Interview for The Beatles Monthly Book • February 1966

Beatles Talk - February 1966

Press interview • Interview of The Beatles
Published by:
The Beatles Monthly Book
Interview by:
Frederick James
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In this special series FREDERICK JAMES lets his tape recorder listen in on informal conversations between John, Paul, George and Ringo

This Month: George and Paul

PAUL: The next film-that’s the main thing we ought to talk about because everyone is writing in with questions about it. The thing is you’ve got to have a story and then a script before you can make a film. Most of the story ideas that have been put forward so far have had the wrong approach.

GEORGE: It’s not that there’s a shortage of stories. Just that people who saw “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” get the wrong impression about what we want to do in future films. Now “A Hard Day’s Night” didn’t even pretend to have a story to it. It was a sort of “Day In The Life Of…’ film. Then “Help!” had a definite story but we were four Beatles together all the way through. What we’ve been discussing amongst ourselves and with Walter Shenson is the idea of doing a film where we can still be called John, Paul, George and Ringo but the story doesn’t have to revolve round a group called The Beatles. Then we can be four different individuals, four characters if you like. We needn’t even be together as a foursome all the way through. We can meet up during the story.

PAUL: It’s amazing how many ideas have been put up since last autumn but most of them have been variations on themes we’ve already used in one or both of the earlier films. There was nothing wrong in those themes first time around but we’d rather get away and do something totally different for the third picture.

GEORGE: You probably read about “A Talent For Loving”. At one stage we thought it would be great to base a film on that story. But it gets very complicated and we all agreed we needed a more straightforward plot.

PAUL: That doesn’t mean we decided to rule out the idea of doing a Western. It would be a comic-type Western, of course. And if we don’t do a Western this time I think it’s something we should keep in mind for the future. There are all kinds of great comedy situations you can work into a cowboy story.

GEORGE: Anyway, unless some kind of miracle happens-a script-type miracle, that is- we’ve ruled out “A Talent for Loving” and Walter Shenson has been searching for new script suggestions.

PAUL: As George said, the problem is that most writers go by our other films and by our image as a group. It’s difficult to get across to them the thought of having a Beatles film with a non-Beatles story.

GEORGE: By the time this issue of the Monthly comes out Walter may have brought us the right story. In the meantime it’s just a matter of waiting. And we’ll be just as interested as everyone else to know what our third film is going to be about.

PAUL: It’ll have songs, of course. 

GEORGE: But it won’t necessarily be a “musical” as such. You can have songs in a film without it being a “musical”. Everybody liked the “Ticket To Ride” sequence in “Help!” because it just fitted into the scheme of the film. That’s the ideal way of getting songs into a film-putting them in without stopping all the action and having some corny lead-up. None of the “Say! that gives me an idea for a song” or “Hey! Let’s do a show” stuff!

PAUL: Anyway, after the film is fixed we can sort out what we’re going to do for the rest of the year. We want to get the film thing settled first.

GEORGE: It’s difficult to work out songs for a film soundtrack at this stage.

PAUL: The best way is to have the finished script and know the whole story really well before planning the songs. I mean you can always work in one or two numbers which were written ages before-I know I’ve got a few songs I think might work in a film and John has some too-but we’re hoping to hold off writing some of the new numbers until later.

GEORGE: Moviewise, that’s about all we can tell you, moviewise!

JOHN: What’s all this, then? What are you recording?. 

GEORGE: It’s another Crissy record for next December.

PAUL: You’re not supposed to be in this. 

JOHN: Why?

PAUL: Well, it’s BEATLES TALK. It’s just me and George this month.

JOHN: Oh. Sorry about that. It’s O.K. folks, this is just a commercial for next month’s page. Don’t miss it, folks.

GEORGE: We’ve told them all about the film. 

JOHN: You have? Well it’ll all be changed by next month so we’ll tell them again. 

GEORGE: Now you’re here, you can switch off the tape recorder for us if you like.

JOHN: Can I? Can I really? 

PAUL: Yes, we don’t mind.

JOHN: Thanks. If I just go on talking like this and then switch off suddenly you could pretend the tape ran out right in the middle of……

Last updated on August 16, 2023


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