In the news: Bond and the Beatles
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.