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.
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.
Also on this day...
- 2015: Paul McCartney live at John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Virginia
- 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono holiday in Wales
- 1968: Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman spend time together in Los Angeles
- 1967: Recording: All You Need Is Love
- 1965: Travel: Lyon to Milan
- 1963: Television: Summer Spin
- 1962: Live: Memorial Hall, Northwich
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1961: Recording: My Bonnie, The Saints, Why, Cry For A Shadow
- 1960: Live: The Institute, Neston, Wirral
- 1940: Stuart Sutcliffe is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.