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Beatles Tour London

OTD in 1966, the infamous butcher photo sessions took place in Chelsea, just off the Kings Road.

Photographer Bob Whitaker produced one of the most controversial images in rock history on March 25, 1966. It was the infamous “butcher” cover for the Beatles‘ Yesterday and Today album even though it was Initially released only in the U.S. and Canada. The LP was a compilation of singles and tracks from their U.K.album, unfortunately it bought negative reaction to the image of the Fab Four in white coats where they were surrounded by dismembered doll parts and raw meat. This led Capitol Records to immediately pull the LP from the shelves and replace the cover.

“We’d done a few sessions with Bob before this, and he knew our personalities: he knew we liked black humor and sick jokes,” Paul McCartney recalled in Anthology. “And he said, ‘I’ve had an idea – stick these white lab coats on.’ It didn’t seem too offensive to us. It was just dolls and a lot of meat.”

“The photographer was a bit of a surrealist and he brought along all these babies and pieces of meat and doctors’ coats, so we really got into it,” Lennon told WNEW-FM. “And that’s how we felt – ‘Yeah!'”

Whitaker, who died in 2011, was influenced by German surrealist Hans Bellmer, who used dismembered doll and mannequin parts in his artwork. Whitaker was also inspired by surrealist Meret Oppenheim’s “Object” – a cup, saucer and spoon covered in fur.

The idea for the photo came to Whitaker in a dream. The butcher photo was to be one of three images, a triptych titled “A Somnambulant Adventure.” The photos would be a commentary on the Beatles’ fame and adulation. “All over the world I’d watched people worshipping like idols, like gods, four Beatles,” Whitaker is quoted on his website. “To me they were just stock standard normal people. However, this emotion that fans poured on them made me wonder where Christianity was heading.”
Even by ’60s standards, Whitaker’s idea was bizarre. In the first image a woman faces the Beatles, her back to the camera and hands up in surprise. The band members hold a string of sausages that represents an umbilical cord. This demonstrated that the Beatles were not gods; they were born the old-fashioned way. The second was the butcher photo; its meat and doll parts signified that the Beatles were flesh and blood.

The third image shows George Harrison hammering nails into Lennon’s head. Its meaning, Whitaker explained in Goldmine magazine, was that the Beatles were as solid as “a piece of wood. Why worship?”
Whitaker intended the images to resemble centuries-old religious paintings and he planned to put halos with precious stones around the Beatles’ heads attempting to finish the piece but didn’t get the chance before the photos were sent to Capitol.


Capitol began to destroy all the copies of the LP. But to save money, the label decided instead to paste new images over the offensive covers. The replacement photo, also taken by Whitaker, showed the Beatles posed around an open steamer trunk. Why not check out the location and participate in a Beatles Tour of London ?

Read More: Revisiting the Beatles’ Photo Shoot for the ‘Butcher’ Cover |

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Beatles Tours London walking tour

OTD in this day in 1969, Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman. The wedding took place at Marylebone Registry Office. In the picture we can see Mike McGear and Mal Evans. None of the other three Beatles attended the ceremony.
Though planned as a secret ceremony, the steps of the registry were crowded with hundreds of fans and reporters. The wedding was delayed an hour. McCartney’s brother Mike McGear, the best man, was late arriving when his train traveling from Birmingham to London broke down. McGear and Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans were witnesses.
The couple first met in May 1967. Linda Eastman, a New York photographer, was in London on assignment. She passed his table at the Bag O’Nails club one night. The rest as they say is history. Why not visit fab locations with Beatles Tours London. Visit and book your tour.
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The Beatles East London

On this day in 1963, The Beatles performed in East London. Appearing with the legendary Chris Montez and Tommy Roe at the East Ham Granada Cinema, Barking Road, London E6. The set list for the two performances consisted of Love Me Do, Misery, A Taste of Honey, Do You Want To Know A Secret, Please Please Me and I Saw Her Standing There. Top billing was shared by the two Americans. However most of the audience had come to see The Beatles. They also performed here in East London again on November 9th the same year.

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Beatles Tour London

Filming a scene from A Hard Day’s Night, running from the rozzers, London, March 1964. Love the expressions of the ladies watching the action. This clip was filmed very close to the old Scala Theatre. The inside of the theatre was converted to to look like a television studio. The Beatles performed there before an audience of 350 screaming fans. Our Beatles walking tour will take you to fab London Beatles locations.
When it opened in September, 1964, “A Hard Day’s Night” was a problematic entry in a disreputable form, the rock ‘n’ roll musical. The Beatles were already a publicity phenomenon (70 million viewers watched them on “The Ed Sullivan Show”), but they were not yet cultural icons. Many critics attended the movie and prepared to condescend, but the movie could not be dismissed: It was so joyous and original that even the early reviews acknowledged it as something special. After more than three decades, it has not aged and is not dated; it stands outside its time, its genre and even rock. It is one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies.

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Abbey Road

This photo shoot took place in the yard of EMI Studios, Abbey Road in 1963at the height of Beatlemania.

Pathe News filmed the opening of the studios in November 1931. Edward Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in recording sessions of his music. Later on they became known as EMI studios.

The Beatles named their 1969 album Abbey Road, after the street where the studio is located. Most of their songs were recorded there. EMI changed its name to Abbey Road. Iain Macmillan took the album’s cover photograph outside the studios. The nearby zebra crossing has become a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans. It has been a tradition for visitors to pay homage to the band by writing on the wall.

In September 2012, with the takeover of EMI, the studio became the property of Universal Music. Abbey Road cam at

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Beatles Tours London

On 30 January 1969, The Beatles along with keyboard player Billy Preston gave their final public performance. An unannounced concert held from the rooftop of their Apple headquarters was held within central London’s office and fashion district. The band played a 42-minute set before the police asked them to reduce the volume.

Although the concert was conceived just days before, the Beatles were planning a return to live performances throughout the early sessions for the Let ot Be album. They performed nine takes of five songs as crowds of onlookers, many of whom were on their lunch break, congregated in the streets and on the roofs of local buildings. The concert ended with the conclusion of Get Back with John joking, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition.”

Footage from the performance was used in the 1970 documentary film Let it Be. The first performance of I’ve Got A Feeling and single takes of One After 909 and Dig A Pony were also featured on the accompanying album. The songs, Get Back and Don’t Let Me Down were also included. John and Ringo even wore their lady’s coats for the event as it was freezing cold.

Beatles Tours London take you on a tour of various London historic Beatles locations. Worth checking out also is the 100 Club for excellent live music

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Beatles London

In July 1963, the Beatles took part in a photo shoot by Dezo Hoffman. They were staying at the Hotel President at the time. The one of them walking along a street in Holborn has been reproduced in many worlwide publications. It is without doubt one of the most famous photographs of the Beatles during their London days. The one of them posing in a London garden square was taken on the same day. Beatles London locations are available to book with Beatles Tours London. Why not try our There’s A Place Tour ?
Gift vouchers are also available from the Beatles Tours London website at
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Beatles London filming Help! 1965

Help! is a 1965 British film and the Beatles follow up to A Hard Day’s Night. The film had its Royal World Premiere at the London Pavilion, on the 29thJuly 1965 in the presence of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon. Directed by Richard Lester, the film starred the lovely Eleanor Bron, Leo McKern, Alfie Bass and Victor Spinetti amongst others.
Help! was shot in various London locations as well as Austria and the Bahamas.
Ringo is pursued by an Eastern cult that wants the sacrificial ring he is wearing. The music is from the 1965 Help! album.
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Beatles Tours London

Photographer Fiona Adams would ride around on the top deck of a London bus looking for shooting locations.
In the same month, The Beatles arrived at the studio and Fiona took them in a taxi to a former bomb site at the rear of Euston Station, at the junction of Euston Road and Gower Street
“This emerged from one of her first assignments for Boyfriend Magazine. She had met the Beatles (then little-known) the previous week (Sunday April 14th 1963) when they were appearing on the popular Thank Your Lucky Stars show, at the TV Studios in Teddington. These were very early days and the Beatles readily agreed when I asked them to come in for a shoot.
Looking for great live music in London, please visit
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Beatles Tour London

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Press conference, June 1965 following news they were receiving MBE’s. Paul said ‘We thought that MBE stood for Mr Brian Epstein. Because we always sign his contracts, because he’s our manager’. Check out Beatles Tour London.

While viewing a cut from their forthcoming film, Help! a press conference was hastily arranged at Twickenham Film Studios. The studios were besieged by the world’s press as the announcement had made headlines that morning.

The Day the Beatles Received Their MBEs

The Beatles accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed by the royal family. After the better part of two years as Britain’s greatest musical ambassadors. On Oct. 26, 1965, all four members went to Buckingham Palace to receive their (MBE) medals from Queen Elizabeth II. Discover capital locations with us and book a Beatles Tour London

They had been notified of the award back in June. Their names showed up on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Rock music still had a bad image from most of society. The reaction from many previous honorees was predictable: Several returned their decorations in disgust. Col. Frederick Wagg, even sent back 12 medals he had earned fighting in both World Wars. Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who represented the Liverpool suburb of Huyton, had lobbied the Queen to honour the group.

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