In January 1966, George Harrison becomes the third of the Fab Four to marry. His choice of bride is the established London model, Patty Boyd.
In the film, Help (1965) The Beatles live together in the heart of Swinging London, in a groovy terraced townhouse, with four separate front doors. Unsurprisingly, this bohemian arrangement bears little resemblance to their real lives. In fact, only Paul still lives in the city. The others have mansions in the Surrey, the stockbroker belt. This is where the wedding takes place.
It follows the now familiar template, with subtle variations. Two band members — John and Ringo — send their apologies. Both are curiously ‘on holiday’. Ringo and Mo have just flown off to the West Indies from where and phone their congratulations after the ceremony — an unheard of luxury at this time. Paul is promoted to best man above Brian.
The guarded attitude towards the press shown at Ringo’s wedding has now hardened. The arrangement is strictly private, with only close family and friends in attendance at Epsom Registry Office. There is an early morning start in a (vain) attempt to avoid fans and photographers.
An ‘eyewitness account’ by The Beatles press officer, Tony Barrow, shapes the media narrative.
There is also a marked change in how The Beatles are interacting with the public. Whereas Cyn and Mo were Liverpool natives, with connections to their pre-fame lives, the new women in their lives come from a new, more socially elevated circle. Widespread resentment at this sometimes takes an angry, even violent form amongst a small minority of fans.
Patty later described the experience of being a Beatle girlfriend/wife as being ‘absolutely terrifying’. Once she tried to discreetly slip away from a Beatles concert
They followed us out, pushing us all the way down this long passageway. They were kicking me and pulling my hair. Read more
The vast majority of fans condemn such excesses but there is an increasing sense that the band has drifted away from…