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09th December, 2017

The Apple Scruffs: A Day in the Life

The ‘Apple Scruffs’ were a small, passionate group of young Beatles fans known for congregating outside of Beatles locations in London during the fading days of Beatlemania.

The core group of Scruffs, who were mostly from the US, would stand outside of the Apple Corps building, Abbey Road studios and Paul’s London home in the hope of seeing or interacting with the members of the band.

It is thought that the Scruff’s constant, devoted enthusiasm helped to keep the four members of The Beatles sane during their most troubling years as a group.

 

 

During a recent Memorabilia Call Out day at The Beatles Story, we met Linda Easton, who was a member of the Apple Scruffs, and we asked her what a typical ‘Day in the Life’ of an ‘Apple Scruff’ was like…

“On a typical day, we would meet outside Apple in the morning, stand on the steps and catch up on all the Beatles news. We would often go in to ask Debbie on reception if she had any photos. The name ‘Apple Scruffs’ came later, so until then we were just fans.

“My friend and I started going to Apple in March 1969, we soon got to know the other Scruffs and would often meet up, sometimes going to the cinema to see Help! or other Beatles films. We were only 14 years old so due to being still in school we were only part-time Scruffs, but all of us had contact with The Beatles.”

 

 

“The staff in Apple would tell us where the band were and we would go to see them. On a good day, we would meet one of The Beatles. I met Paul first then George and later John and Ringo. John spoke the least but looking back he had lots going on at the time.”

“I recently had my photograph of Paul McCartney digitally remastered. It was taken by myself in 1969 outside of Paul’s London home on Cavendish Avenue, holding Eddie, his Yorkshire terrier. I do have other photos too, including one of Mal Evans outside of Abbey Road. I also met Apple artists Badfinger, Billy Preston and James Taylor.”

 

 

“It was George who would talk to us the most and we could not believe it when he wrote a song about us. Some of the Scruffs even went to see him record it.”

The term ‘Apple Scruffs’ was coined by George Harrison in the late 1960s, gaining their name from the thick coats and sweaters they would wear to beat the London cold weather. They were known to stand outside of the studio for hours waiting for The Beatles before and after their recording sessions.

"Their part in the play is equally as important as ours" – George Harrison, 1969.

George was particularly well-known for his aversion to fan worship during the days of Beatlemania, but formed a particularly strong bond with the Apple Scruffs and even wrote a song about them.

 

 

Harrison recorded ‘Apple Scruffs’ late into the sessions for his All Things Must Pass album. It is unique to the rest of the album in the fact that is was performed solo by Harrison, with only a little percussive input from Beatles assistant Mal Evans.

To find out more about The Beatles’ time in London, Apple Corps, the break-up and their solos years, visit The Beatles Story’s Main Exhibition.

 

Now I've watched you sitting there

Seen the passers-by all stare

Like you have no place to go

But there's so much they don't know about Apple Scruffs

 

You've been stood around for years

Seen my smiles and touched my tears

How it's been a long, long time

And how you've been on my mind, my Apple Scruffs

 

Apple Scruffs, Apple Scruffs

How I love you, how I love you

 

In the fog and in the rain

Through the pleasures and the pain

On the step outside you stand

With your flowers in your hand, my Apple Scruffs

 

While the years they come and go

Now, your love must surely show me

That beyond all time and space

We're together face to face, my Apple Scruffs

 

Apple Scruffs, Apple Scruffs

How I love you, how I love you

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