John installed a home studio at Kenwood, and over the next months he experimented with creating many avant-garde sounds, plus one-man demos of his new compositions.
The album Rubber Soul entered the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Motown Records in Detroit claimed that their top writing and production team, Holland, Dozier & Holland, had been asked by The Beatles to compose several songs for their next album.
Brian Epstein travelled to New York to sign contracts for the next Beatles US tour, scheduled to take place in the summer.
CTS Studios: The Beatles re-recorded and overdubbed sections of The Beatles At Shea Stadium soundtrack because the audience screaming and technical problems meant that the live sound was not up to exhibition standard. 'I Feel Fine' and 'Help!' were re-recorded from scratch.
John and Cynthia entertained P.J. Proby at their home then drove back to London in John's black Rolls Royce to Proby's house off the King's Road, Chelsea, where he was giving a party. John returned home at dawn.
John and Ringo met at John's to discuss The Beatles' next film.
Paul went to Liverpool to visit his family.
John, George and Ringo went to a party given by Mick Jagger at his home. The album Rubber Soul reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The single 'We Can Work It Out' reached number one in the Billboard singles
Brian Epstein flew from New York to the Bahamas, to discuss the handling of The Beatles' offshore bank accounts, officially based in that country.
John, Cynthia, Ringo and Maureen flew to Port of Spain, Trinidad, for a winter holiday.
George and Patti met up with Mick Jagger and Chrissie Shrimpton for a night of dancing at Dolly's nightclub on Jermyn Street, in the West End.
Folk singer Donovan revealed that his next single would be a tribute to The Beatles, entitled 'For John And Paul'.
George married Patricia Anne Boyd at the Leatherhead and Esher Register Office, Surrey. Paul and Brian Epstein were the Best Men; John and Ringo were still away on holiday, and unable to attend.
That evening, the couple celebrated with a party at "Kinfauns", George's American-style villa in Esher.
George and Patti gave a press conference before being driven to Heathrow to fly to Barbados for their honeymoon. "How did you manage to keep it a secret?", a reporter asked George. "Simple," he replied. "We didn't tell anyone."
John and Cynthia, Ringo and Maureen returned from Trinidad.
Tickets went on sale for the New Musical Express Pollwinners Concert on May 1, at which it had already been confirmed that The Beatles would headline. All the seats were sold within three days.
Peter Sellers' send-up of 'A Hard Day's Night'/'Help!' was released in the US.
John returns the advance he's been given by Jonathan Cape for his third book, effectively cancelling the project.
John: "I should have finished a new book. It's supposed to be out this month. But I've only done one page. I thought, why should I break my back getting books out like records?"
Actor David McCallum announced his plan to record an album of John's poetry.
Barry Miles and John Dunbar opened the Indica Bookshop in London's Covent Garden; Paul designed the promotional flyers for the shop, and also the wrapping paper.
Paul and art dealer Robert Fraser flew to Paris for a few days, so that Paul could meet artists and purchase work to hang in his new St. John's Wood home.
Paul saw Stevie Wonder perform at the Scotch St James's and visited with him backstage afterwards. Paul was very pleased to see him because he had always been one of his favourite Motown acts.
'Woman' by Peter & Gordon, written by Paul as Bernard Webb, entered the Billboard charts at number 83.
John and Ringo spent a night at the Scotch St James's.
The Grammy Awards Committee in New York nominated The Beatles for ten awards -divided between six nominations for 'Yesterday', and a further four for 'Help!'
The single 'Nowhere Man'/'What Goes On' was released in the US as Capitol 5587.
Paul attended a lecture and taped performance by Luciano Berio at the Italian Institute. He and Berio spoke afterwards but there were too many press and Italian embassy people present for them to relax.
The single 'Woman' by Peter & Gordon, written by Paul as Bernard Webb, entered the UK charts at number 47.
The Cavern was closed by the Official Receiver with debts of £10,000. The Police had to break down barricades to evict fans who had holed up inside to resist the closure.
Paul placed an advertisement in the underground magazine Global Moon Edition Of The Long Hair Times under the pseudonym 'Ian Iachimoe', requesting script ideas for an experimental film.
The Beatles At Shea Stadium was given its world premiere on BBC1 in black and white. It was originally filmed in colour, designed for the American market where it was shown in cinemas. Press advertisements for the show were designed by The Beatles' old friend from Hamburg, artist and musician Klaus Voormann.
Brian Epstein announced The Beatles' plans to tour Britain, Japan, the US and Germany during 1966.
The London Evening Standard published an interview with John Lennon by his friend Maureen Cleave. John: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that. I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first - rock'n'roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." His words upset no one in Great Britain but when they were reprinted in the US, Christian fundamentalists reacted with hate and outrage. The EP Yesterday was released in the UK as Parlophone GEP 8952 (mono). Side A:
'Yesterday', 'Act Naturally'; Side B: 'You Like Me Too Much', 'It's Only Love'.
Paul and Jane went skiing in Klosters, Switzerland.
The Beatles failed to win any of the ten Grammy awards for which they had been nominated. Capitol Records boss Allan Livingstone launched an official protest about the fact that Yesterday' had not been selected as "Song Of The Year". "It makes a mockery of the whole event," he complained.
NEMS had to confirm that Peter & Gordon's hit song, 'Woman' was written by Paul McCartney, though it was credited to Bernard Webb. Paul said he put a false name on it to see if it would still make the charts.
Paul and Jane returned from their holiday in Klosters.
Almost a year after he had purchased the house, his home in Cavendish Avenue, St. John's Wood was now finally ready for him and Jane to move in.
Photo session to provide new pictures of the group to publicise their next American album.
All of The Beatles and their wives and girlfriends attended the premiere of Lewis Gilbert's film Alfie, starring Jane Asher.
The Beatles did a photo session for Bob Whitaker at his studio at 1 The Vale, off the Kings Road, Chelsea.
THE 'BUTCHER' SLEEVE
The Beatles posed in white coats, using sides of meat and broken dolls as props.
John: "Bob was into Dali and making surreal pictures ... it was inspired by our boredom and resentment at having to do another photo session and another Beatles thing. We were sick to death of it... That combination produced that cover."
The image was used as the sleeve for their next American album, Yesterday . . . and Today but provoked a very negative reaction and was withdrawn. It was used in the UK in ads for the single 'Paperback Writer'.
While at Whitaker's studio, The Beatles posed for a second, more conventional photo session for Nigel Dickson, working for The Beatles Book fan magazine. They also recorded an interview with Radio Caroline DJ Tom Lodge which was released as a flexi-disc called Sound Of The Stars given away free in a promotion by Disc And Music Echo, part-owned by Brian Epstein.
Drake's Drum, the racehorse that Paul bought for his father, won the Hylton Plate at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, coming in at 20-1. Paul, his father and his brother Michael watched the race.
The Sunday Express newspaper announced that The Beatles had now sold the equivalent of 159 million singles all over the world.
Ringo and George met Roy Orbison backstage before his performance at the Granada Cinema, Walthamstow.
Despite heavy press speculation beforehand, which bolstered the attendance for the event, The Beatles did not make an unannounced appearance at the 1966 Top Pop Festival held in Lincoln.
Paul and John visited Indica Books and Gallery in Mason's Yard. John bought a copy of Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience and a reworking of the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, in the introduction of which he found the first line of 'Tomorrow Never Knows'.
Abbey Road. An 8pm until 1.15am session recording the backing tracks for John's 'Tomorrow Never Knows'.
John: "That's me in my Tibetan Book of the Dead period. I took one of Ringo's malapropisms as the title, to sort of take the edge off the heavy philosophical lyrics.
"Often the backing I think of early on never comes off. With 'Tomorrow Never Knows' I'd imagined in my head that in the background you would hear thousands of monks chanting. That was impractical, of course, and we did something different. It was a bit of a drag, and I didn't really like it. I should have tried to get near my original idea, the monks singing; I realise now that was what it wanted."
Paul: "That was an LSD song. Probably the only one."
John: "The new album could include literally anything - electronic music, jokes. One thing's for sure, it will be very different. We wanted to have the last record so that there was no space between the tracks-just continuous music throughout the whole LP. But EMI wouldn't wear it.
"Paul and I are very keen on this electronic music. You make it clinking a couple of glasses together, or with bleeps from the radio, then you loop the tape so that it repeats the same noises at intervals. Some people build up whole symphonies from it. It would have been better than the background music we had for the last film."
Abbey Road. Paul's looped tapes were added to provide the unique solo on 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. They began work on Paul's 'Got To Get You Into My Life'.
John: "I think that was one of his best songs, too, because the lyrics are good and I didn't write them."
Abbey Road. An afternoon and evening session resulted in the completion of a backing track for 'Got To Get You Into My Life.'
Afterwards they spent an evening in the clubs to unwind.
Abbey Road. First they did more work on 'Got To Get You Into My Life' and then spent most of the afternoon and evening sessions on George's 'Love You To'.
George: " 'Love You To' was one of the first tunes I wrote for sitar... this was the first song where I consciously tried to use sitar and tabia on the basic track. I overdubbed the guitars and vocal later."
Abbey Road. During the first session of the day they completed 'Love You To', then after a break for dinner, they recorded the backing tracks for 'Paperback Writer', finishing up at 2.30am. A photographer from the group's official fan magazine, The Beatles Book, was on hand to document the session.
Abbey Road. The afternoon was spent completing 'Paperback Writer' and the evening, until 1.30am, working on the future B-side 'Rain'.
Abbey Road. An afternoon and evening session during which they completed 'Rain'.
John: "I got home from the studio and I was stoned out of my mind on marijuana and, as I usually do, I listened to what I'd recorded that day. Somehow I got it on backwards and I sat there transfixed with the ear-phones on, with a big hash joint. I ran in the next day and said, 'I know what to do with it. I know... Listen to this!' So I made them all play it backwards. The fade is me actually singing backwards - 'Sharethsmnowthsmeaness'."
Ringo: "My favourite piece of me is what I did on 'Rain'. I think I just played amazing. I was into the snare and hi-hat. I think it was the first time I used this trick of starting a break by hitting the hi-hat first instead of going directly to a drum off the hi-hat... I think it's the best out of all the records I've ever made. 'Rain' blows me away. It's out of left field. I know me and I know my playing, and then there's 'Rain'."
Abbey Road. The Beatles laid down the backing tracks for John's 'Doctor Robert'.
John and George saw The Lovin' Spoonful play The Marquee, and then attended a London nightclub with Spencer Davis, Stevie Winwood, Tom McGuinness and Brian Jones. The Cavern Club was sold by a court receiver after going bankrupt.
Abbey Road. 'Doctor Robert' was completed.
Abbey Road. A 12-hour session from 2.30pm until 2.30am working on John's 'And Your Bird Can Sing', and rehearsals for George's 'Taxman'.
Abbey Road. 'Taxman' was finished, with Paul adding his distinctive guitar solo. George: "I was pleased to have him play that bit on 'Taxman'. If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me."
Abbey Road. The Beatles worked on 'Taxman' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows'.
Paul spent the day at John's, songwriting and discussing the album.
Abbey Road. The Beatles spent a 12-hour session, ending at 2.24am, working on 'And Your Bird Can Sing'.
Abbey Road. John's 'I'm Only Sleeping' was virtually finished when they called it a day at 3am.
Abbey Road. The session was spent recording the eight-piece string section for Paul's 'Eleanor Rigby'.
Paul: "That started off with sitting down at the piano and getting the first line of the melody, and playing around with words. I think it was 'Miss Daisy Hawkins' originally, then it was her picking up the rice in a church after a wedding. That's how nearly all our songs start, with the first line just suggesting itself from books or newspapers.
"At first I thought it was a young Miss Daisy Hawkins, a bit like 'Annabel Lee', but not so sexy, but then I saw I'd said she was picking up the rice in church, so she had to be a cleaner; she had missed the wedding, and she was suddenly lonely. In fact she had missed it all - she was the spinster type.
"Jane Asher was in a play in Bristol then, and I was walking round the streets waiting for her to finish. I didn't really like 'Daisy Hawkins' -1 wanted a name that was more real, and I got the name from a shop called 'Rigby'."
Abbey Road. The day was spent adding vocals to 'Eleanor Rigby' and to 'I'm Only Sleeping'.
Larry Taylor, manager of American crooner Tony Bennett, requested that John and Paul would write some new material for his client.
NME Poll Winners concert at Empire Pool, Wembley, with The Spencer Davis Group, Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch, The Fortunes, Herman's Hermits, Roy Orbison, The Overlanders, The Alan Price Set, Cliff Richard, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Shadows, The Small Faces, Sounds Incorporated, Dusty Springfield, Crispian St Peters, The Walker Brothers, The Who and The Yardbirds. The Beatles played a 15-minute set, for which they had staged a brief rehearsal the previous day, but Brian Epstein would not allow ABC TV to film it because they had not reached an agreement over the terms. They were permitted to film them receiving their Poll Winners Awards. This was The Beatles' last live appearance in the UK.
BBC Playhouse Theatre, London. The Beatles were interviewed by Brian Matthew for the 400th edition of Saturday Club.
Afterwards Paul and Ringo were interviewed separately for the BBC Overseas Service programme Pop Profile.
Abbey Road. George spent from 9.30pm until 3am recording the backwards guitar solo on 'I'm Only Sleeping'.
Abbey Road. The session was spent adding vocals to 'I'm Only Sleeping'.
The Liverpool poetry and music group, Scaffold, which included Paul's brother Mike, released their first single, '2 Days Monday'. Mike McCartney adopted the pseudonym 'Mike McGear' for his work with Scaffold, to avoid accusations that he was cashing in on his brother's success.
Abbey Road. Paul and Ringo worked on Paul's 'For No One'.
The Beatles had a night out at the Scotch St James's.
Melody Maker reported that The Beatles had sold over 1,000,000 records in Denmark.
ABC TV showed their film of The Beatles receiving their NME Poll Winners Awards.
Abbey Road. Paul added his vocal to 'For No One'.
Abbey Road. 'Got To Get You Into My Life' was recorded, using Eddie Thornton, Ian Hamer and Les Condon on trumpets and Peter Coe and Alan Branscombe on tenor saxes.
Abbey Road. Beginning at 10am The Beatles taped promotional clips of 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain' in both colour and black and white for television stations around the world. Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg had worked with them before at Ready Steady Go! and they were to use him again in the future.
They had lunch at the Genevieve restaurant on Thayer Street, near EMI, and taped more film in the afternoon. That evening Alan Civil recorded his celebrated French horn solo on 'For No One'.
The day was also spent shooting promotional films for 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain', this time on location at Chiswick House, London.
That evening John and Cynthia went to an all-night party with Mick Jagger and Chrissie Shrimpton.
Early the next morning John, Cynthia, Mick and Chrissie went to Portobello Road market, getting there before the tourists.
Abbey Road. The backing track for Yellow Submarine' was recorded.
Paul: "I wrote that in bed one night. As a kids' story. And then we thought it would be good for Ringo to do."
Accompanied by Keith Richards and Brian Jones, Paul and Neil Aspinall went to Dolly's Club on Jermyn Street to meet Bob Dylan the day his European tour reached London. Afterwards they all went back to Dylan's room at the Mayfair Hotel to listen to a set of test pressings he had with him from his most recent sessions.
Later that evening John and George attended Dylan's concert at the Albert Hall and watched as a faction of the audience jeered and booed when Dylan switched to electric instruments for the second half and, backed by The Band, gave them some rock'n'roll.
John made a guest appearance in D.A. Pennebaker's film documentary of Bob Dylan's UK tour Eat The Document. John and Dylan were filmed talking in the back of a limousine, which had picked John up in Weybridge. Out-take footage revealed that both singers, Bob especially, were suffering from the adverse effects of recent drug-taking.
The Beatles spent the day in Bob Dylan's hotel room, watching D.A. Pennebaker's film Don't Look Back.
The Beatles spent another day with Bob Dylan at the Mayfair.
The single 'Paperback Writer'/'Rain' was released in the US as Capitol 5651.
Ringo allowed photographer Leslie Bryce to shoot an "At Home" session at his house in Weybridge for Beatles Monthly.
Allen Klein, the US businessman who had recently been appointed as the manager of The Rolling Stones, boasted that by the end of 1966 he would also be handling The Beatles' business affairs.
Abbey Road. The sound effects were added to 'Yellow Submarine', assisted by Brian Jones, Marainne Faithfull, Beatles roadies Mal and Neil and various other friends.
That evening George saw Ravi Shankar play a recital at the Albert Hall.
In the US, an album of material by The Pete Best Group was released by Savage Records, under the cunning title, Best Of The Beatles,
Abbey Road. Most of the session was spent recording George's as-yet-untitled 'I Want To Tell You'.
BBC television's Top Of The Pops premiered The Beatles' promotional films of 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain'.
Abbey Road. 'I Want To Tell You' was finished and 'Yellow Submarine' mixed in a session ending at 2.30am.
The British popular press reacted with suitable outrage at the photographs of The Beatles covered with meat and dolls, which were used in the advertisements in the pop papers for the new single.
The Beatles pre-recorded interview for the 400th edition of the BBC Light Programme's Saturday Club was broadcast.
The promotional films for 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain' were aired on NBC TV's Ed Sullivan Show.
Abbey Road. Most of the session was spent mixing. Paul added a vocal overdub to 'Eleanor Rigby'.
A day spent at George's house rehearsing.
Abbey Road. Paul's 'Good Day Sunshine' recorded.
Abbey Road. 'Good Day Sunshine' completed.
The 'Paperback Writer' promo film was screened on BBC TV's Top Of The Pops.
'Paperback Writer'/'Rain' was released in the UK as Parlophone R 5452.
Widely greeted as a disappointment - a brash, insubstantial throwaway - at the time it was released, the first Beatles single of 1966 remains one of the jewels of The Beatles' crown, especially when coupled with its flipside, 'Rain'. It's true that Paul McCartney was writing a snapshot of fictional life rather than a confessional masterpiece or a straightforward teen romance, but the instrumental and vocal complexity of the song-plus its dazzling conceptual ambition - forced the ever-competitive Beach Boys to respond with the even more complex 'Good Vibrations'. The limits of EMI's studio technology were stretched to produce the richest, toughest sound of any Beatles record to date. Listen out for Lennon and Harrison's 'Frere Jacques' vocal refrain during the final verse, incidentally.
Experimentation with drugs exploded John Lennon's creative potential. In place of the semi-fictional love songs that had been The Beatles' stock-in-trade, 1966 saw him introducing a series ofnumbers that explored the workings of the mind, and captured the hazy insight of the psychedelic experience.
'Rain' was one of the first, and perhaps the best, of his acid songs. Half dream, half nightmare in the wings, it combined the earthy, rich rock sound of its companion-piece, 'Paperback Writer', with an other-worldly lyric. The Beatles knew almost by instinct how to achieve that atmosphere in sound: they taped the backing track, complete with what Ringo regards as his best-ever drumming on record, at breakneck speed, then slowed the tape. Lennon's vocal went through the opposite process: it was recorded on a machine running slowly, and then speeded up for the final track. The juxtaposition of speed and laziness -plus the final burst of backwards vocals, an idea claimed by both Lennon and George Martin - heightened the unearthly tension of this brilliant record.
The British pop magazine Disc appeared with a full-colour, front cover photograph taken from the so-called 'butcher' session.
Media disquiet begins to spread in the US over The Beatles' plans to use one of the 'butcher' photographs as the cover of their next album.
Abbey Road. The Beatles began work on Paul's 'Here, There And Everywhere'.
John: "This was a great one of his."
The day was spent rehearsing for their appearance on Top Of The Pops to promote 'Paperback Writer'.
The album Yesterday . . . and Today was released in the US as Capitol T-2553 (mono) and ST-2553 (stereo). Side A: 'Drive My Car', 'I'm Only Sleeping', 'Nowhere Man', 'Doctor Robert', 'Yesterday', 'Act Naturally'. Side B: 'And Your Bird Can Sing', 'If I Needed Someone', 'We Can Work It Out', 'What Goes On', 'Day Tripper'.
The Beatles went to the BOAC Air Terminal in Victoria to receive vaccinations against cholera in preparation for their forthcoming Far Eastern tour.
After this they travelled in John's black Rolls Royce to BBC Television Centre where they recorded their first live appearance on Top Of The Pops, which was also their last live television appearance playing music.
Abbey Road. The band worked until 3am on 'Here, There And Everywhere'.
The 'Butcher' sleeve on the Yesterday .. . and Today album was withdrawn in the US. A new bland sleeve was pasted on top of the withdrawn copies and all new pressings just had the new sleeve. Collectors carefully peeled the replacement sleeves off and mint copies of the 'Butcher' sleeve are now sold at rare record auctions for huge sums of money.
The Beatles appeared live on Top Of The Pops performing both sides of their new single.
Abbey Road. 'Here, There And Everywhere' was completed and more work was done
on 'Got To Get You Into My Life'.
Paul bought a 183-acre dairy farm in Machrihanish, Kintyre, Scotland. Paul: "It's 200 acres and a farmhouse as well. It was well worth the money as far as I'm
concerned. But don't think I'm a big property tycoon. I only buy places I like."
Abbey Road. A short visit to the studio after tea for the mixing of 'Got To Get You Into My Life'.
The album Yesterday . . . and Today was re-released in the US with a new innocuous sleeve.
Abbey Road. John's 'She Said She Said' was recorded between 7pm and 3.45am.
The Beatles attended a pre-opening party at Sibylla's nightclub on Swallow Street in which George had a financial stake.
The Beatles took the 11am flight to Munich where they were met by the press and a small number of fans, before a fleet of white Mercedes whisked them off to the Bayerischer Hof Hotel. They arrived late for a press conference at the hotel because they were trapped in the lift for ten minutes on the way down from their floor. Later, when no one was about, they took a late-night dip in the pool.
Circus-Krone-Bau, with Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, The Rattles and Peter & Gordon. Two sets, at 5.15 and 9.00pm, the second of which was filmed by ZDF, German television. Unusually, The Beatles staged an afternoon rehearsal to prepare for the TV performance.
Their set for the tour consisted of: 'Rock'n'Roll Music', 'She's A Woman', 'If I Needed Someone', 'Day Tripper', 'Baby's In Black', 'I Feel Fine', 'Yesterday', 'I Wanna Be Your Man', 'Nowhere Man', 'Paperback Writer' and 'I'm Down'. Among their guests at the hotel was Bettina Derlien, the barmaid from the Star-Club.
Early in the morning, The Beatles arrived at Munich railway station in a fleet of Mercedes with motorcycle police guarding them. They boarded the Royal train, previously used by the Queen of England, to take them to Essen. They each had their own suite of rooms, and were on board in time for breakfast.
Grugahalle, Essen. They gave a press conference between their two shows and had a meal in their dressing room. They got back to their train, which travelled through the night to Hamburg, arriving at about 2am.
The promotional film for 'Paperback Writer' was shown in the UK on the final edition of ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars.
Their train arrived in Hamburg at 6am and they moved into the Schloss Hotel in Tremsbuttel, 30 miles away from Hamburg and the fans. They slept until 1.30pm then made a balcony appearance for the several hundred fans gathered outside. John visited Astrid Kirchherr, who gave him several letters written by Stuart Sutcliffe. Dr Bernstein, their Reeperbahn days doctor, and their Hamburg record producer Bert Kaempfert were among their many visitors. The Beatles played two sets at Ernst Merck Halle with the usual press conference in between. During one of the shows, John remarked to the crowd: "Don't listen to our music. We're terrible these days." Afterwards John and Paul went for a walk around the Reeperbahn after midnight, revisiting their old haunts.
The Beatles returned to Heathrow airport, then left for Tokyo on the inaugural flight by Japanese Airlines over the North Pole. Unfortunately, a typhoon warning caused the plane to be grounded at Anchorage, Alaska, where they spent the night at the Westwood Hotel. That evening The Beatles visited the hotel's club, 'The Top Of The World' on the top floor, and a local DJ gave them a quick tour of Anchorage.
The Beatles continued their flight to Tokyo. Ringo had recently bought himself one of the first portable cassette recorders, and took great delight in taping the conversations going on around him on the plane.
The Beatles arrived at Haneda airport, Tokyo at 3.40am (having lost a day by crossing the date line). They stayed at the Tokyo Hilton where they had their own floor, occupying the Presidential Suite. Hotel security was the tightest that The Beatles had yet endured, preventing them from making unplanned sightseeing trips around the Tokyo streets.
Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo, with Yuya Uchida and Isao Bitoh. The Beatles played one concert to 10,000 fans. There was considerable right-wing opposition - including death threats - to The Beatles playing at Nippon Budokan Hall (Martial Arts Hall), because the building was regarded as a national shrine to Japan's war dead, and it was therefore seen as sacrilegious for a rock'n'roll group to play there. Because of these threats, the Japanese lined the route from the airport and the perimeter of the hotel with 30,000 uniformed men. It went on to become one of the main rock venues in Tokyo.
Nippon Budokan Hall. Japanese television filmed the first of today's two concerts.
Nippon Budokan Hall.
The final day of concerts. Fan hysteria was so great and the army security so tight that The Beatles were unable to leave their hotel. In order to buy some souvenirs, local tradesmen were brought to their suite and The Beatles bought a variety of kimonos, bowls and other goods at suitably inflated prices. They also purchased a brush painting set, which they used to collaborate on an elaborate abstract design, later presented to the president of the local branch of The Beatles Fan Club.
The Beatles flew to Hong Kong, where they rested in the VIP lounge while their plane refuelled, before continuing to Manila in the Philippines (then under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos) where a crowd of 50,000 fans was waiting to greet them. The Filipinos, having noted the behaviour of the Japanese authorities, were not to be outdone. With typical heavy-handedness, military police burst into the plane and seized The Beatles, dragging them down the stairs and into protective custody.
George wrote: "These gorillas, huge guys, no shirts, short sleeves, took us right off the plane. They confiscated our 'diplomatic bags'. They took all four of us, John, Paul, Ringo and me, without Brian or Neil or Mal. Then they removed us in a boat to Manila Bay surrounded by a ring of cops, guns everywhere ... straight away we thought we were all busted because we thought they would find all the dope in our bags."
Two army battalions in full combat gear met The Beatles and took them to navy headquarters before transferring them to a private yacht where a wealthy Filipino, Don Manolo Elizalde, showed them off to a party of rich friends. It was not until 4am that Brian Epstein was able to regain control of the situation and The Beatles finally reached their suite at the Hotel Manila.
THE MANILA INCIDENT
On July 4 The Beatles were exhausted and slept late. Unfortunately, Imelda Marcos had organised a lunch party for 300 sons and daughters of top army officers and businessmen at the Malacanang Palace to introduce them to The Beatles. The group were still asleep after the previous night's debacle when officials came looking for them. Brian Epstein claimed to know nothing of the invitation and refused to allow any further indignities to be perpetrated upon them. Naturally this was taken as a grave insult, with potentially dangerous repercussions.
That afternoon they played the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, before 30,000 fans, and again in the evening to 50,000 fans.
The next day the hotel provided no room service. They found that their front man. Vie Lewis, had been questioned by high ranking military officials until dawn, and all military security had been withdrawn. The Beatles and their entourage had to run the gauntlet to get to their plane. They were spat at, insulted and jostled. At the airport Alf Bicknell was thrown to the floor and kicked by military security men and the escalator was turned off so that they had to struggle up with all their equipment. Mal Evans and Brian Epstein had to get off the plane again to sort out a passport and tax problem which officials suddenly invented before KLM flight 862 was finally allowed to leave Manila at 4.45pm.
George summed up The Beatles' feelings succinctly: "The only way I'd ever return to the Philippines would be to drop an atom bomb on it."
Returning home, there was a refuelling stop in Bangkok after which The Beatles arrived in New Delhi, India, where they hoped to take a peaceful three day break. Unfortunately, 600 fans were already waiting at the airport when they landed and the Oberoi Hotel was soon under siege. They managed to sneak out the back way and do some shopping and sightseeing. They all bought Indian instruments from Rikhi Ram & Sons, on Connaught Circle.
George: "It turned out to be a good trip, except that when we went out of town, in old Fifties Cadillacs, and walked around the villages, I realised that the Nikon cameras given to us in Tokyo were more than an Indian villager could earn in a lifetime."
The Beatles arrived back in London at 6am. There was a short press conference when they landed and George and Ringo appeared on the morning edition of the BBC Home Service's radio show Today,
George: "We're going to have a couple of weeks to recuperate before we go and get beaten up by the Americans."
The EP Nowhere Man was released in the UK as Parlophone GEP 8952 (mono). Side A: 'Nowhere Man', 'Drive My Car'; Side B: 'Michelle', 'You Won't See Me'.
British pop group Freddie & The Dreamers cancelled their proposed concerts in the Philippines in protest at the treatment The Beatles received in that country.
The Beatles were awarded Ivor Novello Awards for 'We Can Work It Out' (top selling single of 1965), 'Yesterday' (most outstanding song of the year) and 'Help!' (second best selling single of 1965).
John purchased an expensive suite of film editing equipment, which allowed him to make abstract movies as an accompaniment to his experiments in musique concrete.
The Cavern Club reopened in Liverpool under new ownership. The Beatles sent a telegram and the opening ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, whose constituency was in Liverpool.
Ill health forced Brian Epstein to cancel a trip to America, to make final arrangements for The Beatles' US tour.
The American magazine Datebook published Maureen Cleave's interview with John in which he said, "We're bigger than Jesus now." American Christian fundamentalists reacted with outrage. A DJ in Birmingham, Alabama, organised an immediate boycott of The Beatles' music, and broadcast his intention to conduct a 'Beatle-burning' bonfire of the group's records.
The album Yesterday ... and Today reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts where it stayed for five weeks.
Zealots in Birmingham, Alabama, were shown on BBC television news burning Beatles records just as the Nazis had burned books.
Paul recorded an interview for the BBC Light Programme's David Frost At The Phonograph.
George and Patti drove to Stoodleigh in Devon for a few days' holiday with Patti's mother, Diana Jones, in her 18th century farmhouse.
"Yellow Submarine'/'Eleanor Rigby' was released in the UK as Parlophone R 5493.
The album Revolver was released in the UK as Parlophone PMC 7009 (mono) and PCS 7009 (stereo). Side A: 'Taxman', 'Eleanor Rigby', 'I'm Only Sleeping', 'Love You To', 'Here There And Everywhere', 'Yellow Submarine', 'She Said She Said'; Side B: 'Good Day Sunshine', 'And Your Bird Can Sing', 'For No One', 'Doctor Robert', 'I Want To Tell You', 'Got To Get You Into My Life', 'Tomorrow Never Knows'.
The Beatles were supposed to begin 1966 by making their third feature film in as many years. But no one could agree on a script, or even a theme, and instead The Beatles enjoyed an unprecedented three-month break at the start of the year.
They were already convinced that their enervating routine of tour-film-record-tour had to be broken, and had completed their British tour at the end of 1965, assuming it would be their last. They were already contracted to undertake one final jaunt around the world in June, but mentally they were beginning to metamorphose into post-touring states of mind.
With the exception of their last British concert at the NME Pollwinners' Show on May 1, The Beatles had more than two months on their schedule to record their next LP. They began on April 6th with the most revolutionary track on the album, Lennon's 'Tomorrow Never Knows', and ended just over eight weeks later with one of the two most brilliant pop albums ever recorded up to that point. Its rival was The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, a masterpiece of melody, harmony and orchestral arrangement that undoubtedly affected the final sound of The Beatles' LP.
What time and mental space in the studio gave The Beatles was the chance to experiment (although most of the Revolver songs went through remarkably little change of approach once the sessions began), and the freedom to choose exactly the right sound for each track. Revolver was where The Beatles became a consummate studio band - ironically enough, in the same year that they proved completely unable (or maybe unwilling is closer to the point) to perform their more complex material on stage, listen to Revolver, and then to the tuneless performances they gave on tour a few weeks later, and ifs hard to imagine that they are the same band.
The Beatles' state of mind during that final tour is aptly summed up by this quote from Paul McCartney: "I was in Germany on tour just before Revolver came out. I started listening to the album and I got really down because I thought the whole thing was out of tune. Everyone had to reassure me that it was OK." And so it was.
" 'Taxman' was when I first realised that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes." So said George Harrison, cementing forever the public perception of him as the Beatle most obsessed with money (an interesting sideline to his other clicked role as the mystic Beatle). Groomed for years by manager Brian Epstein to stay out of politicial controversy, The Beatles began in 1966 to comment on issues like the war in Vietnam. 'Taxman' was a more universal protest - George fingered both the Conservative and Labour leaders in his lyrics - but the song had a political message, nonetheless. It also had a remarkably powerful lead guitar riff, played (ironically enough) not by George but by Paul.
"I wrote a good half of the lyrics or more," claimed John Lennon in later years of this archetypal Paul McCartney song. True or not, it was a sign that Lennon realised the strength of what Paul had written. It was a short story with a moral, all packaged within little more than two minutes. Aside from the backing vocals, McCartney was the only Beatle featured on the track, accompanied by a string section scored by George Martin - one of his most obvious and effective contributions to a Beatles record. The song later inspired the most memorable segment of the Yellow Submarine movie, as the craft drifts above the lonely, dingy streets of Liverpool.
I'M ONLY SLEEPING
Half acid dream, half latent Lennon laziness personified, 'I'm Only Sleeping' was a joyous celebration of life without pressure. It also conformed to one of the key instructions of the acid trippers, that explorers of the mind should relax and let thoughts come to them, rather than forcing them to appear.
The other-worldly feel of the song was created by artificial means -first speeding up Lennon's vocal to make it sound as if he was singing from beyond the physical plane, and then playing the tape of Harrison's guitar interjections backwards. During the editing process, a fistful of different mixes were prepared, and variations on the basic stereo CD version can be found on vinyl releases scattered around the globe.
LOVE YOU TO
Lester Bangs called it "the first injection of ersatz Eastern wisdom into rock", but George Harrison's translation of the Buddhist spiritual texts he'd been reading in recent months simply reinforced the message of 'Think For Yourself on the previous album. As far as the public were concerned, though, Harrison had "gone Indian" overnight, an impression reinforced as he took sitar lessons from Ram Shankar, encouraged the rest of the group to study under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and offered Eastern-sounding songs to the group for the next 18 months.
'Love You To' sounded astonishing alongside the electrifying pop of the Revolver album, where it proved that The Beatles could tackle any genre they wanted. It also inaugurated a less happy tradition, of John Lennon not contributing to the recording of Harrison's songs. One man who did appear, however, was Indian tabia player Anil Bhagwat.
HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE
For the third album running, Paul McCartney turned up with a song that became an instant standard. He credited its original inspiration to multiple hearings of The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds LP, though there's little melodic similarity between them. But the romantic simplicity of the song shone like a beacon through the cynicism and uncertainty that fuelled most of the album.
A simple children's song intended for the equally simple public persona ofRingo Starr, Yellow Submarine' still received the full-scale studio treatment. Mark Lewisohn's definitive account of The Beatles' sessions documents the various effects and gimmicks that were recorded for the song, and then rejected. 'Yellow Submarine' was, in business terms, the most important song on the Revolver LP, as it inspired the cartoon movie which solved the enduring problem of the third film that The Beatles had owed United Artists since the summer of 1965.
SHE SAID SHE SAID
Another major Lennon song on an album dominated by his paranoid acid visions, 'She Said She Said' was inspired by the doom-laden, LSD-driven remark by actor Peter Fonda, who buttonholed Lennon in The Beatles' LA hideaway with the words, "I know what it's like to be dead". 'Tomorrow Never Knows' captured the horror ofthat statement; 'She Said She Said' turned it into an early piece of Lennon autobiography, the first step on the journey to his Plastic Ono Band album. And all this turmoil and angst was contained within a brilliant three-minute pop song.
GOOD DAY SUNSHINE
Perfect summer pop for the era, McCartney's 'Good Day Sunshine' had enough melodic twists and turns (note the harmonic shifts in the final chorus) to put it beyond the reach of most would-be cover artists. Simple, effective and stunning, it was the ideal complement to the darker Revolver songs.
AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING
John Lennon described this song as "another horror", and he wrote it, so he should know. It's full of the fake wisdom of those philosophically lightweight days when it seemed as if the world could be turned on its axis by a tab of acid and a few seconds' thought. Musically, though, it's one of the highlights of the album, powered by a twisting, insidious guitar riff and featuring one of Lennon's most deadpan, off-hand vocals. Rich and mysterious, the track may have been fancy paper round an empty box, but the package sounded so good that no one cared.
FOR NO ONE
Just two Beatles appeared on McCartney's 'For No One', Ringo playing percussion, and Paul singing and playing keyboards and the lovely descending bass line. The French horn, allowed a lengthy solo in George Martin's score, was performed by Alan Civil from the London Philharmonia. The song itself was another remarkable McCartney ballad, melodically sophisticated and lyrically mature.
Named without any hint of disguise after a London 'doctor' who could be guaranteed to supply rock stars with exotic drugs on demand, John Lennon's 'Doctor Robert' was hinged around the same rough-edged guitar as 'And Your Bird Can Sing'. And once again, his lead vocal oozed cynicism and emotional distance, like the world-weary survivor of three years' hard Beatlemania that he was.
I WANT TO TELL YOU
Allowed three songs on any Beatles album for the first time (and also the last, with the exception of the double White Album) George Harrison had the chance to expose several different facets of his songwriting talent. Like 'If I Needed Someone', 'I Want To Tell You' was hinged around The Beatles' superb harmonies (Lennon and McCartney seemed to relish the role of backing singers, relieved of the pressure to carry the song). Once again, Harrison unwrapped an awkward, determinedly realistic view of relationships, in which failed communication was the order of the day. Throughout The Beatles' career, George never wrote a straightforward love song: all his portrayals of romance were surrounded in misunderstanding and the dreadful prospect of boredom, and this was no exception.
GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE
Revolver revealed The Beatles as master of any musical genre they cared to touch. Having satirised white musicians' desire to play black musical styles in the title of Rubber Soul, Paul McCartney turned his hand to the 1966 soul boom with ease, concocting this fabulous Piece of mock-Stax, with five brassmen providing the final Memphis-style touches. The hand of control was evident throughout, with the brass sound deliberately 'limited' to create a faintly unreal sound.
Trivia note: compare the fade-outs of the mono and stereo versions of this song, and you'll find entirely different McCartney ad-libs.
TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS
Almost five months after The Beatles added their final vocals to the charming 'I'm Looking Through You', they were back in the studio - to create three minutes of turmoil that envisaged the death of the conscious mind and the triumph beyond death of the universal spirit. What had happened between November 1965 and April 1966? John Lennon had been on a dual voyage of discovery - experimenting with the hallucinogenic powers of LSD, and finding that it was possible to match the chaotic visions he saw on his chemically fuelled trips with collages of sound.
Both Lennon and McCartney began creating mind movies at their home studios, extended webs of noise that were based around tape loops and 'found sounds'. McCartney was the pioneer in this regard, and it was he who supervised the addition of the almost supernatural squawks and howls that punctuated the song. But the concept was Lennon's, taken from his reading of The Tibetan Book Of The Dead. Like Harrison, Lennon noted the similarity between the imagery of Eastern spirituality, and the beyond consciousness experiences of the acid trip. 'Tomorrow Never Knows', with its eerie 'treated' vocal, droning drums and terrifying soundscape, was the ultimate expression of his discovery - and of the enormous change in The Beatles since they'd finished Rubber Soul.
Despite the fact he was still suffering from severe exhaustion after a recent bout of glandular fever, Brian Epstein flew to the US to try to sort out the problems caused by John's remarks about Jesus. There were fears that the entire American tour might have to be cancelled. By August 6 a total of 30 American radio stations had banned Beatles records.
Paul and John recorded an hour-long interview about songwriting for the BBC Light Programme at Paul's new house in Cavendish Avenue. It was broadcast as The Lennon And McCartney Songbook.
Paul's interview with David Frost was broadcast on the BBC Light Programme's David Frost At The Phonograph.
Beatles records were banned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation after John's supposedly irreligious remarks offended the apartheid regime. The ban lasted five years, until after The Beatles broke up. After that Paul, George and Ringo's solo albums were allowed, but not John's, a ban which survived until well after his death. The single 'Eleanor Rigby'/'Yellow Submarine' was released in the US as Capitol 5715. The album Revolver was released in the US as Capitol T-2576 (mono) and ST-2576 (stereo). As usual it had fewer tracks than the UK release. Side A: 'Taxman', 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Love You To', 'Here, There And Everywhere', 'Yellow Submarine', 'She Said She Said'; Side B: 'Good Day Sunshine', 'For No One', 'Doctor Robert', 'I Want To Tell You', 'Got To Get You Into My Life', 'Tomorrow Never Knows'.
The Beatles flew to the US, landing first at Boston, then at Chicago, where they arrived at 4.18pm.
JOHN AND JESUS
The press and all three television networks were waiting in Chicago and talked of nothing but John's remarks about Jesus. The Beatles had to do a live press conference from the 27th floor of the Astor Towers Hotel where they were staying. John was obviously very uncomfortable, being forced to apologise for something which the Americans had taken out of context.
John: "Look, I wasn't saying The Beatles are better than God or Jesus. I said 'Beatles' because it's easy for me to talk about Beatles. I could have said 'TV' or 'the cinema', 'motorcars' or anything popular and I would have got away with it...
"I'm not anti-God, anti-Christ or anti-religion. I was not saying we are greater or better. I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and all the rest said was right. Ifs just the translations have gone wrong.
"I wasn't saying whatever they're saying I was saying. I'm sorry I said it, really. I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. From what I've read, or observed, Christianity just seems to me to be shrinking, to be losing contact."
Reporter: "A disc jockey in Birmingham, Alabama, who actually started most of the repercussions, has demanded an apology from you."
John: "He can have it, I apologise to him."
International Amphitheater, Chicago, with The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes.
They played two sets, each to 13,000 people. They played the same set on this US tour as on their European and Japanese tour: 'Rock'n'Roll Music', 'She's A Woman', 'If I Needed Someone', 'Day Tripper', 'Baby's In Black', 'I Feel Fine', 'Yesterday', 'I Wanna Be Your Man', 'Nowhere Man', 'Paperback Writer' and 'I'm Down', sometimes adding 'Long Tall Sally'.
Olympic Stadium, Detroit. Two sets.
Station KLUE in Longview, Texas, getting on the bandwagon a bit late, organised a public burning of Beatles' records. The station manager said, "We are inviting local teenagers to bring in their records and other symbols of the group's popularity to be burned at a public bonfire on Friday night, August 13."
The Grand Dragon of the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan attached a Beatles record to the large wooden cross which he then set on fire as part of their ritual.
Spanish Radio was reported to have banned the airplay of Beatles records "for ever" because of John's 'blasphemous remark' and in Holland there were moves to ban The Beatles from playing in the country and to have their records banned from the airwaves.
John: "When they started burning our records ... that was a real shock, the physical burning. I couldn't go away knowing I'd created another little piece of hate in the world ... so I apologised."
George: "They've got to buy them before they can bum them."
Ringo was asked why neither 'Eleanor Rigby' nor 'Yellow Submarine' featured in the group's live repertoire. " 'Eleanor Rigby' is not suitable for the stage," he replied, "and would need to be re-arranged. I don't know how Paul would make up for the loss of the strings. 'Submarine' sounds like a good singalong thing, so I'd like us to do it on stage sometime, perhaps in the autumn. But to be honest, we've kept the same list of titles we used last month in Germany and the Far East. We haven't had the chance to rehearse any new numbers since then."
The album Revolver entered the UK charts at number one, and remained there for nine weeks.
After the second set in Detroit they left by bus for Cleveland, Ohio, arriving at 2am.
Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio.
Two sets to 20,000 fans. When 2,500 fans got into the arena area, the show was stopped midway through a performance of 'Day Tripper', and The Beatles retired backstage for about 20 minutes until order was restored.
Radio station KLUE in Longview, Texas, was taken off the air the day after their Beatles records bonfire when a lightning bolt struck their transmission tower, destroying electronic equipment and knocking their news director unconscious.
DC Stadium, Washington, DC to 32,000 fans - and a handful of members of the Ku Klux Klan, who picketed the concert.
The Beatles flew into the capital that afternoon and travelled to Philadelphia by coach as soon as their one show was over.
The album This Is Where It Started by Tony Sheridan and The Beatles was released in the US.
Philadelphia Stadium, Philadelphia.
One evening show held before a crowd which filled little more than a third of the 60,000 seater stadium. The performance was staged amid the beginnings of an electric storm with almost continuous lightning. The rain did not start until just after their set had finished. They flew straight to Canada after the show.
George: "Our performances over the last two years have deteriorated to such an extent that our 1966 stage shows are terrible compared to, say, the Cavern days or Hamburg. The audience can't hear it and we can't, which is why it's terrible. We used to play best in the old days when a larger proportion of our fans were boys. The more fame we got, the more girls came to see us, everybody making a noise so that nobody could hear us."
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada.
At a press conference before the show, John aroused another controversy by expressing his support for American draft-dodgers who had fled over the border into Canada to escape being sent to Vietnam.
The Beatles did two shows and stayed overnight before flying to Boston.
Suffolk Downs Racetrack, Boston.
The bleachers were filled by 25,000 fans, while the stage was specially constructed in the middle of the racetrack.
Mid South Coliseum, Memphis.
An already tense atmosphere in the Deep South was heightened when a spokesman for the Memphis city authorities announced that "The Beatles are not welcome in Memphis". A local preacher, the Reverend Jimmy Stroad, organised a mass rally outside the stadium, to protest against the presence of the "blasphemous" John Lennon within a municipal arena. Six Ku Klux Klansmen also picketed the stadium in their costumes. A small number of fanatics threw rubbish on stage and exploded a firecracker. Outside, decoy cars were used to fool protestors, but The Beatles' coach was still surrounded by hordes of Christian demonstrators screaming abuse. Paul: "They were zealots. It was horrible to see the hatred on their faces."
Crosley Field, Cincinnati.
This show was postponed because of heavy rain and re-scheduled for the next day. The local promoter originally insisted that the show should go ahead, despite the danger of electrocution, but The Beatles refused to perform unless he could guarantee their safety.
Crosley Field, Cincinnati. A midday concert, after which they flew 350 miles to St. Louis.
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri.
The Beatles played at 8.30pm during a heavy rain-storm to a very wet audience of 23,000 fans. The group were protected by a flimsy tarpaulin which dripped water on the amps. It was this gig which finally convinced Paul McCartney that The Beatles should stop live performances. The other Beatles had decided this long before.
The Beatles flew to New York, where John Lennon sparked further controversy at their airport press conference by speaking out against US participation in the Vietnam War.
Shea Stadium, New York.
There were 44,000 fans at the show (compared with 55,000 the previous year), which earned the group $200,000. Once again, 'Day Tripper' prompted several thousand fans to try to invade the stage, although they were beaten back by security guards before they reached The Beatles. The group flew straight to Los Angeles after they left the stage.
Before the show, The Beatles took part in two press conferences. The first was organised by the Official Fan Club, and featured an invited audience of 160 fans - who were later congratulated by the group on the intelligence of their questioning. A professional press conference immediately afterwards was less successful, having to be cut short when arguments arose between journalists over The Beatles' opposition to the Vietnam War.
The Beatles arrived in Los Angeles in the early hours of the morning and rested up at 7655 Carson Road, the private house in Beverly Hills that Brian Epstein had rented for them. Among their visitors were their former press agent, Derek Taylor, plus members of The Byrds and The Mamas and The Papas.
Seattle Coliseum, Seattle.
The Beatles flew in that morning and stayed at the Edgewater Inn, where the expected press conference was held. Paul was repeatedly quizzed about a rumour that he was about to marry Jane Asher the next day.
Their flight back to Los Angeles from Seattle was delayed for five hours because one of the plane's wheels was discovered to be worn right down to the canvas and had to be replaced.
The Beatles were visited at their Beverly Hills vacation home by Beach Boys members Brian Wilson and Carl Wilson.
The BBC screened the TV film of the 1965 Shea Stadium performance for the second
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles.
There were 45,000 fans for this show and only 102 security men. Dozens of fans were injured and 25 people detained during clashes between police and fans. The Beatles' limousine was besieged by fans and had to turn back. They eventually made their escape in an armoured van.
Faced by continued press criticism of poor attendances at The Beatles' shows, Brian Epstein issued a special statement: "This tour compares phenomenally well with last year's. It's much better all round this year, from the point of view of increased interest and we are actually playing to bigger audiences. Here in Los Angeles, for example, 36,000 people saw The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl. Today's concert at Dodger Stadium is attracting 10,000 more. People have been saying things about diminishing popularity, but all one can go by is attendances, which are absolutely huge. By the time we leave, 400,000 thousand people will have seen this series of shows, and Sid Bernstein has already delivered his formal invitation to The Beatles to return to Shea Stadium for him in the summer of 1967."
Before the show, John enlivened the customary press conference by repeating the "blasphemous" remarks he had made about Jesus several months earlier - this time without apology.
Candlestick Park, San Francisco.
THE LAST EVER BEATLES CONCERT
This was the last time The Beatles performed before a paying audience. It was seen by 25,000 fans. Their last number on stage was 'Long Tall Sally", one of their Hamburg show-stoppers.
By this time the whole group, even Paul who had held out the longest for a continuation of touring, knew that the concerts had to stop. With posterity in mind, he asked the Beatles press officer to tape the performance on his hand-held cassette recorder. George expressed his relief on the plane home: "That's it. I'm no longer a Beatle," he announced.
John: "On our last tour people kept bringing blind, crippled and deformed children into our dressing room and this boy's mother would say, 'Go on, kiss him, maybe you'll bring back his sight.' We're not cruel. We've seen enough tragedy in Merseyside, but when a mother shrieks, 'Just touch him and maybe he'll walk again,' we want to run, cry, empty our pockets. We're going to remain normal if it kills us."
The radio show The Lennon and McCartney Songbook was transmitted by the BBC Light Programme.
The Beatles left Los Angeles for London.
The Beatles arrived back in London from Los Angeles, to be greeted by several thousand screaming fans.
John flew to Hanover, Germany, to begin filming his part in How I Won The War with director Richard Lester on a NATO tank range in Celle, outside Hanover. John: "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."
John had his hair cut short for his role as Private Gripweed. The momentous event occurred in the breakfast room of the bar The Inn On The Heath in Celle. In addition to an army haircut, he wore small round "granny" glasses, which his use made fashionable.
For the fourth year running, The Beatles were offered the chance to appear at the Royal Variety Show; for the third year running, Brian Epstein declined on their behalf.
The album Revolver reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, where it remained for six weeks.
George and Patti flew to Bombay, India, for George to take sitar lessons with Ravi Shankar and study yoga. They checked into the Taj Mahal, Bombay, under the names Mr and Mrs Sam Wells.
Paul attended a performance of free-form music given by AMM with Cornelius Cardew at the Royal College of Art. The audience of a dozen or so people was invited to join in and Paul made occasional sounds on the radiator and a beer mug. Paul: "You don't have to like something to be influenced by it."
John and Neil Aspinall took the train to Paris.
Paul and Brian Epstein joined John and Neil Aspinall for a weekend break in Paris.
John and Neil Aspinall went to Spain where the filming for How I Won The War was due to continue the next day in Carboneras, Spain. John and Cynthia shared a villa in Almeria - owned by Sam Spiegal - with the actor Michael Crawford and his family.
Location filming began again. John had to get up at 6 each morning for his driver to take him to the film set in his black Rolls.
The press discovered that George and Patti were staying in India and George had to give a press conference at the Taj Mahal in which he explained he had come to India to study and get some peace and quiet.
Brian Epstein was hospitalised in a London clinic, officially for "a check-up", although he was apparently suffering from an overdose of prescribed drugs. The drama forced him to cancel another proposed visit to see John in Spain.
Japanese artist Yoko Ono made her first public appearance in Britain, during a symposium on 'Destruction In Art'. She staged two 'concerts' at the Africa Centre in Covent Garden, London.
Paul's friend, art dealer Robert Eraser, staged an exhibition by painter Richard Hamilton at his London gallery. Paul helped to hang some of the work, bought a piece at the opening, and also encouraged John to see the exhibition when he returned from Spain.
Brian Epstein was compelled to emerge from his recuperation clinic, to deny persistent press reports that Paul was about to announce he was leaving The Beatles. Instead, he was able to reveal that while John was filming in Spain, Paul was composing the soundtrack to a movie entitled Wedlocked, Or All In Good Time.
Ringo and Maureen flew to Almeria to spend a few days visiting John on the film set of How I Won The War.
The US record label Clarion became the latest company to recycle some of The Beatles' 1961 Hamburg recordings, on an album entitled The Amazing Beatles And Other Great English Group Sounds.
George did an interview with the BBC correspondent in Bombay, Donald Milner, about his reasons for spending five weeks in India.
A charity Christmas card designed by John went on sale in the UK, with proceeds going to the Polio Research Fund.
George and Patti returned to London from Bombay.
When Ravi Shankar arrived at London Airport from India, George was there to meet him, dressed in Indian clothes. Ravi Shankar, European educated, was wearing a Western suit.
Penguin Books published The Penguin John Lennon, a double volume of John's two books.
Donovan arrived to spend a week at George's house in Esher.
Ringo Starr was reportedly offered a small role in the next James Bond film, You Only Live Twice.
NEMS finally vacated 13 Monmouth Street, Brian Epstein's first London office. Most of the operation had been in Argyll Street since 1964.
The Beatles turned down a request to appear on a TV special in aid of victims of the disaster in Aberfan, where dozens of school children had been killed or injured when a wave of mud and coal slurry had demolished their school.
Paul put his Aston Martin DB5 on the plane-ferry at Lydd, Kent, and flew to France. Wearing a disguise (though his car was hardly inconspicuous), he spent a week driving slowly through the chateaux of the Loire, before he met up with Beatles roadie Mal Evans under the grand clock in Bordeaux. He kept a journal during his trip, and also shot a quantity of film.
John celebrated his return from his film duties in Spain by indulging in a three-day orgy of LSD, during which he made several avant-garde recordings with the Mellotron that had recently been installed in his home studio at Kenwood.
John met Yoko Ono at the Indica Gallery, Mason's Yard, London.
The day before the opening of her show. Unfinished Paintings And Objects, Yoko was introduced to John by the co-owner of the gallery, John Dunbar. John: "I got the word that this amazing woman was putting on a show next week and there was going to be something about people in bags, black bags, and it was going to be a bit of a happening and all that. So I went down to a preview of the show, I got there the night before it opened. I went in - she didn't know who I was or anything - I was wandering around, there was a couple of artsy type students that had been helping lying around there in the gallery, and I was looking at it and I was astounded. There was an apple on sale there for 200 quid, I thought it was fantastic - I got the humour in her work immediately. I didn't have to have much knowledge about avant-garde or underground art, but the humour got me straight away. There was a fresh apple on a stand, this was before Apple - and it was 200 quid to watch the apple decompose.
"But there was another piece which really decided me for-or-against the artist, a ladder which led to a painting which was hung on the ceiling. It looked like a blank canvas with a chain with a spyglass hanging on the end of it. This was near the door where you went in. I climbed the ladder, you look through the spyglass and in tiny little letters it says 'yes'.
"So it was positive. I felt relieved. Ifs a great relief when you get up the ladder and you look through the spyglass and it doesn't say 'no' or 'fuck you' or something. It said 'yes'.
"I was very impressed and John Dunbar sort of introduced us - neither of us knew who the hell we were, she didn't know who I was, she'd only heard of Ringo I think, it means apple in Japanese. And she came up and handed me a card which said 'Breathe' on it, one of her instructions, so I just went (pant). That was our meeting."
In fact Yoko knew very well who The Beatles were. She had approached Paul several weeks before, hoping to solicit some original Lennon and McCartney manuscripts to give to John Cage for his 50th birthday celebrations as Cage collected original scores of modem music. Paul said no but told her that John might let her have one.
John and Cynthia saw Ben E. King play the Scotch St James's.
Paul and Mal drove from Bordeaux to Spain, making home movies en route. Paul originally intended to meet John in Almeria but John finished shooting his part early and was already home. Paul decided on a safari instead and arranged to meet Jane in Africa. Paul and Mal drove to Seville and organised someone to drive the Aston back to London. They flew to Madrid and from there to Nairobi. They had a ten-hour stopover in Rome which they spent sightseeing at St Peter's and the usual sights.
Over the next week, they toured Ambosali Park, which is overlooked by Mount Kilimanjaro, and stayed at the royal family's customary Kenyan lodgings, at the Treetop Hotel.
The Four Tops played the Saville Theatre with a backdrop supposedly designed by Paul.
The single 'From Head To Toe'/'Night Time' by The Escorts, produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the UK as Columbia DB 8061.
Paul, Jane and Mal flew back to London from Kenya.
During this plane trip, Paul first came up with the concept for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
Paul: "I thought, let's not be ourselves. Let's develop alter egos, so we're not having to project an image which we know. It would be much more free. What would really be interesting would be to actually take on the personas of this different band ... So I had this idea of giving The Beatles alter egos simply to get a different approach. Then when John came up to the microphone or I did, it wouldn't be John or Paul singing, it would be the members of this band ... so we'll be able to lose our identities."
Brian Epstein gave a party for The Four Tops in his home in Chapel Street. John and George attended.
Abbey Road. The Beatles reconvened to start work on a new album, beginning with John's 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
John: "The awareness apparently trying to be expressed is - let's say in one way I was always hip. I was hip in kindergarten. I was different from the others. I was different all my life. The second verse goes, 'No one I think is in my tree.' Well I was too shy and self-doubting. Nobody seems to be as hip as me is what I was saying. Therefore, I must be crazy or a genius - 'I mean it must be high or low,' the next line. There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn't see. I thought I was crazy or an egomaniac for claiming to see things other people didn't see."
The Beatles attended the opening of an exhibition at the Indica Gallery by the Greek sculptor Takis Vasilakis.
The Beatles' fourth Christmas record Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas was recorded in the demo studio in the basement of the New Oxford Street offices of Dick James, their music publisher.
John made a filmed appearance in Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's BBC Television show Not Only . . . But Also in which he played a uniformed nightclub doorman. The filmed location for the club was the underground gentlemen's lavatory on Broadwick Street, near Berwick Street market, Soho. John was shown wearing his new "granny" glasses.
Abbey Road. The group recorded three more takes of 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
Abbey Road. More work on 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
John and Yoko met for the second time, at the opening of a Claes Oldenburg exhibition. Encouraged by his apparent interest in her work, Yoko mailed him a copy of her book of conceptual art 'instructions', Grapefruit.
Paul saw The Young Rascals make their UK debut at the Scotch St James's.
Paul was so impressed by The Young Rascals that he saw them a second time, this time at Blaises.
Abbey Road. Work began on 'When I'm Sixty Four'. The Beatles also taped Christmas greetings for the pirate stations Radio London and Radio Caroline.
Abbey Road. Paul added his vocal to 'When I'm Sixty Four' in the afternoon and all four Beatles arrived for an evening session working on 'Strawberry Fields Forever' again.
Abbey Road. The Beatles continued to work on 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
The album A Collection of Beatles Oldies was released in the UK as Parlophone PMC 7016 (mono) and PCS 7016 (stereo). Side A: 'She Loves You', 'From Me To You', 'We Can Work It Out', 'Help!', 'Michelle', 'Yesterday', 'I Feel Fine', 'Yellow Submarine';
Side B: 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'Bad Boy', 'Day Tripper', 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Ticket To Ride', 'Paperback Writer', 'Eleanor Rigby', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'. The album marked the first UK release of the group's version of the Larry Williams rocker, 'Bad Boy'.
On the same day in 1964 that The Beatles recorded 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy', they also cut a more obscure Larry Williams rocker, 'Bad Boy'. Once again, John Lennon was to the fore, whooping his way through the tale of a pre-juvenile delinquent (told in true American slang). The group's instrumental support wasn't quite in the same league, which is probably why this track was reserved initially for an American LP, Beatles VI, and only appeared in Britain on this compilation.
The BBC Home Service programme The Lively Arts broadcast an interview done with George in India in which he discussed philosophy and Indian music.
George: "Too many people have the wrong idea about India. Everyone immediately associates India with poverty, suffering and starvation, but there's much more than that. There's the spirit of the people, the beauty and the goodness. The people there have a tremendous spiritual strength which I don't think is found elsewhere. That's what I've been trying to learn about."
Abbey Road. The Beatles continued work on 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
Members of The Beatles fan club were sent copies of The Beatles' fourth Christmas flexi-disc called Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas. Side One: 'Song; Everywhere It's Christmas', 'Orowanyna', 'Corsican Choir And Small Choir', 'A Rare Cheese', 'Two Elderly Scotsmen', 'The Feast', 'The Loyal Toast'; Side Two: 'Podgy The Bear And Jasper', 'Count Balder And Butler', 'Felpin Mansions (Part Two)', 'The Count And The Pianist', 'Song; Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back', 'Everywhere It's Christmas', 'Mal Evans', 'Reprise: Everywhere It's Christmas'.
Ringo: "We worked it out between us. Paul did most of the work on it. He thought up the 'Pantomime' title and the two song things."
Paul: "I drew the cover myself. There's a sort of funny pantomime horse in the design if you look closely. Well I can see one there if you can't."
Paul and Jane attended the premiere of the film The Family Way at the Warner Theatre which had an incidental soundtrack written by Paul and arranged by George Martin.
John: "I copped money for The Family Way, the film music that Paul wrote when I was out of the country filming How I Won The War. I said, 'You'd better keep that.' He said, 'Don't be soft.' It's the concept. We inspired each other so much in the early days. We write how we write now because of each other."
John and Paul's friend Tara Browne was killed in a car crash, on his way to visit another friend of Paul's, David Vaughan. John later said that the tragedy inspired them to write the line "He blew his mind out in a car" in 'A Day In The Life', although Paul has since challenged that idea.
The design team Binder, Edwards and Vaughan announced that Paul had agreed to make an experimental electronic tape to be played at the Carnival of Light to be held at the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, in January.
Abbey Road. More vocals were added to 'When I'm Sixty Four.'
The Beatles recorded interviews with John Edwards for the ITN (Independent Television News) programme Reporting '66 and were filmed arriving at Abbey Road and working on a song together.
Abbey Road. Woodwind was added to 'When I'm Sixty Four' and John added more vocals to 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
The single 'Love In The Open Air'/'Theme From The Family Way' by The George Martin Orchestra and written by Paul McCartney was released in the UK as United Artists UP 1165.
All four Beatles remained in London and the Home Counties for Christmas.
John's appearance on Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's BBC Television show, Not Only ... But Also, was screened.
Abbey Road. Paul working alone in the studio recorded the backing track to his 'Penny Lane', finishing up at 2.15am.
Paul: " 'Penny Lane' is a bus roundabout in Liverpool and there is a barber's shop ... There's a bank on the corner so we made up the bit about the banker in his motor car. It's part fact, part nostalgia for a place which is a great place - blue suburban skies as we remember it, and it's still there."
Abbey Road. Further work done on 'When I'm Sixty Four' and 'Penny Lane'.
George and Patti, Brian Epstein, Eric Clapton and others were refused admittance to Annabel's Night Club because George was not wearing a tie. He refused the one offered to him by the doorman. They saw in the New Year at the Lyon's Corner House Restaurant on Coventry Street.
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