MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR (1967)
(on the new approach to the Beatles next film)
GEORGE: "The contract we signed with United Artists is for three films, two of which we've done. The third one, the thing is, we can do it any time we want. We havent so far done the film because we didn't want to make a film just to make some money. We wanted to do a film that might mean something to either us or to the people who go to watch it. So the thing is, over the last year or two since 'Help', we've had thousands of ideas but they've all been 'Help' and 'Hard Day's Night' revisited. It's no good. We've got to have something good, how we visualize the film. It's got to be at least the difference between the song 'Help' and 'Sgt Pepper,' as the movie has got to be that progressed too. It's called a Magical Mystery Tour... just a typical coach tour, but anything can happen. You see, that's the difference because it's magic, then we can do anything. So these parts, these sequences, we just had a few ideas."
(on their upcoming film project)
JOHN: "We haven't got a script yet. But we've got a bloke going 'round the lavatories of Britain , cribbing all the notes off the walls."
(following the British telecast of the film)
PAUL: "We've been waiting for a couple of years now to make another feature film. And we've been asking people to write stories and write plots. But nobody's come up with one, you know. So we thought, 'We'll do something which isn't like that,' which isn't like a real film inasmuch as it's got a story and a beginning and... We'd put together alot of things that we like the look of, and see what happens. You can't say it was a success, you know, 'cuz the papers didn't like it and that seems to be what people read to find out what's a success. But I think it's alright."
PAUL AND JOHN 1967
(regarding the song, 'I Am The Walrus' being banned by the BBC due to the word 'knickers')
PAUL: "Everyone keeps preaching that the best way is to be 'open' when writing for teenagers. Then when we do we get criticized. Surely the word 'knickers' can't offend anyone. Shakespeare wrote words alot more naughtier than knickers!"
JOHN: "We chose the word because it is a lovely expressive word. It rolls off the tongue. It could 'mean' anything."
(on criticism of the film, 'Magical Mystery Tour')
PAUL: "Was the film really all that bad compared to the rest of Christmas TV? You could hardly call the Queen's speech a gasser. We could put on a moptop show, but we really don't like that sort of entertainment anymore. We could have sung carols and done a first-class Christmassy show starring The Beatles with lots of phoney tinsel like everyone else. It would have been the easiest thing in the world, but we wanted to do something different. So maybe we boobed... maybe we didn't. We don't say it was a good film. It was our first attempt. If we goofed, then we goofed. It was a challenge and it didn't come off. We'll know better next time."
(on criticism of the film)
JOHN: "They thought we were stepping out of our roles. They'd like just to keep us in the cardboard suits that were designed for us. Whatever image they have for themselves they're disappointed if we don't fulfil it."
(remembering the 'Magical Mystery Tour' project)
JOHN: "Paul said, 'Well, here's a segment, you write a piece for that.' And I thought, 'Fucking Ada, I've never made a film. What does he mean write a script?' So I ran off and wrote the dream sequence for the fat woman and the spaghetti and all that."
(reflecting on criticism of Magical Mystery Tour)
PAUL: "Nobody likes to be told they don't get it right. You think you're doing something good and you put everything into it, and you don't get it right. In fact, what has happened with Magical Mystery Tour is that it's got alot of people who like it now... whereas, what happened was, it actually came out on Boxing Day, or Christmas Day, and it was just not what the majority of those 20 million viewers expected. So it got slammed from that kinda angle. But uhh, you wont find any other footage of John Lennon singing I Am The Walrus. I mean, I think that's a great sequence in there."
(remembering the film set)
RINGO: "It was a good shoot. It was alot of fun, and again we were making videos."
(recalling the 'Your Mother Should Know' sequence, and the 'Paul is Dead' fiasco)
PAUL: "People read significance into the fact that I had a black carnation on. The truth of the matter was they'd only brought three red ones. There'd been a mistake, as there often is with film crews, and they'd brought three red ones and a few black ones... but it became part of the 'Paul is dead' legacy afterwards. We choreographed the whole thing. We organized it all."
(remembering the filming of 'Magical Mystery Tour')
GEORGE: "I remember quite a bit of it, really... in the big hangar down in Kent . We were driving around this air field in the Mini Cooper. 'Your Mother Should Know' ...that was quite interesting, I quite enjoyed that. But you see, there was always good songs, there's a couple of good songs and there was a few funny scenes. I mean, the scene that, to me, stands out is the one of John shoveling the spaghetti on the fat woman's plate. I mean, that was the best bit of the movie for me."
(remembering the original public reaction)
PAUL: "It was a crazy thing. We showed it on TV in the Bruce Forsyth slot in black and white, which was not the way to show it. So you had all those Auntie Veras watching it and saying, 'Oh dear, I think those nice lads have all gone a bit funny.'"