Conversation With Dick James

It's Only Rock n Roll December 2005

The Beatles
Unreleased Conversation
With Dick James Tape

1968. This rare, one of a kind 5" reel to reel recording of a twenty-two minute conversation between the Beatles and music publisher, Dick James, took place in April '68 as the Beatles were launching Apple Records.

Only two minutes of the conversation has ever heard by the public. That occured in 1968 when Paul McCartney was in attendance at a Capitol Records sales conference.

The discussion between Lennon, McCartney, Neil Aspinall, and Dick James, centers primarily around what percentage of music rights to which the group is entitled. In typical Lennonesque fashion, he is heard making a smattering of philosophical and witty comments and observations.

This audio was orignally taken from a film as there are a couple of instances where the camera operator can be heard. The tape concludes with a segment of the Grapefruit song "Yesterday's Sunshine." It is evident that some of the film from which this audio originated was to be included in a proposed Beatles documentary.

The inner box is labelled "Beatles Documentary 3 3/4 ips copy." A report sheet from Sound Associates Limited of London, dated January 14, 1971, refers to Apple as the Production Co. for the "Beatles Documentary." A printed 10-pg. transcript, and a one of a kind cassette copy accompanies the orignal BASF reel housed in a Philips tape box. A detailed statement from a design engineer who was employed by the firm in charge of refurbishing Apple Studios in 1972 and 1973 found the tape in a "rubbish skip", and was allowed to take it home.