George Harrison marries Patricia Anne Boyd at Epsom registry office. Couple then honeymoons in Barbados .
NOWHERE MAN / WHAT GOES ON (single) is released (Capitol Records)
Journalist Maureen Cleave, Evening Standard, decides to ask a religious question outside the norms of regular pop interviews. Lennon is asked his opinion on the Church and God to which he responds: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." Four months later, John's comments made their way into American "Datebook" whereupon the "Ku Klux Klan" and the southern "Bible belt" in the USA would denounce John's "anti-Christ" statements.
Beatles begin recording REVOLVER at Abbey Road studios
PAPERBACK WRITER / RAIN (single) is released (Capitol Records)
"Ed Sullivan Show" - Beatles "Paperback Writer" & "Rain" aired for television
Alan W. Livingston, President of Capitol Records (USA), decides to pull the "butcher cover" Yesterday & Today album which depicted the Beatles dressed up in white smocks with red raw meat and decapitated heads from baby dolls. Livingston issues the following statement: "The original album cover, created in England , was intended as pop art satire. However, sampling of public opinion in the United States indicates that the cover design is subject to misinterpretation....For this reason...Capitol has chosen to withdraw the lp and substitute it for a more generally accepted design." The "butcher cover" album would become one of the most sought-out prizes by Beatle collectors. Note: According to the 1995 edition of "The Official Price Guide to the Beatles" Perry Cox and Joe Lindsay would list a "first issue, first state butcher cover" (Capitol ST-2553) is appraised at $7,000.
YESTERDAY AND TODAY (lp) is released (Capitol Records)
Beatles arrive in Manila , Philippines
Beatles perform at the Manila 's National Football Stadium - 50,000 fans in attendance. Later, the President of Manila would feel "stiffed" by the Beatles for them not showing up at his children's party. The band gets kicked, punched as they leave Manila and Epstein is forced to give back all the concert.
Lennon's "We're more popular than Jesus" comment appears in "Datebook"
On this date, Lennon's interview with Maureen Cleave makes its appearance in the American teenage magazine, "Datebook". Within days of publication, anti-Beatle sentiment builds up and American disc jockeys in the southern States encourages a God-fearing youth to destroy their Beatle records and memorabilia at bonfire rallies. Also enforced was a radio ban on Beatle records that was started by a Birmingham , Alabama D.J. The ban picked up momentum by other radio stations in the southern Bible belt. By August 6, thirty US radio stations have banned all Beatles records from airplay.
World reaction to John's remarks:
South Africa : Piet Myer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation temporarily banned Beatles records from being played and noted that "The Beatles arrogance has passed the ultimate limit of decency. It is clowning no longer."
Spain : Three radio stations immediately bans the airing Beatle records.
Holland : One radio station bans the airing of Beatle records.
The Vatican had a somewhat different view on Lennon's remarks: John's remarks were made "off-handedly and not impiously...the protest the remark raised showed that some subjects must not be dealt with lightly and in a profane way, not even in the world of beatniks."
Brian Epstein holds a special press conference
Before the band would commence with a third American tour on August 12, at the Chicago International Amphitheatre, Brian Epstein holds an evening press conference in New York 's Manhattan 's Sheraton Hotel, to effect damage control over John Lennon's "anti-Christ" remarks. The following statement was made by Brian Epstein with approval from John: "The quote which John Lennon made to a London columnist nearly three months ago [sic] has been quoted and misrepresented entirely out of context of the article, which was in fact highly complimentary to Lennon as a person and was understood by him to be exclusive to the Evening Standard. It was not anticipated that it would be displayed out of context and in such a manner as it was in an American teenage magazine." Epstein also commented: "Lennon didn't mean to boast about the Beatles' fame. He meant to point out that the Beatles' effect appeared to be a more immediate one upon, certainly, the younger generation. John is deeply concerned and regrets that people with certain religious beliefs should have been offended."
REVOLVER (lp) is released (Capitol Records)
YELLOW SUBMARINE / ELEANOR RIGBY (single) is released (Capitol Records)
Lennon meets with American press - attempts to explain
what he meant by his "We're more popular than Jesus" remark
In a hotel room on the 27th floor of the Astor Towers Hotel in Chicago where unrelenting pressure from the American press was seeking out a public apology from John Lennon, the Beatle is recorded on film as saying: "If I had said that television is more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it. It's a fact, in reference to England , we meant more to kids than Jesus did, or religion at that time. I wasn't knocking it or putting it down. I was just saying it, as a fact and it's true, more for England than here. I'm not saying we're better or greater or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing, or whatever it is, you know, I just said what I said and it was wrong, or was taken wrong, and now it's all this!"
Interestingly, the questions fielded by the press on this very subject alone lasted between 5-10 minutes before moving onto other topics. Tony Barrow, the Beatles personal publicist who had witnessed the event, recalls how John Lennon had reacted to the situation: "The arrival in Chicago was auspicious from John's personal point of view because, that night in the hotel, for the first time perhaps, he personally faced the press....He was taking great responsibility for something he felt terribly bad about and was greatly concerned that this thing, taken completely out of context, should rebound. He did not blame, for instance, Maureen Cleave in the least because of the way he had told it to her. He was concerned that this whole thing could rebound on The Beatles. He was more frightened, really scared stiff, that night, more than at any other time I've seen him, because the whole thing fell on his shoulders."
Tony Barrow's comments are supported by Cynthia Lennon in her book, "A Twist of Lennon": "[I]n an interview John likened the Beatles to Jesus Christ. His truly honest assessment of their popularity offended the God-fearing, clean living Americans who lived in the Bible belt of America . His views were totally misconstrued. John was very bewildered and frightened by the reaction that his words created in the States. Beatle albums were burnt in a mass orgy of self-righteousness indignation. Letters arrived at the house full of threats, hate and venom."
THIS IS WHERE IT STARTED (lp) is released (Metro Records)
Beatles final U.S.A. performance held in San Francisco 's " Candlestick Park "
John Lennon flies to Spain to star in the movie "How I Won the War." John would play the part of Private Gripeweed. The film is directed by Richard Lester.
George Harrison in India ; studies sitar with Ravi Shankar
THE AMAZING BEATLES (lp) is released (Clarion Records)
John Lennon visits the Indica Gallery in London where he meets Yoko Ono who is displaying her art
Beatles begin recording SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
"LOOK" magazine European Editor interview by Leonard Gross is released. Interview was done during the filming of "How I Won The War". Lennon provides the journalist with more insight on what he really meant by saying the Beatles being more popular than Jesus. "I believe Jesus was right, Buddha was right, and all of those people like that are right. They're all saying the same thing - and I believe it. I believe what Jesus actually said - the basic things he laid down about love and goodness - and not what people say he said....If Jesus being more popular means...more control, I don't want that. I'd sooner they'd all follow us even if it's just to dance and sing for the rest of their lives. If they took more interest in what Jesus - or any of them - said, if they did that, we'd all be there with them."
"BEATLES FOURTH CHRISTMAS RECORD - PANTOMIME: EVERYWHERE IT'S CHRISTMAS" is issued to fan club members
GRAMMY AWARDS (1966):
Song of the Year: "Michelle"
Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Performance - Paul McCartney, "Eleanor Rigby"
Best Album Cover Design - "Revolver" by Klaus Voorman
NORTH AMERICAN (AUGUST 1966) BEATLES TOUR: Chicago (August 12); Detroit (August 13); Cleveland (August 14); Washington (August 15); Philadelphia (August 16); Toronto (August 17); Boston (August 18); Memphis (August 19); Cincinnati (August 20); St. Louis (August 21); New York (August 23); Seattle (August 25); Los Angeles (August 28); San Francisco (August 29)
Tour Fact: "We'd done about 1,400 live shows and I certainly felt this was it," said George Harrison commenting on their last American concert at Candlestick Park . "It was nice to be popular, but when you saw the size of it, it was ridiculous, and it felt dangerous because everybody was out of hand. Even the cops were out of line....It was a very strange feeling. For a year or so I'd been saying, "Let's not do this anymore.' And then it played itself out, so that by 1966 everybody was feeling, 'We've got to stop this.' I don't know exactly where in 1966, but obviously after the Philippines we thought, 'Hey, we've got to pack this in.'"