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Fab Four back in Savile Row

12 April, 2019 — By The Xtra Diary

Savile Row: ex-Apple Corps HQ

AGED 15, David Stark decided he would like to visit to Piccadilly’s London Pavilion Cinema.

It was 1969 and the reason for his excursion from his home in Stanmore to the bright lights of the West End was to try to catch a glimpse of the stars heading into the world premiere of The Beatles new film, Yellow Submarine.

The Beatles fan managed to blag his way into the auditorium, and then found himself in a seat behind Paul McCartney, a seat that had been reserved for Rolling Stone front-man Mick Jagger as the gloriously nutty 1960s technicolour musical cartoon played for the first time to a celebrity-packed audience

“I waited on the roof of the building for three hours before I got myself inside,” he says.

“I saw a free seat so I sat down in it. Keith Richards was in the space next to me and he said – you can have it, those two were for Mick and Marianne but they’re in New York…”.

David shared this memory with Diary this week as the life-long Beatles fan and music industry executive, headed to Savile Row, and met up with friends outside the building that once housed the Fab Four’s music and publishing company Apple Corps.

The famous building was also the scene of the group’s last public performance, 50 years ago, which took place on the roof.

The Beatles plaque

He and the other confirmed Beatles-lovers have worked for two years to get a plaque erected on the building to highlight its key role in British pop culture and they unveiled it on Friday.

“I was a huge Beatles fan as a kid,” David tells Diary.

“I saw them live on a few occasions and I loved them.”

He had previously been behind getting a plaque to mark Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein in nearby Argyll Street, but it had long struck him that the Apple HQ deserved to be marked.

“In the old days it had a famous front door people could recognise it from,” he says.

“But that has long gone. It now just looks like any other corporate Mayfair building. The ground floor is used by Abercrombie & Fitch for children’s clothes.

“Beatles fans do go there but there was nothing on the frontage to signify its importance.”

Working with property company manager David Rosen, Richard Portas, who runs the London Beatles Walks that take visitors on a tour of Beatles-related sites in the capital, and film-maker Mark Baxter, they raised funds and got planning permission from Westminster Council.

“It went up… and then things went ballistic on social media,” David adds.

And 50 years after the rooftop event, the new plaque shows the enduring love for the band that changed the world.

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