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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

42 articles

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Richard Anthony: Report from the land of Les Yé Yé

Profile by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 18 January 1964

PARIS, Saturday. ...

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 ...

Chris Barber, Blues Incorporated, Alexis Korner, Mantovani: Mr. Korner and his weird front line...

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 26 May 1962

TOGETHER, THEY MAKE THE BEST TWISTING NOISE I'VE HEARD ...

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 Beach Boys, The Lettermen: Nobody bugs the Gutsy Greek — the sten guns see to that

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 1 May 1965

NICK VENET went into the American record industry when he was 18 years old for this reason: "I wanted," he said, "to do something devastating; ...

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: Beatles For Sale (Parlophone)

Review by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 28 November 1964

BEAUTIFUL BEATLES ...

The Beatles: Revolver (Parlophone PMC 7009)

Review by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 30 July 1966

THIS COMES out next Friday. The cover shows the Beatles with huge heads of Beardsley hair and little photographs of themselves propped up on the ...

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, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer: How that lucky Mr. Epstein got a head's start with the Beatles

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 27 April 1963

IT WOULDN'T be difficult to be exceedingly jealous of Brian Epstein. In fact, I should think a lot of people are — managers particularly. ...

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, The Hollies: The Beatles: 'Paperback Writer'/'Rain' (Parlophone)

Review by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 11 June 1966

  IT'S HARD to know what to say about either of these songs. One thing is certain: Ella Fitzgerald and all the gang of real singers ...

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 ...

Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans, The Crystals, The Ronettes, Phil Spector: Now the Ronettes... get the girls screaming, too

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 11 January 1964

IT WAS A bad idea, perhaps, to interview them in a canteen. A great number of suet rolls and custards never got digested that day ...

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 ...

Solomon Burke: Cost of Solomon's Cadillac: a couple of songs and two good funerals...

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 19 June 1965

THE LARGE, smiling, splendid man in the picture is called Mr. Solomon Burke. He is 25. His wife is called Dolores Othello and they have ...

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' ...

Sam Cooke: When you're well-read and dress like wham!

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 20 October 1962

WE HAD the wireless on throughout. Sam Cooke wore red-patterned pyjamas, a black dressing-gown and a beaten gold ring, which he wears because he doesn't ...

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. ...

Bo Diddley: So Ethel Mae stayed — and so did the guitar

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 12 October 1963

'THE BIGGER THE CLOWN YOU ARE, THE MORE RECOGNITION YOU GET,' SAYS BO. 'WE DO EVERYTHING EXCEPT STAND ON OUR HEADS.' ...

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. ...

Little Richard: Well, look who's back — it's Little Richard

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 6 October 1962

BOBOBALOOMBA Abimbamboom all Rootti Tutti Frutti. With this gnomic verse about ice-cream and a shriek of masochistic ecstasy, Little Richard exploded before a wondering world ...

Lulu, Millie: In this business where you're old at 20, Millie and Lulu are the Younger Fry

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 4 July 1964

WHILE THEIR elder sisters, Kathy Kirby, Dusty Springfield and Cilla Black sing moving songs about love and desertion, Millie and Lulu are to be found ...

The Righteous Brothers: The strange thing about the Righteous Brothers is that they're white...

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 16 January 1965

THE RIGHTEOUS Brothers are not brothers at all; nor indeed are they more than ordinarily righteous. Their names are Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley, and ...

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 ...

The Yardbirds: Simon Napier-Bell always tells the truth... especially about Simon Napier-Bell

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 13 May 1966

MAUREEN CLEAVE'S FRIDAY INTERVIEW ...

The Yardbirds: Well, they've got a bearded Russian manager!

Profile and Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 23 May 1964

THERE ARE five Yardbirds and they have two interesting properties. The first is a Russian manager with a beard, dark glasses and a Lancia in ...

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 ...

Vicki from Inkpen, Berks, may not look like a girl with power — but she's got it, lots of it

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 31 July 1965

SHE'S BACK! THE GIRL WHO REALLY KNOWS THE POP PEOPLE ...

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