Category Archives: Day in History

30th March 1967 – The Photo for the Sgt Pepper Album Cover Taken

It was 50 years ago today that the photo for the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was taken. The cover was designed by Peter Blake and his wife, Jan Howarth, and the photo taken by Michael Cooper. It was all put together at the Chelsea Manor Studios in Flood Street, just off the Kings Road, Chelsea.

Hear are some of those involved talking about how it came about  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_5je4nPesc

The Sgt Pepper album cover

25 March 1966 – the Beatles ‘Butcher Cover’ Photo Session

March 25th 1966. The Beatles have a photo session with Robert Whitaker  that produces the infamous ‘Butcher Cover’.

In 2004, in this exclusive interview, Robert told me how it came out:

“I wanted to ask about the infamous ‘Butcher Cover’. The picture was your idea, to show they were human….

To show they were flesh and blood – which is what they are. Some people would saw them as saints, which they weren’t. I also found that every time we got off the stage girls would have ripped them to bits, had they got the chance, torn them to pieces – that was something to do with the meat. The dolls are really little girls screaming away. There are a lot of false things there like false teeth, false dolls eyes. It was never meant to be the cover.

What is John’s idea to have it as the cover?

No, the images were snatched as soon as I had finished them and sent to America without asking me how I wanted to see it. The sausages are meant to be an umbilical chord coming out of a woman and the whole thing would be put inside the womb of a woman. All you would have had on the record cover was a breast, nipple and big tummy. Inside the tummy is The Beatles holding the umbilical chord. Around all of that would have been transfers of little people blowing trumpets, as they do in frescos. There is another picture of George banging nails into John’s head – he would have had wood grain put over his head so he would be a piece of wood – George would be banging nails into a piece of wood. Another of Ringo being unpacked from a box. Written on the box is ‘2 million’. He would have been a piece of alabaster plaster. The whole thing would have been falseness, dummies, unreality. The back cover would have been the butcher picture, about 2 inches square and the rest of it would have been gold, like a Russian icon that canonises them. I was thinking of Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments and finding people worshiping the golden calves – like people did to The Beatles, treating them like gods, but they are not.

What was your reaction to the furore around the sleeve?

I thought it was not my fault! If they had asked me what the artwork was I don’t think it would have been that frightening. I don’t blame people for being upset about it. But as it turns out it actually released John to say that they were pissed off looking like pretty little boys all the time and that they were human beings. It gave them a release.
There is a lot written about the ‘butcher’ sleeve and very little I’ve said about it. I’ve never written anything by hand. It’s nearly 40 years ago since I did it and it’s hard to recreate the train of thought when I did it.

The Beatles ‘Yesterday and Today’ album cover

The Charts – 50 Years Ago Today.

The charts from 50 years ago this week – with ‘Release Me’ keeping ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ getting to number one. It was weird further down too – with 2 versions of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘This is My Song’ at 3 and 4, ‘Eidelweiss’ at number 5, and ‘Memories are made of this’ by Val Doonican at number 20. This is right before the Summer of Love???

There was some hope in the chart as well though. Note the first chart entry of Pink Floyd, with their first single ‘Arnold Layne’ ‘Al Capone’ by Prince Buster, and ‘Happy Together’ by the Turtles making an appearance.

Strange Days Indeed!

 

Record charts, March 1967

 

March 12th 1969 – Paul McCartney Marries Linda Eastman.

March 12th 1969 – Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Register Office, London.

The press are out in force, as are lots of Paul McCartney fans, crying their eyes out as Paul has got married.

BTW Linda was NOT part of Eastman Kodak. Her family fled from Russia to escape the progrom against the Jews, and changed their name when they arrived in the US. The original family name was ….Epstein!

Here is colour footage of Paul and Linda’s wedding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tBX6_98QVg

Paul and Linda McCartney, with Linda’s daughter Heather, after their wedding at Marylebone Register Office

On the same day, Sgt Norman Pilcher of the drugs squad raids Kinfauns, the home of George and Pattie Harrison. Pattie is at home and George is at Apple in Savile Row. George tells Patti to show the police where the drugs are, before they smash the place up. However, before she has the chance, the police ‘discover’ a huge stash of pot, which wasn’t George and Pattie’s! They’d brought their own, to be on the safe side…

On June 11th 2003, blogger Richard Porter married Irina Dyomkina at Marylebone Register Office (no coincidence!)

Blogger Richard Porter with Irina, and her daughter, Ilona, at their wedding at Marylebone Register Office

We go to Marylebone Register Office on my Beatles In My Life walk http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

March 11th 1966 – John Lennon Talks to the NME

In March 1966 John Lennon gave an interview to the music paper the ‘New Musical Express’ – known to everyone as the ‘NME’

The chat took place at ‘a nice little caff in Soho,’ and was published in the March 11th 1966 edition of NME with the teaser ‘LENNON TALKS!’ on the front page. Asking the questions was Chris Hutchins.

To read a transcript of the interview see http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db1966.0311.beatles.html

Blogger Richard Porter is a full time Beatles tour guide in London. For more info on his tours, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

March 10th 1964 – Ringo Goes Walkabout (In A Hard Day’s Night)

Turks Head Pub, Winchester Road, St Margaret’s

On March 10th 1964, Ringo Starr filmed his solo ‘walkabout scene for a A Hard Day’s Night. He is goaded by Paul’s grandfather (played by Wilfred Brambell) that he should go out and enjoy life.  Ringo enters the pub through the side entrance (actually in St Margaret’s Grove). He orders a sandwich, which looks extremely stale. He complains about it and interrupts the pub games. This scene was filmed at the Turks Head Pub in Winchester Road, St. Margaret’s, just a few yards away from the film studio. The pub is still there to this day, and makes Beatles fans very welcome. If you ask nicely they will show A Hard Day’s Night on the pub’s big screen, so you can watch it in one the places the film was shot!

The pub is only about 400 metres from Twickenham Film Studios, where most of the interior scenes of A Hard Day’s Night were shot.

Although she was not involved in this scene, Ringo was accompanied to the pub by Pattie Boyd, who played a schoolgirl in the film. She married George Harrison two years later.  On 24th April  all four Beatles came to Winchester Hall,  the pub’s function room, for a ‘wrap party’, to celebrate the completion of the shooting of the film.

In October 2001, members of the original cast and crew came to the Turks Head to film for the bonus DVD of A Hard Day’s Night.

Ringo in the Turks Head Pub, March 10th 1964
Ringo outside the Turks Head Pub, March 10th 1964

 

The side entrance of the Turks Head.
Ringo and Pattie Boyd in the Turks Head

March 5th 1963 – a Busy Day for the Beatles!

March 5th 1963 was a very busy day for the Beatles. They first did a photo session with John Dove at EMI House in Manchester Square, and at Montague Place, near the British Museum.

They then went to EMI Studios at Abbey Road to record their third single, ‘From Me To You’ and ‘Thank You Girl’, plus ‘The One After 909’ – which wasn’t released in 1963, but re-recorded for the ‘Let it Be’ album. The version recorded in 1963 wasn’t released until ‘Anthology One’ in 1995.

The Beatles on the steps of EMI Studios, Abbey Road, with the postman going by!
The Beatles in Montague Place, March 5th 1963. Notice John has put his glasses over the parking meter!
The Beatles on the step leading to the basement at EMI House, Manchester Squre
The Beatles in the canteen of EMI Studios, Abbey Road

March 2nd 1964 – the Beatles Start Filming A Hard Day’s Night

On March 2nd 1964, the Beatles begin filming their first film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ at Paddington Station. They get on a specially hired train that travels between Paddington and Minehead in Somerset. While most directors would film train scenes in a film studio, Richard Lester was determined to use real locations, so a special train was hire. It was on the first day of filming that  George Harrison met model Pattie Boyd, who plays a schoolgirl in the film. They started a relationship, that led to their marriage two years later.

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd on the set of A Hard Day’s Night

Tomorrow Never Knows! A Hard Day’s Night for the Beatles

It’s been A Hard Day’s Night! On 21st February 1964, the Beatles flew from Miami to New York, where they transferred to a plane for London, at the end of their amazing first American trip. They arrived at London Heathrow Airport on the overnight flight to a rapturous welcome home from thousands of Beatles fans, and event even covered live by the TV sports programme Grandstand!  They are interviewed by Grandstand’s host, David Coleman. Coleman asks Ringo about the incident when someone cut off some of his hair at a ball at the British Embassy in Washington. Ringo replies ‘Well what can you do, tomorrow never knows!’ A classic ‘Ringoism’ that of courser became the title of a song from ‘Revolver’.
You might have thought the Beatles would have then had a well earned break. Not a bit of it! The day after they appeared on the National ITV show ‘Big Night Out’. Then they were allowed one day off (lucky them!) before starting work on the songs for their new film at EMI Studios.
“Didn’t they give everything on God’s earth for ten years?” John Lennon on the Beatles.

Here is Grandstand’s coverage – Tomorrow Never Knows at around 9:43