Hello reddit. I am Freda Kelly and I worked for The Beatles for 11 years (from 1961-1972) and Brian Epstein as well. There's a documentary coming out tomorrow about my experiences, called Good Ol' Freda. This is the first time in 50 years that I'm telling my story. In advance of the movie coming out tomorrow in theatres, iTunes and on demand, I thought I'd give you a chance to ask me questions. So ask me almost anything.

Also, director Ryan White is here with me as well so he will be answering some questions.

proof: https://www.facebook.com/goodolfreda/posts/513838835357674

update: I've really enjoyed this, but I must go now. Thank you for putting all your questions forward. I do hope you check out the film. It's on iTunes and on demand and in theatres September 6. Thank you very much.

Comments: 1025 • Responses: 41  • Date: 

MonaMonzano527 karma

Hi Freda! If you had to sum up each member of the group in one or two words based on your time with them, what would they be?

FredaAndRyan1401 karma

John the moodiest. Paul the one was never cross or angry. Ringo for humor, really, and dancing. And George was thoughtful.

timmytheh481 karma

At the peak of their fame, were they normal about it or very snobby? Also, how open were they about the use of LSD? I know Lennon took it.

FredaAndRyan736 karma

Normal, no way were they ever snobby. They were very open about LSD. Paul signed a petition for one of our national papers supporting it.

davidleewhite461 karma

Whats your favorite story about john lennon?

FredaAndRyan1746 karma

John Lennon fired me in a dressing room one time! He was upset that I spent too much time with another musical group called The Moody Blues' dressing room. What happened when I went into The Beatles' dressing room, he was not amused that it had taken me all that time to come into the dressing room. So he asked me whose fan club secretary I was - are you the Moody Blues' fan club secretary or the Beatles. And I just laughed it off and said theirs, and he said I'm sacking you you can go back to the Moody Blues. Well what happened then I said fine, but I went to the other 3 and asked if they were sacking me and they said no, certainly not, so I said to John well you can do your own fan mail and I'll just do the other three's. And then he turned to me and said he was only joking, and I said no you weren't, you were telling the truth, and he said please come back. Then I said "get on your hands and knees and beg me to come back." And he said "I'll meet you halfway" and I knew I couldn't push him any further, he said he would get down on one knee and I said that will do. And I kept working for him for another 7 years.

yubhb2442 karma

Did you enjoy their music?
Who was your favourite?

FredaAndRyan926 karma

I did enjoy their music. I was their biggest fan before I became their secretary.

Of course I had a favourite but it was a different one every day depending on what mood they were in and what mood I was in.

firesatnight427 karma

Do you still keep in touch with Paul and Ringo?

FredaAndRyan768 karma

No. I had a great time working with them and moved on to being a respectable housewife and mom.

zanthelad346 karma

Funniest groupie story?

FredaAndRyan636 karma

There were two sets of girls, and they were both called the Apple Scruffs. They were about 14-17 years old. And they used to just hang around Apple all day, they would go from school and stay there until eight or ten o'clock at night just waiting for a Beatle to go in or out of Apple. Eventually the Beatles got to know them, and George wrote a song about them because all the Beatles got to like them.


Was the song released? If so, which song?

FredaAndRyan581 karma

It was released but I think it was on George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" album. The song was called "Apple Scruffs."

cTaylor9322 karma

Do you remember where you were when you first heard about John being shot?

FredaAndRyan568 karma

Yes, I was in bed in the early hours of the morning, and I got a phone call from America telling me.

scalzo19307 karma

Do you have any stories of members of the band playing pranks on each other or yourself?

FredaAndRyan884 karma

Yes. A few months after Ringo joined the band, I went to see them perform in a theatre, and before I went to see them I decided I was going to shout a request to Ringo to sing "Boys," but I didn't know that someone had already told them I was going to do that. I was shouting it out for Ringo because he was not getting as many requests as the other three. But when I did shout the request, Ringo knew it was me, stood up from his drum seat and he told me to sit down and be quiet. He said something like "oh sit down Kelly." So I didn't come out from under my seat until the show ended out of embarrassment.

FatherDamo295 karma

Since they blazed a trail in stardom and celebrity, how did the massive beatlemania phenom affect them? Did they have trouble dealing with it?

FredaAndRyan537 karma

I think out of all the groups that have a lot of fans and fame, they were one of the best ones to cope with it. They dealt with all the fans. I never saw them, when I was around them, particularly nasty to a fan. They did not think they were going to last that long as a phenomenon. I know John thought this could last about 2 years. Nobody could see, not even them, how long it was going to last or the way things were going to go.

Pvtledpony286 karma

What is one crazy fan scenario that sticks out to you, that you remember having to deal with?

FredaAndRyan563 karma

I had one gal that did come over from America with hardly any money. She just wanted to see the Beatles, and managed to get the cheapest flight over or something. She was a George fan, I remember that. In the end I put her up in my house for a week and eventually, we traced a relation of hers in London, so I managed to pass her on to a relation that gave her money to get the train to London just to get her on her way.

Salacious-265 karma

What did members of the band fight about, and how did they try and resolve problems?

FredaAndRyan505 karma

They didn't really fight, they had disagreements about what to play in the early Cavern days. They would have arguments about what songs to play. One of them would just go straight into that particular number and the others would have to join him!

NotQuartersBoat230 karma

Do you think you ever influenced the band in any way? If not, did they influence you?

FredaAndRyan456 karma

No, I certainly didn't influence them! They did influence me on the music side. George got me into The Miracles. Because George and I were arguing, I thought Smokey Robinson was a girl singing, and he was trying to convince me it was a male singer, and eventually he did.

Going_Braindead226 karma

What made you quit managing them?

Edit:I posted a bad comment. I sodomized myself with a cactus guys, don't worry

Edit 2: When I made my first edit, I was at 1|3. Therefore, my bitching

FredaAndRyan324 karma

I never managed them. Maybe you mean working for them? I was expecting a baby, and wanted to leave. But I worked for The Beatles even when they did not exist any more as a group.

Allthatisbrownisgold213 karma

From your perspective, how did the group dynamics change over the years?

FredaAndRyan411 karma

I would say that the two main ones really in the early days were John and Paul, and they were about equal in putting their point forward. Because George was the youngest, and quite quiet to a point, he didn't really speak up for himself in the beginning, but he did as they became famous.

scalzo19184 karma

Did you get any cool merchandise or memorabilia as a result of your job?

Do you have a picture of you with the band you can share?

FredaAndRyan449 karma

When the fan club ended I closed down the offices and left with loads of memorabilia but I have given most of it away over the past 50 years. I have kept a few items that I still treasure. My wedding telegrams are my most treasured. They were all in India when I got married, and they all individually sent me telegrams congratulating me.

There are some pictures on the movie website: http://www.goodolfreda.com

Salanderson153 karma

What was/is their favorite types of cheeses?

FredaAndRyan203 karma

Well really we just had cheddar or Cheshire in those days. Cheese on toast. But we used kraft cheese singles to make it. We called it "plastic cheese."

fishbonez151 karma

Did you secretly wished to be one of their other half?

FredaAndRyan305 karma

Not really, no. I was a teen-ager when I started this job, and I naturally had crushes. But the crushes changed all the time, and by a certain point they became like brothers to me.

headinmyphones146 karma

Early on, did you find members of the band very politically driven?

FredaAndRyan261 karma

No. When we were just teen-agers, we weren't discussing politics (although we were all Labor party then until the Tax Man came along. And then George wrote the song "Tax Man" and complained about Labor and the Conservative party).

Goran1693137 karma

Who was the wackiest of the Beatles? Who did you have the strongest bond with?

FredaAndRyan215 karma

It could be George or it could be Ringo, it depended on their mood.

I didn't have a strongest bond with anyone in particular.

scalzo19136 karma

How did you land that job?

Were you nervous as heck starting out?

FredaAndRyan243 karma

By fluke. Brian Epstein asked me would I work for them, and I said yes I would think about it. I thought about it for 2 days, and went to see him 2 days later, because he spoke to me Saturday night at a Beatle booking and I went into his office on a Monday. I said yes, I will come and work for you, I will hand in my notice at my other job. Previously I had been doing secretarial work at a company called Simpson Roberts & Co. I was not nervous, because there was only myself and another girl. I had also been helping run the Beatles fan club previously as well.

pokaro125 karma

Give us just a teaser on a story that was vetoed from the documentary.

FredaAndRyan162 karma

One of the stories but hopefully it will be in the DVD is about Jukebox Jury which was a television programme and it was also connected to the fan club convention, so all the fans from the north of England could meet the Beatles. They were onstage, and I was onstage with them, the four of them were given records to listen to and they had to vote as to whether the record would be a hit or a miss. And I was on another panel with two other girls so if they voted 2 hits and 2 misses, it then went to the panel that I was on. There were a few funny incidents connected to that story. You'll have to wait for the full story on the DVD.

GrdnGekko116 karma

Craziest Beatles story?

FredaAndRyan209 karma

The craziest after-party was after the How I Won The War premiere. I'm not going to go into details, but that was my craziest time with them and their families and a few other people. I don't want to spoil the story for people who are going to get the DVD, but it involved a funny incident while I was dancing with George.

C0ntents111 karma

What was your most memorable moment working with them?

FredaAndRyan199 karma

The Town Hall in Liverpool and the civic reception that Liverpool gave them. The Beatles and their families were invited to the town hall to be honored by our Lord Mayor, as I recall, and about 200,000 people turned out to see them. That's one of the times that sticks in my mind because I was there with them.

BoardBuster45106 karma

How did their families react when they made it big? I'd imagine that their family members would be almost as famous as the members themselves.

FredaAndRyan169 karma

They all took it in their stride. They coped with it. They would not get swarmed in Liverpool because they'd all lived there so long. And then they moved out of the city to posher houses.

Frajer90 karma

What was Brian Epstein like?

FredaAndRyan186 karma

He was a hard boss but he was a good boss.

billpickle90 karma

what was the highlight during the making of the documentary

FredaAndRyan199 karma

Going back to Ringo's old house, the home that he lived in when he was a Beatle. I hadn't been in that house in 47 years but I spent a lot of my time during my years working with them there, so it really opened my memory box.

scalzo1979 karma

Who would you say is the most down to earth Beatle? I saw Paul during his recent tour and he seemed like a pretty humble guy.

FredaAndRyan147 karma

They were all down to earth, it was not just one in particular. Very approachable, all of them.

Fab_Armadillo_Kat76 karma

Hi Freda, I saw this film's debut at the Fest for Beatles Fans, and I need to start by saying thank you. I'm so glad you're sharing your story with the world now. I admired how you stood up for yourself and for the band for over a decade and how you showed the kind of strength I hope I can have in my own career.

I was wondering, if you met a young person today who had the opportunity to take on the job that you did (complete with the long hours, overwhelming screaming crowds, and balancing giving the fans what they want with knowing when they're encroaching too much on the boys' personal lives...), would you encourage him or her to do so? Do you think it takes a certain type of person to be a good secretary for a band like that?

FredaAndRyan96 karma

Yes, definitely takes a certain type of person that you're not taken in by the glamour and that you've also got the strength to stand up to them and not look upon them as gods or idols. If they knew they could do it, have a go! And thank you for your comments. I'm glad you liked it.

revolutionfrommybed76 karma

Was George really the silent Beatle?, also which of their albums is your absolute favorite?

p.s I can't wait to see your film!

FredaAndRyan125 karma

No. He was not a silent Beatle at all. Just people got that impression because he did not say a lot in a sentence and he was not loud. I haven't got a favourite album. Thank you for watching my film!

BaysideLo73 karma

Did they have a favorite tourist spot or local attraction they were fond of in America?

FredaAndRyan166 karma

They just loved America but didn't say what particular part. When they got back from America the first time, they were amazed.

boatsnhoesusaf67 karma

whats your craziest adventure you had with them?

FredaAndRyan176 karma

On the Magical Mystery Tour. I went away with them for a week, I should have gone for two weeks, but it was that crazy and I left after a week. During one scene I had to go into a little tent thirty-six times, and after the thirty-sixth time I thought I'd had enough of this. They would film me going into the little tent and then tell me to do it again.

tbfanps61 karma

Ryan, how did this story reach you, and what are some great/interesting things you can say about Freda that she would be too embarrassed to say herself?

FredaAndRyan105 karma

Well my uncle is Billy Kinsley of the band The Mercy Beats so I've known Freda my whole life through him, but I did not know she was the Beatles' secretary. She really is the most private person I've ever met. Freda will never toot her own horn and say "I was one of the longest-serving employees of the Beatles" or "I'm the only one who never went down on the record and sold them out or cashed in on the Beatles even though I had many opportunities to do so." That's why we interviewed other people in the film, because they can all say that about her.

BrightenthatIdea61 karma

Did you ever have to get into a fight with any of the intrusive girl fans?

FredaAndRyan186 karma

No, I did not get in fights with girls but I had to fight girls to get into a show. Because I was the same age as the fans, the security would not believe that I worked for them or that I couldn't get backstage to give them their paychecques - I would get turned back at the door and we didn't have passes in those days.

Peirol58 karma

Any regrets?

FredaAndRyan147 karma

No, not really, no.

iamtylerdurdenman57 karma

Can you describe the process of them making a song? How did they arrange it? How was the communication between them during recording?

FredaAndRyan112 karma

The office was more about bookings and general office business. Most of the songwriting happened in the privacy of their own homes or the studio.

shtaaap50 karma

what is something that most people would not know about the beatles but you think should?

also what do you think of paul's new music?

FredaAndRyan92 karma

I suppose one that could set fire to people in Liverpool would be which football team they supported. People always used to ask that. They came home on a regular basis for family celebrations, weddings and christenings, Paul had so many relations he was back in Liverpool more than the others and still is. And they all lived at home up until they moved to London (even when they had the number one record in the world).

One of my favorite albums back home is Band On The Run. So I like it.


How did you become their fanclub secretary? Who was the craziest fan you ever met/heard about (including yourself)?

FredaAndRyan70 karma

I already answered how I became the secretary. There were a few crazy fans that would hitch up to the fanclub office from different parts of the country and it would be a bother how to get them home, looking for what bus to get or what train to get. When the office was closed and you didn't want them just left deserted in Liverpool, you'd take them up to the train station and look for what bus or train would be best to get them home.

pseudolobster12 karma

Not sure if it's past your time there, but what was the deal with Apple Computer? Were the constant lawsuits brought on by the lawyer-types, or were any of the band members adamant about the name?

I mean it seems like really, really, really stupid grounds to sue, but for decades it was a cutthroat legal batttle.

FredaAndRyan31 karma

I left working for Apple in 1972, long before all of that happened.

[deleted]1 karma


FredaAndRyan22 karma

Yes. Paul would bring me occasionally a bunch of flowers just being nice. Or he would offer me a lift home.

XaviXavi-5 karma

2 part question:

  1. Do you have a "gag" order on you as well stopping you from speaking about paul dieing in a car accident?

  2. If the answer to question 1 is no you do not: Did paul die in a car accident and get replaced by an impersonator?

If you don't respond it is assumed the answer to question 1 is "yes"

FredaAndRyan12 karma

Take it from me, Paul did not die in a car accident. Paul is VERY much alive. But we were flooded with phone calls morning til night for weeks. Sometimes I would just pick up the phone and slam it down because we had no answering phones in those days.