Live: Town Hall, Wellington, New Zealand

The Beatles’ second night of concerts in the New Zealand capital saw them perform two shows at the city’s Town Hall, to a total of 5,000 fans.

Prior to the concert, during a recorded interview at the Hotel St George, Paul McCartney performed around 30 seconds of JS Bach’s Bourrée in E minor. He also sang in a mock-operatic manner.

The piece was occasionally performed by McCartney and George Harrison in their early days. In his authorised biography he spoke of an affinity with the composer, drawing parallels with their working methods. He also admitted taking inspiration from the bourrée for his songs Blackbird and Jenny Wren.

The original inspiration [for Blackbird] was from a well-known piece by Bach, which I never know the title of, which George and I had learned to play at early age; he better than me actually. Part of its structure is a particular harmonic thing between the melody and the bass line which intrigued me. Bach was always one of our favourite composers; we felt we had a lot in common with him. For some reason we thought his music was very similar to ours and we latched on to him amazingly quickly. We also liked the stories of him being the church organist and wopping this stuff out weekly, which was rather similar to what we were doing. We were very pleased to hear that.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The two concerts in Wellington were The Beatles’ last in the city. The following day they travelled to Auckland, where their world tour continued.

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