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Interview: Ed Rudy marks anniversary of his Beatles interview albums release

Some of Ed Rudy's interview albums.
Some of Ed Rudy's interview albums.
Courtesy Ed Rudy. Used by permission.

It was 50 years ago this week that Ed Rudy released the first of his Beatles-related albums with interviews done with the Fabs during the wild days of Beatlemania. We interviewed Ed via email.

The first of Ed Rudy's Beatles interview albums.
Courtesy Ed Rudy. Used by permission.

Q: How many Beatles albums did you release?
Ed Rudy: “There were four Ed Rudy LPs containing Beatles and Beatle fan interviews. The first was the famous Beatles' 'The American Tour With Ed Rudy.' This was originally a one-hour broadcast documentary. We received hundreds of thousands of requests to buy copies of the broadcast documentary. We released it as an LP to immediate critical acclaim and immediate huge sales and Billboard Chart position, with an arrow!

“We also released a similar interview on the second tour, The Beatles' 'New U.S. Tour With Ed Rudy' later in 1964 but dated it 1965 so as not to confuse it with the first LP. There was also an "open end" album that was sold with a script only to deejays world-wide. A fourth album was also released, 'Ed Rudy presents '1965 Live Beatlemania Concert,'" a tribute album, featuring The Liverpool Lads with unique background sounds and interviews recorded at many nation-wide Beatles concerts. All of the original LPs are now valuable and rare collector's prizes.

Q: How many other albums did you release?
Ed Rudy: “We also released top selling interview LPs with The Rolling Stones and The Dave Clark 5. In addition, mostly prior to The Beatles, though not all, we produced, wrote, published and/or promoted on our own labels and others many rock 'n' roll recordings by The Eternals, The Genies, The V-8s, The Sounds, Scott Murray, Flora Belle Singer, The Liverpool Lads and many others. These included "Who's That Knocking", "Babalu's Wedding Day", "It's Me Knocking", "Rocking In The Jungle", "Blind Date" and "Big Foot Sam," among others. Our voice is on many of the recordings.

Q: When and where did you interview the Beatles?

Ed Rudy: “Our first contact that was Beatles related occurred in the second half of 1963. A well known independent record promotion man, Budd Hellawell, invited us at our broadcast studio to meet his newest client, an English impresario named Brian Epstein, who claimed that he had an English group that would be huge stars. We had yet not heard of The Beatles at that time but we met with this handsome, personable and well-spoken young English gentleman at his Park Avenue hotel suite.

“Brian, of course touted The Beatles and we told him that we would listen to a 45 that he gave us. We were very impressed with Brian Epstein who very proudly told us that he was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, known as RADA. A few weeks passed and the early Beatles' recordings were getting a little air-play. We started getting calls at our news syndication offices, Radio Pulsebeat News and I/N/S Radio News from many broadcast stations asking us to cover The Beatles on their first American tour.

“We sent out a broadcast billboard and over 440 radio and television stations, nationally and Canada, contracted us to report on, interview and travel with The Beatles. Of course, that was the start of a life-changing odyssey for us, and the entire of America and the world. We ubiquitously interviewed, traveled and lived with The Beatles at all cities, venues, events throughout their American adventures and concerts. It was a great experience for an already very experienced American journalist and broadcaster. e were exhausted but very happy to be an integral part of this world changing happening...Beatlemania in America.”

Q: What were your impressions of each of the Beatles?
Ed Rudy: "John Lennon was amazingly perspicacious and quickly and wittily answered every question from us and other reporters. John Lennon had many gifts and charisma and leadership were very prominent. Paul McCartney was 'The Cute Beatle.' His astounding cuteness and handsome visage had fans oohing, aahing and screaming at every venue.

"George Harrison, was very friendly and talkative with us on a one-to-one basis. In public, with fans and other press, George was quite shy. All of the Beatles were quite tall, nearly six feet, except Ringo Starr, who was quite short compared to his three bandmates. Ringo was very self effacing. When we asked him, "Ringo, how does it feel to be a sex symbol?", he replied, "Ed, you can see I'm no sex symbol. Look at me face!"

Q: Any interesting stories about interviewing them?
Ed Rudy: There are a million interesting stories about our experience with The Beatles but here is one that stands out within our warmest and most nostalgic memories. The Beatles were constantly under siege by press and fans wherever we traveled. They often used subterfuge to escape the crowds. In Miami Beach, we were given the use of a huge passenger Hertz SUV-type vehicle. Road manager Mal Evans asked us if we would help to sneak The Beatles out of The Deauville Hotel without being noticed by the waiting crowd.

“We drove around back, to the service area, loaded The Beatles and Mal into our vehicle and sped off to an evening of Miami fun. John Lennon asked us to put the radio on and, as expected, it was all Beatles music. As we drove along, the four Beatles sang, 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand,' and 'Please Please Me' along with the records on the air. It was certainly a memorable experience for us!”

Q: Which of your Beatles albums are on CD and how can people get them? And are the other albums available? (And if not, are there plans to release them?)
Ed Rudy: “A few of the first two Beatles interview albums on 2 CDs along with a free personally autographed 1964 Beatles press card are available for $19.95 plus shipping from our website at www.edrudy.com. We have been getting lots of requests for the Rolling Stones and Dave Clark 5 interview CDs and are considering re-releasing those two as well.”