Posts Tagged ‘Verwoerdt’

The Beatles Anti-Segregation Stance

December 16, 2015

This is another interesting snippet I found on 1000 Natural Shocks (over 18s only), that’s far too cool not to share. The Beatles were staunch opponents of segregation, and had it written into their contracts that they would not play segregated audiences.

Beatles Anti-Segregation

Whatever you else you think about them, that’s got to be applauded.

Mind you, they’re not the first or only British musician, who refused to abide by racist legislation separating the races. George Formby annoyed the Afrikaaner National Party in South Africa by deliberately playing to mixed race audiences. He got thrown out of South Africa after his wife gave a very succinct reply to a complaint made personally by Verwoerdt. Formby had been playing in front of a Black audience, when a little girl rushed up to the stage and hugged him. He hugged her back, as you would, said something nice about her to the audience along the lines of ‘Isn’t she sweet’, and handed her back to her parents.

This was too much for the founders of apartheid. Formby got a phone call in the middle of the night that evening by Verwoerdt. His wife took the call, and responded to the official complaint with the immortal lines, ‘P*ss orf, you horrible little man’. Or words to that effect. That cut short their tour of South Africa. The next morning they were bundled on a plane back to Blighty.

And I don’t think the bard of window cleaners and Chinese laundries was bothered one little bit.

There’s a great pictorial version of this tale in the comic book, Alice in Sunderland, written and illustrated by creator of the dimension-travelling SF hero, Luther Arkwright, if you want to have a good laugh and enjoy the greatest and weirdest bits of northern English life and history.