The Beatles played their first show in France on 15 January 1964. The previous evening three of the group flew to Paris from London.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison flew from London Airport to Le Bourget, Paris on the afternoon of 14 January. With them were Brian Epstein, Mal Evans and various press representatives.
Ringo Starr was unable to join them in London as he couldn’t fly there from a fog-bound Liverpool. However, he joined the rest of the group the following day, in time for their warm-up show at the Cinema Cyrano in Versailles, Paris.
When John, Paul and George arrived in Paris they were greeted by 60 fans and the French press. More fans were waiting for them at the George V Hotel, where they stayed during their residency. That evening they were joined at the hotel by Bruno Coquatrix, the director of the Olympia Theatre, the venue where they were to perform for the next three weeks. They also met a representative from Odeon, The Beatles’ record label in France.
John and Paul shared a suite in the George V, because they had to write a number of songs during their stay: six for their forthcoming film, one for Billy J Kramer and another for Tommy Quickly. A piano was installed in the suite and they began work.
George Harrison, meanwhile, went to Club Eve with Derek Taylor, the Daily Express journalist who was ghost-writing George’s column fore the paper about the Paris trip. Taylor was to play an enduring role in The Beatles’ story in subsequent years, working for Brian Epstein, Apple, and for the solo members after 1970.
Also on this day...
- 1970: Recording, mixing: Sentimental Journey, Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing by Ringo Starr
- 1969: Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day nine
- 1965: Live: Another Beatles Christmas Show
- 1963: Live: Civic Hall, Ellesmere Port
- 1962: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.