Paul McCartney watches trumpeter David Mason on TV and Jimi Hendrix live

Wednesday, January 11, 1967
Timeline More from year 1967
Bag O’Nails, 9 Kingly Street, Soho, London

Related song

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.


On this evening, Paul McCartney witnessed David Mason, a trumpet player, perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto N°2 in F Major, on the BBC1 television program “Masterworks“. Impressed by the performance, Paul informed George Martin the following day. George Martin, who was familiar with David Mason, contacted him and scheduled a studio session on January 17, 1967. During the session, David Mason added his famous piccolo trumpet solo on “Penny Lane“.

[Paul McCartney] saw me playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number 2 in F Major with the English Chamber Orchestra from Guildford Cathedral. […]

Dave Mason – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn

[Paul] was still after that one last bit of magic, and inspiration came to him one night while he was at home watching a television programme featuring a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 2 — coincidentally, one of the records I had discovered as a child in my grandmother’s basement, and one of my all-time favorite classical pieces.

The next evening, we were in the studio and Paul couldn’t stop talking about it. “What was that tiny little trumpet that fellow was playing?” he asked us. “I couldn’t believe the sound he was making!”

George Martin’s classical training never came in more handy. “That’s called a piccolo trumpet,” he said, “and the chap playing it was David Mason, who happens to be a friend of mine.”

“Fantastic!” exclaimed Paul. “Let’s get him in here and have him overdub it.”

Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006

I got the idea of using trumpets in that pizzicato way on ‘Penny Lane’ from seeing a programme on television. I didn’t know whether it would work, so I got the arranger for the session into the studio, played the tune on the piano and sang how I wanted the brass to sound. That’s the way I always work with arrangers.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

They were always asking me about classical instruments of the orchestra. I introduced them to a bassoon, bass clarinet, or whatever, but I had never introduced them to a Bach trumpet. But Paul, one evening, watched on television, a Bach Brandenberg Concerto and he came to me the following day, and said, ‘Great sound I heard last night, a tremendously high trumpet.’ ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘it’s a Bach trumpet.’ ‘Can we use it,’ he asked. ‘Yes, of course we can,’ I replied. It never occurred to me, but it occurred to him. So, we got the guy from the LSO (London Symphony Orchestra) to play Piccolo trumpet and that was that.”

George Martin – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

From Liverpool Daily Post, January 11, 1967

On the same evening, Paul McCartney saw Jimi Hendrix perform at the Bag O’Nails club in London. Among the other attendees were Ringo Starr, Bill Wyman, Donovan, Keith Moon, Brian Epstein, Georgie Fame, Twiggy, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Denny Laine, The Fourmost…

Paul McCartney had seen the Jimi Hendrix Experience on October 25 and November 25, 1966, and saw them again on January 29 and June 4, 1967.

I saw Paul [McCartney] again at the Bag O’Nails in Soho, where Jimi Hendrix was making a celebratory return. Mick Jagger came for a while and then left, unwisely leaving Marianne Faithfull, his girlfriend at the time, behind. Jimi sidled up to her after his mind-bending performance, and it became clear as the two of them danced together that Marianne had the shaman’s stars in her eyes. When Mick returned to take Marianne out to a car he’d arranged, he must have wondered what the sniggering was about. In the end, Jimi himself broke the tension by taking Marianne’s hand, kissing it, and excusing himself to walk over to Paul and me. Mal Evans, The Beatles’ lovable roadie-cum-aide-de-camp, turned to me and breathed a big, ironic Liverpudlian sigh. ‘That’s called exchanging business cards, Pete.’

Pete Townshend – From “Who I Am“, 2012

From Paul and Ringo watch Jimi Hendrix perform – The Beatles History ( – Jimi Hendrix at the Bag O’Nails, 1967

Club scene

Beyond any shadow of a doubt, THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE is the “in” thing with London “in” clubs – he’s worth a fortune to any West End Club sensible enough to book him. Last Wednesday he appeared at the Bag O’ Nails – “sensational” is not a word adequate enough to describe his success there. The club was so packed, it was almost impossible to breathe. Among the ‘faces’ who gathered to watch him were: BILL WYMAN, PAUL McCARTNEY, MIKE WILSHER, DONOVAN, KEITH MOON, TONY HALL, BRIAN EPSTEIN, VIV PRINCE, TONY BOOTH, GEORGIE FAME, TWIGGY, BOBBY ELLIOTT, ERIC CLAPTON, PETE TOWNSHEND, LISA MINELLI, ALLAN CLARKE, CHRIS DENNING, JOHN ENTWISTLE, RINGO STARR, DENNY LAINE, TWINKLE, PHIL MAY, PETER PENTON, THE FOURMOST, etc, etc, etc…

He also drew great response when he began a week’s residency at new London club THE 7 1/2 in Whitehorse Street. The 7 1/2 is an interesting new club with live entertainment by groups who play from 1 a.m. in the morning.

From Record Mirror – January 21, 1967
From Record Mirror – January 21, 1967


THIS MAN is Jimi Hendrix. And he’s dynamite! He’s not eating his guitar — just playing it with his teeth.

Jimi set the swinging London club scene alight last week with a stage act that left pop’s top names on their feet shouting for more.

In the audience at the Bag O’Nails, rapidly becoming the new “In” club in town, was a galaxy of stars including BEATLES Paul and Ringo with Brian Epstein, ROLLING STONE Bill Wyman, HOLLIES Allan Clarke and Bobby Elliott, WHO’s Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, CREAM’s Eric Clapton, Lulu, Small Faces, Donovan, Fourmost, Eric Burdon’s Animals, Georgie Fame, Geno Washington, DJs Chris Denning and Tony Hall and ex-Moody Blues singer Denny Laine.

Jimi Hendrix is the Greenwich Village discovery of original Animal Chas Chandler, whose experienced eye spotted obvious star quality in this giant coloured American.

Last week he was booked into the “Bag” and stars flocked to see him.

It was certainly a night to remember. Jimi did two spots of powerful, full-blooded blues which produced some amazing sounds and guitar gymnastics. He looks set to become one of the brightest stars of ’67.

From Disc And Music Echo – January 21, 1967
From Disc And Music Echo – January 21, 1967

Last updated on April 20, 2024

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

Shop on Amazon

If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Read more on The Beatles Bible


Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *