Thursday, March 3, 2016

Women who know tell all about the Beatles

This is a fun little article about the girls that ran the Beatles Fan Club in London in 1964.   I found it in some newspaper archives from the "Teen" section of an un-sourced Washington D.C. newspaper. 

Women who know tell about the Beatles
By Rodney Burbeck
July 25, 1964

They are the most envied girls in Britain possibly the world.  They work in a smallish office in the West End of London surround by letters and photographs. Their work is exhausting,  keeping them in the office for 10 or 12 hours a day. But there isn't a girl anywhere who wouldn't  give her right arm to do their job. They are the Beatles' secretary.  They work for a firm called NEMS enterprises, the organization headed by Brian Epstein that handles the business affairs of the Beatles.

Who better than these girls to give us a first-hand account of the Beatles at work, rest and play?  The boys often pop into the office to relax with a soft drink, to chat with the girls and keep themselves up to date on fan club news.   One of the girls told me of the day she first me the Beatles.   "It was about a year ago at a BBC recording. Of course, those were the days before things were quite so pottie and they are now, but it was my first taste of Beatlemania. I found the boys very polite and splendid and everything was going swimmingly --until I glimpsed through a glass door.  Crowds of girls were going mad trying to get at us .  I was petrified, but Paul, who was with me, just calmly waved his hand. We raced up the stairs to the canteen and I was scared stiff in case they came after us."

  Another girl commented on the Beatles intense politeness, “I remember when they got back from the Swedish tour.  They were dead tired but even then they bent over backwards to be nice and help out all they could."

When the boys descend on the office, the girls prepare for anything happening. "We never know what crazy things they'll get up to.    If we let them into the phone, they usually say something like 'Mark and Spencer's stock department' or 'Russian embassy'. If they sit down and want to chat, we shove 30 or 40 photograph in front of them and get them to do some signing while they talk. They usually pop in when they have been shopping in the West End.  Once John came rushing in with a fantastic blue cashmere sweater.  He was terribly excited as if it were the first thing he has ever bought. Everybody had to feel it and say how nice it was. We never know when they are going to come in but it is always lovely to see them.

Often fans visit the office is open to see the boys. One girl came to pay her fan club dues and on the way out passed John on the stairs. A minute later there was a knock on the door and back she came trembling all over and asking 'was that really John?'"
"We assured her it was and got John, who had gone into another office and sign of photo for her.  She left in a daze. "

How do you get a job as a Beatle secretary?” Well one of our best typists is a fan who just happened to call when we were so busy we were going potty . She says 'do you need a shorthand typist?'  And we said 'DO we!'   The Next day she rang up and asked if she could have the job.   We gave her an interview and took her on.   She really is a marvel."

  What sort of person do you have to be?  "You have to be able to work very quickly and be prepared to work all hours. It also helps to be a little crazy."

  I asked the girls to sum up each of the boys as they see them and this is what they told me
Paul:  he is the supreme diplomat,  in fact he could have been a diplomat.

 Ringo is tremendously generous and takes a genuine interest in people. He's also a bit of a clown --a lovable clown.

 John:    fabulous. We all adore him.  He is  terribly witty  and very very sharp and quick.  He's so intelligent it might frighten you.

 George is a bit of a puzzle. He's just nice.  He doesn't say very much but when he wants to say something he just says it. He is funny and helpful.

 “The appeal of all of them is that they could quite easily just be the boy next door. They all make you feel as if you matter. John might walk passed  you without recognizing you.   I think he seems to see people’s faces as a blur. But then Ringo comes bounding up and says' hello nice to see you' and then they all remember you and say hello.  Being so close to the boys, it is a little difficult to realize how big they have become. We don't think when talking to them 'good gracious, thousands of girls would give anything to be in my shoes. ‘We just think they are nice  boys to know.”

1 comment:

  1. A fantastic, beautiful article, with some great photos, thanks so much Sara, yet again! Catching up on the whole last week, and it's revelations every post. This one is no exception. Yet again, it's confirmed how cool, and what class acts, they were.