Former Apple Records Exec Ken Mansfield Reflects on His Front Row Seat to the Beatles’ Final Years

The first time Ken Mansfield heard “Hey Jude,” it was in an empty space at Apple Music’s London headquarters alongside Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. “They brought in a big soundsystem into one of the meeting rooms. We didn’t have furniture yet, so we were on the floor on a brand new green carpet.” At the time, Mansfield served as the United States director for the Beatles’ Apple label, then in its infancy. “They were trying to figure out whether to release ‘Revolution’ or ‘Hey Jude’ as their first single under Apple. Paul was a businessman and he was worried stations wouldn’t play it because it was too long.” At the time, radio hits were only about 2-and-half minutes, compared to the massive seven-minute runtime of “Hey Jude.”

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