Unused Magical Mystery Tour costumes

The Beatles, posing for the cover photo of Magical Mystery Tour. © Apple Corps Ltd.

In their made for TV movie “Magical Mystery Tour”, The Beatles wore animal costumes in the “I Am The Walrus” segment of the film. However, they weren’t sure about which animals they wanted to pose as, as this receipt shows.

Receipt for animal costumes. Credit: Paul Maiorana

The costumes were hired by NEMS Enterprises, the late Brian Epstein’s company, from Theatre-Zoo in London, a shop specialising in self-made masks and costumes for theatrical productions and other show business purposes.  As you can see from the receipt, “Beatle Films Productions” ordered for the walrus (John): a mask, hood, feet and flippers. Just masks and hoods were hired for a March hare (George), a wolf, a hippo (Paul), a gorilla, a parrot (Ringo), a lizard, a fish and two different frog masks, one half and one full. The costumes were hired for a week – from September 15th to the 22nd. As the 22nd was a Friday, and the costumes was to be delivered back to the store on the first working day after that, they probably went back on Monday 25th of September. The “I Am The Walrus” sequence was filmed on Saturday the 23d.

A fan-made edit featuring outtake-, documentary- and amateur footage.

Trying on the fish mask.

As you know, John Lennon sang that “the walrus was Paul” in “Glass Onion” – a song on the “white album”. Paul has gone on record to say that they some times swapped costumes.

George Harrison: music video for “When We Was Fab”

5 Responses

  1. Rick says:

    Wonder just how much the costumes from MMT would sell for? It’ll be real cool to have anyone but especially the walrus one

  2. Vicki Williams says:

    It seems odd to me that this receipt gives the location of the costume shop as “100 yds. from the London Coliseum”. Shouldn’t that read “100 meters”?

    • admin says:

      No, in fact, the British never were very keen on following the European metric system, so they are still thinking in yards and pounds and gallons and not meters and kilos and liters. I’m just happy their money is now easier to understand with 100 pence in a pound and that’s all one needs to know! 😀

  3. kozmo says:

    Fascinating. And one assumes those costumes were just rented out again afterward, and again and again until they were lost or worn out and junked. What a loss! Because they would be invaluable today.

  1. February 11, 2022

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