If you passed Freda Kelly in a Liverpool street you probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid, but this unassuming grandmother, who still lives and works in the city, was close to all four Beatles during their Sixties heyday. She was their PA, ran the band’s fan club and was immortalised when the group shouted out ‘Good ol’ Freda!’ on their 1963 Christmas record for fans.
As our interview with Beatles press officer Tony Barrow showed (click here to read it), members of the group’s inner circle can have fascinating tales to tell. Freda’s kept her counsel for the last 40 years, but has now co-operated in the making of a film (appropriately called Good Ol’ Freda), which recently premiered at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
Freda has said she was partly motivated by a desire to record her memories for her two year old grandson, telling a reporter, ‘I would like him to be proud of me and see how exciting my life was in the Sixties, and the fun I had.’
Los Angeles filmmaker Ryan White, who directed Good Ol’ Freda, says he was struck when he heard Freda’s story by how helpful she was to young fans of the Beatles. She’d even accompany the Fab Four to the barbers’, sweep up their hair and post locks of it to female admirers. After the fan club closed in 1970 Freda had to clear the office, boxing up photographs, autographs and other memorabilia. The hoard would be worth a fortune today but, with typical generosity, in the years that followed she gave it away to fans.
For more on Freda’s story and the film Good Ol’ Freda, check out:
And don’t miss these Beatles articles on our website:
Our exclusive interview with Tony Barrow, the Beatles’ press officer in the Sixties
50 Fabulous Facts, our in-depth look at 1962, the year everything changed for the Beatles