Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 29, 1965 (Monday)

Studio One, Aeolian Hall, London

An interview with Brian Matthew, taped between 2:15 and 2:45 pm at the BBC's Aeolian Hall premises in central London for inclusion, in three parts, in the Christmas Day edition of Saturday Club, broadcast in the Light Programme between 10:00 and 11:30 am.

As well as indulging in typically humorous badinage with Matthew, the Beatles also decided to ham-up a quick, vocalized version of the program's instrumental signature tune "Saturday Jump", usually performed by either Ted Heath and his Orchestra or Tony Osbourne and his Jazz Group Listeners on Christmas morning duly heard 15 seconds of the Beatle's scat rendition segued into Heath's disc version at the start of the show.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 28, 1965 (Sunday)

The Beatles enjoying their weekend break!

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 27, 1965 (Saturday)

The Beatles enjoying a break this weekend.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 26, 1965 (Friday)

The Beatles enjoyed a break today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 25, 1965 (Thursday)

Harrods, the luxury department store in Knightsbridge, London, opened especially for The Beatles on this evening to allow the group to do their Christmas shopping away from fans.

The out-of-hours shopping spree lasted three hours. John Lennon bought a garden slide for his son Julian, while both George Harrison and Ringo Starr bought items of furniture.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 24, 1965 (Wednesday)

Twickenham Film Studios

Continuing from yesterday......

Three versions of We Can Work It Out were made, for each of which John Lennon sat at an organ. One opened with a photograph of Lennon with a sunflowere over an eye, and in another they wore their stage costumes from their Shea Stadium Concert in August 1965.

There were also three separate clips made for Day Tripper. In the first the group again wore their Shea Stadium suits, and George Harrison and Ringo Starr stood behind a railway carriage prop; Starr brought out a saw and began dismantling the set. Lennon and  Paul McCartney were positioned behind a nearby 1920-style aeroplane. The other two clips were similar, but with slight variations.

One film for Help! was made. The Beatles sat at a work bench and mimed to the song. Starr held a white umbrella, and towards the end fake snow landed on the group.

A single clip of Ticket To Ride saw The Beatles mime before a backdrop of supersized bus and train tickets.

There were two versions of I Feel Fine, the oldest song of the day. In the first Lennon, McCartney and Harrison walked on set, and Harrison sang into a punch ball while the other two sang into the camera. Starr rode an exercise bicycle.

In the second The Beatles made little attempt to mime, and merely sat on the floor and ate newspaper-wrapped fish and chips. Towards the end of the song George Harrison climbed onto the exercise bicycle. This was the only one of the 10 clips not to be sold to television companies, as Brian Epstein was unhappy with the results.

The rest were quickly sold and distributed by NEMS. The BBC paid £1,750 for the right to broadcast several on Top Of The Pops, their flagship music show, on various occasions throughout December, and deals were struck with numerous other broadcasters around the world.



The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 23, 1965 (Tuesday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Increasingly reluctant to do the rounds of television shows every time they issued a new single, the Beatles decided to self-produce and video-tape their own promotional clips and distribute them to TV stations, thereby heralding the dawn of pop's promo-video age.

With the same old demands to perform arriving every few months from British and foreign television companies, it's perhaps odd that they hadn't thought of this before, and it took the Granada taping of The Music of Lennon & McCartney to awaken the Beatles to the possibilities. Now they could be seen not only on Top Of The Pops and Thank Your Lucky Stars with the minimum of fuss and effort, but also appear on TV shows in America, in Australia, in Japan, in fact anywhere, and make a tidy profit too.

This shooting was financed by NEMS Enterprises, appointing Joe McGrath as director and InterTel (VTR Services), reputedly the first independent video facilities company in Europe, to provide the production crew. Nicholas Ferguson, from Ready, Steady, Go! designed the sets, there were four cameramen - Harry Storey, Terry Heath and two others (who, because they were moonlighting from the BBC, wish to remain nameless), there was a lighting man, a sound-man and a 'runner' (David Mallet, later a prominent director). Also, on the set, representing NEMS, were Tony Bramwell and Vyvienne Moynihan (the latter formerly employed at Associated-Rediffusion).

A Hard Day's Night and Help! had been filmed all over the Twickenham complex, on each of the three stages, but these promos were taped only on Stage Three, set-construction having been completed in the two previous days. The Beatles arrived during the late afternoon and worked through until the early hours of the 24th - and, as productive here as they were in the recording studio, ten clips were shot in this time, nine of which have been seen on TV.


Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 22, 1965 (Monday)

Quiet Monday for the Beatles back in '65.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 21, 1965 (Sunday)

The Beatles were resting after the final production of Rubber Soul.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 20, 1965 (Saturday)

It's the weekend. The Beatles took a rest.