Monday, September 17, 2012

Backup on Hey Jude

This is a story from the summer 2005 issue of the British Beatles Fan Club magazine.  It was written by a fan from Sweden, Bengt Ahlstrom.   Bengt was one of the lucky fans that sang in the background during the "Hey Jude" promos in 1968.  And while this is a story that has been told on this blog before, it is always neat to hear the same story from a different person because every Beatle experience and memory has that individuals personal spin to it that makes it unique to that fan.  It says in this article that Bengt wants to hear from other fans that were there.  The magazine has an email address, but I don't feel right giving it out without his permission.  However, if you were there and wish to get in touch with him, please let me know.

I was 19 years old traveling in Europe by car, at this time   I was staying in my car at a parking place located near Trafalgar Square.  I was invited by a girl from Apple, whom I met on Oxford Street, to appear together with the Beatles as the performed "Hey Jude" on 4th September 1968.  Of course my answer was YES!

However, I had to sign an agreement saying that I was not going to be paid.  We were a group of ordinary people asked to perform the last part of "Hey Jude" standing besides the Beatles.   There was a symphony orchestra playing too.  David Frost was the host and the "Hey Jude" promo was  first broadcast four days later on his LWT show Frost on Sunday.  They recorded the song about five or six times for the TV cameras and in the meantime they sang a lot of classic old songs like "Tea for Two", "Tom Dooley" etc.  This went on from about 6:00pm to a couple of hours after midnight.  The Beatles seemed to have very much fun together and played and sang and joked a lot.  They also talked to us now and then.   Paul gave a lot of hugs to young girls and George went around talking to people, as did Ringo.   John was more quiet and very tight together with Yoko, except when he was performing the song.

Earlier they had filmed "Revolution" for TV without any audience, but they were watching and discussing the results of the video while we were there.  I was standing close to John, watching the video for "Revolution."  He made many positive comments to us (I still have my clothes, which have been touch by John.  Crazy, but a big thing for me).  George was smoking a lot (Kent).  He gave his phone number to a guy from the USA who asked for an interview for his schoolwork.  George was saying he was very occupied with an album at the moment but told him to call later.  I also met George Martin years later and he has signed the agreement. 

1 comment:

  1. Great account, thank you Sara, as usual!

    And informative to know they filmed "Revolution" first, then "Hey Jude" (makes sense, of course!). Another piece in the jigsaw.