Paris Left Breathless – The Beatles and Club Castel in 1965.
The famous Club Castel on rue Princesse (Princess Street) in Paris continues its nightclub tradition – but nowadays there is more emphasis on the bar and restaurant.
Jean Castel established Castel in 1961 as a private nightclub for the rich and famous. It was in a private hotel in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which became known as the ‘embassy of Parisian nightlife.’ It was most famous in the 1960s and 1970s. This private club has been frequented by people such as Pierre Bergé, Serge Gainsbourg, Sacha Distel, Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Dujardin, Jack Nicholson, Mick Jagger, and Salvador Dali.
The Beatles were also at the Castel. Their final European tour opened with two concerts at the Palais des Sports in Paris on 20 June 1965. Also on the bill were The Yardbirds. The Beatles left London Airport and arrived at the Paris-Orly Airport at 9.55am, and were taken to the George V Hotel. Their first concert was at 3pm and their second concert was at 9pm on the same day, playing to about 6,000 fans.
They played 12 songs: Twist and Shout; She’s a Woman; I’m a Loser; Can’t Buy Me Love; Baby’s in Black; I Wanna be your Man; A Hard Day’s Night; Everybody’s Trying to be my Baby; Rock and Roll Music; I Feel Fine; Ticket to Ride; and Long Tall Sally.
One Parisian newspaper announced “Paris Left Breathless” after the two concerts.
After the concert, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney went to the Castel until the early hours of the next day. The Beatles had a rest day before travelling to Lyon for their next engagement, so the Fab Four Beatles returned to the Castel nightclub. Their tour ended on 3 July 1965 in Barcelona, Spain, after 15 concerts over nine dates.
Castel sold the nightclub in 1997. It re-opened in 2010. It still exists as a club, bar and restaurant, after a collective of 16 personalities renovated and redesigned the club. The renovations were completed by 2014. The “Wall of Fame” is still there, but now, it also has a library and a winter garden.