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Maureen Cleave

Maureen Cleave

Maureen Cleave wrote about pop music and culture for the London Evening Standard in the 1960s. Most famous for the Beatles interviews she conducted for the Standard, in 1966 she married Francis Nichols, whose work took her to Peru in the late 1960s. Returning to the UK, Maureen continued her career in journalism, writing for the Daily Telegraph, The Observer and other publications. She was diagnosed with ME in the '90s, and later with dementia after her husband’s death in 2015. She passed away in November 2021.

Guardian obituary

26 articles

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Burt Bacharach: The man who put neurosis into top pops

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 29 August 1964

THE INTRODUCTION of the Neurotic Ballad to British popular music is the responsibility of an American called Burt Bacharach. We first developed a taste for ...

Joan Baez: A Lady in Show Business — Joan Baez

Interview by Maureen Cleave, Detroit Free Press, 12 December 1965

THERE WERE many things about Joan Baez, the folk singer, to give the impression that she was — if not slightly holier than most people ...

The Beach Boys: Mr. Wilson hated rock — but he loved the Beach Boys

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 22 August 1964

THE NOISE the Beach Boys make is a wail with a touch of adenoid; the songs, they sing are about surfing and cars. What with ...

The Beatles: How the Frenzied, Furry Beatles Took Over England

Profile by Maureen Cleave, The San Francisco Examiner, 2 February 1964

'We Are Our Friends, Pals And Buddies' ...

The Beatles: Why The Beatles Create All That Frenzy

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 2 February 1963

THE BEATLES are the darlings of Merseyside. The little girls of Merseyside are so fiercely possessive about their Beatles that they forced Granada to put ...

The Beatles, Cilla Black: Brian Epstein: The Man Behind The Beatles And How He Lives

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 1 April 1966

Many theories developed about Brian Epstein: he was crooked, he was straight; he was a tough businessman, he was a lousy businessman; it was all ...

The Beatles, George Harrison: How A Beatle Lives Part 3: George Harrison — Avocado With Everything…

Report and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 18 March 1966

GEORGE HARRISON is 23, the youngest Beatle and the least well-known. He isn't one of the two who sing and he isn't Ringo; indeed some ...

The Beatles, John Lennon: How Does a Beatle Live? John Lennon

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 4 March 1966

ON A HILL IN SURREY... A YOUNG MAN, FAMOUS, LOADED AND WAITING FOR SOMETHING ...

The Beatles, Paul McCartney: How A Beatle Lives, No. 4: Paul All Alone: Running Hard To Catch Up With The Music

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 25 March 1966

THE SCENE SHIFTS FROM WEYBRIDGE TO LONDON ...

The Beatles, Ringo Starr: How a Beatle Lives, Part 2: Ringo Starr — So Who's Afraid of Dogs and Babies! (Especially Babies)

Report and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 11 March 1966

RINGO LIVES in Weybridge at the bottom of the hill of which John lives on top. His house, too, is large and Tudor-ish. It has ...

Marc Bolan: Knit yourself a pop singer: Marc and Mike will tell you how

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 23 October 1965

HUMILITY AMONG pop singers used to be all the rage. "Mr. Presley," the interviewer would ask, "is it to luck or to talent that you ...

Marc Bolan: Knit Yourself A Pop Singer — Marc and Mike Will Tell You How

Report and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 23 October 1965

HUMILITY AMONG POP SINGERS used to be all the rage. "Mr. Presley," the interviewer would ask, "is it to luck or to talent that you ...

Ray Charles, Margie Hendrix, The Raelets: I'll Stick To Ray, Says Margie Hendrix

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 18 May 1963

Why? Because Mr. Charles is nice ...

The Chipmunks: He Is Those Chipmunks

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The San Francisco Examiner, 29 November 1964

Ross Bagdasarian's Electronic Creatures Are Vastly Real ...

Petula Clark: A Lady In Show Business — Petula Clark

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, Detroit Free Press, 9 May 1965

The Girl Who Sings 'Downtown' ...

The Crystals, The Ronettes, Phil Spector: Phil Spector: Fifteen hits in a row — and if that's not genius, well what is?

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 25 January 1964

THERE WAS a time when Phil Spector would have been Beau Spector and the rage of Bath. His clothes alone would have made him famous. ...

The Everly Brothers: Phil Everly: He Can't Spell But He Can Sing Like A Million Dollars

Interview by Maureen Cleave, Sydney Morning Herald, the, 11 November 1962

From MAUREEN CLEAVE in London ...

Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger: Bad Joke into Social Lion

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 4 February 1966

THE ROLLING STONES WERE PLAYING in the Station Hotel, Richmond, two-and-a-half years ago when their two prospective managers came to take a look at them. ...

Kathy Kirby: But The Smile Does Have To Go On And On...

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 7 September 1963

KATHY KIRBY is the girl in Stars and Garters who looks like Marilyn Monroe. She has the same curves and the same defenceless, little-girl curls; ...

John Lennon: The John Lennon I knew

Memoir by Maureen Cleave, Daily Telegraph, 5 October 2005

The man who changed the course of pop music would have been 65 this week. Maureen Cleave, who knew the Beatles at the height of ...

Little Richard: Even God can do better with Little Richard on his side

Interview by Maureen Cleave, London Express Service, 24 March 1985

GOD ALWAYS addresses Little Richard by name — it was the same with Moses and the prophet Samuel and St. Paul. ...

The Rolling Stones: But would you let your daughter marry one?

Report and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 11 May 1964

Take A Middle-Class Value, Stand It On Its Head: You've Got A "Stone ...

The Rolling Stones: This Horrible Lot – Not Quite What They Seem

Report and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 21 March 1964

"BUT WOULD YOU LIKE your daughter to marry one?" is what you ask yourself about the Rolling Stones. They've done terrible things to the musical ...

Nina Simone: Daddy And Momma Always Wanted Her To Play At Carnegie Hall... Nina Simone Finally Made It, Too — Only She Wasn't Playing Bach

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 10 July 1965

GROWN-UPS, it seems, squabble just as boringly over labels, like jazz and blues, as do the younger fry over rock 'n' roll and the genuine ...

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: How Sister Rosetta gets them rolling

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 9 May 1964

THEY CALL her the Holy Roller. Sister Rosetta Tharpe is indeed a holy lady but she does roll in a way that would do credit ...

List of genre pieces

Mort Shuman: Writing Songs Is So Easy

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, Sydney Morning Herald, the, 11 October 1964

FOR SONG-WRITING we British make do with Lennon/McCartney. The Americans are more extravagant; they use Pomus and Shuman, Leiber and Stoller, Goffin and King, David ...

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