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Friday, 26 August 2011

Bangor: August 25 - 27, 1967.

44 years ago this weekend, the Beatles plus entourage boarded the "Mystical Special" (actually the rather more prosaic 3.15 Stopping Train to Bangor). Thus, it seemed like a good idea at the time to have a look at some related "shizzle" which has arisen of late.
To begin with probably the most interesting: the above screen-cap from home movie footage of breakfast or lunch on what I think was probably the 27th (ie very shortly before they received the news of Brian's death). If you haven't seen it yet, you'll no doubt wish to do so immediately, and don't let me stop you. It can be seen HERE. (We'll return to this later.)
Now, you'd think it would be possible to impose some order on the many photos taken that weekend, via the medium o' fash... and this is what I've attempted to do (emphasis on attempted). So:
AUGUST 25th:
Having arrived and settled in at Normal College, the Beatles (plus all important entourage) head over to the John Phillips Hall for an introductory Mantra (or something). Jagger is made to sit with the WAGS:

The central pic above is the hall as it looks now. The Beatles took their place on stage beside Maharishi:

Following this, they went for a meal at the Senior Chinese Restaurant in town. (Not sure where that was.)
AUGUST 26th:
The Beatles and the Maharishi were housed in student halls known as Dyfrdwy - two almost identical buildings that faced each other then (and still do now). They are currently part of the Bangor Business Centre, and you can stay there for around 60 pounds a night - something I intend to do before too long, in order to get a more substantial shufti. But I digress.
The all important entourage was lodged in another building called Alun. Interestingly, it's in Alun that Paul took the call about Brian (or so it is said).
On the Saturday, the Beatles walked across to the Maharishi's room, and received a flower each for their trouble:

Inevitably, the press were waiting, and so captured them walking back across to their own rooms:

The same spot now:

AUGUST 27th:
Judging by the clobber, these pics were taken in Maharishi's room on the morning of the 27th:

Once more, they were photographed leaving the Maharishi, and crossing the short space to their own rooms:

It must have been around about then that the alarm was being raised in London re. Brian. Upon receiving the news, Paul seems to have left almost immediately (and the same spot now):

John, George and Ringo stayed on to issue a statement (and probably also to speak more with Maharishi):

Having done this, they returned to Weybridge/Esher. Here, the scene of the press conference these days:

AUGUST 28th:
On the Monday, a photo-call for remaining attendees (including Jagger, still there, and seated to Maharishi's right):

The Lips had been under the cosh from John all weekend (peace and love or no peace and love) for "jumping on the bandwagon" and "only being interested in sex"... which is fairly amusing. But I digress.
Back to the film: I think it's likely to be the 27th based, once again, upon the "gear". For example, compare Cynthia's shirt:

If so, and it's lunch (and not breakfast), the film records some of the final moments of the Beatles as a unified entity. The second John heard about Brian, he thought, famously (and presciently), "We've fuckin' had it".
But here, for another hour or so, they hadn't quite "had it" yet:


  1. Is the younger man with glasses in the group Hunter Davies? He was along for the trip and was at a meal with them (as told in his book).

  2. That's some interesting analysis of an oft discussed juncture in the Beatles' story. Thanks.

  3. Yes! Great post, indeed! I love to know every little detail about those days! Thank you so much!