In the news: Bond and the Bea­tles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

The good res­i­dents of Marl­bor­ough didn’t re­alise it at the time, but this month of this year was one of the most seis­mic of the 20th cen­tury, at least for popular cul­ture. While the 1960s had started al­most three years ear­lier, it was only in Oc­to­ber 1962 that the decade we all look back on through rose-tinted specs truly started to swing. It all hap­pened on Oc­to­ber 5, when the first James Bond film, Dr No, had its world pre­miere at the Lon­don Pav­il­ion in Pic­cadilly Cir­cus. And ear­lier that day, the Bea­tles’ first single, Love Me Do, was re­leased.

Imag­ine – two such cul­tural phe­nom­ena ar­riv­ing on the same day! It mat­tered not that Dr No was only a mod­est hit, or that Love Me Do only reached num­ber 17, greatly helped by Bea­tles man­ager Brian Ep­stein buy­ing 10,000 copies. Two of the big­gest icons of the 1960s – in­deed, the en­tire 20th cen­tury – had fi­nally ap­peared, and the only way was up.

The role of 007 would make a star of Sean Con­nery and, in a few films’ time, el­e­vate As­ton Martin from a niche and fi­nan­cially ail­ing sports car man­u­fac­turer into one of the world’s most de­sir­able – but still fi­nan­cially ail­ing – mar­ques.

Mean­while, the mu­sic of John Lennon, Paul McCart­ney, Ge­orge Harrison and Ringo Starr would sound­track the era and be­yond. In­flu­enced by the Bond ef­fect, Ge­orge and Paul would both own As­ton Martins (a DB5 and DB6) while, af­ter the group split, Paul would record his own 007 theme for 1973’s Live and Let Die.

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