Gary James' Interview With Beatles Biographer
It's a title that only Hunter Davies can claim. He is the only man to have written the Authorized Biography of The Beatles, which was published in 1968.
Q - Your book on The Beatles came out in 1968. Was it too early in their career to write their story?
A - At the time it seemed too early, but I was not to know they would part two years after my book came out, in 1970. So, my book by default, became the only authorized biography of The Beatles, which I never knew while working on it.
Q - How much access and co-operation did you get from The Beatles?
A - I had full and co-operation from all of them, their parents, friends, and associates. So many of then now dead.
Q - If there was any criticism about the book from The Beatles, and I'm really not sure what to call it, it came from John Lennon. He called your book a "New York Times account." I have no idea what that means. Do you?
A - At the time it did seem a shattering expose as the U.S. papers said, but John later said it was a white wash because I did not mention their orgies and sleeping around, but I did have drugs in the book. But nothing was censored. They were all married or in happy relationships, so I did not want to write about the groupies, though everyone at the time knew about them. I rang John to complain when he said it was a white wash and he said, "You know me. I say anything."
Q - You were on good terms with The Beatles for several years prior to writing the book, weren't you?
A - Paul came to spend a holiday with me and my family in Portugal in 1969 with Linda when he had just met her. Paul regularly invites me to his parties. I have lost track with Ringo as he lives in the U.S.
Q - Why did Brian Epstein put that clause in the contract that said no one would have access to The Beatles for two years after your book came out?
A - It was his idea to put it in.
Q - Have you read any book(s) on The Beatles that you particularly liked?
A - I list the best other Beatles books in various editions of my book.
Q - What do you think about Mark Lewisohn writing three volumes on The Beatles story?
A - It's a tremendous undertaking, well worth doing. He is the world's Beatles expert. I know.