Mick Jagger hears “Hey Jude” for the first time

Thursday, August 8, 1968
Timeline More from year 1968
Location:
26 Tottenham Court Road, London, UK

Related song


Hey Jude

Officially appears on Hey Jude / Revolution

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On this day, Paul McCartney joined a birthday party for Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger, and couldn’t resist playing the latest Beatles’ single “Hey Jude“, freshly recorded, which would annoy Mick. It was also reported that John Lennon and Yoko Ono attended this evening.

From Beatles or Stones? – Believer Magazine:

[On August 8, 1968, Mick Jagger was at] birthday party thrown in his honor at his new Moroccan-style bar called the Vesuvio Club—“one of the best clubs London has ever seen,” remembered proprietor Tony Sanchez. Under black lights and beautiful tapestries, some of London’s trendiest models, artists, and pop singers lounged on huge cushions and took pulls from Turkish hookahs, while a decorative, helium-filled dirigible floated aimlessly about the room. As a special treat, Mick brought along an ad­vance pressing of the Stones’ forthcoming album, Beggars Banquet, to play over the club’s speakers. Just as the crowd was “leaping around” and celebrating the record—which would soon win accolades as the best Stones album to date — Paul McCartney strolled in, and passed Sanchez a copy of the forthcoming Beatles single “Hey Jude/Revolution,” which had never before been heard by anyone outside of Abbey Road Studios. Sanchez re­called how the “slow, thundering buildup of ‘Hey Jude’ shook the club”; the crowd demanded that the seven-minute song be played again and again. Finally, the club’s disc jockey played the flip side, and everyone heard “John Lennon’s nasal voice pumping out ‘Re­volution.’” “When it was over,” Sanchez said, “Mick looked peeved. The Beatles had upstaged him.

This event is often mentioned to have been held on July 26, 1968 (Mick Jagger’s birthday), but “Hey Jude” was recorded from July 29 to August 6. Keith Badman, in “The Beatles: Off the Record“, gives August 8 as the date of this evening.

Mick flew in dramatically from LA [sic – Ireland] at the last minute, with the first advance pressing of The Stones’ new album Beggars Banquet, the album the whole world was waiting to hear, for this was a record on which the band’s entire future hung. Everything was perfect for the party. The club looked beautiful with huge silver bowls of mescaline spiked punch, plus plates full of hash cakes, which had become a craze, and little dishes with hash for people to smoke beside every hubble-bubble pipe. My only fear was the club’s proximity to Tottenham Court Road police station. It was only three-hundred yards away, and a couple of inquisitive cops would have been able to arrest just about every superstar in Britain if they had decided on a raid that night. Mick arrived, then Charlie Watts and John Lennon drifted in, and last of all came Paul McCartney. As Paul walked in, everybody was leaping around to Beggars Banquet, which was far and away the best album of The Stones’ career. Paul discreetly handed me a record and said, ‘See what you think of it, Tony. It’s our new one.’

Tony Sanchez – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

I remember taking it down to a late night Hashish-smoking club in a basement in Tottenham Court Road, the Vesuvio Club. I said to the DJ, ‘Here’s an acetate, do you want to slip it on some time during the evening?’

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

I stuck the record on the sound system and the slow thundering build-up of ‘Hey Jude’ shook the club. I turned the record over, and we all heard John Lennon’s nasal voice pumping out ‘Revolution’. When it was over, I noticed that Mick looked peeved. The Beatles had upstaged him.

Tony Sanchez – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

He played it and I remember Mick Jagger coming up to me and saying, ‘Fuckin’ ‘ell! Fuckin’ ‘ell! That’s something else, innit? It’s like two songs.’

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

Last updated on October 1, 2021

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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