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Exclusive: Chad Stuart on Beatlemania, 'Dick Van Dyke Show,' 'Batman,' part 1

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Chad Stuart says Chad & Jeremy's appearance at this weekend's Fest for Beatles Fans Feb. 7-9 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York is something to look forward to because it's been a rarity these days, he told Beatles Examiner in an exclusive phone interview.

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“We had our dumb luck in the early '60s. And then before the '60s were over, Jeremy had split to be an actor. And then he would occasionally wake up and get the urge to perform again and we would go out on a tour,” he said by phone. “It's sort of strange with this on-again, off-again relationship. We haven't really been together for the longest time.”

The duo's story actually begins over 50 years ago, he says.

“'Yesterday's Gone' was a hit in '63 in England, then '64 in America, and all of that rubbish. But we met in drama school maybe four years before that.”

And Chad and Jeremy experienced their own brand of Beatlemania.

“Our mini-version was when we flew into LAX and the DJs and the record company kind of got everybody all amped up. The DJs got all the girls to skip school. That was back in the good old days when you could go to the arrival lounge and didn't have to go through security. The place was just a zoo. It was just insanity. I never heard anything like it. You would damage your hearing it was so loud.”

Stuart says he met Paul McCartney once in the early years of his career with Chad & Jeremy.

“It was John Mortimer the playwright, his birthday party. And Jeremy ominously said, 'Bring your guitar.' And so we did. And then somebody piped up and said, 'Sing 'Yesterday's Gone'. And I was going, 'Oh, God, do we have to? They don't really want to hear this.' And then a voice behind me said, 'C'mon Chadwick, let's get this over with.' It was Paul. He was so nice about it. He was supporting me. He knew it was an ordeal and he sang along with it. It was brilliant.

“That taught me two things about him. One, he's a really good human being. And two, he did his homework. He listened to everybody's records. A consumate professional.”

Stuart praised McCartney as one of the best musical talents ever.

“Paul is great. One of the all-time great songwriters ever. He's something else. Something else.”

He also spoke about his encounters with John Lennon.

“I met him a couple of times way later on when he was in L.A., when he was split from Yoko. He had this reputation for being acerbic and sarcastic, but that was only sometimes. Later in life, he kind of mellowed out and was very kind. It was a brilliant thing. We met at a party and ironically, it was in the house Jeremy used to rent in Encino, CA. I was out in the garden sort of feeling like a ghost haunting the place. And I heard a voice emerging from the French doors and he said, “Chad Stuart, I presume.” And he was so kind. We sat on the floor and drank wine and talked about our kids. He was really nice.

“And then the second time was ironically at LAX again where both of us coincidentally had gone to meet our kids. He was meeting, I think, Julian, and I had my first two boys Patrick and Andrew. And I was sitting on my floor with my back against the wall and this bloke came and sat next to me and said, 'Hi there.' And it was John. And nobody recognized him. So I didn't give him away. I'll always treasure that. He was one of the kindest human beings I ever met, actually.”

(In part 2, Chad talks about meeting Ringo Starr and George Harrison and the Beatles book that he couldn't put down. You can read part 2 here.)

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Stick with Beatles Examiner for all the latest stories about the 50th and don't miss our special roundup: Beatles 101: Read all about it: Our fab stories on the Beatles' 50th anniversary.

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