Nigel Oliver

Spirituality, and My Time With The Beatles

Now, my act has been cut down from 30 minutes to 5 minutes - in rehearsals this afternoon I couldn't concentrate - so it's a bit difficult. Cameron eh - I'm rather afraid of Cameron. And I feel rather sorry for Brown.
I worked for the Beatles when I was 16, and I didn't know anything else. I worked at their headquarters, at Apple in London and I was just running around for them shopping, buying drugs, doing stationery. And I used to wear a suit to work, and I used to think why are these people rolling these long cigarettes, cause I was very innocent. It was 1969 and I would be sent out to Bond St and Piccadilly, these kind of places, often in a car to pick up envelopes.
We used to have a room for the office boys and there was a red phone, which was the Beatles hotline phone, and a brown phone for the secretaries, and a white phone for the Beatles Management. I don't know if any of you remember, but John and Yoko were into their bagism thing. In 1969 John and Yoko stayed in bed for world peace, and they appeared in different venues around the world in bags.
So the red phone rang, and it was John and he said can you come down and normally he would want fish and chips, or me to take his jeans to have new pockets put on them, so I went down, and it was an L-shaped room, with a black carpet - I was always interested to see how they lived - and I said 'John?' No answer. I said 'John?' and they were in the black bag in the corner. I didn't know what to say. What do you say when the biggest star in the world is in a bag. But what they wanted me to do was to get them to the door so they could go in the car to appear at Hyde Park. And I went on to work for other pop stars, like Eric Clapton, The Eagles and so on, but just doing the same thing, buying drugs, cleaning cars, cleaning swimming pools, nothing important.
This led me on to thinking that I would do my own peace song. So I'm going to read you something I wrote about 30 years ago. (Hey, though, Cameron. . . imagine being ruled by him. I mean those people from Eton, what do they know about life, I mean I'm very impressed by class, I like class, I spoke to my tailor in Saville Row yesterday - but imagine being ruled by them. Worry, worry.) Here it is:

'Our World is passing through the gravest crisis of its History. One may even fear that our species may disappear before very long. The Spiritual Vibration of the Planet is breaking down, law and order and communication problems are on all sides. (I am under the Psychiatrist at the moment - "We can't give you any more help Mr Oliver." When I told them about working for the Beatles, they don't actually believe me, but I really did.)
We must realise that the Earth is alive and such is the power of Mother Nature, she may react on her own: causing earthquakes, tidal waves, land to sink and new land to rise. Space travelers may come to speak of their ability to ascend to a super human level. When Mankind steps up his consciousness, when he can attain these higher states of awareness ("Yes Mr Oliver, when did you start to have these thoughts?") then UFOs will come to establish communication, probably via television.'

Oh hang on, that's the phone. I'd probably better answer that. Hello - oh fine - it's Susan Boyle, she wants some coke. Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen, and goodnight.


'They have done great work here, Jon [Potter] and his colleagues. This project has encouraged me to start writing and communicating and I know it has encouraged other people to focus on the hidden gifts that they have, which normal activities of the mental health services don't really do. I'm not as stuck as I was.'

Nigel grew up as a working class boy in North West London and, having left school quite young, was thrown into the heady world of the 60s rock and roll scene. This exposure to a vastly different world, and the drugs that inevitably came with it, he attributes to his breakdown and subsequent mental health issues. Here is his edited performance from the 'Warning: May Contain Nuts' event, which took place just days after the General Election in May 2010. News came through that night, as we performed, of David Cameron's new coalition government.