Tony Palmer: he's with the band

They were music megastars, and they all opened up to him. As Tony Palmer's best films resurface, the documentarian talks to Phelim O'Neill about Leonard Cohen's tears, John Lennon's fake beard – and the day Liberace invited him into his hot tub

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Tony Palmer was studying moral sciences at Cambridge University in the 1960s when a moderately famous band arrived in town. "I got a call to attend this press conference the Beatles were holding, to cover it for the college paper," he recalls. "They'd had a No 1 single or two by then, so they were very well known – but not yet intergalactic. Afterwards, John Lennon came up and asked me why I hadn't asked them any questions. I told him I found the whole thing pretty silly. He laughed, and when I told him I was studying moral sciences,
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