Sunday, 18 August 2013
Bizarre Beatles Coincidences - the Frankest Tale of All (buy the book)
My final extract from Bizarre Beatles Coincidences is perhaps the most staggering of all. After this you really will have to buy the book. I call this story ...
"Is there anything you don't like?" George Martin asked at the end of his first session with the boys.
"I don't like your tie," George Harrison cheekily quipped. There was a shocked silence but eventually Martin's patrician features softened into a half-smile and the group were firm friends with the kindly producer ever after.
As a remark it was frank - perhaps unduly so, and insufficiently respectful to Martin (who was, after all, the son of a baronet). As has been well documented, however, it was the sixties and literally everything was changing: girls were having babies on barges and people in Borstal were refusing to complete races. So a frank exchange of views between these Northern lads, good types after all, and the Oxford-educated Martin could only be a good thing. That much is beyond doubt. But what has been hitherto unremarked is just how many "Franks" feature in the Beatles' story. (The name, I mean, not the condition of being candid.)
Coincidence - or something more sinister? You decide.
For example, a cursory listen to the Hamburg tapes, recorded by Bert Kaempfert for Polydor, reveals Paul McCartney singing I Remember You, closely associated with the yodelling Frank Ifield.
That is common knowledge. But did you know that Macca wrote a song for no less a Frank than Frank Sinatra? Clearly, this "Frank" business was in danger of becoming an obsession. Or was it? Yes, it was, and it soon spread to the rest of the group. Ringo succumbed to the mania and asked Sinatra to rerecord Cole Porter's The Lady is a Tramp for his wife's birthday. Clearly the Beatles were spiralling out of control.
If you want to know anymore about this astonishing and hitherto unexplored aspect of the Beatles' lives please visit my kickstarter page - it's the only way you'll get closure.
And for those who think this story farfetched, here is the recording Frank Sinatra made for Maureeen Starkey. Yes, it really is. You've got to admire his "Cahn-do" attitude.