May 22nd 1968 The Press Launch for the Beatles’ ‘Apple Tailoring’ in the Kings Road Chelsea

On May 22nd 1968, John Lennon and George Harrison attended a party at the Club Dell’Aretusa in the Kings Road, Chelsea,  to launch ‘Apple Tailoring’ which was opening just down the road at 161 Kings Road. Club dell’Aretusa, a large members-only bar/restaurant/disco. “Are you one of the beautiful people?” demanded Angus McGill’s double-page feature in the Evening Standard. “Simple test: Can you get in to the Dell’Aretusa?”

George was with his wife Pattie, but John was with his new girlfriend, Yoko Ono. They had got together just a few days earlier, and this was their first public appearance as a couple, much to the interest of the gathered media, who kept on asking John ‘Where’s your wife?’ Ironically, George Harrison wore a jacket which he bought from rival clothes shop, Granny Takes a Trip !

George and Pattie Harrison walking to Apple Tailoring

 

John and Yoko walking down the Kings Road

Apple Tailoring (Civil and Theatrical)  which opened to the public on May 23rd 1968,  was the latest addition to the Beatles growing Apple group of companies – they already had a boutique on Baker Street.

The Beatles had known the shop for a while. Before their involvement, it was called Dandie Fashions. ‘Dandie Fashions’ was the brainchild of  John Crittle. He arrived from Australia around 1964, and  it didn’t take John long to get himself established amongst London’s young and hip in-crowd. A fortunate turn of events landed John his first real employment was at  ‘Hung On You’at 22 Cale Street, Chelsea, just off the Kings Road. It later became Jane Asher’s Cake Shop. It later relocating to 420 King’s Road.  John was  a designer and a fabric locator Owner Michael Rainey  was an already recognised aristocrat amongst the ‘Chelsea set’. This was expanded upon when he got together with, and married, London socialite, Jane Ormsby-Gore. It didn’t take that long before the intimidating ‘Hung On You’ became the shop of the stars. Rainey himself recalls: “When The Beatles and The Who started to visit my boutique, I knew we’d made it.”

John Crittle decided to set up his own boutique, and started ‘Dandie Fashion’ at 161 Kings Road in October 1966.  He also managed to secure the ‘Foster and Tara’ clothing designers for the business. Tara Browne was a well-known socialite amongst the in-crowd – being the heir to the Guinness fortune. Tara was interested in making his own way in the world, and when he moved from Ireland to London he also fell in with the young and hip from the arts and entertainment worlds. His interest in men’s clothing led him to starting up his own tailoring company, ‘Foster and Tara’. Tara had many friends in rock and pop, including Brian Jones, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It is said that Paul McCartney took his first LSD trip with Tara.

Tara Browne was killed in a car crash while on his way to meet the team of Dudley Edwards, Douglas Binder, and David Vaughan, to discuss the design for the shop front. Browne crashed his Lotus Elan into a van parked in Redcliffe Gardens, he swerved so that he took the impact rather than his girlfriend, Suki Potier. This incident will forever be immortalised in The Beatles’ song, ‘A Day In The Life’. Tara’s untimely death also inspired The Pretty Things’ song, ‘Death Of A Socialite’.

Tara Browne and wife Nicky, as photographed by Michael Cooper

After the death of Tara Browne, John Crittle kept Dandie Fashions going, and attracted the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Roger Daltrey and Brian Jones, who all often bought clothes there.

John Crittle was also friendly with the Beatles, and in May 1968, The Beatles went into partnership with Critte to form ‘Apple Tailoring’. The purpose of this shop was to offer the discerning male customer a bespoke service, rather than the ‘off-the-peg’ service that was available at the Baker Street location. As well as this bespoke service, the basement of 161 King’s Road became a hairdressing salon, which was run by Leslie Cavendish. Apple Tailoring lasted longer than the Baker Street boutique but it too closed its doors in 1968. Apple Corps decided to withdraw from High Street commerce and handed the business and all the stock over to John Crittle. Crittle’s daughter is Darcey Bussell, former prima ballerina with the Royal Ballet, and now judge on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

John Lennon outside Apple Tailoring
Blogger Richard Porter is a full time Beatles tour guide in London, and author of ‘Guide to the Beatles London’. Full details of his tours are at http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

Kiwi violin virtuoso who played on The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ to be celebrated

It’s one of the most recognisable choruses in pop music, and a Kiwi can be found among its ‘nah nah nahs’.

The Beatles’ Hey Jude is turning 50 this year, but a milestone of a more classical kind will honour the late violin virtuoso from Manawatū who took part in its recording.

Alan Loveday, recognised as one of the finest classical violinists of the 20th century, will be honoured with a tribute concert by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra soloists in his home city of Palmerston North in June.

But it is his contribution to one of pop’s enduring classics that will likely resonate most with Kiwis.

For more click here

How a Norwich boy taught The Beatles how to rock and roll

When they played the Grosvenor Ballroom, Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, on May 17, 1963, I doubt if anyone realised their links with one Norwich man.

Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity, known as Tony Sheridan, never got the credit he deserved. When it came to playing the guitar he was the one they all looked up to.

The boys who called him “The Teacher” were The Beatles who went on to become the biggest pop group the world has ever seen.

For more, click here

‘I love you John!’ Frail Yoko Ono visits John Lennon’s two childhood homes in Liverpool

 

  • A frail-looking Yoko Ono visited Liverpool to open a exhibition dedicated to her relationship with John Lennon
  • While in the city, she visited Mendips and 9 Newcastle Road, the homes where the Beatles legend grew up
  • It is believed to be the first time she has visited the Newcastle Road home, having reportedly bought it in 2013
  • She also  posted of a photo of herself in Lennon’s old bedroom online, writing: ‘I love you John. Yoko

A frail-looking Yoko Ono was spotted visiting two of John Lennon’s childhood homes on Friday after traveling from her New York home to Liverpool.

The artist, who was married to Lennon from 1969 until his death in 1980, was in the city to open a museum show dedicated to their relationship, filled with exhibits from her own private collection.

While in Liverpool she visited Mendips, the home where Lennon spent most of his childhood, and took a photo of herself in his bedroom.

For more click here

 

John Oliver, Hugh Laurie, Michael Shannon, David Tennant Play The Beatles In Colbert Sketch

On last night’s edition of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the late-night host recruited a slew of prominent actors and entertainers to help bring the ideas of a panel of “the most influential minds in the prized 6-8-year-old demographic” to life in a hilarious sketch dubbed “Kids Pitch.”

After an exhaustive session with the kids, Colbert’s focus group came to the conclusion that the new TV show they wanted to pitch would need to feature “very famous group band,” The Beatles (one kid, a young Beatles superfan, stuck to his Revolver when challenged on what their best album was). The focus group also came up with various thematic criteria including fighting and music (which, of course, means “rap battle”) as well as creepiness, aliens, Nick Cannon and Brooke Shields, among other things

Following the adorable market-research segment, Colbert debuted the kids’ new TV creation, Strangest Things, Season One: The Golden Mysteries. The comically low-budget yet incredibly star-studded “show” indeed featured The Beatles—played in masterful deadpan by John Oliver (Paul McCartney), David Tennant (George Harrison), and Michael Shannon (Ringo Starr)—and, you guessed it, Nick Cannon and Brooke Shields.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=737&v=xNGFSEcRSZI

Memorial Park Bench for Nicky Hopkins “Rock’s Greatest Session Man” to be Unveiled in London

Nicky Hopkins (1944-1994), considered by many to be one of the greatest session rock musicians of all time, will be honoured with a memorial park bench at his birthplace of Perivale, Ealing, London. At 12 noon on Saturday 8th September 2018 in Perivale Park, the bench will be unveiled by his widow, Moira Hopkins in the presence of the Mayor of Ealing.

Nicky recorded and performed with many of the world’s most well-known artists of the 1960s to the 1990s including the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Garfunkel, The Kinks, The Who… the list goes on and on.

Celebrating Nicky’s life, the seat of the bench will look like a large piano keyboard while the backrest will display photographs of Nicky, his biography, the top 20 tracks he played on as chosen by his fans, as well as a quote from Bob Harris.

For more click here

Yoko in Liverpool to Open new ‘Double Fantasy’ John and Yoko Exhibition

Yoko Ono has posted a picture on her instagram account of her in Liverpool for the opening of the new exhibition  ‘Double Fantasy’ at the Museum of Liverpool To see the pic click here

In a world first, the Museum of Liverpool will host this ground-breaking exhibition telling John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s story in their own words. The exhibition explores the personal and creative chemistry of this iconic couple and their ongoing Imagine Peace campaign.

Double Fantasy – John & Yoko is a free exhibition, celebrating the meeting of two of the world’s most creative artists who expressed their deep and powerful love for one another through their art, music and film. They used their fame and influence to campaign for peace and human rights across the world, transforming not only their own lives, but art, music and activism forever.

Featuring personal objects alongside art, music and film produced by both John and Yoko, the exhibition is drawn from Yoko’s own private collection, some of which has never been displayed.

For more on the exhibition click here

May 17 1980 Paul and Linda on Saturday Night Live – in their Nightclothes!

May 17 1980 – Paul and Linda McCartney were interviewed by “Father Guido Sarducci” (Don Novello) on Saturday Night Live. They were interviewed live in Soho Square, outside MPL.
The interview was arranged at 11:30pm (US time) but Father Guido forgot about the time difference, and it was 4:30 in the morning that he turned up at MPL to interview Paul and Linda. After throwing stones at the windows of MPL Paul finally comes out in his night clothes, followed by Linda. It was only a few months after Paul’s drug bust in Japan, the the Father wanted to talk about that, rather than Paul’s new single ‘Coming Up’.
 
You can see the video here https://www.facebook.com/fabfourfaq2/videos/1526724482845/?fref=mentions – Paul’s bit comes in at 4 mins 30 secs.
 
We go to Soho Square on my London Beatles Walks http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

John Lennon at Kenwood – May 1968

Here are a series of photos, taken by my good friend Marilyn Demmen, of John Lennon, and his home Kenwood, in May 1968. Marilyn was a regular visitor, and sometimes even got invited into the house. Marilyn thinks the great photo of her and John was taken the same weekend Yoko came was invited over and they made the ‘Two Virgins’ album

John Lennon outside ‘Kenwood’
John with Marilyn