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The Beatles’ hairdresser reveals life working with the fab four | Life | Life & Style | Express.co.uk

The Beatles’ hairdresser reveals life working with the fab four | Life | Life & Style | Express.co.uk

The Beatles’ hairdresser reveals life working with the fab four | Life | Life & Style | Express.co.uk
September 25
11:37 2017

Fifty years on he can still vividly remember the moment his life changed for ever.It was an ordinary Saturday in October 1966 and Leslie had just finished styling actress Jane Asher’s hair at the Vidal Sassoon salon in London where he worked. As he removed the gown from her shoulders she asked whether Leslie was free later that day to do a house visit “as my boyfriend needs a haircut”.Her boyfriend was of course McCartney.Related articles Beatles auction: Eleanor Rigby score expected to fetch £20,000 The Beatles lost millions because of manager Brian Epstein’s blundersFast forward six hours and Leslie found himself snipping his idol’s hair in the vast master bathroom of his house on Cavendish Avenue, St John’s Wood.He recalls: “I was expecting the housekeeper who’d spoken to me when I buzzed the gate to let me in but when the front door finally opened there was the man himself.‘Hello, Leslie, thanks for coming,’ he told me.“I felt totally light-headed and my entire Beatles-tinted youth flashed before me – the first hearing of Love Me Do, my mum’s attempts to turn down the volume of Twist And Shout on our Decca player, all the times I sang along to Drive My Car as it blasted out of my Mini’s radio on my way to work.“Then Paul led me into the living room and the first things I noticed were a piano and two guitars, one acoustic, one bass. Oh, I thought, so this is where it happens.The BeatlesPHLeslie was Sir Paul McCartney’s go-to hairdresserAlthough Leslie, who was only 19 at the time, already counted other showbiz names such as Suzanna Leigh – the first English actress to appear in a film with Elvis Presley – among his clients, they paled in comparison to the hair he was about to chop.“I remember one of the first things I told him was that he had wonderfully thick hair and that he’d never go bald, which he was delighted to hear,” reveals Leslie.“I asked him how he’d like it cutting, to which he replied, ‘Just do it as you see it.’“It took me by surprise as I’d expected Paul McCartney to exercise some sort of control over a head of hair that had become an icon of youthful rebellion around the world.“It was the most exciting haircutting gig I could possibly have been offered and my life would never be the same again.”He was right.Far from being a one-haircutwonder, Leslie was McCartney’s hairdresser for nearly a decade, even opening his own salon in Chelsea in 1967 backed by The Beatles and their company Apple. Paul McCartney talks about using LSD in new Beatles filmHe also tended to the locks of John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison on and off, creating some of the most iconic hairstyles in popular history.Leslie’s discretion also secured him an unexpected place in The Beatles’ inner circle.Now aged 70 he has recorded his recollections in new book The Cutting Edge: The Story Of The Beatles’ Hairdresser Who Defi ned An Era.And the level of detail in it is thanks in part to Apple providing him with access to all the press cuttings about the Fab Four.“I needed them to work out whether I’d dreamed up certain memories,” he adds.“There’s one headline that reads ‘Barber who made Paul a skinhead’ and I had to trace it back in my head to late 1966 when he was going on safari with Jane.”He’d got his Beatles mop cut and was worried he’d be recognised everywhere on holiday so I told him that we’d have to disguise him by cutting it all off.Leslie CavendishPHLeslie was one of 40 of the group’s inner circle to be invited aboard the Magical Mystery Tour bus “It was the most exciting haircutting gig I could possibly have been offered and my life would never be the same again Leslie Cavendish“When I’d finished we looked at each other and I said, ‘There you go, where’s Paul McCartney?’He laughed and said, ‘Wow!’ There was a million pounds worth of hair on the fl oor but I didn’t tell anyone about the haircut.“They had their holiday in Kenya without anyone noticing until they came back through the airport a month later. I got a lot of press coverage from that.”He adds: “I wasn’t on The Beatles’ payroll, I just charged them two guineas [about £2.10] each for a haircut, the same as all my other clients.”I’d have done it for nothing because it was such a privilege, especially being invited to Trident and Abbey Road studios on numerous occasions.“Watching Lennon and Mc Cartney was something else. I described it to someone the other day as like watching two great friends building a song, putting together what they’d each done.“On my first night at Abbey Road I heard them recording the string section for She’s Leaving Home, one of the most stirring songs they ever recorded and one of the few on which none of the Fab Four played an instrument.”In September 1967 Leslie was also one of about 40 of the group’s inner circle to be invited aboard the Magical Mystery Tour bus.He says: “My musical memories of the MMT are of raucous singing on the bus to old music hall classics such as Toot,

Source: The Beatles’ hairdresser reveals life working with the fab four | Life | Life & Style | Express.co.uk

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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