Take Two for September 11, 2013

'Good Ol' Freda' tells the story of Freda Kelly, secretary for The Beatles

Good Ol' Freda

Magnolia Pictures

Poster for the film "Good Ol' Freda."

Secretarial work is not often considered the most glamorous of jobs, but for more than a decade, Freda Kelly held a job that thousands of women would have done just about anything to have: secretary to the Beatles. 

The new documentary "Good Ol' Freda" looks at how Kelly landed the gig and what life was liking working for the Fab Four. Freda Kelly and director Ryan White join the show to tell us how the film came about and what it was like to work for one of the most famous bands in rock. 

 

Interview Highlights:

On how she landed such a coveted gig:
"Pure luck. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. No, I got it I think because I knew them very well, and Brian Epstein came on the scene, he'd seen me with them a lot and they needed a secretary, so he asked me to be his secretary."

On how she knew from the beginning that The Beatles were going to be huge:
"It wasn't just the music, it was everything. It was the way they dressed, it was the way they spoke to each other, the way they communicated with the audience, because other groups didn't do that. When you saw it you knew you wanted to be part of it."

On what she did as The Beatles's secretary:
"It entailed trying to get the news out very quickly. The only way I could do that is a magazine called Beatles Monthly, I wrote in that once a month and also I had secretaries all around the world, so I would give them a lot of news, they got negatives, they got demo discs, so they were getting the news and they would get it out to the people that lived in their area as quickly as possible."

On the craziest thing a fan sent to The Beatles
"The one thing that sticks in my mind is somebody sent them a spider. A really big black hairy spider. I opened this brown box, lifted the lid and saw it moving about, put the lid on very quickly and we have the tropical school of medicine in Liverpool, so I thought that's where that's going. Whatever type of spider it was I wasn't taking any chances."

On why she never told her story before this film:
"I didn't really want to. I ended working for them a long time ago to bring up my family. Over the years people did ask me to write a book, but my theory was there were too many books out there and I didn't want to put out another one. Until my grandson came along, and I wanted him to know what I had done in my youth, so I thought I'd be quite comfortable doing a little DVD just sitting in a chair talking to somebody. But also, you want to do something like that with somebody you trust, that will treat you right as well. "

On what is was like when it finally came to an end:
"We were teenagers together and then we matured and ended up as adults together. Something like that can't just keep on going on and on and on. The last two years of the fan club was heavy going for me because the fan club was called The Beatles fanclub, but there wasn't a Beatles group anymore. I kept it going for two years and it was quite difficult. I decided I wanted to leave anyway because I was expecting a baby and thought, this is the time to pull out."


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