Search
Filters
Close
RSS

Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 16, 1967

The #1 song in the US on August 16, 1967

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 15, 1967

The Beatles enjoying a break today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 14, 1967

The Beatles enjoying a break today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 13, 1967

The #1 song in the US on August 13, 1967

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 12, 1967

The Beatles are taking a break.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 11, 1967

The Beatles are photographed by Richard Avedon

The Beatles were photographed by Richard Avedon on this day. The shoot took place at a photographic studio in a penthouse in Thompson House, 200 Gray's Inn Road, London.

The American photographer took a number of shots of the group, four of which were later adorned with psychedelic effects. They were first published in the 9 January 1968 edition of the US magazine Look, and were subsequently sold as posters.

In the UK they first appears in the Daily Express newspaper, in February 1968. Readers were given the chance to buy enlargements of the set, along with a special Beatles poster.

The following image is a colour proof of the photographs, prepared for the edition of Look magazine.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 10, 1967
The #1 song on the UK Singles Chart on August 10, 1967

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 9, 1967

George and Pattie Harrison return from America

Following a week's break on the West Coast of the United States, George Harrison, his wife Pattie, and Neil Aspinall and Alexis "Magic Alex" Mardas returned to England on this day.

They flew back to London via New York. During their time in the US, the Harrisons spent time with Ravi Shankar and other Indian musicians, with The Beatles' former publicist Derek Taylor, and with Pattie's sister Jenny Boyd.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 8, 1967

The band member known as The Quiet Beatle had his loud-and-clear say about hippies and the Haight-Ashbury in the Summer of Love.

Harrison is quoted saying he thought the Haight “would be something like King’s Road (in London), only more. Somehow I expected them to all own their own little shops. I expected them all to be nice and clean and friendly and happy.”

Instead, after touring the hippie ‘hood and encountering  a “wild band of jeering hippies” during an impromptu song sesh on nearby Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, Harrison declared hippies to be “hideous, spotty little teenagers.”

Harrison said, “I went there expecting it to be a brilliant place, with groovy gypsy people making works of art and paintings and carvings in little workshops. But it was full of horrible spotty drop-out kids on drugs, and it turned me right off the whole scene.”

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 7, 1967

George Harrison visits Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco

After spending six days in Los Angeles, George Harrison, his wife Pattie, Neil Aspinall, Derek Taylor and Alexis "Magic Alex" Mardas, flew to San Francisco, where they walked around the hippy district of Haight-Ashbury.

The visit to Haight-Ashbury wasn't the purpose of their time in San Francisco; they had gone there to visit Pattie Harrison's sister Jenny Boyd.
 
We also went to see my sister Jenny, who was living with a friend in San Francisco. We flew there in a private Lear jet with Derek Taylor and Neil Aspinall and were met by a limo, then picked up Jenny, and we all went to have lunch. Afterwards we thought it would be fun to go and have a look at Haight-Ashbury, the district that had been taken over by hippies. Musicians like Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin lived there, and it was the LSD capital of America. On the way, Derek produced a tab. Would we like some? Since we were going to Haight-Ashbury, it seemed silly not to.

The area is named after the intersection of two streets, Haight and Ashbury, and as we approached, the driver said he wouldn't drive down the street itself, he'd park among the side-streets. It seemed a little odd but we didn't argue. We got out of the car, the acid kicked in and everything was just whoah, psychedelic and very... I mean, it was just completely fine. We went into a shop and noticed that all these people were following us. They had recognised George as we walked past them in the street, then turned to follow us. One minute there were five, then ten, twenty, thirty and forty people behind us. I could hear them saying, 'The Beatles are here, the Beatles are in town!'

We were expecting Haight-Ashbury to be special, a creative and artistic place, filled with Beautiful People, but it was horrible - full of ghastly drop-outs, bums and spotty youths, all out of their brains. Everybody looked stoned - even mothers and babies - and they were so close behind us they were treading on the backs of our heels. It got to the point where we couldn't stop for fear of being trampled. Then somebody said, 'Let's go to Hippie Hill,' and we crossed the grass, our retinue facing us, as if we were on stage. They looked as us expectantly - as if George was some kind of Messiah.

We were so high, and then the inevitable happened: a guitar emerged from the crowd and I could see it being passed to the front by outstretched arms. I thought, Oh, God, poor George, this is a nightmare. Finally the guitar was handed to him. I had the feeling that they'd listened to the Beatles' records, analysed them, learnt what they'd thought they should learn, and taken every drug they'd thought the Beatles were singing about. Now they wanted to know where to go next. And George was there, obviously, to give them the answer. Pressure.

George was so cool. He said, 'This is G, this is E, this is D,' and showed them a few chords, then handed back the guitar and said, 'Sorry, man, we've got to go now.' He didn't sing - he couldn't have: he was flying. We all were. I was surprised he could even do that.

Anyway, we got up and walked back towards our limo, at which point I heard a little voice say, 'Hey, George, do you want some STP?'

George turned around and said, 'No, thanks, I'm cool, man.'

Then the bloke turned round and said to the others, 'George Harrison turned me down.'

And they went, 'No!'

And then the crowd became faintly hostile. We sensed it because when you're that high you're very aware of vibes, and we were walking faster and faster, and they were following.

When we saw the limo, we ran across the road and jumped in, and they ran after us and started to rock the car, and the windows were full of these faces, flattened against the glass, looking at us.

Pattie Boyd
Wonderful Tonight

 

George and Pattie Harrison with Derek Taylor in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, 7 August 1967We also went to see my sister Jenny, who was living with a friend in San Francisco. We flew there in a private Lear jet with Derek Taylor and Neil Aspinall and were met by a limo, then picked up Jenny, and we all went to have lunch. Afterwards we thought it would be fun to go and have a look at Haight-Ashbury, the district that had been taken over by hippies. Musicians like Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin lived there, and it was the LSD capital of America. On the way, Derek produced a tab. Would we like some? Since we were going to Haight-Ashbury, it seemed silly not to.

The area is named after the intersection of two streets, Haight and Ashbury, and as we approached, the driver said he wouldn't drive down the street itself, he'd park among the side-streets. It seemed a little odd but we didn't argue. We got out of the car, the acid kicked in and everything was just whoah, psychedelic and very... I mean, it was just completely fine. We went into a shop and noticed that all these people were following us. They had recognised George as we walked past them in the street, then turned to follow us. One minute there were five, then ten, twenty, thirty and forty people behind us. I could hear them saying, 'The Beatles are here, the Beatles are in town!'

We were expecting Haight-Ashbury to be special, a creative and artistic place, filled with Beautiful People, but it was horrible - full of ghastly drop-outs, bums and spotty youths, all out of their brains. Everybody looked stoned - even mothers and babies - and they were so close behind us they were treading on the backs of our heels. It got to the point where we couldn't stop for fear of being trampled. Then somebody said, 'Let's go to Hippie Hill,' and we crossed the grass, our retinue facing us, as if we were on stage. They looked as us expectantly - as if George was some kind of Messiah.

We were so high, and then the inevitable happened: a guitar emerged from the crowd and I could see it being passed to the front by outstretched arms. I thought, Oh, God, poor George, this is a nightmare. Finally the guitar was handed to him. I had the feeling that they'd listened to the Beatles' records, analysed them, learnt what they'd thought they should learn, and taken every drug they'd thought the Beatles were singing about. Now they wanted to know where to go next. And George was there, obviously, to give them the answer. Pressure.

George and Pattie Harrison in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, 7 August 1967

George was so cool. He said, 'This is G, this is E, this is D,' and showed them a few chords, then handed back the guitar and said, 'Sorry, man, we've got to go now.' He didn't sing - he couldn't have: he was flying. We all were. I was surprised he could even do that.

Anyway, we got up and walked back towards our limo, at which point I heard a little voice say, 'Hey, George, do you want some STP?'

George turned around and said, 'No, thanks, I'm cool, man.'

Then the bloke turned round and said to the others, 'George Harrison turned me down.'

And they went, 'No!'

And then the crowd became faintly hostile. We sensed it because when you're that high you're very aware of vibes, and we were walking faster and faster, and they were following.

When we saw the limo, we ran across the road and jumped in, and they ran after us and started to rock the car, and the windows were full of these faces, flattened against the glass, looking at us.