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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 1, 1966

The documentary film of The Beatles' August 15, 1965 concert at New York's Shea Stadium had its world première on BBC 1 in the UK on this day.

The concert had been filmed by Sullivan Productions, owned by Ed Sullivan, in association with Brian Epstein's NEMS Enterprises and Subafilms, the company co-owned by Epstein and The Beatles.

The 48-minute programme was shown in black and white on the BBC's main channel. The songs She's A Woman and Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby were left out of the final edit, which also featured audio overdubs recorded in London on January 5, 1966.

In the US the film was shown in colour in cinemas. Press advertisements were designed by Klaus Voormann, The Beatles' friend from Hamburg who designed the cover artwork for Revolver later in 1966.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 28, 1966 (Monday)

February 28, 1966 – Cavern Club (which famously gave rise to the Beatles) in Liverpool closes due to massive debts.

Over 10,000 pounds (about $16,600 US dollars) in debt, the owners of Liverpool's famous Cavern Club -- where the Beatles got their start -- decide to close the rock institution. 100 fans barricade themselves in the club, but to no avail. The venue would later become a subway station, although the Cavern would eventually reopen in a different location.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 27, 1966 (Sunday)

Nowhere Man

This is probably the first Beatles song that has nothing to do with love.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 26, 1966 (Saturday)

The Beatles' LP "Rubber Soul" rose to #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart, becoming the group's seventh US album chart topper. Paul McCartney conceived the album's title after overhearing someone's description of Mick Jagger's singing style as "plastic soul."

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 25, 1966 (Friday)

Back From Barbados

February 25, 1966 - Arriving back at London airport from their Caribbean honeymoon, Beatle George Harrison and his wife Pattie step into dear-old-wet-old-windy-old-London yesterday. “It was a smashing holiday,” said Pattie, who looked quite out of place in her Caribbean gear: open sandals, short-short skirt, op art linen jacket, in navy blue and white - and no stockings. George, 23 yesterday, was still waiting for his wife’s present. “I haven’t given it to him yet,” said Pattie, “I can’t tell you what it is - it’s still a secret.”

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 24, 1966 (Thursday)

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 23, 1966 (Wednesday)

Nowhere Man

John Lennon - I'd spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down. Then 'Nowhere Man' came, words and music... the whole damn thing, as I lay down. So letting it go is what the whole game is. You put your finger on it, it slips away, right? You know, you turn the lights on and the cockroaches run away. You can never grasp them.

Paul McCartney - I remember we wanted very treble-y guitars-- which they are-- they're among the most treble-y guitars I've ever heard on record. The engineer said, 'Alright, I'll put full treble on it,' and we said, 'That's not enough.' He said, 'But that's all I've got.' And we replied, 'Well, put that through another lot of faders and put full treble up on that. And if that's not enough we'll go through another lot of faders.' They said, 'We don't do that,' and we would say, 'Just try it... if it sounds crappy we'll lose it, but it might just sound good.' You'd then find, 'Oh it worked,' and they were secretly glad because they had been the engineer who put three times the allowed value of treble on a song. I think they were quietly proud of those things.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 22, 1966 (Tuesday)

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 21, 1966 (Monday)

"Nowhere Man" is a song on their album Rubber Soul. The song was written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon-McCartney).

Recorded on 21 and 22 October 1965, "Nowhere Man" is one of the first Beatles songs to be entirely unrelated to romance or love, and marks a notable instance of Lennon's philosophically oriented songwriting. It was released as a single (although not in the United Kingdom) on 21 February 1966, and reached number 1 in Australia and Canada and number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Similar to what happened a year earlier ("Eight Days a Week" and "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" were on Beatles for Sale but not on Beatles '65), "Nowhere Man" and "What Goes On" were not on the U.S. version of Rubber Soul (released in December around the same time as the British version), but were back-to-back on a subsequent single and later (in June) on an album (Yesterday and Today).

Lennon, McCartney, and George Harrison sing the song in three-part harmony. The song appears in the film Yellow Submarine, where the Beatles sing it about the character Jeremy Hillary Boob after meeting him in the "nowhere land".

George and John play identical "sonic blue" Fender Stratocasters—John plays in the verses and George on the solo.

Lennon claimed that he wrote the song about himself. He wrote it after racking his brain in desperation for five hours, trying to come up with another song for Rubber Soul. Lennon told  Playboy magazine:

I'd spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down. Then 'Nowhere Man' came, words and music, the whole damn thing as I lay down.

McCartney said of the song:

That was John after a night out, with dawn coming up. I think at that point, he was a bit...wondering where he was going, and to be truthful so was I. I was starting to worry about him.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 20, 1966 (Sunday)

The Bob Dylan World Tour 1966 was a concert tour undertaken by American musician Bob Dylan, from February to May 1966. .... Hall in London saw the biggest walkouts of the tour, but there was some support, as The Beatles were in the audience, shouting down the hecklers. ... February 20, 1966, Montreal · Place des Arts 50 years ago today.....