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Rick Sabine

Paul McCartney performed "Hey Jude" in public for the first time on this night in 1968


Paul McCartney performed "Hey Jude" in public for the first time on this night in 1968.
 
Wait -- you're thinking the single didn't come out until that September. The Beatles were no longer touring and the song wasn't even recorded until the end of July. But this unique story was confirmed for us by Peter Asher.
 
Driving back to London with Paul, Apple executive Tony Bramwell and Beatles publicist Derek Taylor, they decided to spend the night in the town of Harrold. They went to the Magpie Inn for a drink, but couldn't get anything to eat. A local dentist, Gordon Mitchell, invited them to his house for a meal.
 
After dinner, Paul and his friends headed to a second pub, The Oakley Arms, where McCartney sang and played for three hours. One of the songs he offered that night was the as-yet-unrecorded "Hey Jude."
 
Peter Asher tells us exclusively, "Yes I remember it fairly well. We were driving back from the recording session with The Black Dyke Mills Band. I chose the town of Harrold off the map because I like the name. I think it was afternoon, certainly daylight. After the first pub had no food we stopped to ask a man who was outside trimming his hedge where we might get something to eat and he invited us in and they fed us. Then we did indeed end up at another pub for a few drinks and Paul played the piano for a while. To be honest the only song I specifically remember Paul playing in the pub is 'Lady Madonna'." 
 
But then Asher's publicist Keith Putney sent us the links that completed this amazing Beatles tale. 
 
In 2008, Mitchell posted his memories of the evening on a local website, including a copy a letter on Apple Records stationery signed by McCartney, Asher, Bramwell and Taylor thanking him for his hospitality. And that local site includes a posting from another local resident who recalled McCartney discussing his then-new Beatles song, "Hey Jude."
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