- Timeline More from year 1967
- Atlantic Hotel, Newquay, UK
More from year 1967
Filming of “Magical Mystery Tour”
Related master release
Magical Mystery Tour (TV Special)
1967 • For The Beatles • Directed by The Beatles
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On September 11, The Beatles embarked on their Magical Mystery Tour, boarding a festively adorned coach accompanied by family, friends, fan club staff, actors, and select travellers, totalling 43 individuals. They departed from London around noon. By evening, the group reached Teignmouth, Devon, where they spent the night. On September 12, they travelled to Newquay, initially planning a one-night stay, but ultimately deciding to use the Atlantic Hotel as their base for three nights. On September 13, they filmed nearby Newquay.
On this day, September 14, The Beatles and their crew discovered a secluded cornfield in Tregurrian, close to Watergate Bay, where they had filmed the previous day. As they set up the camera and lighting equipment, large crowds gathered, causing the police to manage the ensuing traffic congestion.
Two scenes were shot in the field, but only one – featuring passengers cramming into a small tent – made the final cut. The unused scene showed George Harrison meditating to his song “Blue Jay Way” while donning an oversized blue jacket.
Afterward, the group returned to the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay for a late 4pm lunch, accompanied by live music from the in-house band. Though the meal was filmed, it didn’t make it into the final production.
That evening, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Neil Aspinall, and others, including BBC radio reporter Miranda Ward, visited a pub in Perranporth. They were joined by musician Spencer Davis, who was vacationing in the area with his family (Spencer Davis had already visited the Beatles at the Atlantic Hotel the previous night). Paul led a lively singalong around the pub piano, which continued well past 2 am.
Thursday was another busy, bright day – slightly spoiled for George because some fan had broken into the bus overnight and pinched his favourite old denim jacket.Mal Evans & Neil Aspinall – From The Beatles Monthly Book, December 1967
THURSDAY: Today and Friday turned out to be my favourite days — although we were supposed to be heading for home today, but filming got delayed because of bad weather. Today we filmed in a field. Within minutes of our arrival hundreds of holidaymakers gathered and the police were called to cope with a traffic jam! In this scene John, Paul, Sylvia and I had to crouch in a small tent. It was difficult enough trying to keep my balance without having to swat wasps and avoid sitting on beetles. Paul kept telling us to keep very still and the wasps would go away. One did — but not until after it had crawled all over Paul’s motionless mouth! This evening after getting a refreshing wash, Sylvia, Paul, Ringo, yours truly and a few others took Spencer Davis up on his invitation to come over to the little pub he was staying at and have a bit of a party. We didn’t get back until three in the morning!Jeni Crowley – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
On the Thursday morning I decided to do a bit of local window shopping because it didn’t look as though we’d be taking off for a while. When I got back to the bus The Beatles and all the other 40 passengers were waiting for me. “We nearly went without you, Barbara” said Paul as I climbed onto the coach. He gave me such a warm smile that it cheered me up tremendously. That day we filmed in a tent in a field.Barbara King – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
THURSDAY : We used the morning looking for locations to do more filming. The Beatles found a suitable field, as remote as possible. But there were crowds in no time. George sat down in the middle of the cornfield and drifted into meditation while the cameras were being set up. At four in the afternoon we had lunch — a special one because it was being filmed. We tucked in to the accompaniment of music played by the groovy band we’d listened to in the ballroom the previous evening. Later Jeni and I went to the small party Spencer Davis was throwing for the boys. We left in the small hours feeling very depressed about the return trip to London. The tour had had a rare quality of magic and fantasy about it but everything on this earth comes to an end and we had to accept the fact.Sylvia Nightingale – From The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1967
Lots of clothes designers down Carnaby Street have been wondering whether the Beatles were about to spark off a craze for gangster style clothes after the pictures appeared in the papers of them wearing Al Capone suits at the start of their Mystery Tour. Sean Connery wore a similar outfit to a big fancy dress party that Brigitte Bardot gave only a few days before. But reports from people on the Mystery Tour say it’s not happening yet. To quote one. “As soon as they got into the hotel they changed straight back into their ‘love’ gear”.From The Beatles Monthly Book, October 1967
After lunch, the sound-crew had to go back to London and Paul asked me to help out. Armed with my tape-recorder I followed him round the field switching on the mike when directed.Miranda Ward – BBC Reporter – From “The Making of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour” by Tony Barrow, 1999
We were all filmed during lunch one day. Apparently The Beatles had been in the ballroom the night before having a drink and got chatting to this bandleader chap. Paul asked him what he was doing for lunch the next day and when he said ‘Nothing,’ he was recruited to play while we ate.Freda Kelly – From “The Making of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour” by Tony Barrow, 1999
At lunchtime the next day we had a dinner party in the ballroom which was filmed and you can see The Beatles being served by our waiters on the inside cover of the “Magical Mystery Tour” EP.
We had a little three piece band with a violin, piano and drums, and all four of The Beatles danced waltzes and fox-trots to their music with the hotel residents, most of whom would have been in their fifties.
The Beatles were the biggest thing ever in those days and I was incredibly excited but I was also much too shy to go up to them so in the end my dad had to drag me over, I shook hands with Paul McCartney and he said “What are you grinning at?” I went bright red all over.
They wore the same clothes for the whole time they were with us, which I suppose was for continuity in the film, but after they’d booked out we found Paul McCartney had left a pair of underpants in his bed!Annabelle Pascoe, daughter of the proprietor of the Atlantic Hotel– From “The Making of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour” by Tony Barrow, 1999
From Plymouth Live (plymouthherald.co.uk), November 25, 2018:
Speaking in 2002, Doris Freeth, who danced with Paul McCartney in the Atlantic Hotel ballroom, said that it had all been like a dream – even though he was not the best dancer in the world. Mrs Freeth said that she knew the owner of the hotel, and he had telephoned her to ask if she would like to meet the band.
She said: “My friend put us at a table next to them, and when the music started my husband asked Paul McCartney if he would dance with me. But he said that he couldn’t dance. Those were the days when it was all rock and roll and jiving, but this was ballroom dancing instead. I had brown suede shoes on and he kept treading on my feet. I didn’t brush them for a week afterwards.”
Chris Parkin said that he sneaked into the hotel with a friend by pretending to be a waiter. They met Paul and Ringo in the hotel cocktail bar, and Chris ended up playing billiards with Ringo for much of the evening.
He said: “They were really down to earth. They were really friendly and easy to talk to. It was a huge event at the time. They were world superstars, above everyone else in the pop and show business world. I remember coming out of the hotel at 11.30 pm and the crowd which had been waiting outside had gone. John Lennon came out of the hotel and, realising that everyone had gone, he put his hands up to the air, looked up to the sky and said ‘save me’ as a joke, because he was so used to having crowds around him.”
The best moment of all in the making of the film was after a day’s filming on a sandy beach near Newquay in Cornwall. During a private little interlude of normality, Paul, Ringo, Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans dropped in to the Tywarhale pub in Perranporth one evening and were delighted to see an old friend, Spencer Davis (the Spencer Davis Group included Steve Winwood), propping up the bar. It seemed that the pub was owned by the parents-in-law of the Spencer Davis roadie. This instantly made them feel at home instead of among strangers.
The regulars couldn’t believe it when Paul sat at the piano and shouted out, “Evening all! I’m the pub pianist and I’m taking requests.” They spent the night in a good old singsong, with all the golden oldies, Paul thumping away on the Joanna and Ringo sometimes joining in on a mandolin with one string. When Ringo stopped strumming he said, “I think I’ve worn away me thumb.” He held it out. They should have filmed that night—but in real life it never happens. The best moments remain the fond memories of a handful of lucky people.Tony Bramwell – From “Magical Mystery Tours: My Life with the Beatles“, 2005
I invited some of them back to the pub in the evening and Ringo and Paul came, but George and John were doing something else. There was a piano in the corner and Paul stuck a pint of beer on the top and started playing and people hadn’t even noticed that he was in there. There was one girl who looked and said, ‘The piano player, look who it is!’ It was so funny to see the reaction on their faces.Spencer Davis – From “The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years” by Barry Miles
While we’d been chatting during the day I invited Paul back to the pub in Perranporth for a drink. So that night, I’m sitting in the bar when in walks Paul and Ringo. The punters in the pub just couldn’t believe it. Paul, being the sort of character he is, just grins at everybody, shouts out ‘Evening all’, and then installs himself at the piano, where he sat belting out pub songs all evening with everybody singing along until about two in the morning. That was such a great night.Spencer Davis – From “The Making of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour” by Tony Barrow, 1999
One evening, we went to a pub owned by Spencer Davis’ road manager and, at around one o’clock in the morning, we were having a big sing-song with Paul playing ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ on a piano, with Ringo plucking away on an old mandolin with only one string. After about two hours, he said, ‘Hey. You know, I think I’ve worn away my thumb,’ and it was pouring with blood.Leslie Cavendish – The Beatles’ 24-year-old hairdresser – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008
From Plymouth Live (plymouthherald.co.uk), November 25, 2018:
A young employee at the Atlantic Hotel managed to get all four members of the group to sign the legendary Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band album. The item was sold for a whopping £111,000 by a subsequent purchaser in an auction in New Hampshire, USA, in 2014. The Atlantic Hotel employee who obtained the signatures had written a letter of authentication when the record was sold in London in 1985.
He recalled how the management had warned staff not to approach the stars, or ask for autographs.
His letter, written to a member of Sotheby’s auction house, reads: “I got the LP signed when I met them in my hometown nearly 20 years ago. I’d just left school and my friend’s mum got me a steady summer job as a porter at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay. To my and everybody’s amazement, The Beatles stayed at the Atlantic for a few days while they were filming. The manager told all the staff who worked at the hotel not to bother or ask them for their autographs … I thought it was a good idea to take something back and have it signed. I sneaked the album back into work up my top as I didn’t want the manager to see. The Beatles didn’t seem to mind anyway as they signed a few items for staff and guests. I remember having to get George’s at a later date, as he wasn’t present when Paul, Ringo, and John signed.”
Last updated on May 17, 2023
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."
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