Fans learned so much about The Beatles in Peter Jackson’s new three-part documentary, The Beatles: Get Back. There were definitely some big surprises. Who knew we’d get to hear secret conversations? Or that we’d get to see some beautiful moments between the band even amid all that tension? We lived for all the drama, the collaborations, the jam sessions, the goofing around, and the snarky comments. But no one was prepared for The Beatles’ recording engineer, Glyn Johns’ impeccable 1960s wardrobe.
After watching the documentary, fans can’t stop talking about Johns’ outrageous outfits. However, Johns himself doesn’t really understand why.
The Beatles’ recording engineer, Glyn Johns, hates his wardrobe in ‘The Beatles: Get Back’
Jackson’s documentary didn’t just show us an accurate portrayal of The Beatles. It gave us a pretty stark picture of what life was like in 1969, including what the hip new fashions looked like. Johns was the poster boy, and fans are obsessed.
Only present-day Johns isn’t as in love with the fashions his 26-year-old self was into back then. He’s made his sentiments known on some of his outrageous numbers, like his white shaggy goatskin coat and his Austin-Powers-esque get-ups. Honestly, though, how would you feel about the things you wore in your younger years? Especially when your younger years happened during the 1960s?
Most of us would cringe, and that’s what Johns did as he watched himself, a somewhat major character, in Jackson’s documentary. He recently told the New York Times, “It’s just cringe-making. I look like a bloody clown.”
It wasn’t just his outfits that wowed fans. Johns knew how to accessorize with sunglasses and scarves. “It is not easy to stand out in a documentary featuring four of the 20th century’s most famous people,” the Times wrote. “But with his flair for accessories and slinky-pants-cool, Mr. Johns has found a new round of appreciators a half century after the fact.”
While Johns might have initially laughed seeing himself in those outfits, he’s no longer laughing. People from the past have gotten in touch with him to “take the Mickey” out of him, and he’s over it now.
“I’m fed up with it now, I’ll tell you,” he said. “I have 9,000 emails and texts from people from my past, all taking the Mickey unmercifully. Some people are saying, ‘Oh, the jacket you wore on X day was fantastic,’ or ‘Where did you get the goatskin coat?’ But in general, they’re laughing at how ridiculous I looked, which of course is true.”
The Rolling Stones influenced Johns’ fashion choices
Before Paul McCartney called him up to work for The Beatles, Johns was The Rolling Stones’ faithful producer and engineer. After spending so much time with them, their fashion choices started to rub off on Johns. So we really have them to thank for Johns’ impeccable fashion sense.
“I remember Brian Jones taking me to a store in Carnaby Street once, and we bought stuff,” Johns told the Times. “I remember Mick gave me a fabulous shirt.”
However much Johns dislikes his wardrobe from the 1960s, there are a few numbers he’s fond of, including that crocodile Levi jacket. “The coolest thing I think I wore in the film was the crocodile Levi jacket, which in fact had been given to me by Keith Richards,” he added.
“We were in Paris, and Keith had this jacket made for him in France, and it had been delivered to the hotel. He took it out of the packaging, put it on and said, ‘Here you have it, I don’t want it.’ I have no idea what happened to it. Maybe I gave it away.”
Johns can’t seem to remember where he got the goatskin coat that fans are obsessed with, either. Although, he does remember how it smelled after being in the rain.
“I distinctly remember queuing for an airplane wearing that coat, and the people in front and behind me moved away from me because it actually stank,” Johns explained. “And of course in those days, if you had long hair you were suspect anyway.”
Johns doesn’t have much of a memory of what he was wearing back then simply because he was too busy working on one of The Beatles’ best albums.
Glyn Johns only remembers The Beatles acting like family during those recording sessions
Johns wasn’t the only fashion extraordinaire during those recording sessions. The Beatles wore their fair share of outrageous 1960s patterns, fur coats, and wild accessories. Can we talk about Paul’s sweaters vests, George’s black Mongolian lamb fur coat and love for neckties, John’s all-white look, and Ringo’s frilly patterned shirts?
However, Johns was more concerned about working and watching as one of the greatest bands in the world created an album before his very eyes. So, excuse him for not remembering which jacket he was wearing or where he got it.
“Listen, mate, it was 50 years ago, how can I remember?” Johns said with a laugh. “Everyone has a style of their own, I suppose. But I was busy working.”
“My memory was that we actually had a really good time and everybody got on great,” he elaborated on what he witnessed. “The fact that George left the band for 24 hours is no different from any other band I ever worked with, or anyone who works in an office. People who work together for years on end, they fall out, and they patch it up at the end. It’s normal.”
Johns wasn’t working with a band who was about to split. “The four of them had gone through this mammoth experience, from when they were unknown, to being four of the most famous people in the world,” he said. “There was this massive bond between them. They were like family, really.”
Still, beyond that, fans can’t seem to forget or don’t want to forget Johns’ style. There weren’t just musical geniuses in that studio; there was a fashionista.
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