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Beatles Interviews Database: Beatles Interview: MBE Reaction 6/12/1965
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Recently in the news was an annoncement that the Beatles would be awarded MBE medals by Queen Elizabeth in a royal ceremony later in the year. The MBE, or Members of the Most Honorable Order of the British Empire, is a prestigious annual award. The cermony was to be held on October 26th 1965 at Buckingham Palace.

Their names were put forward for this honor by Harold Wilson, who was a Merseyside member of Parliament and Prime Minister at the time. Wilson would later remember, "I saw the Beatles as having a transforming effect on the minds of youth, mostly for the good. It kept a lot of kids off the streets. They introduced many many young people to music, which in itself was a good thing. A lot of old stagers might have regarded it as idiosyncratic music, but the Mersey sound was a new important thing. That's why they deserved such recognition."

On June 12th following this announcement, the Beatles discussed their reactions with British Calandar News, and also with ITV. Both interviews are presented below.

                                          - Jay Spangler,

British Calandar News Interview:

Q: "Last month, seventy-five teenagers from Pennsylvania petitioned Her Majesty The Queen to have the Beatles knighted. This hasn't happened. But today, I'm pleased to say that they have been made members of the most honorable order of the British Empire. Congratulations, John, George, Ringo and Paul."

BEATLES: "Thanks."

JOHN: (loudly) "Thank you!"

Q: "How did you all react to this?"

JOHN: "Well, I went..." (comical reaction of surprise)


Q: "Which means, in sound?"

JOHN: "Whoopee."

Q: "Well done. George?"

GEORGE: "Well, I sort of went, 'Wow! That's great.'"

PAUL: "About the same."

Q: "Ringo."

RINGO: "Yes. I think we all felt pretty well the same."

Q: "Now last year in America your records sold no less than ten million dollars worth. Do you think your export sales have something to do with this?"

PAUL: "Well, you know, somebody said it might have been that, but you never know. It COULD have been that, but it could have been... THAT."

JOHN: "It might have been the tour in Australia."

GEORGE: (giggles)

Q: "Now, do you think you'll go back to the commonwealth again? This was a sensational visit."

PAUL: "Yeah!"

JOHN: "Well, you know, we probably will. It's up to Mr. Epstein, our manager." (smiles comically into the camera)

(Beatles giggle)

Q: "What does this MBE mean to you all. How are you going to deck out to go to the palace? There's certain protocol to be observed. Are you going to dress up in morning dress?"

JOHN: "Yes, well, I think you've got to, haven't you."

GEORGE: "Yeah. We'll have to."

Q: "What about the haircut, Ringo?"

RINGO: "We're not gonna get it all cut off, you know. Someone said we can carry the hats, so that will be easier."

PAUL: "I think Her Majesty will understand, you know."

Q: "She may well do. From obscurity in a cellar in Liverpool four years ago and now to Buckingham Palace. Gentlemen, what do you think everybody on the other side of the Atlantic is going to say to this?"

PAUL: "Whoopee, I hope."


PAUL: "You never know. They might say Boo, or..."

JOHN: "They might say, uhh, 'Hello, cobber.'"

PAUL: (giggles) "Yeah."

RINGO: "'Hello dair, boys."

PAUL: "Or, 'Howdy, Europe. Texas speaking.'"

Q: "Now two of you have gotten married, and you all live in good domestic splendor. Has this affected your writing, Paul and John?"

PAUL: "No."

JOHN: "No, it's easier to write with cushions than on pieces of hard bench..."


JOHN: "Remember, we were on hard benches before we made it, in an unknown cellar in Liverpool. And it's much easier... on a nice cushion."

Q: "What are your plans for tours for this year and next year?"

PAUL: "We're going to Europe."

GEORGE: "Next week."

RINGO: "Next Sunday."

PAUL: "And then we come back, and then we go off to America."

RINGO: "For two and a half weeks."

PAUL: "And we do the telly."

RINGO: "Oh! We do Ed Sullivan. Good old Ed."

PAUL: "Ed Sullivan. Hi, Ed. (pointing into the camera) Look, he's watching-- He's watching in this one. Look! There he is! Alright, Ed."


PAUL: "There's Mrs. Ed!"

RINGO: (looking into the camera) "And MISTER Ed!!"

(Beatles laugh)

Q: "Have you checked whether you'll be able to wear your MBE's on any of these other foreign television programs?"

JOHN: "Well, I suppose once they've given them to us, we can wear 'em."

PAUL: "Look a bit funny, though, going 'round with medals hanging off, wouldn't you?"

JOHN: "Well, we could wear them on stage."

Q: "Anyway, it hasn't changed your life to any great extent?"

JOHN: "No. We're just honored. That's all."

Q: "Well Beatles... and we're all delighted. Congratulations again to the four of you."

ITV Interview:

Q: "Gentlemen, first of all, many congratulations on your MBE. The whole country seems very delighted indeed, but how do you feel about it, Paul?"

PAUL: "Delighted indeed. You know, I'm glad everyone is delighted. I love it."

Q: But I mean, is it fun for you?"

PAUL: "Yeah, of course. I mean, you know. It'd be fun for you, wouldn't it, if you woke up one morning and they said, 'Muh Buh Ehh.'"


Q: "Ringo, how did you first hear about it?"

RINGO: "Well, we heard about it six weeks ago when we got the forms to fill in. And then we knew that we were gonna get it two days ago, officially."

Q: "How did these forms come? Straight through the post, or in the fan mail, or what?"

RINGO: "Just in brown envelopes. They were delivered by somebody, you know, by hand. I think one of Brian's secretaries..."

GEORGE: (interrupting Ringo) "I'll tell you! They were sent from the prime minister at Downing Street to our manager's office, and they were delivered from there to Twickenham, where we were filming. And then..."

JOHN: "...filming 'Help!' our new film."

GEORGE: "About a day later we just found them, and we thought we were being called up for the army. And then we opened them, and we found out we weren't."

JOHN: (to George) "We already said that line."

GEORGE: "I know, but this is ITV. That was the other one."

JOHN: "Oh... yeah... ahh... I see."

Q: "Why is the MBE awarded, though?"

PAUL: "I don't know."

RINGO: "No idea."

PAUL: "In fact, I know nothing about it.. just that we've got it and it's nice to have. And it doesn't make you more respectable or anything, I don't think. Maybe other people think it does. It doesn't make me any more respectable, I'm STILL a scruff."


Q: "Well, I was wondering about that. Ringo, how do you feel about going to the palace in morning suit and all that?"

RINGO: "I don't mind, you know. It's alright. When I buy one."

Q: "You haven't got one?"

RINGO: "No, not yet. I've got an evening suit, if that will do."

Q: "I don't think it will."

RINGO: "Well, I'll just go in my pajamas then."

Source: Transcribed by from video copies of the interviews

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