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1968, May

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 31, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 31, 1968

Recording: Revolution 1

The second session for the White Album saw work continue on Revolution 1, which at this time was known simply as Revolution.

The session began at 2.30pm and ended at midnight. John Lennon double-tracked his lead vocals and Paul McCartney added a bass guitar part.

A reduction mix was then made, known as take 19, which allowed for further overdubs to be made. Backing vocals by McCartney, his new girlfriend Francie Schwartz and George Harrison were then recorded, with the trio singing "shoo-be-doo-wop" during the chorus.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 30, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 30, 1968

Recording: Revolution 1

The Beatles began recording their double album, simply titled The Beatles but more commonly known as the White Album, on this day. The session lasted a little over 12 hours, beginning at 2.30pm and ending at 2.40am the following morning, and saw the group work on Revolution 1.

At this point it wasn't known as Revolution 1, however. The title was Revolution until it was vetoed for single release, after which a new, faster version was taped under that name.

The Beatles recorded 16 takes of Revolution 1 on this day. These were numbered 1-18, although there were no takes 11 and 12. The recording had piano, drums and acoustic guitar all on a single track of the tape, and Lennon's vocals on another.

Take 18 was markedly different from the others, lasting 10'17" and featuring an extended jam in the coda, until Lennon shouted "OK, I've had enough" back to the studio control room. The final six minutes featured feedback, screaming and moaning, including vocal contributions from Lennon's new girlfriend Yoko Ono.
Overdub work on Revolution 1 continued during the next two sessions, on 31 May and 4 June, before Lennon made the decision to create the sound collage Revolution 9 from the final minutes of the song.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 29, 1968

The Beatles busy recording.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 28, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 28, 1968

Very rare shot of John Lennon and George Harrison together at Kinfauns in Esher. Restored and repaired. Taken by a visiting fan.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 27, 1968

The Beatles are making music.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 26, 1968

The Beatles working on their next album.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 25, 1968

The Beatles are busy working on the White Album.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 24, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 24, 1968

Demo recordings for the White Album

Friday 24 May 1968 Studio

The precise date is unknown, but towards the end of May 1968 The Beatles met at Kinfauns, George Harrison's bungalow in Esher, Surrey. There they recorded demo versions of a number of songs written in India, 19 of which later appeared on the White Album.

The 27 songs believed to have been taped at Kinfauns were recorded on Harrison's Ampex four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder. They were mostly grouped together by the composer of each song, although John Lennon's songs were more scattered across the day. They were most likely taped in this order:

Cry Baby Cry – with a different intro and ending from the album version
Child Of Nature – unreleased, but later became Jealous Guy
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill – the other Beatles make animal noises
I'm So Tired – with a slightly different spoken passage
Yer Blues – John Lennon is 'insecure' rather than 'suicidal'
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey – far less frenetic than the studio version
What's The New Mary Jane – included on Anthology 3
Revolution 1 – lacks the 'you say you'll change the constitution' verse
While My Guitar Gently Weeps – with different lyrics in places
Circles – unreleased by The Beatles
Sour Milk Sea – unreleased by The Beatles
Not Guilty – studio version included on Anthology 3
Piggies – rather than 'eat their bacon', the piggies 'cut their pork chops'
Julia – in a higher key and with the verses in a different order
Blackbird – with a double-tracked vocal, no break, a slightly slower tempo
Rocky Raccoon – shorter, without the opening and final verses
Back In The USSR – lacks the final verse
Honey Pie – released on Anthology 3, with the final verse edited out
Mother Nature's Son – without the guitar intro of the studio version
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da – with a double-tracked vocal from Paul McCartney
Junk – included on Anthology 3
Dear Prudence – with a spoken ending and double-tracked vocals
Sexy Sadie –
Happiness Is A Warm Gun – lacks the intro and the final section
Mean Mr Mustard – his sister is called Shirley, not Pam
Polythene Pam – slightly different chords; 'well it's a little absurd but she's a nice class of bird'; the verses are repeated
Glass Onion – with double-tracked gobbledygook from Lennon

Most of the recordings were widely bootlegged, although the release of Anthology 3 resulted in previously-unheard demos of the four final songs. The seven Kinfauns demos included on Anthology 3 – licensed to Apple by George Harrison – were also of a better quality than the bootlegs.

It is possible that not all of the demos were recorded at Kinfauns, and it has been speculated that some were recorded alone by the songs' composers. Alternatively, previously-made recordings may have been brought to Harrison's house for overdubbing, but, again, this is far from clear.

Of the songs unreleased by The Beatles in 1968, perhaps the best known is Child Of Nature. This was inspired by a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi lecture, and was lyrically similar to Mother Nature's Son. Lennon later reused the melody for 1971's Jealous Guy.

What's The New Mary Jane was based around a nursery rhyme-style melody, and in the studio became one of Lennon's first avant garde compositions. It remained unreleased until Anthology 3, despite Lennon's various attempts to have it released by The Beatles or the Plastic Ono Band.

Two of Lennon's songs, Mean Mr Mustard and Polythene Pam, were held back until 1969's Abbey Road, when they became part of the 'long medley'.

Just one of Paul McCartney's songs – Junk – was unreleased by The Beatles, although they returned to it during the Get Back sessions in early 1969. It eventually found a home on McCartney's first solo album.

Harrison fared less well, with three of the five demos failing to be included on the White Album. A studio version of Not Guilty should have appeared on that record, although it was eventually included on Anthology 3. Circles, meanwhile, wasn't issued until Harrison's 1982 solo album Gone Troppo.

Sour Milk Sea was given to Apple recording artist Jackie Lomax. It was his debut single later in 1968, produced by Harrison with McCartney on bass and Ringo Starr on drums.

It isn't known whether any of The Beatles' wives or girlfriends were present, although a female voice may be discernible on Revolution 1. Mal Evans and Derek Taylor are also addressed by the group on the bootleg recordings, and may have contributed.

The demo songs were mono mixed by Harrison, with copies given to each Beatle. The general public first heard them in the late 1980s as part of the Lost Lennon Tapes radio series, and 23 had entered general circulation by the early 1990s.

I just realized that I've got a really good bootleg tape – demos we made at my house on an Ampex 4-track during The White Album.

George Harrison
Musician magazine, early 1990s

Work began on the album on 30 May at EMI Studios, Abbey Road.

We are going in with clear heads and hoping for the best. We had hoped this time to do a lot of rehearsing before we reached the studios rather than rehearse actually on the instruments but, as it happens, all we got was one day.

Paul McCartney, 1968

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 23, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 23, 1968

Paul McCartney Interview: All My Loving 5/23/1968

 

This chat with Paul McCartney appears in the program 'All My Loving - A Film of Pop Music,' directed by Tony Palmer.

 

At the time of it's airing, this 1968 BBC documentary was both highly-acclaimed and controversial. It captured the changing attitudes of the late sixties by mixing graphic news footage of police brutality and the vietnam war with the rock music of times. Heavily interspersed throughout are interviews with many of 1968's more influencial rock stars. Also appearing in this made-for-TV film were Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Burdon and others. Tony Palmer spoke with Paul in an interview that was filmed on May 23rd 1968. The documentary was telecast on BBC television on November 3rd.

 

As the interview segment begins, the film has drawn a comparison between the growing seriousness of rock 'n' roll and other styles of music which in the past had been taken more seriously, such as opera and the classics.

PAUL: "I was always frightened of classical music. And I never wanted to listen to it because it was Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, and sort of, big words like that... and Schoenberg. I mean, like... A taxi driver the other day had some sheet music of a Mozart thing, and I said 'What's that?' And he said 'Oh, that's the high-class stuff. You won't like that. No no, you won't like that.' And I said, 'well, what is it?' (giggles) He said 'No, you won't like it. It's high-class, that. It's very high-brow!' And uhh, that kind of way I always used to think of it. I used to think 'Well you know, that's very clever, all that stuff.' And it isn't, you know. It's just exactly what's going on in pop at the moment. Pop music is the classical music of now."

"People just take our music... and you know, in a line we sort of say 'She was just seventeen,' and they just read everything into it. Like, 'She was a seventeen-year-old nymphomanic, working on the streets of Broadway.' But you know, all we meant is 'She was just seventeen.' But it might mean all the other as well... I don't know, you know. (smiles) I have no idea if there's any Aeolian cadences and... myasmic climaxes and all of that." (laughs)

"We're the last people to know about our songs, because the pop world's never heard the pop world as such. It's like, if you look at a snapshot of yourself, you're looking at what tie you were wearing or whether you were looking nice in the snapshot. But anyone else will just take the snapshot and say 'Oh, that's good. That's a snapshot of Tony,' you know. We're always just thinking of ourselves as just happy little songwriters. (giggles) Just little rockers, you know. Just playing in a rock group. But it gets more important than that, after you've been over to America... and you've sort of... got knighted." (laughs)

"And when we were touring, everybody was at a sort of peak of hysteria. Instead of just thinking, 'Oh, that's nice...' I mean, we could have just thought, 'A ha!! Click!! Let's use this!!' but there's no desire in any of our heads to sort of take over the world, you know. That was Hitler -- that was what HE wanted to do. There is, however, a desire to get power in order to use it for good. (comically points to camera) When you've got power, you've got to use it for the good!"

"Because like everyone else, we read the papers... we go through all the things that most people go through. So when everyone wants to say a thing at a certain time, it's handy being a songwriter. You know, you can put your finger on it."

 

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 22, 1968

John and Yoko attend press launch of Apple Tailoring

Three days after their relationship began, John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared in public for the first time, for the lunchtime launch party and press conference for Apple Tailoring (Civil and Theatrical), the second boutique from Apple Corps.

It took place at Club Dell'Aretusa, at 107 King's Road, Chelsea, London. Also present at the launch were George Harrison and his wife Pattie, and a number of other celebrities.

We're still involved in a hectic recording scene at the moment, although I've spent this week at the office. All that paperwork!

George Harrison

After the party Lennon and Ono walked the short distance to the new Apple Tailoring shop, at 161 King's Road, for the benefit of photographers. The boutique opened the following day.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 20, 1968

The Beatles busy working on their next album.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 19, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 19, 1968

John Lennon and Yoko Ono record Two Virgins

The beginning of John Lennon's relationship with Yoko Ono was of huge significance, not just to the couple, but also to their families, The Beatles, and those who lived and worked alongside them.

It occurred at Kenwood, Lennon's house in Weybridge, Surrey. Lennon was nervous about inviting Ono, so made sure his childhood friend Pete Shotton was also present as she arrived.

Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins – John Lennon and Yoko OnoAt the time, Lennon's wife Cynthia Lennon was on a two-week holiday in Greece, at Lennon's suggestion, with 'Magic' Alex, Jenny Boyd, Donovan and his friend Gypsy Dave.

The lengthy recordings were made in the attic of the house, which Lennon used as a music room. The sounds included birdsong, vocal improvisations, sound effects, feedback and distorted musical instruments, and contained nursery rhymes, music hall songs and novelty piano tunes amid the less orthodox moments. One outtake segment from the recordings, known as Holding A Note, can also be heard as a bootleg.

When we got back from India, we were talking to each other on the phone. I called her over, it was the middle of the night and Cyn was away, and I thought, 'Well, now's the time if I'm going to get to know her any more.' She came to the house and I didn't know what to do; so we went upstairs to my studio and I played her all the tapes that I'd made, all this far-out stuff, some comedy stuff, and some electronic music. There were very few people I could play those tapes to. She was suitably impressed, and then she said, 'Well, let's make one ourselves,' so we made Two Virgins. It was midnight when we finished, and then we made love at dawn. It was very beautiful. (John Lennon, 1970 Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner)

The avant-garde recordings were released as Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins on 11 November 1968 in the United States, and on 29 November in the United Kingdom.

More controversial than the musical content was the cover artwork, which featured a nude photograph of Lennon and Ono. The rear sleeve, fittingly, sported a similarly naked picture of the couple with their backs to the camera, looking over their shoulders.

The photograph was taken not on this day, but later in the year, at Ringo Starr's basement apartment at Montagu Square, London, where Lennon and Ono were temporarily living.

Even before we made this record [Two Virgins], I envisioned producing an album of hers and I could see this album cover of her being naked because her work was so pure. I couldn't think of any other way of presenting her. It wasn't a sensational idea or anything.

After Yoko and I met, I didn't realise I was in love with her. I was still thinking it was an artistic collaboration, as it were – producer and artist, right? We'd known each other for a couple of years. My ex-wife was away in Italy, and Yoko came to visit me and we took some acid. I was always shy with her, and she was shy, so instead of making love, we went upstairs and made tapes. I had this room full of different tapes where I would write and make strange loops and things like that for the Beatles' stuff. So we make a tape all night. She was doing her funny voices and I was pushing all different buttons on my tape recorder and getting sound effects. And then as the sun rose we made love and that was Two Virgins. That was the first time.

John Lennon, 1980

Lennon gave the camera film from his unorthodox photoshoot to Jeremy Banks, a staff member at Apple Corps. Banks had it developed, and gave the prints to Derek Taylor, the company's press officer.

We were both a bit embarrassed when we peeled off for the picture, so I took it myself with a delayed-action shutter. The picture was to prove that we are not a couple of demented freaks, that we are not deformed in any way and that our minds are healthy. If we can make society accept these kind of things without offence, without sniggering, then we shall be achieving our purpose.

What we did purposely is not have a pretty photograph; not have it lighted so as we looked sexy or good. There were a couple of other takes from that session where we looked rather nice, hid the little bits that aren't that beautiful; we looked good. We used the straightest, most unflattering picture just to show that we were human. (John Lennon Anthology)

Although Two Virgins was to become one of the most controversial episodes of Lennon's life, his union with Yoko Ono caused a monumentally significant personal shift. It marked the beginning of the end of his time as a Beatle, and, influenced by Ono, saw him increasingly challenge public expectations with a series of confrontational artistic statements, political campaigns and experimental musical releases.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 18, 1968

The Beatles working on their next album.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 17, 1968

The Beatles recording their next album

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 16, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 16, 1968

John Lennon and Paul McCartney return from promoting Apple in New York

John Lennon and Paul McCartney return from promoting Apple in New York

John Lennon and Paul McCartney had flown to New York for a four-day promotional trip for Apple on 11 May 1968. On this day they returned to London.

The trip involved numerous interviews, which mainly took place at hotels. The two Beatles stayed at their lawyer Nat Weiss's apartment at 181 East 73rd Street. They were joined in New York by 'Magic' Alex, Neil Aspinall, Mal Evans and Derek Taylor.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 15, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 15, 1968

Pattie, George and Jane Birkin at Heathrow Airport en route to the south of France to attend the Cannes Film Festival, at which Wonderwall was being screened.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 14, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 14, 1968

Lennon and McCartney give interviews in New York

Q: Where are the other two Beatles?

John Lennon: No idea.

Paul McCartney: In bed, probably. Oh, in England.

Q: What are your plans for opening a club in New York?

John Lennon: I don't know. There aren't any real plans.

Q: What about the rumors that you're going to buy Generation?

John Lennon: What about them? I didn't hear of it till Sunday myself!

Q: Will the four Beatles own 100% of Apple? And will you be equal partners?

John Lennon: Yes.

Q: Do you think that some of your records are influencing the minds of the younger generation?

John Lennon: Well, everybody's records influence the mind, you know. All at once. Everything influences everything. Nilsson's my favorite group.

Q: Would you comment on the mood of youth around the world, the protest movement, and what's going on?

Paul McCartney: People want to know what's going on, and no one knows at the moment.

John Lennon: Whether the movement is right or wrong, it's better than no movement.

Q: Do you have any specific reason for going on The Tonight Show tonight?

John Lennon: I don't know what happened.

Paul McCartney: We just seemed to be on it.

Q: I just wanted to ask you how you are!

Paul McCartney: Quite well! Hey, and how are you!?!

Q: High!

Paul McCartney: Six feet high and rising?

Q: Would you say that Magical Mystery Tour is a better or worse album than Sgt Pepper?

John Lennon: It's not an album, you see. It's turned into an album over here, but it was just music from the film. Then, it's not an album.

Q: Has the film been bought over here?

John Lennon: I haven't a clue and I really don't care.

Q: Do George and Ringo feel the same way as you do about the Maharishi?

John Lennon: Yes. We tend to go in and out together, I mean, with a few spaces. So, yes.

Q: Are the Beatles going to make another movie this summer?

John Lennon: Well, we don't know when we're going to make it, but it will be this year or the early part of next year.

Q: What did you think of the critical reception to Magical Mystery Tour?

John Lennon: Well, I mean, it's... it doesn't matter. But it does. Oh, it really doesn't matter, you know. Why it's not on now is what matters.

Paul McCartney: They were disappointed.

Q: Were the criticisms valid?

John Lennon: Valid? I didn't see any valid points. It was just hysteria and that bit.

Paul McCartney: You see, they expected a tinselly Christmas show, because it was shown on Christmas - and you know that it was very different from that, so we shocked them a bit.

John Lennon: They didn't like it, you know. They thought we were stepping out of our roles. They like us to stay in the cardboard suits they designed for us.

Q: What roles do they want you to stay in?

John Lennon: Well, whatever image they have for themselves, they're disappointed if we don't fulfil it. We never do, so there's always a lot of disappointment.

Q: Do you think press conferences are a drag?

John Lennon: Well, they're not something I choose to do, but they're fun. It's work and business.

Q: Paul, what do you think of Jimi Hendrix?

Paul McCartney: He's great.

Q: Why do the Beatles meditate?

Paul McCartney: Because it seems to be nice. Like cleaning your teeth, you know, it just has some kind of end product.

Q: What do you think of the Mothers of Invention?

Paul McCartney: I think they're doing very well.

Q: What did the Beatles have to do with the creation of the marvellous fantasy characters in the Yellow Submarine?

Paul McCartney: Not much. There's a really good artist named Heinz (Edelmann) who created them.

Q: Do you plan to sing in French or in any other language other than English?

John Lennon: No, we don't make plans. We did She Loves You in German, and that was about it, I think.

Paul McCartney: Then, the English version became a hit, you know.

Q: How often do you turn on?

John Lennon: It's happening all the time, you know.

Q: Will you be doing a TV special soon?

John Lennon: I don't know.

Paul McCartney: Maybe. Quite possibly.

John Lennon: We've got to do another album. We don't know what happens until we do that.

Q: Have you ever thought of making a record, a film, or a TV special over here?

John Lennon: It's quite possible, yes. Why not? Except that we live over there.

Q: But you could fly over again.

John Lennon: Yeah, sure. But is it worth the journey?

Q: Are there any plans for an Apple clothing store in the United States?

John Lennon: No. No plans.

Q: What is the meaning of I Am The Walrus?

John Lennon: It just means, I am the walrus. Or I was when I sat down, you know.

They also recorded an interview for Mitchell Krause for the Channel 13 programme Newsfront, and in the evening appeared on The Tonight Show, hosted by guest presenter Joe Garagiola.

Source: Beatles Bible

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 13, 1968

Lennon and McCartney give interviews to US press

As part of their promotional trip to the United States to launch Apple Corps, John Lennon and Paul McCartney conducted a series of interviews for newspaper reporters.

The interviews took place in a suite at the St Regis Hotel, New York City. The media organisations included the New York Times.

Among the reporters was Larry Kane, a Miami-based disc jockey who had been a key supporter of The Beatles since their US invasion in 1964. His interview was filmed in colour, and the footage was eventually released with Kane's book Lennon Revealed.

Kane asked Lennon and McCartney about Apple's business aims, their trip to India, thoughts on LSD, US campus riots and Martin Luther King Jr's assassination. Lennon also talks about The Beatles' touring days in the US, particularly their troubled 1966 appearance in Memphis and their first visit to New York in 1964.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 12, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 12, 1968

Lennon and McCartney meet Ron Kass of Apple US

On the afternoon of 12 May 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney undertook an unusual business meeting: it took place aboard a Chinese junk, sailing around the Statue of Liberty.

The meeting was with Ron Kass, the record company executive who had been recently appointed the US head of Apple.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 11, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 11, 1968

Lennon and McCartney promote Apple in New York

In order to launch and promote Apple Corps in the United States, John Lennon and Paul McCartney flew to New York for a four-day trip. It was the first time they had both visited the country together since their final concert in August 1966.

They were joined by 'Magic' Alex, Neil Aspinall, Mal Evans and Derek Taylor, and while in the US met a number of friends business associates.

Lennon and McCartney stayed with their lawyer, Nat Weiss, at his apartment at 181 East 73rd Street. During the trip they did numerous interviews, mainly at hotels. They returned to England on 16 May 1968.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 10, 1968

The Beatles are taking a break today.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 9, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 9, 1968

John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Derek Taylor, “Magic” Alex Mardas, and The Beatles’ old school friend, Ivan Vaughan, meet at Apple to plan the founding of an idealistic school for the children of The Beatles and their staff.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 8, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 8, 1968

It is reported that The Beatles have been warned that they will have to remove the psychedelic paintings on the Apple Boutique's wall. Public outcry about the painting from nearby businesses was quite intense.

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 7, 1968

The Beatles working on their next big album.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 6, 1968

The Beatles composing songs somewhere

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 5, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 5, 1968

Mary Hopkin appears on Opportunity Knocks

The singer Mary Hopkin's appearance on television talent show Opportunity Knocks was broadcast on this day. Her performance led to a contract with The Beatles' Apple Records, and the multi-million selling debut single Those Were The Days.

The edition of Opportunity Knocks was shown just two days after Hopkin's 18th birthday. The programme showcased performances from new acts which were judged by public vote. It was recorded two days before transmission at ABC Television's studios in Didsbury, Manchester.

The model Twiggy saw Hopkin's performance on Opportunity Knocks, and suggested to Paul McCartney that the singer might be a good act for Apple to sign.

I was a 17-year-old schoolgirl working at weekends with a group of local boys in a folk/rock band, and after about six months the group split up, so I carried on solo. Then my agent, to my absolute horror, put my name down for an audition for Opportunity Knocks, a good show for hopefuls in the music business but not really the sort of thing I wanted to do. But he persuaded me to go along for experience, so I went and sang a couple of songs; and the next thing I heard was that I'd been chosen for one of the programmes.

Rather reluctantly I made my appearance which, amazingly enough, Twiggy watched. She met with Paul McCartney that following weekend and when Paul was chatting to her about the new record label they were forming, Twiggy mentioned me. About two days later I got a telegram saying, 'Ring Peter Brown at Apple Records'. It sat on the shelf for three days until my mother insisted I ring him.

I was a great Beatles fan so I'd heard all about the Apple boutique, but I didn't make any connection between the Beatles and this Peter Brown telegram. So I rang up and was put through to this guy with a Liverpool accent, who invited me to come up to London and sign a contract. Being a cautious young Welsh girl, I thought, "That's a bit sudden!", and became a bit evasive, so this guy said, 'Well, go and ask your mum then!' I dragged my mother to the telephone and she proceeded to practically drop the thing because he said, 'Oh, this is Paul McCartney, by the way'! I remember racing down the road to tell all my friends who I'd been talking to. The next day they sent a car for us and off I went with my mum to the big city.

We went to the Dick James Music studio. Paul was in the control room and I did a couple of demos for him - Joan Baez and Donovan songs - broke a guitar string and muttered some swear words into the mike. We had lunch - he took us to the Angus Steak House which we were really impressed by - and I sailed through the day in a haze, painfully shy and totally in awe of Paul. I went back home and about two days later somebody rang and said, 'Yes, we'd like to sign you'. So I made another trip to London and Paul said, 'I've got a song that might suit you. I found it years ago and gave it to Donovan and it didn't work out, I gave it to the Moody Blues, they loved it but it didn't happen, and I've been looking for the right sound for it.' Then he strummed this song called Those Were The Days. I loved it immediately, but I must say that I'd probably have liked anything he would have played me at the time! A lot of people think Paul wrote the song, but he didn't. Anyway, we recorded it a couple of weeks later, and five weeks after the release, in September 1968, I was number one.

Mary Hopkin
Record Collector, 1988

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 4, 1968
The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 4, 1968

The "Post"

 

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 3, 1968

The Beatles working on their next album

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 2, 1968

The Beatles taking a break on this nice summer day.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: May 1, 1968

The Beatles taking a break today.

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