More from year 1966
Other interviews of The Beatles
October 2000 • From MOJO
October 1999 • From MOJO
Nov 20, 1995
December 1995 • From Q Magazine
Jul 13, 1968 • From New Musical Express
Jun 09, 1968 • From BBC Radio 1
May 16, 1968 • From The Village Voice
May 14, 1968 • From WNDT
May 14, 1968 • From NBC
May 14, 1968
Interviews from the same media
Mar 15, 1966 • From Record Beat
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PITTSBURGH – One thing I’ve noticed about the English groups is that they are not afraid to speak their minds and give you an honest view on any subject. Maybe, just maybe, our American writers aren’t used to this blatant honesty and so eye them curiously and suspiciously and sit down to a typewriter only to hear a little voice in the background whispering – “they can’t really feel that way – they must be putting people on – write an opinion – use your imagination – don’t get in trouble with your publication by using their words verbatim – you won’t sell it” and that does it, right? What publication is going to use a truthful statement instead of “sensationalism”? Most of them, actually, very few of them are actually “smut” magazines. It has to start with the writer and as a writer, I’ve also learned that into each life, some sensational happenings must fall. So, if the “pop” groups are as honest and open as the Beatles, there would be a vast warehouse of stories and enough for all. All it takes is a little initiative on the part of the writer in getting himself/ herself in gear – get to know the people you write about and there could be a whole new feeling between the “star” and the interviewer.
I never really noticed the need for a new system, so-to-speak, until I toured with the Beatles. There were times when I wished that I could fade into the scenery as they discussed journalism, movie magazines, press conferences. From tapes that I took for KDKA in Pittsburgh, please read what the biggest phenomenon in show business thinks about our publications and weep a little:
Marilyn: Since I’m in and out of the publication business, Paul, I’d like to know what you think of our teenage magazines, newspapers and so forth – generally speaking, that is.
Paul: Generally! I think they are rubbish, generally! But there are a couple which I think are great. We were reading one today which was a good one – it had good articles in it and talked good sense. In fact, it told the truth which is quite amazing for American magazines. You know the terrible thing is – you get newspapers – I don’t know, no, in fact, it’s not a very good example ’cause they don’t tell the truth most of the time. But, you get some good writers who would never make up a thing and would always take everything they wrote from the truth and they’re fine. There are so many good writers in the States that can do great articles, you know.
Marilyn: They do not always make the money, though.
Paul: No, sure they don’t make any money, but this is the terrible thing, you see. Because, the only kind of teenage magazines, really, on the market-except for one or two-are this kind of trash and I think it’s nothing more than trash- I think it’s rubbish! But, the thing is, even though it’s trash, I quite enjoy reading it ’cause I, too, have been indoctrinated to like this kind of thing.
Marilyn: You have a variety of music papers in England that are sold to the general public.
Paul: Yes, we’ve got that kind of thing, which is weekly and good, you know. Not like a magazine and they contain plain news-it gives you news about everyone. But that’s the kind of thing we get in England. We also get the monthly magazines, but I think they’re of a much better standard. In fact, in England, there’s a magazine called “Honey,” which is a girl’s magazine. And, really, you compare that with any American magazine, even the good ones, and it’s better. It’s just better somehow, you know.
Marilyn: You were viewing some of our movie and teen publications- generally, how do our publications line up with the English publications?
John: Well, you see the laws are so different over here that they can almost write anything over here and get away with it where in Britain, they wouldn’t be allowed to write a lot of the things that are written in the teenage magazines. They are just libelous, according to English laws.
Marilyn: Do you have to file three months ahead of time in England? It’s very often old news by the time we get it-what about the English laws on this?
John: I don’t know anything about that. I just know about the libel laws, that’s all!
Marilyn: Generally, do you find press conferences very informative or do you find that they ask the same questions over and over again?
George: They usually ask more or less the same sort of questions, because there aren’t any other questions to ask. Actually, they’re getting a bit boring lately, you know, because usually the people from the big newspapers aren’t interested in you anyway and they send along somebody who doesn’t even know which one you are and like recently, when some funny old woman is sitting there saying, “Hey, can you tell me – do you wear wigs?” Well, you know, if she’s still asking that question, she might as well go pack in. But, on the whole, you know, they ask the same questions.
Marilyn: Where do the movie magazines get all their stories – do you give interviews to them?
George: Well, no, because usually that type of magazine is so underhanded about the thing because they realize that the stuff they write is a lot of rubbish and lies, so they just make it up… these movie magazines, anyway. So normally, you don’t even know where their offices are because if you try to sue them, they just dissolve the company and form it under another name. That’s why they write so much rubbish about people in the film business and in the music business because these people don’t have a leg to stand on, legally, so really, they can just make up whatever lie they want.
Marilyn: Have the Beatles ever bothered to sue anybody for slander?
Paul: We don’t have that kind of thing and it’s mainly truth in England. Nobody ever wants to know anything scandalous about people, but over here-everyone-all they want to know is is Elizabeth Taylor dying? Is it true that Richard Burton is dying? Is so and so getting a divorce? Now to me, that’s rubbish and the thing is when you read the articles, you can tell by the headline what’s going to happen. They say- “Is Richard Burton Dying”- well, you can tell that the whole article is going to say “NO,” he isn’t really, but he might be, which is stupid, you know. They could put that in one line, but they just go on for hours and hours saying “he had on his foot in 1952-that was touch and go,” just terrible, you know, an operation-he had an operation and it’s all so stupid!
George: Yeah-well, the first trip over here, we were amazed, because in Britain, there’s nothing like that-you know – there’s no scandal magazines at all, so we were so amazed when these ridiculous stories and you know, some of them are real bad, not just like rumors of marriage because you can get that in anything, but things like I was reading today and it was entitled “Why Ringo Can’t Live With Maureen”-you know, I mean if you could just find the person who wrote that and you’d see what a little slut he probably is, little narrow-minded half-wit. It’s annoying, but you can’t – on the first trip, we tried – we tried to sue them all, but now, we just ignore them, ’cause most people realize it’s a lot of rubbish anyway.
Marilyn: What do you think of press conferences – do you like them, generally?
Ringo: Yes, because we have a laugh, you know, at least we can sort of talk to people and shout. I think we treat the press conferences as “party time.” I don’t think the press complains, really. The only thing is that like recently, I was misquoted terribly during a conference. The paper read that I called all the fans ignorant exhibitionists or something like that and that really gets you down, you know, but there is nothing you can do. If the kids want to believe we say that, well there’s nothing we can do, but we’d never say things like that.
Marilyn: I don’t think they write it for the kids to believe, but more so that the adults will believe it.
Ringo: I don’t see any sense in people writing rubbish like that.
Last updated on August 24, 2023