I do not, for the most part, read ahead when working on this blog, so I am often surprised by what happens next. For instance, I thought that filming for Magical Mystery Tour had been completed weeks ago. But no, says The Beatles Bible; today in Battersea,

Ringo Starr and Aunt Jessie were filmed arguing while walking up Acanthus Road and turning into Lavender Hill, where they were greeted by Jolly Jimmy Johnson the courier and Miss Wendy Winters the hostess before boarding the coach.

And that’s still not all; there will be more in the week to come. Knowing what we know about what the results will be like, it would be a kindness if we could somehow go back in time and tell them to give it up, that it’s not worth the trouble. But I am still missing a crucial component for the time machine with no immediate hope of the situation being rectified.

And MMT was not the only misbegotten project occupying The Beatles’ time during this period. It had by now become obvious that scheduling the opening of the Apple Boutique for early November had been less optimistic than just plain delusional. There were two main problems. One was that the design team called The Fool, who were supposed to be creating the clothes, were artists. Not only were they taking forever — at one point decamping to Morocco for a ten-day “research” (hash-smoking) excursion — but the things they designed were impractical and difficult to make.

The other problem was that the boutique had become the subject of a passive-aggressive power struggle between Paul McCartney and John Lennon. According to manager Pete Shotton, who was caught in the middle,

Paul wanted dividers up. Then John would come in and he’d say, “Why in the hell are we cutting people off from each other?” and he’d have the dividers ripped out.

History does not record where George stood on the divider question; he was probably against. Ringo, of course, was fine either way.

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