The following article appeared in New Musical Express on December 6, 1963, page 10
The most fascinating Beatles' disc of the year isn't their million-selling new single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand". It's an exciting song-and-comedy EP waxed specially for Fan Club members.
This week thousands of copies are being mailed (as a free Christmas gift) to all the groups paid-up followers all over Britian.
Why is it so special?
Firstly, because the five-minute long disc is a personal "thank you" from The Beatles. Secondly, because it's exclusive to the Club members and less than 25,000 have been pressed! And thirdly, because-as never before-it reveals their zany "Scouse" comedy talents to the full.
The record opens with a Paul Robeson-type John Lennon singing "Good King Wenceslas". The song is a little different, too-with lines about "Brightly shone the boot last night", and "Betty Grable"!
JOHN LENNON says...
"Hello. This is John Lennon speaking, with his voice. We are all very happy to be able to talk to you like this, on this little bit of plastic. This record reaches you at the end of a really gear year for us, and it's all due to you.
"When we made our first record on Parlophone, towards the end of 1962, we hoped everybody would like what had already been our type of music for several years, but we had no idea of all the gear things in store for us.
"It all happened, really, when 'Please Please Me' became a No. 1 hit and after that, well...
"Our biggest thrill of all the year? Topping the bill at the London Palladium, and then a couple of days later being invited to take part in the Royal Variety Show."
At this mention of the Royal show the rest of The Beatles take their cue and begin to whistle the National Anthem!
Then John continues, "This time last year we were all dead chuffed as 'Love Me Do' got in the charts, and we can't believe really that so many things have happened in between, already!
"Just before I pass you over to Paul I'd like to say thank you to all the Beatle People who have written to me during the year, and everyone who sent me gifts and cards for my birthday-which I am trying to forget-in October. I'd love to reply personally to everyone, but I just haven't enough pens!
"In the meantime," add John, as he bursts into song...
"Garry Crimble to you/Garry Crimble to you/Gary Bable, Dear Christmas/Happy Birthday, me too!"
Then from PAUL MCCARTNEY:
"This is Paul here. Everything that John said goes for me, too. Specially the bit about birthday cards and parcels, 'cause all our homes and offices got stacks of mail last June, when it was my birthday.
"We're all dead pleased by the way you've treated us in 1963, and we'll try to do everything we can to please you with the type of songs we write and record next year.
"Oh yes! Somebody asked us if we still like jelly babies. Well, we used to like them. In fact we loved them and we said so, you see. Ever since then, we've been getting them in boxes, packets, and crates.
"Anyway, we've gone right off jelly babies! But we still like peppermint creams, chocolate drops, dolly mixtures and all that sort of thing, don't we?" ["Yes-yes," chorus the rest of The Beatles!]
"Well, lots of people asked us what we enjoy best-concerts and television or recording. We like doing stage shows because, you know, it's great to hear an audience enjoying themselves. But the thing we like best is going into the recording studio to make new records-which is what we've been doing all day before we started on this message.
"I'll finish by wishing everybody a 'Happy Crimble' and a Merry New Year, and especially all the ones who have paid their subsciptions!"
Then follows "Good King Wenceslas" sung in mock German my John.
"Hello, Ringo here. As you know, I was the last member to join The Beatles. I started to play drums in the group in 1962 but I've been with a lot of other groups. I just wish that people will be happy for Christmas-Merry Happy New Year, folks."
"Nobody else has said anything yet about our fan club secretaries, Anne Collingham and Bettina Rose, not to mention Freda Kelly in Liverpool [everybody shouts 'Good old Freda!'], so on behalf of us all I'd just like to say a great big thank you for the hard work they've done.
"We just hope we can go on pleasing you for a long time, because it's your reaction to our records that really matters."
George launches into:
"Brightly was the shone that night/Through the winter cruel/When a pork pie came in sight/Gathering winter gru-oo-el."
The next item is "Ricky The Red-Nosed Ringo"-which ends in a chaos of laughter and then a warm, sincere message from all The Beatles: "Merry Christmas, everybody!"
Return to Vintage Articles & Interviews