Beatles' secretary breaks silence in new film "Good Ol' Freda"

Sat Mar 9, 2013 11:19am EST
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By Corrie MacLaggan

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - For Freda Kelly, secretary to the Beatles and chief of the band's fan club, work sometimes involved trailing the Fab Four to the barber shop, sweeping their locks from the floor and mailing strands of hair to adoring female fans.

Kelly, one of the Beatles' longest-serving employees, worked for the band for more than a decade - longer than the British band was together - but has never shared her stories publicly until now.

She breaks her silence in a new documentary, "Good Ol' Freda," to have its world premiere on Saturday on the second day of the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

"It's such a classic Cinderella story: Girl picks the job of a lifetime," director Ryan White told Reuters.

The tale is sure to delight Beatles fans, but White seeks to tell a story that transcends that audience, a story about an amazing decade in an otherwise ordinary life.

The film features four Beatles songs, which required the permission of many people, including the living Beatles. It also includes never-before-seen photos of the Beatles.

A mutual friend and a family connection to the 1960s Liverpool music scene brought Kelly to the attention of White, who took the opportunity to tell Kelly's story.

The Los Angeles filmmaker, 31, who directed and produced the 2010 soccer documentary "Pelada," grew up knowing Kelly as a family friend who was a secretary. In fact, she is still a secretary, for a Liverpool law firm.   Continued...

A visitor looks at a guitar signed by The Beatles at an exhibition in Buenos Aires, October 4, 2011. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian