Close

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, June 22, 1963

Television Theatre, London and Ballroom, Town Hall, Cross St. Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

While George, Paul and Ringo travelled to Wales in the van with road manager Neil Aspinall, John stayed on in London to tape an appearance on the BBC Television show Juke Box Jury, and extraordinarily popular program at this time, in which new singles came up for "Hit" or "Miss" judgement, signified, respectively, by either the pinging of a bell or the sounding of a klaxon.

This particular edition was transmitted the following Saturday, June 29th, from 6:35 to 7:00 pm, hosted by DJ David Jacobs. The four-person "jury" was usually chosen to represent different walks of show business so along with John Lennon on this occasion there was TV personality Catherine (Katie) Boyle, actor Bruce Prochnik and actress Caroline Maudling.

John's appearance caused something of a stir, in that he openly stated negative views of every single one of the discs up for review, whereas panel members customarily kept any comments in non-offensive terms. The records reviewed in this edition were "Southend" by Cleo Laine, "So much in love", by the Tymes, "Devil in disguise" by Elvis Presley (John said of his former idol that he now sounded like Bing Crosby), "The click song" by Miriam Makeba, "On top of spaghetti", by Tom Glaser, "Flamenco" by Russ Conway, "First Quarrel" by Paul and Paula and "Don't ever let me down" by Julie Grant. Thanks to John's influence, the panel voted every one of them a "Miss" except for the Presley single. (Three other songs were taped but omitted from the broadcast, "Lies", by Johnny Sandon and the Remo Four, "Too late to worry" by Richard Anthony, and "Just one look" by Doris Troy. Sandon and the Remo Four were Liverpool contemporaries of the Beatles, and Doris Troy would one day be signed to their Apple record label.)

The Juke Box Jury session kept John in London until well in the evening, there was a camera rehearsal from 7:45 to 8:00, a sound and vision test between 8:00 and 8:30 and the recording itself ran from 8:30 to 9:15. Immediately after this John was driven to Battersea Heliport from where he flew to Wales in a helicopter especially chartered by Brian Epstein at a cost of £100. He touched down at the Penypound football ground in Abergavenny at 9:50 pm, just in time for the £250 engagement.

Comments
Leave your comment
: