The Beatles meet Burt Lancaster and Jayne Mansfield

On another day off from their first US tour, The Beatles paid a visit to Burt Lancaster’s house to watch Peter Sellers’ film A Shot In The Dark.

I loved meeting Burt Lancaster, too. He was great. The first time in LA, we’d rented a huge house and I turned into a cowboy. I had a poncho and two toy guns and was invited over to Burt Lancaster’s, and that was how I went. I was all, ‘Hold it up there now, Burt, this town ain’t big enough for both of us,’ and he said, ‘What have you got there? Kids’ stuff.’ Later he sent me two real guns, and a real holster: he didn’t like me playing with kids’ guns. I just wanted to be a cowboy.

He had an amazing house. It had a pool outside, but you could swim into the living room if you went under the glass. LA was a mind-blower. We used to walk up and down Sunset Strip; we’d get out of the limo and people would come up to us, but it was still quite cool. It wasn’t like a crazy feeding frenzy; there would be a lot of ‘hellos’.

In the evening they went to the famous club Whisky A Go Go, at the invitation of Jayne Mansfield, who had turned up at their house earlier that day.

Somebody conned us into going to the Whisky A Go Go. It seemed to take us twenty minutes to get from the door to the table and instantly the whole of Hollywood paparazzi descended. It was a total set-up by Jayne Mansfield to have pictures taken with us. John and I were sitting either side of her and she had her hands on our legs, by our groins – at least she did on mine. We’d been sitting there for hours, waiting to get a drink; we had glasses with ice in them, and the ice had all melted. A photographer came and tried to get a picture and I threw the glass of water at him. He took a photo of the water coming out of the glass and soaking – accidentally – the actress Mamie Van Doren, who just happened to be passing. We got out of there; it was hell. We left town the next day, and I remember sitting on the plane, reading the paper and there was the photo of me throwing the water.

John Lennon and Jayne Mansfield, 25 August 1964

Last updated: 6 September 2021
Day off in Bel Air, Los Angeles
The Beatles live: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver
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