Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 8, 1966

The Beatles were lounging around (except John) after the long US tour.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 7, 1966

The Beatles were taking a break after the US Tour.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 6, 1966

John Lennon begins wearing ‘granny’ glasses

In preparation for his role in Richard Lester's film How I Won The War, John Lennon was given an army-style haircut and a pair of new glasses to wear.

Lennon's haircut took place in the breakfast room of the bar The Inn On The Heath hotel in Celle, near Hanover, West Germany. The short-back-and-sides, performed by 28-year-old German hairdresser Klaus Baruch, made headlines around the world.

Baruch shaved off Lennon's sideburns, swept back his fringe and greased it down. The cut hair was later burnt to prevent it being sold.

Although the hairstyle proved a temporary measure, the old-fashioned round National Health 'granny' glasses quickly became a trademark of his public image. They became soon fashionable, and he retained the look until the end of his life.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 5, 1966

John Lennon flies to Hanover, Germany

Having finished touring and enjoying a break from recording, The Beatles were free to explore solo projects for the first time.

John Lennon accepted an invitation from director Richard Lester to appear in his film How I Won The War and said: There were many reasons for doing it: a) it was Dick Lester and he asked me; b) it was anti-war; and c) I didn't know what to do because The Beatles had stopped touring and I thought if I stopped and thought about it I was going to have a big bum trip for nine months so I tried to avoid the depression of the change of life by leaping into the movie. The thing I remember is that Dick Lester had more fun than I did.

Lester gave Lennon the role of Private Gripweed. It wasn't a major part, but did represent a welcome distraction from the otherwise idling Beatle. It was also his first - and only - acting role away from the group.

On this day he flew to Hanover, Germany, for the first part of filming. He stayed in the country until 15 September, filming at a NATO tank range in Celle, a town situated just outside Hanover.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 4, 1966

The Beatles enjoying their break after the US Tour.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 3, 1966

The Beatles taking a break after their long tour.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 2, 1966

The Beatles taking a break after the US final tour.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 1, 1966

The Beatles arrived back in London, ending their final tour of America. Although the group had gone their separate ways in January and February of that year for various trips with their spouses etc. they seemed anxious to begin new solo adventures immediately upon their return.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 31, 1966

The Beatles are taking a rest after the US Tour

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 30, 1966

The Beatles ended their United States tour on a noisy note of triumph last night, to the cheering adulation of 25,000 screaming worshipers in Candlestick Park.

For 33 minutes they sang their songs from a big, well-guarded stage at the edge of the infield grass as their audience literally shrieked the intensity of its pleasure.

The crowd had been noisy before, applauding the earlier acts on the program, but at 9:27 it really let loose: The moment was at hand. The four musical Englishmen - wearing dark Lincoln-green double-breasted Edwardian suits and open-collared silk shirts - suddenly emerged from the Giants' dugout and ran to the big, fenced-in stage above second base. Bedlam.

They opened with "Rock and Roll Music" and closed with "Long Tall Sally" - singing 11 songs in all before they quit at 10 p.m. And during every moment of it, the Beatles had this peculiar little world squarely in their hands.

And the crowd, although howlingly appreciative, was, at the same time, markedly well-behaved.

During the entire time the Beatles were on the field, there were just three attempts by frenzied fans to reach them:

At 9:40 p.m., a group of about five boys climbed over a fence from the nearly empty center field bleachers and sprinted toward the rear of the infield stage. A covey of private police quickly intercepted them.

At 9:47 p.m., another group of about the same size tried the same tactic over the same route - and with the same result.

And just after 10 p.m. as the Beatles were leaving the stage, a husky disheveled boy jumped onto the field near third base - and put up a rousing battle with four guards before he was subdued.

The weather was pleasant - clear with only sporadic winds and reasonably mild temperatures, although Paul McCartney, in telling the audience goodbye, apologized for the cold.

Their stage, for instance, was also a cage. It was a platform elevated 5 feet above the infield surface, and it was surrounded by a metal storm fence 6 feet high.

Police - private and otherwise - were everywhere.