Wednesday, 19 April 2017

BEATLES BIOGRAPHER HUNTER DAVIES REVEALS...


Scots author Davies, 81, reflects fondly on his first experimentation with “drugs” in his new book The Co-Op’s Got Bananas! — his memoir of growing up in the 50s and 60s.
 

Davies, who was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, was given permission to pen his biography of The Beatles as they recorded the iconic Sgt Pepper’s album.
Davies says: “I lived with them for 18 months and I was in Abbey Road during the whole making of Sgt Pepper’s.
“You know the famous photograph on Sgt Pepper? I was there in the studio at the time when it was being shot and they were going to have Hitler and they were going to have Jesus — but at the last minute people said it might be bad taste.”
He says: “This one day Ringo gave me a ‘reefer’ to try in the 60s. I don’t smoke and I’d never taken any drugs my whole life, but I took it home to my wife.
“Well, we closed the curtains, took the phone off the hook and puffed away for half-an-hour, but felt no different and worked for the whole evening.
“The next time I saw Ringo I said, ‘I didn’t think much of your reefer’. That’s when he told me it was just cabbage leaves.”
 
Davies is still close pals with Paul and invited the pop legend to his 80th birthday last year.
Davies says: “I did invite him but he wrote to me to say he would be travelling from the US that day and couldn’t come.
“He wrote ‘Eighty? Incredible. Well done. Good job it is a sit-down do’.”
In one chapter of his latest book, Davies reveals that Sir Paul turned up unexpectedly with his new American girlfriend Linda Eastman, who he later wed, and her daughter Heather during a family holiday in Portugal in 1969.
He says: “Linda stayed with us for two weeks on that holiday. And while we were there, Mary, his oldest child, was conceived. She was born exactly nine months later.
“I saw her two years ago when I went to his party and it was the first time I’d met Mary since she was grown up. She gave me a cuddle and said, ‘Oh, you must be my step, step god-father,’ because she was conceived in our house in Portugal.”

Scotland features heavily in Davies’ new book as he spent the first 11 years of his life here until the family moved to Cumbria.
In the opening chapter he discusses revisiting his birthplace, Thornhill Maternity Hospital in Johnstone, as part of research into his childhood.
It also tells the story of how he met his novelist wife Margaret Forster, who died aged 77 last year after a battle with spine cancer. 

Davies, who now lives alone in London, says: “The best bit of luck was meeting Margaret and then marrying her in 1960. The couple met properly when Davies was 17. When I was 19 and she was 17 I asked to walk her home. Amazingly she agreed.“I walked home with her, talking all night — and we never stopped talking for 60 years.”
Speaking of the past year without her, Davies adds: “It happens to be my busiest year ever.I’ve got three books out and I’ve got three columns in magazines and newspapers which I do regularly. I haven’t the time to mourn, or pause, or mope around.
“I haven’t touched a thing in her office since she died.“I know she left 60 pages of a novel and I look through the door now and again and I see the pages lying there.“I wonder if she’s left a letter for me. I’m going to cry now.This is the sort of soppy, sentimental thing that, if I’d been dying, I would have left for her.”
 
Hunter also reveals that Paul once wrote a song about him that was never released.The singer came up with the tune after discovering that his pal Hunter’s real first name was Edward during a break in Portugal in 1969.
Davies says: “He went off to the lavatory and when he came back he played us a charming little song on his guitar, which went, ‘There you go, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie; there you go, Eddie, Eddie you’ve gone’.”
Years later Davies heard it on a bootleg tape, recorded during one of the Let It Be sessions.
Sir Paul then sings and plays it to John Lennon, who seems quite impressed. But it never appeared on any album.
Davies says: “I would love to have been the inspiration and subject of a Beatles song. What a shame.”

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