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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 25, 1967

The Beatles travel to Bangor

Following their initial meeting with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on 24 August 1967, The Beatles, along with Cynthia Lennon, Pattie Harrison, her sister Jenny, Alexis Mardas, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, travelled to Bangor, north Wales, to embark upon a 10-day conference on Transcendental Meditation.

Cyn and I were thinking of going to Libya, until this came up. Libya or Bangor? Well, there was no choice, was there?
John Lennon, 1967
Anthology

 

The Beatles were to travel on the same train as Maharishi and his party. The resulting press scrum meant that their departure was anything but smooth, however.

 

It was a bright, sunny morning when we set off. I was ready early, but Pattie, George, and Ringo were coming in our car, and were late. By the time Anthony drew up at the station entrance we were cutting it fine and had five minutes to catch the train. John leapt out of the car with the others and ran for the platform - leaving me to follow with our bags. It was the result of years in which he'd taken it for granted that others would see to all the details. I followed him as fast as I could. The station was mayhem, with fans, reporters, police and passengers all milling around. I struggled to push my way through, but when I got to the platform my way was barred by a huge policeman who, unaware that I was with the Beatles party, said, 'Sorry, love, too late, the train's going,' and pushed me aside.

 

I shouted for someone to help. John poked his head out of the train window, saw what was happening and yelled, 'Tell him you're with us! Tell him to let you on.'

 

It was too late. The train was already pulling away from the platform and I was left standing with our bags, tears pouring down my cheeks. It was horribly embarrassing. Reporters were crowding around me, flashbulbs were popping and I felt a complete fool. Peter Brown, Brian's assistant, had come to see us off: he put his arm around me and said he'd take me to Bangor by car. 'We'll probably get there before the train,' he assured me, anxious to cheer me up.

But what neither he nor anyone else knew was that my tears were not simply about the missed train. I was crying because the incident seemed symbolic of what was happening to my marriage. John was on the train, speeding into the future, and I was left behind.

Cynthia Lennon
John

Neil Aspinall drove Cynthia to Bangor, in a journey lasting around six hours, and she rejoined The Beatles' party. Aspinall went to see friends staying in a caravan in north Wales, and didn't attend any of Maharishi's lectures.

The Beatles, meanwhile, were in a first class compartment, travelling for the first time in many years without their manager Brian Epstein or their assistants Aspinall and Mal Evans. Maharishi was in another first class compartment, seated cross-legged on a white sheet laid out by his followers.

As the train approached Bangor The Beatles discussed travelling onto the next station to avoid the waiting camera crews and reporters, and taking taxis to Bangor instead. Maharishi, however, told them they should stick close to him, which they duly did.

Maureen had had the baby and everything was really cool, so we all went to Wales to meet Maharishi. He didn't know who we were then, which was really fabulous. Only when we got off the train and he saw all the kids running, I think then he may have felt, 'Wow, things are looking up for me.' They ran right past him and were looking in our faces, and I think he realised that these boys could get his message across real fast.
Ringo Starr
Anthology

The group were staying in dormitories at Bangor college, along with around 300 other followers of Maharishi. The rooms contained bunk beds and basic chests of drawers - a far cry from the comforts The Beatles were used to.

It was a bit funny going to those camps because it was like going back to school. Just the nature of it meant staying in a classroom and we'd been used to our nice comfortable homes or hotels so to be staying in an old school on a camp bed was a little bit disconcerting. Then trying to learn to meditate. It's not that easy, you don't just pick it up like that, it's an effort and you've got to be involved, so it was like going back to school. And of course the food was all canteen food. But we were interested enough to learn the system, which we did.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

That evening the group, plus Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, went to the Senior Chinese restaurant, the only such establishment open late in Bangor. At the end of the meal they realised they didn't have enough money between them to pay the bill.

We went out to a Chinese restaurant in Bangor and ate on our own - just the Beatles, myself, maybe one or two others. When the bill came, we couldn't pay. The Chinese waiter amazingly didn't recognize them, and he was afraid we were going to do a runner. Suddenly, George put his bare foot on the table and opened the sole of his sandal, where he had hidden a £20 note. The Beatles were like the royal family. They didn't have money, didn't use money. But George had put this £20 note there just for this sort of situation.
Hunter Davies
 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 24, 1967

The Beatles meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Encouraged by Pattie Harrison, The Beatles and their partners - minus Ringo and Maureen Starkey, whose second child Jason had been born five days previously - attended a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, London.

Tickets for the lecture cost seven shillings and sixpence each.

Maharishi came to a hall in London and we all got tickets and sat down near the front row. There were a lot of flowers on the stage and he came on and sat cross-legged. And he looked great and he talked very well and started to explain, and I still think his idea is fine.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The Harrisons had become interested in Eastern philosophy during a six-week holiday in Bombay towards the end of 1966. The following year Pattie attended a lecture on Transcendental Meditation at Caxton Hall, London, where she had been given her mantra. Inspired by her new discovery, she encouraged George to accompany her to Maharishi's lecture at the Hilton.

Then, joy of joys, I discovered that Maharishi was coming to London in August to give a lecture at the Hilton Hotel. I was desperate to go, and George said he would come too. Paul had already heard of him and was interested, and in the end we all went - George, John, Paul, Ringo, Jane and I. Maharishi was every bit as impressive as I thought he would be, and we were spellbound.

At the end we went to speak to him and he said we must go to Wales where he was running a ten-day summer conference of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement. It started in two days' time. We leapt at it.A press conference followed the lecture, after which a 90-minute private audience with Maharishi was held for Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and the rest of their party. The yogi's words left them keen to learn more, and they made arrangements to travel to Bangor, North Wales, the next day to attend the weekend seminar being held there.On August 24, all of us except Ringo attended the lecture, given by Maharishi at the Hilton Hotel. I got the tickets. I was actually after a mantra. I had got to the point where I thought I would like to meditate. I'd read about it and I knew I needed a mantra - a password to get through into the other world. And, as we always seemed to do everything together, John and Paul came with me.

George Harrison
Anthology

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 23, 1967

Recording: Your Mother Should Know

Chappell Recording Studios, London
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: John Timperley

This was the second recording session for the Magical Mystery Tour song Your Mother Should Know, and took place at the independent London studio Chappell.

A reduction mix was firstly created to allow for more overdubs. This mix, numbered take nine, combined both of Paul McCartney's vocal tracks into one, and piano and drums onto another.

Two more tracks of backing vocals were then recorded, and rhythm guitar added to the choruses. The song was then left until 16 September 1967.

This was The Beatles' final recording session prior to the death of their manager Brian Epstein on August 27, 1967. Epstein was actually present during this session, although his involvement was minimal.

He came in to hear the playbacks looking extremely down and in a bad mood. He just stood at the back of the room listening, not saying much.
John Timperley
Source: The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
 
The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 22, 1967

Recording: Your Mother Should Know

Chappell Recording Studios, London
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: John Timperley

The Beatles' first recording session since June 26, 1967 took place at Chappell Recording Studios in Maddox Street, London, as EMI Studios was fully booked.

The Beatles worked on Your Mother Should Know, a Paul McCartney composition written for the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack. They recorded eight takes of the backing track, with McCartney on piano and Ringo Starr on drums.

McCartney then added two vocal overdubs onto the eighth take, and a rough mix was made. An acetate disc was pressed of this mix, and was used during the production of the Magical Mystery Tour film.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 21, 1967

The Beatles enjoying a little break

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 20, 1967

Ringo Starr arrives at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in London August 20, 1967, to visit his wife Maureen and their newly born, second son.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 19, 1967

Jason Starkey is born

Ringo Starr and Maureen Starkey's second son, Jason, was born on 19 August 1967. He was the third Beatles baby after Julian Lennon and Zak Starkey.

Like his elder brother, Jason was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Hammersmith, London. His name was chosen by his mother.

In later years Jason worked in the music industry, becoming a road manager and drummer. He once described his famous family as a burden, saying: "Being Ringo Starr's son is the biggest drag of my life. It's a total pain."

In 1987 Jason Starkey was fined £125 after being caught stealing a car stereo, and two years later appeared twice in court on drugs charges. He played in a succession of bands including Buddy Curtis and the Grasshoppers, The People's Friend, Empire Of Sponge, and with his brother Zak, Musty Jack Sponge and the Exploding Nudists.

Despite his earlier problems with drugs and the law, Jason settled down in England with his wife Flora and two sons Louie and Sonny.

 

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