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The Beatles didn’t record or release any music on May 19, 1967, but it became an important (and infamous) day anyway.
First, the Beatles played host to a press launch at manager Brian Epstein’s London home for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was to come out in two weeks. This was the first time anyone outside their inner circle had heard the album. Also on hand was photographer Linda Eastman, who took her first photos of the Beatles. Her presence at the champagne-and-caviar event marked the second time she met Paul McCartney, cementing an attraction.
May 19 was also the day that the British Broadcasting Corporation selected the Beatles to participate in the upcoming Our World broadcast. They would debut “All You Need is Love” at the June 25 event, which was billed as the first-ever live, international satellite television production. Each of the scheduled performers was meant to embody their native countries; in keeping, a spokesperson called the Beatles, “the best of their kind.”
Even as the BBC was publicly praising the Beatles, however, they were also becoming increasingly uncomfortable with certain aspects of the band’s music. The third significant event on May 19 followed as the BBC banned “A Day in the Life” from its radio and television airwaves. The reason: They felt the song contained references to illicit drugs.
McCartney, while still at the Sgt. Pepper launch party, pushed back. “The BBC have misinterpreted the song,” he told the Associated Press. “It has nothing to do with drug taking. It’s only about a dream.” Of course, Paul would later admit that he and John Lennon were, in fact, referencing drugs in the lyrics – all while giving each other a “knowing look.” But the two couldn’t admit that to the media.
Besides, that’s not all “A Day in the Life” was about, given that the song’s impetus came from a report that friend Tara Browne had been