Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 27, 1966

It was a quiet day.....

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 26, 1966

Brian Epstein is hospitalized in London

The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein had been suffering from depression and anxiety for some time, a condition exacerbated by his use of drugs - both prescribed and illegal.

His anxiety had heightened following The Beatles decision to stop touring, which left Epstein with less involvement in their careers. Each member was undertaking individual projects in the late summer of 1966, and he had intended to join John Lennon in Spain on the set of How I Won The War.

On this day, however, Epstein was hospitalized in a London clinic. The official given reason was that it was a check-up, although it later transpired that he had overdosed on prescribed drugs. As a result, he was forced to cancel his visit to Spain in order to recuperate.

Although Epstein is known to have made later suicide attempts, it is believed that this overdose was accidental.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 25, 1966

John's making a movie, George is in India. What are Paul and Ringo doing?

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 24, 1966

The Beatles doing their own thing....

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 23, 1966

George Harrison taking selfies in India

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 22, 1966

50 Years ago today


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 21, 1966

The Beatles just doing their own thing.....

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 20, 1966

BBC interview with George Harrison

The day after he held a press conference at the Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay (Mumbai), India, George Harrison granted an exclusive interview to the BBC.

Harrison was in India to study yoga and the sitar. He was interviewed by the BBC's radio correspondent in the country, Donald Milner. The pair discussed Harrison's spiritual beliefs and Eastern philosophy for around 10 minutes.

More than seven minutes from the interview were broadcast on the BBC Home Service in the UK on Sunday 11 December 1966, from 4-4.30pm, on The Lively Arts. An extract lasting 2'25" was also broadcast on Pick Of The Week on 16 December from 12.10pm.

George Harrison "Selfie"

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 19, 1966

Presentation of prizes of 'Melody Maker'. The Beatles have been voted British & International Sections in the 1966 Poll. Ringo and Paul attend.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 18, 1966

John Lennon travels to Carboneras, Spain

Following the initial filming period in Celle, West Germany, John Lennon traveled to southern Spain on this day to continue work on Richard Lester's How I Won The War.

I was always waiting for a reason to get out of The Beatles from the day I made How I Won the War in 1966. I just didn't have the guts to do it, you see. Because I didn't know where to go. I remember why I made the movie. I did it because The Beatles had stopped touring and I didn't know what to do. Instead of going home and being with the family, I immediately went to Spain with Dick Lester because I couldn't deal with not being continually onstage. That was the first time I though, 'My God, what do you do if this isn't going on? What is there? There's no life without it.' And that's when the seed was planted that I had to somehow get out of this, without being thrown out by the others. But I could never step out of the palace because it was too frightening.

I was really too scared to walk away. I was thinking, 'Well, this is the end, really. There's no more touring. That means there's going to be a blank space in the future.' At some time or other that's when I started considering life without The Beatles - what would it be? And I spent that six weeks thinking about that: 'What am I going to do? Am I going to be doing Vegas? But cabaret?' I mean, where do you go? So that's when I started thinking about it. But I could not think what it would be, or how I could do it. I didn't even consider forming my own group or anything, because it didn't enter my mind. Just what would I do when it stopped?

Lennon had the part of Private Gripweed in the film, which was released in 1967. He remained in Spain for seven weeks, initially staying at a small seafront apartment but later moving to a villa, Santa Isabel, near Almería.

Santa Isabel was owned by producer Sam Spiegal. Lennon stayed there with his wife Cynthia, and The Beatles' assistant Neil Aspinall. Also staying in the house was actor Michael Crawford, the star of How I Won The War, and his family.

Lennon also took his Rolls-Royce with blacked out windows to Spain. The car had a microphone and mounted loudspeaker, and Lennon took delight in surprising passers-by.

When John went to make How I Won The War in Spain, he took the same car, which he virtually lived in. It had blacked-out windows and you could never see who was in it, so it was perfect. John didn't come out of it - he just used to talk to the people outside through the microphone: 'Get away from the car! Get away!' - Paul McCartney