Monty Lister interviews The Beatles

The Beatles' first interview was recorded just for Radio Clatterbridge.

It was October 27th 1962, and presenter Monty Lister with assistants Peter Smethurst and Malcolm Threadgill had clinched a world exclusive.

The band was on the verge of taking the world by storm, and listeners to Radio Clatterbridge became the first in the world to hear about the Fab Four.

The Beatles were playing at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight, so Monty Lister and his team decided to take their tape recorder along to record an interview with them. At the time, the band were promoting their new single, Love Me Do.

Radio Clatterbridge broadcast the interview again during a special debate programme about the recording and the Fab Four's early days.

Local Beatles historian Ray O'Brien and the band's former publicist, Sam Leach, were there. After the interview was replayed, Sam commented: "I'd never heard all of it before. Monty did a good job there for posterity."

Monty Lister was also reunited with his assistant Peter Smethurst for the programme.

Peter said: "We've got to thank Monty for having the foresight to come up with an interview like that. A one off."

This is the transcript of the Beatles' first broadcast interview.

It's a very rare glimpse of the early Beatles, captured on October 27th, 1962 at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight, Wirral by Radio Clatterbridge presenter Monty Lister.

Additional questions are provided by his assistants, Malcolm Threadgill and Peter Smethurst.

MONTY: "Well it's a very great pleasure for us this evening to say hello to an up-and-coming Merseyside group, The Beatles. Now I know their names, and I'm going to try and put faces to them. Now, you're John Lennon, aren't you?"

JOHN: "Yes, that's right."

MONTY: "What do you do in the group, John?"

JOHN: "I play harmonica, rhythm guitar, and vocal. That's what they call it."

MONTY: "Harmonica, rhythm guitar, and vocal. Then, there's Paul McCartney. That's you?"

PAUL: "Yeah, that's me. Yeah."

MONTY: "And what do you do?"

PAUL: "Play bass guitar and uhh, sing? ...I think! That's what they say."

MONTY: "That's quite apart from being vocal?"

PAUL: "Well... yes, yes."

MONTY: "Then there's George Harrison."

GEORGE: "How d'you do?"

MONTY: "How d'you do? What's your job?"

GEORGE: "Uhh, lead guitar and sort of singing."

MONTY: "By playing lead guitar, does that mean that you're sort of leader of the group or are you...?"

GEORGE: "No, no. Just... Well you see, the other guitar is the rhythm. Ching, ching, ching, you see."

PAUL: "He's solo guitar, you see. John is, in fact, the leader of the group."

MONTY: "I don't know whether we caught that or not, but I hope it went in. And over in the background, here, and also in the background of the group and making alot of noise is Ringo Starr."

RINGO: "Hello."

MONTY: "You're new to the group, aren't you Ringo?"

RINGO: "Yes, umm, nine weeks now."

MONTY: "Were you in on the act when the recording was made of Love Me Do?"

RINGO: "Yes, I'm on the record. I'm on the disc."


RINGO: (Comic voice) "It's down on record, you know?"

MONTY: "Now, umm..."

RINGO: "I'm the drummer!"


MONTY: "What's that offensive weapon you've got there? Those are your drumsticks?"

RINGO: "Well, it's umm... just a pair of sticks I found. I just bought erm, you know, cos we're going away. And I've put my name on. And it's good, you know."

MONTY: "When you say you're going away, that leads us on to another question now. Where are you going?"

RINGO: "Germany. Hamburg. For two weeks."

MONTY: "You have standing and great engagements over there, haven't you?"

RINGO: "Well, the boys have been there quite alot, you know. And I've been there with other groups, but this is the first time I've been there with the Beatles."

MONTY: "Well Paul, you tell us, how do you get in on the act in Germany?"

PAUL: "Well, it was all through an old agent."


PAUL: (Chuckles) "We first went there for a fella who used to manage us, and Mr. Allan Williams of the Jacaranda Club in Liverpool. And he found the engagements so we sort of went there, and then went under our own..."

JOHN: "Steam."

PAUL: "Steam..." (Laughs)

JOHN: " they say."

PAUL: "As they say, afterwards, you know. And we've just been going backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards."

MONTY: (Surprised) "You're not busy at all?"

PAUL: "Well yes, actually. Yes. It's me left-leg, you know, the war."


MONTY: "George, were you brought up in Liverpool?"

GEORGE: "Yes. So far, yes."

MONTY: "Whereabouts?"

GEORGE: "Well, born in Wavertree, and bred in Wavertree and Speke; where the aeroplanes are, you know."

MONTY: "Are you all Liverpool types then?"

RINGO: "Yes."

JOHN: "Uhh... types, yes."

PAUL: "Oh yeah."

RINGO: "Liverpool-typed Paul, there."

MONTY: "Now, I'm told that you were actually in the same form as young Ron Wycherley..."

RINGO: "Ronald. Yes."

MONTY: " Billy Fury."

RINGO: "In Saint Sylus."

MONTY: "In which?"

RINGO: "Saint Sylus."

JOHN: "Really?"

RINGO: "It wasn't Dingle Vale like you said in the Musical Express."

PAUL: "No, that was wrong. Saint Sylus school."

MONTY: "Now I'd like to introduce a young disc jockey who helps us out with programmes at Cleaver and Clatterbridge Hospitals. His name is Malcolm Threadgill, he's 16-years old, and I'm sure he'd like to ask some questions from the teenage point of view."

MALCOLM: "Yes, thank-you. I understand you've made other recordings before on a German label."

PAUL: "Yeah."

MALCOLM: "What ones were they?"

PAUL: "Well, we didn't make... First of all we made a recording with a fella called Tony Sheridan. We were working in a club called The Top Ten Club in Hamburg. And we made a recording with him called, My Bonnie, which got to number five in the German hit parade."

JOHN: "Ach tung!"

PAUL: (Giggles) "But it didn't do a thing over here, you know. It wasn't a very good record, but the Germans must've liked it a bit, you know. And we did an instrumental which was released in France on an EP of Tony Sheridan's, which George and John wrote themselves. That wasn't released here. It got one copy. That's all, you know. It didn't do anything."

MALCOLM: "You composed P.S. I Love You and Love Me Do yourself, didn't you? Who does the composing between you?"

PAUL: "Well, it's John and I. We write the songs between us. It's, you know... We've sort of signed contracts and things to say, that now if we..."

JOHN: "It's equal shares."

PAUL: "Yeah, equal shares and royalties and things, so that really we just both write most of the stuff. George did write this instrumental, as we say. But mainly it's John and I. We've written over about a hundred songs but we don't use half of them, you know. We just happened to sort of rearrange Love Me Do and played it to the recording people, and P.S. I Love You, and uhh, they seemed to quite like it. So that's what we recorded."

MONTY:: "And that was Paul McCartney telling you all about it."

MALCOLM: "Is there anymore of your own compositions you intend to record?"

JOHN: "Well, we did record another song of our own when we were down there, but it wasn't finished enough. So, you know, we'll take it back next time and see how they like it then."

(Long pause)

JOHN: (Jokingly) "Well... that's all from MY end!"


MONTY: "Well thank-you for asking the questions, Malcolm. Now, in closing, I would like to just ask you (and we're recording this at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight) Did any of you come over this side before you became famous, as it were? Do you know this district?"

PAUL: "Well, we played here, uhh... I don't know what you mean by famous, you know.


PAUL: "If being famous is being in the hit parade, we've been over here, we were here about two months ago. Been here twice, haven't we?"

JOHN: "I've got relations here. Rock Ferry."

MONTY: "Have you?"

JOHN: "Yes. Oh, all sides of the water, you know."

PAUL: "Yeah, I've got a relation in Claughton Village, Upton Road."

RINGO: (Jokingly) "I've got a friend in Birkenhead!"


MONTY: "I wish I had."

GEORGE: (Jokingly) "I know a man in Chester!"


MONTY: "Now, that's a very dangerous thing to say. There's a mental home there, mate. Peter Smethurst is here as well, and he looks as though he's bursting to say a question."

PETER: "Yeah well, there is just one question I'd like to ask. I'm sure it's the question everyone's asking. I'd like your impressions on your first appearence on television."

PAUL: "Well, strangely enough, we thought we were gonna be dead nervous. And everyone said, 'You suddenly, when you see the cameras, you realize that there are two million people watching,' because there were two million watching that People And Places that we did... we heard afterwards. But, you know, strangely enough, it didn't come to us. We didn't think at all about that. And it was much easier doing the television than it was doing the radio. It's still nerve-wracking, but it was a bit easier than doing radio because there was a full audience for the radio broadcast."

MONTY: "Do you find it nerve-wracking doing this now?"


PAUL: (Jokingly) "Yeah, yeah."

MONTY: "Anyway, we hope we've got a full audience in both hospitals, Clatterbridge and Cleaver. And over at Cleaver Hospital, a certain record on Parlophone, the top side has been requested for Eileen in Robert Cart Ward from Maddy. And, strangely enough, for Maddy from Eileen in the same ward. So perhaps the Beatles themselves would like to tell them what it's going to be?"

PAUL: "Yeah. Well, I think it's gonna be Love Me Do."

JOHN: "Parlophone R4949."


PAUL: "Love Me Do."

MONTY: "And I'm sure, for them, the answer is P.S. I love you!"

PAUL: "Yeah."


Christmas Programmes

Read about the highlights here


7am Christmas Eve Breakfast – Paul Johnston
The final breakfast programme before the big day

10am Christmas Eve Coffee Club - June Wood
A special Christmas Eve edition and your chance to work out Who's at the Bridge

June Wood

12pm Christmas Eve Special - Ron Berkeley
Great music and festive tunes as we count down to the big day

2pm Clatterbridge's Greatest Bits of 2012 – Andy Bonner
Andy Bonner recounts some of the station's best broadcasts and the biggest songs of 2012

4pm Christmas Eve Teatime Show – Steve Lord
Festive tunes, a couple of carols, Strange but True stories and Vintage Vinyl

6pm The Radio Clatterbridge Christmas Eve Party
Non stop party music to see in the big day



7am Christmas Day Breakfast – Paul Johnston
Top tunes to start the nicest day of the year

10am Christmas Coffee Club - Steve Lord and Sue Taylor
Great music and conversation for Christmas Day morning

12pm Live from the Bridge Christmas Special - Ron Berkeley
Ron's playing your favourite festive songs

2pm Christmas with the Mayor
Wirral Councillor Gerry Ellis with an hour of his favourite songs

The Mayor records his Christmas programme

3pm Christmas Carol Service
Performed by Wirral Symphony Orchestra, recorded at the Floral Pavilion

4pm Totally 80s Christmas special – Gary King
All the best festive songs from the decade that brought us the Rubiks cube and Sinclair C5

6pm The Radio Clatterbridge Christmas Night Party
Non stop party music until midnight



7am Boxing Day Breakfast – Paul Johnston
As the turkey goes cold, start your day with Paul – great music and chat

10am Boxing Day Coffee Club - Liam Phoenix
Great music to start the day plus your chance to try and work out Who's at the Bridge

Liam Phoenix

12pm John Roberts
Two hours of great music and chat

2pm 50 years of Bond – Dave Harvey
Playing hits from the movies and relaying some facts you didn't know about 007

4pm Christmas Special - Wolfman Jack
The most famous US radio personality of all time, playing classic festive tunes from the 60s

6pm The Radio Clatterbridge Boxing Night Party
Non stop party music



New Year Programmes

Read about the highlights here


7am New Year's Eve Breakfast – Paul Johnston
The final breakfast programme ofthe year

10am Coffee Club Special - June Wood
A special New Year's Eve edition and your chance to work out Who's at the Bridge

12pm Clatterbridge's Greatest Bits of 2012 – Andy Bonner
Andy Bonner recounts some of the station's best broadcasts and the biggest songs of 2012

Andy Bonner

2pm John Roberts
Classic hits and great chat through New Year’s Eve afternoon

4pm The 2012 Request Chart - Paul Johnston
The 30 most asked for songs at Radio Clatterbridge over the past 12 months. Will Michael Buble top the chart again with Just Haven’t Met You Yet?

6pm The Radio Clatterbridge Christmas Eve Party
Non stop party music to see in 2013



7am New Year's Day Breakfast – Paul Johnston
The first breakfast programme of 2013

10am Happy New Year - Ron Berkeley
Great music to start 2013

12pm The 2012 Request Chart - Paul Johnston
The 30 most asked for songs at Radio Clatterbridge over the past 12 months. Will Michael Buble top the chart again with Just Haven’t Met You Yet?

2pm TV Themes and Trivia – Dave Adams
Playing the music that has accompanied some of the most popular television programmes over the last few decades

Dave Adams

4pm Jingle Belles – Nat Kelly, Bethan Meredith and Holly Youlton
With tunes and chat through the afternoon

6pm The Radio Clatterbridge New Year's Night Party
Non stop party music

8pm Late Night Love Songs - Vicki Wood
Two hours of romantic music to end the day

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