At this point “Penny Lane” was finally approaching completion, with just a few details left to be added. In today’s session some vocal harmonies were recorded, as well as the handbell that’s heard whenever the fireman is mentioned. Later in the day, according to The Beatles Bible,

Paul McCartney saw trumpet player David Mason performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number 2 in F Major with the English Chamber Orchestra from Guildford Cathedral, on the the BBC 2 television series Masterworks. Impressed with what he heard, McCartney decided to use him for the final overdub on “Penny Lane.”

On Thursday, George Martin would call Mason and book him for a session on the 17th.

But the most momentous event of the day, to my mind, came later still. After completing their day’s work Paul and Ringo decided to head over to a club called the Bag O’Nails to check out an up-and-coming band called the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

As it happened, the Experience — Jimi himself, bassist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell — had also spent all day in the studio. Their first single (“Hey Joe” b/w “Stone Free”) had been released on December 16 and they were now beginning the process of assembling an album. Today at DeLane Lea Studios they recorded a little song called “Purple Haze,” as well as “Third Stone from the Sun” and possibly “51st Anniversary” and/or “The Wind Cries Mary” (sources differ).

On top of all that they played two shows at  the Bag O’Nails, with non-Beatle attendees reportedly including Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Bill Wyman, Eric Clapton, Lulu, Eric Burdon, Georgie Fame, Donovan, and future Wing Denny (not Penny) Laine. Many minds were blown that night, I’m sure. I’ll fill in further details once the time machine is ready and I’m able to go see for myself.


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