The Beatles at the George V Hotel, Paris

EMI’s German counterpart, Electrola Gesellschaft, wanted The Beatles to re-record the vocals on their biggest hits, ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, in German. Although The Beatles and George Martin thought this unnecessary, the recording session was originally scheduled to take place on this day.

Electrola Gesellschaft had dispatched a translator from Cologne, Camillo Felgen, to EMI’s Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris to teach The Beatles the new words to ‘Sie Liebt Dich’ and ‘Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand’.

Felgen had been commissioned by Otto Demmler, an EMI producer in Germany, to write German translations of the two songs, and also to teach them phonetically to The Beatles.

Although George Martin was at the studio on time, The Beatles failed to show. After waiting an hour he called their hotel, but none of them would speak to him. Instead they instructed their roadie Neil Aspinall to tell Martin that they would not be coming.

It was the first time in my experience that they had let me down, so I rang the George V Hotel where they were staying, and Neil Aspinall answered. He said, ‘I’m sorry, they’re not coming, they asked me to tell you.’ I said, ‘You mean to tell me they’re telling you to tell me? They’re not telling me themselves?’ – ‘That’s right.’ – ‘I’m coming right over,’ I said.

So I went to see them and I had Otto with me. I was really angry and stormed in to find they were all having tea in the centre of the room. They were, after all, very charming people. It was rather like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with Alice in Wonderland in the form of Jane Asher, with long hair, in the middle pouring tea.

As soon as I entered they exploded in all directions; they ran behind couches and chairs and one put a lampshade over his head. Then from behind the sofa and chairs came a chorus of: ‘Sorry George, sorry George, sorry George…’ I had to laugh. I said, ‘You are b******s, aren’t you? Are you going to apologise to Otto?’ And they said, ‘Sorry Otto, sorry Otto…’

George Martin

Two days later The Beatles did record the German-language songs.

In the evening they performed two shows at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, on the 11th date of their 18-day concert residency at the venue.

Last updated: 29 January 2014
US single release: My Bonnie/The Saints
The Beatles live: Olympia Theatre, Paris
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  1. Ms. Lane Saturday 27 January 2018

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