A Song From The Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ Causes LA Street Signs to Get Stolen

A song from The Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ was inspired by a mishap from the band’s press officer, Derek Taylor.

The Beatles‘ Magical Mystery Tour contains one of their most unusual songs. Sadly, the tune in question causes street signs in Los Angeles to get stolen. In addition, it’s the only song from a famous Beatles album that George Harrison wrote by himself.

The Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and ‘Abbey Road’ have created similar problems

According to a 2014 article from Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation, signs are often stolen if they are perceived as containing a reference to something famous. For example, the signs for Abbey Road were stolen regularly. To deal with this problem, the city of London has Abbey Road signs painted onto curbsides or placed so high that nobody can reach them without a ladder.

Street signs for LA’s Blue Jay Way have also been repeatedly stolen, as the song is the inspiration for The Beatles’ track of the same title. While the song isn’t one of The Beatles’ most well-known pieces, it’s one of their most psychedelic. It also played during a surreal sequence from the film Magical Mystery Tour.

The Beatles’ press officer inspired the song by getting lost in LA canyons

According to the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, George wrote “Blue Jay Way” because he was staying at a house on the eponymous street and his friend, Derek Taylor, got lost in the city’s canyons while driving to meet him. Taylor was The Beatles’ press officer and he later helped George write his 1980 book I, Me, Mine. In the song, George sings, “There’s a fog upon LA / And my friends have lost their way / We’ll be over soon they said / Now they’ve lost themselves instead / Please don’t be long.”

“Blue Jay Way” is the only tune from Magical Mystery Tour to feature a writing credit from George, except for “Flying,” an instrumental written by all four members of the band. While George is the sole credited writer of “Blue Jay Way,” Paul helped create the rhythm tracks for the tune. Paul looked back on the “Blue Jay Way” sequence in the film Magical Mystery Tour with fondness.

How ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Blue Jay Way” was never a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, the soundtrack for Magical Mystery Tour became a huge hit. It topped the Billboard 200 for eight weeks, staying on the chart for 93 weeks in total. It became the Fab Four’s biggest soundtrack album in the U.S.

The Official Charts Company reports “Blue Jay Way” never charted in the United Kingdom either. On the other hand, the Magical Mystery Tour LP reached No. 31 in the U.K. and spent 10 weeks on the chart.

“Blue Jay Way” wasn’t a hit but it still impacted LA.

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