We went to America in August, a couple of months after the Monterey Pop Festival. My sister-in-law at the time, Jenny Boyd (who was Jennifer Juniper in the Donovan song), had been living in San Francisco, and she’d decided she was going to come back to live in England. We all went for a day out to see her; Derek and Neil, the not-so-magic Alex, and myself and Pattie.
The Harrisons flew as Mr and Mrs Weiss, names taken from Nat Weiss, the New York director of Nemperor Artists, one of Brian Epstein’s co-owned companies.
They stayed in a rented house on Blue Jay Way in Beverly Hills which belonged to the manager of Peggy Lee. George Harrison called Derek Taylor, who was living in the US, giving him directions to the house. However, Taylor got lost in the fog and, while waiting, Harrison wrote the song ‘Blue Jay Way’.
Derek Taylor got held up. He rang to say he’d be late. I told him on the phone that the house was in Blue Jay Way. And he said he could find it OK… he could always ask a cop. So I waited and waited. I felt really knackered with the flight, but I didn’t want to go to sleep until he came. There was a fog and it got later and later. To keep myself awake, just as a joke to pass the time while I waited, I wrote a song about waiting for him in Blue Jay Way. There was a little Hammond organ in the corner of this house which I hadn’t noticed until then… so I messed around on it and the song came.
Their stay in the house was arranged by Brian Epstein, who called The Beatles’ attorney Robert Fitzpatrick to enquire whether a house could be leased. Fitzpatrick persuaded the owner of the house, another entertainment attorney named Ludwig Gerber, to lend Harrison his LA residence.
Ludwig Gerber was a former US Army colonel who had managed Peggy Lee for many years. He was also a film producer and lawyer. In his house there was a Hammond S-6 organ, on which Harrison wrote Blue Jay Way.
Also on this day...
- 2011: Paul McCartney live: Wrigley Field, Chicago
- 2009: Paul McCartney live: FedEx Field, Washington
- 1971: Live: The Concert For Bangla Desh
- 1969: Recording: Because
- 1968: Recording: Hey Jude
- 1966: Interview: David Frost At The Phonograph
- 1965: Television: Blackpool Night Out
- 1963: Radio: Pop Go The Beatles
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.