Friday, June 2, 2017

The Beatles' Endless Summer of Love - Part 2

NOTE:  Unfortunately, links expire.  Please email me to let me know if the particular link you are interested in has expired so I can update it.  I'll try my best to avoid this situation.

Also, this post will be continually updated until early 2018 and will eventually contain The Beatles' activities from April 1967 - February 1968.

25 April 1967 - It was at first, for me, quite an eye opener to learn that 'work' on "Magical Mystery Tour" began this early in the year.  What had happened was that Paul traveled to the United States at the beginning of April where he visited Jane Asher for her 21st birthday in Denver, Colorado as she was touring there with the Old Vic Theatre Company.  It was during this time Paul began to conceive the idea for "Magical Mystery Tour".

While in America, Paul (who had travel companion Mal Evans with him) also visited San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Up to now The Beatles schedule was thus:  The new LP was still being prepared for manufacture, there were plans for a Television documentary of the making of "Sgt. Pepper", a third motion picture was still on the table after that, and now there was Paul's idea for another Television special which would be "Magical Mystery Tour".

On this day after much of the evening was spent in rehearsal, a basic rhythm track which would work as the title to "Magical Mystery Tour" was laid down with two guitars, piano and drums.   Take three was the best and five reduction mixes were completed.

Later, Paul's lead and John & George's backing vocals were recorded with much of it "taped very slow so that it played back very fast," according to Richard Lush. "They really wanted those voices to sound different."

 12 April 1967 - Mal Evans and Paul McCartney arriving back in England from their visit to America.

Paul's sketch diagram which was the nucleus for project "Magical Mystery Tour".

19 April 1967 - The Beatles & Co. is created to control The Beatles' various business interests.  It had been formed upon the suggestion of their tax advisors as an umbrella company.   This company was in essence a new version of Beatles Ltd. and would be collectively owned.  Besides songwriting royalties which would go directly to the songwriters, all other monies earned by the group would go into The Beatles & Co, allowing for a lower corporate tax rate.

This new agreement was set up to bind the group together as one unit, no matter what they may do individually, until 1977.

Time for an 'upgrade'!  Beatles wax figures get the make-over at Madame Tussauds.  Another indication that The Beatles of 1967 were now light years away from their previous incarnation.

*Here's some more information about "Magical Mystery Tour".

3 May 1967 - The brass overdubbing for "Magical Mystery Tour" with musicians David Mason, Elgar [Gary] Howarth, Roy Copestake and John Wilbraham.  A long session that started at 7pm and lasted past midnight as Paul and George Martin worked the arrangement out on piano.  It is said that, in frustration waiting, 'Gary' Howarth came up with an idea to help them along.

(Unrelated, but interesting photo of what looks like John on the far right, at home maybe(?), with possibly Julian in the middle, but the lady doesn't look like Cynthia to me.)

9 May 1967 - An unusual day in Beatles' studio history.  They arrived at 11pm in Studio Two, with George Martin producing and their two engineers, Geoff Emerick and Richard Lush to work through the night jamming away and producing 16 minutes of an instrumental.  According to Mark Lewisohn, "The instruments used - all well out of tune, incidentally - were an electric guitar, another guitar with a vibrato effect, drums and a harmonium."

Mr. Lewisohn went on to remark the music seemed to lack any direction.  It's anyone's guess as to what the motivation was for this session, but perhaps, since they had started work on the title track for "Magical Mystery Tour", maybe they were trying to come up with some incidental music that could be used in the background for this next project?  Just a thought. 

I haven't identified this fellow with them yet.

11 May 1967 - For the second time this year, The Beatles make a record outside Abbey Road Studios.  This time it was top independent Olympic Sound Studios in London and the song recorded and mixed in 6 hours was "Baby You're A Rich Man".  Studio manager Keith Grant was the engineer for this session and always keen to "naturally push people along."

"Baby You're A Rich Man" was especially recorded for yet another film project, "Yellow Submarine".    Although it wouldn't be announced until early June,  one month earlier The Beatles agreed to help make a full-length animated motion picture, where they would provide at least 3 new songs to go along with other previously recorded material of theirs which would serve as the soundtrack to the film.  Their list of projects was piling up, and their new LP was still yet to be released!

One unusual instrument played on the track by John was the Clavioline - "an electronic keyboard instrument with its own amplifier which plays just one note at a time and can imitate the tonal qualities of various instruments."

All four Beatles contributed and as Mick Jagger was documented as also being in attendance, there is some speculation he might have sang backing vocals as well.

*More about "Baby You're A Rich Man"

John Lennon's psychedelically painted 1965 Rolls Royce

*More about The Beatles' two new major projects

12 May 1967 - The Beatles on a temporary 'roll' (and maybe eager to fulfill their songwriting requirement for "Yellow Submarine") returned to Abbey Road and knocked off "All Together Now" in less than six hours.  Geoff Emerick was back behind the controls covering for an absent George Martin.  

It was completed and mixed for mono and it is interesting to note that when it was finally released, the only 'mono' version of the "Yellow Submarine" LP available was, for the first time, simply the stereo version 'compressed' to mono.  The actual mono mix of "All Together Now" would not be available to the public until The Beatles' Mono Box set release of 2009.  (There was a true mono EP prepared and ready for issue in mid 1969, but plans for that were eventually dropped.  Its contents are what's included in the Mono Box release.)

*More information concerning "All Together Now"

17 May 1967 - The Beatles return to a more 'leisurely' recording schedule when, on this date, they begin one of their strangest productions, "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)".  In the end, it would be composed of 5 individual parts, each recorded separately.  14 takes were completed of 'Part 1', with little difference in-between those and the rehearsals, which were also taped.  Take 10 was selected as 'best' and was labeled to be edited into the master tape at a later date, revealing they had some kind of a planned structure already in place. 

*This was only the beginning for this track "You Know My Name (Look Up My Number)" which would continue in production through to almost mid June and then forgotten until 1969 when more work could continue on it, and then dropped again until its release in early 1970.

19 May 1967 - The Press Launch for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is held at Brian Epstein's home in London.   The Beatles were photographed inside Brian's home on 24 Chapel Street and also on his doorstep.

Photographer Linda Eastman has been quoted as saying she inspired The Beatles to give the 'thumbs up' for a series of photos taken on this date.

Paul had met Linda Eastman a few days earlier on 15 May 1967 at the nightclub "Bag O' Nails" where Georgie Fame was performing. 

Brian Epstein was impressed with Linda's work as a photographer and invited her to this press launch.

20 May 1967 - The British radio show, "Where It's At" with host Chris Denning airs for 90 minutes playing pop music of the times, including airplay of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" along with only a few minutes of introductions made by John, Paul & Ringo.  (I don't know the whereabouts of George or why he wasn't included.)  These intros were recorded by Kenny Everett.

All songs from the LP were played during the show for the first time, with the exception of "A Day In The Life".  This letter shows that shortly after this broadcast, the song was officially banned by the BBC.

Here is a link to audio of the very few moments The Beatles contributed to the show:  

This is an earlier letter requesting advice on how to proceed with the handling of "A Day In The Life".  (Note:  From another source, the claim is the entire LP was played, including "A Day In The Life" on Radio London, 11 May 1967.)

John Lennon and Paul McCartney would respond.  John:  "The laugh is that Paul and I wrote this song from a headline in a newspaper.  It's about a crash and its victim.  How can anyone read drugs into it is beyond me.  Everyone seems to be falling overboard to see the word drug in the most innocent of phrases."  Paul:  "The BBC have misinterpreted the song.  It has nothing to do with drug taking.  It's only about a dream."

25 May 1967 - Once more, The Beatles record outside of Abbey Road, this time at De Lane Lea Music Recording Studios in London, and again without George Martin.   It was for George Harrison's contribution to the "Yellow Submarine" project and his latest tune was to be "It's All Too Much".  George did have a working title at this stage, calling it simply "Too Much".

The Beatles did plenty of rehearsing in the studio before laying down 4 takes of a rhythm track with organ, lead guitar, bass guitar and drums.

They would return to De Lane Lea at the end of the month, on the 31st, once more without George Martin, work with take 4 to add more percussion, George's lead vocal and John & Paul's backing vocals.

George didn't have a lot to say about "It's All Too Much" so the description above pretty much sums it all up.

Meanwhile, "A Day In The Life" would suffer more unwarranted scrutiny after Brian Epstein sent a copy of the new LP to The Royal Albert Hall council, thinking unwittingly they'd enjoy being mentioned in the lyrics.  They were not.  Below is a letter sent to Brian not only expressing disapproval but giving a directive as to what could be done about it in the form of new lyrics.

It was John Lennon who stepped up with this response.

This was from the website where I found this wonderful nugget of information.  Apparently the council was definitely not satisfied with John's rebuttal.

1 June 1967 - My favorite quote in Mark Lewisohn's "The Beatles:  Recording Sessions" about the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" comes from Phil McDonald which reads, "There was one thing they always used to say.  'There's no such word as can't.  What to you mean can't?'  The word just wasn't in their vocabulary.  There was always a way around any problem.  If they had an idea -- any idea -- they thought it must be possible to do it.  That's how Sgt. Pepper was recorded."

Also, on this day (while still hanging out at De Lane Lea Music Recording Studios) and in complete contrast to the latest release, The Beatles were in the recording studio but what resulted was only some instrumental jamming featuring bass guitar, an organ, lead guitar with reverb, drums and tambourine.  There is no record of what this might have been for, so again, I contend maybe it was for some sort of instrumental background they might use in one of their upcoming projects.  It's only speculation, however, as nothing ever came to light of it.

Even the LP's inner sleeve was specially designed.

Sgt. Pepper cut outs.

2 June 1967 - George's "It's All Too Much" gets a brass and woodwind overdub with four trumpets and one bass clarinet.  We know David Mason was again in the studio as one of the trumpeters and Paul Harvey was the clarinetist.

I've come across the original version of "It's All Too Much" before it was edited down to its present form.  It is in mono, and is almost identical to the released 6-1/2 minute version with the exception of about 30 seconds that was cut from the middle of it and the longer fade-out bringing it in just over 8 minutes long.  It is of very good quality and you can download a copy of it from this link:  "It's All Too Much" [Longer Version Mono Mix]

Also on this date, and for the second day in a row, The Beatles filled two more tapes with 'rambling, instrumental and impromptu jamming."  Once more, I believe there had to be a purpose and wish to speculate that maybe they thought something useful would come out of these jam sessions that they might be able to use later for one of their Television specials perhaps?  It's difficult for me to believe they never had a purpose.  That nothing did come out of them useful, does seem apparent.

Another stray photo from the May 19, 1967 press launch of "Sgt. Pepper" at the home of Brian Epstein.

7-9 June 1967 - The Beatles returned to their elaborate "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" production.  Although take 10 in May had been considered 'best', they instead took up with take 9 of that day.  Apparently this overdubbing began to take on a life of its own resulting in the day's work on the 7th being renamed "Instrumental-Unidentified" from what was originally takes numbered 20-24 of the new track.  This makes it unclear as to what was actually planned for the song and what was not.  A rough mono mix of take 24 was made which was about 20 minutes in length and it would be interesting to hear what they came up with at this point.

On June 8th they were to continue working on the track dividing it up into sections by adding parts 2-5 on this day in various takes.  Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones happen to show up at EMI Studio two as well on this day, at Paul's invite, and contributed saxophone.   Then, on the 9th of June it was all put together.

As mentioned, they actually settled on take 9 of the first part of the track now retained as 'best' and to that added take 12 of part 2, take 4 of part 3, take 6 of part 4 and the apparent only take 1 of part 5 calling it all master take 30.  As a rhythm track only, it was given a mono mix that was made for acetate cutting purposes (something that would be fun to listen to) and copied down to 1 track of a 4 track tape making room for vocals that wouldn't be added until April of 1969.  It appears that suddenly interest was lost for the time being on "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)"

On top of all of the other Beatles' projects that they were juggling, there was yet another, not mentioned until now, that had its roots back in late February of 1967 when Brian Epstein received a letter from the BBC concerning The Beatles' possible participation in the first Television show ever to link 5 continents by satellite.  The show, originally titled "Round the World in Eighty Minutes" had already become simply, "Our World", and it was requested that The Beatles represent Britain in a portion of it which would 'show man's greatest current achievements in the field of art and entertainment.'  Specifically, they wanted to present The Beatles 'in a recording studio making a disc.'

On May 17th, BBC producer Derek Burrell-Davis met with The Beatles and sent a favorable telegram indicating that the group was reacting with enthusiasm to the project.  Apparently a contract was signed and on May 18th it was announced The Beatles would represent Britain in a 'live television program broadcast worldwide on the evening of Sunday the 25th of June.'

14 June 1967 - Two days after John & Paul contributed their vocals, and possibly some tambourine and maracas, to a Rolling Stones' session for their new single "We Love You", they were back working on their own new record, and once more under pressure to do a 'rush job'.  

It began in Studio One at Olympic Sound Studios where the basic rhythm track and some vocals were added with The Beatles playing instruments 'normally associated with session musicians.'  John was on harpsichord, Paul on double-bass, George with a violin and Ringo holding it all together with this drumming.

Geoff Emerick remembers:  "I don't know if they had prepared any ideas but they left it very late to write the song.  John said, 'Oh God, is it that close?  I suppose we'd better write something...'"

What came from this seemingly nonchalant approach was the amazing 'perfect encapsulation and embodiment of the summer of 1967' said Mark Lewisohn, 'and its anthemic qualities are as real today as the day it was written.'

The song, "All You Need Is Love" also fit perfectly into the request made to The Beatles by the BBC being, keep it simple so that viewers around the world could understand it.  It appears that 33 takes were made on this day with a tape reduction of take 10.  

Then on June 19th, The Beatles would return to Studio Three at Abbey Road to overdub lead and backing vocals onto tracks 3 and 4 of take 10 with drums, piano (by George Martin) and John Lennon on banjo added to track 2.   An acetate was created on June 21 for Derek Burrell-Davis the BBC director and an orchestra was brought in on the 23rd to add their part.  

The hopes made for a more 'global village' were subverted on June 21, however, when the Soviet Union refused to take part in the show because of Western support for Israeli aggression in the Middle East. Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary and Poland followed with their withdrawal as well.  

It is curious to note that had the Soviet Union agreed to be a part of the program, The Beatles would have been shown in that country for the first time as any product of theirs was still repressed, their records forbidden.


24 June 1967 - One day before the big event and Abbey Road and the Beatles open the doors to Studio One to more than 100 journalists and photographers.  This took up most of the late morning and then from 2-4pm, The Beatles had a rehearsal for the BBC.   Afterwards the orchestra worked with the group to add more to the "All You Need Is Love" rhythm track as it was decided on this day to release the song as The Beatles' next single after the television broadcast.

25 June 1967 - This huge day in Beatles' history, the BBC "Our World" program linking five continents, viewed by 400 million people, tuning in to see a recording session of the Fab Four of which Geoff Emerick recalls, "To attempt to record what we recorded even without the link-up was ridiculous!"

25 June 1967 - Much of the day was spent rehearsing for the BBC cameras and perfecting "All You Need Is Love".   The Beatles would play to their own pre-recorded rhythm track of take 10 with only the vocals, bass guitar, lead guitar solo, drums and orchestra being live onto what would be called take 58, the broadcast version.  This 'live' remix would be fed to the BBC van parked outside and then to the world.

Geoff Emerick remembers:  "We actually went on air about 40 seconds early.  George and I were having a welcome shot of Scotch whisky when we got the word over the intercom. There was a big panic to hide the bottle and the glasses.  We were shoving them under the mixing console!"

Richard Lush, the tape operator whom George Martin addressed on-air to "Run back the tape, please, Richard", recalls "...shaking like a leaf even though we rehearsed that bit over and over on the Saturday and Sunday!"

Special guests attending the on-air event were Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richard, Keith Moon, Eric Clapton, Pattie Harrison, Jane Asher, Mike McCartney, Graham Nash and his wife, Gary Leeds and Hunter Davies, all dressed very colorfully even though the event was not broadcast in color.  (This is one time when colorizing the performance seems like a logical enhancement which it was for "The Beatles Anthology" in 1995.)

The orchestra was conducted by Mike Vickers with four violinists:  Sidney Sax (leader), Patrick Halling, Eric Bowie and John Ronayne; two cellists:  Lionel Ross and Jack Holmes; two tenor saxophonists:  Rex Morris and Don Honeywill; two trombonists:  Evan Watkins and Harry Spain; one accordionist:  Jack Emblow; and two trumpeters:  Stanley Woods (also doubling on fl├╝gelhorn) and David Mason, using the same trumpet as he did for "Penny Lane". 

The long fadeout of "All You Need Is Love" contains extracts of Bach's Brandenburg concerto, the introduction from "La Marseillaise", bits of "Greensleeves", Glenn Miller's "In The Mood" and The Beatles' "She Loves You".  In late July publishers KPM won a royalty settlement from EMI for the inclusion of "In The Mood".

It is ironic, given the Soviet Union's boycott of the event, that upon suggestion by that country, a 16mm print of the full "Our World" broadcast was archived with the United Nations for posterity.  Copies were also preserved by participating broadcasting companies and corporations.

[Video archived at my account on Dailymotion]

25 June 1967 - After it was all over and the guests had gone home, the Beatles continued on.  Geoff Emerick recalls, "Later on in the night we overdubbed a snare drum roll by Ringo for the song's intro and John re-did some of his vocal."

26 June 1967 - Nine mono mixes were done for the rush release of "All You Need Is Love".  Remix number four was considered 'best'. 

Here's some more information about the making of "All You Need Is Love".

7 July 1967 - "All You Need Is Love" is released (in the UK) b/w "Baby, You're A Rich Man" which had been 'plucked' away from the "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack to fulfill then need for a 'B' Side on disc.   The pictures below are, of course, from the US release of the single.

The Beatles almost put together a film for the track "Baby, You're A Rich Man" on their Anthology project, but near the beginning, it's interrupted by George telling a story about their summer of 1967. 

I recently found some footage that Paul took while visiting Jane Asher in Colorado for her birthday, and what I did was insert that footage where George is talking to make this 'film' complete, so to speak.  It's the same quality as the other footage, so I felt it fit in okay without too much notice.  Since this all comes from a bootleg source, it's not crystal clear, but I still think it's all right.

I used the 1999 remix of the song as it appears on the "Yellow Submarine Songbook".  You can find a copy of it here:  Baby You're A Rich Man.mp4

John and Julian with their newly painted 'psychedelic' 1965 Rolls Royce.

It is a little unclear to me exactly when this photo session took place.  Some sources I read say it was at the end of June 1967.  In any case, John Lennon invited a reporter and photographer from The Beatles Monthly Book into his home for a look into his personal life there.  In fact it was kind of a neat article because although it said Ringo lives "only a couple of hundred yards down the hill (from John)" and "George's home is several miles away", it was George & Pattie's "bright orange Mini" with Pattie driving, that wound up "in front of our Jag."

"He (George) spotted us behind, asked Pattie to stop the car and when she had done so, popped his head through the sun roof. 'Going to John's' he yelled, we nodded back at him.  'I'll lead you there,' he said and dropped back into his seat.

"After what seemed like a dozen right and left turns through the country lanes, we eventually entered the estate where John and Ringo live.  George left us at the entrance to John's road.  We shouted our thanks at him and Pattie gave a quick smile, slammed the gear lever home and roared off up the road."

There's a part of me that really struggled against posting this photo because in some ways it stabs at the heart knowing the future from this point in history.  Yet, this was some of John's black humor, and I'm choosing to see it that way as it shows how he was not only capable of throwing acid jabs at others, but also himself.

19 July 1967 - This is a particularly interesting period in Beatles' history for me.  It doesn't get a lot of light shed on it, but it was a time when The Beatles were thinking of purchasing and island where they all could create and commune together, uninhibited.  It reminds me of a time when myself and my friends were in our early 30s and we thought of all living together on the West coast of Michigan. It had everything, sand, sun and water, a beautiful sky.  It was a grand idea and just like this one The Beatles had, it was fleeting.

Supposedly on this day the four of them got together to discuss their next project, "Magical Mystery Tour" and along with that, the idea of purchasing this island in Greece.  Enter Alex Mardas, or as he was nicknamed, "Magic Alex".  Mr. Mardas was apparently introduced to The Beatles via work he did for the Indica Gallery and The Rolling Stones.  He had impressed John Lennon, and he was from Greece and had connections through his father who was associated with the police there.  Alex Mardas would be a perfect guide for The Beatles as they navigated their way through Greece to check up on this idea they had, and so he was given quite a lot of trust.

These two quotes from The Beatles Anthology book sums up their thoughts.  

John Lennon:  "We're all going to live there, perhaps forever, just coming home for visits.  Or it might just be six months a year.  It'll be fantastic, all on our own on this island.  There's some little houses which we'll do up and knock together and live communally."

Derek Taylor:  "We were all going to live together now, in a huge estate.  The four Beatles and Brian would have their network at the centre of the compound:  a dome of glass and iron tracery (not unlike the old Crystal Palace) above the mutual creative/play area, from which arbours and avenues would lead off like spokes from a wheel to the four vast and incredibly beautiful separate living units.  

"In the outer grounds, the houses of the inner clique:  Neil, Mal, Terry and Derek, complete with partners, families and friends.  Norfolk, perhaps; there was a lot of empty land there.  What an idea!

"No thought of wind or rain or flood, and as for cold...there would be no more cold when we were through with the world!  We would set up a chain reaction so strong that nothing could stand in our way.  And why the hell not?  

"'They've tried everything else,' said John realistically.  'Wars, nationalism, fascism, communism, capitalism, nastiness, religion - none of it works.  So why not this?'"

20 July 1967 - It was actually George & Ringo with Pattie Harrison & Neil Aspinall who flew to Athens first.  They met with Alex Mardas and his father and stayed at the family home until the rest of the group could arrive. 

(There appears to be some conflicting information about when John Lennon and Paul McCartney added their contributions to The Rolling Stones' record "We Love You".  I've seen the date of June 14th being used, but also I see it being listed as around this time of July 19th.  

Also there are reports that Paul was involved with the recording session of his "Catswalk" tune when The Chris Barber Band worked on their version, calling it "Catcall" on July 20th.  

In any case it did seem that John & Paul were busy and weren't to leave for Greece themselves until the 22nd or 23rd of July.)

22 July 1967 - John and Cynthia Lennon along with son Julian, Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Pattie Harrison's younger sister Paula Boyd, Mal Evans & Alistair Taylor began their journey to Greece.

There was supposed to be a luxury yacht named the MV Arvi, waiting to take them to look at the islands, but it was delayed due to a storm off Crete, so the entourage all continued to remain at the family home of Magic Alex Mardas.   

23-24 July 1967 - While The Beatles awaited their yacht to take them to their island, they took a little sightseeing trip around Athens countryside.  They went along with Neil & Mal and Paula Boyd wth Alistair Taylor traveling by a Mercedes and two taxis.  The taxi with Paul & Jane Asher and Neil overheated forcing them to walk back towards the village where they had earlier eaten lunch.  

As Mal & Neil reported in "The Beatles Monthly" of that year:  "...we made good use of the extra days in Athens before starting the cruise.  On Sunday we all piled into a convoy of cars -- a big Mercedes and a couple of huge old American taxis!  

"For three hours we drove through the countryside in the blistering hot sunshine.  Suddenly the rest of us realised that the taxi carrying Paul, Jane and Neil was missing.  Apparently the extreme heat had been too much for it.  Thick black smoke poured out as the engine all but caught fire.  So Ringo's taxi turned back to look for them--and found the trio walking happily along the dusty road towards the village we'd stopped at for lunch!"

Mal & Neil continue:  "Everyone spent an hour or so looking round the village, admiring the tiny shops, buying beads, Greek antiques and odd bits of clothing.  Then we were taken to lunch at a lovely house high up in the hills, and while we ate, a guitarist and a clarinet player provided colourful accompaniment with their folk music.  We all tried a bit of Greek dancing on the patio to work off some of that mavellous meal!"

Mal & Neil continue:  "We left the village loaded down with presents.  The girls were given Greek dresses with classical patterns. Julian got a foot-high doll (a Greek soldier) and the boys received long slip-on shirts."

Mal & Neil continue:  "Before going any further we decided it was time we bought something to carry all the gear in.  Obviously we were going to do a lot of shopping during the week!  So everybody picked up brightly-patterned hand-woven shoulder bags and started filling them with beads, old Turkish and Greek jewellery." 

Mal & Neil continue:  "We drove for another hot and sticky hour before coming to rest on a beautiful beach where Paul helped Julian to construct one of the finest sandcastles you ever saw."

25 July 1967 - Mal & Neil continue:  "On the Monday, George and Paul decided to have a quiet day.  They stayed behind and played guitars while the rest of the party went into the shopping centre.  John wanted to buy the local equivalent of a guitar.  A huge crowd of fans and sightseeing tourists gathered round the instrument shop we tramped into.  

"To our surprise, the shop was stocked with a wide range of modern electric equipment - Vox amplifiers and the lot! 'It's just like going into Sound City in London', observed John as we looked around.  But he found the instrument we wanted in the store's antique department!

"Ringo devised a cunning way of by-passing the crowds.  He'd wait until John and the rest of us went into one shop, then he'd sneak quietly away into the one next door while the crowds gathered round John.  

"His scheme came unstuck when he spent a bit too long choosing a pair of sandals.  Forty photographers and umpteen Americans descended upon him.  ('Say, isn't this crazy?  We travel all the way from Chicago and find Ringo Starr in a Greek show shop!')"

A note about the three snapshots above:  With all of the talk of The Beatles being bombarded with photographers during this trip, unfortunately I wasn't able to find many pictures of their adventures.  Some of the best is recorded in that short home movie which was used for the soundtrack to "Baby, Your'e A Rich Man" link above.

The three photos above were lifted directly from this site on the internet at this link:  They were taken by the husband of the lady who manages this blog.  His name is Bob and he was around 18 years old when he happened to capture John & Ringo on film here in Athens.   I sincerely hope they don't mind me linking them here, as due especially to the lack of material from this period, they are invaluable!

26 July 1967 - Ringo decides it's time to get home to wife Maureen.  As reported by Mal & Neil in "The Beatles Monthly" of that year:  "Maureen hadn't been able to join us because the baby was nearly due so Ringo didn't want to be away from her too long."  (Neil Aspinall accompanies him home.)

Mal & Neil continue:  "All the time we were in Greece we had wonderful food.  One evening we stopped for dinner in a small village and sat down at tables under the trees in the square.  Paul, Ringo and Jane decided to test the local cooks by asking for an English meal just for a change.  They had one of the best egg and chip meals they'd ever tasted--garnished (like every Greek dish) with tomatoes in olive oil and lashings of cheese.  The rest of us had delicious kebabs--skewered chunks of lamb beautifully cooked.

"All the while quiet Greek music was pouring out of a little loudspeaker in the tree above our tables.  Suddenly they changed the record and put on "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles.  The owner of the cafe stood at the top of the steps beaming brightly and we all had a good laugh before signing some autographs and heading for home!"

Ringo & Maureen and Zak with baby on the way, at home some time after Ringo's return from being with The Beatles in Greece.   [ca. August 1967]

26 July 1967 -  Mal & Neil continue:  "On Tuesday we set sail in the gleaming white motor yacht Arvi.  It had 24 berths and, apart from the captain, a crew of seven including a chef and two stewards.   The captain had purchased a brand new red ensign to fly on his mast to show he had a party of Englishmen on board.  That evening we gathered up on deck to watch the sun setting over the islands.   What a pity Ringo and Neil missed that!  It was a fantastic sight.  Still, the rest of us took many pictures and our movie cameras whirled away like mad.  

"At two o'clock in the morning we anchored under a full moon.  Beside us was a mighty rock with the Temple of Neptune on top of it.  The pillars were outlined in the moonlight--another unforgettable sight.  

"The days that followed were all swimming and laziness and beautiful sunshine."

27-29 July 1967 - Mal & Neil continue:  "After sunset each night we'd gather together on the top deck and sing until two or three.  George played his ukulele, John got out his Greek quitar and we'd sing strange Hindu chants over and over again for hours on end!"

George Harrison would add to this in "The Beatles Anthology" book:   "It was a great trip.  John and I were on acid all the time, sitting on the front of the ship playing ukuleles.  Greece was on the left; a big island on the right.   The sun was shining and we sang 'Hare Krishna' for hours and hours.  Eventually we landed on a little beach with a village, but as soon as we stepped off the boat it started pouring with rain.  There were storms and lightning, and the only building on the island was a little fisherman's cottage - so we all piled in, 'Scuse us, squire.  You don't mind if we come and shelter in your cottage, do you?'

The island was covered with big pebbles, but Alex (Mardas) said, 'It doesn't matter.  We'll have the military come and lift them all off and carry them away.'"

What I never knew was that apparently, The Beatles really did attempt to purchase that island!   According to The Beatles bought "special export dollars before applying to the Greek government for permission to spend them.  Alistair Taylor eventually got clearance for the purchase of the island(s), but by that time the group had moved on.  The £90,000-worth of dollars was sold back to the government, and the value had risen giving The Beatles a £11,400 profit on the unrealised deal."

"It was the only time The Beatles ever made any money on a business venture," said George adding, " ...we got back on the boat and sailed away, and never thought about the island again."

Paul would also say, "...nothing came of that, because we went out there and thought, we've done it now.  That was it for a couple of weeks.  Great, wasn't it?  Now we don't need it.  Having been out there, I don't think we needed to go back.  Probably the best way to not buy a Greek island is to go out there for a bit.

"It's a good job we didn't do it, because anyone who tried those ideas realised eventually there would always be arguments, there would always be who has to do the washing-up and whose turn it is to clean out the latrines.  I don't think any of us were thinking of that."

30-31 July 1967 - Mal & Neil conclude their "Beatles Monthly" article with, "We came home to London in two relays.  George and Pattie wanted to go a little early--to pack again and leave for California--so Mal flew home with them on the following Sunday.  Then on Monday, Paul, Jane, John, Cyn, Julian, Paula (Boyd) and Alexis (Mardas) headed for London.  Alexis just about had time to pack a fresh set of clothes in time to leave for Los Angeles on the Tuesday with George, Pattie and Neil!"

1 August 1967 - George & Pattie Harrison, Alex Mardas & Neil Aspinall fly into Los Angeles from London for a visit to America.  One reason was to visit Pattie's younger sister, Jenny Boyd, who was thinking of relocating from San Francisco to England.   The Harrisons stayed at a private home they rented in Hollywood which was in Beverly Hills on a street called Blue Jay Way.  While Pattie called her sister Jenny, George got in contact with old friend Derek Taylor.  (Paul had spent time with Derek earlier in the year when he visited the U.S..)

Although George did his best to let Derek know precisely where they were staying, directions were complicated and it took some time for Derek to find his way there.  George was suffering from jet-lag, yet he still did not want to go to sleep until Derek arrived, so in the meantime during his wait he started working on a song, which would be called "Blue Jay Way".

2 August 1967 - Although Jenny Boyd may have been one reason to visit California, George also spent quite a lot of time with Ravi Shankar.  This day they all went off to see Ravi Shankar's Music School (which apparently had just been opened up in May of 1967) and spent time watching him teach a class of "about 50 people", which Neal Aspinall described in that year's "Beatles Monthly" as a "very mixed crowd of people between the ages of about 16 and 30, all keen students of Indian music." 

3 August 1967 - As Pattie Harrison went sightseeing with her sister Jenny, now down from San Francisco, George, Neil & Alex Mardas returned once more to Ravi Shankar's Music School where a press conference was held to promote Ravi's concert that was to be at the Hollywood Bowl the next evening.

Neal Aspinall continues:  "All the local radio and press people knew George was about and, of course, they swooped on him with all sorts of questions ('What do you think of LSD?' ... 'Where are you staying, George?') during the conference.  In the afternoon George and I went to a shop called Sidereal Time.  There and elsewhere we picked up a load of shirts and things plus some moccasin-type boots and groovy posters.  In the evening we heard Ravi give a lecture on the history of Indian music and then went over to a Mamas and Papas recording session with Derek Taylor.  

"One of the session men there had this fantastic new guitar--a first prototype and something quite special.  I daren't tell you what's so special about it because I've just arranged to have a couple of them made (one will be a bass guitar version) for the Beatles and it's all supposed to be very secret!  Anyway, it was now the middle of the night but George couldn't resist having a go on this sshh-you-don't-know-what guitar."

4 August 1967 - George and company attend the Ravi Shankar '4-hour' concert at the Hollywood Bowl.   

Neil Aspinall continues:  "With him were a lot of his finest students, a marvelous night of music.  First we watched Bismillah Khan and party with Bismillah playing an Indian flute called a shehnai.  Whatever he played the rest of the party--students--would try to follow until his music got so advanced that they had to leave it to him!

"Then came a South Indian drummer playing an instrument known as a mridangam, a sort of old classical drum, which you bang at both ends.  

"Then came Ali Akbar Khan and his son Ashish playing modern little drums they call sarods, each almost 'talking' to the other via his drum.

"Finally, before Ravi himself, came the tabla player and teacher Alla Rahka, Ravi's own drummer, who stayed on stage to accompany Ravi's sitar for the final hour of the programme. I hope I've got all my spellings O.K.--I checked them all over with George when I was writing up this diary...."

5 August 1967 -  On this day the entourage went to a recording studio opposite Ravi's school to watch Alla Rahka and a South Indian drummer record a duet "which would fill one whole side of an LP disc."

Neil Aspinall continues:  "A South Indian singer--using his voice just like an instrument--is doing the whole of the second side of the LP.

"Later in the day we saw Derek, his wife and his great bunch of kids.  Went with them all to the downtown area of Los Angeles to visit Alvera Street, a very historic place...complete with some of California's very earliest brick-built houses.  

"Bands were playing and there were lots of little stalls selling souvenirs made in Hong Kong!  We had a Mexican meal in one of the funny little restaurants in Alvera Street and bought a batch of wonderful Mexican pictures, paintings done on velvet.   George left Alex and myself buying colourful waistcoats while he trotted over to Ravi's place to collect a sitar he was buying."

6 August 1967 - Neil Aspinall continues:  "George went off early on his own to see Ashish and talk about the LP sleeve notes (that George was to write for the LP) and everything.  So later on when the rest of us set off for Disneyland, George stayed behind.  We didn't stay at Disneyland all that long but it's a fantastic place.  We visited 'Tomorrowland', 'Fantasyland' and a bit of 'Frontierland'.  In the evening we all went over to Ravi's house."

7 August 1967 - George with Jenny Boyd

7 August 1967 - George with wife, Pattie

7 August 1967 -  Neil Aspinall would explain in "The Beatles Monthly" in 1967:  "Today we went up to San Francisco and walked around Haight-Ashbury.  Derek came with us.  It got a bit bad after a time.  There was this ridiculous procession of people following George as if he was the New Pied Piper.  But he didn't lead them to the river."

Neil would say more years later in "The Beatles Anthology":  "Haight-Ashbury is the meeting of two streets in a part of San Francisco.  We'd heard all the rumours about the hippies and the way people were behaving there, so we just decided to drop in."

George Harrison adds:  "We went up to San Francisco in a Lear jet.   Derek took us to visit a disc jockey, and we went straight from the airport to the radio station in a limo.  The DJ gave us some concoction and then we were off to Haight-Ashbury.  

"I went there expecting it to be a brilliant place, with groovy gypsy people making works of art and paintings and carvings in little workshops.  But it was full of horrible spotty drop-out kids on drugs, and it turned me right off the whole scene.  I could only describe it as being like the Bowery; a lot of bums and drop-outs; many of them very young kids who'd dropped acid and come from all over America to this mecca of LSD."

George continues:  "We walked down the street, and I was being treated like the Messiah.  The Beatles were pretty big, and for one of them to be there was a big event.  I became very afraid, because the concoction that the DJ had given me was having an effect.  

"I could see all the spotty youths, but I was seeing them from a twisted angle.  It was like the manifestation of a scene from an Hieronymus Bosch painting, getting bigger and bigger, fish with heads, faces like vacuum cleaners coming out of shop doorways...  They were handing me things--like a big Indian pipe with feathers on it, and books and incense--and trying to give me drugs. 

"I remember saying to one guy, 'No thanks, I don't want it.' And then I heard his whining voice saying, 'Hey, man--you put me down.'  It was terrible.  We walked quicker and quicker through the park and in the end we jumped in the limo, said, 'Let's get out of here,' and drove back to the airport."

Neil Aspinall from "The Beatles Monthly" [1967]:  "Anyway it was a good day, a good scene to see with things we were glad about and things we were sorry about (such as those beggars sitting in the street conning money out of tourists) and it was the first time we'd really looked at San Francisco as a place although we'd been before for Beatles concerts."

Neil Aspinall from "The Beatles Anthology" [2000]:  "We were walking past bikers and hippies, and there were arguments going on.  We got to the park and sat on the grass.  Someone said, 'That's George Harrison,' and a crowd started to build.  Somebody came to George and handed him a guitar and said, 'Will you play us a tune?' and he played a little bit.  Suddenly there were too many people and we thought, 'Hey we'd better get out of here.'"

Neil Aspinall continues:  "They started to close in, and we realised we had about a mile to go to get back to the limo.  We started off at a slow walk, but soon we looked round and there were a thousand people behind us, saying, 'Give us an autograph,' and patting us on the back.  We walked a bit faster, until in the end we were running for our lives.

"We realised that maybe the drug vibe had lowered our guard, and we'd put ourselves in a situation that we'd always avoided.  We'd always stayed in hotel rooms and had limos and police escorts, and the crowds had been kept back.  Now we'd almost deliberately put ourselves in the middle of a situation where a crowd had developed, and there were just six of us (including two women).  We made it OK.  They were a happy bunch of souls, and there was no harm intended, but when there's a lot of people you can get hurt in the crush."

Derek Taylor:  "Photographs tell the story of this great visit by one of the Fab Pied Pipers, it is one of the best-known moments in The Great Novel.  The crowds that gathered, well-meaning though they were, pressed upon the English visitors and made life difficult and a little dangerous.  George didn't enjoy Haight-Ashbury, yet it was right and inevitable that one of Them should have been there in those times."

George Harrison:  "It certainly showed me what was really happening in the drug culture.  It wasn't what I'd thought--spiritual awakenings and being artistic--it was like alcoholism, like any addiction.

"The kids at Height-Ashbury had left school and dossed out there, and instead of drinking alcohol they were on all kinds of drugs.

"That was the turning-point for me--that's when I went right off the whole drug cult and stopped taking the dreaded lysergic acid.  People were making concoctions that were really wicked -- ten times stronger than LSD.  STP was one; it took its name from the fuel additive used in Indy-car racing.  Mama Cass Elliot phoned us up and said, 'Watch out, there's this new one going round called STP.'  I never took it.  They concocted weird mixtures and the people in Haight-Ashbury got really fucked-up.  It made me realise, 'This is not it.'  And that's when I really went for meditation."

Apparently that wasn't the end of their strange day, for when the entourage boarded their Lear jet to leave San Francisco, at one point something went wrong with the plane and it went into a stall.

Neil Aspinall recalls:  "We went back by Lear jet.  At the time, I was flying in more sense than one, and suddenly I saw all these red lights coming on in the cockpit.  We had taken off like a rocket, and then we started coming down just as fast, with all the warning lights flashing....  It was quite frightening..."

George Harrison:  "I was sitting right behind the pilots... ...we hadn't got very high before we went into a steep turn and the plane made a lurch and dropped.  The whole dashboard lit up saying 'UNSAFE' right across it.  I thought, 'Well, that's it.'  Alex was chanting, 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,' and I was saying, 'Om, Christ, Om...'

"Somehow it recovered itself, and we flew down to Monterey and stopped there.  We went to the beach and became calm again."

8 August 1967 - Wrapping up their trip in "The Beatles Monthly", Neil concluded:  "Packing and getting ready for tonight's flight home.  Four little fans called at the house but they were O.K. and there wasn't any trouble and George enjoyed seeing them."

They all got safely home by August 9, 1967.

11 August 1967 - A photographic session was held with The Beatles and photographer Robert Avedon in London.  Some of the portraits were adorned with psychedelic effects and sold as posters. 

The Beatles' wives and girlfriend in 1967.  
Pattie Harrison, Cynthia Lennon, Maureen Starkey & Jane Asher

19 August 1967 - Ringo visits Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Hammersmith, London, to check in on his wife, Maureen and the birth of their second son, Jason Starkey.  The photos below were probably taken at a later date.  

22-23 August 1967 - The Beatles return to the studio!  (Above photo unrelated.)  It wasn't Abbey Road, however, it was at Chappell Recording Studios (where Paul had been earlier recording his "Catswalk" with The Chris Barber Band in July) which was an independent studio in central London.  

The engineer at Chappell, John Timperley recalls they couldn't record at Abbey Road because it was booked these evenings adding that "...George Martin had been using our studio for quite a few of his other artistes and I had worked with him at Olympic and at IBC in the (early days)."  

The song the group tackled these two days was Paul's "Your Mother Should Know" which although it was remade later at Abbey Road, this version was the one that was released on record.   They did eight takes on this day and on the 23rd they worked on overdubs and reduction mixes of the track.  

Also, on the 23rd, manager Brian Epstein made a visit to the session and it would be the last time he and his beloved boys would be together.  

Here is some more information about "Your Mother Should Know".  Apparently there was a rough mix done which came from these sessions and an acetate was made, which you can hear by downloading a copy from this link: "Your Mother Should Know" [Rough Acetate Mix]

24 August 1967 - The Beatles meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for the first time.  Ringo was unable to attend as he was still watching over wife Maureen and newborn child Jason.

Maharishi was having a lecture at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London.  It all came about as a natural progression with George and Pattie first becoming interested in Eastern philosophy during their stay in India at the end of 1966.  Pattie Harrison had already attended a lecture on Transcendental Meditation and it most likely didn't take much for George to be persuaded to see the Maharishi's lecture on this day.

Another story, as told by George in the Beatles Anthology book, says he'd been talking to his friend David Wynne about yogis and it was through him that George learned of the Maharishi's lecture.

As mentioned earlier, George had an awakening of sorts when he saw the road that taking drugs was leading so many while he was in San Francisco.  He was looking for a new direction and the others, Paul, John & Ringo were eager to follow along with him.

Paul recalls in The Beatles Anthology:  "We'd seen Maharishi up North when we were kids.  He was on the telly every few years on Granada's People and Places programme, the local current-affairs show.  We'd all say, 'Hey, did you see that crazy guy last night?'  So we knew all about him; he was the giggly little guy going round the globe seven times to heal the world (and this was his third spin)."

John: "We thought, 'What a nice man,' and we were looking for that.  I mean, everyone's looking for it, but we were all looking for it that day.  We met him and saw a good thing and went along with it.  Nice trip, thank you very much."

Ringo:  "I came home and put on the answerphone, and there was a message from John; 'Oh man, we've seen this guy, and we're all going to Whales.  You've got to come."  The next message was from George, saying, 'Wow, man--we've seen him.  Maharishi's great!  We're all going to Wales on Saturday, and you've got to come.'"

Apparently there was a 10 day seminar being sponsored by Maharishi within the next couple of days up in Bangor, Wales and The Beatles jumped on the opportunity.  Evidence of this hasty twist in the schedule is found on the books of De Lane Lea London studios as they had booked a recording session for August the 25th.  EMI picked up the £45 cancellation fee.

25 August 1967 - In the rush to get to the train station, Cynthia Lennon gets left behind, barred by huge policeman, with John yelling from the train, "Tell him you're with us!  Tell him to let you on!"

The entourage of all four Beatles, Cynthia Lennon, Pattie Harrison, Jenny Boyd, Alexis Mardas along with Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull took the hastily scheduled trip to Bangor, Wales on this day for their 10 day conference on Transcendental Meditation.

Pattie, George and Ringo were coming up in John and Cynthia's car and were running late.  As they got there John ran ahead with the others leaving Cynthia behind with the luggage.

Although Cynthia tried her best as she tells it, "It was too late.  The train was already pulling away from the platform and I was left standing with our bags, tears pouring down my cheeks.  It was horribly embarrassing. Reporters were crowding around me, flashbulbs were popping and I felt like a complete fool."

Peter Brown and Neil Aspinall were with her and Neil was happy to have access to a car and didn't want to take the train along with them.  He'd planned on spending time with friends in north Wales and offered to drive Cynthia to Bangor.

Although Peter and Neil did their best to console Cynthia, as she stated, "...what neither he nor anyone else knew was that my tears were not simply about the missed train.  I was crying because the incident seemed symbolic of what was happening to my marriage.  John was on the train, speeding into the future, and I was left behind."

George Harrison:  "Nobody I know in the Christian religions seems to have a deep enough understanding of the science of God to be able to translate it into human terms.  Church leaders are purveying a kind of nonsense because they don't really understand it themselves.  So they blind you with ignorance, like a government does, as if the power of the Church has become reason enough for you not to question anything it says.  It's like 'You don't know anything about Christ and God because we're the ones who own the franchise.'"

Ringo Starr remembers:  "I was really impressed with the Maharishi.  I was impressed because he was laughing all the time.  That really struck home the first time I saw him; this man is really happy and he's having a great time in life.  So we listened to his lectures, we started meditating and we were given our mantras.  It was another point of view.  For the first time, we were getting into Eastern philosophies - and that was another breakthrough."

Due to the enormous public interest in what The Beatles were doing with the Maharishi, it was suggested that a press conference be held.  I've come across photographs that suggest this happened more than once.  The photo shown above must have occurred upon their arrival in Bangor on the 25th of August.

George Harrison:  "We go through life being pulled by our senses and our ego, seeking new experiences, because without experience we can't get knowledge, and without knowledge we can't gain liberation.  But along the way we become entwined with ignorance and darkness because of our ego and our association with material energy.  So, although we are made of God, we can't reflect God because of all the pollution that's gathering along the way; and it's such an epic battle to get all of that out of your system."

26 August 1967 - Breaking their fast in Bangor.

John Lennon remembers:  "What he says about life and the universe is the same message that Jesus, Buddha and Krishna and all the big boys were putting over.  If you ask Maharishi for a few laws for living by, they'd be the same a Christianity.  Christianity is the answer as well; it's the same thing.  All the religions are all the same, it's just a matter of people opening their minds up.  Buddha was a groove, Jesus was all right (but Maharishi doesn't do miracles for a kick-off.)  I don't know how divine or how superhuman he is.  He was born quite ordinary, but he's working at it."

John Lennon:  "On any trips - whether they're chemical or anything - things that you discover are self-awareness; all the things that you've already known.  Nobody's telling you anything new.  A scientist doesn't discover anything new, he just tells you what's already there.  Nobody can tell you nothing.  Even somebody like a Dylan or a Sartre or somebody like that.  They tell you something that is like a revelation - but it always is something that you know inside that they've just affirmed for you."

26 August 1967 - Sources say there was a press conference on this day and a seminar.

George Harrison recalls:  "I couldn't really speak for the others and their experiences, but, inasmuch as we'd collectively come through from Liverpool and gone through everything together, there was a collective consciousness within The Beatles.  I assumed that whatever one of us felt, the others would not be far out of line with.  So I handed over all the books about yogis to John, Paul and Ringo.  And when we came to meet Maharishi, I got tickets for them all to go but I never really asked them what they thought or were experiencing.

"In Bangor we had a press conference saying that we'd given up drugs.  It wasn't really because of Maharishi.  It came out of my desire to further the experience of meditation.  I was doing yoga exercises anyway in order to learn how to play the sitar.  I got a little bit down the line, and then Maharishi came along at the time I wanted to try meditation."

27 August 1967

This is the same photo as above, but a little larger, although cropped tighter.

John Lennon recalls:  "If we'd met Maharishi before we had taken LSD, we wouldn't have needed to take it.  We'd dropped drugs before the meditation thing.  George mentioned he was dropping out of it, and I said, 'Well, it's not doing me any harm.  I'll carry on.'  But I suddenly thought; 'I've seen all that scene.  There's no point, and [what] if it does do anything to your chemistry or brains?'   Then someone wrote to me and said that whether you like it or not, whether you have no ill effects, something happens up there.  So I decided that if I ever did meet someone who could tell me the answer, I'd have nothing left to do it with.

"We don't regret having taken LSD.  It was a stepping-stone.  But now we should be able to experience things at first hand, instead of artificially with a wrong stepping-stone like drugs."

George Harrison remembers:  "To get really high, you have to do it straight.  I want to get high, and you can't get high on LSD.  You can take it and take it as many times as you like, but you get to a point what you can't get any further unless you stop taking it."


Paul McCartney upon learning of the death of Brian Epstein:  "I can't find words to pay tribute to him.  It is just that he was lovable, and it is those lovable things we think about now.

"This is a terrible shock.  I am terribly upset."

27 August 1967 - The news of Brian Epstein's death reaches The Beatles.  Paul was the first to leave and head back to London, but John, George & Ringo stayed behind and spoke briefly to the press about their manager's passing.

Ringo:  "We loved Brian.  He was such a generous man.  We owe so much to him.  We have come a long way with Brian along the same road."

George:  "He dedicated so much of his life to The Beatles.  We liked and loved him.  He was one of us.  There is no such thing as death.  It is a comfort to us all to know that he is OK."

Ringo:  "Our friend is gone.  It was more 'our friend' than anything else.  Brian was a friend of ours, and we were left behind.  After we arrived there with hope and flowers - now this.  And then we all left -- real slow."

Paul:  "We were all gutted about him dying.  I recall John being as shocked as all of us.  Just gutted.  It was sheer shock because he was one of the people we'd known longest; he was a huge confidant of ours and we knew him very well.  When anyone dies like that there is a huge shock of them being wrenched out of the picture, when you think, 'I'm not going to see him any more.'  I loved the guy."

John:  "We loved him and he was one of us.  We all feel very sad, but it's controlled grief and controlled emotion.  As soon as I find myself feeling depressed, I think of something nice about him. But you can't hide the hurt -- I went to the phone book and saw his name and it hit me a few minutes ago.

"It hurts when someone close dies, and Brian was very close.  We've all be through that feeling of wanting a good cry.  But it wouldn't get us anywhere, would it?

"Well,  Brian is just passing into the next phase.  His spirit is still around, and will always be.  It's a physical memory we have of him, and as men we will build on that memory.  It's a loss of genius, but other geniuses' bodies have died as well, and the world still gains from their spirits."

Paul:  "Brian would be really happy to hear how much we loved him."

John:  "Brian had died only in body, and his spirit will always be working with us.  He power and force were everything, and his power and his force will linger on.  When we were on the right track he knew it, and when we were on the wrong track he told us so -- and he was usually right.   But anyway, he isn't really dead."

One of the drugs we know Brian was taking was sleeping pills.  Even today there are warnings about how taking these pills can cause an accumulation of poison within the human system which can eventually lead to death.  Brian's death was an unfortunate accident, but a public reminder of how easy a gamble it can become when taking something which your belief system soon tells you is okay and is there to help you when it is not.

31 August 1967 - Maharishi comes to London to spend time with The Beatles and possibly try to comfort them during their time of loss.

5 September 1967 - At the beginning of the month The Beatles re-grouped at Paul's home to discuss their future.  For the time being, it was decided that going back to work would be the best remedy and it must have been quite a happy challenge for them to tackle John's next piece of music, "I Am The Walrus".

One of the things that helped contribute to the far-out approach to "I Am The Walrus" was John learning that Beatles' songs were being analyzed by students of the Quarry Bank School.   With this knowledge, an amused John became motivated to write in such a way as to really confuse his listeners.  He also felt that, "Dylan got away with murder at times and he'd decided 'I can write this crap too.'"

Here is more information about "I Am The Walrus" (taken from Steve Turner's "A Hard Day's Write")

George Martin called "I Am The Walrus" organised chaos, of which in this case he would be proud of.  Of the 16 takes made of the track on this day, five were complete.  The first three were lost as the tape was re-wound and re-used until apparently take four.   The rhythm track included bass guitar, lead guitar, electric piano and drums, and an overdub of mellotron.

The next evening saw a reduction copy made of the track to which Paul and Ringo added more bass guitar and drums along with John's vocal. This was then subjected to rough mono mixes, the only complete mix being the fourth and from that acetate discs were cut.

The Beatles Anthology 2 CD set has a copy of what is called take 16 of "I Am The Walrus" in stereo on it.  You can find the slightly different sounding (with alternative overdubs) mono mix (with a longer fade-out) of the acetate disc at this link.  In addition to that, I've added the complete take 9 (with a few other incomplete takes) of the rhythm track recording.  The sound of these is not perfect, but still enjoyable for 'Walrus' fans:  "I Am The Walrus" [Take 7-9, 17 Acetate]

6 September 1967 - A full evening's work was devoted to "I Am The Walrus", but Paul found time to put down a two-track demo of his next contribution, "A Fool On The Hill".   You can find that demo on The Beatles Anthology 2 CD set.

From "A Hard Day's Write" by Steve Turner, a very cool story relating to "A Fool On The Hill".

7 September 1967 - The previous evening also saw take one of the rhythm track for George's "Blue Jay Way" laid down which included the Hammond organ.  This night that take went through a couple of tape reduction mixes for more overdubbing.  As Mark Lewisohn would state in his "The Beatles: Recording Sessions" anyone interested in listening to what recording techniques could be achieved in 1967 will find this track fascinating.  "The song manages to capture the feel of the fog very well, with its swirling organ parts and extensive use of ADT - at its very widest use - to create a phasing effect of almost two voices."

I've come across an early mix of "Blue Jay Way" which sounds very much like the finished product, but for enthusiasts that might find it interesting.  It is missing the cello parts in particular.  You can find this mono track at this link:   "Blue Jay Way" [Early Mono Mix]

More information about "Blue Jay Way" above.

8 September 1967 - As mentioned earlier, it was known The Beatles would want to have some kind of instrumental, or incidental, music for the soundtrack to their Television Special, "Magical Mystery Tour", and I've wondered if some of their earlier recording sessions that didn't really produce anything of use, were attempts to this end.  

In any case, "Flying" or as it was also known for the longest time, "Aerial Tour Instrumental" was the recording that not only made it in the film, but the only piece of its kind to make it on record.  It was also the only Beatles' instrumental they ever officially released and being credited to all four of them.

There was the 'Harrison/Lennon' composition, "Cry For A Shadow" which goes back to 1961 for the sessions in which they backed up Tony Sheridan.  That was released without their approval long ago through a West Germany record label.  

They also did "12-Bar Original" during the Rubber Soul sessions in 1965, but that remained unreleased until The Beatles Anthology 2 CD set in 1996.  

Today six takes were done of "Flying", a reduction mix and some overdubs onto take 8 which was mixed down to mono in four tries.  It was on the sixth take in which three different organs were recorded and played backwards along with the basic rhythm track of drums, guitar and another organ.  Later a mellotron by John was added along with 'voice' contributions from all four Beatles.

As Mark Lewisohn would mention in his book, "The Beatles: Recording Sessions" this version of the track differs from the finished product in that there are more strange sounds included along with "a jazzy, saxophone recording at the end...seemingly copied straight from an unidentifiable modern jazz record!"

Along with that, some time ago I came across another version of "Flying" which sounded much closer to the what was released on record, however with a longer fade out.  In addition to that I found  four separate pieces of music that all sound like they come from the same session, each one fading in and fading out to silence.  My guess is it comes from a later recording session on September 28, 1967, when they did more work on "Flying", and as Mark Lewisohn points out the end product became over 9-1/2 minutes long.  (I recognize some of it used as background music in the film.)

What I did was overlap the various pieces so the fades would all be taken out and I believe I have a nice continuous track which still clocks in at almost 8-1/2 minutes.  To me it seems more interesting without the breaks.  You can judge for yourself in downloading both (mono) recordings from this link:  "Flying / Aerial Tour Instrumental" [Two Versions]

Since this was a Friday, The Beatles had a weekend to enjoy before filming would begin next Monday on their new Television special.

Does this belong here?

11 September 1967 -  The first of two 'intensive' weeks of shooting for "Magical Mystery Tour".  With Paul's home nearby, the coach was set to pick him and the 33 extras (or non-crew passengers made of up relatives and friends of relatives) up at Allsop Place in central London.  This was a familiar start for Paul as the 'Pop package tours' of the early 60s would usually begin at this location.  This trip was heading somewhere out in 'the West Country'.

The coach itself was still being decorated so it was 2 hours late.  They eventually arrived at Virginia Water, Surrey, to pick up John, George and Ringo.   Lunch was at the Pied Piper restaurant in Winchester Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire.   The evening was spent at the Royal Hotel in The Den, Teignmouth, Devon.  

12 September 1967 - The next morning they headed for the Dartmoor village of Widecombe in the Moor because an annual fair was being held and it was thought some good footage could be picked up there.  In taking an alternative route to avoid traffic problems, however, driver Alf Manders found he couldn't maneuver a narrow bridge on a sharp bend.  The halted coach had to back up a half-mile before it was able to turn around causing headaches for themselves and their fellow drivers.

Abandoning the idea of going to the fair, the entourage headed for Plymouth and the Grand Hotel for lunch, after which the group posed for photos while sitting on the Hoe.

Then it was on to the Cornish resort of Newquay with a first stop in Liskeard (but no filming was done here) and then onto Bodmin where filming commenced first outside West End Dairy in Higher Bore Street (but that sequence was deleted) and then in Paull Road.  This was where Jolly Jimmy Johnson, The Courier welcomes everyone aboard the bus.

In Newquay they stayed at the Atlantic Hotel in Dane Road where they decided to make a base for themselves and stayed there the next three nights.


13 September 1967 - Late morning the coach with The Beatles and some of the actors set out for nearby Watergate Bay.   John, Paul, George and Ringo are filmed looking through a telescope (not used in the final film.)  Aunt Jessie (actress's name) and Mr. Buster Bloodvessel (Ivor Cutler) are filmed on Tregurrian Beach.  (Apparently that sequence was cut for the initial showing of the film on BBC Television.  It wasn't until 1979 when the BBC showed the film again was it restored.)

Returning to the Atlantic Hotel, The Beatles and cameramen split into two groups with John and George first staying at the hotel.  John directed a sequence (not used) with Happy Nat The Rubber Man (Nat Jackley) chasing young women around the hotel pool.  Then John without George went on to film in Holywell (south of Newquay).

George remained at the Atlantic Hotel during the afternoon and was interviewed by Miranda Ward  for the radio show "Scene And Heard".  The recordings were split into two parts and broadcast by the BBC on September 30 & October 7, 1967.

Paul and Ringo took the coach and most of the passengers back to Watergate Bay, stopping to film in Porth.  En route to Porth Aunt Jessie and Ringo were filmed having a mock argument.  In Porth, Paul was filmed on the beach with Little George The Photographer (George Claydon).

Seeing these photos as labeled being in Sweden, 14 October 1967