A very special party was held on the 21st December 1967 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London. It was to celebrate the imminent screening of the Magical Mystery Tour on BBC TV.
Fancy dress was the theme. As you can see from above, a plethora of costumes were worn.
It’s no secret that John Lennon was a huge fan of Elvis Presley when he was a teenager. Lennon formed his first band, The Quarrymen, which would later become The Beatles, as a result of his love for Elvis Presley and rock and roll.
“Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles,” John Lennon stated matter-of-factly in a 1980 interview.
The Beatles spent the day working on ‘Eight Days A Week’. The song appeared on the UK album Beatles For Sale. At this early stage, however, the group was considering releasing it as their next single.
There were two scheduled recording sessions, from 3-6.45pm and 7-10pm. During the first one they recorded six takes of Eight Days A Week. In this early stage the arrangement was subject to a number of experiments.
By the sixth take The Beatles had an arrangement they were satisfied with. Onto this basic track they added a number of overdubs including double-tracked vocals. They continued work on the song in the second recording session whilst adding new elements in takes numbered 7-13.
Session tapes show that in between takes of the song, John Lennon played around with the guitar riff from ‘I Feel Fine’.
Eight Days A Week is believed to be the first pop song to feature a faded-in introduction. This was added during a mixing session at a later date.
After the recording sessions were over, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr went to London’s Ad Lib club. They spent time with Cilla Black, Mick Jagger and The Ronettes.
BEATLES FOR SALE PHOTO SHOOT HYDE PARK LONDON 1964
The downbeat mood of Beatles for Sale was reflected in the album cover. It shows the unsmiling, weary-looking Beatles] in an autumn scene in London’s Hyde Par. The cover photograph was taken by Robert Freeman, who recalled that the concept was briefly discussed with Brian Epstein and the Beatles beforehand. He had to produce a colour image of the group shot at “an outside location towards sunset” Music journalist Lois Wilson describes the result as “the very antithesis of the early-’60s pop star.The cover carried no band logo or artist credit, and the album title was rendered in minuscule type compared with standard LP artwork of the time.
Beatles for Sale was the Beatles’ fourth album release in the space of 21 months. Neil Aspinall, the band’s road manager, later reflected: “No band today would come off a long US tour at the end of September, go into the studio and start a new album, still writing songs, and then go on a UK tour, finish the album in five weeks, still touring, and have the album out in time for Christmas. But that’s what the Beatles did at the end of 1964. A lot of it was down to naiveté, thinking that this was the way things were done. If the record company needs another album, you go and make one.” Noting the subdued and melancholy tone of much of the album, producer George Martin recalled: “They were rather war weary during Beatles for Sale. One must remember that they’d been battered like mad throughout 1964, and much of 1963. Success is a wonderful thing but it is very, very tiring”.
On September 18th 1967, the Beatles visited Soho to film a scene for The Magical Mystery Tour.
It was the second week of filming for the Magical Mystery Tour television special. It began with a visit to the Raymond Revuebar strip club in London’s Soho.
The Beatles and other passengers from the coach trip were filmed watching Jan Carson’s topless strip. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band were performing Death Cab For Cutie.
In the final edit, a ‘Censored’ sign was superimposed to obscure Carson’s bare breasts. The Beatles knew that, had they failed to do so, the BBC and other broadcasting companies would have cut the entire scene.
Jan Carson was a stripper who worked for Paul Raymond during the 1960s at his famous Revuebar in London.
On July, 28, 1968, during the recording of “The White Album,” the Beatles spent the day tearing around London to shoot some publicity photographs, in particular for the cover of “Life” magazine. That day became known as the “Mad Day Out.”
The Beatles attracted hoards of fans wherever they went, so the entourage had to keep moving on to new locations, leading to a frenetic shooting schedule. Paul McCartney had originally asked Don McCullin to shoot that day, but five other photographers also showed up. Rounding out the party was Yoko Ono, Francie Schwartz, and Gary Evans, Mal’s six-year-old son.
The “Mad Day Out” photo session appears to be all fun and frolics, but considered against the background of the Beatles’ lives and careers at the time, some of the images take on a whole new meaning. The band was in the middle of recording “The White Album” at Abbey Road Studios, a recording notoriously fraught with tension and dissent. They were also launching their new corporation, Apple Corps, which was a great source of stress for all concerned.
Previous recording sessions had been off-limits to outsiders, but “The White Album” sessions saw the attendance and influence of Yoko Ono, as well as the presence of McCartney’s girlfriend at the time, Francie Schwartz. The sessions became unfocused, with different band members recording in different studios. The tension culminated in Ringo Starr leaving the band on August 22nd, returning two weeks later after pleas from the others.
Towards the end of 1965, in West Hampstead, London, the Beatles participated in a photo shoot. Photographer Robert Whitaker had prepared an elaborate set. It comprised of mirrors, silver foil, polythene sheets and polystyrene. Assisting Robert in the session were Stuart Brisley and theatre designer Carol Russell.
A photograph from the session served as the cover of the BritIsh EP Yesterday which was released on March 4th 1966. It was a very convenient location for The Beatles as it was in London near Abbey Road Studios.
Nine days prior to its world première, three of The Beatles attended a press screening of Yellow Submarine. It took place at the 102-seat Bowater House Cinema in Knightsbridge, London.
Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all attended the screening. John Lennon’s absence was compensated by a cardboard version of his cartoon incarnation. The rest of the group posed alongside for photographers.
It was the first time any of the group had seen the finished film. Afterwards they gave interviews and were photographed. Footage was broadcast by BBC and ITV news.
George Harrison told reporters that, following the critical drubbing that Magical Mystery Tour received. They would henceforth only appear in animations. He also dodged a question about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.Paul McCartney stepped in, calling the episode “a phase,” and saying “we don’t go out with him anymore”.
The world première of A Hard Day’s Night took place on6 July 1964. The Beatles’ first feature film, A Hard Day’s Night, had its première at the London Pavilion. The première was attended by The Beatles and their wives and girlfriends, and a host of important guests including Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon.
Nearby Piccadilly Circus was closed to traffic as 12,000 fans jostled for a glimpse of the group.
” I remember Piccadilly being completely filled. We thought we would just show up in our limo, but it couldn’t get through for all the people. It wasn’t frightening – we never seemed to get worried by crowds. It always appeared to be a friendly crowd; there never seemed to be a violent face. ” Paul McCartney Anthology
It was a charity event held in support of the Variety Club Heart Fund and the Docklands Settlements, and the most expensive tickets cost 15 guineas (£15.75).
After the screening The Beatles, the royal party and other guests including The Rolling Stones enjoyed a champagne supper party at the Dorchester Hotel, after which some of them adjourned to the Ad Lib Club until the early hours of the morning.
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