[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
When I got here tonight, I saw George [Harrison] and he said, "You aren't going to say anything bad about me are you?"
I couldn't think of anything, really -- on the spur of the moment -- bad to say about -- because in England during those very early days, just while The Beatles were recording their first songs, it was a real wasteland.
England had nothing really to offer as far as pop music was concerned.
So, at that point The [Rolling] Stones were playing in these little clubs in London, doing Chuck Berry songs, and blues and things. And we loved doing that. And we -- pretty scruffy lot. And we thought that we were totally unique animals. I mean there was no one like us.
And then we heard there was a group from Liverpool. Now -- Now everyone talks about, you know, Syosset and Levittown, but I can tell you Liverpool, this is really --
Anyway, this group...they had long hair, scruffy clothes, but they had a record contract, and they had a record in the charts with a bluesy harmonica on it called "Love me do."
When I heard the combination of all these things, I was almost sick.
So, a little later on, you know, we were playing a little club in Richmond [London], and I was doing this song, and suddenly I saw -- there they were, right in front of me -- The "Fab Four": John, Paul, George, and Ringo, the four-headed monster. They never went anywhere alone at his point.
And they had on these beautiful long, black leather trench coats. I could really die for one of those, and I -- I thought even if I have to learn to write songs, I'm going to -- I'm going to get this.
Later on, they gave us our first big hit in England, which was a song they wrote called "I Wanna Be Your Man."
And we were very grateful for that 'cause that really broke us in England. And -- But the example of the way they wrote, and the original way that they -- they crafted their songs wasn't lost on us. And later on their success in America broke down a lot of doors that helped everyone else from England that followed. And I thank them very much for all those things.
The one thing I never appreciate[d] during those early years was, every time I'd come to New York they would say to me, "Hey, are you a Beatle or are you a goil?" But, you know, I learned to live with that.
Well, we went through some pretty strange times. We had a sort of -- a lot of rivalry in those early years, and a little bit of friction; but we always ended up friends. And I like to think we still are, 'cause they were some of the greatest times of our lives, and I'm -- I'm really proud to be the one that leads them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Page Updated: 11/19/17
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