Wednesday, 5 August 2009

It’s the 8th August 1969…

This Saturday 8th August, Richard P will take you back 40 years on an extra-special London Walk to the morning of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover shoot. Meet him at Marylebone Station at 9.20 a.m.

Here’s some background prep to get you “in character”…

It is the 8th August 1969 (a sunny Friday morning in London). Harold Wilson is the Prime Minister of the U.K. Richard Nixon is the 37th President of the United States… The Rolling Stones are at No.1 in the UK chart with Honky Tonk Women. It is to be their last UK chart-topper (so far). In the U.S Zager & Evans top the Hot 100 with In the Year 2525. It is their first hit (and will be their last)… You will wake up tomorrow morning to the gruesome news of the murder of actress Sharon Tate at the hands of Charles Manson’s “Family”. Manson will later claim to have been “influenced” by the lyrics of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter from last year’s double album The Beatles… Across the Channel, Charles de Gaulle’s government devalues the Franc by 12% at a time of European financial crisis… also in France, but unbeknownst to you today in 1969, Henry Kissinger is engaged in secret peace negotiations with Xuan Thuy representing the North Vietnam. The talks flounder… Nearer to home, if you have tuned in to Coronation Street two nights ago (Wednesday 6th August 1969) you will have seen Rover’s Return landlord Jack Walker refuse to fire barmaid Betty Turpin despite the protestations of his wife, pub matriarch Annie Walker (it was episode 899 of what will become the UK’s longest-running soap)… And tomorrow, the 9th August 1969 the English football season will kick-off at 3.00 p.m. perhaps appropriately it will be a good day for the Liverpool over London. Liverpool F.C will defeat Chelsea 4-1 and Arsenal will go down to Everton 1-0…Later this year you can look forward to the debut of, Monty Python’s Flying Circus on the telly (5th October, BBC1)… By which time you will have been playing The Beatles’ Abbey Road album for nine days (it will be released on 26th September 1969) on your latest model Dansette record player, the Dansette Supreme.

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