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Beatles London

EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London 1967. The Sgt. Peppers Sessions

Paul McCartney had the idea for Sgt Pepper during a flight from Kenya to England in November 1966.

It was originally released in the UK on 26 May 1967, and in the US on 2 June 1967.

Recording continued on the new album in January, with the first of many sessions for ‘A Day In The Life’, and then on 1 February they began work on one of Paul’s songs, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The new LP had a name and a loose concept, in so far as the band pretended they were giving a show as this fictitious band.

How Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Changed The Face Of Music.

And yet it could all have been so very different. In the early Spring of 1967, the UK press was full of reports with headlines such as “Has the Bubble Burst?”

“Beatles Fail To Reach The Top”, all because ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ had stalled at No.2 in the UK singles chart.

At manager Brian Epstein’s insistence neither track was included on the LP, and later became a decision that George Martin later described as “the biggest mistake of my professional life”

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Beatles London Tour

Scala Theatre, London 1964, filming A Hard Day’s Night

March 1964 saw filming of A Hard Day’s Night commence. On March 31st, the Scala Theatre, a TV performance was filmed here. 350 screaming fans were in the audience, one of them being a young Phil Collins. The filming here continued for 3 days, culminating in the climax of the film.

‘Tell Me Why’, ‘And I Love Her’, ‘I Should Have Known Better’ and ‘She Loves You’ were songs mimed to in the show. On a Beatles London Tour, you can visit various film locations especially our Day Tripper one. Directed by Richard Lester it was considered by many to be the best Beatles film.

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Mary Hopkin and The Beatles

With Mary Hopkin at Apple Records, London 1968

The model Twiggy first saw Mary Hopkin winning the British television talent show, Opportunity Knocks. She then recommended her to Paul McCartney and became one of the earliest signings to the Beatles’ Apple label. Apple Records was a division of Apple Corps Ltd. Other signings at the time included James Taylor, Badfinger and Billy Preston.

‘Those were the Days’ went to number one in the UK charts and was one of Apples’ most successful singles. ‘Goodbye and ‘Knock, Knock Who’s There’ were follow up hits for Mary.

Apple Records and Apple Publishing signed a number of acts whom the Beatles personally discovered.One or more of the Beatles would be involved in the recording sessions in most cases.

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Abbey Road Studios

On this day 1966 filming Paperback Writer and Rain Promos at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London

Abbey Road Studios filing Paperback Writer and Rain

On Thursday 19 May 1966, The Beatles filmed promotional clips of Paperback Writer and Rain. The filming took place in Studios One and Three at EMI, Abbey Road. Michael Lindsay-Hogg, directed them. He was well known from his Ready Steady Go days. He would later go on to direct Hey Jude, Revolution and Let it Be. This was day one of a two day shoot which produced a total of four promos for Paperback Writer and three for Rain.

One of the promo films for “Rain” and the other for “Paperback Writer” were shot in colour for the American market. The Beatles recorded the special colour one for the Ed Sullivan Show which was transmitted later for the American audience on June 05, 1966

The first black & white version of Paperback Writer was broadcast on June 25 1966 in ‘Goodbye Lucky Stars’. This was the final edition of the popular TV programme ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’. On Friday June 3rd, ‘Paperback Writer and ‘Rain’ were first broadcast on Ready Steady Go. This was the first time that material was screened, that hadn’t been filmed in its own studio.

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The Beatles and Roy Orbison

The Beatles with Roy Orbison plus Gerry and the Pacemakers in Slough 1963

On this day in 1963, The Beatles kicked off their third nationwide UK package tour. Along with Roy Orbison plus Gerry and the Pacemakers amongst others. The opening venue was the Adelphi Cinema in Slough with two shows starting at 6:00 and 8:30 pm.

Roy Orbison was initially topping the bill, however due to audience demand, the fab four took over top position. With tickets priced at 5/-, 7/6 and 9/6 it was another fab night full of beatlemania and wonderful music.

The Beatles set consisted of ‘Some Other Guy’, ‘Do You Want to Know a Secret’, ‘Love Me Do’, ‘Please Please Me’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, and ‘Twist & Shout’ The tour comprised of twenty one dates and finished on June 9th in Blackburn, Lancashire.

You can visit Beatles sites in London with us when Government restrictions are lifted. We will keep you fully informed at of any changes as soon as they happen. In the meantime Stay Safe and why not check out Roy Orbison at It’s well worth viewing.

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Beatles Tour London

On This Day in 1963

The third of Brian Epstein’s Mersey Beat Showcase concerts. It took place at the Majestic Ballroom in Finsbury Park, London.

Two thousand fans saw The Beatles perform at the venue. The other acts on the bill were Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Big Three, and Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas. All of which were managed by Epstein.

This was the only occasion on which The Beatles performed at the Majestic Ballroom. Prior to the show they met scriptwriter Peter Clayton here. It was to discuss ideas for a feature film, although the plans never came to fruition.

Finsbury Park has been a centre for entertainment for many decades. A very popular location for movies and tv shows. After being used for many decades as the foyer area for the cinema, the Majestic Ballroom, then became a Bingo Club in Stroud Green Road. The building was closed in the 1980’s and demolished in 1999.

On a Beatles Tour London visit, you can choose locations that you like and we can build them into your Beatles Tour of London. Abbey Road Studios ( )where most of the fab Beatles songs were recorded will be included in the tour.

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Filming Help! 1965 The Beatles

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Beatles Tour London


Brian Epstein, manager of  The Beatles and himself a former drama student
leased the theatre in 1965. He presented plays,opera,ballet  and rock shows. The venue became notorious for its Sunday night concerts. During one by Chuck Berry, members of the audience stormed the stage. The police were called to clear the theatre.

The venue saw several appearances of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, notably in August 1967.This was just after their mini US tour and their groundbreaking Monterey Pop Festival performance. The Move and Procol Harum also appeared on the bill. An eclectic mix of bands such as NirvanaCreamFairport Convention, the Incredible String Band and The Bee Gees, also appeared there.

The Beatles borrowed the Saville to make their “Hello, Goodbye” promo (an early music video) in November 1967, and on 8 December 1967. The Rolling Stones played two shows on 21 December 1969.

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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.