This day marks what would have been the 87th birthday of Mal Evans - the Beatles' personal assistant.
In the early 1960s Mal, who was tall and burly, worked as a bouncer at the Cavern Club and became the group's unofficial bodyguard and roadie. Working with Neil Aspinall he became part of their trusted inner-circle, transporting, setting up and checking their equipment.
We featured 'Maxwell-Mal' on the front cover of our May 1970 issue and published an interview we did with him 'on the steps' - follow the link to read all about it.
It's now 51 years from when our song 'Apple Scruffs' was taken from the album and released as a single. This was released as the 'B' side to 'What Is Life' in 16 different countries and some countries it was released as a 'Double A' side and made the top ten, but never released as a single in the UK.
George told us "Well, you had your own magazine, your own office on the steps, so why not your own song?"
"The sun was beginning to rise and the dawn chorus had just begun when the door opened and Mal came out and said “George wants you to come in.” I think we all thought he was joking but he took us in and then led us into the control room of Studio 3. George was there and he was smiling and told us to sit down then said “I’ve got something I want you to hear.” All of a sudden the sound of the harmonica at the beginning of the song began to play and our world turned upside down as we listened to the song." Apple Scruff Gill
The December issue of the Apple Scruff Monthly Book featured Peter Brown on the cover dressed as Santa giving out the foam apples (a free Christmas gift from Apple) - he also gave us an invitation to cross the threshold and attend the exclusive Apple Christmas Party!
Our memories aren't so good on the party which can only mean it WAS good! Although we can just remember:
Scruff Wendy jiving with Ringo, Eric jamming with George, Bill Oakes on the drums, Tony Bramwell dancing with Julie Edge, Ringo's generous measures of Southern Comfort (oh yes!), Scruff Dani locked in the loo and a wonderful sing-along dance with Peter Brown. Our Lucy captured it all with our 'centre-fold' drawing! Can you guess who's who?
Featured in the December issue, our 'resident poet laureate' Scruff Margo wrote: (in the tune of 'Thanks for the Memory')
Thanks for the party night, The whiskey and the cokes, The music and the blokes, The holly and the mistletoe. . . and Terry Doran's jokes!! Oh thank you SO much.
Thanks for the party night, The queueing for the loo, The faces turning blue, The bodies sprawled out on the stairs . . . Yes, there were quite a few!! Oh, thank you SO much.
That Christmas we also printed our own 'Happy Christmas' poster which were gifts for all our members - possibly a rare collectable item nowadays?
We also received a beautiful Christmas Card from George and Pattie.
So thank you, this was a Christmas to be remembered.
A very special invitation landed on our mat! - to an 'exclusive' 100 minute preview of The Beatles 'Get Back' Docuseries. We even got a mention and applause by the producer Jonathan Clyde!
Suejohn and Eileen were special guests of Apple as they are both featured in the film - (a little detective work was required to locate Eileen as we hadn't been in touch for a long time) and then the invitation was extended to a few other Apple Scruffs!
After the screening there was a small party and we had a wonderful evening full of reminiscing with fellow Beatle friends - some we hadn't seen for over 50 years!!
The Beatles: Get Back is a 3-part documentary directed by Peter Jackson. The January 1969 footage features the band in the midst of rehearsing and recording Let It Be and spotlights the band at Twickenham Film Studio, their Apple basement studios, and eventually the Apple Rooftop where they gave their final performance on January 30th.
The film has been compiled from over 55 hours of unseen footage and 140 hours of mostly unheard audio recordings.
Photo shows the rooftop concert on Savile Row. CREDIT: Disney
It is with much sadness that the great Beatles fan, Lizzie Bravo has passed away. Although Lizzie wasn’t an Apple Scruff she was very much our friend and will be greatly missed.
There is a question on the 'Beatles Trivial Pursuit' game: 'Who was one of the fans that sang on 'Across the Universe' ? the answer, of course, is Lizzie Bravo
Lizzie was one of the girls who 'volunteered' (we were not brave enough!) to sing in the background of "Across the Universe" and if you are a Beatles fan we are sure that you would have heard her amazing stories of meeting the Beatles - she had also published a book ‘Do Rio a Abbey Road’ based on her diaries and photos from the 1960s.
We will always remember you Lizzie!
Video with Lizzie and Gayleen singing their harmonies:
It's the saddest news that our dearest friend and Official Scruff has passed away. She was a beautiful lady and our soul-mate and we shall all miss her so much.
Gayleen was one of our two friends who sang harmonies with The Beatles on 'Across the Universe' their story is a well known one and if you want to hear the girls explain in their own words please follow the link below to view the BBC interview they did recently on their fabulous experience.
We will always love you Gayleen, rest in Peace across the universe our dear friend x
Jai Guru Deva
Gayleen with Lizzie singing Across the Universe:
Today, the commemorative Blue Plaque was unveiled at 3 Savile Row to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles Rooftop concert on 30th January 1969. We were invited, along with many other Apple friends, to a party to celebrate this long overdue event and a wonderful time was had by all - we felt quite the celebrities having our photos taken on the steps - and even signed a few autographs!!
The photos show: Four Apple Scruffs, (Chris, Carole, Suejohn and Margo) with Beatles roadie Kevin Harrington ('the red head on the roof'), Apple employee Nigel Oliver and Ringo's driver John Mears all reunited on the steps of 3 Savile Row - note that we're still wearing our badges and these are also 50 years old!
The music entertainment was provided by Hiran De Silva and David Andrew Minchin and we were honored to hear them play 'our song' for us.
'Pointless' is a Quiz in which contestants try to score as few points as possible by plumbing the depths of their general knowledge to come up with the answers no-one else can think of - we couldn't believe we had come up as a 'pointless' answer!
"In July, Apple moved to No.3 Savile row. It was a big building. The record division was on the ground floor and the studio was in the basement. On the first floor there was a room for me and each of The Beatles. The next floor up from me was the press office, and after that I can't remember."
Neil Aspinall from The Beatles Anthology. Photo © Apple Corps Ltd
And further back in time:
John Forbes began his naval career at the age of 13 and progressed up through the ranks until he became Admiral of the Fleet from 1781 until his death. Even though Forbes was unable to walk and rarely seen in society he still managed to exercise overall control of the British Navy – by holding meetings at his house at 3 Savile Row, where he lived from 1760. In 1784 Forbes' daughter Katherine married 3rd Lieutenant William Wellesley-Pole in a ceremony at 3 Savile Row with guests including Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington. Wellesley-Pole inherited the house.
William Wellesley-Pole owned 3 Savile Row between 1797 and 1842. In his role as Master of the Mint Wellesley-Pole presided over the introduction of new silver currency that was to remain in circulation from 1817 right through until decimalisation in 1971. His humble shilling must surely be one of the greatest symbols of Britishness - and this was the price of an Apple Scruff Monthly Book in 1970!
One of the greatest stereotypical representation of the English gentleman must be the wearing of a bowler hat and No3 Savile Row can claim the distinction of being recognised as the place where the bowler hat originated. It is generally acknowledged that the hat was designed by British soldier and politician Edward Coke and when he was in Town, Coke lived at 3 Savile Row.
Photo: Ron Tolson who worked at Apple in the accounts department - he was always polite to us and always wore his bowler hat!