Sunday, October 2, 2016

An Apple Tour

Tonight is a great story about a young man that not only spotted George and Ringo, but was able to take a private tour of Apple in February 1972.    This must have happened a few times to lucky fans, because I own photographs of some female fans taking a tour of Apple in May 1972.      Not offense to Mike, but I found his story a little difficult to read.   I didn't want to mess with his writing style, so I didn't change the grammar and punctuation too much, just a little bit. 

An Apple tour (part 2)
The Write Thing  Feb/March 1985
By Mike Sacchetti

After becoming friendly with Lindsay, one of the Apple security guards, in the summer of 1971, I made sure to stay in touch with him until my next trip to England in February 1972.    This time I traveled with a different group of people.  Just my two roommates were really into the Beatles, the rest of the group was there for the tour of England.  We arrived on a Saturday morning, and after the usual customs and trip to town and jet lag, we decided to catch a nap before going out to see “the sights.”   Our friend Jack, on the other hand was too geared up and wanted to go right out.  We weren’t in bed in more than an hour when he came rushing back in all excited and telling us to get up – George and Ringo were expected at Apple in a few hours.  Feelings half in the bag, Billy and I decided to go with Jack and warned him that this had better not be a joke.

He explained that he had gone down to Apple and introduced himself to Lindsay as a friend of mine, and said I’d be down in a little while.

Unfortunately, this was a cold and windy day, which made waiting around not very desirable, but I guess it’s just the thought of seeing one of the Beatles that gives you a kind of shot of extra endurance (witness the Apple Scruffs).  On the way to Apple, I stopped and bought a gift for Lindsay.  He’s been very nice to me, writing back and forth for some 6-7 months and made it seem like we were old friends.  When we finally got to Apple there must have been about ten people already there also waiting around.  My first thought was, hell, we’ll never even get in the lobby.  We attempted to speak to a few other fans, one or two of them were ok, but those wonderful Scruffs were a bit rude and certainly much too possessive.

I decided to go up to the door and knock to see if I might get a quick hello in with Lindsay.  To my surprise when he came to the door he smiled and kept shaking my hand and asked us to come in for a minute.  I gave him the gift and we chatted about a million things in 15 minutes.  He said our friend Jack was right; George and Ringo were due that afternoon.  We said, we’d go back out so he didn’t get in any kind of trouble.  Before we left though he said that if we weren’t too tired, after George and Ringo left about three or four in the morning he would call us at our hotel and have us come back for a “special treat.”  We said “DEFINITELY.  We thought to ourselves, “what in God’s name could it be??”

Back outside we took some pictures of the building and hung out.  Finally about 4pm a white Mercedes pulled up and a couple of the girls began to get excited.  As the car drew closer you could see inside and lo and behold, Mr. George Harrison was at the wheel.  Poor George had to parallel park, and I must say it was one of the funniest things we saw on the whole trip.  He must have tried it eight to ten times before he finally got it right.  And even though it was a bit comical, still I realized a serious case of nerves were kicking in.  For those of you who have not actually seen one of them up close, let me tell you—your senses kind of get confused for the first few minutes.  Then your mind starts to think, ‘what do I say?’
George's white Mercedes--this is the same car he would crash later the same month 

When George finally got out of the car, he was only ten or fifteen feet away so we could see him quite clearly.  He was thinner than I thought he’d be, not as tall either.  He had an army fatigue jacket on and jeans.   From the other side of the car another guy got out who turned out to be Klaus Voorman.  They both walked over to the trunk and took out a couple of guitars and proceeded to walk by us.  I said a simple, “Hello George,” and he replied “hello” back.  He looked very much like he did in “Bangla-Desh.”

Suddenly this guy who had been waiting around all day, reached out and grabbed George by the arm.  He looked very alarmed and Klaus kind of grabbed the guy’s arm and gave him a silly push.  Something was said that I couldn’t hear.  George also spoke a couple of words to the girls who were Scruffs and then dashed in.

Ringo interviewed at Apple in March 1972

Not more than 15 minutes later a green Jaguar pulled up, but the driver didn’t look familiar.  Then from the passenger side, Ringo just bounced right out.  He too looked pretty much like he did in Bangla-Desh.  He had a full length fur coat on and his looked a bit greasy.  He did a quick pace right by everyone, not giving us time for pictures or hellos.

Afterwards we babbled on over what we saw and about what a great accomplishment it was on our first day in England, seeing half of the Beatles. 

Back to our hotel for rest and food.  Then about three in the morning the phone rang in the room and it was Lindsay saying to come over to the Apple if we weren’t too tired.  Well, we were, but we didn’t tell him that.  His surprise had to be something for him to call us over in the middle of the night.  Lindsay was looking out for us when we got there about 4am.  He seemed happy to see us again.  And our curiosity was driving us crazy!

Lindsay wanted some pictures together, so we took a few in the lobby, doing various poses.  Then Lindsay told us the surprise was a complete tour of the Apple building.  I must say without sounding too boastful, that I don’t know many fans who ever had the opportunity to see “the inner sanctum.”

So after the pictures, we headed to the door to the right, it was a waiting room of sorts with a stereo and magazines and a large picture of the Beatles.   By the way, the lobby had a couch, a desk for the receptionist and several different covers of Beatle albums framed on the walls.  The place was mainly white and green (like the apple).  The place got quite untidy as we left the reception area and went up the stairs.  Believe it or not, there were gold framed LPs and 45’s just sitting on the floor or leaning here or there.  It’s funny now, years later, as I see the prices of things at auctions and conventions.  I could see how many items got into so many different people’s hands.

  So up the stairs and into the private offices.  First Ringo’s.  Lindsay told us he was involved in a contemporary furniture company.  There was a large egg-shaped chair that was hollowed out and you could sit in it and listen to music playing in the built-in speakers.  For its time, it was strange.   Then Paul’s office—there was a beautiful picture of him and John over the back wall, one I’d never seen before.  On the wall over the fireplace was a basic white wooden chair, sawn in half and just hung up there!  As we walked by his desk, I noticed a stack of 45s and I picked one up.  Lindsay said it was Paul’s new record due out that week.  It was “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” and these were promo copies.  He gave us each one.

From there we went into a small room which turned out to be a private screening room, with lush leather seats, but also pretty messy.  The projection room was right up from there.  This was probably my favorite, if there was any room I wish I could go back and spend some time in.  there was a wall 30 feet long and ten feet high loaded with cans of 16mm film.  The tape on the outside listed the contents: “J & P in India” “Studio Feb ‘66”, “Takes 4/5/6/7 MMT” etc.  I was going crazy!  Just imagine these films exist somewhere.  If only the Beatles fans of the world could enjoy them.  What good are they sitting in cans?

Back downstairs we went into a little kitchen and Lindsay made some tea for us.  Then he said, ‘let me give you some souvenirs before you go.’  He went into some filing cabinets and took out four copies of each item for us.  Promo pics of each of the Beatles, Badfinger, Mary Hopkin, and a beautiful magazine with pictures, telling of the opening of Apple recording studios, and some 45’s.  He also gave us a set of Apple matches sealed in plastic with the Apple logo and some Happy Christmas stickers.

After tea, we went downstairs to the new studios where the Beatles were to record, but obviously never did (as a group).  First we sat at the control board and with the touch of a button the lights came on very gradually in the studio.  Everything was brand new and beautiful.  The piano was just magnificent.  We all got to play a couple of notes on it.

By now we had been there about two hours and should have been tired, but it was one of those natural highs that was not going to stop.  Lindsay invited us over to his home for dinner the next night, but we couldn’t because the tour we were on was moving on.  That was the last time I saw Lindsay, and England for that matter.  I’m just sorry I couldn’t stay in touch with him over the years.  Even though I’m sure he won’t get this message, I just want to say a million thank yous for one of the most memorable times in my life. 

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