July 30th

Posted by Whitmore, July 30, 2007 07:16pm | Post a Comment

Yes, brothers and sisters, it’s time once again to dry clean that Nehru jacket, re-string those beads …  on this date in 1968, the Apple Boutique closed due to extreme financial difficulties. Once located at 94 Baker Street, on the corner of Paddington and Baker in London, the Boutique was one of the first business ventures, albeit unsuccessful, made by The Beatles and Apple Corps. Paul described the Apple Boutique as "A beautiful place where you could buy beautiful things." The staff included Pattie Harrison's sister, Jennie, and Peter Shotton (He played the washboard in the Quarry Men and also, according to legend, helped Lennon with the lyrics to “I am the Walrus.” Shotton also co-authored the book The Beatles, Lennon and Me.


Tuesday morning, July 30, the staff was instructed to give away everything for free. Word quickly hit the streets. Within hours, an onslaught of buzzards attacked the store, picking it clean to the bone: shelves and livelihoods were trashed, plundered, and gutted by several hundred rabid and rioting patrons. Oh, the humanity! The night before, some of the Beatles and their wives and girlfriends paid their last respects to the ailing boutique and, before pulling the plug, grabbed what they wanted. And why not? The previous September the Beatles paid a Dutch trio known as “The Fool” (Seemon Posthuma, Josje Leeger and Marijke Koeger) over 100,000 pounds to design and stock the store.   

The Boutique opened on December 7, 1967 with a fashion show. John and George were the only Beatles to attend and, yes indeed, the lone beverage served opening night was apple juice. The primary advertisement for the Boutique, other than the fact that it was owned by the most famous men on the planet in ‘67, was an elaborate psychedelic mural designed by The Fool and painted by dozens of art students over the entire outside wall of the store. Instantly, complaints and trouble broke out with the neighboring merchants who petitioned to have the mural wiped out altogether. Ultimately, the local businesses won and the mural was removed. Not that it mattered much. With countless cash flow setbacks and, especially the grandest problem of all, shoplifting (everybody was just too full of peace and love to arrest anybody), the Apple Boutique was doomed to be a human resources office, offering recruitment across a wide variety of sectors, ranging from accounting to healthcare to new media. That’s true.

As for The Fool, they weren’t just a flash in the pan. They also designed album covers, most notably The Incredible String Band’s classic 1967 Elektra album “The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion,” The Hollies’ “Evolution" and the debut LP by The Move. Plus, they set-designed Joe Massots’ 1968 film “Wonderwall,” mostly known today for its George Harrison soundtrack. The Fool also had a recording career, releasing a few singles and an album produced by Graham Nash and a U.S. tour in 1969.  In 1970 the Fool disbanded, but Seemon & Marijke continued recording as a duo, putting out an album on A&M. Their 1972 single “Keep on Keepin' on / It is all there” (Ariola) was perhaps their biggest hit in their native Holland, and best single. Today they are all still very active in the art world.


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Beatles (103), Dutch Music (1), 1960's (84), History (52), Fashion (12)