Monthly Archives: December 2016

4th December 1968 – Hell’s Angels at Apple!

December 4th 1968. Memo sent by George Harrison to staff at Apple about the arrival of a group of Hell’s Angels to 3 Savile Row.
George had encountered the Hell’s Angels a year before, when he visited Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. George and wife Pattie had been mobbed by Beatles fans and hippies and the Hell’s Angels helped George escape. In thanking them for their help, George said to them ‘next time you’re in London, call us up’  – not thinking for one moment that they would!
However, word reached George that they were due to arrive, hence the memo.
George's memo to the staff at Apple
George’s memo to the staff at Apple

The mention of Czechoslovakia refers to the invasion of the country by the Russian Red Army. It seem the Hell’s Angel’s were going to take the whole army on!

 Luckily, only 2 arrived at 3 Savile Row, but with an entourage of hangers on, and their bikes, which Apple paid to get shipped over!

Frisco Pete and Billy Tumbleweed made an impression at the Apple Christmas party when they stole the Christmas turkey and decided eat it themselves, rather than share it with the other guests. Peter Brown suggested to them that this was unfair – and was given a bloody nose by one of them.

At another point in the party, Neil Innes  realised his five year old child was missing, and discovered him sitting on the knee of a hell’s angel being given a can of beer!

Eventually, the Hell’s Angels were persuaded to vacate 3 Savile Row, and one of them went to stay with Beatles hairdresser, Leslie Cavendish.
It’s not known whether they made it to Czechoslovakia!

‘I Sang on Hey Jude’!

One of the biggest kicks I get out of doing my London Beatles Walks is meeting people with Beatles connections and hearing their stories. Some highlights include the day some of the original Apple Scruffs turned up. Amongst them was Gayleen Pease, who one day was outside Abbey Road Studios when Paul McCartney came out and said, “Can any of you sing?” Gayleen and her friend Lizzie said yes. Then Paul said, “Would you like to come inside and sing with us?” The Beatles were recording Across The Universe and wanted some female singers to do backing vocals. It was late at night and there were no professionals around. Therefore they asked the fans instead. It was great hearing this story from someone who was actually there.

Another such occasion happened recently. A guy from Sweden on the tour and he told me he sang on the video of Hey Jude in 1968! He kindly sent me an account of his wonderful day, plus the invite he received from Apple. Here is his story.

I was 19 years old travelling in Europe by car, at this time I was staying in my car at a parking place located at Trafalgar Square.

I was invited by a girl from Apple, whom I met on Oxford Street, to perform Hey Jude together with the Beatles on 4th September 1968. Of course my answer was YES!

I had to sign an agreement saying that I’m not going to be paid (See picture)

ebookletterheyjude

 We were a group of ordinary people asked to perform the last part of Hey Jude standing besides The Beatles for the BBC. David Frost was the host. There was a symphony orchestra playing too.

 They recorded the song about five six times for the TV show and in the meantime they sang a lot of classical songs like Tea for Two, Tom Dooley etc. This went on from about 6pm to a couple of hours after midnight. They seemed to have very fun together and played and sang and joked a lot together. They talked to us now and then. Paul was gave a lot of hugs to young girls and George went around talking to people, as did Ringo. John was more quiet and very tight together with Yoko, except when he was performing Hey Jude.

 Earlier they performed Revolution for TV without any audience, but they were watching and discussed the result of the video when we were there. I was standing close to John, watching the video for Revolution. He made many positive comments to us. (I still have my clothes, which have been touched by John. Crazy, but a big thing for me).  George was smoking a lot (Kent).  George gave his phone number to a guy from US who asked for an interview for his schoolwork. George was saying he was very occupied with an album at the moment but told him to call later.

I also met George Martin years later and he have signed the agreement.

Bengt Ahlstrom

Bengt would like to get in touch with any other people that were there that day. Please email bengt.ahlstrom@telia.com