Good Ol' Freda (2013) Movie Script

Hello, this is John
speaking with his voice.
We're all very happy
to be able to talk to you
like this on this
little bit of plastic.
This record reaches you at the end of
a really dear year for us,
and it's all due to you.
I'd like to say thank you to all
of the Beatle people
who have written to
me during the year.
I'd love to reply personally
to everyone,
but I just
haven't enough pens.
This is Paul here.
We're all dead pleased by the way
you've treated us in 1963,
and we're trying to do
everything we can to please you
with the type of songs we write
and record next year.
I'm running out of my time
and people are
telling me to stop...
Stop! Stop! Stop!
Stop shouting those animals!
So I'll finish now
with wishing everyone
Happy Crimble,
and a merry new year.
Ya Ringo!
Hello, Ringo here.
As you know,
I was the last member
to join The Beatles.
I started to play
gongs in the group 1962.
Thank you Ringo, thank you Ringo.
We'll phone you.
I'm George Harrison!
Nobody else has
said anything yet
about our secretary,
Freda Kelly in Liverpool.
Good old Freda!
So on behalf of us all,
I'd just like
to say a great
big "thank you"...
I was just
a secretary then,
and, funny enough,
I'm still a secretary now,
and who would want
to hear the secretary's story?
of girls around
the world wanted
this dream job:
they wanted to
be the secretary.
She epitomized all their dreams
and all their hopes,
and all these girls wanted
to be Freda Kelly
and to be that
close to The Beatles.
Well, I didn't expect to talk,
maybe grab one of them,
but I wouldn't hurt 'em,
I wouldn't hurt 'em,
I'd just talk to them maybe,
but I wouldn't, you know, grab...
everybody says they're gonna
cut their hair
and everything...
we wouldn't do that.
If you look
at what is history now,
The Beatles were
together ten years.
Freda worked for
The Beatles for eleven.
She was there right
before they made it,
and right after they finished,
so that says it all,
Tell me, when you hear
a Beatles record,
what thoughts run
through your mind?
Beauty, sheer beauty.
The Beatles bring
joy into the world:
they're happiness; we forget our cares
when we hear Beatle records.
Freda was far more than
a secretary to the Beatles;
she was a family member.
She's never had
the same recognition
that a number of people
within the inner circle have had,
simply because she
never pushed herself,
she never wrote a book,
she never agreed to do interviews,
she's always kept a very very
confidential existence.
We came
here at 6 o'clock
in the morning,
5:30, to see them,
and all they do is push you
farther and farther away
and then they don't even
let you see them!
A lot of people didn't take
these girls seriously,
but I did, because, you know,
I was one of them...
I was a fan me self.
So I knew where
they were coming from.
We grew up with them.
You know, they started
when they were younger
and we were younger.
And all through
these years, we've just
developed with them
and grown up with them,
and they belong
to us, you know?
But there could
never be another Beatles.
She's one
of the last survivors
of the whole Beatles era,
and you know,
this story of Freda Kelly's
will be, surely,
one of the last true stories
of the Beatles
that you'll ever really hear.
I've been a secretary
for half a century,
fifty years,
and that's quite frightening.
This job is interesting,
but it's not as exciting as my last job.
I don't get the phone calls
that I did in the 60's,
like, you know,
an invite to a premiere,
you know, "Roy Orbison's
having a party
and we've managed
to get a few tickets,
do you want to
come to that Fre?"
And I'm like "Yeah, okay,
I'm on the next train!"
I left school
when I was sixteen,
and my first job was
at a firm called Prince's.
I was in
the middle of a typing pool,
which is rows of secretaries
just typing away.
The lads from
different levels of law
would come down
and give me work to do,
but most of my day was just
spent typing contracts,
typing letters...
it wasn't the most glamorous of jobs,
but I was a working woman now.
One day,
two guys from upstairs
came down and
came over to my desk
and just said "Come on Freda,
we're going to take you out for lunch. "
I didn't know where I was going,
and I ended up in The Cavern.
Now, I'd never been
to The Cavern before,
I didn't even know what I was going into,
because it was a cellar.
It had a unique smell:
there was no ventilation,
and sometimes the toilets overflowed,
and it was
opposite a fruit market,
so it was probably a mixture
of disinfectant,
rotten fruit, and sweat
all rolled into one.
There was three archways,
and in the middle archway
was wooden seats,
all different
types of wooden seats,
they weren't all in rows
and all the same.
There was a little
wooden stage at the back,
and The Beatles were playing on the stage
when I first walked in.
And I'd never experienced
anything like that...
it was everything about them,
it was just the way they dressed,
with all this leather gear,
they were larking about,
and dancing on stage,
and mucking about
with the audience,
and on top of everything else,
there was the music.
It was just unlike anything
I'd ever heard.
I was hooked.
I just was amazed
by everything I saw,
and I thought "That's it,
I'm going to go tomorrow. "
Well I think
it's put down that
they played something silly
like 294 times.
Out of that, I would say,
I probably saw them about 190 times.
Freda was definitely
a staple of The Cavern,
she was always there,
and she always
sat in the same seat.
I used to like the second arch
on the left hand side,
because it was
just that handy.
You could pop in and out the
band room all the time.
There was about two
rows in the front,
they would leave
their rollers in
until before
the lads would come onstage,
and then they'd
take their rollers out
and doll
theirselves up and everything.
It was conversation all the time
with the audience.
Somebody came in, a different hairstyle,
they'd pick on them.
They'd go "Have you been
the hairdresser's?"
or "Who got you up this morning?"
But he answered them back.
They liked the razzmatazz
between you and them.
People used to
write down a number,
give it to them, and ask them
would they right play that number.
Now, if you gave it to John,
Paul always went over to John
and leaned over his shoulder
and read the request out.
I thought "Can
John read, or...?"
He looked pretty arrogant,
to be honest...
he'd look at
the crowd like that
as if he was going to kill
everyone in the crowd.
And then I
mentioned it to somebody
and they said "Oh, no, no,
John's as blind as a bat.
He wears glasses and he
never wears his glasses,
so he can't see further
than his nose. "
I liked George singing Three Cool Cats,
I loved that one.
Or The Sheik of Araby, because
he used to do a little dance
and I liked him
doing the little dance.
He used to sort of kick his feet
along the stage.
A few times I rang Paul up,
because one of my
friends fancied him
and I wanted him
to sing for her.
We used to just dial Garston
and then the number 6922.
He'd say "Hello," and you'd go,
"Oh hi Paul, it's Freda.
It's Linda Shepherd's birthday
on such-and-such a day,
can you play Love of
the Loved for her?"
"Yeah, okay. "
I got to know them personally
through just talking to them,
going in the band room,
because when they came off-stage,
they used to either
sit in the band room,
talking to different people
who ever came in,
and then you would
just sit by them,
and you would just ask them
where they were playing,
or how come you
weren't here yesterday.
Paul was always nice
and always friendly,
and any time you'd ask Paul to
sing something, he would do it.
John... a man of many moods.
It depended on what side of the bed
he got out in in the morning.
He could be really grumpy,
but he was always himself,
he never put an act on.
People say George
was the quiet Beatle,
and I suppose he
was in one way,
but he was
never quiet with me.
He was more quietly-spoken,
I think, than the others.
He was very thoughtful.
Ringo hadn't joined the group yet;
Pete Bass was on the drums.
Pete was very shy,
and he was also very handsome,
so he had a big following
around town, from the girls.
They loved Pete.
They all lived my way home,
on the south side of Liverpool,
and Paul and George had cars,
and then they'd say
"Do you want a lift home?"
My father wasn't keen
on them, he saw them
and what he saw
he didn't like.
If they'd had
suits on, or somebody
had a suit with
a collar and tie,
he probably
would've approved of them,
but he didn't
approve of The Beatles.
But I was always
late back from work,
I was always pushing
and puffing and panting
and sitting down
and starting to type.
I couldn't say I
was somewhere else
or I got held up in a restaurant
or trying to get some food
because I had
the Cavern smell on me,
so they knew
exactly where I'd been.
The girls in the typing pool
had photographs up on the wall
of Pat Boone and Elvis
and Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard,
and I didn't like any of them,
so I found a little picture
of The Beatles,
but it was only dead small,
and I remember
putting it up on the wall,
and the personnel
manager caught me
when I was putting it up on the wall,
Mr. Mold, and he said,
"Oh, what are you doing,
who are they?"
and I said "Oh,
they're The Beatles,"
and he went
"Who's The Beatles?"
and I said "They're
a Liverpool group,"
and he went
"Never heard of them,"
and I said "Oh,
you will one day. "
Bobbie Brown was the girl
who went to The Cavern
and started a fan
club for The Beatles.
Now, I couldn't understand why
The Beatles had a fan club,
because they were
just a local group,
but I eventually
ended up helping Bobbie,
and then Bobbie
got a boyfriend
and lost interest in running
the Beatles fan club,
so I took over from there.
I was buying stamps
and salve in the beginning,
and I remember being in the
band room one day lunch time
and saying to Paul,
"You owe me seven six for stamps,"
and he went "I
haven't any money. "
And then Bob Waller paid them,
and I sat in the band room
until Bob Waller paid them,
and I said
"You've now got money. "
So he give him
his due and paid me.
I just had this faith
... and there wasn't just me...
you just knew they were going
to be famous one day,
but I couldn't visualize
the fame that they got.
To me, being famous
was playing on The Empire,
having a record in the charts.
Cliff Richard was
big in those days,
and being as big
as Cliff Richard,
that was as far
as my vision went.
Everything was new, nobody knew
what was going to happen.
People who ever
say to you, "We knew
they were going
to be a success,"
they're lying
through their teeth.
Nobody knew it was going to be
the world phenomenon that it became.
I got to know Brian Epstein
through The Beatles.
I was going to see The Beatles
all the time,
and then Brian Epstein
started to come to see them
and that's how we
became friendly.
Everybody in
Liverpool knew who he was,
because he was manager of NEMS Ltd.,
the biggest record shop in
the north of England.
I do remember it was by
St. Barnabas's Hall in Penny Lane,
it was a Saturday night,
I walked in,
I just know Eppy
coming up to me,
and he then told me that he
was signing The Beatles
and he was starting his own firm
and he needed a secretary.
Then he said, did I want to
come and work for them,
and I said "Oh, go on then. "
I just remember saying, "Oh go on then. "
And I was so excited because
I was starting my dream job,
working for The Beatles.
I think what Brian Epstein
saw was somebody who was a fan
without being
an over-the-top fanatic.
I would call her
more of an admirer;
she appreciated The Beatles,
and that fitted perfectly, I mean,
Freda was there on the scene
and ready to take over.
We had a lot of
respect for Brian,
obviously, we thought he was
really posh, you know,
we were all Liverpool screw-offs really,
but Brian was very posh,
and for him to choose Freda
to be the secretary,
we thought "Hey, wow,
she must have something,"
you know,
he could have picked anybody.
That's when I
had to tell home,
'cos I didn't want to tell home,
'cos I just knew the reaction.
My mother died when I was eighteen months,
and she died of cancer.
I had a good
relationship with my father,
but also he was very protective towards me
because I was his only child.
I was 17, so I managed to
pluck up the courage
this particular
night at tea time,
and I just said casually
"I'm starting a new job on Monday. "
And I do remember
him saying "Has it got
anything to do
with The Beatles?"
and I just blanked it,
I must have turned it back
'cos I know I didn't lie,
but I didn't answer the question,
and all I remember was the teapot
going down with a big slam.
We used to call him
Daddy Eppy;
he was Brian Epstein's father,
and it was his business.
We were on the top
floor of his shop.
The first floor was
what we used to call
the "white goods":
it was televisions
and washing machines
and things like that,
and then on the second floor,
that was Brian Epstein's office,
and then there was a store room
behind his office,
so I worked in the store room.
They changed that
into an office for me.
In the beginning,
the lads were
in the office
nearly every single day,
you know,
they just popped in and out.
They would sit by
my desk for a chat
or while they were waiting to go
into Eppy's office,
so I got to know them more.
I was 17, so naturally
I did have crushes on them.
The way I describe it,
and this is the truth,
if Paul looked nice or sang
a song for me or something,
I was in love with Paul that day,
I fancied him that day,
but then the following day,
if Ritchie asked me how me dogs were
(because he knew I
had Yorkshire Terriers,
he'd say "Oh,
how are the dogs?")
I'd think "Oh,
yeah, I fancy Ritchie,"
and then I think, if George offered me
a lift home from work,
I'd be in love
with George that day,
and I'd think "Yeah, yeah,
I definitely fancy George. "
But then if John came in
and started talking about various things,
I'd think "I like his nose,
I like the Roman nose,"
but it would only
be for a day or two.
Did you go out
with any of them?
No stories there?
Oh, there is stories,
but I don't want anybody's hair
falling out or turning curly.
That's personal.
It was the end
of a working day,
and Eppy just
came in and said,
"Come on Freda,
put your coat on,
I'm going to
take you somewhere. "
I had no idea where.
And next minute we
were at The Empire,
and then next minute
we were in the box,
I'd never been in the box of The Empire.
It was this one on the left.
He'd managed to
get The Beatles
a spot on
the Little Richard show,
and I think somebody
was sick or something
and he'd managed
to get them on.
And I remember
sitting in the box,
it was just Eppy and I,
and I was to the left,
and then I looked
down on the stage
and the whole theatre and the stage
were in darkness,
except for this light
shining on Paul's face,
and he was singing
A Taste of Honey.
I don't cry,
but my eyes sort of filled up
and I just couldn't believe
that The Beatles were on The Empire,
the biggest
theatre in Liverpool,
and I thought
"This is it. They've made it.
They're going to
be famous one day. "
The Beatles' first hit, as far as I'm
concerned, was Love Me Do, I mean,
I was one of
the ones that bought it,
and I didn't have
a record player,
and there was
loads of girls like me
that didn't have
record players,
but we bought it
just to boost the sales.
You didn't have
pop stations then,
but we had one station
called Radio Luxembourg,
and they used
to do the charts,
and I remember
staying up late,
sitting by the radio,
holding the knob,
trying to keep it on
the same wavelength,
and waiting to hear
The Beatles' record.
And when it got to 17,
that was amazing.
I know it only stayed the week,
I think, but it didn't matter.
They were in the charts.
I was working for Brian Epstein,
doing a normal day-job,
but I also had to do
the fan club overnight.
Silly me, I gave out my home address
as the fan club address.
The postman
knocked on the door
and he said to me,
"Who gave this address out?
You've got 200 letters here. "
And I said, "Sorry,
won't do it again time. "
Little did he know,
within the next
few months The Beatles
became more famous,
and instead of just 200 letters,
they were coming in bundles,
and those bundles came in sacks,
so the van rolled up.
My father wasn't keen
on The Beatles anyway,
and his own
personal mail, you know,
your telephone bill,
electricity bill,
your gas bill,
all in the fan mail.
So he just
looked at me and said,
"You've got to
put a stop to this.
What possessed you to give
our home address out?"
I didn't think at the time.
My mother has never
played the fame game.
If she had, things would be
completely different now,
and she might not be working
six days a week
9 'til 5 o'clock at night,
very stressed,
when other people have retired,
and she hasn't got that joy.
These are all
Christmas decorations.
Oh, success.
I kept a couple of scrapbooks
with theatre tickets in,
and newspaper cuttings in.
A few fan club letters.
Yeah, they're old.
I think it's records,
and, oh, me scrapbook.
Yeah. Cuttings book.
I mean I have a lot of these.
I don't know.
Forty years since
Rachel was born.
I could have been
a very very wealthy woman,
could be a millionairess
if I'd have kept everything.
I had loads of autographs,
all the fan club stuff,
Apple stuff, fan club records,
but over a period of time,
I gave it all away.
But I don't regret that,
because I know when I gave
the majority of the stuff away,
I gave it in 1974,
and I actually handed the stuff
to Beatle fans myself,
so I knew the Beatle fans got
all the fan club stuff that was left.
I've got these
four boxes anyway.
I didn't even
think I had four boxes.
As I'm flicking through,
there are so many memories
coming back to me.
I'll just pick something up,
and I'll remember that day.
Oh, this is George
Harrison's real hair.
A few months after Love Me Do,
the lads had their first number one hit,
which was Please Please Me.
We were gradually
getting letters,
from 50 a day,
200 a day, to my home,
and then it worked up
to about 800 a day,
and then eventually
we didn't even count them,
we just threw
the mail in the corner.
I would put loads of photographs
in front of them,
and they would go in to Eppy,
and they would take the photographs
in with them,
and while they
were talking to Eppy,
they were all signing.
But they never complained
about signing things,
never ever.
I think it was
because it was early days
and they were all
excited by it all,
so nothing was a problem.
Out of all The Beatles,
I'd say George
was the best one
for signing things.
He would come in and he'd go,
"Do you want me
to sign anything?
What have you got
in your cupboard?"
The Beatles called
him Eppy, we all did,
but to his face, he asked us
to call him Mr. Brian in the office.
He was the boss
so it was Mister.
He had an aura about him.
I know he was
probably only 27 then,
but he was old. Ten years was
a big difference in those days,
where I'm 17, he's 27.
He came from a well-off family
and he had nice clothes
and spoke with a posh accent,
so you had respect for him.
He threw a few
tantrums in the office,
and you just
kept out of his way.
Well, I did.
Probably that's why
I lasted ten years.
Some people didn't,
or retaliated,
and they were
sacked on the spot.
He was the boss, and he
was the boss.
Brian Epstein was notorious for
his dreadful tantrums.
He would hire and re-fire
his top executives
at the drop of a hat.
Freda was sort of immune,
if you like,
to the temper tantrums.
She was never hurt by them.
We had a new dictaphone,
and he gave me this tape to do
while he was out,
and I'd done about two letters
and the tape got stuck.
So Neil Aspinall
came in and I said,
"Oh God, I've got this tape and
I've got it stuck,
and there's
a load of work on it. "
We pressed two things, and we
erased all the work.
He came in the office,
and I just saw John at the back of him,
and he went to
hang up the coat,
and he said,
"Have you finished the tape?"
and I just said "No.
I'm sorry, no.
I've wiped it by mistake. "
He just looked at me, and then
shouted "You stupid girl!"
and John Lennon saved the day,
because he was behind me,
and he must have
seen how shaken I was,
and Eppy about to erupt.
He started laughing, and going
"Oh, what have you done, Kelly?"
and when a Beatle laughed,
Eppy laughed.
But it wasn't a proper laugh.
He wasn't amused at all.
And I just
remember looking at him
and saying "I'll
stay late to do it. "
and he said, "I know you will,
you'll definitely stay late,
until all this work is done. "
I was very
naive for my age;
I just came into the music business
when I was 17,
up until I was 16, I'm camping with
the Guides and things like that.
Once I joined
the Beatles organization,
I grew up overnight
in more ways than one,
and I remember saying to John,
"You know what? I don't know
what it is about him... "
I said "I can't
put me finger on it,"
and I know I was
rabbiting on for England,
and John started laughing,
and then he went
"Have you no idea?"
and I said,
"No idea about what?"
He put it to me
very innocently,
and I always
respect him for that,
he said,
"Well let's say this, Fre,
if you're on a desert island with him,
you'd be safe. "
And the penny dropped.
Where nowadays it's legal,
and quite rightly so,
but in those days they had
a lot to put up with.
Probably that had a lot to do
with his mood-swings as well,
and trying to keep
it from his parents
and other people.
The music industry was
a man's industry in the '60s.
In The Beatles' circle,
there wasn't any
high-ranking women.
Women, or girls,
worked on the admin side,
but the highest
you can go in admin
is just be
secretary to the main guy.
I was secretary
to Brian Epstein,
but there wasn't
a hard road to climb,
you just had to stay there.
There was a lot to get done,
so anybody that
came into the office,
I would put them to work.
I would get them
slicin' the envelopes,
the foreign stamps off,
photographs in envelopes,
and groups around town
...because they never had any money,
musicians around town...
they used to come into my office
for a free cup of tea,
or if it was raining,
or to hear the records,
so while they
were sitting there,
nobody sat
there doing nothing.
They all used to help out.
I bumped into
the lead singer of
The Cryin' Shames,
Ritchie Routledge,
and he had a big
post bag on his back,
and I said
"Where are you going?"
he said, "I'm going
to the post office,"
I said "What for?", he said,
"I've got all The Beatles' vinyl stuff
in the bag, Freda told me
... not asked me, told me...
to go and post it. "
She just had
this way about her,
a bit like
a schoolteacher really.
You know, you had to do
what the schoolteacher said,
and you had to do
what Freda said, really.
Well, you didn't have to do it,
you wanted to do it for her,
'cause she'd just
give you a little smile,
and you did it.
When Ringo first
joined the band
...I think he was only in the band about
two weeks or something...
I came into the office,
he said
"I'm getting
letters to my house,
and if I bring them in,
will you do them?"
And I went "No, I won't," I said,
"I've got too much to do. "
I said "Get your
mother to do it,
you know all
the other parents do,"
and he went "Oh, me mum
doesn't know what to do. "
He put the sad
eyes on, and just like
"Oh, go on, please?
You know, I don't get many. "
To shut him up I went
"Oh go on then, bring them in. "
He brought about nine letters
in this little poly bag,
and he actually put
the answers to the
questions that they'd
asked in the letters
on the top of
the letter to help me,
'cos he said to me,
"If you don't know the answers
I've put the answers down
for you and everything. "
He must have
thought I was terrible,
'cos I looked at him and I said
to him "Is this all you get?"
I couldn't believe... he must
have wanted to shoot me,
and I went, "You've only got
nine letters. "
He said, "Will you help me?
Will you come and
show me mum what to do?"
I ended up going 'round,
knocking on 10 Admiral Grove,
and Elsie opened the door,
and I said, "I'm Freda from the office,"
and she went, "Oh, thank God for that,
come in, love, come in. "
And I said, "Well,
I've just brought stuff
for you,
to show you what to do. "
She said,
"Have you had any tea?"
And I said "No," and she went,
"Would you like egg and chips?"
and I said, "Oh, I'd love
egg and chips, yeah. "
And then we started talking,
and we got on like a house on fire.
Every week, for years,
I went to that house.
Will the neighbors
not become envious
of all the wealth that's been
accumulated by the Beatles?
No, not
the neighbors 'round here,
they're all very good
and all quite proud.
Comin' back now,
just everything is flashing in me head
about just how
much joy and happiness
and laughter went
on in this house.
I had a great time here.
I loved it,
I loved coming
here every week.
It's probably...
I haven't been in this house
for about 46 years.
I spent a lot of my life here.
I used to stay 'til about
1 or 2 in the morning,
going through the mail,
and talking, and laughing,
things about my life as well,
and who I was going out with at the time.
And it's not one of The Beatles,
before you start.
Elsie'd give me advice,
motherly advice.
She was very jolly,
very outgoing,
and a really strong laugh.
I told her all my secrets
when I was a teenager.
Maybe she looked on the daughter
that she didn't have,
maybe she
looked on me as that.
She decided I wasn't getting
enough money, wages,
and she was at a party,
and Eppy was there,
and then she, few drinks down,
and then she starts in on him
and said "You don't know
what you've got there,
you've got
a good worker there. "
And she was going on and on,
and I was going "Well, shut up. "
And she was going, "You should pay her
some more money, you know.
You don't pay her enough money.
You should give her a rise. "
I really got a rise,
two weeks later.
His words were,
"We've reviewed your wages, Freda,
and we've decided
to give you a rise. "
Well, you asked me about
a mother figure before...
she was the nearest
to a mother figure for me.
I just adored her.
The Beatles were in London
and criss-crossing the globe,
Freda became probably
the link
between the Beatles' families in Liverpool
and each individual Beatle.
I was surprised
when I met her,
because I thought, to have taken on
this mammoth, ridiculous job,
she must have been
some 50-year-old,
old secretary
with bad feet and a large bosom,
but she was anything but:
she was vivacious
and fun and just a snip
of a teenager,
this young, thin girl.
I suppose you could say that
The Beatles saw her as a sister,
and the families
saw her as a daughter.
NEMS used to close
on a Wednesday afternoon,
but I never told home that I was off
on a Wednesday afternoon.
We used to go out with Paul's dad,
we used to call him Uncle Jim,
we used to go to a place called
the Bassnett Bar.
He was trying to educate me
on the cures and cheeses
and coffee and things like that.
Well, I would stay
there and get sozzled,
you know, 'cos I'd be trying
all these different things with them,
and then they would
just put me in a taxi
and I'd go home and
go straight to bed.
Now, John's family...
he only had Mimi.
Mimi was John's aunt.
She took John in when he was about five,
when his parents split up.
Mimi didn't let anybody in that house;
very few people got in.
You had to go 'round the back,
you know, like the tradesmen's entrance,
but I actually went up
and knocked on the front door,
and I got in the front door.
It wasn't that you were
frightened of Mimi,
you just watched
your Ps and Qs.
To me, Mimi was like my father,
she was old-school.
Any time I saw her with John,
which wasn't very often,
she was quite stern
but he did obey her.
I think
the Harrisons enjoyed the fame
more than any of
the other parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Harrison loved it.
They took to it more.
She was
excellent with the fans,
would let them into her house,
would give them a cup of tea,
you know,
every day, she just sat down
and wrote letters
to all these kids.
But they were very
protective of George,
maybe it was because he was
the youngest Beatle.
Mr. Harrison... Harry Harrison...
was always saying to me,
"You should learn
to dance properly,"
and I said "I don't
wanna learn ballroom
I don't really like it,"
and he said "No,
I'm going to teach you. "
He would get me up to dance
and show me how to do the quick-step
and the waltz and everything.
So we were like there...
I was really self-conscious about it,
I just did not want to learn
to ballroom dance.
You know, all the families
and all the boys believed in her.
She was 'good old Freda' to them,
in other words.
Seeing them on
a regular basis, coming in
and out the office,
going to their homes,
it didn't hit me how big they were
or worshipped they were
until the civic reception,
which was at
the Town Hall in Liverpool.
The only people that
were invited really
were The Beatles themselves
and The Beatles' families,
and that was it,
but Ritchie's family put me down
as one of their family.
We were picked up in a car
from the counsel,
we must have come
in the back way,
and the lads
were already here,
and we had a meal,
so we were all relaxed and everything,
and then next minute,
they then had to go out onto the balcony
and, just as they
opened these doors,
the noise hit us,
with the shouts and the screaming,
and then I came to
behind the door here
and I just couldn't
believe Castle Street.
It was just full of people;
as far as the eye could see
was people, everywhere.
I mean, the noise was deafening,
there was chaos in the street,
girls were wriggling and pushing
to get through the crowd,
and they were fainting,
and the ambulance men and police
were just passing
them over the crowds
to get them
into the ambulance.
It was unbelievable.
I think the penny
actually dropped
with me then,
how big they were,
'cos it hadn't really hit home
until I saw that amount of people,
it was about 200,000 people...
I couldn't even visualize 200,000 people
until I saw it that day.
I think now,
and I think the parents
must have been
so proud of 'em,
that their sons were
out on the balcony,
and Liverpool was
reacting to them.
I'm very proud that
I worked for them.
So what was Beatlemania
to you at the height of it,
when it was its busiest,
what, 1964, '65?
No sleep
with all the mail.
How many letters a week
were you getting, roughly?
Oh, God, thousands,
two to three thousand a day.
Must have sat up 'til 4,
5 o'clock in the morning
just answering... I used to do all
what we call detail letters...
I used to just
bring all them home
and then go back to work with
me little parcel the next day.
I don't know how I lived.
In the wake of the outbreak
of Beatlemania,
there was a very very sudden increase
in interest amongst fans,
people writing in,
asking for autographs,
asking to join
the Beatles fan club, etc.
Brian Epstein decided
that we would have a stamp.
It looked like
a proper signature.
And I remember, sometimes,
I would roll it across the autograph book,
and only half of
it would turn out,
or it would smudge.
I ruined so many
kids' autograph books.
And of course,
I'm a Beatle fan,
so I'm thinking
the way they're thinking,
and I thought "I'd go
mad if that was me. "
I know I was against them
and John Lennon was against them as well,
I think he thought because
of the falseness.
I remember John coming in,
and I asked him to sign something,
and he said, "I did that,"
"You don't normally
sign it that way,"
and he said "I've decided to sign that way
from now on,"
and I said,
"Is that because our stamps
look like you
wrote the signature?"
He went "Yeah. "
In the end, I thought,
"Oh, I'm dumping them. "
I never told Eppy,
I just thought, "Right,
I'll just keep all
these autograph books
and photographs
in the cupboard,
and when the lads come in,
I'll still carry on. "
I would know when they were staying
at home in their own houses,
I would know in advance that,
oh, George is coming home tonight,
so I'll nab him, I'll go from the office
straight to Mackets Lane,
so I would go
'round and get them
to sign stuff in
their own house,
say, "Oh,
while you're sitting there,
watching the telly,
do us a favor.
Can you just
sign that bagful?"
So, if some of the fans,
especially in the foreign countries,
they didn't have the address
of the fan club,
so they just knew that they lived
in England somewhere,
so they would just
put 'To Paul McCartney'
or 'To George Harrison,
but it would come
through the system.
The post office, give them their due,
were very good,
they just knew where
the fan club existed.
The type of
questions kids would ask
in the fan club
letters was, you know,
'Can I have
a piece of Paul's shirt?'
or 'If I send you a map,
can you ask
Paul to come
'round at 6 o'clock?
Because I'm having a party
and I'd like him to come. '
But then it got
a bit out of hand,
because then
people wanted hair,
and it was
the same barber that cut
their hair,
it was always this one guy.
I mean, it was their hair,
they'd probably do DNA on it now.
He would have
a mat down on the floor
or something,
and cut their hair...
'cos he thought I was mental.
And he'd just say "There you go,
do you want that bit?"
I'd go "Yeah, yeah, thanks. "
Somebody sent a pillowcase in
and said "Can you get Ritchie to
sleep on this pillowcase
and then send it back to me
and get him to sign it?"
I must have known that he was going to
be home for three days,
so I just threw that in the bag
and took it to his house
and said, "Will you sleep on that tonight
and sign it then?"
And I remember saying to Elsie...
that was his mum...
"Can you make sure
he sleeps on it?"
Anyway, he brought it in,
just said "Here,"
and then I just
sent it out again...
whether she believed me or not
that he'd slept on it, but he did,
he put his head
on that pillow.
Honestly, if I could
do it, I would do it,
'cos I was one of them,
I was a fan me self,
so I knew where
they were coming from.
There was one particular fan
that stowed away on a ship
from America to Liverpool docks,
finished up on our doorstep.
Freda had many episodes
like that to deal with,
of fans that were just crazy.
They would just open the mail
and flip through the mail,
and go "Oh, this kid
wants such and such,"
or "This girl wants
a piece of my shirt,"
they'd just laugh, and I said,
"Oh, just leave it there,
'cos I've got a bit of your shirt,"
and they'd go "Good. "
When I typed the wages,
the balance went in the bank Fordham,
and they all got
50 pound in an envelope, cash,
for them to play around with
whatever way they wanted.
Now, I used to take
that money sometimes:
if they didn't come in that week,
Eppy'd just say to me,
"Now you go to one
of the bookings. "
I knew they were
playing at The Empire
and I was trying to
get through the crowd,
and in those days,
policemen were always big,
and this guy was a big guy
and he was on a horse
and I was trying to wriggle
through the crowd,
and I just said to him,
"I need to get into The Empire. "
He just blanked me.
And I said "No,
no, I work for them,
I've got their wages,
I need to get
into The Empire. "
And he went, "You and
thousands of others. Hop it. "
Which one is this? Oh,
it's a Beatle one.
My mum is the most private person
I've ever met in my life.
She would never sit down
and put dinner on the table
and discuss just
idle chitter-chatter
about what's gone
on with The Beatles
in the past,
or anything like that.
That's just not her nature.
You know,
Freda, unless you knew her,
you would never
know what she's done,
'cos she never
tells anybody at all.
We did a gig the other month
in New Brighton
and Freda was in the audience.
I saw her come in, and I was
on the microphone,
I said "I'd like to welcome Freda Kelly,
The Beatles' secretary,"
and she just turned around
and walked straight out,
so nobody knew who she was,
they're all looking 'round
but she wasn't there;
she'd walked out.
A lot of people
in my mother's life
don't even know
her previous life,
so to speak, i. e. her job,
and she's always kept it like that.
It was a time of her life,
and things changed,
and then she became a mother
so things moved on,
so if they do happen
to find out, they are
rather surprised,
to say the least.
You know, some
things are very personal,
and I do respect the word privacy.
I like my own privacy,
and I think even The Beatles,
entitled to
part of their lives
that really people
shouldn't invade.
Ritchie started going out
with a girl called Mo Cox
who was from Liverpool,
she was a hairdresser,
and we just got on
very well together, Mo and I.
I think it was
because she was just
an ordinary girl
from Liverpool.
Mo and Ritchie
got married in '65,
and then she had Zak
in the September, I think.
I happened to be in London
the day he was born,
and I was in the office,
and Ritchie called into the office,
and he said,
"I'm going to see Mo now,
and Zak.
Do you wanna come with me?"
and I went "Oh yeah, yeah,"
So I think I was
the second person
to see Zak,
soon after he was born.
John's girlfriend
... well, she was
his wife when I got
to know Cynthia...
she was out of the picture,
she was very low key.
We were told... but
that we weren't to say
anything... that
John was married.
Brian Epstein was sitting on it
for as long as he could.
I even had a friend
that was going out with John,
and she would go to bookings
and he would take her home,
but I couldn't tell her that,
"Oh please, end this now.
It's not gonna go anywhere. "
You really want to say something.
You're dying to say something,
because it is your friend,
but you work for a company
that have asked you
not to say things,
so you have given your word.
Freda had this
Liverpool trait of loyalty
in her love life
and other people's love lives.
were amongst the top
priorities of
being personal things
that you did not publicize.
You certainly did
not kiss and tell.
I was out with Paul,
walking somewhere,
maybe he gave me a lift home
or he walked me to the bus stop,
somebody saw us, and then it was,
you know, I was marrying Paul,
and then they got a quote
"Well, Paul McCartney
is not marrying Freda Kelly. "
When it was released
that Paul had got married,
because people didn't know
that he was getting married,
phone call after phone call
was all Paul fans, crying down the phone,
"Why didn't you tell us
he was getting married?"
"We didn't know
he was getting married!"
and, oh, some of them
that wanted to kill themselves,
and "Oh, I'll never be
a Paul McCartney fan again!
He's gone and
married somebody else!"
so you just had
to calm them down
and say, "Well, you know,
he's still Paul McCartney,
he'll still be
making his records,"
and they'd be
"No no no, but he's
got married now and
it's not the same. "
I do remember the guy
from one of the papers.
He lived near me, you know,
he knew what my job was...
that I was working
for The Beatles...
and I remember him saying to me,
could I tell him anything?
"Freda, you just
have to put an envelope
through my door with
things written on it,
and then there will be an envelope
through your door. "
This was just before
George got married,
'cos I thought
"Well I ain't telling ya
that George is
going to get married,"
but I just looked at him,
and then I just said,
"Oh no, I wouldn't do that. "
Everybody needs money,
and we all like money,
or we'd like to
have more money
than we have,
but not to that extent.
I'm not prepared to sell me soul
to the devil for a few pounds.
That's just me though,
isn't it? You know
doesn't think like me.
Maybe some people think
I'm silly or stupid or...
She was a girl
and then a woman
with absolute
integrity and faithfulness.
So many otherpeople have,
over the years, told, I would say,
dirt digging type stories,
and Freda never did do that
and never would.
In the beginning, you know,
I was just a fan and everything like that,
but once I started working for them,
the loyalty set in.
It wasn't there from day one,
'cos I'm just a seventeen-year-old,
but then, as I'm maturing with them,
the loyalty is setting in,
and you don't break loyalty.
I think if you're loyal to something,
you should stay loyal.
If she had to be tough,
she would certainly be tough;
if she had to be sweet,
she was sweet anyway,
and she was intent on
getting the facts right all the time,
and lo and behold,
if you didn't get the facts right,
you were in her bad books,
and I wouldn't like to be
in Freda's bad books.
I think that Freda's
motto in life
was "I'll be nice to you,
but don't cross me.
I'll not deal with you,
in fact, if you're
trying to tell
lies about my boys. "
I was quite
nervous around Freda,
'cos to me she
was like an idol.
I was about 14, there was
three of us worked together,
oh it was just
absolutely an amazing
thing to do at the time,
you know,
to think that one of The Beatles
could possibly walk in,
it was just... oh,
I just can't explain it
It was amazing at the time.
They would put photographs
in envelopes
and they would
open certain letters,
and then bring the letters in
for me to answer,
and I would really
frank in the mail,
and this particular day,
one of the envelopes
that I put through
the franking machine
was a bit bulky,
so I opened it,
and when I opened it,
there was hair fell out,
and the girls were
still in the office,
and I just said,
"What's going on here?"
She was absolutely livid.
I mean,
being the innocent party,
I didn't know
nothing about it,
and then my friend Lorraine,
she owned up and said it was her.
It materialized that she'd cut
her sister's hair
and put her sister's
hair in the envelope
and pretended it was
going to be Paul's,
and I just said,
"Well, I just can't trust you after this. "
I still remember thinking,
"I've done nothing wrong,
it wasn't my fault!"
I just done a clean sweep,
didn't just sack the girl that done it,
I said, "That's it, sorry.
Can't trust you anymore. "
That was the only
time I've been sacked.
Wouldn't wanna live that day again,
that's for sure.
It was horrible... awful day.
The thing about Freda
is that if she found out
that somebody was telling lies
about somebody,
it'd just be "Come here you,"
in front of everybody
and she would castigate them
right down the banks,
and so she's a bit judgmental,
if you like, but so? That's Freda.
The bottom line was,
I had to run a tight ship...
I had to answer to Apple
and to The Beatles,
and if anything went wrong,
it was my head
that went on
the chopping block,
nobody else's.
It was August 1965,
and The Beatles were playing on The Empire,
and The Moody Blues were also
on the bill, with them.
I had popped in
to see the lads,
I just opened
the door slightly
and their band room
was just full of relations,
so I thought, "Oh,
I'm never going to get in here,"
so, I was involved
with one of The Moodys at the time,
so I went into their dressing room,
which was next door,
that was just them and they had
alcohol and drinks,
so I decided to
stay there for a drink,
but probably I stayed a bit longer
than I shoulda done,
and then I realized
that I had to get autographs signed
and photographs signed,
so anyway,
I came back, knocked on the door,
and I just walked in.
And as I walked in,
John said to me, "Where have you been?"
And I said,
"Oh, I've been next door,
I've been in
the Moodys' dressing room,"
and he went, "Whose fan club
secretary are you?"
and I went "What are
you talking about?"
I said, "I'm your
fan club secretary,"
and he went "Not anymore. "
He said, "You might as well
go back to The Moodys
and be their fan
club secretary,"
and I said "What are you talking about?"
and he went "You're sacked. "
And then I looked
at the other three,
so I said,
"Are you sacking me as well?"
and they went,
"No, we're not sacking you. "
So I got on my
high horse then,
probably because of the drink,
and I looked at him and I said,
"Well, I'll just work for the other three;
I won't do your mail anymore. "
He said "Oh, I was only joking,"
I went, "No you weren't,"
and he went
"Oh, I'm begging you, come back!"
and I said, "Well, I'll tell you what,
get down on your two knees
and beg me to come back,
you dumped me. "
He said, "If I get down
on one knee?"
and I said, "Go on then,
get down on one knee,"
and he did, and I said, "Oh, all right,
I'll come back to you. "
There has been quite a degree
of loss in her lifetime
which not many
people have gone through,
so, obviously, her mother dying
when she was very young,
my brother dying,
then my mum and dad getting divorced...
A lot of people have gone under
for less, and she hasn't.
She's a strong character,
and she's come out fighting every time.
Over a period of time, people have said
"Oh, why don't you do a book?"
or "You know,
you should do a book,"
and my son did ask me
... Timothy did ask me...
to do a few things,
and I just...
it was because I never talked about
The Beatles, or my past,
and then something would
come on the television
and it would jog my memory,
and I would say, "Oh, I went to that,"
or, "Oh, I remember
the civic reception,"
or "I remember this,"
and Timothy used to say,
"But mum,
you never talk about it,"
and I said, "Timothy, I haven't
got time to talk about it.
I'm more
interested in going to shops
and thinking what
to put on the table
tonight for dinner,
not to sit down
and talk to you
about The Beatles. "
And he just shook
it off, and then,
when my grandson
came along, I thought
I didn't do it for Timothy,"
and then Timothy passed away
a few years ago,
and then when Nial came along,
I thought, "Well,
I'm definitely going to do it now. "
Shh, I can hear
the birdies singing,
can you hear them singing?
You know, because one of these days,
he might just look at me
in the corner with
the shawl and the grey
hair and a cat
sitting on me knee,
and probably think,
"Oh, you know,
she never done anything,
or... "
I would like him
to be proud of me
and see how
exciting my life was
in the '60s,
and the fun I had.
If I hadn't 'a done it now
... and this is the truth...
If I hadn't 'a done it now,
I know I wouldn't ever have done it.
She could always say tomorrow,
and she'll never sit
down and sort it out.
When Nial was born,
things definitely changed,
and I think that when anybody
has a child in that respect,
it does open a lot
of doors for people
and changes their position
in life in general,
and you can suddenly reinvent
yourself to a degree,
because Timothy
isn't around now,
and you don't know
what tomorrow brings.
When they came
back from America,
Brian Epstein decided then
that we had to move to London,
and you did, because in those days
everything happened in London,
wasn't happening up north.
We were planning on where
we were going to live
and what we were gonna do,
and what clubs we would visit,
and we were just...
all the excitement and the adrenaline
was, ooh, we're going to the big city,
the capital city.
So I went home and said,
"Oh, well, I'm going to London,
the fam's going to London,
and I'm going
to London with
the fam and everything,"
and I'm all bubbly,
and me father,
he just sat in the chair
and he was just listening,
and he said, "London is a city
of vice. You're not going. "
I knew I could go, you know,
he couldn't stop me going,
but when I started
looking in me own mind,
he wasn't very
well at the time,
so that's when I thought
"No, I can't do this to me father.
A job's a job, even if it is
The Beatles, a job's a job. "
And that's why I
handed in my notice.
He had a beautiful desk in the office,
really big desk,
he didn't even look
up when I walked in,
I just stood in front of him,
and I said, very quietly,
"I want to hand in
my notice please. "
He'd never heard that before,
and he went,
"Don't you want
to come to London?"
I said, "Oh, I desperately
want to come to London,
I'd love to come to London,"
and I said,
"But I can't come to London,
'cos me father
won't allow me. "
I know for a fact that Brian Epstein
was seriously concerned,
and I also know
that the individual Beatles
were most upset that
she wasn't coming to London.
And then Eppy sent for me.
He said, "I've had
a talk with the lads,
and we don't
want to you leave. "
And I was just stunned.
He said, "I've had a word
with your father, and you can come
to London on a regular basis.
You stay up here. "
And he said, "You can go back to NEMS,
let me see it done,
you can have my old offices
in White Chapel. "
And that was how
I didn't leave.
Before they moved to London,
I wanted to get their autographs,
so, George was in
this day, and I had
autograph book
upon autograph book
for him to sign,
and I slipped mine in the middle.
So he's signing them,
and I'm saying, you know, "That's to Rita,
that's to Barbara, that's to Steve,
and he gets to mine, and he said
"Who's this to?" and I said,
"Well, just sign that,"
'cos I just wanted
it out of the way,
and he went,
"Well, no, who's it to?"
and I think it was
because I was going,
"Oh, it doesn't matter,
just sign it,"
and I remember
saying to him, "Oh,
just sign the book,
just sign the book,"
and he flicked it to the front,
and he went, "Is this yours?"
and I went,
"Yeah, I haven't got your autograph,
I just want your autograph
before you go to London. "
So he signed it, and he pocketed it,
he took it,
and I went,
"What are you doing with me book?"
and he went,
"I'll get the others for ya. "
And then next time he came in,
he just threw it on the table,
he went, "There you go. "
And they'd all put little comments in it.
Oh, Beatles Monthly.
Before the days
of the internet and
Twitter and
Facebook and everything,
the way we got
news to the fans
was through
the Beatles Monthlys.
I would get information
from their parents,
little gossipy snippets,
I would also ask them what was going on,
and little bits
of juicy information from them,
and I would put it
in my newsletter,
that was,
in The Beatles Monthly.
Dear Beatle People,
I'd really like to thank each
and every one of you
who have sent presents
for John's birthday.
John was really pleased that
so many of you remembered him.
During his 10-day
trip to America,
Paul looked in on a Beach Boys
recording session.
Tarrah for now, Freda Kelly.
Dear Beatle People, July 1964
will go down in Beatle history
as a hard day's month.
At last the first feature film
starring our fabulous foursome
is ready for showing,
and will be coming
to your local
cinema quite soon.
At the beginning of March,
you will see, Beatles at Shea Stadium Show,
filmed in New
York last August,
when the boys starred in the
largest-ever concert of their career
before 57,000 fans.
Thank goodness
the rumors about Paul are over.
Paul is still with us,
and is likely to be with us for a long time.
Congratulations to
Ringo and Maureen,
who are expecting
their second baby
shortly after
Maureen's next birthday.
George has been to
the dentist again.
Dear Beatle People,
after nearly four months
of solid session work,
the new LP, called
Sergeant Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band,
is ready.
Beatles are hoping to acquire
their own private recording studios
at a secret
location in central London.
New Beatles
recording every week.
In one short
period of just over
four months,
The Beatles have released
no less than
sixteen new recordings.
John hated his
passport photograph so much
that he tore it up
and had a new picture taken.
Dear Beatle People,
quite a lot of letters sent in
discussed John,
Cynthia, and Yoko Ono.
At least as many members have
written about Paul and Jane.
Everyone has dozens
of questions to ask,
and many of you
have only been too
ready to put
forward your opinions.
Here at the fan club,
we believe
that The Beatles deserve their
separate and individual private lives,
which should remain their business,
and no other people's.
I am sure both
John and Paul will
work out their
problems in their own ways,
and I think they should be
allowed to do so
without the help or hindrance
from millions of Beatle People.
Tarrah for now, Freda Kelly.
Over the years,
we could see the effect
that his job was
having on Eppy.
It was taking its toll.
The odd time that I went to London
and saw him, he was just changing,
you know, you could just see
things weren't right.
He became obsessed
with trying out, initially,
with drugs, and then
becoming very
reliant upon them,
and becoming more
and more of a mess.
The 27th of August,
1967, I was at home.
There was something
up with our phone,
and I know I had
to use a neighbor's phone,
and the neighbor
came over to me
and said,
"There's a call for you,
there's a girl, Pat,
wants to talk to you,"
and Pat said,
"Oh, have you heard about
have you heard about Brian?
He's just been found dead. "
The media were on this one
that he committed suicide,
and I just didn't believe
that he committed suicide.
Somebody said that he
choked on his vomit,
and I tend to
believe that tale.
The Beatles were
actually in Wales,
they'd gone there
to see the Maharishi,
and they were informed there,
and I just remember John,
out of all of them,
he was the one that
was sorta stunned.
Although I was still young me self,
I could still visualize
the devastation
that it was going to cause.
He was
the anchor for everything,
and it was just...
where do we all go from here?
What happens now?
So Paul had this meeting set
for September the 1st,
within a couple of days of Brian Epstein's
very tragic, premature death,
and when I got there,
nobody else had arrived yet,
and he said, "Before the others get here,
I just want to tell you,
I think that if The Beatles do not
get together and work together
very very quickly now,
the group is going to disintegrate. "
Magical Mystery tour,
it wasn't the best-organized thing,
well, it wasn't organized,
because Paul had a rough idea,
but just a very rough idea.
This coach rolled up,
and there was all
different types of
people milling around,
like a guy dressed up
as a bit of a clown,
and he had a spotty,
funny-type suit,
and I thought
"What's going on?"
and then this man... I didn't know him,
I found out his name then,
it was called Ivor Cutler...
and he come over to me
and he just said to me,
"You've got a nice-shaped head. "
We all eventually got on the bus,
and I dived for the back,
I thought, "Well, I'll go
on the back seat,
and, you know, you're not really
seen on the back seat,"
and then Paul
eventually got on the bus,
and he sat by the driver,
and then he called my name,
and he went,
"Freda, where are you?"
and I went,
"I'm here, I'm on the back,"
and he went,
"Can you come up the front?"
and I went, "Do I have to?"
and he went, "Come up the front. "
I thought, "Well, he's getting severe
here now, do as you're told. "
You couldn't book the hotels
in The Beatles' names
because they
wouldn't have you,
so you always had to book them
under false names,
and Neil was doing
some of the hotels,
and I said to him, "Why don't you book it
in the Women's Institute
or the Catholic Women's League
or something like that?"
and he went,
"Oh, that's a good idea,"
so I had to go up
to the counter in the hotel
and say, "Hello,
you've got a reservation
in the name of
the Women's Institute,"
and then they went, "Oh fine,"
I said, "Well, we're just come in now. "
The shock on
people's faces when we all
trooped in...
because it was The Beatles,
it was people dressed weird...
it was a very mixed bunch,
very odd bunch,
and I was one of them.
But where, I think,
Paul was decided to do it there and then
was 'cos it was so quickly
after Brian Epstein's death.
He thought it might hold us all together,
or hold them all together,
but I don't think it worked.
That's just my opinion.
You know, you don't wanna
think about that,
you can be big-headed,
and say,
we're gonna last ten years,"
but as soon as you've
said that, you think
"We're lucky if we
last three months. "
Well obviously, we can't keep playing
the same sort of music
until we're about 40.
When I as at 40, we
may not know how to
write songs anymore.
I hope to have enough money
to go into a business of my own
by the time we do flop.
I've always fancied having
a ladies' hairdresser.
I string them, in fact, and strut 'round
in me stripes and me tails,
you know,
"Like a cup of tea, madam?"
The Beatles stopped touring in
roughly 1966, I think,
then Brian
Epstein died in '67, and
Magical Mystery
Tour was in '67,
and Apple had started by then.
In the beginning,
when Apple first opened,
it was great:
the fun and the madness
and all different nationalities
in the press office.
People didn't
act as if they were
working in
an office or a business,
and then it became more settled down,
more normal,
and there wasn't as much fun.
I loved
the beginning part of it,
'cos it was fun
in the beginning,
and it was fun for them,
they enjoyed it so much.
Every group wants to be in the charts,
or wants a hit record, or...
Everything was exciting in the beginning:
they got a number one,
and then they
were asked to appear
on the Royal
Command Performance,
and they saw the queen,
and they were a hit in America,
and the civic reception,
and it was all these landmarks,
and... where does it stop?
You can't keep carrying on
like that, can you?
Towards the end of the '60s,
it wasn't what The Beatles were doing
as a group anymore,
it was what they
were doing individually.
I know Paul's was... he was
bringing out his own LP,
John and Yoko were doing
the peace movement,
and George was
doing things, I think
with Clapton,
I can't remember,
Ritchie had two sons by then,
and he was more interested
in, sort of, a family life.
And then the penny was
dropping with me,
that we aren't gonna be Beatles
as a group anymore.
Are you still the Beatles' fan
club secretary? How's business?
Fine, except for the post day.
They don't have
a group anymore.
Well they've still got four members,
haven't they?
I don't like to lie,
but it was trying to bend the truth,
when people were asking you questions
about what was going on,
you had to more or
less say, "Well yes,
The Beatles are
still together,
and everything's great,"
but it wasn't great.
And now,
what's the arrangement today?
Well last August,
Paul rang me up
and said he didn't want people
to be writing about him as a Beatle,
which I was doing, and he wanted to split
this word, Beatles, up.
They are four individual people now,
recording and everything,
and we'll write all
about Apple artists,
so we're still writing about
the four Beatles
'cos Paul is
still an Apple artist.
Is the atmosphere today
anything like it was ten years ago?
No, no.
What's missing?
The closeness.
It was all fun when we were teenagers,
but your life changes,
and my life had changed,
I was then 27, I mean,
I was married now,
had a baby son,
and I wanted more children,
and I was, we'll say,
concentrating on that.
I then found out
I was pregnant.
I'd been trying
to get pregnant for a while;
I desperately
wanted this baby,
and I just wanted to make sure
that everything was gonna be all right,
so that was more important
to me than my job,
was my married life, my son,
and the baby on the way,
and then that's when I thought,
"Well, I'm out here. "
I went to London,
had a discussion
with Neil Aspinall,
the head of Apple,
who was their road manager
in the beginning,
and George and
Ritchie were there;
it was just... that was all,
I remember we were 'round a table.
I told them that I was pregnant,
and they said,
"Well, do you think you would
be going back to work?"
and I said, "I won't be
going back to work,
you know,
I'll have two children then. "
And then George
finally spoke up
and said,
"Freda, you were there in the beginning,
you're there at the end,
let's call it a day.
Let's end the fan club. "
You're still
involved in the fan club?
Well, I'm sorta
trying to wind it up.
This is what I wrote:
"Well, this is it.
John, Paul, George,
and Ringo have each
gone their separate ways,
and they are no
longer collectively
an item.
There it is. Eleven years.
Eleven years in which
we have become a very strong,
and close circle of friends.
There will not be
another official fan club
for The Beatles as
individual artists.
Please do not write again.
Yours faithfully,
Freda Kelly. "
I haven't read that
since it went out.
I actually felt
quite sad, reading it.
With me being
a Beatle fan myself,
I just knew that
this is going to
break a lot of
girls' hearts, so I musta
put a lot of
lights out for people.
Well, the lights
went out, didn't they?
At the back of
all this, I am still
...or was... am
still a Beatle fan,
so I do think
the way they think.
We were still getting
a lot of letters every day.
I took them all home with me,
'cos I couldn't leave them in the office,
and although I said I
wouldn't write again
and I wouldn't
answer any letters,
between running
my home and doing
the normal
things a mother does,
I did answer the letters.
You know,
I'd maybe do three one night,
I might do none
the next night,
I might do five
on the Saturday.
But it took me,
on average, about
three years to
answer all those letters.
Once I ended
the fan club, that was it.
I was then not
Freda Kelly anymore,
and I just lived a normal life
like everybody else,
nothing to do with
The Beatles anymore.
When I look back, it is shocking
how many people that have gone
that I knew from those days.
we lost Eppy first of all.
You've got the main two...
you've got John and George,
you've got two wives...
Mo Cox, Linda McCartney,
you've got all the parents,
you've got Neil Aspinall,
Derek Taylor,
my friend Laurie McCaffrey...
it brings it home to me.
I think fame and money
doesn't mean anything.
All the wealth
doesn't cure cancer, does it?
I worked with a lot of good people,
I did, I loved them.
Giving a job like that, to what
became the biggest band in the world,
to a girl of 17, that was
an unbelievable thing to do,
and she never let 'em down.
The tide washes
the sea in every day.
Freda was the tide
... you saw the effects
of the tide like you see
the effects of Freda...
but you never actually see a tide as such,
it just happens to be there,
and Freda was,
so tell the story.
I don't know why
Eppy picked me.
Maybe it was just fate.
And I was taken along
for this ten-year,
exciting ride,
and then dropped off
on the corner where I started it.
You know, I'm not famous,
I'm not wealthy,
I'm still working for a living,
I'm still a Beatle fan,
so although there's a 50-year gap
since I started it,
I still like to think that I'm back
where I was in the beginning.
I don't ever have to
tell this tale again.
It's down now,
on record, isn't it?
End of.
Peace and love.
My name is Ringo,
and this is a message
to all of Freda
Kelly's grandchildren.
Freda was a great friend to The Beatles,
she was the fan club leader,
and we've known
her for a long time.
Anyway, we all loved Freda.
She was great,
and Freda was like part of the family,
and she knew all our families,
she was just one of the best.
Peace and love. Peace and love.