Beatles 50th Blog posts of '2014' 'March'

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 16, 1964 (Thursday)

Notting Hill Gate locations, London and Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The Beatles spent much of this day on location in Notting Hill Gate filming "chase scenes" with mock-policemen. The "police station" was actually St. John's Secondary School at 83 Clarendon Road. (Although the interior sequences were shot on a set at Twickenham, the Beatles did spend time inside St. John's on this day, mostily using it as a refuge from fans.) They also filmed in a neighbouring cul-de-sac (Heathfield Street) and, in a sequence cut from the finished production, at the Portland Arms public house, running in through an entrance in Portland Road and immediately exiting through another door onto Penzance Place. (Because it was deleted, director Richard Lester was able to use the same idea and location for his next film, "The Knack".)

Although it was now approaching completion, the Beatle's film remained untitled - until, that is, Ringo emerged somewhere after a long day's work (reputedly March 19), commented to someone "it's been a hard day" and then, seeing that it was already dark, tacked "s night" on the end. The phrase captured to perfection the mood of the film and was immediately adopted as its title, announced to the press on April 17th. (Ringo may have previously seen the phrase in John's book, for it appears in the "sad Michael" story.)

However the title had come about, though, was immaterial to the problem it now presented John and Paul: they had to write a song "to order", the title already set. And they did not disappoint, within a few days it was ready for recording, and the Beatles came to Abbey Road this evening to do just that, beginning the session at 7:00 and ending at 10:00, completing the song in just nine takes.

A Hard Day's Night was not only the title of the film: it was also the title of the accompaning 13 track album released by EMI on Friday, july 10, 1964, all songs composed by Lennon-McCartney, and of the Beatle's next British single, issued on the same date.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 15, 1964 (Wednesday)

Scala Theatre (exterior), London and Studio 4, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London

A return to the Scala Theatre in Central London, although only to the outside of the building, filming scenes in Scala Street, Tottenham Street and also Charlotte Mews.

Paul taped his first solo TV appearance in the evening, being interviewed in a one-off chat/revue show presented by David Frost, the fast rising young star of British TV. Under the title "A Degree of Frost", the programme was transmitted from 10:15 to 11:00 pm on Wedndesday, May 18th by the BBC1 network (now with the numerical suffix, to differentiate it from BBC2, which had opened on April 20, 1964. It was repeated on Tuesday, September 1st, 8:00 to 8:45 pm.

The show was taped from 8:30 pm in front of an audience at the BBC's Television Centre premises in White City, west London, with rehearsals having begun eight hours earlier, at 10:30 am. (Busy filming at the Scala, Paul would have arrived some time later.) It was produced by Joe McGrath, the first of several occasions that he would be associated with the film and TV work of the Beatles, individually and as a group.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 14, 1964 (Tuesday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham and Arlington Road, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Studio and also location shooting for a sequence deleted from the finished film, in which the Beatles, stuck in a traffic jan, are cursed at by a passenger in another car. Playing the part of the Beatle's chauffeur was British comedy actor Frank Thornton. The location shooting was done in a road neighbouring the studios, outside the house of one Ken Lewis, a Liberal Party council-election candidate who loaned his campaign bus to the traffic queue.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 13, 1964 (Monday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret.s, Twickenham

Shooting in the morning of George's solo sequence in the film, in which he is taken to the marketing boss of a clothing company and mistaken for the model of their new range of what George describes as "grotty" shirts.

George also featured in the the afternoon "bathroom" filming, in which he shaved in front of a mirror while John played submarines in the bath, sang "Rule Britannia" and apparently disappeared down the plug-hole. Paul and Ringo did not attend filming this day - had they done so they would have re-met Roy Orbison, visiting Britain and keen to catch up with the group which had, theoretically, been a support act on his previous British concert tour.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 12, 1964 (Sunday)

Marylebone Station, London

A return to Marylebone, without fans this time, for some shooting of the film's opening sequences.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 11, 1964 (Saturday)

Today the Beatles had a day off.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 10, 1964 (Friday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Back to base for the "production office" sequence.

An LP, The Beatles 2nd album is released in the US.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 9, 1964 (Thursday)

River Thames Towpath, Kew, Surrey

The shooting of Ringo's solo sequence resumed this day with his riverside scene, filmed on the Thames towpath and embankment south of the river and just west of Kew Bridge. The other Beatles were not involved.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 8, 1964 (Wednesday)

Twickenham Film Studios, Twickenham

Shooting resumed at Twickenham today did not require the Beatles, the movie's Strauss operetta scene being filmed.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 7, 1964 (Tuesday)

Filming resumed today with the Beatles filming at Twickenham Film Studios