John Lennon films How I Won The War in Spain

Location shooting began in Spain on this day for How I Won The War, the Richard Lester film which featured John Lennon in the minor role of Private Gripweed.

It was while in Spain that Lennon wrote ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, which initially had the title.

Dick Lester offered me the part in this movie, which gave me time to think without going home. We were in Almería, and it took me six weeks to write the song. I was writing it all the time I was making the film. And as anybody knows about film work, there’s a lot of hanging around.

I have an original tape of it somewhere. Of how it sounded before it became the sort of psychedelic-sounding song it became on record.

John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

Lennon had to get up at 6am each morning and was taken to the film set in his black Rolls-Royce. Filming for How I Won The War continued until Sunday 6 November 1966. The following day Lennon flew back to London from Madrid.

Last updated: 15 September 2016
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