Memories of Working for Apple

I met a lovely lady today called Louise Dryden, whose father, David Goodwin, worked for the Beatles at Apple. He was employed by Alexis Mardas at Apple Electronics at Boston Place and also at Savile Row. She told me loads of stories about her father’s time at Apple, including when Alexis and John Lennon visited him at his place in Harlesden, and asked him to come to work for the Beatles. David designed the electronics that went with the conceptual ‘Plastic Ono Band’ that is seen on the front cover of the single of ‘Give Peace a Chance’. Louise herself remembers going to the infamous Apple Christmas Party in 1968, when John and Yoko played Father and Mother Christmas, and being in Savile Row in the summer of 1969, only to find the Rolling Stones playing in the Apple Studio – they we rehearsing for their Hyde Park gig.

David Goodwin went back to work for Alexis Mardas after they both left Apple. One invention they worked on was a Savile Row suit that was bullet proof. One day Louis went to her father’s place to find the former King of Greece and the deposed King of Spain dressed only in their underwear, waiting to try on their suits. Knowing ‘Magic Alex’ I bet they didn’t work!

Louise has a wonderful coat from the Apple Shop on Baker Street, and an amazing ‘in house’ magazine from Apple, called Gilet De Sauvetage est Sous La Siege, which is French for ‘Lifejacket Under the Seat’ and the subtitle (an Apple a Day is out of the Question)! The cover is designed to look like an official Government document. It’s dated November 1968.

In it is all the gossip from 3 Savile Row. Although an author isn’t credited, most of it seems to be written by Derek Taylor, with contributions from other staff members.

Much of it is hilarious. Here are some highlights:

“Tony Measles Bramwell Best dressed man about Apple, second only Ron Kass….

“Paul wants a garden built on the roof at Savile Row, and so one will be arriving any week now; certainly there will be window boxes by Christmas and bulbs by early spring. A lawn takes longer’.

“Returning from a mission of mercy, Richard overheard two bowler hatted types speaking outside of number 3. “Apple, that’s where all the queers hang out.” Resenting this remark, he expressed his hostility by rudely gesturing with his middle finger up and down. The other party responded by gesturing wit two fingers. Does V stand for victory”

Internal Memo

Date 10th July 1968

From Stephen Maltz

To Everyone

Re 95 Wigmore Street

‘I wish to inform you that under the terms of our lease, we are strictly prohibited from playing any musical instruments ( including tape recorders and record players) on the premises. If there are any complaints from our superior landlords who are above us, or our landlords who are below us, we can be sued for breach of our lease’

[Blogger’s note – Wigmore Street was Apple’s HQ before Savile Row – running a record company without being allowed to play music in the building was something of a disadvantage!]

Internal Memo

Date 30th September 1968

From Derek Taylor

To Neil Aspinall

‘We should pay Joe at Abbey Cars or we will get a solicitors letter, or he will get his legs broken’

 

Map of The Beatles’ London Drawn by John Lennon!!!

Thanks to Alan G Parker for letting me share this. A map of the Beatles’s London, drawn by John Lennon on a copy of the White Album!! An amazing find I’ve never seen before. It includes so many sites, of course Abbey Road, but also Chapel Street, where Brian Epstein lived; Mason’s Yard, the site of the Indica Art Gallery, where John met Yoko; and St Anne’s Court, the site of Trident Studios. Also included is Montagu Square, where John Lived with Yoko; Marylebone Station, where the opening scenes of  A Hard Day’s Night were shot; and Green Street, where the Beatles all lived in same apartment.

I’m guessing it was done in the 1970s – as the Royal Courts of Justice are included, where Paul sued John, George and Ringo, in 1971,to bring in administrators at Apple. Enquiries are being made as to exactly when the map was drawn, and what what purpose. I will of course keep you informed!

What a find!!

 

Update: I thought it was too good to be true! Thanks to Simon Weitzman, who had told me the map was actually designed by artist David Atkinson, who drew it in the style of John Lennon. He was commissioned to do the maps by Q Magazine. I knew I’d see it somewhere before, but couldn’t remember where! David Atkinson will feature in Simon’s Here There And Everywhere – The Beatles Fan Film.

Remembering George Martin

Sir George Martin was born on this day in 1926. I was lucky enough to meet him on many occasions, and always found him to be a very charming man.

In the studio Sir George was very much the 5th Beatle.

Pic I took of Sir George Martin in Studio 2 of Abbey Road Studios, at the launch of the history of Abbey Road book

New Issue of British Beatles Fanclub Magazine Now Available

Issue 64 (now there is a Beatley number for you!) of the excellent British Beatles Fanclub magazine is now available.

It includes:

  • Editorial
  • The Beatles A Day In The Life
  • Media Watch
  • Coming Up-Forthcoming Events
  • On the Bus with The Beatles
  • The Beatles NOT For Sale
  • Magical Mystery Tour…50 years on
  • The Decca Auditions; Part 1
  • The Beatles and their cars
  • Paperback Writers
  • Beatles Boots
  • Try Some, Buy Some-New Releases
  • Harry Nilsson and The Beatles
  • Crap Photo of the Month

To order the new issue, and for more info on the club, go to http://www.britishbeatlesfanclub.co.uk/p/magazine.html

Yoko Congratulates Ringo on his Knighthood

Yoko One has publicly congratulated Ringo Starr on his Knighthood. On her Facebook page she wrote:

“Dear Sir Ringo
I am very happy that you have received this honour from the Queen. It’s about time! Huge congratulations! I am delighted for you and your family. It is an honour for everyone in The Beatles family and I love you very much.
love, hugs and kisses,
yoko x”

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my readers! Thanks for your support during 2017 – I hope you’ll keep coming back in 2018! There will be lots to look forward to this year, like Ringo going to Buckingham Palace to get his knighthood! Also look out for a special 50th anniversary release of the ‘White Album’ in November.

On a more personal note, my London Beatles Walks will continue throughout the year, and I hope to bring you some news about some new tours I will be doing very soon! Keep on looking on http://www.beatlesinlondon.com for updates!

Have a great year everyone, and check back here soon :>)

Why Beatles’ Star Club Tapes Best Represent the Group’s Early Bar-Band Spirit

Any deep-delver into the Beatles‘ catalog is familiar with those raging pockets of sound where this band, so often remembered for their beautiful melodies and graceful harmonic transitions, could be one badass mother of a group.

It’s easy to list favorites indicative of this hell-for-leather slant: the guitar duel on the second side of Abbey Road, the grinding metal-fuzz of “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey,” the jagged, overdriven rhythm and blues coda to “Money.”

But often overlooked are the recordings the Beatles made at Christmastime 1962, all the evidence that exists of this unit as a literal bar band. They are the toughest recordings the Beatles ever made, the rawest, the most fun, perhaps, judging by their comments while making them, and maybe the most purely Beatles-esque, for it was a badass mother of a band the Beatles first set out to be, not the sonic wizards of a Revolver or a Sgt. Pepper. For more click here