An interview with John Junkin

by Ken Michaels

(Thanks to Ken Michaels for letting us post this.)

KM: Let’s start by talking about your early beginnings. You started, I believe, as a writer before being an actor.

JJ: That’s right, yup. A wonderful man called Spike Milligan wrote a thing called the Goon Show, which I think is known over here. I found his telephone number by accident, rang him up, and he said, “Take a script in.” I saw him, he read my script, and he said, “Okay, I think you can write. Join the agency.”

KM: What kind of writing specifically did you… was it just for Spike or for other actors?

JJ: Oh, no, no, no. The very first script I ever wrote was a five-minute one-man Goon Show for Peter Sellers, and after that, I was a teacher. I quit teaching, joined the agency, met up with a couple of other out-of-work writers, and we worked together for five years, including a man called Terry Nation. He invented the Daleks, if you’ve ever seen Dr. Who, and lived very well off them for about 20 years (laughs).

KM: While you were working on the Goon Show, wasn’t Richard Lester the director at the time?

JJ: He was.

KM: And (AHDN screenwriter) Alun Owen was doing what exactly?

JJ: Alun Owen was an actor, and I was stagestruck (I still am stagestruck.) I used to go to as many rehearsals as I could. And there was another very funny man in the program called Eric Sykes, and one week I went to the rehearsals and Dick said, “John, you’re going to have to be in the dueling sketch with Alun.” I wasn’t an actor at all. I said, “Why?” He said, “Well, Eric’s not well, we’ve already got the costume, and you’re the only one it will fit.” Now there’s casting in depth if you like. So I did the little running gag of two duelists, and I did it with Alun Owen, and that was fine, and I didn’t see him (Alun) for… six years!

KM: So you never had any inclination; you never really wanted to be an actor at all.

JJ: It had never occurred to me that it was possible, because I had no training, I knew nobody in the business, I’d never been to drama school. And believe it or not, it was Alun Owen who started it again, because he came into a club I was in one night and said hello. I said, “What are you up to?” He said, “I’ve stopped acting; I write.” “Really? You’ve got anything done?” He said, “I’ve had two plays on television, and I’m going to have one done shortly by Joan Littlewood’s theatre,” which was a fantastic workshop theatre in the East End. And then one day, three years later, in walked Alun Owen. He said, “I think I’ve got a job for you.” I said, “What?” He said, “It’s a bit in a film.” “Oh yeah, why?” And Alun said, “When I write I always try to picture somebody that I know as the character. It doesn’t have to be like them or even sound like…(he said) I just like to picture them. And I’m doing this film about a pop group, and they’ve got two road managers, and I’ve been thinking of Norman Rossin gton and you. Therefore, the least I can do is put you up for the part.” So I said, “Fine.” And he said, “I must warn you, they’re from Liverpool. They’re lovely lads but they’re very nervous, and they want to be surrounded by genuine scouses. So the minute you meet them, you’ve got to start and you don’t stop doing it until you leave them.” “Well, fine, okay.”

KM: But you weren’t born in Liverpool.

JJ: No, I was born in London.

KM: But you could put yourself over as a Liverpudlian.

JJ: (Laughs) Yeah. So the next day we went along and met Walter Shenson, the producer, and the four boys, who were lovely. And we’re sitting, chatting, and I said to George, “George, can you tell me something about Mal,” who was their road manager, because I was supposed to be playing him in the film. He said, “You’re not going to do an impersonation of him, are you?” I said, “No, no, I just want to know what kind of fellow he was, you know, give me an idea of how to play it.” He said, “I’ll tell you what. We just got back from America yesterday, and this morning our guitars turned up in Iceland!” I said, “Fine, I’ll do him” (laughs). But we started filming, and we’re about three or four weeks into it, and the boys went to do a pop show called “Ready Steady Go.” They said, “Are you coming, Junkin? Come on, Junkin,” throw me in the car, and we went to the studio, the four of them and me. It was very funny because the producer was a very pompous little man, who assumed that I actually was their road manager, and kept saying, “Get the boys a drink. Fill the glasses…,” and they were killing themselves. “Yes, come on, Junkin. Get that wine over there.” Suddenly, the door opened and in came a lovely girl called Alma Cogan, who was a singer in England at the time, beautiful girl, and she looked at me and she said, “Junkin, what are you doing with this lot?” I’m (saying), “Shush Alma, shush.” “You’re no more Liverpool than I am!” So Lennon fixed me with a very beady eye; he said, “Where exactly are you from, Junkin?” I said, “Well, John, it’s not exactly Liverpool, it’s a little suburb outside. It’s called Eeling,” which is in West London! And he said, “You expletive!” -- but it was never mentioned again.

KM: So before you were hired to be in A Hard Day’s Night, obviously, you must have heard of the Beatles at that point…

JJ: I had heard of them, and I remember having the television on one night, and I couldn’t hear a word they were singing, so I gave up, because the kids were screaming so much.

KM: You didn’t hear their music on the radio?

JJ: No, no. First time I saw them was the first time I met them. I had no good will, I had no ill will. As far as I was concerned, they represented a job, you know. And then I found out they were nice fellows, and the more I knew them, the more impressed… I think they’re the most fabulous bunch of blokes I ever worked with.

KM: When you witnessed the Beatles in this film acting, as a professional actor yourself, did you see that they had any potential in that field?

JJ: They were all naturals. They walked into it to the manor born. They took the script. They learned the lines. They got up; they said them exactly as themselves. Now, that sounds silly, but it’s a very hard thing to play yourself, and they did it easily. They did it amongst themselves. They did it with me, with Norman, with Victor, and absolutely effortless. And the nice thing was that they each had a different sense of humor, but they all mixed in together.

KM: In the DVD, I saw an interview with Richard Lester, where he pointed out George more so than the others. He was more impressed with George because George didn’t have a lot to say, he didn’t have too many lines in the movie, but he was perfect. He didn’t overdo anything. Whatever was necessary, whatever was required of him, that’s what he gave.

JJ: George was a very, very bright man, and very funny. But his sense of humor (in scouse voice) was just throwaway; he’d just say it, and if you laughed, that was good, and if you didn’t he didn’t care, you know. Nice man. But if you’ve seen the film…

KM: Many times!

JJ: I mean, when you see Ringo on that canal bank trying to kick that… that is a physical bit of comedy which is quite brilliant. That’s worthy of Harpo Marx. I thought they were all absolute naturals. It gets boring -- people say, “Don’t you know anything nasty about them?” I said, “Nope.” They may have done very nasty things before or after, but I filmed with them for six weeks all day, and went out with them most evenings to eat or to a disco or whatever, and they were the most amiable, pleasant, generous company you could ever wish for.

KM: I ask that question because sometimes when we talk about the Beatles as actors some people will say, “Well, I think John was the most natural,” and you know Ringo went on to have a film career. And how did you feel about his career as an actor?

JJ: I just think that it’s a shame that they didn’t make a second film with Dick expanding their characters, letting you know a little more about them before they went off to do Help! Because I think they all had potential to be, it sounds silly to say it, but they had the potential to be the Marx Brothers almost, they really did. And I think if you watch that film again, and watch each one of them, you’ll find that in terms of acting, they are all pretty much up there. They just stand or sit and chat. Not that you can’t see any of them mugging except for John when he means to be mugging, you know, that’s the only time you ever see it, and it was so relaxed, that’s the great thing. And if they did it wrong, “Oh, sorry, Richard, sorry fellahs, right, go again.” And that was it. I have seen lots more temperament from lots less talented people than I saw from those four, I promise you (laughs).

KM: When you look back at that film, are there certain scenes that you can single out as being your favorites that you were in? I can tell you from my perspective, my favorite scene with you in it is the one where George is teaching you how to shave.

JJ: Yes.

KM: I always loved that one.

JJ: That’s one of mine, actually. And you see the other scenes weren’t terribly long. But there’s a lovely bit at the end when I totally betray Norman and he says, “You’re betraying me,” and I say, “Yes.” (Laughs) It was a weird relationship we had there.

KM: How about the “I’m Ringo’s sister” line?

JJ: The truth of that line is we came to shoot the scene; it was actually shot in the casino. And as you know, they all went up, and Norman indicated the boys, and he swept them all in. After we’d rehearsed it a couple of times, Dick said, “Okay, let go for it. Let ‘em all in, but stop John (Junkin).” And I said, “What do I do?” He said, “Get in.” And I said, “I’m with them. I’m Ringo’s sister” (laughs), the first thing that came into my head.

KM: So that was adlibbed?

JJ: Yes (laughs). And the doorman was so surprised he let me in, which was lovely.

KM: It’s great that they kept that in (the film).

JJ: (Laughs) I’m very pleased they did. I didn’t get a fee. Never mind… additional dialogue…

KM: So tell me about Richard Lester and why you consider him a brilliant director in this case. I’ve heard what other people have to say. I want to get it from your perspective.

JJ: Because he captured a wonderful balance between the reality of their lives and the total fantasies that he interpolated. Remember them running along outside the train, and that sort of thing. And it was almost documentary but not quite, and he didn’t try and be fashionable. In the sixties, so many directors were trying to be trendy -- weird and wonderful camera angles, strange clothes, funny shoes, makeup -- he just said no. This is about them. Doesn’t matter whether it’s sixties or thirties or nineties, it’s about them. And that’s what he concentrated on. I just think he achieved a brilliant balance.

KM: But he also allowed mistakes to happen in the film, too.

JJ: Oh yeah!

KM: And he would capture that, too.

JJ: Oh yes. If it works, Dick would always leave it in. If one of the boys threw a line in and they thought it was funny, he would leave it in. Always, oh yes, plenty of scope.

KM: What I love most about the film is that a lot of attention was given to each of the four of them, where each personality was outlined, and so you’d walk away from the film knowing who each of the four of them are. And also every single scene is just so short. Anyone with a short attention span would love a movie like this. It was done very much in a TV style that later to me was copied on, well, Monty Python or Laugh-In.

JJ: He’s had a lot of imitators, Dick, absolutely. I don’t know if you read the great quote where someone said he was the father of MTV and he demanded a blood test (laughs).

KM: Yeah, I’ve heard that said many times. Now you were talking about that touch of surrealism that he would put into A Hard Day’s Night. He also used that quite a lot in How I Won The War, which you were in.

JJ: I wasn’t actually in that; this is a mistake that’s grown up. Dick offered me a part in it, and I said yes, and then I couldn’t do it, and then I could, and then it finished up on the cutting room floor anyway, but my name was on the cast list.

KM: So you weren’t anywhere in the film?

JJ: I doubt if you’ll find me. You can look through it, but… no.

KM: I thought you had a small part in there.

JJ: I did, and it was cut out.

KM: In the final cut, you were not in there?

JJ: No.

KM: Well, how did you feel about that film anyway, even though you weren’t in it?

JJ: I quite enjoyed it. I thought it was… I don’t know… I thought it was too heavy for John (Lennon) after such a short experience in acting. I thought it was laying a lot on him. I mean, he coped wonderfully, but I think a bit more… couple more years experience and he’d have been better.

KM: From what I had heard, the book of How I Won The War was very lighthearted. It was more like a Hogan’s Heroes or a TV-MASH, but the movie version was just very gory and…

JJ: It was as I’m saying; it was too heavy I think, yeah.

KM: Tell me about the other actors in A Hard Day’s Night, like Norman Rossington. The two of you worked so well together as a team.

JJ: Oh, the funny thing is Norman and I had done about six shows together. We’d been truck drivers, we’d been criminals, all sorts of things. For some unknown reason, people seemed to think (which we did actually) work well together.

KM: Shows, you mean in the theatre?

JJ: No, television. And we were always very confident that you could rely on the other one, if you know what I mean. We weren’t a team, but we’d worked with each other well enough to know that what he did would work, and so you went along with it. And a very professional man Norman, as you could see. But he always played that little pugnacious devil, you know, and it was so lovely that all that “I’m taller than you, you’re shorter than me…”

KM: How did that come about? That was all Alun Owen’s idea, I guess.

JJ: Yup, that was Alun. Alun actually did provide a very, very strong script. Yes, the lads adlibbed, you know, and so did I. But if they’d stuck to Alun’s script, I don’t think the film would have lost much thereby. It was a very good script.

KM: Were there any problems at all in the dialogue, because there are certain words like, for example, “come ‘ead.” I never heard the Beatles ever use that word after A Hard Day’s Night, so I’m thinking, was that really used a lot in Liverpool?

JJ: Oh yes, it was. “Come ‘ead, let’s go,” you know, that sort of thing. Um, “let’s get going, let’s move.”

KM: And grotty?

JJ: Oh, grotty was well, yeah. And a sarnie or a butty. That was the nice thing…

KM: Grotty wasn’t a word that was conjured up; that was one that had already been used?

JJ: Oh yes, they were all used. See, Alun lived in Liverpool; he was picking up what he knew. And all the boys would go into the dressing room, “You want a sarnie, Junkin?” “Yeah.” “Oh, go get him a sarnie, Mal.” It was all part of their vocabulary.

KM: I only ask that because I never heard them use those words after the movie.

JJ: Well you wouldn’t, except outside Liverpool, I don’t suppose. A lot of people use sarnie now; that’s become very common, prevalent. But it’s Liverpool patois, I suppose, and the funny thing was somebody said they wanted to put subtitles in the film. Did you know that? Or revoice it.

KM: No.

JJ: Apparently, when they first heard the accents, they said, “Oh, we’ll have to revoice it,” and of course once the lads had been over here, appeared, everybody was “No, no, leave it alone.”

KM: You mentioned Mal Evans before. Did you ever meet him?

JJ: Oh sure, he was there the whole time. He never uttered a word of praise or blame, that’s all I can say. He just carried on being Mal, getting the sarnies and the tea.

KM: How about Wilfrid Brambell? What are your memories of working with him?

JJ: Wilfrid I’d worked with a couple of times before. Very good actor, very precise little man, you know. What you saw, that neat buttoned-up thing, that was quite Wilfrid when he was performing. I did an experimental half-hour comedy with him and a wonderful actor called Roy Kinnear…

KM: Who was (Algernon ) in Help!

JJ: He was indeed, and the three of us played Victorian seamen; the BBC were making it. And they have a wonderful thing -- I don’t think they have them over here but they used to have them in London called “saveloys,” which is a sausage-type thing which is about six inches long, and they’re boiled instead of fried or grilled. And in one scene, we had to go into this pub, and an argument ensued or something, but during it I had to take a saveloy and start eating it. We did this, and they said, “Cut,” so (I put it) down, okay, another saveloy, “Cut.” Five times the director said “Again!” and the props man said, “We’ve run out of saveloys, gov’nor,” and they stuck two bits together with tape (laughs). But Wilfrid again was on that, totally different character but exactly the same attitude to his work.

KM: Yeah, he was so perfect in that role as Paul’s grandfather.

JJ: Oh, absolutely.

KM: Did you keep in touch with the Beatles after A Hard Day’s Night?

JJ: I did for about a year or so. I think when they got into the Maharishi bit is when I lost touch with them. When they went to India, which I was quite sad about, because I saw mostly John and George, Paul was away with the ladies, and Ringo was anywhere. We used to say, “You going somewhere tonight, Ringo?” “Nah, I’m going to Rudy’s pad for the weekend.” Rudy was the son of the Duke of Bedford. I imagine it was Bedford Palace or wherever it was. But that was Ringo. George I saw a lot of, and John, and very fond of both of them. They’re very easy to talk to. John -- I’m extremely proud of this -- John said to me one night, we were having a discussion in a club, and I said something, in answer to whatever he’d said. He said, “ I like you, Junkin.” I said, “I’m very glad, John. Why?” He said, “You argue with me.” I said, “Well, you do talk a load of flaming rubbish.” He said, “I know I do. See, what people don’t realize is I talk a lot of flaming rubbish because I want people to argue with me , and they don’t. I could knock a nail in a piece of wood, say it was art, and they’d agree with me. But you, you argue. I like you” (laughs).

KM: That’s good. I’ve gotten that impression from the Beatles that they want people around them not to be afraid to say whatever you feel.

JJ: Absolutely right, that’s absolutely spot-on. They hated fawning people, you know, people who came around and offered them a free meal or this or that, because they wanted to be associated with a Beatle.

KM: Were there any scenes at all in A Hard Day’s Night that were difficult to shoot that you remember? Or the most fun for you?

JJ: The whole thing, I mean, that is literally true. It was a joy, because there was no temperament, there were no dramas, there’s no difficulties. Everybody got on, everybody appreciated everybody else’s sense of humor, and so on, and there were retakes, of course there were. But I think the difficult one presumably (was) the theatre at the end, you know -- the show. And that was ridiculous because those kids’ noise… I was told, I hadn’t heard it before, while we were in L.A., that one of the cameramen had to go to the dentist because the noise had loosened his teeth. That is scary.

KM: That’s on the DVD. The cameraman’s talking about it.

JJ: That’s right! They used to come into Marylebone Station; they used to try dropping them off at a different place. Somehow or other the kids always found it. And they just came into Marylebone Station and there was 8,000 of them, and policemen holding them back. And I said to John one night, “What do you reckon would happen if there were no policemen here, John?” And he thought… he said, “I think they’d kill us.” And I laughed. He said, “No, I’m serious.” “Why would they kill you, they’re your fans.” He said, “Yeah, but you see, all they want to do is see a Beatle. Now if the policemen aren’t there, all they want to do is touch a Beatle. That’s the front row. Second row wants a souvenir, a button off your jacket or your lapel. Third row wants anything that’s left. Fourth row will start tearing lumps of skin off you. We’d be dead before we got to the back.”

KM: I always loved the scene very early in the film where you’re running out of the train, or you’re trying to catch up with the Beatles, and you’re carrying their equipment, I think their guitars, and they leave you behind.

JJ: Yeah (laughs). Yes, that was deliberate. It wasn’t really a physically slapstick film, but it had a lot of good visual moments in it, I think.

KM: Well, there’s some slapstick in there.

JJ: Oh sure, yeah.

KM: Since you’ve done TV, film, and theatre, do you have a preference?

JJ: Given a preference, theatre.

KM: And why is that?

JJ: Because it’s immediate. You go out there and you do it, and if you want a reaction you get it, or you don’t, but you get it immediately. And you can go out night after night and do the same thing, and one night there’s no laughs there and you think, “What’s happened? I don’t know. What have I done wrong?” And that keeps you on your toes. I did Odd Couple for 16 weeks on tour…

KM: Which part?

JJ: Come on! Can you see me as Felix? (Laughs) But there again, I did it with a brilliant comedy actor called Roy Castle in England, and we didn’t mess about. We never messed about with it, but we messed about with the timing sometimes, you know just to see if we could squeeze one more laugh out of it. And it’s very funny because there was a line in there towards the end where Oscar is beginning to despair of Felix, and he says to the rest of the poker school it’s got to stop: “Do you know what he was planning for next week’s game? A luau.” And I could never get a laugh with that line. I tried “a Hawaiian luau.” I tried “an Elizabethan banquet.” I did everything with it. And last year, when Jack Klugman came over to England, I saw him for the first time. I said, “Jack, how did you get the laugh on that line?” He said, “I didn’t get a laugh on it; forget it! (Laughs)

KM: They should’ve changed it.

JJ: No, you don’t change Neil Simon.

KM: Talk a little bit about Peter Sellers, and what it was like to work with him. When I spoke to Victor (Spinetti), he was telling me that Peter Sellers is a strange character to work for. The scene (in Return of the Pink Panther) that Victor’s in, the concierge in that film, and the famous line, “I would like a room,” that whole bit. There were funnier bits other than that. But Peter Sellers wouldn’t allow it in the film, probably because he didn’t want anyone else to look better than him.

JJ: That is entirely… He was an enormously insecure man. I was quite surprised to find that, because he was riding high on success when I first met him, but he was enormously insecure. And when you talked to him, you’d get about the first four lines from Peter Sellers, and all the rest were characters that he played. I think he was happiest during the Goon Show, because I’d met him quite a few times after he’d hit the top, and inevitably at some stage during the evening he would say, “Do you remember the good old days, Johnny, when we used to go to the Camden?” They did three or four recordings back to back, which were bliss -- I mean the audience just carried them along. He adored Harry (Secombe) and Spike (Milligan), and made a very good living. I think he was ambitious enough to take the chances on the films, but I don’t think he was ever happier than when he was doing the Goon Show.

KM: How did that recording come about of A Hard Day’s Night that you did with Peter Sellers?

JJ: I had been talking to George Martin, who I’d known for a long time, and I said, “George, it’s time for Peter to do another LP.” He said, “Well, it’s not a bad idea, is it? You got any stuff?” I said, “Well, I’ve got bits and pieces at home.” He said, “Let’s go and see Peter.” So we went up and he said, “Yeah, that’s a nice idea.” And we started talking about… I actually wrote two pieces, and one was called “She Was A Right Bird.” But then I said to George, “Why don’t you get him to do…,” because the Olivier impression had made an enormous impression on people, very memorable. I said, “Why don’t you get him to do A Hard Day’s Night as Olivier?” And he said, “That’s a good idea.”

KM: So you told George Martin that?

JJ: Hmm, hmm. And he went to the studio and they said yes, and of course it went to #1. And I phoned up EMI very pleased, and I said, “What do I get for royalties?” And they said, “What for?” I said, “A Hard Day’s Night.” He said, “Did you write it?” I said, “No.” “Did you perform on it?” I said, “No.” He said, “What did you do?” I said, “I thought of it.” He said, “We don’t pay royalties for ideas.” (Laughs) So I didn’t make anything out of it.

KM: Did you ever hear from the Beatles, and what they thought of that recording?

JJ: Oh yes, I think they enjoyed it, because they were great Goon fans, you see, and fans of Peter, obviously. Yeah, they weren’t in the least upset that we tampered with their material.

KM: Had you worked with Victor Spinetti before A Hard Day’s Night?

JJ: No, we had never worked… We’ve known each other 30 odd years I suppose. That was the only time we ever worked together. And until this came up, this trip (to promote the DVD), I don’t think we’d seen each other in 25 years. We got on the QE2 and we started talking in Southampton. We finished in New York. We did nonstop stories and gossip -- all sorts of things -- wonderful, great.

KM: I heard you have a fear of flying.

JJ: Oh yeah. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. If I knew, I could probably cure it, but it is totally irrational… I have no nasty experiences, no problems whatsoever. I flew to the States, I flew to Europe, and I was filming in Scotland for a series called Dr. Finlay’s Casebook in the late 60’s, I think it was. Flew up to Glasgow, did the scenes. Flew down again, beautiful August day, cloudless sky, no wind. The plane landed and I got off and I thought, “I don’t ever want to do that again.” And the feeling was so strong, I thought I’ll go with it.

KM: I’ve heard that you’ve written a lot of songs.

JJ: I have, yeah.

KM: That Doris Day recorded.

JJ: Doris Day recorded one, that’s all. A wonderful lady who died only three months ago called Marian Montgomery, from Natchez (Mississippi), and an English singer called Matt Monroe recorded quite a few, and another English singer called Tony Christie, who used to work over here quite a lot, and he recorded some.

KM: Were any of your songs hits?

JJ: Nah!!! I was of the era of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, so that’s the kind of stuff I write, you know. And it’s odd you should say that because going right back to John Lennon, a friend of mine and I did actually write in cold blood six beat numbers, and we made demos of them, and I said to John, “Would you listen to them?” He said, “Yeah, bring ‘em over to the house.” So I went over, and we played these records, and he’d sat absolutely still and quiet and listened to them. He said, “Do you mind if I ask you something?” So I said, “No.” He said, “Did you write these to make money?” I said, “To be honest with you John, yeah.” “Well,” he said, “All I can tell you is, for me, it shows. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they’re not songs I’d be interested in because I don’t feel there’s any heart in them. What you should do is write what you like, and hope someday other people like it, too.” He said, “And that’s what we did.” A very good piece of advice.

KM: Did they ever indicate… did any of the Beatles want you in their other films? Did they ever talk about that?

JJ: I’ve no idea. After I did the film, I was working like crazy, you know. I had tellies coming in like mad, which was great. I’ve no idea. I think most of that was after India, which was when I lost touch with them. So maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. But I’ll tell you what -- just doing that one was good enough for me (laughs).

KM: I know this is a very simple question, but people ask me almost 40 years later why this film stands up, and maybe some people feel it’s only because it’s a Beatles movie.

JJ: No.

KM: And I think it goes far beyond being a Beatles movie. But what is it that makes this film so special that so many years later, people are still talking about it and enjoying it?

JJ: It is about… as I say, Dick Lester ignored time, he ignored fashion, he ignored trendy. He said these are four interesting, funny lads. Let’s do a potty version of a day in their life. That’s all it was about. It’s almost a documentary, except that it’s funny. And that’s what I think it is. It’s timeless because it wasn’t placed in time. We (just) did the film at Grauman’s Egyptian in L.A., and it was quite incredible, I would say. The youngest in the crowd were about 12, and the oldest were about 80, and they were all Beatles fans! There’s no grudging, it’s open and generous, exactly like the lads were themselves. And you can sit and talk to them. They don’t feel you’re condescending to them because you’re talking about the same subject, and you both have the same degree of affection for them. It really was delightful to do.

KM: Thank you, John.

JJ: It was a pleasure.

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