Today the Fabs were excused from the studio to take a field trip to Piccadilly Circus, where they attended the world premiere of Yellow Submarine at the London Pavilion.

It appears to have been quite the happening. All four Beatles were there, as were Yoko, Pattie Harrison, and Maureen Starkey. Jane Asher was conspicuously absent — sometime right around here was where she walked in on Paul in bed with Francie Schwartz and dumped him. That may already have happened at this point, or may be just about to happen; tragically the exact date of this important event is not recorded by history.

You’d think there would have been wall-to-wall media coverage of the premiere, but there are not all that many photos, and precious little film. We can choose from this silent black-and-white clip:

This one, which has some audio — none of it coherent — and is still in B&W:

Or this one, which has the best footage — and is in color, crucial for getting that psychedelic 60s flavor — but is paired with some truly awful background music. I recommend turning off the sound and listening to “Mean Mr. Mustard” instead:

My favorite account of the day comes from one David Stark, at the time a 15-year-old schoolboy, who snuck into the premiere by pretending to know Brian Epstein’s brother:

We just stood around as everyone came in. I remember seeing Status Quo, Grapefruit and some members of The Who. And then all of the sudden camera flashguns started going off everywhere, and the whole place buzzed as the Beatles arrived with their entourage. They went down to the front row of the “dress circle,” closely followed by the photographers, and as the photographers left I noticed two empty seats behind Paul!

At this point I was really sweating it out, especially when I looked to my right and saw that I was sitting next to Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones! I thought we were going to be thrown out at any moment. Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask him if it was okay to sit there, and he said it was, as the seats were reserved for Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, but they were still in the States! John Lennon then turned around and asked Keith Richards something like, “So who are your friends?,” and Keith said, “Oh sorry, haven’t I already introduced you to Mick and Marianne?”

In this photo you’ll see Keith smoking what appears to be a giant spliff, but is probably just an extra-large cigarette, with the empty seats to his left:

But wait, who’s that sitting next to Paul? I swear it looks like Nico, but apparently it’s Jenny Boyd, Pattie’s sister. All the way on the other end, next to Pattie herself, is Neil Aspinall; his expression says that someone has just leapt from the stage brandishing a pistol and shouting “Sic semper tyrannis!” Other than that, how did you like the movie?

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