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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 22, 1967

The New Yorker, June 24, 1967 P. 22 - By Lillian Ross

Talk story about the Beatles' thirteenth and latest (June, 1967) record album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which has sold 1,200,000 copies to date, with 95,000 more in back orders. John, Paul, George, and Ringo appear in old-timey band costumes amongst the faces of many other artists on the cover. On this record, the Beatles (with Paul singing most of the solos) create the effect of a live show. Mentions songs on the new album and lists previous Beatles' albums. There was a slump in the Beatles' popularity about a year ago. Now "Sgt. Pepper" is out and it's a big success. WMCA disc jockey Joe O'Brien was the first to play it on the air. O'Brien said listeners are unprepared because this album is not a teen-age album, but a terribly intellectural one. The college students are now the hard-core Beatles fans. This album is really a cantata. Teen-agers don't want that. Murray-the-K said the album is positive proof of the Beatles' musical maturity. The reporter spoke to people buying the album at Sam Goody's and at the Colony Record Center. There Lawrence LeFevre lectured about the album: In musical substance, "Sgt. Pepper" is a bigger step forward, from a musical point of view, than "Revolver." New and interesting musical structures appear in combinations of rhythms, chord progressions, instrumentations, and maintaining the flow of melody. This album is a whole, little world created by the Beatles. The Beatles, like Duke Ellington, are unclassifiable musicians.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 21, 1967

Studio Three, EMI Studios, London

From 4:30-5:00 pm, in Room 53, without the Beatles in attendence, "All You Need Is Love" was mixed into mono. Between 7:00 and 11:30 pm, the job was done again, this time with the Beatles on hand. An acetate pressing of this latter mix was given to Derek Burrell-Davis, director of the BBC outside broadcast team for June 25th.

Note: A studio two session booked for the evening of June 22nd did not take place.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicles - Mark Lewisohn

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 20, 1967

Paul McCartney admits taking LSD (Interview from June 19, 1967)

Paul McCartney was the first British pop star to publicly admit using LSD, in chatting with a reporter who had enquired about it. Paul's LSD quote appeared in Queen, a UK-based magazine at the time. The quote was also then reprinted by Life magazine in their June 16th 1967 feature, 'The New Far-Out Beatles: They're grown men now and creating extraordinary musical sounds' by Thomas Thompson.

In both articles, Paul McCartney was quoted as saying, "After I took it (LSD), it opened my eyes. We only use one-tenth of our brain. Just think what we could accomplish if we could only tap that hidden part. It would mean a whole new world."

ITV seized the opportunity to interview Paul about this public admission. The controversy would become a springboard for discussing the responsibilities of celebrities and journalists.

The following interview was filmed by ITV on June 19th 1967, in Paul's backyard garden on Cavendish Avenue, and would be telecast in Britain later that evening.

Paul had just celebrated his 25th birthday the previous day. The Beatles' latest LP 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' was number one on the album charts -- released less than three weeks prior on June 1st.

Q: "Paul, how often have you taken LSD?"

PAUL: (pause) "About four times."

Q: "And where did you get it from?"

PAUL: "Well, you know, if I was to say where I got it from, you know, I mean... it's illegal and everything... it's silly to say that, you know. So I'd rather not say that."

Q: "Don't you believe that this is a matter which you should have kept private?"

PAUL: "Mmm, but the thing is -- I was asked a question by a newspaper, and the decision was whether to tell a lie or tell him the truth. I decided to tell him the truth... but I really didn't want to say anything, you know, because if I had my way I wouldn't have told anyone. I'm not trying to spread the word about this. But the man from the newspaper is the man from the mass medium. I'll keep it a personal thing if he does too you know... if he keeps it quiet. But he wanted to spread it so it's his responsibility, you know, for spreading it not mine."

Q: "But you're a public figure and you said it in the first place and you must have known it would make the newspaper."

PAUL: "Yeah, but to say it is only to tell the truth. I'm telling the truth, you know. I don't know what everyone's so angry about."

Q: "Do you think that you have now encouraged your fans to take drugs?"

PAUL: (clearly and calmly) "I don't think it'll make any difference. I don't think my fans are going to take drugs just because I did, you know. But the thing is -- that's not the point anyway. I was asked whether I had or not. And from then on, the whole bit about how far it's gonna go and how many people it's going to encourage is up to the newspapers, and up to you on television. I mean, you're spreading this now, at this moment. This is going into all the homes in Britain. And I'd rather it didn't. But you're asking me the question -- You want me to be honest -- I'll be honest."

Q: "But as a public figure, surely you've got the responsibility to..."

PAUL: "...No, it's you who've got the responsibility. You've got the responsibility not to spread this NOW. You know, I'm quite prepared to keep it as a very personal thing if you will too. If you'll shut up about it, I will."

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 19, 1967

Studio Three, EMI Studios in London

A 7:00 pm to 1:45 am session in which the Beatles overdubbed lead and backing vocals, drums, piano and banjo onto a newly made copy of the "All You Need is Love" take ten.

Note: A studio two session booked for the evening of June 20th did not take place.

 

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicles - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 18, 1967

Paul McCartney signing autographs in his Aston Martin, June 18,1967.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 17, 1967

The Beatles and drugs

On June 17, 1967 Life magazine published an interview with Paul McCartney in which he admitted having taken LSD. Two days later, following intense press attention, he gave an interview to Independent Television News in which he discussed his use of the drug and the media reaction. remember a couple of men from ITN showed up, and then the newscaster arrived: 'Is it true you've had drugs?' They were at my door - I couldn't tell them to go away - so I thought, 'Well, I'm either going to try to bluff this, or I'm going to tell him the truth.' I made a lightning decision: 'Sod it. I'll give them the truth.'

I spoke to the reporter beforehand, and said, 'You know what's going to happen here: I'm going to get the blame for telling everyone I take drugs. But you're the people who are going to distribute the news.' I said, 'I'll tell you. But if you've got any worries about the news having an effect on kids, then don't show it. I'll tell you the truth, but if you disseminate the whole thing to the public then it won't be my responsibility. I'm not sure I want to preach this but, seeing as you're asking - yeah, I've taken LSD.' I'd had it about four times at the stage, and I told him so. I felt it was reasonable, but it became a big news item.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 16, 1967

The Beatles appear on the cover of Life, while Time magazine profiles their producer, George Martin, praising his latest work on their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 15, 1967

Disc & Music Echo "All You Need Is Love"

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 14, 1967

Studio One, Olympic Sound Studios, London

On May 18, 967 a contract was signed committing The Beatles to represent the BBC and Britain in a worldwide satellite broadcast on Sunday, June 25th. They were to be shown performing an especially-written song: All you Need Is Love.

 

Unable to book space at EMI Studios at short notice, the group assembled at Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes, London, on this day to record the rhythm track. They mostly used unfamiliar instruments: John Lennon played harpsichord; Paul McCartney used a double bass; George Harrison played a violin; and Ringo Starr was on drums.

The Beatles recorded 33 takes, but felt that take 10 was the best. A reduction mix was then made, with all instruments copied onto track one of a new four-track tape.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 13, 1967

The Beatles enjoying a day off.