Beatles Feel Misunderstood

The following article appeared in New Musical Express on May 27, 1967, page 2 & 3.

The Beatles arrived at a small dinner party in Brian Epstein's Belgravia home, to talk to many mouths - writes Norrie Dummond.
For almost a year they have been virtually incommunicado. We knew they were making an LP and that they intended to start work on another film, but that was all, apart from the occasional photograph of a not particularly happy-looking Beatle.
We saw the new John Lennon look when he was filming in "How I Won The War." We saw the changes to George Harrison when he returned from India and we learned that Ringo and Paul had grown moustaches.
Their last single, "Penny Lane"/"Strawberry Fields Forever," failed to make No. 1 and the speculations started. Only last week one newspaper described them as "comtemplative, secretive and exclusive".
But The Beatles have not become mystical introverts. Despite their flamboyant clothes, they are still the same people they were four years ago. Their opinions and beliefs are the same, only now they understand why they believe them.
"I've had a lot of time to think," said John peering at me through his wire-rimmed specs, "and only now am I beginning to realise many of the things I should have known years ago.
"I'm getting to understand my own feelings. Don't forget that under this frilly shirt is a hundred-year-old man who's seen and done so much - but at the same time knowing so little."
Apart from green frilly shirt, John was wearing maroon trousers and round his waist was a sporran.
Why the sporran? I enquired. "A relative in Edinburgh gave it to Cynthia and as there are no pockets in these trousers it comes in handy for holding my cigarettes and keys."
I joined George sitting quietly on a settee nibbling on a stick of celery. He was wearing dark trousers and a maroon velvet jacket.
On the lapel was a badge from the New York Workshop Of Non Violence. Their emblem in a yellow submarine with what looked like daffodils spouting from it.
"Naturally I'm opposed to all forms of war," said George seriously. "The idea of man killing man is terrible." I asked him about his visit to India and what it had taught him.
"Too many people here have the wrong idea about India. Everyone immediately associates it with poverty and starvation but there's much more than that. There's the spirit of the people, the beauty and goodness.
"The people there have a spiritual strength which I don't think is found elsewhere. That's what I've been trying to learn about."
George has takenthe time to find out about many religions.
He believes that religious is a day-to-day experience. "You find it all around. You live it. Not something that just comes on Sundays."
The LP "Sgt. Pepper" took The Beatles almost six months to make andit has received mixed reviews from the critics. Having achieved world-wide fame by singing pleasant, hummable numbers, don't they feel they may be too far ahead of the record-buyers?
George thinks not. "People are very aware of what's going on around them nowadays. They think for themselves and I don't think we can ever be accused of under-estimating the intelligence of our fans.'
John agrees with him. "The people who bought our records in the past much realise we couldn't go on making the same type forever. We must change and I believe people know this."
I drifted over to where the now clean-shaven and much thinner Paul was sitting sipping a glass of champagne. "We've really been looking forward to this evening," he said. "Because so many distorted stories were being printed.
"We have never thought about spitting up. We want to go on recording together. The Beatles live!" he said raising his glass in the air.

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