interview with Sid Bernstein -
The man who brought The Beatles to America and triggered the 'British Invasion'
Sid Bernstein is a mild-mannered gentleman from the old school.
An impresario and promoter who struck some hugely influential deals
without compromising his morals. Fortunately, in Brian Epstein, he
'met' a soul-mate who shared the same sort of business code. Sid and
Brian agreed on details for the record-breaking Carnegie Hall and Shea
Stadium Beatles' concerts over the phone. Showing a high regard for
Sid's opinion in a quick phone call, Ed Sullivan decided to include
The Beatles on his show and, lo, America joined in the mania that up
until then had been a secret between Britain and Sid Bernstein!
A poster for the historic
Shea stadium concert
.....This caused a chain
reaction which resulted in the so-called British Invasion, in which
Sid was very instrumental, bringing over The Animals, The Kinks, The
Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits and many
more. Sid has recently documented his memories in a book, Not Just The
Beatles, which I review on my reviews page. Sid kindly agreed to talk
to me. And from his apartment with a panoramic view of New York City
this is the insightful interview he gave.
Sid With Sir Paul
Digger: Hello, is that Sid
Digger: Hello, it's David in
Sid: How are you
Digger: I'm fine. How are you?
Sid: David the
Digger, is that it?
Digger: It's Digger Barnes.
Sid: Some GREAT
( Digger emailed them to Sid )
Digger: Oh, thank you very much!
Sid: Best I've had in
Digger: You're joking!
Sid: Could you hold
one moment? I just want
to finish - it's not English - but it's jam on a
cracker and it's very good!
Digger: I thought you were talking
THE Jam as in music!
Sid: Food is like
music to me. I love my food and my
music. They're BOTH music to me.
Digger: I know about your love for
I share that with you as well.
Sid: How do you know
about my love for food?
Digger: Just from the book.
Sid: Oh, I see. You
read the book?
Digger: Oh yeah. In record time.
commuting back and forth to London.
Sid: Can I just
finish my cracker?
Digger: Go ahead.......
Digger: No problem. Important
business that was!
Where do you get your jam from?
Sid: Oh, New York or
Digger: Do you ever get any from
Sid: Fortnums is
great. Not in a little while.
Digger: I went on business to Japan
about ten years ago
and I bought the guy over there some jams and tea from
Fortnum and Mason and he LOVED it.
Sid: My favourite is
Crosse and Blackwell. It's gotta be
British. It's the same with Thornton's candies.
They beat anything that America makes.
Digger: We call them 'sweets' over
Sid: Are you familiar
Digger: Yes, they're very big over
here now, they've really
taken off and are all over the country now.
Sid: Very big in
Liverpool. People used to make fun of me
( laughs ) 'cos every interview I did whether it was print,
TV or radio I'd work Thornton's into it and
I was like a press agency.
Digger: You weren't getting any
Sid: Not at all, not
even a sample.
Digger: Did they not send you a
couple of boxes
as a 'thank you'?
Sid: I don't think
they knew. I was a good
customer at that store.
Digger: Oh dear. We'll have to do
something about that.
I'll get onto their website and let them know.
Digger: So how are you today, Sid?
Is it okay to call
you Sid, rather than Mr. Bernstein?
Sid: Sid is right.
I'm just nursing a BAD cold.
Digger: The same as me then?
It's travelled 3,000 miles.
Sid: I think I've
been living with it for about four
days now. A nurse came to look after me and she dipped
a swab in medicine and it went down my throat. "Say agh"
she said so I sang 'Agh'. Lovely lady.
Digger: 'Sid sings like Tony
Bennett'..... Your PR
lady Ida - she is a sweetheart.
Sid: She's lovely -
you've not met her?
Digger: Unfortunately, no.
Sid: I met her when
she was a kid fifteen, eighteen
years ago. She had the best curves but what really
got me was that she was a good, hardworking girl in this
big office and I chose her to be my friend in the office.
And when she went out on her own, I recommended her to
a few people. And now she's been just wonderful for
the book and I. You've not met her?
Digger: No, but if I get over there
I will. Have you had
a chance to see my review of your book?
I guess you're too busy a man.
Sid: I didn't see it.
Digger: Are you on the Internet
Sid: I'm not into
these contraptions. I've got a fax
machine and that' as far as I'll go. I'm pretty stupid
about Internet sites and all that stuff.
Digger: It's good for those who like
it but you can live
without it. Even I have managed when the computer's
gone down for a few days.
Sid: Where do you
Digger: About 40 miles north of
just near Bedford.
Digger: That direction but not that
Sid: I fell in love
with Liverpool, I LOVE the people
there. London is my favourite city in the world.
One day I'm going to migrate to London.
Digger: Why not have two places?
The best of both worlds.
Sid: Er, it sounds
like Sid Bernstein's got a load
of dough ( laughs ) but I don't.
Digger: Well, you SHOULD have,
that's all I can say.
Sid: I should have.
I'm more into having fun and
eating than piling up those dollars!
Digger: That's one BIG meal! (
laughs ) So what's your
favourite food at the moment?
Sid: Italian, very
big on Italian. Some great
Italian restaurants in New York.
Digger: And do they look after you?
Sid: Yes, I'm nice to
the waiters, although most don't
even know who I am. THE Sid Bernstein, you know!
But I'm nice to waiters. I like working people, you know?
I respect them and I get it back.
Digger: In my review of your book -
I'm doing it now,
I end up with Jewish mannerisms and calling people
mensch! It's infectious.
Sid: 'Mensch' has
become like 'chutzpah' - and has turned into
an English word. We Jews aren't ALL mensches, thankfully
some of us are! Where do you work?
Digger: I work in Baker Street in
Sid: Ah! When I think
of Baker Street I think of my cap
I bought in Bond Street. It's much like a Sherlock Holmes,
so when I do Baker Street I put on my cap and I'm SURE
they know I'm an American you know!
Digger: They probably guess, yes! (
laughs ). There are two
Beatles connections in Baker Street. There's a Beatles shop
and there's the site of the original Apple boutique.
Sid: A Beatles shop?
They should be selling my book then?
We're getting calls from - you know Barnes & Noble,
they just asked for a quantity.
Sid: Borders ordered
some. And there was a store in
Manchester. We're extending our reach now. I'm not into
the business side of this operation, Arthur Aaron is the
guy who got me to sit down and write the book. He's a
good businessman and the very chair I'm sitting in talking
to you is the one he sat in for days on end reading my wife's
scrapbook and reminding me of things I'd long forgotten.
Digger: 'Cos that's the thing. When
you read that book you
wonder how do you remember SO MUCH detail?
Sid: I'm good at
Digger: But it's conversational
detail. Or did you just go
for the gist of the conversation?
Sid: It was pretty
good because some of these things were
SO memorable that I didn't want to forget them.
Digger: Did you know, did you have a
gut feeling that
some of this was historical stuff?
Sid: No, I was
hoping, I didn't know. I don't have a crystal
ball. I admit that to everyone. And if people say I'm a genius,
I say right away I'm not a genius - I just happened to
make the right phone call. That's all it was, a phone call.
I hadn't heard the music, are you aware of that? ( laughs )
A year in advance without hearing a record! I was reading
The Guardian, which is my favourite newspaper by the way.
Digger: Did you know that they
sometimes call that
'The Grauniad', did you know that story?
Digger: Some time ago they were
renowned for doing
misprints in those days and one time they produced a
whole edition of the paper with the title 'The Grauniad'
instead of 'The Guardian'.
Sid: Oh really? I
didn't know that. But I like that newspaper
very much. That, and The Independent.
Digger: You're not keen on The Sun
then? ( laughs )
Digger: Good for you.
Sid: I try to be very
moral, you know.
And I find that sinful.
Digger: I hate all that tabloid
stuff, I really do. Don't you?
Sid: I haven't picked
up The Sun or The National Enquirer
here for as long as I can remember.
That was the first of the filth sheets.
Digger: Who cares about who's doing
what to whom?
Sid: You're right.
And it's rubbed off on my children.
They're just really nice people, my kids,
and I have six of 'em.
Digger: And what about THEIR
Sid: None yet. I'm a
No-ones even close. I married a very attractive woman.
Digger: Yes, I noticed that.
Sid: And luckily they
resemble their mother more than
they do their father. Six attractive children and
no-one close to having kids.
Digger: How old are they now?
Sid: There's a year
and a half spread between them.
I wanted children as I come from an orphan background.
So I wanted them in a hurry, so every year and a half
we had one, six times in nine years.
Digger: ( Laughs ) Regular as
Sid: And they run
from the youngest 29 to the oldest 36.
Digger: And they haven't had
What are they doing to you Sid?
torturing me! I don't know. They've got their
boyfriends and girlfriends. My two daughters have male
friends, I have four good-looking boys - I call them 'hunks'.
Have you heard that expression over there?
Sid: Over here we say
'hunks'. It means a real
macho good-looking guy.
Digger: Oh hunks! Yes, sorry, it's
me not tuning-in to
your accent! I thought you said 'honks'.
Sid: It's the Bronx
Digger: I love it. Tony Curtis!
Digger: Tony Curtis, that's who you
Sid: Yeah, yeah. And
you know what? Before I knew of
him, and I don't know him, I noticed this good-looking
kid in my neighbourhood. He didn't live far from where
I lived. You HAD to notice him, he was so good-looking.
Digger: Bernie Schwartz.
Sid: RIGHT. I didn't
know his name and then I saw him
once on Broadway or in a movie and I said "Oh my God,
that's the guy from the Bronx that I used to
notice all the time".
Digger: So, if you hadn't done what
you did with
The Beatles, you could have been his manager or agent?
Sid: No. I'm not
interested in actors
really, only music.
Digger: I'm having a look at your
family photo here.
I don't know when this was taken.
Sid: Etienne is the
youngest, he's just turned 29,
Adam is the oldest just turned 36.
Digger: No, you're right. They are
Tell them to get a move on!
Sid: When I walk with
my kids in the street, I gotta tell
you Dave. I WISH those looks were directed at me!
We're very close-knit and when one of the boys says
"Dad, I may be coming home" oh I just LOVE that.
Sid: Me too! My boys get SUCH looks.
Digger: How do you want to do this?
Do you just
want to go through the questions in order?
Sid: Whatever you
like. How long do you think it will be?
Just so I can work out when I'm going back to bed with
this cold. And I got back very late last night, it's only
3 in the afternoon here. But I'm so 'wacko'.
I read a lot last night.
Digger: Oh, so you weren't out on
the tiles, then?
Sid: On the what?
Digger: You weren't out on the
Sid: I don't know
Digger: We say it when people
have been out partying -
I guess the tiles would refer to the dance floor.
Sid: Oh, I see. No, I was at home but the cold
was bothering me a bit.
Digger: Are you in a New York
Sid: Yes. A high
level New York apartment, six kids.
Digger: Good view?
Sid: Yes, I look at
the Empire State building.
And I have a little terrace which I call
my country home.
Digger: Spring bulbs coming out?
Sid: Not yet. We're a
couple of days away from that,
I think. They're just starting to sprout in Central Park.
My wife has a green thumb and she does the flowers.
You come to New York, you gotta visit us.
Digger: LOVELY. Thanks, I'll take
you up on that
( laughs ). You'll be getting a knock on your door some
time next week. Only joking.
Sid: I like that.
Digger: Question number one! Is an
spirit still possible in the music and entertainment
business or do accountants and lawyers now prevail?
Sid: No, not the way
it used to be. It's so blocked up.
It's almost, I can't think of a softer word, it's almost
monopolistic. It gets tighter and tighter and belongs
more to fewer people with each year.
Digger: Do you think it will ever
turn round again?
Sid: Well, if we
practise anti-trust laws. It's very,
very corporate and very, very powerful.
Digger: So there aren't guys and
gals like you were
running around the New York 'village' as I call it....
Sid: Not a chance.
Digger: It's been
stifled.......... You seem to be
a firm believer in fate.........
Sid: Not at all. I
thank the good Lord that fate
played a part. No, I'm not a believer in fate.
I have FAITH. But not so much fate,
I think we make our own destinies.
Digger: What about this theory that
if you went back
in time and all you did was kill a butterfly then
you'd change the whole of history?
Sid: I didn't change
it, I had the tiniest effect.
Just one good phone call to a gentleman
up in Liverpool.
Digger: If you hadn't got through,
if he hadn't
been there, if he had been in a bad mood.....
Sid: Then my life
would have been different - it wouldn't
have been with The Beatles.
Digger: But they might not have got
Sid: My HUNCH is - I
was the only guy reading about
them at the time and he told me I was the first caller
from America and that's how I got to him. And I'd been
reading English newspapers ever since I was a soldier
in Grantham. And where else was I? ........
Bournemouth. It was great.
Digger: Have you been there since?
Sid: No. Is it still
Digger: Bournemouth is one of the
areas, with rhododendrons and azaleas growing wild
everywhere. Do you remember Christchurch?
Sid: Yeah. Is it
still beautiful? I was
stationed in Grantham.
Digger: Grantham is in Lincolnshire.
Maggie Thatcher country.
Sid: Right. Somebody
told me that. I fell in love with
England and the English newspapers. I always was a
reader of newspapers - what's happened in the world
today, has it blown itself up yet?
Digger: This was for your political
Sid: Not so much
political. I'm not a politician, let's say
'government'. I got along beautifully with both the
Liberal guys in my frequent visits to Liverpool.
Ten in one year.
Digger: Are you still coming over?
Sid: Not recently but
I plan to start again in May.
It looks like the book is gonna make me some money.
Digger: Sid, you've got to visit
Sid: Okay. It will be
Digger: My wife's a good cook.
Sid: My wife says I'm
so particular about food which
means she may not be a bad cook but I'm so fussy.
Digger: Does it have to be kosher?
Sid: No, no. I'm not
married to a Jewish girl and I'm a
citizen of the world. Anyway, I try not to do home
dinners. I like to order what I really like
eating from the menu.
Digger: Alright, I'll tell you what.
You come to our place
and we'll take you to a Spanish restaurant we like. It's
an old school house in an old Victorian village
and the chef is wonderful.
Sid: What time
tomorrow shall I be there?
Food will get anybody anywhere with me.
Digger: I'd like to take you there.
Sid: It's that good
huh? I'm going to the
travel bureau right now.
Digger: So back to the
questions........ who are your
favourite recording artists and songwriters?
Sid: If I've a
single favourite it would be Lennon. And then
McCartney and then Jacques Brel.
Sid outside of the theatre
the Lennon stageshow
Digger: What about the Leiber and
Goffin and Kings of this world?
Sid: Don't tell them,
they're friends of mine! It doesn't do
a thing for me. They can't write a song like Imagine.
They write, you know 'La di da di da' but to be great
you've gotta write in that vein. Like Imagine.
The most beautiful song in the world.
Digger: From the soul. Not to a
Sid: Yes, don't tell
'em when you see 'em!
Digger: I'm not sure what sort of a
chance there is of
me meeting those two. I'd love to talk to them.
Sid: Easy to talk to.
They're very nice people.
Digger: Are they still in New York?
Sid: No, they're in
California and have been
for a long time now.
Digger: Do you see them much?
Sid: No, I used to
run into them all the time.
Digger: Do you think that Lennon
stayed the same, deteriorated after the break
up of The Beatles?
Sid: I think his BEST
work was his last work.
Beautiful Boy - I have four beautiful sons.
That's a very important song to me. My two
best songs are that and Imagine.
Digger: What makes a star in your
Sid: A number of
things. Honesty, feeling, charisma
and knowing his craft and loving it.
Digger: So Tony Bennett would be a
Sid: Yup. He's for
Digger: He sounded like a nice guy
came out in the book.
Sid: A very nice guy.
And still is.
Digger: Isn't that a very over-used
though, these days, 'star'?
Digger: Are you nostalgic about the
of the old days?
Sid: Yes, very much.
Digger: Do you think we've lost that
Sid: Yes, where are
the 'Cliff Richards' in your
country anymore? They're gone, they're gone.
Digger: I don't know.
Sid: They're gone.
Digger: I've been trying to give
'a chance' - he could be in that league.
Sid: I've heard about
him and read about him.
Digger: Well that's it with you,
Sid. You read about
them for a year and then you book them!
Sid: Is he big over
Digger: He's huge here, well he's
everywhere apart from the States apparently.
Sid: I've not heard
his music though.
Digger: He could be the next James
Sid: You're kidding?
Sid: A good looking
guy is he?
Digger: A good looker.
Sid: How old?
Digger: About 26 or 27.
Sid: Is that all he
is? Well, he's got a future!
Digger: I thought he was a bit of a
big head but I think it's
all part of the act but anyway he's very talented.
Sid: Where's he from?
Sid: Oh really?
Digger: He started in the boy band
Take That and
everyone thought "He's just a pretty face that can dance"
but he's proved them wrong - he's written some really
great songs. I'm making myself a note here to send you
a Robbie Williams CD.............. How would you describe the
relationship between Britain and the United States?
Sid: Not close
enough. Good but not good
enough, should be better.
Digger: In what way would you like
to see it change?
Sid: Civility, the
art of courtesy, good manners. We're a
little behind you there. And the language of course.
Digger: Somebody said that we were
separated by a common language. We speak the same
words but there's a cultural difference.
Sid: The English
accent is prettier.
Digger: That's a matter of opinion.
It sounds nice to you.
But I was thinking more of the fact that you grow up
with English nursery rhymes and stories but yet you
are a very multi-cultural society, and we are going that
way, but these days we seem to be much closer to Europe.
Sid: No, stay closer
to Europe for culture. There's not
enough culture here, Europe has more culture.
Digger: Your culture comes out of
the performing arts, it
comes out of film and music. That's a big contribution that
America has made to the world. Would you not agree?
Sid: I don't really
see it that way.
Digger: We gave the world
Shakespeare and you gave
us Singing In The Rain, Gone With The Wind, rock
and roll and all those classics ........
Sid: I guess we did
Digger: Which deals didn't work out
that you would have
loved to have succeeded and which shows would you like
to have promoted that didn't go your way?
Sid: Let me
think........ I think Laura Branigan, remember
her? I managed her and thought she was going to be
a megastar. Somehow it didn't work that way.
She got a little greedy and her husband expected more
from me than I could possibly give. We later found out
that he wanted to manage her. He died about a year
or two ago, but he had no feeling for talent. Just
didn't have the right background.
Digger: So she didn't become an
Sid: He should have
remained a lawyer.
I think he wrecked her career.
Digger: What a shame. Are there any
other big shows
that you would like to have been involved with?
Sid: Yeah, Grease. I
mention that in the book.
Dick Clark heard about Grease in Chicago the same
time as I did. And we both made 'an overture' to get
involved and when Dick found out I was interested he
phoned me - he's an old friend. He said "Sid, rather
than competing with each other why don't we do
something together?" I thought that was a great idea,
I liked him. Somehow, during the conversation we both
got mixed up and I didn't know if HE was gonna make
the trip from L.A. to Chicago or if I was supposed to go
from New York - we both got mixed up and neither one of
us went 'cos I thought he was going and he thought I was
going. So two other people stepped in and they
made millions and millions.
Digger: You were still talking to
afterwards, were you?
Sid: Yeah, he jokes
Digger: Frankie Valli did the theme,
did you know Frankie?
Sid: Yeah, a good
Digger: Is he from New York?
Digger: ........ You love your food,
but can you cook?
Sid: No, don't cook
at all. Never tried. Hot dogs,
baked beans come out of a tin.
Digger: And jam on crackers.
Sid: Not too often,
that's just what I was
doing when you called.
Digger: Please describe each
of these in a sentence......
are you alright there Sid, you're not too tired?
Sid: No. Let's do it.
Digger: ....... Brian Epstein.
unbelievable. We made three historic
agreements on the phone. No contracts. Never changed
a dot over the 'i' or a cross over the 't' and these were
very important deals. And with this agreement he made
with me I found him totally trustworthy.
Digger: What a lovely man.
Sid: He was. Queenie
died a year or so ago and Clive
died while skiing. Clive had become a very close friend
of mine and unfortunately died while skiing with his
wife. Henry is the one I still keep in touch with,
that's Clive's son.
Digger: Is there any family
Sid: I didn't notice
it. Maybe closer to
Brian than to his father.
Digger: It used to make me very
cross when they
talked about Brian and his merchandising deals as I
thought it was a blinkered view. Because of all the
things he HAD achieved, critics always have to
latch on to something.
Sid: I thought Brian
was utterly brilliant.
Digger: It was impossible to imagine
pressures he was under.
Sid: He was courteous
I thoroughly liked him.
Digger: What about Andrew Loog
Sid: I had one deal
with him. That first deal when I
brought his boys over. Also at the Carnegie hall.
They were the second British group that I brought
over. A good man, a nice man.
Digger: You know where he is now?
Sid: I hear he's in
Digger: He wished me luck with this
email. He said "Good luck with the Sidfest!"
Sid: We hit it off
Digger: Any messages for him?
Sid: Just tell him I
miss him. Tell him to
gimme another group!
Digger: ( Laughs ) It will probably
Digger: ....... John Lennon.
brilliant, humorous, sad ...... Sad.
Digger: ....... Paul McCartney.
Sid: A beautiful man.
Physically as well as
inside. Just a beautiful guy.
Digger: Are you still keeping in
touch with Paul?
Sid: No, but on rare
have a word, very rare.
Digger: Did you get together, there
was that thing in
the book where you and his family met in the street
and were supposed to meet up for a pizza?
Sid: He worked later
than he was supposed to and
didn't get back to me in good time - he had a date
up in Boston. And we didn't do it.
Digger: ....... Tony Bennett.
Sid: Never changes. I
met him forty years ago and he's
still a sweet, wonderful man. Honest, super artist.
Digger: ....... Mick Jagger.
Sid: Fascinating man,
that's all I can say.
Digger: ....... Shirley Bassey.
Sid: She was like a
reincarnation, when I brought her
in to Carnegie, of Judy Garland. That's how I thought
"This is the next Judy Garland".
Digger: Has she become as big in
America as she
is elsewhere? I can't judge.
Sid: Not as big as
she should be.
Digger: There's one thing I disagree
with you about in
your book, when you talk about Abba. Obviously, I can't
argue with YOU but I think you must be looking at it from
an American point of view. You say they weren't big,
but to my mind they were huge internationally.
Sid: They weren't big
in America, because they didn't
spend enough time here, that's the reason. Stig Anderson
wanted them to be The Beatles - wanted them to come in
with two to four number one records in a row. They never
got that, they got one possibly two. He kept them
away too long.
Digger: A very difficult nut to
crack, but once
you've cracked it.....
Sid: But they were
wonderful people. I just fell that
Stig made the wrong decision in keeping
them away too long.
Digger: ....... and can you describe
Sid: Sid's another
world. A decent chap.
Digger: That'll do! ....... If you
could promote a concert
featuring in your view the best British and American acts,
living or dead, who would feature in that show?
Sid: Cliff Richard.
Digger: He's another one who didn't
make it in America.
Sid: He should've.
Digger: Would you like to have
Sid: Yeah, I'm still
thinking about it.
Sid: He's on my wish
Digger: Excellent. I can't
understand why he
didn't make it over there.
Sid: He wasn't
handled properly. They did one date here
in Manhattan and never heard of him again.
Digger: It's like Cilla Black, as
well. She tried to make
it over there with Brian's help.
Sid: I think Cliff
had more to give.
Digger: Who else would you have in
the 'mega concert'?
Garland would represent the American side.
And during the war there was a great lady......
I can't remember her name.
Sid: No, English.
Digger: Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields,
Sid: No, Petula was
another one I liked, very robust.
Digger: If you can't recall this
lady, I'll have to do
some research and get back to you.
Sid: I remembered the
name until yesterday.
I think of her often.
Digger: That's a shame.
Sid: You'll know her
as soon as I say her. She might have
been of Jewish background. And a little portly.
Digger: I am thinking of Alma Cogan,
but she was later.
I thought of her as a kind of British Judy Garland.
Sid: Jack Buchanan I
liked very much.
Was he big in England?
Digger: Not in the Frank Sinatra,
Tony Bennett way, no.
It all sounds good to me........ So what luxuries
could you not do without?
Sid: My candies! The
Digger: You love your food and you
love your music.
Does a day go by when you don't have a treat
food-wise or listen to good music?
Sid: I don't think
Digger: Why can't more people be
like that? They all
rush around and they don't take time to enjoy life.
Sid: They're all too
busy making a buck.
Digger: What sort of music do you
listen to these days?
Classic. Spanish music.
Digger: My goal is to get Sid
into Robbie Williams.
Sid: Has he been
here, I don't know?
Digger: If he has they didn't push
Sid: He needs me to
Digger: Can you describe the buzz
there was in
Britain, and then the U.S. in the sixties?
Sid: It was good in
America but it wasn't until the
British came over. Then it got ENORMOUS.
Digger: That was understandable
because you had
that tragedy in '63 and that must have
knocked America for six.
Sid: It came at the
right time, the VERY
Digger: We caught them on the
Sid: We needed
somebody like that........... I worry
much more about my girls than I do my boys.
Digger: The thing is you were a
gentleman when you
were young. I'm not sure that there are
many of them left.
Sid: I had the
greatest parents in the world.
Digger: The New York you frequented
wheeling and dealing was more like a little village
than a city. You knew all of the people and places and
it was a small community within a big metropolis.
Does that sort of community still exist?
Sid: It's gone. We're
too impersonal. We're too busy
making bucks. We've lost sight of EVERYTHING
except the bucks.
Digger: Would you say you're a
or do you also like the country?
Sid: Both. When
I get comfortable enough again, I'm
gonna have a lovely home, probably in The Pennines.
But I'd still have a piece of New York city. The scenery
between Manchester and Sheffield always knocks
me out when I drive up there.
Digger: It's strange, isn't it, because
they're two very
industrial cities and then that beautiful
country around them.
Sid: I fell in love
Digger: Have you been
Sid: Vienna only.
countryside around Salzburg is
breathtaking - Sound Of Music country.
Sid: My wife was in
that show. The play with
Mary Martin. She was a lovely lady and the
show ran for about three and a half years.
was romantic how you met. You brushed
shoulders with LEONARD Bernstein on your way up
to hear your future wife 'audition'. And coincidentally
she sang a song from West Side Story.
Sid: He was coming
down the staircase when I was
going up to hear her! She sang 'I Feel Pretty'.
Digger: And you said
she looked it as well! She
looks a cracker in the photo I've seen.
Sid: She was.
Digger: Are you nostalgic or do you prefer
to look forward?
Sid: More nostalgic.
Digger: How had
Britain changed from the war years when
you were first there to when you returned in the 1960s?
Sid: It had got a bit
too American taste!
I liked the old Britain.
Digger: We're still
dominated by America.
Digger: Do talent and
effort always make it or do they
need a bit of luck and a push in the right
direction from a helper?
Sid: All of those.
Digger: What do you
think of the impact of technology
and the Internet on music and on our lives?
Sid: Too much of
that. Too much mechanical stuff.
Digger: Do you think
we need to get back to basics?
Sid: Right. We've
lost art. We've lost the real heart.
I don't like the over mechanisation. It takes away some
of the exercise our heads need.
Digger: It was quite
a challenge you getting through
to a Liverpool number in 1963.
Sid: Got through real
fast and his mother
answered the phone.
Digger: Asking you
for a section from a newspaper.
Sid: They've got a
great book review section
Digger: Have they
reviewed YOUR book?
Sid: No. They
Sid: They did a big
piece on me in the New York
Times last week.
Digger: Where's their
sense of history,
for heaven's sake?!!
Sid: They did a
piece that probably sold a lot of books.
It was a personal piece not about the book.
Digger: Do you do a lot of interviews?
Digger: Do they end
up asking the same old
questions all of the time?
Sid: Nothing as good
as what you've done.
Digger: Oh, thank
you!! That's lovely. Could you have coped
with the sort of fame where you're recognised everywhere
you go? Did the anonymity you had, such as being the
most influential person standing in the crowd at Shea
stadium and not being noticed, appeal to you?
Sid: I get a little
bit of that recognition. And it's nice.
Digger: But you said
you stood at Shea .......
Sid: And nobody knew
Digger: Exactly. Did
you get a buzz?
Sid: I scratched my
head, I couldn't understand it!!
Digger: Wasn't there
a little bit of you saying "Oi! If
it wasn't for me you wouldn't be standing here"!!
Sid: I might
have thought that. It's only natural. You're one
of the huge crowd of thousands. But I'm no movie star!!
Digger: ( Laughs ) And now you think, what was it 55,000
people and that could have been 5 million and still
you could have sold more tickets.
Digger: Have you kept
Sid: Not really. It
was too early in the game. We didn't
really know the value of it. Or I would have had Brian
sign a contract. That could have made $100,000
at Sotheby's, easily.
Digger: I've seen a
Shea Poster on Ebay which claimed
to have been signed by you. Have you done anything
like that or is that a forgery?
Sid: I don't think it
was a forgery - it's possible.
I may have signed for fans.
Digger: What advice
would you give to promoters or
performers starting out in the business today?
Sid: Work hard,
harder. Be honest. And it will happen.
Digger: But it's so
much harder these days.
Sid: Too many
adventurers. None of the people who
REALLY care about the art form.
Digger: It all seems
to be short term these days.
Sid: Quick returns.
Digger: What would
you say were the most important events
in the entertainment and music sphere in the 20th century?
Sid: That's a hard
Digger: Shall I tell
you what I came up with and you
can say whether or not you agree?
Digger: The Ed Sullivan Beatles show.
Digger: The Shea
Digger: The release
of Sergeant Pepper.
Sid: Wow, yes.
Digger: The Live Aid
Digger: I bet you
would have liked to have
been behind that!
Sid: I would like to
Rock and Elvis.
Sid: I think I would
have passed on that.
Digger: Bill Haley.
Sid: I'd pass easily
on that too. Now that's a coincidence.
I played a little part in the lives of some kids from
Liverpool. The week before last I went up to - I don't
call it Woodstock, I call it Bethel, because that's the town
where it took place, are you aware of that?
Digger: Yes, I
knew that it wasn't at Woodstock,
it was at Max Yasgur's farm.
Sid: Max Yasgur's
farm in the town of Bethel. I did
the 25th anniversary of...... again, I hate mentioning the
word 'Woodstock' and I called it the 25th anniversary
of an event that happened in the town of Bethel. I rarely
use the word 'Woodstock'. I went up to do a book
signing the week before last in the town of Bethel.
I did this in '94 and I haven't been back in over seven
years - half the town turned out to greet me, autographs
for my book, autographs on whatever piece of paper
they gave me and it made the front page of the local
newspaper. The young editor-in-chief of the paper did
an interview with me. Oh my God, it's amazing you should
mention these two events. On the front page is an interview
with me and a picture of me and one of the guys who came
to 'Woodstock' in '69 and stayed there. Quite a few people
did stay behind there actually. There's a picture of me
talking to Dave Devlin during a recent book signing at
the Bethel Woodstock museum and it quotes me as saying
"You KNOW I'll be back"!!!! And I'm gonna come back.
And I'm gonna try and bring Cliff Richard with me.
would be nice to do something in
THIS century wouldn't it?
Sid: Right. And I'd like to bring Cliff
I don't think he was dealt with fairly.
Digger: His career
has been going for six decades now!
Sid: And he's still
great. I only saw him once when he
was here, in a small theatre, and I thought
he was MAGNIFICENT.
Digger: Let's see
what you can do!
Sid: I'd like to
bring Gerry back, Gerry Marsden,
who became a buddy of mine during my ten trips.
Digger: Ah, that's
nice. He's remained very
loyal to his roots.....
Sid: He stays there
in Liverpool still.....
Digger: Yeah. Just
like he said in that song.
Sid: He used to come
and visit me at the Moat
House. We became quite friendly.
Digger What would you
say were your biggest achievements
and your biggest disappointments?:
achievement was my six kids and the biggest
disappointment was that I didn't have eight.
I really wanted some more!
Digger: There's still
Sid: And equal to
that is that they
STILL HAVEN'T GIVEN ME ANY GRANDCHILDREN.
Laughs ) All that wheeling and dealing and you've
still got your priorities straight....... Can you try to work
out, tongue in cheek this is, how much the British
government owes you on the basis that in 1963 there
was only one country that generated popular music and
that was America and from that year onwards, due largely
to your efforts, we have been on a par with you guys.
Sid: I don't think they owe me anything. I owe them. I was
just another guy from The Bronx.
Digger: You opened the floodgates. You spoke to Ed Sullivan
and told him what was going on. Because he trusted you
he decided that he was going to put them onto the show.
Sid: Brian told him
that an American promoter was presenting
them on February 12th 1964 and he later told me he had
asked Brian "Who was that?" Brian said "Sid
and Ed says "I know Sid" and Ed called me up and
said "Sid what do you think of them" and at that point I'd
not heard their music and I said "Ed - they're
a phenomenon" ( laughs )
Digger: ( Laughs )
That's a word you can use but
it doesn't say anything.
Sid: EXACTLY!!! I
said that also to the lady who booked
the attractions at Carnegie Hall. Her background was
symphony and classical music. I came to get a date from
her, she was the booker, and she said "Tell me something
about these four men" and again I said "They're a
She later told me she thought it was a string ensemble!
Digger: ( Laughs ) Is
that why you needed the extra
300 seats on the stage! So they were closer to the sound?
Sid: No actually, I
needed those seats because we
didn't consider the press would want to come. And
Abe Margolies, once he stopped being ashamed that
he lent me the 500 bucks to do the date!! ..... He printed
in the 'Jewelry Weekly' - he was in the jewellery
business - that he was a partner with Sid Bernstein
and the Beatles Carnegie Hall show and Abe says "Sid,
you've gotta help me with some tickets! They won't leave
me alone" So we got the stage-hands to put another 300
seats on the stage. A few of them had asked can their kids
come in. Of course I said "Yes".
Digger: How would you
sum-up your career so far?
Interesting and more to come.
Digger: Yes, you've
got the Cliff Richard
thing to sort out.
Sid: I'm going back
to Liverpool. I'll start
something up there.
Digger: What else
have you got lined-up.
What are your future plans?
Sid: Well, again, to
do something back at Bethel.
Digger: Do you want
it to be a nostalgic thing
or groups from then and now?
Sid: Well, in England
I want it to be a world music
festival if I do get it on and raise the money. In Liverpool,
at Aintree. I've already been there, spoken with the
officials two years ago to create a relationship.
Digger: So I can
mention this, then?
Sid: Yes, of course.
That's where I'd LOVE to do
it and raise a TON of money.
Digger: What sort of
artists would you hope
to have performing there?
Sid: Artists from all
over the world. Different,
styles, eras and nationalities.
Digger: Hmm. Do you
think you'll have Bjorn and
Benny coming over with the girls?
Sid: Well, the girls
won't. They're not together but Bjorn
and Benny are still my friends and I'd like them to come.
Maybe they'll read about it on your site.
Digger: Well, you
know what the Beatles grapevine is like.
Like when you spoke to some kids in Central Park and the
news of the concert spread all over the world?
Digger: Well, I'm
going to post some messages on the
Beatles forums and site on the internet
to drum up some interest.
Sid: By all means, do
it. Good. And tell Robbie
Williams he's definitely invited.
Digger: Well, Sid,
it's been really wonderful talking to
you, you're just how I hoped you would be! And I'm
sorry you're feeling so rough. Having to put up
with my questions as well.
Sid: I love building
these dream castles as we have
been doing. That's what nurtures me.
Digger: You get some
sleep and look after yourself.
Sid: Say hello to
your girls! Tell them I'll see
them in the Spanish restaurant.
Digger: And thanks
for your time.
Sid: Thanks for your
Digger: And keep in
Sid: Keep well my
Events Direct - supplying quality Entertainers for your
On Events Direct
|Spot On Events Direct supply
quality Entertainers for your events worldwide -
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Madness tributes, Madonna tributes, George Michael
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Pink Floyd tributes, Gene Pitney tributes, Elvis Presley
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Also Lookalikes for a number of famous faces.
Tel: + 161 374 5398 08451 662 594 (local call rate
Mob: 07806 565 171.
Mobile office 07979 363 286 for 24/7 enquiries.
|Visit the website for details
Beatles - Beatles Tribute Band extraordinaire
|Clark - John Lennon
Joe - Paul McCartney
Craig - George Harrison
Grahame - Ringo Starr
Forming through a mutual love of The Fab Four, Them
Beatles have quickly become one of the best known
Beatles tribute acts in the UK. Having wowed the crowds
in venues such as the Carnegie Hall, Blackpool North
Pier Theatre and Aberdeen Beach Ballroom Them Beatles
have built a solid live show, helping audiences relive
the early 60's Beat era, the psychedelic studio years
through to the White album and beyond......
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thembeatles
King Arthur Promotions
99 King Edward Road. Onchan
Isle - Of - Man. IM3 2AS
Tel: 01624 664 636
Mobile: 07973 986 161
|Visit the website for details
Cameron - Unpublished Beatles Photographs
Cameron - Unpublished Beatles Photographs
|Checking over the DVD of the
Magical Mystery Tour I realised that had I been on the
Hoe at Plymouth where the Fab Four stopped I would've
been unable to take the 4 in front of the bus. Luckily I
called them out of the hotel after they had lunch and
was able to take the only pictures of the Beatles in
front of the Magical Mystery Bus. It was a chance moment
in life to be at the right place at the right time to
take these historic pictures of the world's No 1 band of
Roy Cameron is a Professional Photographer now selling
his unpublished rare Beatles photographs taken in
September 1967 in Black & White during a lunch break
while filming Magical Mystery Tour.
Photographs printed 20x16 ins (50x40cm) hand signed on
front and supplied with certificate of authenticity also
signed and with details of how the photographs were
taken. Note - pictures on the web site are low
resolution copies and the prints I will send you will be
the originals hand printed from the negative. Cost of
prints £195 including post and packing Please state
which photo required. All 3 prints signed only £495
including post and packaging.
Roy Cameron trained in photography and joined the Royal
Air Force as a photographer serving in UK and Germany.
Worked as a Newspaper Photographer Freelance & staff
from Aberdeen to Plymouth and won 3 first prizes in
Press work -Dennis & Margaret Thatcher, Prince
Charles playing polo and child being brought back to
life after house fire. Photographed numerous
personalities including Sean Connery, John Cleese, Peter
Cook, Rowan Atkinson, Tony Hancock, Susan
Hampshire, Vanessa Redgrave, Lorraine Kelly, Ulrika
Johnson, Margaret Lockwood, Johnny Cash and family, Rod
Stewart, Tom Jones, Cliff Richards, Ronald & Nancy
Regan, Clint Eastwood, Bing Crosby, Jack Lemon, Billy
Connelly, Terry Waite, Archbishop Desmond TuTu, Moon
Walker Neil Armstrong etc.... All British Prime
Ministers from Harold Wilson to Tony Blair, Princess
Diana and most of the Royals.
Contact Roy at 01382 370 340 for any other information
|Visit the website for details
A splendid time is guaranteed for all!
The Beatles Tribute Band,
featuring Martin Reynolds as John Lennon, have been
performing to ecstatic audiences since they formed in
Having played at leading
venues in the UK and overseas they are now recognised
as one of the premier Beatles tribute bands in the UK.
The boys reproduce all the
songs with astounding accuracy to the point where it
becomes impossible to distinguish the sound from the
For Bookings and enquiries
contact Martin Reynolds on 0776 1005309
|Visit the website for details
Music Memorabilia - The site devoted to the Bath and
Knebworth Festivals 1969-1979
Ltd was started in 1999 by Henrietta Bannister
with the express intention of reproducing posters,
programmes and T shirts etc. from the festivals
organised between 1969-1979, by her father, promoter
Freddy Bannister. The aim is to offer exact replicas
of the originals, reproduced to the highest standards
The posters are printed in limited editions and
signed and numbered by the promoter as proof of
authenticity. In keeping with Freddy Bannister's
philosophy of always giving the very best value for
money (just look at the admission price on the
festival posters) the price of the items has been kept
as low as possible and represents truly excellent
Tel: +44 (0)1954 268088
|Visit the website for details
Seasons Hotel - Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland
where The Beatles stayed in 1964
Four Seasons Hotel
|In 1964 The Fab Four, The
Beatles stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel on the banks of
Loch Earn. Now Beatles fans can follow in the footsteps
of John, Paul, George and Ringo and experience a
memorable stay at the Four Seasons hotel and chalet.
Though the famous four stayed only two nights we are
offering a three Day Beatles Break. This includes
Dinner, Bed and full Scottish Breakfast, and a copy of
'The Beatles in Scotland' by Ken McNab; a great hardback
book that is a fascinating and intimate journey of
memories, insights and influences.
A uniquely Scottish 'magical mystery tour', as many
tours are so frequently in this part of the world.
More details here: Four
Seasons Hotel Beatles break
01764 685 333
|See the website for details
Beatles in Manchester - There's a place...!
Beatles in Manchester
|Welcome to a special
Beatle history tour re: The Fab Four and their
association with the city of Greater Manchester.
A city to provide the group with many 'firsts' which
will be revealed along the way!
Backed up with facts, eyewitness accounts and anecdotes
this a historical site from those who were there!
Did you see The Beatles in Manchester? We
want your personal accounts for historical reference.
Let me know what you think of the site and email me if
you are interested in knowing more about future
Manchester Beatle Events.
Email thebeatlesinmanchester at: email@example.com
|See the website for details
Cavernites - a Sixties tribute show that recreates the
vibrant sounds and atmosphere of the Swinging Sixties
|The Cavernites are a
Four piece band in the classic Sixties style, from
Liverpool, who perform a Sixties tribute show that
recreates the vibrant sounds and atmosphere of the
Swinging Sixties. The band take their name from the
fan club members of The Cavern Club in Liverpool, the
most famous club in the world, the club that saw the
birth of The Beatles and showcased all the top bands
during the Sixties.
Britain in 1962, and especially Liverpool, was a place
where the Rock n’ Roll of the fifties had been fused
with American R’n’B by the local beat groups, to
create a raw, high-energy brand of music which was
honed in sweaty pubs and clubs, such as The Cavern
Club in Liverpool, and The Kaiserkeller, Indra and
Star clubs in Hamburg.
The Cavernites re-create those days and the birth of
what became known as Mersey Beat or The Liverpool or
Mersey Sound a musical style that took the UK by
storm, influencing countless groups across the
country. The Cavernites recreate this era performing
classic hits from groups like The Beatles, The
Searchers, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Mersey’s,
The Hollies, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who
and many other hit groups from the Sixties.
The Cavernites bring The Sixties back to life, taking
the audience on a Magical Musical History Tour,
through One of the greatest musical decades of all
time, it's a fast and vibrant show, designed to get
everyone dancing along. The Cavernites are an
accurate live recreation of a Sixties pop group during
the Beatlemania years as seen on shows like 'Ready
Steady Go’ and ’Top of the Pops' authentically
recreating not only the look but the live sound of the
bands they perform, bring back the vibrancy and
passion of the original bands and transporting the
audience right back to the Sixties.
The Cavernites use original instruments from the
period, names like Rickenbacker, Epiphone, Gibson, and
the famous Hofner Violin Beatle Bass, together with a
Black Ludwig drum kit, they also use original
amplifiers, names such as Marshal and Vox. The Sixties
look is completed by the use of original stage clothes
including the classic Sixties style Black thin
lapelled suits, narrow leg trousers, White button down
collared shirts, thin ties and the famous Cuban heeled
Black Beatle boots.
The Cavernites can be contacted at
01745 355977 Mobile: 07769856164
Email at TheCavernites@yahoo.co.uk
|Visit the website for
- Moville, Co. Donegal, Ireland
||Gerry McLaughlin runs
the only annual Beatles festival to take place in
Ireland. A mixture of Beatles tribute acts and covers
bands, special guests and other Beatles-related
festivities, the BeatlesFest event takes place at
Moville in the beautiful countryside of Donegal.
The BeatlesFest is quickly growing in reputation and
stature as a major Beatles event, as can be witnessed
by the calibre of acts and guests it attracts. The
combination of great location, terrific atmosphere and
hospitality and Beatles music is proving a winner.
More information on the event can be found at the
Tel: 00353 74 93 82973
|Visit the website for
Beatles in London Tours - THE Beatles tours in London
Beatles in London Tour
|Beatles walks by Richard
Porter, organised by London Walks. Discover Beatlemania
in London - sites where John Lennon, Paul McCartney,
George Harrison and Ringo Starr lived and worked. Abbey
Road and much more!
The Beatles In My Life Walk
- A Hard Day's Night and Help! film locations
- Registry office where Paul & Ringo got married
- Apartment frequented by Ringo, John & Yoko
- The house where Paul lived with Jane Asher and
- The Beatles 'Apple' shop
- Abbey Road
- The Beatles Coffee Shop
- And much, much more
The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
- The Beatles 'rooftop session' location
- Paul McCartney's Offices
- The 'birthplace' of Beatlemania
- The Studios where the Beatles recorded Hey Jude
- Abbey Road Studios
- The Beatles Coffee Shop
- And much, much more
London walks: 020 7624 3978
Richard Porter: 07958 706329
|See the website for details
Beatles Coffee Shop - just around the corner from Abbey
Beatles Coffee Shop
|Formerly known as the Abbey
Road Cafe, we are positioned at the entrance to St
John's Wood underground station on the Jubilee Line.
Whether you are a regular traveller passing through the
station, a cricket fan on your way to Lords or a tourist
coming to visit the sights made famous by the Beatles,
call in and visit us for the best espresso, cappuccino,
café latte, hot chocolate or a choice of teas. We also
have some of the tastiest sandwiches around, some
delicious pastries and a selection of cold drinks.
London Transport buses passing by the Café include
route numbers 13, 46, 82 and 113.
Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 7.30pm
Saturdays 8am to 7.30pm
Sundays 9am to 7.30pm
Beatles Coffee Shop
St. John's Wood Underground Station
Finchley Road, London, NW8 6EB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7586 5404
|See the website for details
|The VOX Beatles
The VOX Beatles
|The VOX Beatles are the South Coast's
fantastic Beatles Tribute Band available for theatres, corporate events,
parties, weddings and all other special occasions.
Their passion, enthusiasm and superb musicianship capturing their famous
counterparts, along with years of experience will guarantee that your
function will be definitely one to remember and a roaring success!
On a more technical note, authentic amplification, instruments and stage
lighting are used to provide a high quality sound and visual experience.
Different packages can be tailored to suit your requirements and also
interval and background music can be supplied at your request.
PACKAGES AVAILABLE INCLUDE:-
Option 1 - 1 hour Beatles set
Option 2 - 2 x 45 min Beatles sets
Option 3 - 2 x 1 hour Beatles sets
All supplied with interval music, lighting and visuals.
Phone Mike for further info - tel: 07796484605
|See the website for details
|The Beatelles - all-female
|We are the only Female Beatles Tribute band
in the UK and are all 'scousers' just like the Fab Four themselves.
We believe that the Beatles made the best music ever written and it is our
mission to play it with the soul and passion it deserves, with a feminine
edge of course. We love all the Beatles music but above all we enjoy playing
the later material from legendary albums such as Abbey Road, Revolver, and
The White album, the songs that broke the mould back in the day, and the
little gems that most people don’t realise the Beatles made but still sound
as fresh and contemporary as ever.
With an ever growing fan base at our live shows, we perform across the UK
and Europe - including shows at Liverpool's own world famous Cavern Club.
The band consists of four fabulous girls.
- Catherine Cook - Rhythm Guitar
- Louisa Roach - Bass Guitar
- Nadeen Kemp - Drums
- Stephanie Kennedy - Lead Guitar
Being the first female Beatles Tribute from the UK has created opportunities
to perform with famous bands and solos acts, including The Persuaders, Denny
Laine (from Moody blues and Wings), Hal Bruce and his summer of Love band,
The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Pete Best Band, and not forgetting our best
friends, Liverpool's own The Mersey Beatles.
We have played the Matthew St festival here in our own city of Liverpool
To get in touch, please use one of the following options:
Email - TheBeatelles@live.co.uk
|See the website for details
|Tommy Hanley Photography
- Paul McCartney, John Lennon, The Beatles, Rolling Stones Photographs and
|Some of my images are being released for
the very first time, which you will see in my vintage print section. These
are unique, one-off prints, which were made at the time.
I wanted a medium to share my life's work and allow members of the public
to have a look round and if they like it - buy it, as everything you see
here is for sale.
For pricing, please email me and I will get back to you with details.
The development of the site will continue and more of my work will be
added with time, so please, take a good look round, enjoy, and come back
|Visit the website for details
Many thanks to Sid Bernstein
and Ida Langsam
for the interview. Digger, April 2001.
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