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The John Lennon Series
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Reference Library: John and Ringo Interview

From: (Dennis Alstrand)
Subject: John and Ringo interview - 1964
Date: 28 Jul 1995 22:19:49 GMT

This is an interview with John and Ringo on August 23, 1964. According to 'A Day In The Life', the Beatles were in Los Angeles for their famous first visit to the Hollywood Bowl.


John and Ringo in Los Angeles (8/23/64)

INT: You mentioned something about the word 'cheeky'. What's it all about?

LENNON: Well I mean, you know, I thought cheeky was universal. I thought itwas English, and the other day I got a couple of letters saying, 'From your film, John, when you say to one of these fellows, what does 'cheeky' mean?' Which is c-h-double e-k-y, what's it? And I thought it was obvious it just means sort of hard faced, only light-heartertedly, you know, sort of 'the nerve of that fellow'

STARR: It's like it's the lighthearted 'get lost' I'd say.


STARR: You know, you're always saying 'get lost' in America

INT: That's an American expression I think.

STARR: It's the same as that really.

LENNON: Well, whoever it was, now you know cheeky. See the fellow says to me, I say to him 'gear costume' which means 'I admire your costume greatly' and he says 'swap' in a rather effeminate voice, meaning 'exchange?'and I says to him 'cheeky' meaning 'hardfaced naughty boy', you see, because he is isn't he? I mean you could tell by the way he looked at him.

STARR: Oh! Oh a very bad boy.

INT: Ringo, you've done a lot of that, let's say, slapstick work in the picture

STARR: Let's say slapstick. One two three


INT: gahuh, during the picture itself did this come natural? Was a lot of direction involved in this?

STARR: There was a lot of direction involved, you know. The thing is we've never sort of learned lines before. At first it was hard, you know, because we wouldn't sort of learn them the night before like you're supposed to, we'd learn them on the way to the studio and then do 'em which I thought was better because it was more sort of natural. But, um. . .(lost) you know?. . .

LENNON (in background): No I don't.

STARR: (to interviewer) What did you say?

INT: Do these questions about your personal life, like I remember in Vancouver someone asked you 'are you getting married to someone' and you said 'no' and they said 'are you getting engaged' and you said no, do they bother you ever?

STARR: Not really, you see the thing is that in America more than anywhere in the world we read more about ourselves what we're doing because most of these magazines just make it up you know. It's ridiculous when we come over here there's so much happening you know that we don't even know we've done. It doesn't bother me, it's good for me to straigthen everything out, you know. The thing is I'm not getting married and I said 'no' cause I'm not.

INT: We're talking about personal questions. Do they ever bother you?

LENNON: Yeah, this one. You know all the rumors that have been going around America, Ringo, you know all those mad ones about me leaving, you leaving, everybody's married. I'm the only one who's married folks, see, that's John, but after we thought we'd straightened it up after eighteen press conferences, some woman called Luella parsons, I think, let me check. . .Luella Parsons, Derek?


LENNON: Yes that's right, Luella Parsons writes a whole article about all the rumors, spreading them all again saying Paul's married, Ringo's leaving, I'm getting another baby which I'm not. Which isn't even a lousy rumor.

STARR: It's just ridiculous you know, if anything does happen, we'll tell people you know, we're not going to hide it. John's not ashamed if he has another baby, now why should he sort of keep it secret? If Paul was married, you know, you couldn't hide it you know, you'll find out the truth, all these stupid magazines. . .

LENNON: That's right, Ringo. There's a thing in England where everybody's birth certificate and marraige certificate and everything goes to this big place in London and everybody who's ever been married in Britain is recorded there.

STARR: Since 177. . .

LENNON: And the only thing that the people got to do if they don't believe that Paul or Ringo or George is married is to check there. Which is what the British press does. That's why the British press doesn't write that any of them are married.

STARR: These rumors drive me nuts you know, I get so...

INT: Do they bother you?

STARR: Some of them you know, some of the silly ones, like the one, um with Anna Margaret, you know, I've never. . .

LENNON: Ann-Margaret

STARR: Ann Mar, Ann, Anna?

LENNON: Ann-Margaret

STARR: Ann-Margaret?

LENNON: (mumbles something)

STARR: 'Anned' Margaret and um, you know, saying I don't phone her anymore cause she can't understand me me. I write twice a week, you know, which is ridiculous cause I don't even write to my mother I just phone 'er. I've never met the girl or anything, there's all this big thing, Ringo and Anna Margaret going steady and all

LENNON (in background): We know you love Ann-Margaret . .. (something unintelligable)

STARR: Ahh, shut your. . .

INT: There's also this thing about Haley Mills in the paper, too.

STARR: Haley Mills is the worst one

LENNON (in the background): We know you. .(intelligable)

STARR: We went to, uh, well you know. . .

LENNON: That's the worst rumor

STARR: . . .it's so silly anyway. . .

LENNON: That's so bad on Ringo (I think)

STARR: Even if we have a photo with, you know, President Johnson most people would robably say we're going steady. It just happened that we went to a party for. . .

LENNON: Anthony Newley

STARR: . . .Anthony Newley, and you know at a party in this club where we went and they were there and I just happened to start talking to her and someone clicked a photo. Then after that, you know, I'm married off to her which is silly.

INT: Another thing. There was one thing in Los Angeles, an incident which I heard about, about somebody talking about various parents, families. Do you like when your families are involved in gossip talk?


INT: When I say families I don't mean your immediate family, John, I mean parents and relatives and uncles and aunts.

STARR: No, I don't like it

LENNON: That's our Ringo talking.

STARR: This is Ringo anyway. I think, you know. . .

LENNON: The main thing about, excuse me Ringo, the main

STARR: John is (unintelligable)

LENNON: The main thing about families is the reporters can come up and sort of con them, or you see our sort of parents and relations and those people don't know anything about the business which we didn't at first. So everybody comes up and says 'Mrs. Starkey, Mrs. Starkey' to his mother. . .


LENNON: Mrs. Graves or whatever she's called. Whatever they're going. . .or Mrs. Harrison, George's mum, she doesn't allow, she doesn't know what to say like 'No I don't feel like talking', they just talk.

STARR: They think that 'if we don't talk it may be wrong and that if we do talk' you know, sorry I didn't mean to (?), they can't win.

LENNON: They take complete advantage of that.

STARR: They take, you know as John said, advantage of them cause they're just sort of in the middle they don't know what to do for the best. . .I've informed mine, you know, finish with it, get out, there's no need for you to talk to reporters about anything, you know.

INT: There's another thing the fans say. You'll meet a fan outside of a hotel, and uh, very passionately involved with The Beatles and wanting to see The Beatles and they'll say to you, 'such poor boys, they're all cooped up in the hotel.' Now I know what this problem is and believe me everybody understands, uh, me probably more than anybody else in fact I've reported on it.

LENNON: What do you mean, YOU'RE cooped up, up. .

INT: That's right. I'm cooped up myself.

LENNON: You're in on it because you're frightened to miss anything.

INT: Yeah. heh heh heh heh heh. That's the truth. Uh, anyhow they're outside and they're saying - I don't know whether this is just a cover, what do you think? - they're saying. . .I said 'why are you down here' and they say 'we want to bring gifts because we feel so sorry for them. And also in connection with your wife, you see a lot of fan signs for your wife. Do you think this is just a cover for the admiration, to get close, it's just an excuse or do you think a lot of people really feel this way?

LENNON: I think that with my wife - I hate saying that word it sounds sort of formal - with Cyn, it starts off sort of 'well he's hooked. We'll sort of like 'em both, we'll like his wife' but a lot of 'em are very genuine, yeah, you can see through letters. You know, the letters you get sort of where they're addressed to Cyn that say sort of 'I like you', you know and this and that - or, I don't know, they say all sorts of things - are genuine. A lot of them are genuine. Some of them are fake. You can read through them a mile or sort of 'Hello Mrs. Lennon, may I call you Cyn? Could you get me 95 autographed photographs of the boys?' Then you know they're just, you know, just in it un hunh du HUNH da ha (freaks out like in all the live performances)

STARR: You can tell the genuine fans I think, you know. All these people that sort of write in, saying, like there was a big thing with Maureen Cox and I anyway I'm to take her on holiday, who, you know, is a nice girl, she's just sort of ordinary, she's from Liverpool. And the genuine fans wrote in saying, you know, 'if you are going with her, good luck and I hope you're happy' and that, and then you get these, to me they're just half-wits who start writing these letters saying, you know, 'you're a traitor' and you're doing all this. But the thing is, you know we're human beings and we're allowed to go with girls. If it hadn't have been Maureen it would have been someone else

INT: Just like anybody else, you'd be going out and dating. . .

STARR: The thing is, you know, the genuine fans know we are ordinary human beings you know. We go with girls and things like that. It's just these people who, I don't know what to call 'em, they're not really fans they're just threats. . .

LENNON: The worst part of it is, apart from me, the others, if they want to go with girls, they should be allowed to go with them. If they don't go with girls, let's say they don't go out, I mean that holiday thing that everybody went on, it's been something awful over here. Ringo and Paul on holiday with a couple of birds along with another married couple who were about 98. . .

STARR: Well, 48.

LENNON:. . . well, I mean you know, past 30. But if they don't, what kind of rumor would get around if they don't get seen with girls. You got one or the other. . .

STARR: Yeah, you go with girls or you're called a queen.

LENNON: Queen (laughs)

STARR: I have it on tape I've been called a queen. People have said, you know, if we sort of don't go with a girl for a couple of weeks, they start saying you're a queen you know. You can't win. That's a drag.

INT: You mentioned another thing before concerning, uh, we've reported on this quite a bit. Something that's interesting to me is to watch the hotel room like Derek's room and to watch the people coming in and out, especially one night in New York I think you dropped in briefly, there were about 40 people in there and most of them were hard core imposters. Does this ever bother you when you have people with no business being around you, pestering you? Does this bother you?

LENNON: Well, all those 40 people who were in Derek, our press agent's, room originally came up with the intention of getting in our room. And all of them come in and they expect free drinks, free food, free anything, anything that's going and you get to know them, you can tell them apart from the others. Some of them are (?), they're good fun because they're such clever imposters and con men you can admire them, you know, but all of them are just bums.

STARR: Some of them are silly as well. . .

LENNON: That's why they're in Derek's room and not in our room because we got it (betted?).

STARR: Anyone who comes to see us goes through Derek you know, which is a good thing for as you know we couldn't, if everyone got to our room we'd have what, a hundred two hundred people in our room all the time which we couldn't stand, you know.

INT: How about saying hello to the people down in Miamiland?

LENNON: Hello people down in Miamiland, I hope you're roastin' hot and swimming.

INT: Ringo?

STARR: Hello Miami and Buddy and his wife and children. You remember Buddy? He was the Sergeant who looked after us when we were in Miami. He was a great fellow. And I don't know if you read, we went to his house for dinner and if anyone wants a good meal, go to Buddy Dressler's, the best cook in the world, his wife.

LENNON: Best cop.

STARR: Best cop!

LENNON: Yeah, but his wife's a cook. I know...

STARR: And also, a little personal message to Buddy. GET A JOB, COP! (nervous laughter)

STARR: Which is a personal joke, it's nothing terrible, it's quite funny to us but it may sound terrible on tape and it's very nice.

INT: Ringo, when you're in a position, John, when you're in a position of stardom, a lot of people ask you controversial questions such as a letter I received, they ask 'what do you think of mixed marraiges between religions'?

LENNON: I would think it's up to the people concerned you know. If they can take it. It's pretty rough. It's known to be rougher over here but it's the same in England. You know, do it!

STARR: I don't know, if you love a girl, say you're a - as we call them - Church of England Protestant and the girl's a Catholic as long as you love the girl and she loves you. . .the only thing is that the families get on to you. You're quite happy with the girl and then 'er family will start sort of picking on her, saying well 'what are the children going to be?' or 'what religion? Is he going to change for you?', and your family will say 'you'll never have any luck cause you're marrying a Catholic' and all that but if you're just left alone I think there'd be a lot more mixed marraiges but, the thing, (John starts interrupting) they break up because of the other people and they NEVER break up because of the actual pair. . .

LENNON: Cut your hair, Ringo (I think) see I got married before I even knew what religion me wife was, anyway I never asked her. I mean religion is more of a . . .

STARR: Personal thing.

LENNON: . . .a thing in Britain like sort of the color problem is over here and I just did it without thinking, she could have been anythin'.

STARR: But it wouldn't have bothered you, that's the thing, you know, like it wouldn't bother me. . . to marry anyway

LENNON: People can get away with it more in show business, can't they?

STARR: I hate that word, showbiz.

LENNON: Well, that's what it is, isn't it?


LENNON: We're on show all day.

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