Friday, 1 February 2013

The Beatles in NME - 1 February 1963

On 1 February 1963 number 838 of New Musical Express appeared.

On page 6 there was a story about The Beatles:
Big pop stars signed for summer shows [Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, The Beatles]
In the same magazine on page 9 was an interview with the Beatles:
 You've pleased-pleased us!—say The Beatles
 It proved to be a very interesting interview. Since it was published more than 50 years ago, I post some excerpts here below for your enjoyment

First the author talks about how The Beatles are climbing up the charts:

"Things are beginning to move for the Beatles, the R&B styled British group which crashed into the NME charts this week at No. 17. The disc -- 'Please Please Me' -- follows closely on the heels of their first hit 'Love Me Do,' written by group members John Lennon and Paul McCartney."
 Paul then goes on to talk how easy it is to write songs.:
 We also wrote 'Please Please Me,' but that hasn't exhausted our supply of compositions. We've got nearly a hundred up our sleeves, and we're writing all the time!
They also spoke of the upcoming Helen Shapiro tour, and how the boys wrote a song for her (which she never recorded):
The boys are rehearsing their act for the forthcoming Helen Shapiro tour when I met them in their hometown of Liverpool on Sunday. And at Norrie Paramor's request, they were composing a song for Helen to record when she goes to Nashville shortly.
Said Paul: "We've called it 'Misery,' but it isn't as slow as it sounds. It moves along at quite a steady pace, and we think Helen will make a pretty good job of it. We've also done a number for Duffy Power which he's going to record."
The interviewer goes on to talk about the Beatles' sound and the record they made with Tony Sheridan:
This isn't the Beatles' first taste of success. The clipped negro sound they achieve has brought them a fantastic following in Germany, where they had a Polydor single in the charts more than a year ago. They spent Christmas performing in Hamburg -- their fifth visit.
According to the magazine, Little Richard himself was a big fan of the Fab Four:
In the North of England, too, they've built up a reputation that takes some beating. In the past I've seen them billed with equal prominence alongside such names as Little Richard and Joe Brown!
Talking of Little Richard, the rock 'n' roll star became one of the Beatles' biggest fans during his recent visit. He told me: "I've never heard that sound from English musicians before. Honestly, if I hadn't seen them with my own eyes I'd have thought they were a colored group from back home."
And then comes the nicest bit, where a prediction is made about their chances of making it big:
So far it seems that only Northern fans and visiting American stars have appreciated their talents (the Crickets went overboard when they heard them), but 'Please Please Me' will change everything. Already Southerners have been flocking to buy the disc since it was released two weeks ago.
Comments John: "We tried to make it as simple as possible. Some of the stuff we've written in the past has been a bit way-out, but we aimed this one straight at the hit parade."
Even in early 1962 it was clear that George Martin's influence and opinions were important for the success of the Beatles:
At the sessions at which 'Please Please Me' was recorded, shortly before Christmas, the boys' recording manager, George Martin, told me: "The thing I like about the Beatles is their great sense of humor as well as their talent."
It looks like a bright future for the Beatles, but knowing them, I don't think they'll let it go to their heads. It'll be a long time, for instance, before they forget the time they provided the music for Janice the Stripper in a Liverpool nightclub...!

Source: transcription of the original article of the New Musical Express of 1 February 1963 for historical purposes

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