Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 9, 1967

Regent Sound Studios, Tottenham Court Rd. London

The Beatles' first EMI session at a British studio other than Abbey Road. Regent Sound was one of the few independently owned facilities in London at this time.

No longer a member of EMI staff, George Martin was free to travel with the Beatles, but balance engineer Geoff Emerick and the usual crew of Abbey Road tape ops were all EMI employees so they couldn't go along. Adrian Ibbetson, chief engineer at Regent Sound, filled Emerick's role for this session, in which three takes of Paul's new song "Fixing A Hole" were recorded, the second being "best". (Start and finish times for the session weren't noted down).

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 8, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

A 7:00 pm to 2:15 am session in which the Beatles taped eight fairly straightforward rhythm track takes of a new song, John's "Good Morning Good Morning", its title inspired by a British TV commercial for Kellogg's cornflakes.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 7, 1967

Knole Park, Sevenoaks

To complete the "Penny Lane" clip, the Beatles returned to Knole Park during the late morning and filmed two final sequences; one in which they rode their white horses out through an archway in a ruined wall, and around the wall to their right; the other in which, despite the bitterly cold weather, they sat at a dinner table by the furthest of two nearby ponds and were served with their instruments by two bewigged men (one of whom was Mal Evans).

Following final editing, the superb promotional clips for "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were quickly distributed/sold to important television stations around the world. In Britain they were screened mostly by the BBC - a 1 minute 10 seconds extract from "Penny Lane" was shown on Juke Box Jury on Saturday, February 11th.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 6, 1967

The Beatles enjoying a break between clips of "Penny Lane".

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 5, 1967

Filming: Penny Lane

Angel Lane, Stratford, London

The Beatles began making the promo film for Penny Lane on this day. It was a two-day shoot, completed two days later.

For this first day they were filmed in and around Angel Lane in Stratford, London. The Beatles rode horses and walked in the area between midday and 4pm.

The cast, crew and The Beatles were based at the Salway Arms pub for the day when they weren't filming. Work was delayed by the late arrival of the red hunting jackets worn by the group; eventually a newspaper distributor named Ernie Smith drove to Commercial Road in Stepney to collect them.

The Beatles rode white horses down Angel Lane and across a car park. Lennon was filmed walking alone on the street, and meeting the rest of the group by the Theatre Royal.

Much of Angel Lane was redeveloped in the 1970s to make way for the Stratford Centre, and a new pedestrian area, The Mall, was built over the old street.

Filming continued on the following day in Knole Park in Sevenoaks, Kent. Footage around the Penny Lane area of Liverpool was also filmed at an unknown date by director Peter Goldmann, without The Beatles' involvement.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 4, 1967

Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 3, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

More overdubs onto take six of "A Day In The Life". Paul re-recorded his vocal track, and also bass, and Ringo's wiped his original drum track in favor of a new and distinctive tom-tom sound. The session took place from 7:00 pm to 1:15 am.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 2, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Overdubbing of Paul's lead and the group's backing vocal onto "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", followed by a reduction mixdown of take nine into take ten, ready for future overdubs. A rough mono mix, for acetate-cutting purposes, was made at the end of the 7:00 pm-1:45 am session.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 1, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios

It wasn't going to be Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band until "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" came along. That is, the album was not  "The Sgt. Pepper Project" until the recording of this Paul McCartney song and Paul's realisation soon afterwards that the Beatles could pretend they were actually "Sgt. Pepper's Band", the remaining songs on the LP forming part of a show given by the fictitious combo. Takes one to nine of the title song's rhythm track were recorded during the 7:00 pm-2:30 am session.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: January 31, 1967

Filming: Strawberry Fields Forever

Knole Park, Sevenoaks

The Beatles returned to Sevenoaks during this afternoon, staying through to the evening and completing in that time the "Strawberry Fields Forever" clip. Among the scenes shot this day was the one where Paul dropped own from a high branch in the dead oak tree and ran backwards to a piano - a sequence which, when played in reverse, showed Paul running towards the tree and jumping uo onto the branch. All clever stuff, inspired, no doubt, by the Beatle's present fascination with backwards recordings.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn