On January 31, 1967 the Beatles went to Knole Park near Sevenoaks in Kent to make the promotional film for Strawberry Fields Forever. "There was an antique shop close to the hotel we were using in Sevenoaks," remembers former Apple employee Tony Bramwell. "John and I wandered in and John spotted this framed Victorian circus poster and bought it."
Inspired by the finely-wrought language and the evocative names of the performers on the poster, John began to compose a song based on it. By now it was hanging on the wall of his music room and John's long-time friend Pete Shotten can remember him squinting at the words while he picked out a tune on his piano. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite was recorded at EMI Studio Two on February 17, 1967.
The original poster was last known to be in the
posession of Sean Lennon.
The Hendersons were wire-walker, equestrian, tramplinist and clown John Henderson and his wife Agnes, the daughter of circus owner Henry Hengler. The Hendersons travelled all over Europe and Russia during the 1840's and 1850's. The 'somersets' which Mr. Henderson performed on 'solid ground' were somersaults, 'garters' were were banners held between two people and a 'trampoline' in those days was a wooden springboard rather than stretched canvas.
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The Internet Beatles Album
Historical information from A Hard Day's Write by Steve Turner and The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn.