The Beatles Get Their “Hippie” On!
Fifty years ago, on April 12, 1967 – Paul McCartney was photographed on a journey back from the world of hippies, which would lead to one of the band’s great albums!
This is Paul in the US fifty years ago, and thanks to a terrific book, we know how this date in Beatles’ history led to “Magical Mystery Tour!”
The book is titled “The Beatles 365 Days” by Simon Wells – I was given it as a gift, and it has been a terrific book to dip into at any time…
It takes a day by day look at their lives, their recordings, their every move – tied to a specific day. Here is what happened on April 12, 1967 – 50 years ago!
Paul arrived at London’s Heathrow airport, after spending eight days in the US. The book points out that he was in Denver to see his girlfriend, Jane Asher, who was celebrating her 21st birthday in Denver, since she was performing on stage there.
However, Paul was always thinking music, so he was also doing this on his US trip, according to the book:
“Paul would take off in various directions along the West Coast, visiting Jefferson Airplane in Haight Ashbury and recording with the Beach Boys during sessions for their controversial album “Smile.”
Here’s a shot of Paul and Brian from almost a decade later, when Paul celebrated the Beach Boys’ birthday:
According to the book, this trip in 1967 sparked something in Paul:
“It was during this brief sojourn into the hinterlands of California hippiedom that Paul, feeding off the residual energy left by Ken Kesey’s band of psychic trailers, would form ideas that would later see light in the group’s project “Magical Mystery Tour.”
At this time, San Francisco was engulfed in “flower power”, the “free love” era that included the iconic intersection of Haight and Asbury:
It was a fascinating time, but it didn’t last long – see more about this era here:
I love that Paul was a supporter of the “hippie” movement. I guess you could see it in some of his apparel – very of the “moment”:
Paul is quoted as saying at the time:
“I really wish the people that look at the ‘weeds’ at the ‘happenings’, at the psychedelic ‘freak-outs’ would, instead of just looking with anger, just look with nothing; with no feeling, be unbiased about it.”
As always, Paul was open to everyone and everything.
Of course, Paul went on to lead his band on a merry journey of their own, which resulted in an album AND a TV special:
Here is the official Apple trailer for the “Magical Mystery Tour” film:
While it includes two songs recorded during the “Sgt. Pepper” sessions (“All You Need Is Love” and “Baby You’re A Rich Man”), it is a terrific snapshot of the sound of the band at that time…with instant classics like the title track, “I Am The Walrus” and “Fool On The Hill”…
So that was a look at April 12, 1967 – fifty years ago in the life of The Beatles. A couple of years ago I got to celebrate another 50th anniversary event:
Yes, the 50th anniversary of the band performing at The Hollywood Bowl! It was a “unique” night of music, as evidenced by Billy Ray Cyrus leading the capacity crowd through a singalong version of “Hey Jude”:
You can click here to see more clips from that night and my review of the show as well – a surprising paucity of legendary Artists taking part considering the magnitude of the event:
The band also celebrated another 50th anniversary milestone last year:
Here is a look at the album that some consider to be their greatest achievement, and is still timeless 50 years on…
Of course, this is the year for the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Peppers, can’t wait for the special edition that is coming out to celebrate it!
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