March 14, 2004 by

Alf Bicknell

15 comments

Categories: Misc., Musicians

Behind the tinted windows of the Fab Four’s Austin Princess sat Alfred George Bicknell.
From 1964 to 1966, he was the Beatles’ chauffeur, ferrying them to and from concert venues and movie sets. When the band traveled in John Lennon’s Rolls Royce Phantom V, Bicknell was usually behind the wheel. He even inspired the song, “Baby You Can Drive My Car.”
In “Ticket to Ride: The Ultimate Beatles Tour Diary!” the 1999 autobiography he co-wrote with Alasdair Ferguson, Bicknell described the day Lennon snagged the chauffeur’s cap off his head and tossed it out the window. “You don’t need that anymore, Alf. You are one of us now,” Lennon reportedly said.
Bicknell was born in Surrey, England, in 1928. He worked as an apprentice butcher and circus clown before serving three years with the British Army. In the late 1950s, Bicknell became a professional driver known for discreetly shuttling foreign dignitaries and celebrities to their desired destinations.
After the Beatles stopped touring, Bicknell spent the 1970s driving business executives. He retired in 1980 following a chainsaw accident, and joined the Beatles convention circuit, giving speeches and selling memorabilia.
Bicknell died on March 9. Cause of death was not released. He was 75.

15 Responses to Alf Bicknell

  1. Mark Bicknell

    Thanks for all your kind words and warm wishes to our family at this very hard time, my Dad will be sadly missed by many people on the Beatle scene.
    He loved them and was so very proud of his little moment in history with them.
    We hope to host a benifit gig for my dad sometime in the future so please keep in touch Beatle fans everywhere.
    Regards – Mark Bicknell – Alf’s Son – Manchester UK.

  2. Judge Frank Demolli

    The Bicknell family:
    I took a two-day tour with your father in October 2001. It was one of the highlights of my life. All of my questions were answered concerning the Beatles and I can only hope I showed the proper respect to Alf.
    He spoke fondly of his son and related quite a few funny stories of his wife during those times.
    Love and Peace to you,
    Frank Demolli
    Pojoaque New Mexico, USA
    JudgeHi@aol.com

  3. Don and Teri Jankowski

    My husband and I were honored to become friends of Alf’s here in the states through Peter and Roberta T. He visited and warmed our log home many times during his visits here while sharing his stories with us, as only he could do so exquisitely. We will cherish forever his kindness, his loyalty, and his pureness of heart.
    I cannot say that we shall ever meet another whose smile could catch you and warm you so quickly. We are humbled. Our thoughts and prayers are now with you.
    Don and Teri Jankowski
    New York, USA

  4. Yvonne Christian

    I met Alf at the Club Beatles of New England’s 60th Birthday Party for John Lennon back in the fall of 2000. He was very kind to all of us there. I did a reading of a personal essay I wrote in tribute to John Lennon which described my feelings at the time of John’s murder. I received a huge applause from Alf and everyone.
    I enjoyed Alf’s book very much. I was saddened to hear of his passing. Condolences to his family. My prayers are with you.

  5. K

    Dear Ones:
    I’m ever so sorry for what I “just” read, on a fan board.
    PLEASE…be well and take care!
    With all Sincere Sympathy,
    K

  6. Janice Baker,MMM

    To Mark & Jean…I considered Alf the kindest friend a person could know. Patty & I formed the MMM’s in 1990 & later that year, I met Alf in Chicago and introduced him to the other MMM’s. You know the rest of our beautiful story with Alf. I only lost touch after a misfortunate “division” within the club here in Rhode Island. I would love so much to hear from you both. Janice Baker,MMM e-mail me at jlbm.a.mmm@earthlink.net Oct.30,2004

  7. Ed Raineri

    Alf was a special guest on a radio show I co-hosted a few months before he died. I’m so glad I’ve still got it on tape. I miss the gentleman teddy bear.

  8. Bill Covington

    hello from Bill.
    Alf was an old mate of mine from THE BEATLES TOUR of 1964. My band THE RUSTIKS was signed to Brian Epstein.
    Alf will be greatly missed. He was a proper gent and a good mate.
    Bill Covington.

  9. catherine & helen bicknell

    hello from alf’s niece’s.
    just wanted to say how sad we are to here about uncle alf’s death.the last time we met him was at his brother’s funeral(our dad) in 1989.love to the family. catherine and helen bicknell. xx

  10. Roobert Myers

    Just got the Beatles Recollections…
    interesting that the beatles themselves
    put a different spin on their meeting Elvis
    (compare the Anthology version with Alf’s
    regardless of entertainment facts…
    God Bless this good man’s immortal Soul.
    bob myers

  11. glenis prince

    To alf`s family, i am so sorry to learn of his death . i tried many times last year to contact him unsuccessfully to tell him that my sister doreen had died on 20th june 04, and alf had spent many happy times fishing in north wales with doreens husband, gideon davis from stoke on trent and had attended gideon`s funeral in january 1991.whilst sorting through doreens effects after her death i found a couple of letters which alf had written to doreen which had meant a lot to her , and a copy of his book “baby you can drive my car”. i shall treasure these in doreens memory and shall never forget the kindness alf showed to gideon and doreen when they spent their summers on the river bank, telling tales of the fish that got away.i pray that gideon was there waiting to take alfs hand when he passed on,they were both true gentlemen.
    kind regards to alf`s family, remember him with a smile!

  12. Steve Zazulyk

    I believe it was 1997 or 98 my wife Kelly and I won a trip to travel from our home in Canada to Liverpool and attend the re-release of “The Yellow Submarine”. We arrived at the hotel and missed the bus, and so did a very friendly looking soul in the loby, sitting at one of the loung tables. I made a comment about missing the bus and he invited me for a seat. It was then that I met Alf and for the rest of the night he told me every beatle story I could have ever dreamed to hear. All the questions I had about what happened the night of shea stadium and what was it like to have been in the same room as Elvis and the beatles at the same time (They only met once at Graceland, Alf, Brian E. and Col.Tom Parker were the only one’s present).We stayed in England for 8 days (of course) and saw Alf every day (I think he thought my wife was cute!) what a great and gentle man. He used to laugh and get excited then he would do his signature pose…grasp the wheel of the Rolls Royce Phantom V and pretend to dive! That was Alf he was great.It was sad to hear of his passing we invited him to visit us one day in Canada but God had other plans. To Alfs family he really was a part of history and a unique and great man.

  13. Judy Cheesman

    I just read of Alfs passing,,, so sorry.. Alf was here in Danville Illinois 1994 or 1995,,, I helped promote a coule of his programs with his friend Ed… they also did a video in Champaign Ill promoting his book… quite good pictures of him and ED.
    Judy

  14. Pat Fortes

    Dear Mark and Jeanne Bicknell,
    I just found this site and wanted to send my best wishes. I am one of the MMM’s and knew Alf for several years when he was honorary president of our club here in RI. My husband painted his portrait and I believe it may be with you in England. We really miss Alf and I wanted to send you my love and best wishes. We would be so happy if you could contact us so we could write to you. If you see this, please e-mail me at patfor10@hotmail.com. Most Sincerely, Pat Fortes East Greenwich, RI

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