Beatles Browser One
In 1963 British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home was on an election campaign in Kinross and was asked, “Would you let your daughter marry a Beatle?” He answered in the affirmative.
Ringo told Hunter Davies that when his first son was born he wanted to call him XL because he considered names “were boring for people.” Obviously, Maureen refused.
Kenny Lynch claims to be the first artist ever to record a Beatles number, apart from the group themselves. He recalled that he was
traveling in the coach on the Helen Shapiro tour and Helen mentioned that her recording manager Norrie Paramour didn’t want her to record the song they’d written specially for her. Kenny said to John, ‘Let’s hear it’, and leaned on the seat while John played it on the guitar. At that time Kenny was about to record a number called ‘You Could Never Stop Me From Loving You.’ But asked John and Paul for ‘Misery’, and recorded that. Kenny said, “I gave the number I was going to record to Johnny Tillotson and he had a hit with it – I didn’t have a hit with ‘Misery.’ When the Beatles heard my record they gave me a bollocking, because they didn’t like the Burt Weedon guitar on it!”
In July 1963 John Lennon wrote a message to me asking if I would print it in Mersey Beat: “I have been so misquoted by reporters and I would appreciate it if you could clear up something that has been troubling me. I have received letters condemning me for comments made in a musical publication. Actually, it was all a misunderstanding.
“I had been discussing some charcoal drawings of members of the group which had been sent by a fan. I mentioned that Ringo Starr was ugly – I was, of course, only referring to the charcoal drawings and not Ringo himself.
“I would also like to point out to the people who say that Ringo is always kept in the background – this is not deliberate. Paul, George and I think Ringo is gear and have been trying to bring him forward.”
Derek Jameson is a former editor of London’s Daily Mirror, Daily Express, the Star and News of the World. In his autobiography, ‘Touched By Angels’, he describes one assignment to take photos of the Beatles.
“This was the birth of the Beatles era and we were among the chosen few to be granted a photo-session on an early visit to London in 1963. They had already shot to fame and I decided to accompany Frank Charman, our chief photographer, on this important assignment.
“The best we had come up with at short notice for the venue was the rather spare Embankment Gardens, at the side of the Thames. Frank was not despondent. He had been in the business forty-odd years and was a famed animal photographer. Compared with chimps, pop groups were no problem. Unfortunately, he had not taken into account the redoubtable John Lennon, who soon made clear that he did not like London, public gardens, photographers, newspapers in general and the Sunday Mirror in particular.
“Just to add to the shining hour, Frank Charman in true Fleet Street style could not remember Lennon’s name. He insisted on calling him ‘Mr. Bannion.’
“’Hey lads, what’s this bloody rag?’ John wanted to know. This picture’ll never make it. What a right dump to bring us. It’s all rubbish.’
“’Now, now, Mr. Bannion,’ says Frank, totally unperturbed. ‘This won’t take long. If you would kindly go over to that tree and swing on the branch with both hands.’
“’Swing on that tree! I’m not a fookin’ ape, wack. I’m off. Ta ra.’
“And off he was. We were left with three Beatles, which isn’t the same thing at all. Luckily, Frank had got them as a foursome on their arrival. Back at the office, the editor wanted to know whether we had got good Beatles pictures for the centre spread.
‘Marvellous!’ I said. He didn’t hear me mutter under my breath, ‘Well, three of them, anyway.’”
Eric Stewart is a Manchester musician who was a member of the Mindbenders, 10CC and also co-wrote songs and recorded with Paul McCartney during his solo career.
Recalling his first group Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, he said, “Once, we went to Manchester to audition for a BBC lunchtime radio show. We were dressed in silver mohair suits and did rehearsed dance steps like the Shadows. At the same audition was a group from Liverpool called the Beatles. They wore leather waistcoats and jeans and had longer hair than us. We passed – and they failed!”
He also recalled, “When we played the Cavern in Liverpool, Brian Epstein – Eppy – came to watch. He offered us a deal that could have made us much, much bigger, and much quicker. Being very green, we didn’t
realize he was gay. At a meeting in London, he made a pass at Wayne, who said: ‘Fuck off, Brian, I’m not a queer.” He lost interest in us very quickly.”