A party to celebrate the launch of Mary Hopkin’s debut album Postcard was held on this day.
The party was organised by Apple Records, and took place at the restaurant at the top of the Post Office Tower in central London. Guests included Paul McCartney, his new girlfriend Linda Eastman, Donovan, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and a number of other music stars, as well as members of Hopkin’s family.
Billy Butlin, owner of the Butlin’s holiday camps our little gang had gone to with our families as kids and where Ringo played with Rory Storm, ran the restaurant at the top of the Post Office Tower. It revolved, and as you ate you could watch London unfold in a magnificent panorama. The first time Paul had gone, shortly after the restaurant first opened, he was still living at the Ashers’ house in Wimpole Street. Dr Asher decided he wanted the full guided tour and arranged for the entire family to go, including Paul.
Sometime later I was sitting in the restaurant, having dinner with a girlfriend, when Bobby Butlin, Sir Billy’s son, came over to my table and told me all about Paul’s earlier visit. He said, ‘If there’s anything I can ever do for you, or Paul, or Apple, let me know.’ When we launched Postcard the question of a location for the launch party arose. Paul said, ‘Hey Tone? Do you think by any chance they would let us have the Post Office Tower restaurant?’
I acted nonchalant and said, ‘Oh, I dunno. Hang on and I’ll have a word with then.’ I picked up the phone, quickly made the arrangements. Paul looked at his watch and said, ‘Great. Tell you what. Why don’t we do some location scouting?’ So we all went off to lunch at the Tower. We had a smashing time, and suitably oiled, Paul and I decided to have a race down the stairs to the door. It was a very stupid idea, especially after a big lunch. There are some photos somewhere of us lying at the bottom gasping for breath and probably trying to light a cigarette.
The launch party for Postcard was marvellous, with a really good turnout of rock stars. Jimi Hendrix came and Brian Jones and Donovan, as well as Mary’s future husband, Tony Visconti. I was going out with Mary at the time but he fancied her too, and eventually they got married.
Magical Mystery Tours
Hopkin’s parents and sisters had travelled to London from Wales, as had her elderly grandmother.
My family came down from Wales and in the throng of people we lost my 80-year-old grandmother, Blodwyn. When the crowd parted we saw her in the corner talking to Jimi Hendrix. Afterwards she said she had been talking to ‘a nice little boy’ who had been asking about milking the cows and feeding the chickens. I think he was fascinated by this funny little Welsh lady.
The Daily Telegraph