On this day, and into the night, a benefit party for the underground newspaper International Times was held at London's Alexandra Palace.
The 14 Hour Technicolour dream was a multi-artist happening featuring poets, artists and musicians. The headline act was Pink Floyd, and the other performers included Arthur Brown, Soft Machine, Tomorrow, The Pretty Things and Yoko Ono.
John Lennon and John Dunbar saw a news item about the event on the television at Lennon's home in Weybridge while tripping on LSD, and decided to attend. Lennon called his driver who took them to the venue. Film footage from the event shows Lennon.
Studio Three, EMI Studios, London
Overdubbing of bass, maracas, cowbell, tambourines, and backing vocal shouts onto "Magical Mystery Tour" took up the lion's share of this 7:00 pm to 2:00 am session. Another reduction mixdown then took take eight into take nine.
Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
The Beatles began work on the title track of what would become their next film and EP/LP release, Magical Mystery Tour, recording three takes of the backing track.
The group rehearsed the song extensively in the studio before recording began, with Paul McCartney guiding the group from the piano. Eventually they taped a rhythm track of two guitars, piano and drums.
Satisfied with take three, The Beatles then oversaw five reduction mixes to free up extra tracks on the tape. The last of these, numbered take eight, was used for further overdubs on subsequent days.
The group also assembled a tape loop of traffic noises, taken from EMI's sound effects collection Volume 36: Traffic Noise Stereo. This was added to the song during a final mixing session on November 7, 1967.
he final touch was added to the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band during this session: the gibberish sounds which filled the run-out groove of the vinyl record.
First of all, however, 11 mono mixes of George Harrison's Only A Northern Song were made. Two four-track tapes had been filled: one with organ, bass guitar, trumpet, glockenspiel and drums, and another with organ, vocals and other assorted noises.
Two tape machines therefore needed to be synchronised, a process that had previously been used during the recording of A Day In The Life.
Once the mixes were complete, attention returned to Sgt Pepper. The Beatles stood at the studio microphone and babbled nonsense on each track of a two-track tape, which was subsequently cut up and re-edited with some parts reversed.
On 21 April everyone in the studio recorded the run-on spiral for the album, about two seconds’ worth of sound. It was a triple session - three three-hour sessions - which ended around 4am. The Beatles stood around two microphones muttering, singing snatches of songs and yelling for what seemed like hours, with the rest of us standing round them, joining in. Mal carried in cases of Coke and bottles of Scotch. Ringo was out of it. ‘I’m so stoned,’ he said, ‘I think I’m going to fall over!’ As he slowly toppled, Mal [Evans] caught him and popped him neatly in a chair without a murmur. In the control room no one seemed to notice. A loop was made from the tape of the muttering and was mixed, but not without some altercation between John and the tape operator.
The album was cut by Harry Moss, and required several attempts before the sound appeared precisely in the run-out groove. The intention was for the sound to loop and be played ad infinitum, preceded by a 15 kilocycle pitch intended for dogs.
I was told by chaps who'd been in the business a long time that cutting things into the run-out grooves was an old idea that they used to do on 78s. Cutting Sgt Pepper was not too difficult except that because we couldn't play the masters I had to wait for white label pressings before I could hear whether or not I'd cut the concentric groove successfully, These were the things which, at the time, I used to swear about! It was George Martin who first asked me to do it. I replied, 'It's gonna be bloody awkward, George, but I'll give it a go!'
Neither the test tone nor the loop of gibberish - known as Edit for LP End on the tape box - was used on the first North American pressings of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was eventually issued as part of the Rarities compilation, with the title Sgt Pepper Inner Groove.
Studio Two, EMI Studios, London
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) was mixed into stereo in Studio Three between 5:00 and 6:15 PM, then the Beatles arrived at 7:00 for a session in Studio Two which ended at 2:15 AM, recording overdubs onto "Only A Northern Song".
First they returned to take three from February 13th, wiping some existing material and overdubbing bass, a trumpet, and a glockenspiel. Then they advanced to take 11 - itself a reduction mixdown of take three - and added vocals.
Studio Two, EMI Studios, London
Although an April 6th mono mix of "Good Morning Good Morning" had been inserted into the master reel, it did not fit snugly up to the "Sgt. Pepper" reprise. So the former was mixed again in this 7:00 pm to 12:30 am session, RM23 solving the problem by means of merging the final cluck of the sound effect hen at the end of "Good Morning Good Morning" into the similar first guitar note at the beginning of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)".
With Paul now back from the USA, the Beatles had a recording session booked for the next night, picking up "Only A Northern Song" for the first time since February 14th. To remind them of the work done so far, another rough mono mix was made.
Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn
Studio Two, EMI Studios in London
Stereo mixing of "Getting Better", "She's Leaving Home", "When I'm Sixty-Four" and "Lovely Rita", done from 7:00 to 10:30 pm. "She's Leaving Home" was mixed into stereo without reference to the speeded-up mono, for this ran 3 mins 26 secs while the stereo, noticeably slower, lasts 3 min 34 secs.
1. Happy Together - The Turtles
2. This is My Song - Petula Clark
3. Jimmy Mack - Martha and the Vandellas
4. Something Stupid - Frank and Nancy Sinatra
5. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You - The Monkees
6. I think we're alone now - Tommy James and the Shondells
7. Dedicated to the one I Love - The Mamas & the Papas
8. The Happening - The Supremes
9. Sweet Soul Music - Arthur Conley
10. I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) - Aretha Franklin
11. Bernadette - The Four Tops
12. I've Been Lonely too Long - The Young Rascals
13. Western Union - The Five Americans
14. Don't You Care - The Buckinghams
15. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy) - Harpers Bizarre
16. With This Ring - The Platters
17. Penny Lane - The Beatles
18. Dry Your Eyes - Brenda & The Tabulations
19. Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles
20. I'm A Man - Spencer Davis Group
In the early hours of this morning, after he was recorded chewing celery on The Beach Boys' song Vegetables, Paul McCartney returned to John and Michelle Phillips' house in Los Angeles, where he had been the previous day.
McCartney brought Brian Wilson back to the Phillipses' house, and various musical instruments were brought out. John Phillips also filled a tray of glasses with different amounts of water, and McCartney made sounds by rubbing the rims. He also played cello and flugelhorn at the house.
The jam lasted much of the early morning, and McCartney and Mal Evans returned to Derek Taylor's house in time for breakfast. McCartney and Evans then flew back to England, during which ideas for the Magical Mystery Tour film and songs were worked upon.
McCartney borrowed a notepad from a flight stewardess and drafted the lyrics for the Magical Mystery Tour song. He then drew a rough plan for the film, using a circle divided into eight segments to represent the 60 minutes of a television special.
The day after their arrival in Los Angeles, Paul McCartney and Mal Evans spent the day shopping at Century Plaza, where Evans bought a talking pillow.
In the afternoon the pair visited John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas And The Papas. After a while McCartney left alone to meet The Beach Boys, leaving Evans with the Phillipses.
At the time Brian Wilson was working on the song Vegetables, intended for the Smile album but eventually released on Smiley Smile. McCartney was recorded chewing celery.
The night before a big tour, I was out in the studio recording the vocal when, to my surprise, Paul McCartney walked in and joined Brian at the console. And, briefly, the two most influential musical Geminis in the world had a chance to work together. I remember waiting for long periods of time between takes to get to the next section or verse. Brian lost track of the session. Paul would come on the talkback and say something like 'Good take, Al.'
McCartney also performed on an unreleased version of On Top Of Old Smokey. Shortly after midnight he arrived back at the Phillipses' house.
Paul McCartney and Mal Evans continued their stay in Denver, Colorado on this day, without Jane Asher who was appearing in a matinée performance of William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet in the city.
McCartney and Evans drove into the Rocky Mountains past Central City into the old Boodle Mine. During the trip their hired car got stuck in snow and mud, but they eventually made their way back to Central City and ate a meal in Paul's Café. Afterwards they watched a local country singer perform across the road in the Gilded Garter bar.
The pair returned to Denver in time to see the Old Vic theatre company's performance of Romeo And Juliet.
Studio Two, EMI Studios, London
The Beatles were mostly absent when the stereo mixes of Sgt. Pepper were prepared - they considered mono of paramount importance and so were always around for these, but were generally content to leave the stereos to George Martin and Geoff Emerick. Working this day from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am, they produced stereo masters of "With A Little Help From My Friends" (with its preceding crossfade into the title song). "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!", "Fixing A Hole", and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".
Studio Two (control room), EMI Studios, Abbey Road
The Sgt. Pepper song Good Morning Good Morning was mixed in mono and stereo during this session, and crossfades for the album were assembled. The session ran from 7pm until 1am the following morning.
These mono mixes were unused, however, and new ones were created on April 19, 1967.
The Beatles wished for there to be no gaps, or rills, between the Sgt Pepper songs. Furthermore, they wished to have two crossfades from one song to another: these occurred between the title track and With A Little Help From My Friends, and from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) into A Day In The Life.
At this stage the album was almost complete, but the running order was slightly different. Although the second half was in place, side one had the songs in a different order: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends, Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite!, Fixing A Hole, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Getting Better and She's Leaving Home.
Paul McCartney flew to Denver from San Francisco on this day to pay a surprise visit to his girlfriend Jane Asher on her 21st birthday.
Asher was touring with the Old Vic theatre company in a production of William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet. McCartney had flown to America on April 3, 1967 with Mal Evans.
McCartney and Evans flew from San Francisco in a hired Lear jet; they arrived at Denver Airport and were met by Bert Rosenthal, who had agreed to lend McCartney and Asher his house. Evans, meanwhile, booked into the Driftwood Motel.
In the evening McCartney and Asher were reunited, and Rosenthal drove them to a hotel where a birthday party was held for her. The party had been organized by the Old Vic.
The day after his arrival in the United States, Paul McCartney spent the day in San Francisco.
He and Mal Evans had flown into the city from Los Angeles in the early hours of the morning. The city was experiencing its first snow for 42 years, and the temperatures were much colder than the pair had been expecting.
The trip was to surprise McCartney's girlfriend Jane Asher on her 21st birthday the following day. With a free day McCartney and Evans saw the sights, photographed the Golden Gate Bridge and bought records.
They also visited the Fillmore Auditorium, where Jefferson Airplane were rehearsing. Afterwards they accompanied Marty Balin and Jack Casady to the Oak Street apartment they shared with the band's road manager Bill Thompson, where McCartney played them an acetate of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. They also attempted a jam, but McCartney had trouble playing Casady's right-handed bass guitar.
McCartney smoked cannabis with Jefferson Airplane, but declined an offer of DMT mixed with cannabis. Despite this, rumours persist in the city that he did partake in the hallucinogenic drug. At the end of the evening Jack Casady took them back to their hotel.
The last song to be completed for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was Within You Without You.
Eight violins and three cellos were recorded onto track three, after which Harrison - the only member of The Beatles in attendance - overdubbed his lead vocals, as well as some extra sitar, onto track four. The recording took place in Studio One, and ended at 3am the following morning.
The violinists were Erich Gruenberg, Alan Loveday, Julien Gaillard, Paul Scherman, Ralph Elman, David Wolfsthal, Jack Rothstein and Jack Greene, and the cellists were Reginald Kilbey, Allen Ford and Peter Beavan. Each was paid the standard Musicians' Union rate of £9, apart from Gruenberg, the leader of the ensemble, who was paid £11.
The strings were conducted by George Martin, who had prepared a score based on Harrison's ideas. The parts were recorded numerous times, each wiping the previous attempt, before all were satisfied with the results.
When Within You Without You was first recorded on March 15, 1967, the song was referred to as having three parts, although it was recorded as one. The numbering of the parts continued through to this session and the next, with part one mixed separately from two and three.
Mono mixing of Within You Without You began during this session, but the results remained unused. Part one was mixed three times; parts two and three were mixed twice.
The mixing session took place in the control room of Studio Two, from 3-6.30am in the morning of April 4, 1967.
Studio One, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
The final song to be begun for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was a reprise of the title track. It was recorded in a single session on this day.
The session took place at EMI's enormous Studio One at Abbey Road, between 7pm and 6am the following morning. Nine takes were recorded; an unused attempt, take five, was included on 1996's Anthology 2.
Each member of The Beatles playing their conventional instruments, as a group, for perhaps the only occasion on the album. Paul McCartney sang a guide vocal part, and George Martin joined them on organ.
McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison overdubbed vocals onto track three of take nine, and maracas and tambourine were added to track four.
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) was the only Sgt Pepper song not to be given a reduction mix; the four tracks were filled with the initial instruments, the overdubs were added, then it was ready to be mixed for the album.
Nine mono mixes of take nine were made during this session, the last of which was used on the album. Artificial double tracking was applied to the vocals, and some of the crowd noises prepared on March 6, 1967 were added.