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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 16, 1966

Studio Two, Television Centre, London and Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Although by June 1966 it had been running for over two years, The Beatles had never previously appeared live on the BBC music show Top Of The Pops. They had pre-recorded exclusive performances in BBC studios, or sent promotional clips to be played on the show.

That changed on this day, with a studio performance of new single Paperback Writer. The Beatles had agreed two days previously, when manager Brian Epstein passed on a request from Top Of The Pops producer Johnnie Stewart. Unusually, on this occasion The Beatles agreed.

The group arrived at BBC Television Centre at 2.30pm for a rehearsal for the camera, and to pose for publicity photographs and conduct press interviews. More rehearsals followed between 4.15pm and 5.30, and from 6.30pm to 7pm.

The live broadcast took place between 7.30pm and 8pm on BBC One. The Beatles were the final act to appear, and mimed to both Paperback Writer and its b-side, Rain. They were introduced by host Pete Murray.

The Beatles' only appearance on Top Of The Pops was, with the exception of the worldwide satellite transmission of All You Need Is Love on June 25, 1967, their final live television appearance as a group.

Immediately after the television broadcast the Beatles headed for St. John's Wood and a recording session at EMI. Arranged to begin at 7:00 pm, they couldn't have arrived much before 8:30, working through until 3:30 am perfecting "Here, There And Everywhere" with nine more takes and a fresh set of overdubs onto the "best" rhythm track, take 13. A 14th take was created by reduction, onto which Paul superimposed his lead vocal, slowed down on the tape to sound speeded up on playback.

 

 

 

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