June 3rd 1964 – Ringo Collapses Before World Tour

3rd June 1964. Just before flying off on a world tour, the Beatles pose for photos at Prospect Studios in Barnes, for the Saturday Evening Post. They are dress as city gents, wearing suits and bowler hats. During the session, Ringo complained of feeling ill, and collapsed. He was rushed to University College Hospital where he was diagnosed with tonsillitis. Ringo was in no fit state to go on the tour, and it was too late to cancel, so replacement drummer Jimmy Nicol was bought in.
Ringo recovered in time to join the tour in Australia.

Ringo about to collapse during a photo session

Apple Scruffs at Abbey Road

So there I was on my London Beatles Walk, outside Abbey Road Studios, telling the story of how Beatles fans Lizzie Bravo and Gayleen Pease sang backing vocals on ‘Across The Universe’ – and who should be listening to my speech? Gayleen Pease!!

Gayleen, and Lizzie, were outside Abbey Road in February 1968, with some other fans, when Paul came out to see if anyone could sing. Gayleen and Lizzie said yes, and were invited into the studio to sing backing vocals on ‘Across the Universe’.

Gayleen was there today with many of the original ‘Apple Scruffs’ – who were having there annual reunion. The fans got the name because they were always outside 3 Savile Row, the Beatles Apple HQ, and were apparently scruffy in appearance, as they were pretty much camped on the doorstep. George Harrison wrote the song ‘Apple Scruffs’ about them.

While I was chatting to the Apple Scruffs, Ronan Keating went into Abbey Road Studios. Much work was being done too for what looked like a big event at the Studios, maybe for the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper tomorrow?

You never know who you might see on a London Beatles Walk http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

 

Sgt Pepper to be a UK Number One?

The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was last Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart some 49 years ago, but it could return to the top spot this week.

The classic album, which spent 27 weeks at Number 1 in 1967 and 1968, was last Number 1 in March 1968; 49 years on, the album’s 50th anniversary edition, which features remastered and remixed material in addition to unreleased session tapes, could return to the chart’s summit.

The LP, which is the best-selling studio album in UK chart history, has shifted a further 24,000 combined chart sales as of today’s midweek sales flash, and has a considerable lead over Ed Sheeran’s ÷, which looks to slip from the top spot it held last week.

http://www.officialcharts.com/chart-news/the-beatles-sgt-peppers-set-to-return-to-number-1-for-first-time-in-49-years__19287/

Kenny Everett on Sgt Pepper

In an exclusive interview for the London Beatles Fanclub magazine, Kenny Everett told me about the first time he heard ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’.

“I first heard Sergeant Pepper in George’s house. He had a low slung white goes-on- forever house in Esher. And a bunch of us including Tony Hall from Deram records was invited to George’s place to hear this new album. He had an acetate of it. He put it on the gramophone, and we all sat around and this thing started and blew us away, we were completely gone and on another planet, it was a quantum leap, and we thought, ‘music can stop right here, nobody is ever going to produce anything better than this, so all musicians can go back to bed now’, it was the best thing we’d ever heard ! And George said ‘It’s quite good isn’t it ?’ The night before they’d all had a party, and they’d decided to get spray cans of coloured paint and spray ‘God is Love’ and other things all over the walls of the house, this wonderful million dollar house,and they sprayed flowers, and words all over it in a stoned orgy the night before. He’d woken up the next morning to get the milk in and had horror written all over his face at what they’d done.”

Happy 50th birthday, Sgt Pepper!

Happy Sgt Pepper Day!

The reissue of Sgt Pepper is out today! The Sgt Pepper pop up shop in Liverpool opened at midnight, selling the new set, and it is already on Spotify, Apple Music etc.

…and here is Ringo in a photo from his twitter account:

Ringo Starr as Sgt Pepper