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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Beatles Interview Series: 1966 - The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios

In part five of our Beatles Interview Series, we would like to share an "interview" that happened on this date in 1966, exactly 49 years ago today, December 20.  The Beatles had stopped touring by this time, so interviews that included all four together were already becoming much fewer and farther between.  The interview below was not conducted with each Beatle together, but instead, as each of them arrived at Abbey Road Studios individually, for a recording session.  According to Jay Spangler of The Beatles Ultimate Experience, "The evening's session included John, Paul and George overdubbing the background harmonies for the song 'When I'm Sixty Four.' Ringo also added the large 'bell' percussion to the recording."




Q: "Are the Beatles going to go their own ways in 1967, do you think?"
JOHN: "They could be, you know, on our own or together. We're always involved with each other whatever we're doing, you know."
Q: "Could you ever see a time when, in fact, you weren't working together?"
JOHN: "I could see us working not together for a period, but we'd always get together for one reason or another. I mean, you need other people for ideas as well, you know. And we all get along fine."
Q: "Will you be doing films on your own next year?"
JOHN: "Uhh, no. I don't want to make a career of it. I did it (How I Won The War) just 'cuz I felt like it, and Dick Lester asked me and I said 'Yes.' And I wouldn't have done it if the others hadn't liked it, you know. They said 'fine' because we were on holiday anyway."
Q: "Do the others have film ambitions on their own?"
JOHN: "No, nobody's particularly interested in it. And I'm not all that mad on it, you know."
Q: "What do you really want to do?"
JOHN: "I don't know. I just want to do a few things, you know."
Q: "You haven't really decided exactly what?"
JOHN: "No. I'll try a few things. I just found out a bit more about films doing that."
Q: "The songwriting team thing will keep going on whatever happens, will it?"
JOHN: "Yeah, we'll probably carry on writing music forever, you know-- whatever else we're doing. 'Cuz you just can't stop, you know. You find yourself doing it whether you want to or not."
Q: "But you think the tours, like the American tours, and the English one..."
JOHN: "Well you know, there must be a point where they don't work anymore because they're not to do with what we're doing, record-wise or film-wise."



Q: "Paul, good evening. Could I just have a brief word with you?"
PAUL: "Yeah."
Q: "If you never toured again would it worry you?"
PAUL: "I don't know. No, I don't think so."
Q: "It wouldn't worry you."
PAUL: "'Cuz the only thing about that, you see, is that uhh... Performance for us-- It's gone downhill, performance. 'Cuz we can't develop when no one can hear us, you know what I mean? So for us to perform-- it's difficult. It gets difficult each time... More difficult."
Q: "You mean, they don't listen to you and therefore you don't want to do that?"
PAUL: "Oh yeah, we want to do it. But uhh, if we're not listened to, and we can't even hear ourselves, we can't get any better. So uhh, we're trying to get better with things like recording."

The Beatles recording in Studio 2 at EMI Recording Studio, 1966.

 RINGO: (yells to the crowd) "Merry Christmas!!"
Q: "Can I ask you a few questions?"
RINGO: "Yes."
Q: "What's all this about The Beatles are going to do less together in the New Year?"
RINGO: "Umm, yeah. The thing is, you see, to do things together-- the four of us-- it's gonna be the old things all over again, you know, so..."
Q: "You don't want to do that."
RINGO: "No, we don't want to do what we've done already. So the thing is, because of the film, you know-- we can't get a decent script and we're still trying for one. If we don't do that, we'll possibly all do something else different for next year."
Q: "On your own."
RINGO: "Yes. But I mean, it's not like breaking up. We'll still be coming back together at the end of it."
Q: "Do you foresee a time when, in fact, The Beatles won't be together and that you'll all be on your own?"
RINGO: "No."
Q: "Have you got tired of each other?"
RINGO: "No."
Q: "Have you got anything lined-up on your own? Film parts for example?"
RINGO: "Umm, well there may be one if we don't do one together early next year. I'm sort of out of it there because, with John and Paul, they can still write even though we're sort of not working together. And George can, you know, learn his sitar and do things like that. And I've just been sitting 'round."
Q: "Getting bored?"
RINGO: "Uhh, no. Getting fat." (laughs)
Q: (laughs) "Are you fed-up with being Beatles and Beatlemania?"
RINGO: "The thing is-- We can't do a tour like we've been doing all these years, because our music's progressed and we've used more instruments. It'd be soft-- us going on stage, the four of us-- trying to do the records we've made with orchestras and, you know, bands and things. So, if we went on-stage, we'd have to have a whole line-up of men behind us."
Q: "Are you getting bored with being The Beatles after all this time?"
RINGO: "No, I'm having a great time. (laughs) Merry Christmas to you. Long time since I've seen you."
Q: "Thank you very much, Ringo."
RINGO: "That's alright. Thank you."
Q: "Are you going to work now?"
RINGO: "Well, I'll see what they're up to. I think it may be tea-time with any luck."
Q: (laughs)

(George was the last of the four Beatles to arrive, and had the least to say that evening.)
Q: "Hi, can I stop you?"
GEORGE: "Well..."
Q: "I just want to ask you-- Do you think that in the New Year you're going to be going your own ways instead of being a group?"
GEORGE: "No. No."
Q: "No?"
GEORGE: (continuing through the doorway) "Definitely not."
Q: "What about another word?"
GEORGE: (from a distance) "There aren't any more words." 



Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from video copy of archived film footage

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