Pop special spectacular! Here’s the fabulous line-up of stars coming your way on ITV: Saturday, Lucky Stars Special: The Beatles, Freddie and the Dreamers, Françoise Hardy, Tommy Quickly, Alma Cogan and Sounds Incorporated. Wednesday, The Glad Rag Ball: The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Susan Maughan, Lorne Lesley, Humphrey Lyttelton and his band, Long John Baldry, Ginger Johnson and his African Drummers. Friday, Ready, Steady, Go!: The Beatles, The Searchers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, The Isley Brothers. Yes, ITV’s a’popping – to the echo of British beat music. Which explains why there is an International flavour to the off-beat stories here
HIT tunes. And The Beatles. They seem to go together like bacon and eggs. But we never seem to hear very much about HOW they write hit tunes.
Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney have been dubbed Britain’s answer to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Together, they have produced 52 successful numbers in four years. How do they do it? That’s what I asked when I interrupted their latest recording session at St. John’s Wood, London. And the answer: while tramping about Britain and the world in transit from one date to another.
“From Me To You” was born on a coach during a one-night stand tour; “This Boy” was originally scribbled down on an Airport Disposal Bag; “Can’t Buy Me Love” happened in Paris; in fact, the lads did most of the numbers from their first film “A Hard Day’s Night” while in Paris or touring America.
See The Beatles in:
Ready, Steady, Go! Friday
Lucky Stars Special, Saturday
Top left: Paul McCartney, bass guitarist. The Brainy Beatle. Speaks three languages.
Top right: George Harrison, lead guitarist. The Artistic Beatle. Teachers predicted he’d be a famous painter.
Bottom left: John Lennon, rhythm guitarist. Playing left-handed? “Well,” says John, “anything Paul can do…”
Bottom right: Ringo Starr, drummer. The Latest Beatle. Joined the group in 1962
No set routine. Sometimes John dreams up the tune and Paul writes the words; sometimes it’s the other way round. Paul wrote “Can’t Buy Me Love” on his own. John was the man behind their latest, “I Feel Fine.” But they always have a joint credit. Because they work together on the final “polishing up” technique, words and music.
They have a knack of knowing exactly what the other is thinking of musically. Call it pop rapport, if you like.
John whipped up “I Feel Fine” in an intense 90 minutes at the St. John’s Wood recording studios just over a month ago. It was waxed inside another hour — swift work by any standard.
Mention of Paris. Know how you say Rolling Stones in French? Thousands of beat-barmy Parisians know. When word spread that these five shaggy-maned laddies were appearing at the Paris Olympia, fans besieged the place.
All seats were sold within 24 hours’ notice that the Stones were to appear there. That’s the best business ever for the internationally-famous Olympia.
France digs the Rolling Stones. Spaniards love Susan Maughan. Slinky Sue spent three days in Spain a fortnight ago, fêted as the Best TV Artist in a nation-wide magazine poll.
When she returned to London, she notched up a motoring landmark, too. Her first parking ticket! Fined £2 [£40 today, allowing for inflation]. And they call her “Bobby’s Girl!”
Françoise Hardy, the 18-year-old French pop-ette who will be singing her latest “Pourquoi tu n’aime” on Saturday is motor-mad, too.
Crazy about cars. Drives a Mini-Cooper at high speed without batting an eyelash. Even in Paris’s traffic jungle. Until last month, when she was filmed driving around for an ITV company.
Françoise told me she was so busy trying to follow the instructions of the cameraman, she collided with SEVEN cars.
The Searchers are off to foreign parts soon. Or rather, a foreign part. Sweden. They’ve never been there before. Told me they were looking forward to smörbröd.
Smörbröd? Not a one-night stand town. It’s Scandinavian for bread and butter. And The Searchers just love freshly-baked foreign bread.
Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas are just back from America. Surprise for them in Hollywood. Had a visit from Chief Shooting Star, 73-year-old head of the Dakota nation and a descendant of Sitting Bull. He wanted to meet the lads who were using his tribe’s name to make heap big music.
Gave the lads beads and handsomely-finished Indian gear.
Also on American pop patrol: The Animals. Their 21-day jaunt had the girls in hysterics. Real, genuine hysterics.
In New York a lass had prolonged hysterics and was carted off to hospital in a strait-jacket! And in Utica, New York State, a theatre safety curtain had to be lowered five times in the same performance to save the Animals from rampaging fans.
While The Searchers are in Sweden, they will probably hear the name Lorne Lesley mentioned. She’s a big star there. But this dusky lass from Tiger Bay had language problems out there at first.
Take her first big show in Scandinavia. Didn’t know the Swedish for “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.” So asked her pianist, who was also something of a wag. He told her… how to say:
“Good evening, ladies and drunken dogs.”
Lorne stepped up, was halfway through the greeting, then the audience was amazed when the pianist rushed across the stage and clapped his hand over the mike! Since then she carries an Anglo-Swedish dictionary.
No language problems for Long John Baldry. But he’s got sleeping problems. Especially in this colder weather.
Long John is a lofty 6ft. 7½in. [2.02m] tall. Longest bed he can find is only 6ft. 2in. [1.88m] So five chilly inches [13cm] of Baldry leg, plus the Baldry foot, stick out at the bottom. How does he manage to sleep at all? Easy. Wears football socks!
Finally, back to America. That’s where the Isley Brothers — Ronald, Rudolph and O’Kelly — live. Started early in show business. Brother Ronald was just three years old when he won a £25 War Bond in a song contest at Cincinnati Union Baptist Church!
Who are the Isley Brothers? Group who did the original recordings of “Twist and Shout” and “Shout,” both hot cover discs for The Beatles and Lulu respectively.
TAILPIECE: And don’t forget you can see pop stars Larry Parker and Jan Douglas in Tuesday’s Five O’Clock Club and The Trendsetters in Friday’s Five O’Clock Club.