- Timeline More from year 1967
- West Malling Air Station, Maidstone, Kent, UK
More from year 1967
Filming of “Magical Mystery Tour”
1967 • For The Beatles • Directed by The Beatles
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Production of The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” TV special took place throughout September 1967, with some additional scenes filmed in late October / early November. The first leg of filming occurred from September 11 to 15 in and around Newquay. On September 18, filming resumed with the crew choosing the Raymond Revuebar strip club in London’s Soho district as the location for the day’s shoot. From September 19 to 24, the Beatles relocated to West Malling Air Station in Maidstone, Kent, where they filmed interior and exterior shots for the project.
On this fourth day of filming at West Malling Air Station, the Beatles were joined on set by the actor and friend of the band, Victor Spinetti. Spinetti appeared in a scene set in a hut outside the main hangar, in which Paul McCartney dressed up in army uniform as Major McCartney, and Spinetti played a barking recruiting sergeant, shouting instructions at Ringo Starr, Aunt Jessie, and other passengers on the mystery trip.
The filming continued with sequences featuring Jolly Jimmy, who welcomed people inside the magic tent to watch “Blue Jay Way.”
In addition to this, a scene for the beginning of the “Magical Mystery Tour” film was also shot on this day. The sequence featured Ringo Starr entering a shop and purchasing tickets for the tour from the shopkeeper, played by John Lennon. The shop in question was the town news agency at 90 High Street in West Malling, Kent.
It is worth noting that George Harrison was not present on the set on this day, as he was bedridden and suffering from influenza.
Filming at West Malling Air Station continued the following day.
I’d worked with The Beatles in their previous movies, so John wrote to me and asked if I would be the courier in Magical Mystery Tour. I was busy doing a play, Oh What A Lovely War, in London, so I had to turn it down and Ivor Cutler went on and did it marvellously.
But John still wanted me to be involved, so he got to me to drive down to West Malling Aerodrome for the day and do a little drill sergeant routine with Paul. It was something I did in the play anyway, and it was all improvised, so it was no problem.
One lovely thing was that when we broke for lunch, they had set aside twenty minutes for anybody who wanted to meditate, which I did. It was a lovely calm moment in the middle of the schedule, and they were all into that since they’d been with the Maharishi.
The filming was unusual inasmuch as it wasn’t done in lots of short takes like a normal movie. They filmed long sequences, and they improvised as they went along. At one point John spotted a stuffed cow, and he just decided there and then to have it in the shot. They were making it up as they went along.Victor Spinetti – From “The Making of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour” by Tony Barrow, 1999
It came as a complete surprise to me when their producer bloke turned up and asked if I minded them using my shop to film in. I had no say at first, though. They wanted to shoot during the afternoon, but that’s my busiest period on a Friday. So, I said that they were welcome to come back after closing time. So, The Beatles, minus George, returned later in the afternoon. They said that George had a cold that day.Stanley Brown – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008
It was quite a day for my eight-year-old daughter, Penny. She was able to chat to the boys and even helped John put his false moustache straight for one shot. Then, all three signed a photograph of John’s flowered Rolls-Royce. It made a dream day for her. They made a very good impression on me. They were very polite and left the shop as they found it. Payment? I forgot to ask! But, as they packed up to leave, somebody handed me a fiver to buy myself a drink, and, when we checked the takings at the end of the day, we were 30 bob better off from their Tour ticket money.Stanley Brown – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008
|September 19||Aunt Jessie’s dreadful dream, including the scene where John Lennon serves spaghetti using a shovel.|
|September 20||“I Am The Walrus” sequence and the scenes with the Beatles wearing wizard outfits|
|September 21||“Blue Jay Way” sequence|
|September 22||“Barking Seargent” sequence with Victor Spinetti.|
The sequence where Jolly Jimmy welcomes people who have crawled inside the magic tent to watch “Blue Jay Way“
The sequence where Ringo Starr buys his ticket for the Magical Mystery Tour.
|September 23||“Magical Mystery Tour Marathon” scenes, with the cheating vicars, the mini-coopers…|
|September 24||Scene with Mr. Bloodvessel performing “I’m Going In A Field” at the organ (unused)|
Scene for “Your Mother Should Know“
Last updated on May 13, 2023
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