There seems to be some dispute about whether the party that I described as happening on Tuesday actually took place then, or in fact was held tonight, Thursday the 7th. I took my cue from The Beatles Bible, which is generally a very reliable source, but several others disagree. This being a matter of quibbling detail, I won’t spend any more of your time or mine debating it; suffice it to say that the party did in fact happen, and was apparently the cause of some soul-searching by The Beatles:

Unexpectedly there had been an outbreak of screaming, pushing, and shoving when [John and George] arrived. It reminded them of Beatlemania, smaller in scale and more concentrated perhaps, yet another mutant form of it…. If they couldn’t free themselves from the grip of crazy celebrity, they wondered, was there ever any hope of restoring some normalcy to their lives? (Bob Spitz, The Beatles)

We do know for sure that the Boutique opened for business today. I use the term “business” loosely; from the beginning this was a boondoggle of historic scale. Shoplifting was, if not actively encouraged, at least condoned. (“It was regarded as a kind of benevolence, hippie philanthropy,” said Alistair Taylor.) John later dismissed the whole enterprise, saying:

Paul had a nice idea about opening up white houses where it would sell white china and things like that, everything white because you can never get anything white, which is pretty groovy. It didn’t end up with that, it ended up with Apple, with all this junk and The Fool and all the stupid clothes and all that.

It’s worth noting that they did eventually end up with a white album, at least.

The Boutique only lasted eight months, during which it managed to lose The Beatles 200,000 pounds that otherwise would have gone to the Taxman. So in that way, it was a success.

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