Close

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, December 2, 1963

Studio C, Elstree Studio Centre, Eldon Ave, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire and Ballroom, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London

The Beatles spent the period from mid-morning to late-afternoon at Associated TeleVision's Elstree Studio Centre (not to be confused with the nearby Elstree Film Studio), where feature films were made. The object, very successfully achieved - being to rehearse and shoot an appearance on "The Morecambe and Wise Show", hosted by the much loved British comedy double act Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. It was networked by ATV on Saturday, April 18, 1964 (8:25-9:00 pm) and repeated on Saturday, July 24, 1965 (as "The Best of Morecambe and Wise, 9:20-10:00 pm).

Performing live before a minimal studio audience, the Beatles initially sang two numbers, "This Boy", and "All My Loving", and then returned after more Eric and Ernie comedy sketches to sing a third, "I Want to Hold your Hand".

After this last song, John, Paul and George put down their instruments and stepped forward to where Morecambe and Wise had walked on. (Ringo stayed at the back, on his drum podium.) What followed next was fine comedy, Morecambe calling the Beatles "The Kaye Sisters" (A British female trio of the late 1950's), shouting up to Ringo, "Heeelllo Bungo!", and then engaging in witty and apparently ad-lib (though scripted) repartee, including an espeically funny moment with John Lennon. Wise and the three Beatles next suggested they join forces for a number. While they kitted themselves out with boaters and striped jackets and launched into 44 seconds of "Moonlight Bay" (written in 1912 by Madden/Wenrich and poularized by Doris Day in the 1951 film "On Moonlight Bay"), Morecambe rushed on in a Beatles wig and collarless jacket, screaming "Yeah, Yeah Yeah" and , unforgettably, "I Like It". (Gerry and the Pacemakers's hit). This item closed the show, the end credits appearing over a vision of Ringo finally stepping down from his kit. Though the Beatles appeared on television with a number of comedians, the end result was never better than this.

The night's Grosvenor House concert appearance was a most unusual live booking, and not a part of the current package tour - a cabaret floor-show (in aid of a spastics charity) before an evening-dressed audience at the prestigious London hotel. THe Beatles were not altogether happy about it and never again booked this type of engagement.

Comments
Leave your comment
: