In the earlier part of The Beatles’ career the BBC had broadcast a number of Beatles specials on radio and television, but as the group retreated from the public eye they became less frequent. On this day, however, George Harrison contributed to a bank holiday special which was later aired on BBC Radio 1.
The show was titled The Beatles Today, and Harrison’s contribution was recorded in Studio H25 at the BBC’s Aeolian Hall in London between 5pm and 6pm.
Harrison had actually agreed to take part in the radio series Scene And Heard. However, the interview was so successful and lengthy that enough material was available for a Beatles special. The interviewer was Scene And Heard host Johnny Moran.
The Beatles Today contained 20 minutes of the interview with Harrison, as well as various Beatles and Apple music recordings. These included a 3’13” version of ‘Dig It’.
Harrison spoke first of his songwriting, with a discussion of the composition of his first song ‘Don’t Bother Me’. This led to a discussion of the troubles he had getting his work considered against those by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
He also spoke of performing and working with Jackie Lomax, Billy Preston and Doris Troy, and how he would like to have Peter Frampton as a member of an Apple house band. He said how he mainly listened to Bob Dylan, The Band and various Indian musicians, and discussed the Radha Krshna Temple’s single Govinda.
Talk then turned to the forthcoming Let It Be film, which Harrison admitted he “can’t stand seeing”, although he said it was informative for those curious about how The Beatles worked. He also spoke positively about the album’s raw sound, describing it as “the complete opposite to the sort of clinical approach that we’ve normally had”.
Interestingly, Harrison indicated that The Beatles would soon regroup and record together. He discusses McCartney’s and Ringo Starr’s debut albums, and said he planned to record his own later in the year, adding that The Beatles were likely to record again soon after.
I certainly don’t want to see the end of The Beatles. And I know I’ll do anything, you know. Whatever Paul, John, Ringo would like to do, I’ll do it. As long as we can all be free to be individuals at the same time.
I think that’s just part of our life, you know, is to be Beatles. And I’ll play that game, you know, as long as the people want us to.
The Beatles Today was first broadcast on Radio 1 on 30 March 1970 from 4.31-5.15pm. Two extracts were also used in the 15 March edition of Scene And Heard, broadcast from 3-4pm.
Also on this day...
- 2020: Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back set for cinema release in September 2020
- 2009: McCartney Las Vegas show sells out in seconds
- 1970: Recording: It Don’t Come Easy by Ringo Starr
- 1970: US single release: Let It Be
- 1969: Paul McCartney and George Harrison produce a Jackie Lomax session
- 1969: Mixing: Two Of Us, The Long And Winding Road, Lady Madonna
- 1964: Filming: A Hard Day’s Night
- 1963: Radio: The Friday Spectacular
- 1962: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Liverpool Jazz Society, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.