5/28/09 - the beatles' van

In today's encore excerpt - the Beatles pay their dues and drive their van. Post-Hamburg but pre-Shea Stadium, the not-yet-world-famous Beatles faced regular and long road trips through England:

GEORGE: "After the Hamburg period we were driving up and down, doing gigs at the BBC in London a lot. ...

RINGO: "There are lots of driving stories. This is how a band gets close: in the van, going up and down the M1, freezing your balls off, fighting for the seats. ... There'd be the passenger seat for one of us, and the other three -- whichever three, the rest of us, would sit behind on the bench seat which was pretty miserable. ... I remember sliding all over Scotland. It was bloody freezing in the winter. ...

JOHN: But we always got screams in Scotland. I suppose they haven't got much else to do up there. ...

RINGO: "We never stopped anywhere. If we were in Elgin on a Thursday and needed to be in Portsmouth on Friday, we would just drive. ... One night I remember when it was very, very cold, the three of us on the bench seat were lying on top of each other with a bottle of whisky. When the one on top got so cold that hypothermia was setting in, it would be his turn to get on the bottom. We'd warm each other up that way, keep swigging the whiskey, keep going home.

GEORGE: "I had a good crash once. ... The accident had ripped the filler cap off and the petrol was pouring out. We got out and we had to shove T-shirts and things into the hole to try and stop the flow of petrol. ...

RINGO: "Another great van story was when George and Paul were both planning to drive the van. George got into the driving seat and Paul had the keys, and there was no way that one was going to help the other. We couldn't go anywhere. We sat there for two hours. When you're touring, things can be pretty tense sometimes and the littlest thing can turn into a mountain. ...

PAUL: "There were a lot of laughs in the back of the car. ... I can't remember many deep conversations. There was a lot of giggling though."


The Beatles


The Beatles Anthology


Chronicle Books, LLC


Copyright Apple Corps Ltd. 2000


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