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

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 6, 1964 (Monday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Two days filming at Twickenham. This morning, the Beatles shot the "make-up room" sequence, in the afternoon and all day Tuesday the interior "police station" footage. (The exterior police-station sections were filmed on location on April 16.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 5, 1964 (Sunday)

Marylebone Station, Great Central St. London

Working, unusually, on a Sunday, the film crew cme to Marylebone Station this afternoon (and again the following Sunday) to shoot the first sequences for A Hard Day's Night. This usually busy central London terminus was closed to the public on Sundays, so filming could only be done then. By the conclusion of their two Sunday's work, the Beatles had been filmed running across Melcombe Place and into the station, using its public telephones and a photo booth, leaping over a hoarding. Paul sitting in disquise on a concourse bench with his "grandfather" Wilfrid Brambell, and the group running down the length of platform one and jumping onto an already-moving train. (From here, the film cut to the footage shot between March 2nd and 9th). All this time, the group were being cased by more than one hundred screaming fans.

While at Marylebone, John, George and Ringo were also filmed in the station's adjacent street, Boston Place, running towards the camera and being chased by the same frenzied fans. This sequence was used at the very beginning of the film, under the titles.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 4, 1964 (Saturday)

The Beatles took a rest today

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 3, 1964 (Friday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Among the action filmed this day at Twickenham was a trailer for the film, a bizarre sequence in which John/George and Ringo/Paul sat in two adjacent baby prams, their legs dangling over the sides. John typed, Paul spoke, George mumbled and Ringo twice answered a telephone saying "It's for you, John," to which John twice replied, "Don't be soft." Quite how this promoted A Hard Day's Night seems unclear, but it was distributed to cinemas nonetheless.

The Beatles also filmed an unusual engagement with Tyne Tees Television, the ITV franchise for north-east England. Viewers of the area's weekly movie programme Star Parade had been invited to send in questions for the Beatles, and the best of these were put to the group by the programme's presenter Adrian Cairns this day at Twickenham. All four Beatles participated, giving their answers straight to camera, then - back in Newcastle - Tyne Tees later filmed the questioners (girls) posing their questions, again straight to camera, and the two sets of footage were edited together into a Q&A format. But the lack of genuine inter-play, the clearly different settings and the uncomfortable straight-to-camera scenario also resulted in a somewhat stiff six minute outcome which,ltogether with a brief interview the Beatles gave to Adrian Cairns, was transmitted to Star Parade on Thursday, April 9th, 10:10 to 10:40 pm.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 2, 1964 (Thursday)

Scala Theatre, London

More shooting at the Scala. The Beatles filmed the "press party" sequence, written by Alun Owen as an approximate re-creation of a reception the Beatles had attended at the British Embassy in Washington DC (after their February 11th concert at the Coliseum), in which they had grown irritated by the condescending and rude line of questioning and had then walked out after someone, without warning, produced a pair of scissors and cut off a lock of Ringo's hair.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 1, 1964 (Wednesday)

The Beatles broke up today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 31, 1964 (Tuesday)

Scala Theatre, London and Playhouse Theatre, London

This was perhaps the most exciting and rewarding day's work on A Hard Day's Night the "TV performance" that was the climax of the film. It was shot this day at the Scala before an audience of 350 screaming fans, film union rules dictating that each person, even though thousands would have gladly done it for nothing, be paid for the pleasure of screaming at the Beatles. (Among these 350 was a 13 year old child actor named Phil Collins, later to achieve worldwide fame of his own with Genesis and as a solo musician.)

In the finished film the Beatles mime to four songs in this sequence, "Tell Me Why", "And I Love Her", "I Should Have Known Better" and "She Loves You". They filmed others too, certainly "You Can't Do That" was one to be left unused. During "Tell Me Why" director Richard Lester allowed himself to be briefly visible on camera, appearing - Hitchcock-like - in a shot that looks out from the back of the stage into the Scala auditorium.

This hectic day for the Beatles concluded with a lengthy evening session for BBC radio at the Playhouse, recording an insert for the next edition of the weekly series Saturday Club, broadcast in the Light Programme between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon on April 4th. Additionally, during a session break, John recorded an interview for broadcast on the BBC's Home Service Radio network.

For the Saturday Club session, from 7:00 to 10:30 pm, the Beatles chatted with host Brian Matthew and recorded "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", "I Call Your Name", "I Got A Woman", You Can't Do That", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Sure To Fall" (In Love With You), and "Long Tall Sally". The last three songs fell into the final half hour of the domestic broadcast,  simultaneously transmitted by the BBC's General Overseas Service.

Between 9:00 and 9:30 pm, while the other Beatles took a break, John was interviewed again by Brian Matthew, this time for the Home Service series A Slice Of Life. The subject of thies edition, broadcast from 4:00 to 4:30 pm on Saturday, May 2nd was "Hobbies" and for just under three minutes listeners heard John speak about his writing and best-selling book.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 30, 1964 (Monday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 29, 1964 (Sunday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 28, 1964 (Saturday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala.