Studio Two, EMI Studios, London
More overdubs onto take six of "A Day In The Life". Paul re-recorded his vocal track, and also bass, and Ringo's wiped his original drum track in favor of a new and distinctive tom-tom sound. The session took place from 7:00 pm to 1:15 am.
Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn...
Studio Two, EMI Studios, London
Overdubbing of Paul's lead and the group's backing vocal onto "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", followed by a reduction mixdown of take nine into take ten, ready for future overdubs. A rough mono mix, for acetate-cutting purposes, was made at the end of the 7:00 pm-1:45 am session.
Studio Two, EMI Studios
It wasn't going to be Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band until "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" came along. That is, the album was not "The Sgt. Pepper Project" until the recording of this Paul McCartney song and Paul's realisation soon afterwards that the Beatles could pretend they were actually "Sgt. Pepper's Band", the remaining songs on the LP forming part of a show given by the fictitious combo. Takes one to nine of the title song's rhythm track were recorded during the 7:00 pm-2:30 am session.
Knole Park, Sevenoaks
The Beatles returned to Sevenoaks during this afternoon, staying through to the evening and completing in that time the "Strawberry Fields Forever" clip. Among the scenes shot this day was the one where Paul dropped own from a high branch in the dead oak tree and ran backwards to a piano - a sequence which, when played in reverse, showed Paul running towards the tree and jumping uo onto the branch. All clever stuff, inspired, no doubt, by the Beatle's present fascination with backwards recordings.
Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn
Having decided that their next single would be the double a-side Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, The Beatles took part in promotional films. Work began on this day in Knole Park in Sevenoaks, Kent.
The films were both produced by Tony Bramwell for Subafilms, and were shot on colour 35mm film by a crew from London-based Don Long Productions. The Swedish director was Peter Goldmann, who had been recommended by Klaus Voormann.
Goldmann had arrived in England in early January and looked for suitable locations in London and elsewhere. The first location he decided upon was Knole Park, owned by the National Trust.
On this evening filming began on Strawberry Fields Forever. A number of sequences were shot around a dead oak tree near the park's birdhouse. The tree is no longer there.
1. Georgy Girl - The Seekers
2. Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville
3. Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen
4. Kind Of A Drag - The Buckinghams
5. I'm A Believer - The Monkees
6. We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet - Blue Magoos
7. Standing In The Shadows Of Love - The Four Tops
8. 98.6 - Keith
9. Words Of Love - The Mamas & the Papas
10. Nashville Cats - Lovin' Spoonful
The Beatles' agreement with Parlophone expired according to its terms on June 3, 1966. It was not until January 26, 1967 that a new agreement was concluded, this one for a period of nine years. [Masters recorded between June 3, 1966 and January 26, 1967 were accommodated by a series of letter agreements.] Capitol continued to derive its rights to manufacture and distribute in the U.S. under the MEA (though the internal royalties override that EMI received for licensing the Beatles masters to Capitol was reduced from 5% of the retail price to 2.2% of the retail price, payable on 90% of sales, less a fixed packaging fee; there also were several other technical nuances).
Royalties payable to the Beatles for new material were substantially increased. The 1967 agreement later became the source of considerable confusion because instead of being payable on â€œretailâ€ price the royalty became payable on a â€œwholesaleâ€ price, which was incompletely defined. This probably was due to a misapprehension by Alan Livingston, then Capitol's President. Livingston had negotiated separate terms for the U.S., Canada and Mexico and most likely got them confused because the sales base for each territory was expressed differently.
Studio One. EMI Studios, London
A copy of master mono mx RM11 of Penny Lane had been sent to Capitol Records on January 23rd for American pressing. But Paul felt it could be bettered, so three more mono mixes were made between 6:30 and 8:30 this evening, the new master being RM14. The main difference between this and RM11 was the omission of some David Mason trumpet figures from the very end of the song. A copy of RM14 was made for America between 9:00 and 10:00 pm. While it was not too late to substitute new for old in Britain, however, a few singles using RM11 had already been pressed and distributed to US radio stations as advance promotion/broadcast copies - although for the commercial release Capitol used the correct mix.
The single, "Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane" was issued in Britain on Friday, February 17th, the Beatles' third double-A sided 45 in four releases, and both songs thus dropped out of the running for the album currently in the making.
Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn
English playwright Joe Orton had been asked by Walter Shenson, producer of the films A Hard Day's Night and Help!, to come up with a script for The Beatles' third film.
Shenson asked Orton to rework a draft script by an unknown writer. Orton used portions of the earlier script and incorporated new scenes. The result was Up Against It, which in 1967 was briefly considered as the group's cinematic follow-up to Help!.
Orton began writing Up Against It on January 16th. A contract was drawn up, which allowed Orton to buy back the script rights were it to be rejected.
On this day Orton met Paul McCartney and Brian Epstein to discuss the project. The meeting took place at Epstein's London mews house.
I rang the bell and an old man opened the door. He seemed surprised to see me. 'Is this Brian Epstein's house?' I said. 'Yes, sir,' he said, and led the way into the hall. I suddenly realised that the man was the butler. I've never seen one before. He took my coat and I went to the lavatory. When I came out he'd gone. There was nobody about. I wandered around a large dining-room which was laid for dinner. And then I got to feel strange. The house appeared to be empty. So I went upstairs to the first floor. I heard music only I couldn't decide where it came from. So I went further upstairs and found myself ina bedroom. I came down again and found the butler. He took me into a room and said in a loud voice, 'Mr Orton.'
Everybody looked up and stood to their feet. I was introduced to one or two people. And Paul McCartney. He was just as the photographs. Only he'd grown a moustache. His hair was shorter too. He was playing the latest Beatles recording, Penny Lane. I liked it very much. Then he played the other side Strawberry something. I didn't like this as much. We talked intermittently. Before we went out to dinner we'd agreed to throw out the idea of setting the film in the thirties. We went down to dinner. The crusted old retainer - looking too much like a butler to be good casting - busied himself in the corner.
'The only thing I get from the theatre,' Paul M. said, 'is a sore arse.' He said Loot was the only play he hadn't wanted to leave before the end. 'I'd've liked a bit more,' he said. We talked of the theatre. I said that compared to the pop scene the theatre was square. 'The theatre started going downhill when Queen Victoria knighted Henry Irving,' I said. 'Too fucking respectable.'
We talked of drugs, of mushrooms which give hallucinations - like LSD. 'The drug, not the money,' I said. We talked of tattoos. And, after one or two veiled references, marijuana. I said I'd smoked it in Morocco. The atmosphere relaxed a little. Dinner ended and we went upstairs again. We watched a programme on TV. It had phrases in it like 'the in-crowd' and 'swinging London'.
There was a scratching at the door. I thought it was the old retainer, but someone got up to open the door and about five very young and pretty boys trooped in. I rather hoped this was the evening's entertainments. It wasn't, though. It was a pop group called The Easybeats. I'd seen them on TV. I liked them very much then. In a way they were better (or prettier) offstage than on.
After a while Paul McCartney said, 'Let's go upstairs'. So he and I and Peter Brown went upstairs to a room also fitted with a TV ... A French photographer arrived with two beautiful youths and a girl. He'd taken a set of new photographs of The Beatles. They wanted one to use on the record sleeve. Excellent photograph. And the four Beatles look different with their moustaches. Like anarchists in the early years of the century.
After a while we went downstairs. The Easybeats still there. The girl went away. I talked to the leading Easybeat. Feeling slightly like an Edwardian masher with a Gaeity Girl. And then I came over tired and decided to go home. I had a last word with Paul M. 'Well,' I said, 'I'd like to do the film. There's only one thing we've got to fix up.' 'You mean the bread.' 'Yes.' We smiled and parted. I got a cab home. It was pissing down.
Orton delivered his first draft of Up Against It on February 25th. The Beatles and Epstein decided it was be too risqué and the project was abandoned, although Orton was well paid for his efforts. The script was returned to Orton without comment.
The reason why we didn't do Up Against It wasn't because it was too far out or anything. We didn't do it because it was gay. We weren't gay and really that was all there was to it. It was quite simple, really. Brian was gay...and so he and the gay crowd could appreciate it. Now, it wasn't that we were anti-gay - just that we, The Beatles, weren't gay.
Other film ideas considered by The Beatles at this time included adaptations of Lord Of The Rings and The Three Musketeers, but like Up Against It all were dropped.
Studio Two, EMI Studios
Reduction mixdowns of "A Day in the Life", vacating tracks for more overdubbing, began this 7:00 pm to 1:10 am session. Take six was marked "best" and so was adorned with another John Lennon lead vocal, Paul's bass and Ringo's drums. Paul's vocal also appeared for the first time. Here was a prime example of how the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership had evolved: John's song had a beginnng and an end but no middle; Paul's had a middle but no bginning or end. But the two pieces came naturally together, creating a complete picture and the impression that they were intended as one. The illusion was compounded by the fact that Paul's vocal, the first line of which was "Woke up, fell out of bed", occurred immediately after the alarm clock had been sounded on the original recording to mark the end of the first 24-count gap. Making good use of the happy coincidence, the alarm clock was kept on the track permanently.
Paul re-recorded his vocal on February 3, instantly wiping out this January 20th version, which served only as a rough guide, ending on an expletive after he had made an error.
Studio Two, EMI Studios, London
The start of "A Day in the Life", the song which was to become the stunning finale of the Beatles' next album. The first four takes were recorded in this 7:30 pm to 2:30 am session.
At this stage the Beatles only knew that something would later be taped for the song's middle section. Precisely what they were uncertain, but to mark out the place where the item would go they had Mal Evans count out the bars, one to 24, his voice plastered with tap echo and backed by a tinkling piano, and to flag the end of this section an alarm clock was sounded.
Paul McCartney gave an interview on this day for the Granada Television late-night show Scene Special.
The interview was conducted by producer Jo Durden-Smith, and was recorded in a ground-floor studio at 3 Upper James Street in central London. The subtitle of the show was It's So Far Out It's Straight Down, and was directed by John Sheppard.
McCartney discussed the London counterculture, appearing in four separate sequences in the 29-minute programme. Also included were the editorial board of International Times, the Indica Bookshop's founder Barry Miles, footage of Pink Floyd performing Interstellar Overdrive at the UFO Club, a 'happening' at Piccadilly Circus, and footage of a poetry gathering at the Royal Albert Hall featuring Allen Ginsberg, Adrian Mitchell and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
If you don't know anything about it [the counterculture], you can sort of trust that it's probably gonna be all right... It's human beings doing it, and you know vaguely what human beings do.
The straights should welcome the underground because it stands for freedom... It's not strange it's just new, it's not weird it's just what's going on around.
It's So Far Out It's Straight Down was broadcast in the north of England at 10.25pm on Tuesday March 7, 1967.
Source: Beatles Bible...
The Beatles began recording A Day in the Life, with the working title In The Life Of..., on January 19, 1967. Two days previously, however, two stories were published in the Daily Mail newspaper which provided John Lennon with inspiration for the lyrics.
Lennon wrote the song at a piano in his home Kenwood, while reading a copy of the day's newspaper. One article inspired the song's first two verses: a brief news item reporting the coroner's verdict into the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune.
Browne, a close friend of Lennon and Paul McCartney, had crashed his Lotus Elan car on December 18, 1966, after failing to notice a red light. The accident happened in London's South Kensington; the car collided with a stationary van in Redcliffe Gardens after swerving to avoid an oncoming Volkswagen car.
I was writing A Day In The Life with the Daily Mail propped in front of me on the piano. I had it open at their News in Brief, or Far and Near, whatever they call it. I noticed two stories. One was about the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car. That was the main headline story. He died in London in a car crash.
In Hunter Davies' 1968 authorised biography of The Beatles, Lennon explained how the words of the song were indirectly inspired by the events.
I didn't copy the accident. Tara didn't blow his mind out. But it was in my mind when I was writing that verse.
However, in his 1997 authorised biography Many Years From Now, Paul McCartney downplayed suggestions that the song was directly about Browne's death.
The verse about the politician blowing his mind out in a car we wrote together. It has been attributed to Tara Browne, the Guinness heir, which I don't believe is the case, certainly as were were writing it, I was not attributing it to Tara in my head. In John's head it might have been. In my head I was imagining a politician bombed out on drugs who'd stopped at some traffic lights and didn't notice that the lights had changed. The 'blew his mind' was purely a drugs reference, nothing to do with a car crash.
The song's final verse was taken from the Daily Mail's Far And Near column. "There are 4,000 holes in the road in Blackburn, Lancashire," it read, "or one twenty-sixth of a hole per person, according to a council survey."
There was still one word missing in that verse when we came to record. I knew the line had to go 'Now they know how many holes it takes to... something, the Albert Hall.' It was a nonsense verse really, but for some reason I couldn't think of the verb. What did the holes do to the Albert Hall?
It was Terry [Doran, a former car dealer and friend of Brian Epstein's who later became head of Apple Music] who said 'fill' the Albert Hall. And that was it. Perhaps I was looking for that word all the time, but couldn't put my tongue on it. Other people don't necessarily give you a word or a line, they just throw in the word you're looking for anyway.
In 1967 English playwright Joe Orton was asked by producer Walter Shenson to write a script for The Beatles' third film.
Shenson, producer of the films A Hard Day's Night and Help!, asked Orton to rework a draft script written by a now-unknown writer. In Orton's diary entry for January 12, 1967 he noted that Shenson had called Orton's agent and said that he had a script. Although Shenson considered it to be "dull", he asked if Orton might take a look. Orton agreed, and had read it by 15 January when he wrote:
Like the idea. Basically it is that there aren't four young men. Just four aspects of one man. Sounds dreary, but as I thought about it I realised what wonderful opportunities it would give.
Orton met Shenson on January 16, and began writing what would become Up Against It. He also met Paul McCartney and Brian Epstein on January 24th. A contract was drawn up, which allowed Orton to buy back the script rights if it were rejected.
Paul McCartney and George Harrison watched Donovan performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London on this day.
Donovan was a friend to The Beatles, particularly McCartney. He had been present during the writing of Yellow Submarine and Eleanor Rigby, and had suggested the line "Sky of blue and sea of green". In 1968 he studied Transcendental Meditation alongside The Beatles in India.
Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
This session, which began at 2.30pm and ended at 11pm, saw the second set of session musicians record contributions to Penny Lane, following the January 9, 1967 addition of flutes of trumpets.
On this day seven instruments were recorded: two trumpets, played by Bert Courtley and Duncan Campbell; two oboes, played by Dick Morgan and Mike Winfield, who also both added cor anglais parts; and a double bass played by Frank Clarke.
The cor anglais were used during the instrumental passage, but went unused in the final mix. They can be heard on Anthology 2. The double bass, meanwhile, played just a three-second passage of descending notes as the banker sits waiting for a trim.
The Beatles considered Penny Lane to be complete at this stage, and two mono mixes were created at the end of the session. However, on 17 January the piccolo trumpet solo was added, rendering the mixes unnecessary.
On this evening Paul McCartney saw trumpet player David Mason performing Bach's Brandenburg Concerto Number 2 in F Major with the English Chamber Orchestra from Guildford Cathedral, on the the BBC 2 television series Masterworks. Impressed with what he heard, McCartney decided to use him for the final overdub on Penny Lane.
Mason was telephoned the following day by George Martin, and booked for a studio session on January 17, 1967. There, he added the famous piccolo trumpet solo.
In the evening McCartney and Ringo Starr saw Jimi Hendrix perform for the first time, at one of Hendrix's regular shows at the Bag O'Nails club in London.
Studio Two, EMI Studios, London
Still more overdubbing onto "Penny Lane". Paul on bass, John on rhythm guitar and Ringo on drums. John also overdubbed conga drums. With all four tracks on the tape full again, another reduction mix was made, take seven becoming take eight with two vacant tracks. Onto this was overdubbed handclaps, John and George Martin playing pianos and John, Paul and George (Harrison) scat-singing at the points where brass instruments would later be added. A further reduction, take eight into nine, was made before the end of the 7:00 pm to 1:00 am session, vacating two more tracks.
The Beatles worked on two recordings during this session: their next single Penny Lane, and a long-unreleased piece known as Carnival of Light.
The session began at 7pm and finished at 12.15am the following morning. First of all, Paul McCartney re-recorded his lead vocals onto track three of the four-track tape, replacing the previous night's attempt.
With that completed to his satisfaction, The Beatles turned their attentions to an experimental piece which was recorded in a single take. It was given no official title, listed as Untitled on EMI's recording logs, although it later became known as Carnival Of Light.
In 1966 the design team Binder, Edwards and Vaughan painted a piano in psychedelic colours for Paul McCartney, who had met David Vaughan through a mutual friend, Tara Browne, the Guinness heir whose death in December 1966 partly inspired the lyrics of A Day in The Life.
That same month, Vaughan asked McCartney to contribute a recording for two events, to be promoted by the designers in the Roundhouse venue in Camden, London, on 28 January and 4 February 1967. The events were variously known as The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave or the Carnival of Light Rave.
McCartney agreed to make a recording for Vaughan, although the artist wasn't entirely impressed with the results.
Of all The Beatles' recordings, relatively little is known about Carnival Of Light. It came to public attention in 1988, with the publication of Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions.
Carnival Of Light lasted 13'48" and constituted the basic track along with a series of overdubs. During the recording McCartney briefly sang the as-yet-unrecorded Fixing a Hole on the piano, according to Dudley Edwards of Binder, Edwards and Vaughan.
Source: The Beatles Bible
"Track one of the tape was full of distorted, hypnotic drum and organ sounds; track two had a distorted lead guitar; track three had the sounds of a church organ, various effects (the gargling of water was one) and voices; track four featured various indescribable sound effects with heaps of tape echo and manic tambourine.
But of all the frightening sounds it was the voices on track three which really set the scene, John and Paul screaming dementedly and bawling aloud random phrases like 'Are you all right?' and 'Barcelona!'
Paul terminated the proceedings after almost 14 minutes with one final shout up to the control room: 'Can we hear it back now?'
Source: Mark Lewisohn
Carnival Of Light was also described by Barry Miles in Many Years From Now, his authorised biography of Paul McCartney. Miles reportedly played a part in the genesis of the recording.
The tape has no rhythm, though a beat is sometimes established for a few bars by the percussion or a rhythmic pounding on the piano. There is no melody, though snatches of a tune sometimes threaten to break through. The Beatles make literally random sounds, although they sometimes respond to each other; for instance, a burst of organ notes answered by a rattle of percussion. The basic track was recorded slow so that some of the drums and organ were very deep and sonorous, like the bass notes of a cathedral organ. Much of it is echoed and it is often hard to tell if you are listening to a slowed-down cymbal or a tubular bell. John and Paul yell with massive amounts of reverb on their voices, there are Indian war cries, whistling, close-miked gasping, genuine coughing and fragments of studio conversation, ending with Paul asking, with echo, 'Can we hear it back now?' The tape was obviously overdubbed and has bursts of feedback guitar, schmaltzy cinema organ, snatches or jangling pub piano, some unpleasant electronic feedback and John yelling, 'Electricity'. There is a great deal of percussion throughout, again much of it overdubbed. The tape was made with full stereo separation, and is essentially an exercise in musical layers and textures. It most resembles The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet, the twelve-minute final track on Frank Zappa's Freak Out! album, except there is no rhythm and the music here is more fragmented, abstract and serious. The deep organ notes at the beginning of the piece set the tone as slow and contemplative.According to Lewisohn, a mono mix was made at the end of the session, which was then given by McCartney to Binder, Edwards and Vaughan on a reel of quarter inch tape.When they had finished George Martin said to me, 'This is ridiculous, we've got to get our teeth into something more constructive." - Geoff EmerickThe Beatles' recording was played a number of times during the two Roundhouse events. Dudley Edwards has claimed that it was subsequently taken to America by Ray Anderson, who assisted with the events' light shows.
McCartney is believed to have wanted to include Carnival Of Light on Anthology 2, but the decision was vetoed by George Harrison. Since then, McCartney...