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April 03-04, 1967

Paul McCartney and Mal Evans fly to San Francisco

Last updated on May 10, 2024


  • Location: Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, USA


Paul McCartney's 1967 US holidays

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Paul McCartney and Mal Evans embarked on a trip on April 3, 1967, starting from London and making stops in Paris, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Although the recording of the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album was unfinished, Paul decided to take a ten-day break in the United States to surprise his girlfriend Jane Asher on her 21st birthday. At the time, Jane was touring the US with the Old Vic Company and performing Romeo And Juliet.

To travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco, they used a Lear Jet, which they used for the duration of the trip which lasted until April 11, 1967.

We left Denver in Frank Sinatra’s Lear Jet, which he very kindly loaned us. A beautiful job with dark black leather upholstery and, to our delight, a well-stocked bar.

Mal Evans – From his diary – From Here, there and everywhere (thetimes.co.uk), March 20, 2005

Jane left Britain on January 16, 1967, for a three-month tour of America with the Old Vic. Paul, at a loss without her companionship, threw himself into his work at the Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles were hard at work on their new album, now entitled Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles started work on the album in December, and Paul insisted that all work be finished in time for him to surprise Jane in America on April 5, her twenty-first birthday. Brian, in an attempt to flatter Paul, went through elaborate trouble to secure Paul’s transportation and accommodations for the trip, including the rental of Frank Sinatra’s private Lear jet.

From “The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles” by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines, 2002

While in San Francisco on April 4, they visited the Fillmore Auditorium where Jefferson Airplane was rehearsing. Following the visit, they accompanied Marty Balin and Jack Casady (from Jefferson Airplane) to the Oak Street apartment they shared with the band’s road manager Bill Thompson. There, Paul played them an acetate of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, and they also attempted to jam. However, Paul struggled with playing the band’s right-handed guitars. He can be seen in a photo playing a Rickenbacker 360/12 guitar, which possibly belonged to Paul Kantner. At the end of the evening, Jack Casady escorted them back to their hotel.

The next day, April 5, Paul and Mal travelled to Denver to meet Jane.

The Jefferson Airplane was practicing at the original Filmore in San Fransisco in the afternoon when in walked the Beatles assistant Mal. He was in a suit and tie and very British when he said “Master Paul McCartney would like to visit with you”. I said “show him in”. He went out and came back with Paul McCartney leading the two of them back in. He sat right down with us and talked a bit. Then we invited him to Jack and my apartment in the Haight Ashbury. So we went to our apartment and Jack and Jorma kept trying to get Paul to jam with them but he didn’t really want to. So he came over to my side of the apartment and we sat and started to talk. I said “so what’s up with the Beatles?”. Paul casually pulled a cassette from his pocket and said ” I happen to have a track from the new album”. I pulled out my cassette player and popped it in. Out came A DAY IN THE LIFE. Imagine the first time hearing that song……and I was sitting there with Paul McCartney hearing it….I was stunned and knocked off the universe. I just praised the heck out of it…and him…and the Beatles and knew that it was part of a magnificent wave of new music led by the Beatles.

Marty Balin – From Marty Balin on Facebook, April 2019

From 3 April 1967: Paul McCartney flies to Los Angeles | The Beatles Bible


Soon after midnight I finished packing and took my bags round to Paul’s to be ready for early take-off. Paul went to bed at 3.30 a.m. and left me with Martha and Thisby. Painters arrived very early — they’re working on Paul’s house while we’re away, then two Air France chaps to take us to the airport. Spent a few hours at Orly Airport, Paris, between flights. Party of Americans swarmed about for autographs. Paul bought me a camera bag to go with the Pentax I got from George. During flight from Paris to Los Angeles Paul remembered he’d forgotten to bring with him photograph of the “Sgt. Pepper” LP cover which he wanted to show Jane. Ah, well! Too late now! Slight visa problem for Paul at L.A. airport but it was all sorted out in half an hour. Waited for chartered Lear Jet. Then heigh ho for San Francisco.


Today San Francisco had its first snow for 42 years! Colder than we expected. We went shopping — bought some records and took pictures of the famous Golden Gate. Went along to flat where Jefferson Airplane group were rehearsing for big Light & Sound Show. Paul played guitar with them.

Mal Evans – From The Beatles Monthly Book, July 1967
From The Beatles Monthly Book, July 1967

A Hollywood Break For Paul

PAUL McCARTNEY made more friends during his recent Hollywood visit — particularly with Jefferson Airplane, one of the best-known groups who have still to make the national charts.

They flew in to Los Angeles to perform at the new Cheetah Club and while rehearsing one afternoon Paul walked in, listened attentively for a while, and then started complimenting. They told me afterwards it was one of the most pleasant shocks they ever experienced.

McCartney, who flew to San Francisco (the Airplane’s home town, incidentally) to see Jane Asher perform with the Bristol Old Vic Repertory company there, spent the evening in Hollywood with Airplane bass player Jack Casady, who reports : “He brought a bunch of demonstration records from the next Beatle album and played them for me. I couldn’t believe that they were that good! This next Beatle album will be as much an improvement over the last as ‘Rubber Soul ‘ was over the one before it.

While McCartney was in California, the Monterey Pop Festival convinced him to join Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, John Phillips and Lou Adler on their advisory board. Others agreeing to serve on the board are Donovan, Andrew Oldham, and record producer Ferry Melcher.

Already set to appear during the three-day are the Mama’s and Papa’s, the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Johnny Rivers, the Byrds, the Buffalo Springfield and Jefferson Airplane, with Ravi Shankar heading a special Sunday afternoon concert.

Donations from Simon, Garfunkel, the Mama’s and Papa’s, Rivers and Adler total $40,000. These funds will enable the Festival to be run as a non-profit organisation with the profits from the concerts going to a “Pop Foundation,” the purpose of which has not yet been defined, but will aid youth in some fashion.

From New Musical Express – April 22, 1967
From New Musical Express – April 22, 1967

Article about the Old Vic company touring the US with Romeo and Juliet – From The Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1967

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!

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