The December 1966 issue of the Beatles official fan magazine captures some of the unease many fans had at this time. Following their summer U.S. tour, the group's members all went their separate ways. John filmed "How I Won the War." Paul collaborated with George Martin on the soundtrack to "The Family Way." George traveled to India and Ringo spent time at home with Maureen and Zak.
By tradition, fans expected a new LP by the end of the year, but there was none forthcoming. Unknown to the rest of the world, the Beatles had started work on the sessions that would become Sgt. Pepper, which wasn't released until the following June.
There's hope expressed in this issue for at the very least a single by the end of 1966, but "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever" wouldn't be out until early in the New Year.
The Beatles, however, did manage to issue its annual fan club Christmas message.
Desperate for something for the Christmas market, EMI in England issued the best-of album, A Collection of Beatles Oldies, on Dec. 10, which is plugged in this issue's news briefs.
The issue includes a selection of quotes from American press conferences:
And a visit to Ringo's house:
Along with the usual selection of fan letters and pics of the Beatles, who would look much different at the turn of the year!