The Beatles’ stay in Beverly Hills and meeting with the Mamas and Papas

August 26-27, 1966
Timeline More from year 1966
7655 Curson Terrace, Beverly Hills, USA

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During their final tour in August 1966, The Beatles took a day off on August 24 to rest in Los Angeles. The following day, August 25, they flew to Seattle to perform at the Coliseum, returning to Los Angeles that evening for two more days of rest on August 26 and 27.

Throughout their stay, they lodged at 7655 Curson Terrace in Beverly Hills, a private residence rented for them by their manager, Brian Epstein, which they had also stayed at on August 24.

It is thought that Paul McCartney met with The Mamas and The Papas during this stay. The discussion he had with John Phillips, the band’s founder of the band, and Lou Adler, their manager, reportedly led to the organization of the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967.

Pop music wasn’t covered by the mainstream media until Rolling Stone came along in November of 1967. […] The impetus for putting the festival on, about a couple of weeks prior to the festival, maybe a couple of months, Paul McCartney, myself, John Phillips, I think Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips and we were sitting around discussing the fact that pop music wasn’t considered an art form in the way that jazz was considered, and even folk.

So when the opportunity came to purchase these dates in Monterey and do something, we thought well, here’s a chance to validate it. Monterey is known for a jazz festival, it’s known for a folk festival. Let’s just get in and do it. It was the first pop festival.

Lou Adler – Interview with Tavis Smiley for PBS, June 2007

The impetus to stage the Monterey International Pop Festival evolved one night in 1967 [sic], at Cass Elliot’s house. Paul McCartney, John and Michelle Phillips, Cass, and I were discussing, along with other highly inspired issues, the general perception of rock ‘n’ roll, and that, while jazz was considered an art form, rock ‘n’ roll was continually viewed as a fad, a trend—and yet both were American-born musical genres.

Not too long after that night, John and I were approached by Alan Pariser and a promoter named Ben Shapiro, who wanted to hire the Mamas and the Papas to headline a one-day blues and rock event at the Monterey Fairgrounds. Later that night—actually, at three o‘clock in the morning—John and I had decided, influenced by some heavy “California dreamin’,” that it should be a charitable event. Shapiro, who had envisioned a commercial event, eventually decided to leave the project, and we bought the dates from him. John and Michelle, Paul Simon, Johnny Rivers, Terry Melcher, and I put up $10,000 apíece; with six weeks to go, the Monterey International Pop Festival, a three-day non-profit event, was becoming a reality. […]

Lou Adler and John Phillips – From “A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival” by Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik, 2011

Mackenzie Phillips, daughter of John Phillips and 7 years old in 1966, remembered this encounter with Paul McCartney in her autobiography:

My dad’s friends never treated me like a child, not exactly. I was more like an accessory, a cute little prop who might amuse or entertain. One weekend before we’d moved to Los Angeles from Virginia — I must have been five or six — we were with Dad in L.A. for a visit. His fellow band member Cass Eliot (the other “Mama”) had a party at her house in Laurel Canyon. We walked into Cass’s house and there were Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

When I saw Paul McCartney I glommed on to him like a baby groupie. He kept saying, “Go on, love, get up and dance.” In a rare moment of shyness, I demurred. I was afraid people would laugh at me. He insisted. I refused. This exchange circled, a teasing game between a little kid and a world-famous musician.

Finally I broke down and started dancing. The adults began to point and laugh at the little five-year-old dancing for the rock star. I turned bright red and burst into tears, but then Paul McCartney started consoling me. I was no dummy. I liked being consoled by Paul McCartney. The more he comforted, the more tears I summoned. Finally he picked me up and earned me into a hammock that was suspended in the middle of Cass’s dining room on a pulley. Someone hoisted us up, up, up. The ceilings were two stories tall and we were suspended fifteen feet in the air. I was still snuffling. Paul snuggled up with me until I finally calmed down and eventually fell asleep. The two of us napped together in that hammock, suspended high above the party. You could say I got high and slept with Paul McCartney.

Mackenzie Phillips – Daughter of John Phillips – From “High On Arrival” by Mackenzie Phillips

After those two days off, The Beatles played at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, on August 28, 1966.

Last updated on March 12, 2023

Going further

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