Square Queries Get Doodled Replies
Question: Is it true that you borrow harmonic ideas from the Baroque era?
Lennon: I don’t know what a baroque is. I wouldn’t know a Handel from a Gretel.
From this, you may guess the Beatles are cordial to interviewers who manage to get through their inner line of defense systems, but that’s the easy part. John Lennon, 25, who plays the bass guitar, writes songs, composes tunes and authors books in his spare time, was sitting with the other three Beatles at a dining table in the visitor’s’ dressing room at Candlestick Park.
With them was Joan Baez, the folk singer. All five were absorbed in doodling on the tablecloth and on scraps of paper. They had felt-tip pens.
Another questions: some of your latest tunes are too complex for amateurs and others to play by ear. Is that on purpose?
Lennon: We just laughed as we made our last LP and said, ‘They’ll have a hard time faking these tunes.’ It was either that or the possibility of the Eleanor Rigby Twist.
He was doing a landscape in blue on the tablecloth. Paul McCartney, 24, the most talented singer in the group, was making abstract designs of a sort popular with the psychedelic crowd.
“We were just talking about the downfall,” he said answering a question about What Will Happen Eventually to the Beatles. “We were really saying that it doesn’t matter, actually.”
McCartney was wearing a bright tomato-red sport jacket and a sweater with broad red and white stripes. He was asked to comment on the assertion that the Beatles are harbingers of a social revolution among the young.
“Fine,” he said, not looking up, “It’s about time.”
Lennon said, “Anybody wanting to join the party just send a stamped envelope to the Defense Fund.” He didn’t say which.
Ringo Starr, at 27 the dean of the Beatles was wearing a polka-dot shirt with a high collar. He had removed his blue-tinted granny spectacles.
“What’s a yellow submarine?” he said when asked about a current hit tune which he sings nearly on key. “It’s nothing, just one of those silver ones painted yellow.”
Lennon was equally anxious that no one should read profound meanings into Beatles songs. Miss Baez began to hum another current hit, “Eleanor Rigby,” with differs radically from the usual rock n roll style of the Beatles. “It’s beautiful,” she said. “Eleanor Rigby is just a song,” said Lennon. “That’s all.”
On his corduroy coat was a nametag, “Moses.” Lennon said he borrowed it from a private patrolman in Los Angeles. Except to indicate that he was misunderstood on the question of the Beatle popularity versus that of the Church, Lennon steered clear of hot topics.
Miss Baez began to blow on a finger ring. It made a siren sound. Lennon had a similar ring and he did the same. So far as anyone knows, they didn’t come any closer than 25 feet to a teenager.