Yes, it was 50 years ago today Sept. 11, 1967 when The Beatles set off on their newest project / adventure / and first major failure, their first and last film completely written, produced, directed and starring John, Paul, George and Ringo…
The full cast and crew set off in their now famously decorated bus directly for The West Country of England, specifically the counties of Cornwall and Devon. They had no plan or true destination. They had no script. Each Beatle brought along pockets full of random thoughts scribbled down on bits of paper, notes like Lennon’s… “later John Serves a fat lady huge shovel’s of Spaghetti dressed as a Maitre ‘de.” Paul collected and collated the notes and named them The Scrupt!
And the shooting began, day and night until Sept 25th Yep, just 15 day’s yielding 10 hours of film, edited down to a mere 58 minutes!
we know, you know just about everything about this ill fated project, but we’re here to share a few “Didja knows” you may not have been aware of….You remember The Beatles oddball B-Side to “Let It Be”…”You Know My Name, Look Up My Number” Paul gives a shout out to Dennis O ‘del….Who?…. Dennis was an independent associate producer who worked on Magical Mystery Tour….Paul liked him and named him in his song!….They indeed shot the film in The West Country, but one day they ran off to Nice in the south of France and in an extremely clandestine maneuver “No permits/ permissions clearances etc. and shot “The Fool On The Hill”
The only other musical guests to briefly appear in the film were “The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band” performing their song “Death Cab For Cutie” Yep same name as the indie band that formed in 1997 in Washington…
Furthermore, Traffic were originally in the film performing their song “Here We Go ‘Round The Mulberry Bush” But, their performance became a victim of “The editors knife” and were cut out at the last minute. Probably another bad decision for this doomed project!
Although all four Beatles are credited as writers, Directors, producers and Stars…Only Ringo is singled out with his solo credit as “Cinematographer”
the truth is all four Beatles were constantly shooting. In fact Paul is credited with the idea and concept for Macical Mystery Tour as an extension of his current hobby he was calling “Home movies”
But Ringo actually got a credit, something he may regret today…Curious, ain’t it?….or, another gift from John and Paul for their humble band mate ?
The film debuted in the U.K. on Television!….BBC One on “Boxing Day” (Dec. 26) in 1967….And get this! At this point in time BBC One could only transmit Black and White images! So all the Psychedelia, rich colors and beauty were lost in a wash of dull Grey/Black/White swirls!……Audience and critics hated and didn’t understand it……They demanded an apology from McCartney and he spoke up! He said that “It was their first film and they considered it a brilliant success……Remember the quote “I did not have sex with that woman” Sumthin’ like that. Two weeks later B.B.C. Two aired the film, B.B.C. Two, ( the lessor of the two networks ) however had the technology to air the film in COLOR! At that point in time it was reported there were 200,000 color sets in England and only a fraction of their owners watched the film, the damage was done!
In fact it took seven years for the film to even get released in the U.S. New Line Cinema released the film at a gala screening in NYC in 1974. The film was received more favorably in the U.S. Afterall, even with all the bad press IT WAS THE BEATLES,…How bad could it be”?
Your mother should know!
Did You ever see the movie? Do you have an opinion?….We’d love to know!…
It was on this day, June 25th in 1969 that The Holles entered Abbey Road studios to begin recording what was to be their next single “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” The band was so excited about this new song that they decided to approach it a bit differently, they brought in a full orchestra and hired “a professional piano player.” The piano players name was Reginald Dwight and in little over a year he’d become the most famous piano player in music!
Incidently, Reggie received 12 pounds ( a little over $20 ) for his days work…
( YOU, of course know this but,… Reggie’s PKA is Elton John )
Lets listen to Reggie and The Hollies…
Didja know that on this date June 7th in 1964 The Rolling Stones were in the middle of their first tour of America
At their performance in San Antonio Texas, the band was Boo’d off the stage. The quick thinking promoter immediately brought the opening act back out on stage……However, that act was a group of performing MONKEYS!….
We’re sure there’s a great joke in here somewhere, but we’ll let it go….Meanwhile, here’s “Monkey Man” by The Stones..Give it a click!
It was 50 years ago today, May 19, 1967 that The Beatles threw a huge press party at manager Brian Epsteins home in London. The party was to announce and celebrate the upcoming June 1st. Release of their eighth studio album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” The album celebrated a radical change in how The Beatles made records with it’s emphasis on experimentation. It also represented the official end to any future tours for the band, as they could never replicate the sounds and arrangements they were discovering in the studio. Sgt. Pepper would go on to become Thee most Iconic album in music history, as famous for it’s cover as it is for it’s music…..To date Sgt. Pepper has sold over 35 million units. And here is a small factoid. Sgt. Pepper was the first album to include all the lyrics to all the songs on the back cover!
P.S. More has been written about this L.P. Than any other compilation in music history…
P.P.S…Stand by for an onslaught of re-issues and re-mixes come June 1st.
……..YEAH, YEAH, YEAAHHH !
Didja know that on this day, April 14th 1969 The Beatles ( actually only John and Paul) entered the studio to record “The Ballad of John and Yoko. The first and only single to feature only John and Paul……John on guitars and Paul on Bass, Drums and Piano. However, The Ballad of John and Yoko was notorious for including the word “Christ” in the lyric…”Christ you know it ain’t easy” resulting in many radio stations banning the record, many others made their own edit of the record and edited in the word “Christ” BACKWARDS! however most stations opted to simply “Bleep” out the word Christ. Leading to audiences believing that the “Bleeped” version was how the Beatles intended it. However one station in L.A. KRLA Played the new hit as it was recorded “Christ and all!….Leading to a fan with a great sense of humor, to take out a mock ad in Billboard magazine accusing KRLA of wrongfully…”Christing out The Bleeps”….think about it!…..HA!
Christ…. let’s listen, and watch!
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It was on this day, March 25, 1966 that The Beatles met at Bob Whitakers photo studio in London for a photo shoot of what was to be the cover for their next (ninth) album titled “Yesterday and Today”
The lads dressed up in white coats, and then were covered with cuts of raw meat and decapitaded plastic baby dolls. Smiling gleefully at the camera, the shoot took on the image of a strange nightmare! Whitaker was one of the bands favorite photographers. He shared their love for the absurd, had a mean sarcastic sense of humor and an Avant Garde style that The Beatles, especially, as you may guess, John absolutely adored! It was Whitakers idea for the bizarre set up and shoot. At this point in time the band would try anything to distance themselves from the image of deity’s, and somehow Whitaker convinced the band that his idea would be a statement on how they were just four normal men! Yeah, we never got that either? Meanwhile, they completed the shoot that afternoon and the images were delivered to Capitol records who wasted no time prepping and producing the new release. Capitol’s initial pressing was 750,000 units. However the immediate and universal reaction was so negative that Capitol had to recall all 750,000 records and replace the offensive cover by simply pasting a new cover ( a completely uninteresting shot of the band standing with an empty trunk (see below) The recall and replace process cost Capitol records $250,000! Wiping out any profit Capitol would had made on their first run of the record….However they did create one of Beatle mania’s most sought after collectors items. For years afterwords Beatle fans scoured the bins of record stores looking for a copy of “Yesterday and Today” with the “paste over cover” To this day if you find one and hold it up to the light just right you can see the original “Butcher” cover behind the “Trunk” cover! Meanwhile, if you’re so inclined, you can pick one up on E Bay for a cool $3,000
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
Have you ever seen one? Or…..Do you have one?
Didja know that THE ONE AND ONLY TIME Elvis ever stepped on British soil was on this day, March 2nd in 1960!…It was during his stint in the Army when a transport plane he was flying on had to make a fuel stop in Prestwick Scotland!
Guess The King didn’t like what he saw? And yes it’s true, Elvis never performed in England….Believe it or not!…
But, check out his Blue suede Shoes…
It was on this very day, Sunday, January 15, 1967 that the Rolling Stones appeared on The Ed Sullivan show to perform their new single. “Let’s Spend The Night Together” After reviewing the songs lyric Mr. Sullivan demanded that they change the lyric to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together! During the live performance, an obviously annoyed Mick Jagger could be seen “rolling his eyes each time he sang the changed lyric..Only to have Ed Sullivan announce that The Rolling Stones were forever banned from ever appearing on his show again!
Yes, Mr Ed was a tough guy, but The Stones took it in stride, in fact they just released their latest Album last month. 50 years later!
Did you see the program that Sunday ? It was priceless! Pictured above, Mr. Sullivan giving Mick ” A Stern Talking To”!…
Here’s the original “Offensive recording…
It was on this day Dec 7, 1967, Otis Redding went into a Memphis studio and began recording his classic “Sitting on the dock of the bay” Otis never finished that recording. In fact his whistling toward the end was just filler until he could complete the lyric. He died three days later in a tragic plane crash, on his way up to Wisconsin for a live date and T.V. Performance. The incomplete “Dock Of The Bay” was rush released just a few weeks later and immediately became history’s first posthumous number one record! Otis was living on a houseboat in Sausalito Calirornia when he wrote the song…
…..Here’s the legendary recording…(Listen for the whistle)