The Beatles watch Bob Dylan perform in London

8.00pm, Sunday 9 May 1965 (48 years ago)

After a day spent filming scenes for Help! in London and Twickenham, The Beatles saw an evening performance by Bob Dylan at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

After the show they visited Dylan at his suite at the Savoy Hotel. The group were accompanied by singer Alma Cogan, and also present, as Dylan’s guest, was beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

The atmosphere was tense at first, until Ginsberg fell into John Lennon‘s lap from the arm of a sofa. Asked by Ginsberg if he knew William Blake, Lennon replied that he’d never heard of him. His wife Cynthia said: “Oh John, you liar, of course you have!” The exchange broke the ice.

After leaving the Savoy The Beatles spent the rest of the evening nightclubbing in London.

One Response to “The Beatles watch Bob Dylan perform in London”

  1. David Rose

    After the Savoy meeting Dylan suggested that John and Paul went to John Mayall’s house in SE London to an impromptu party. Also present were Peter and Gordon, Donovan (who had also been at the Savoy), Alexis Corner, Eric Clapton, John McVie, Hughie Flint, Manfred Mann (who lived a few doors down from John Mayall) – and me! (Why I was there is a long and different story…) Much jamming went on that night! Dylan recorded with the Bluesbreakers a few days later at Levy’s Recording Studio, London where they recorded (an unreleased version) of “If You Gotta Go Go Now”, which Dylan had yet to record. You can hear a Bluesbreakers influence in Dylan’s version – and this is where Manfred first heard the song which they turned into a hit later that year…

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