The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews

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The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews
Live album spoken word by The Beatles
Released 30 January 1976
Recorded 1968–1973
Genre Interview
Label Polydor
The Beatles interview album chronology
The Beatles' Story
(1964)
The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews
(1976)
Love (interview disc)
(2006)

The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews is an audio album of interviews with each of the four members of The Beatles: John Lennon (with his second wife, Yoko Ono), Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. British journalist David Wigg interviewed the individual Beatles at various points from December 1968 or January 1969 to December 1973, and excerpts from some of these recordings constitute the album's spoken words. Although he was a columnist ("Young London") for the London newspaper The Evening News,[1] the interviews were intended for broadcast on BBC Radio 1's Scene and Heard.[2][3] Interspersed among the interview excerpts are instrumental performances of Beatles songs, played by other musicians. The Beatles tried to prevent the album's publication, but it was released in the United Kingdom on 30 July 1976 under the Polydor label (catalogue number 2683 068) and in the United States in 1978.

Topics[edit]

Major topics in John Lennon's interview include his relationship with Yoko Ono, his peace activism, The Beatles' business affairs (a portion of his statement about Brian Epstein's management is on Anthology 1), the nature of God, and the band's break-up and whether they would reunite musically.

Among Paul McCartney's topics are fatherhood, his favourite songs from Abbey Road, why The Beatles appeared at only one Royal Variety Performance, and the composition of "Golden Slumbers". Shortly after his interview, McCartney met with the other Beatles to decide whether Allen Klein or Lee Eastman would handle the group's affairs. Having failed to persuade the other Beatles to choose Eastman, McCartney "stormed out of the meeting, resigning from the Apple board".[4]

George Harrison discusses the spiritual side of his life, including his seeming destiny to be a Beatle, Hare Krishna, meditation, drug use, and whether it is possible for The Beatles to split up. He also discusses business—the British government's anti-monopoly policies and high taxation, and the difference in radio offerings between the United Kingdom and the United States—and his Abbey Road favourites.

Ringo Starr's first interview took place while he was heading to a medical examination required for insurance in anticipation of his work in The Magic Christian. Starr discusses The Beatles' feelings for one another, the band's break-up, how he has spent his money, the ups and downs of fame (such as being photographed and asked for autographs), reincarnation ("I'd like to come back as one of our cats: they have a great time! But it's not possible: I'll be back here as a human, struggling again, trying to remember what I forgot last time"), and vegetarianism.

Track listing[edit]

The following describes the compact-disc version of the album (Polydor 42284 7185-2):

Disc One (Polydor 42284 7186-2)

  1. Interview of John Lennon with Yoko Ono: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, 8 May 1969 or June 1969:[5] Part 1. 3:34.
  2. "Give Peace a Chance". 1:00.
  3. Interview of John Lennon with Yoko Ono: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, June 1969: Part 2. 8:42.
  4. "Imagine". 1:12.
  5. Interview of John Lennon with Yoko Ono: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, June 1969: Part 3. 8:15.
  6. "Come Together". 0:54.
  7. Interview of John Lennon with Yoko Ono: St. Regis hotel, 2 East 55th Street, Manhattan, New York City, October 1971. 9:28.
  8. Interview of Paul McCartney: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, March 1970: Part 1. 1:29.
  9. "Because". 1:37.
  10. Interview of Paul McCartney: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, March 1970: Part 2. 10:24.
  11. "Yesterday". 1:24.
  12. Interview of Paul McCartney: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, March 1970: Part 3. 1:33.
  13. "Hey Jude". 2:47.

Disc Two (Polydor 42284 7187-2)

  1. Interview of George Harrison: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, 4 March 1969:[6] Part 1. 14:24.
  2. "Here Comes the Sun". 1:09.
  3. Interview of George Harrison: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, 4 March 1969: Part 2. 5:31.
  4. "Something". 1:35.
  5. Interview of Ringo Starr: moving chauffeur-driven Mercedes en route from Starr's home in Elstead, Surrey, to a medical exam in London, December 1968 or 21 January 1969:[7] 3:30.
  6. Interview of Ringo Starr: London, 20 March 1970, 25 March, or July 1970:[8] 6:42.
  7. Interview of Ringo Starr: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, December 1973: Part 1. 4:47.
  8. "Octopus's Garden". 1:08.
  9. Interview of Ringo Starr: Apple Corps offices, 3 Savile Row, London, December 1973: Part 2. 3:40.
  10. "Yellow Submarine". 0:59.

Credits[edit]

David Wigg conducted and edited the interviews, with engineering by Peter Wilson.

The songs are played by Gavyn Wright and Irvine Arditti (violins); Jan Schlapp (viola); Helen Liebmann (cello); Janice Knight (oboe); Crispian Steele-Perkins and Paul Cash (trumpets); Carlos Bonell and Tom Hartmann (guitars); Francis Monkman (ARP Odyssey Synthesiser); Ann Odell (piano); and Graham Smith (harmonica). Martyn Ford and John Bell arranged the music from compositions by The Beatles. Ford also conducted the performances and produced the recordings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Liner notes, The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews, David Wigg, 1976.
  2. ^ The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to The Beatles, Ted Greenwald, Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, New York, 1995, p. 88. ISBN 1-56799-205-6.
  3. ^ The Complete Beatles Chronicle, Mark Lewisohn, Hamlyn, London, 2003, pp. 317, 348.
  4. ^ Liner notes, The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews, David Wigg, 1976.
  5. ^ Liner notes, The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews, David Wigg, 1976, record the date as "June 1969". The Complete Beatles Chronicle, Mark Lewisohn, Hamlyn, London, 2003, p. 322, says, for 7 May 1969, "A long interview given by John, with Yoko, to David Wigg for the weekly Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard. Extracts were broadcast over two editions of the series, 4 mins 53 secs on Sunday 11 May, 3.00–4.00 pm (repeated Tuesday 13 May, 7.45–8.45 pm), and a further 4 mins 32 secs the following week, 18 May, 3.00–4.00 pm (repeated Tuesday 20 May, 7.45–8.45 pm)".
  6. ^ Liner notes, The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews, David Wigg, 1976, record the date as "March 1969". The Complete Beatles Chronicle, Mark Lewisohn, Hamlyn, London, 2003, p. 317, says, for 4 March 1969, "George was interviewed in his office at Apple by David Wigg for the weekly BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard. It was broadcast over two editions of the series, 5 mins 13 secs on Saturday 8 March, 1.00–2.00 pm (repeated Tuesday 11 March, 7.45–8.44 pm), and a further 4 mins 30 secs on Saturday 12 April, 1.00–2.00 pm (repeated Tuesday 15 April, 7.45–8.44 pm)."
  7. ^ Liner notes, The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews, David Wigg, 1976, record the date as "December 1968". The Beatles Day by Day: A Chronology 1962–1989, Mark Lewisohn, Harmony Books, New York, 1990, p. 114, says, for 21 January 1970, "Ringo records an interview with David Wigg for the BBC Radio One programme Scene and Heard. (It is transmitted on 25 January.) In 1976 Wigg cashes in on a resurgence of the Beatles' fame and issues this interview, with others, on an album entitled The Beatles Tapes. The Beatles' attempt to stop the release is a failure." The Complete Beatles Chronicle, Mark Lewisohn, Hamlyn, London, 2003, p. 309, says, for 25 March 1970, "The first of a number of BBC radio interviews with an individual member of the Beatles by Daily Express pop reporter David Wigg, each for broadcast in the weekly Radio 1 news/review programme Scene And Heard. This interview with Ringo, from which 6 mins 30 secs was included in the Saturday 25 January edition (1.00–2.00 pm), was recorded in the back of his Mercedes-Benz car, en route from his Surrey home into London. (The entire programme was repeated on Tuesday 28 January, 7.45–8.44 pm.)" and "In 1976 Wigg collected together extracts from some of his BBC interviews with John, Paul, George and Ringo and released them as an album, The Beatles Tapes, which the four by then ex-Beatles attempted but failed to injunct."
  8. ^ Liner notes, The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews, David Wigg, 1976, record the date as "July 1970". The Beatles Day by Day: A Chronology 1962–1989, Mark Lewisohn, Harmony Books, New York, 1990, pp. 131–132, says, for 20 March 1970, "Ringo records an interview with David Wigg for the BBC Radio One programme Scene and Heard. It is transmitted on 29 March, and a small part of the interview is later included on the LP The Beatles Tapes." The Complete Beatles Chronicle, Mark Lewisohn, Hamlyn, London, 2003, p. 348, says, for 25 March 1970, "In his office at Apple this day, Ringo gave an interview to David Wigg for the Radio 1 series Scene And Heard. Extracts were broadcast over two editions, 5 mins 20 secs being used on Sunday 29 March and a further 2 mins 15 secs the following week, 5 April, both programmes being transmitted from 3.00 to 4.00 pm."