Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No Such Thing As An Ex-Beatle

The headline above, from the April 10th, 1970 edition of the Daily Mirror, marked the public demarcation of an estrangement which had been ongoing in private for several months. Paul had issued an information sheet with press copies of his McCartney album that contained some blunt statements about his feelings toward working with the other Beatles, and the media took this as a declaration of independence.

That same day, George was sitting down to film an interview with BBC1 for the religious series Fact Or Fantasy, broadcast on the 26th. Not only does George not refer to a split, he refers to himself as a Beatle during the conversation, mostly focused on spiritual enlightenment.

George's interview was filmed at Apple's Savile Row offices, where the usual Apple Scruffs and curious tourists were supplemented that day by dozens of reporters and photographers, as word of the Beatle breakup spread. CBS News dispatched Bob Simon of their London bureau to cover the story, and the raw footage of his report circulates. It begins with reaction from sad and angry Scruffs in the street (most of whom seem to blame Linda McCartney), and contains a lengthy interview with a shell-shocked (and frankly denial-ridden) Derek Taylor and his assistant Mavis Smith. At the end, Ringo is filmed leaving Apple and entering a car with Mal Evans, to the cheers of the fans outside.

Here are a couple of pertinent airchecks from April 1970: WKNR in Detroit bidding "a fond farewell to our Beatle buddies", and a BBC Radio preview (possibly on Scene And Heard) of three tracks from the McCartney LP, released in the UK on April 17th.


  1. Oh no! The Beatles have broken up! Say it isn't true!!! Just one more album! It's that Linda who done it!

    (thanks Johnny Rhythm!!!! Beautiful stuff! So funny.....George, typically unflappable!)

  2. great to have you back as we plunge into the solo years. Thanks again!

  3. Fact or Fantasy clip...

    thanks again John

  4. In the "Imagine: John Lennon" film there is a clip of Derek Taylor answering similar questions to the press. He's in his Apple office on his infamous wicker "throne". He looks more rested than in the clip above; it doesn't seem to be the same day Would you know when the former was filmed? Any chance of having the full version?

  5. There is a (Reuters, I think) newsreel from that day containing interviews with Taylor and Klein (talking about how Paul dislikes him), but I'm not sure if hat's the one used in I:JL.