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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 08:22 GMT 09:22 UK
Fans remember Beatles 40 years on
The Beatles
Hundreds of fans greeted the Beatles when their train pulled into Bangor
Fans have been recalling their encounters with The Beatles on the 40th anniversary of their visit to Bangor.

The Fab Four came to the city in August 1967 to attend a seminar led by their Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

But the landmark visit was cut short when they learnt of the death of their manager Brian Epstein from an overdose of sleeping tablets.

Bangor was thrown into the spotlight because of Epstein's death and the band's urgent departure from the city.

Mr Epstein, who was 32 when he died on 27 August, had been due to travel to Bangor, Gwynedd from London to meet John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison at the seminar.

Before leaving Bangor, John Lennon said: "Our meditations have given us confidence to stand such a shock."

Hundreds of screaming fans greeted the Beatles when their train arrived in Bangor on 25 August.

Leonard Jones
We started giving out flowers to people to put around their necks. They were a happy bunch! We ran out of flowers that day
Leonard Jones, Bangor college gardener

Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were also on the trip, arranged because the Maharishi, then the leader of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, was addressing the movement's conference at Bangor's Normal College.

In a BBC Radio Wales programme to be broadcast on Monday, fans and historians will remember the significance of their visit and the affect it had on the city.

Christina Dunn, who was on the same train as the Beatles that day, said the atmosphere was "electric".

"It was wonderful to be in their presence," she said. "It was a part of history, absolutely, and I was a part of it."

Leonard Jones, a gardener at the college at the time, said the Beatles presence prompted people to sing, play guitar and meditate in the bushes.

"We started giving out flowers to people to put around their necks," he said.

"They were a happy bunch! We ran out of flowers that day."

Back in 1967, the Beatles, who had given up touring, were number one in the album charts with their critically-acclaimed Sgt Pepper's album.

The Beatles
The Beatles visited Bangor in their Sgt Peppers album hey-day

Their classic peace anthem All You Need Is Love was also riding high in the singles charts.

So their appearance in Bangor took on a new significance, said music journalist and author Jon Savage.

"The Beatles hadn't been seen for a while, they'd stopped touring and their success had made them almost God-like," he said.

"Gone were the mop tops and smart outfits - instead they were turned out in psychedelic fineries.

"They had everything they could buy by now and were looking for something more, something spiritual."

The Beatles in Bangor will be broadcast at 1300 BST on BBC Radio Wales on Monday 27 August.




SEE ALSO
The wonderful world of Sgt Pepper
01 Jun 07 |  Entertainment
Rock stars to recreate Sgt Pepper
06 Apr 07 |  Entertainment
Beatles' Pepper tops album poll
29 Aug 06 |  Entertainment

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