THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BEATLES AND THEIR GIRLS
There’s a Beatles’ warm inner circle. In it are the girls they are fond of. This is the part of them that remains constant against the restless background of fame and fortune. Come in and meet these girls - the rare ones picked out of thousands by the four most famous boys in the world.
The Beatle girls have about as much in common as the boys themselves.
JANE Asher is very much the professional actress. When Paul first met her he was afraid that she might not like him. She, being a sophisticated London girl, and he a boy from Merseyside. He’s a differnt person when she’s around and they’re seen frequently at their favourite haunt, the Ad Lib club in London. She goes for ankle length dresses and is fond of a particularly special black velvet one.
Like Paul, she drinks coke - usually plain, but sometimes with whisky, brandy or vodka in it. Or she’ll sip Portugese Rose wine. They both like steak sandwiches. Neither are limelight people. They rarely dance but prefer to sit and hold hand and talk.
CYNTHIA Lennon is the mature, quiet one. She can see through phonies but she doesn’t say much.
When she and John first met in Liverpool, she had short, curly, ordinary hair. John persuaded her to grow it and have it bleached white blond. He encouraged her to go to top dress designers for simple, expensive clothes.
She’s very shy and he has always sheilded her from the limelight. She’s happiest when having a quiet meal out alone with him, or when they’re together with their son, Julian, at home.
Friends say Cynthia has a strong influence on John. She certainly worries over him and is a devoted wife and mother.
MAUREEN Starkey, known in the inner circle as Midge* or Mo, is also shy and quietly spoken. She has gorgeous eyes, a pale complexion and likes to wear black. She’s guided by Jane Asher in the clothes she buys. Maureen and Ringo met back in the old Cavern days.
She says she’s no cook but adds: “I have a way with eggs.” She doesn’t like reporters. “They follow me everywhere. During our honeymoon at Hove there was a photographer camped out over the road all night and all day.” She doesn’t travel with Ringo on his tours, but generally stays with her mother in Liverpool. Her father is a ship’s steward and away a lot.
(*”Mitch”, not Midge, was Maureen’s nickname.)
PATTIE Boyd wasn’t a Beatle fan when she was picked to be one of the girls in A Hard Day’s Night. But it was only a matter of weeks before she was a big fan of George’s.
She’s a dolly girl and a successful model, who is even more attractive in person than she is in photos. It took her a little time to be accepted by the other Beatle girls. Beatle people tend to be bit cautious about anyone breaking into their inner circle. But she’s a thoroughly nice girl and in due course was in.
Pattie’s not really the domestic type but likes an evening out with George. She’s more fond of dancing than he is, but is eager to please him.
BEATLE GIRLS AND TRAVEL
On the whistle-stop Beatle tours - like playing at twenty-four different towns in one month, as they did last summer in the States and this summer - it’s not safe for the Beatle girls to go along.
The boys travel between six and seven hundred miles a day, get mobbed by thousands and thousands of hysterical, desperate fans, perform to frantic audiences, go to grueling official receptions and get asked to visit the sick. They sign never-ending autograph books and do a hundred and one other things, so there just isn’t time for anything else.
None of the their girls have ever been on one of these Beatle tours. But Maureen, Cynthia and Pattie did go out when the boys were filming in Austria. Cynthia and John had already had a foretaste of the white, white world of snow and skiing. They had been to St. Moritz in Switzerland for few days’ rest in January (1965).
Cynthia obviously had a good time and looked marvelous in her diamond-pattern anorak, ski pants, ski boots and dark glasses. She wore no ski cap, but her husband swathed his head in a red scarf and put a hood over the top. He obligingly fell in the snow for photographers, and the whole trip was great.
On March 13 of this year (1965), the boys, plus Cynthia and Maureen, left for Salzburg; then they went on to Obertauern, a ski resort 7,500 feet up in the Austrian Alps. The party, including Pattie Boyd, stayed at the Edelweiss Hotel and most nights they had parties. Usually the girls didn’t dress up, but relaxed in apres-ski clothes.
Pattie had her twenty-first birthday out there and they had a special celebration at the hotel night club. The chef made a super birthday cake with one big candle on it, and Pattie blew it out in the trad fashion. Everyone sang “Happy Birthday” and Ringo and Paul put on an impromptu concert. George didn’t give her a present. He was saving his for when they returned to England, though she did get a box of chocolates from Gigi, Miss Austria 1964, their ski instructress.
Most evenings there was entertainment from Ringo and Paul who specialized in singing old songs with new words. Cynthia was quite gay on these nights but the other girls were quiet, along with John and George.
The girls didn’t watch the filming, but spent their days keeping out of the blaze of the limelight, learning to ski, walking in the snow and seeing the sights. Pattie had the bad luck to hurt her knee at the end of the first week, so she couldn’t do any more skiing. Pattie likes to play cards ‘specially Whist, when she has nothing else to do. She’s not particularly expert, but she enjoys it.
Most nights the whole gang were off to bed at one or two o’clock because the boys had to make an early start on the set each morning. During the two-week stay, several people in the party had birthdays, so there was quite a bit of celebrating - but usually no dancing. Pattie, who’s a keen dancer, maybe would have got some going but for her bad knee.
Paul (whose good friend Jane Asher, wasn’t able to be there because of her own
acting commitments) was more keen than the others to learn to ski.
Of course, the girls have often been abroad on holiday with their Beatles. Pattie went with George, John and Cynthia to Dromoland Castle in Ireland at Eastertime in 1964. She also spent over a week with George in Nassau last December, when they stayed with Walter Strach, the Beatles accountant, who now lives in the Bahamas. But when the boys were filming out there earlier this year (February 1965), the girls didn’t go.
In May 1964, the same foursome went to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel at Honolulu, but
flew on to Tahiti because they were hounded by fans. At the same time, Maureen, Jane, Ringo and Paul were holidaying in beautiful St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
Jane joined Paul for a weekend in Paris, when the boys were playing there (January 1964). She went out alone and stayed at the hotel on the South Bank. He used to visit her and even the other Beatles, staying with Paul at the plushy George V Hotel, didn’t know Jane was in town.
When the girls can’t go along on a trip, they are most definitely not forgotten. They get lots of phone calls, letters, cards and presents.
Ringo rang Maureen five times a week when he was in the States the first time (February 1964). Paul rang Jane twice from Miami. George phoned Pattie regularly from Australia (June 1964) and bought her a “mini” when he came back.
When Ringo came back from the Bahamas in March, he walked off the plane carrying a very large, gold parcel. He wouldn’t say what was in it, though maybe he told the customs men. He did say it was for his wife.
The girls are attentive to the boys, too. Maureen visited Ringo frequently when he was in London’s University College Hospital with tonsilitis in June last year. That was when Jimmy Nichol stood in for him, remember?
Jane went with Paul to Newport Pagnell when he collected his fabulous new blue Ashton Martin, which cost over 4,000 pounds. She also went with him to see the house he’d bought for his father and stepmother near Liverpool.
Cynthia was nearby when John passed his driving test (February 15, 1965) in his white “mini” at Weybridge, and they celebrated the feat with a glass of champagne. And she was there to meet him at London Airport when he came back from Australia.
Pattie went with George when he was best man at his brother Peter’s wedding to Pauline Johnson at Maghull, Lancs., recently (January 27, 1965).
So traveling together, or having half the world between them doesn’t make any serious difference in the close Beatles circle. These eight people have real feelings, and it looks as if they’ve settled them for a long time to come.
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From articles published in (UK) Fabulous Magazine May 22 & 29, 1965, and (USA)16 Magazine October 1965.