Unseen footage of The Beatles visiting a Taunton fish and chip shop in 1967 has been uncovered by an Arena documentary team. The original scenes were part of footage show as the band were en route to Newquay, Cornwall, to film the Magical Mystery Tour in 1967, for a BBC Christmas Special. A small selection of the footage made it into the film, whilst the rest landed up on the cutting room floor.
The discovery was made by the makers of a new Arena documentary, which is being planned to coincide with a newly re-mastered version of Magical Mystery Tour, the movie that originally premiered on the BBC on Boxing Day, 1967. From today (October 2, 2012), still shots of the band in the chip shop can be seen at the online art project thespace.org which has a new section entitled The Arena Hotel, dedicated to archiving material from the BBC’s long-running Arena documentary series. There will be clips from over 600 films included on the site, the Independent reports.
Magical Mystery Tour was met with bemusement upon its release in 1967 and hasn’t been shown on TV since 1979. The revamped version, though, will receive a gala screening in London tonight. The Arena documentary will then be shown on Saturday on BBC2, followed by the new version of the film. The Arena editor Anthony Wall commented on the newly discovered footage and said that it captured the band perfectly, at that time. “They're happily sharing a simple meal with the other passengers on the coach as the astonished residents of Taunton gather outside, and at the same time creating an extraordinarily avant garde film, which of course would soon be broadcast by the BBC to a dumbstruck nation.”