The Beatles record label Apple was “mad”, says Tony King.
The former music executive detailed how the Fab Four’s headquarters was a hive of “lovely” chaos with Sir Ringo Starr - who convinced him to become the head of A+R - getting his loo roll delivered there and a sloshed Keith Moon, the late drummer for the Who, playing in an industry-wide darts tournament.
The 79-year-old executive told the Guardian newspaper: “It was so mad, Apple. The poor office boy had to do Ringo’s shopping every Friday. There would be all these toilet rolls stacked in the lobby while they counted them out, making sure they’d got the right number for Ringo.
"But the mad side of it was lovely. We had an Apple darts team and we’d challenge different record companies. Keith Moon showed up wanting to play, but he was so drunk, the office boys had to hold him up so he could throw a dart.”
Tony also noted how he saw the “vulnerable” side of the late John Lennon - who also performed in the genre-defying 60s band alongside Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison - when they worked together in Los Angeles.
He said: “I knew him in the 1960s and he could be very cutting. I was intimidated by him. I went to LA expecting this sharp-tongued Liverpudlian, and instead I got this really soft, vulnerable man. I couldn’t believe it.”
Tony will release his memoir 'The Tastemaker' next month - which details working alongside some of the 20th century’s biggest musical acts like Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones and his partying in New York with Andy Warhol - also praised his“brave” friend, late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury amid his battle with AIDS before he died in 1991.
Tony said: “So brave. Shopping until the end, buying up paintings in Christie’s auctions. I used to lie on the bed next to him and hold his hand, which was stone-cold, like a bone.
"They’d bring in the paintings he’d bought and prop them up at the end of the bed for him to look at. I said, ‘Fred, why are you doing this?’ And he said, ‘What else have I got to do? I can’t go out, I can’t leave the bed, but at least I can go shopping.’ He had this wonderful, indomitable spirit.”