the words or the melody of a song, but by the instrumental title ‘Flying’, George had put quite simply: ‘Not my cup of tea’ - and this wasn’t a reference to the piece of music at all!

Once in an interview, George told a reporter: ‘Inevitably we have to take planes to get from one country to another but it’s not something I’d dream of doing just for the thrill-fun sake of it. It’s not that I don’t trust airline pilots, I don’t trust the planes!’

[…] George kept his fear of flying to himself at that stage. But, looking back now, he seemed to think up a fair number of excuses for missing domestic flights. One way or another he often finished up dashing from one place to another by rail or road while the rest of the Beatles went by plane.

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Kenwood, John’s Weybridge home is up for sale currently with an asking price of £9 million (down from £14 million in 2013, so, bargain!) 

John bought the house in 1964 for £20,000 but reportedly wasn’t keen on it, calling it a “stop-over”. However, he spent £40,000 having it renovated and decorated, also landscaping the garden and adding an outside swimming pool. 

The house has three floors and six bedroom. John used the attic to write and compose often. Songs including Ticket To Ride and several of the Sgt Pepper’s tracks are attributed to being written at Kenwood. In another attic room, John set up a large scalextric track. 

John wanted art work by students of Liverpool Art College to be hung in the bedrooms at Kenwood. These included two drawings by Stuart Sutcliffe. 

At the back of the house was John’s sunroom, featuring a yellow chaise lounge as seen in photos published in The Beatles Book Monthly magazine. The chaise lounge was a gift from Mimi. John spent a lot of time here watching TV and reading. 

Although small by other rockstar home standards (there were 22 rooms, reduced to 17 by the Lennons), large parts of the house weren’t used. 

John had ten cats while he lived at Kenwood, and often liked to walk round his garden with a black cat on his shoulder. 

In the late sixties, John reportedly wanted to add a mirror bottom to the outdoor swimming pool but after being advised this would be expensive and potentially dangerous for swimmers, settled on a large eye mosaic at one side instead. 

Also around 1968, John renounced eating meat and taking drugs, and buried a large amount of LSD in the garden of Kenwood, which he was unable to find again later when he changed his mind. 

Kenwood was sold in December 1968, reportedly for £40,000 to songwriter, Bill Martin. John and Cynthia had split up by that time and John didn’t want to continue living at Kenwood. 

The pictures of the modern Kenwood are said to be quite different from how John had it in the sixties, but I think you can still see a few original features (the Windows in one room perhaps?!)

Scan - George Harrison painting Kinfauns, 1967; scanned from Living in the Material World

“Manfred Mann’s KLAUS VOORMANN painted the outside of GEORGE’S bungalow [Kinfauns]. All the white parts of the outside walls now adorned with beautiful floral designs. GEORGE did a bit of the painting himself and MAL dropped in to lend a hand, earning himself a plate of baked beans on toast for his enthusiastic brush-work!! […]
American Beatle Person EILEEN D’ANGELO on a three-week holiday in England fortunate to have her dearest wish come true when she met GEORGE and he helped her get a photograph of herself standing with him. She also took pix of George’s freshly-painted bungalow with all its fantastic KLAUS VOORMANN designs.” - Freda Kelly in her newsletter for The Beatles Book monthly, August 1967

Q: “What do you think about fans?”

GEORGE: “A lot of rot is talked about kids getting out of hand and suchlike. Even a kid who is quiet on her own takes the opportunity of letting off as much steam as possible when she’s with the gang. It doesn’t mean she’s out of control– just that she’s learnt how to have fun. Boys are the same– they let off steam in different places. Girls hang around stage doors or in the front stalls; boys inside a football ground or at a boxing match. But whatever way you look at it, the Beatles… and every other group in the top twenty… rely entirely on the fans. It would be no good finding a good song and making a terrific recording of it if there were no fans around to decide whether they liked it or not. To any artist fans are vitally important. An artist who did well and then wanted to forget about his fans might as well forget about his fame at the same time.”- George Harrison interviews George Harrison, The Beatles Book Monthly November 1964