Radio interview in Memphis • Friday, August 19, 1966

Radio interview • Interview of The Beatles
Interview by:
Bess Coleman
Timeline More from year 1966
Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, USA

Related tour

Related concerts

Memphis • Mid-South Coliseum • USA

Aug 19, 1966 • 4pm show • USA • Memphis • Mid-South Coliseum

Memphis • Mid-South Coliseum • USA

Aug 19, 1966 • 8:30pm show • USA • Memphis • Mid-South Coliseum

Other interviews of The Beatles

One More For The Road

October 2000 • From MOJO

Fantastic voyage

October 1999 • From MOJO

Calm down! It's The Beatles. Their only interview!

December 1995 • From Q Magazine

Andy Gray talks to the Beatles, 1968

Jul 13, 1968 • From New Musical Express

Interview for The Kenny Everett Show

Jun 09, 1968 • From BBC Radio 1

Interview for The Village Voice

May 16, 1968 • From The Village Voice

Interview for WNDT

May 14, 1968 • From WNDT

Interview for The Tonight Show

May 14, 1968 • From NBC

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Throughout their 1966 US tour, some journalists had the opportunity to travel with The Beatles and hold in-depth “taping sessions” in their hotels or dressing rooms. These sessions allowed the journalists to interview each Beatle more deeply than was possible at press conferences.

Among the journalists who had this privilege were Judith Sims and Bess Coleman of TeenSet US magazine, Jim Stagg of WCFL Chicago radio station, Kenny Everett of Radio London, and Jerry Leighton of Radio Caroline.

On August 19, 1966, The Beatles left Boston and travelled to Memphis, Tennessee, where two concerts awaited them.

The Coliseum, with a seating capacity of 13,300, witnessed an audience of 10,000 for the 4 pm showThe second show, commencing at 8:30 pm, attracted a larger crowd of 12,500. Between these performances, The Beatles addressed the media in a press conference.

From “That Magic Feeling: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966-1970” by John C. Winn:

Bess Coleman recorded interviews with at least two Beatles backstage in Memphis. Paul explains how difficult it would be to reproduce their newer songs such as “Eleanor Rigby” onstage unless they traveled with supplementary musicians. Even then, the task of amplifying a string quartet to be heard over screeching fans would be a nightmare, which is why they perform “Yesterday” with their usual lineup of instruments.

Coleman points out that the group seems much more open and willing to expound than on earlier tours, and Paul fittingly responds by launching into a two-minute monologue, the gist of which is that when they first played outside of Liverpool, people would mock their appearance and accents, causing them to withdraw and use sarcasm and insults as a defense mechanism. In addition, most of the questions they were asked at early press conferences were less than deserving of thoughtful answers. Paul feels that reporters are now showing an interest in their music, which has led them to open up and discuss things at greater length.

Asked how much of their recording success is due to George Martin, John seems to have trouble giving their producer specific credit, although he says they learned all the technical aspects from him. Coleman wonders if John ever feels like a caged animal, but he reiterates that when they are on tour, they know it’s a job and not a sightseeing vacation.

He says that war is the one thing in the world that disturbs him the most, and foreshadowing Paul’s statement a year hence, denies that teenagers will take drugs just because their pop star idol does. He feels that instead of banning records with drug themes, the government should be doing more to educate young people about drugs, rather than sensationalizing them.

John admits that while it’s hard to differentiate a true friend from a hanger-on, he doesn’t mind being conned by people, since he does it himself occasionally! He feels their concerts are now valid as shows, but bereft of any musical quality, and claims to be a voracious reader, but can’t name a favorite author or indeed the names of any books he likes.

From “That Magic Feeling: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966-1970” by John C. Winn

Last updated on October 21, 2023


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