The Beatles: How one cheeky fan snuck into Yellow Submarine premiere – ‘who invited you?’
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The Beatles movies were loved by fans all over the world and even helped George Harrison meet his first wife, Pattie Boyd. Thousands would gather to catch a glimpse of the band entering an auditorium on premiere day, as was the case for their movie Yellow Submarine. But one young man managed to do the unthinkable: get so close to his idols that he was sitting behind them.
The Beatles film Yellow Submarine was released in the UK on July 17, 1968, and two months later in the USA.
The film is based on the Lennon-McCartney song, Yellow Submarine, set in Pepperland, the home of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Yellow Submarine was both animated and filmed, and saw thousands of fans lining the streets of Piccadilly in London, hoping to see the band members as they went into the cinema to watch it at the premiere.
But one young man, David Clark, decided to take things to the next level, and, after spending some time on the roof of the auditorium, snuck his way in and used some clever inventions to sit right behind The Beatles themselves.
Not only did he sit near them, but had the help of big names such as music publishing mogul Dick James and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.
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Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk ahead of his new book release, David said: “I just went along with my pal just to be part of the crowd…
“The crowd was building up, then I suddenly saw someone go through a door next to the main entrance of the cinema, and I thought, ‘That is interesting.’
“So we went to have a look at the door, and it was actually open. So we went inside.
“Then we found another door which was to a lift, which went right up to the top, to roof level almost, and we spent about two or three hours on the roof of the cinema.”
According to David, there was almost a “party” on the roof, and over time thousands of people began to descend onto the street.
Eventually, the limousines and cars driving some of London’s hottest celebrities were entering the auditorium, at which point David decided to make his entrance.
He continued: “I said to my pal, ‘We’ve got to try and get into this room,’ so we just walked a few steps down into the cinemas, and got into the top circle very easily.
“Then we were immediately accosted by an usherette…”
This usher wanted to see their tickets, but being without them, they pretended they were downstairs, at which point the manager was called.
David said: “Of course, we were basically s****ing ourselves. But the manager comes over and asked, ‘OK lads, who actually invited you tonight?
“And I said it was Clive Epstein, brother of the late Brian Epstein, who died the year before.
“The reason I mentioned him is because I met him on holiday four years earlier. I was in Torquay with the family, and they were staying at the same hotel as us, just as Beatlemania was starting up…
“So the manager said, ‘Ok, let’s try and find him then, if we can. So he takes us down one level to the dress circle where all the stars are gathering.”
By an extraordinary spot of luck, David spotted Dick, and despite having never met him before, he asked the music mogul whether Clive was expecting to come along this evening, but was told he had cancelled.
This gave the manager confidence, meaning David and his friend could stay in the cinema, despite not having any tickets or seats.
David added: “We just stood at the back of the dress circle and it all went mad, because The Beatles started coming in.
“They all went to sit down in the front row circle and all the paps were following them and the place was going mad, the flashbulbs going off, it was very hazy.
“As it started clearing, I suddenly saw there were two seats on the aisle, just behind John [Lennon] and Paul [McCartney]…
“In the third seat along was Keith [Richards, of The Rolling Stones] with Anita Pallenberg on his right and I just asked him, ‘Excuse me, anyone sitting in these two seats?’
“And he said, ‘No, they were for Mick and Marianne, but they’re in New York. So you’re OK there.’ So I sat next to him for the whole film.”
In front of him was Sir Paul with Pattie Boyd’s sister, Paula, along with John and his wife Yoko Ono, George and his wife Pattie and Sir Ringo Starr and Maureen, his then-wife.
Not only was he close to his idols but sitting in the seat of Sir Mick Jagger, next to Keith Richards.
All in all, a teenager’s dream came true, but David met the band members a number of times more throughout his lifetime, as told in his new book.
David’s new book It’s All Too Much: Adventures of a Teenage Beatles Fan in the ’60s and Beyond is out on December 8
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