Thursday, October 31, 2013

I was a Lady Beatle

While searching the internet, I found this article in a June 3, 1964 issue of Australian  Women's Weekly.    I thought it was a pretty neat story.    Does anyone know where I can hear this interview?  I loved the part of Ringo quoting himself from a Hard Day's night.    Just a footnote, my research showed that Binny passed away in January 2012.

I was a  Lady Beatle
By Binny Lum

Radio personality Bernice ("Binny") Lum,  of Melbourne, has the unique distinction of having sung with The Beatles - she filled in with George, John, and Ringo to sing "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" while Paul was absent.

She  wrote: "It happened like this. Stations 3XY and VBN, where I had daily programmes, decided it would be a scoopy thing for me to tape an interview with The Beatles when I flew to London.
I had one mate there, Alan Freeman, a disc jockey with the B.B.C. He'd been waiting three months for an interview!  But Alan knows the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, and to know him is like kicking your first goal.

"And though Alan's secretary sighed, wouldn't Binny prefer an audience with Her Majesty? It could be easier,' she gave me the phone number."

Binny spent two whole days (and a fortune) in phone calls before she even spoke to the secretary of the personal assistant to Brian Epstein. There followed a long afternoon waiting - and wondering if she was being given the run around - before she saw Epstein himself.

Binny described Epstein as "one of the greatest promoters of the age."

Her interview with The Beatles will be broadcast over station 2UW on June 14.

A face emerged over my shoulder. It was straight off a record cover. "Paul," I said involuntarily. A second later, and the face was properly accompanied by a well-set-up body. The famous hairdo had a healthy sheen.

"I'm so sorry," apologized Beatle Paul McCartney, and he smiled with a warmth that would have had his fans too transfixed to scream. "I won't be able to stay and talk to you. But I'm glad I could say hello. The other boys are in there though, and they're going to stay awhile."

He shrugged a casual coat round his shoulders as I regretted he had to leave.

We were in the London building where Brian Epstein has his elegant office. Paul's taller than I’d expected, and has a fresh complexion. His manner was very pleasant and he looked directly at me as he apologised once again, "My car's waiting now, I'll have to go. “He moved to an outer door where someone joined him.  

I was invited into another office where later Brian Epstein, whose acquaintance I had made earlier that day,  appeared and said: "Go into my room, Binny, I'll leave you with them."

Unbelievably I was with The Beatles. They converged in a semi- circle, sitting with their legs astride the chairs, but back to front, with their arms on the chair backs.

Somehow it seemed typical. The boys don't do anything quite like anyone else, and they are so naturally different. Everyone was talking.

I set up my tape to do the recording my Australian radio station had sent me half way across the world to do. It was a riot.

You don't interview The Beatles - you "Beatle talk" with them. It's great fun.

Actually, I hadn't thought seriously about the boys till I got to London and felt the impact they have on the world. Now I'm a Beatle fan.

These boys are wholesome. I like the way their words pour out in a Liverpudlian stream of good humor. There's a warm friendship which links them intangibly and, if you're lucky, encompasses you. I was taken into the charmed circle.

They called me "Bernice," which is fair enough, it's my name. But, till The Beatles used it, there was a formality about it which always made me feel I was being called to order. On a Beatle accent it's the friendliest. There's a steady intelligence among the boys.

My tape was to be played in Australia. They had the right slang terms at their fingertips, they spoke of various Australian artists, they'd obviously bothered to find out about Australia.
In their own way The Beatles do answer questions.

When I asked what it's like not to be able to go about normally, they burst into an impromptu song, "We're up in an aeroplane, we're up in an aeroplane," leading into "We could never walk down the street again."

You go on a mad gay whirl with The Beatles when you get them alone.

Ringo came good with lines from their film.

"Go on, Ringo," encouraged George. "Say the bit."
Ringo drew himself up: "There you go," he declaimed in a pseudo-London accent, "hiding behind a smokescreen of bourgeois clich├ęs."

Next minute he was running true to form, admiring the jade dragon ring I had worn especially knowing his weakness for such things.

"It's chewing goom," said John.

(Or was it George? You're having so much fun you lose track of who says what. But now and then there seemed to be a subtle lead from John, and off they'd all go on a wild word chase.)
They decided to incorporate a few bars of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport," just for good measure. They were right on the note too, nothing flat about The Beatles - till they decided to go off key deliberately.

"What's your book about?" I asked John.
"It's roobish," he said, handing it to me.
"It's my book," claimed Ringo, taking it.
"It's his copy, but my book," corrected John. "I writ it."
"He wroted it," George joined in.
"This is John speaking," said Lennon.
"In his own voice," teased Ringo - the title of John's book is "In His Own Write."

I sat there hoping the mike hadn't packed up from sheer shock.

There I was, knee-deep in Beatles, thinking, "Back home they're going to think this was easy; they'll take the view, why shouldn't someone get to meet The Beatles - they're human, aren't they?"

I remembered Jack Benny saying, "Wouldn't it be funny if they took off their hair and you discovered they were boys?"

I discovered they're boys with a great talent which isn't necessarily their music.

The more imitators they have the greater they'll be, because they're the genuine originators.

And how did I come to be a Lady Beatle?

It happened toward the end of the tape. The boys went into a spirited version of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport", as a finale.

In the middle of it, John said, "Come on, Bernice." So I tied a kangaroo down, along with them.
The next few moments were bedlam.

A car was waiting to take them safely home. Ringo insisted they find a photo to autograph for me, and the three Beatles went in every direction looking for one.

They came flying back to pose for a color slide with me and present me with their picture.
Then, with promises to meet me in Australia, they were gone.

I picked up my tape, went down in the lift, and as I stepped into the cold night air it hit me . . . I've sung with The Beatles.

1 comment:

  1. I found the transcript of the interview at the Bootlegzone