Then & Now: Cheap Day Return

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The Independent Online
10 February, 1967: the Beatles are in their Abbey Road studio recording 'A Day in the Life'.

'It was Paul who decided the best way of filling the 24-bar gap in 'A Day in the Life': an orchestral build-up with perhaps 90 musicians playing from a pre-selected low note to the highest their respective instruments could play . . .

The total cost of the (40) musicians was pounds 367 10s, quite an investment.

The entire session was filmed . . . the footage captured the craziness of the evening, making for a compelling, if chaotic little film, with all the musicians in evening dress, everyone - including John Lennon - wearing silly novelties like upside-down spectacles, imitation bald heads, red noses, false eyes, fake cigars and knotted handkerchiefs on heads. It also shows George's wife, Pattie Harrison, and the many friends especially invited along by the Beatles - among them Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richard, Mike Nesmith, Donovan . . . It shows girl fans being ejected by Neil Aspinall and bubbles floating around the expanse of Studio One. Tony Bramwell, in charge of the shooting, remembers: 'It never got shown because the BBC banned the song, thinking it related to drugs. But the party idea was picked up for the 'All You Need is Love' broadcast.' '

From 'The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions' by Mark Lewisohn.

27 August, 1992: John Lennon's hand-written lyrics for 'A Day

in the Life' are sold for pounds 48,400

to an anonymous telephone bidder at Sotheby's.