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

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 27, 1964 (Monday)

Studio 5A/B, Wembley Studios, Wembley

A full evening dress-rehearsal for Around The Beatles, with an audience, on the set at Rediffusion's Wembley Studios, just along the road from the Empire Pool.

A single "Love Me Do"/"PS I love You", is released in the US

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 26, 1964 (Sunday)

Empire Pool, Wembley

A bill-topping return to the concert platform - the Beatles first live appearance in Britain for 15 weeks - at the New Musical Express 1963-64 Annual Poll-Winner's All-Star Concert, the yearly spring afternoon gala. They performed "She Loves You", "You Can't Do That", "Twist and Shout", "Long Tall Sally", and "Can't Buy Me Love" before an audience of 10,000.

The event was taped by ABC Television and networked as a two part special, Big Beat '64. The Beatles appeared in the second part, transmitted on Sunday, May 10th, 4:05-5:35 pm and repeated (though not in all areas, and not in London) on Sunday, November 8th, 3:15-4:40 pm. Viewers of all the second part also saw the Beatles receive their poll-winners awards from the actor, Roger Moore.


The Complete Beatles Chronicle - ML

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 25, 1964 (Saturday)

Hall Of Remembrance, London

More rehearsals for Around The Beatles

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 24, 1964 (Friday)

Edgehill Rd. West Ealing, London

A Hard Day's Night was completed during the morning with the filming of one final section of Ringo's solo sequence: where he obligingly drapes his coat over some puddles for a lady to step on, only to discover, by the worst possible means, that the final puddle was not a puddle at all but a large hole in the oad, presently inhabited by a workman. The sequence was shot in a residential street in West Ealing.

During the afternoon the cast (including the four Beatles) and crew met up in a private hall behind the Turks Head public house in St. Margaret's for an end-of-film party. One of the finest British musical films of all time, certainly the best "pop movie" of all, had been completed start to finish in a mere eight weeks. It's world premiere, attended by the Beatles, took place at the London Pavilion cinema on Piccadily Circus, central London, the evening of July 6th.

Note: During the course of shooting A Hard Day's Night United Artists ensured that considerable additional footage was shot, showing the group in candid off-camera moments, being filmed by director Richard Lester's main camera moments, recording some of the soundtrack at EMI Studios in Abbey Road (mute film; no one has yet been able to deduce which date it was shot). UA then reached a deal with the the BBC for exclusive British television rights to  the material, and the Corporation set about compiling an excellent 28 minute documentary, Follow The Beatles, transmitted by BBC1 on Monday, August 3, 1964.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 23, 1964 (Thursday)

Thornbury Playing Fields, Bridge Rd. Isleworth, Middlesex and Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The aerial shots of the Beatles cavorting on a helicopter launch/landing pad to the tune of "Can't Buy Me Love", filmed at Gatwick Airport South on March 13, were consiered insufficient for this sequence, so Richard Lester had the Beatles congregate early this morning at Thornbury Playing Fields in Isleworth, near London Airport, for some more filming, done at ground-level this time and on a fake helicopter pad constructed in four pieces. The Beatles ran about and played the fool as before, and Lester also had John, Paul and George jump off a ladder, filmed by a cameraman laying on the ground, to give viewers the impression of high-altitude leaping.

Later in the morning John had to leave Isleworth to attend a literary luncheon being held in his honour at the Dorchester Hotel, so the final items of shooting took place without him. (This is why only Paul, George and Ringo appear at the very end of the "Can't Buy Me Love" sequence, when a groundsman shouts at them "I suppose you know this is private property" and George sarcastically responds, "Sorry we hurt your field, mister".)

Filming at Isleworth ended at 1:00 pm so it's possible that any or even all of the Beatles attended a 4:30-5:45 mix session at Abbey Road, which resulted in another mono version of "A Hard Day's Night", this one for record release.


The Complete Beatles Chronicle - ML

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 22, 1964 (Wednesday)

Odeon Cinema, Queen Caroline St. Hammersmith, London and other London locations

In the early morning the four Beatles were filmed running down the iron staircase at the rear of the Hammersmith Odeon cinema, footage of which, in editing, was butted-up to the "We're Out!" "corridor" scene (shot at Twickenham, March 18-19) as the opening part of the "Can't Buy Me Love" sequence. The Beatles would return to the Odeon - inside the venue - for their 1964 Christmas show production.

The group switched locations but remained in west London for the afternoon, filming another police chase scene up and down St. Luke's Road in Notting Hill Gate (while John Bluthal acted the part of the car thief). Then Ringo alone was filmed in nearby Lancaster Road, as part of his solo sequence; stopping to photograph milk bottles, being chased by two girl fans, diving into a secondhand goods shop (at 20 All Saints Rd.), emerging partly disguised (the success which was immediately proven when his attempt to chat up a passing girl led to instant rejection) and then walking up "All Saints Road, his progress monitored by a policeman. Finally, Paul was filmed walking along Goldhawk Road in Shepherd's Bush, entering through the door of Jack Billings TV School Of Dancing, temporarily sign-posted "TV Rehearsal Room".

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - ML


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 21, 1964 (Tuesday)

The Jack Billings TV School of Dancing, London

The 2nd day of Paul's "rehearsal room" shoot with Isla Blair. As with the previous day, the other three Beatles did not attend.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - ML

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 20, 1964 (Monday)

The Jack Billings TV School of Dancing, Goldhawk Rd. London

The only one of the Beatles not, so far, to have been involved in a solo scene for A Hard Day's Night was Paul, and this and the next day balanced that situation with the rehearsing and shooting of a long sequence. Out looking for the missing Ringo, Paul comes across a rehearsal room (actually a west London dance studio), enters and has a long conversation with an actress (Isla Blair) who has been rehearsing lines presuming that she was alone.

Despite the two-day shoot, and some re-writing by Paul and also by Richard Lester of Alun Owen's original script, the sequence was cut from the finished film, so Paul never did appear in a solo sequence.

Meanwhile, back at Abbey Road, 2:00-3:15 pm, George Martin was at work producing mono and stereo mixes of "A Hard Day's Night", the tapes taken away by United Artists.

The Beatles Complete Chronicle - ML

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 19, 1964 (Sunday)

IBC Studios, Portland Place, London

Although the acts in Around The Beatles would give the appearance of a live performance, in that they would not be miming to records, they would, in fact, be miming to a pre-taped soundtrack. Consequently, all of the musical participants in the production assembled today at an independent recording studio - IBC in Central London - for a 10:00 am-8:30 pm session. Second engineer/tape op was Glyn Johns, destined to be engineer/producer for the Beatle's Get Back/Let It Be album. (Terry Johnson was balance engineer for this IBC session; there was no producer, as such.)

Excercising their right, as stars of the show, to record their session last, the Beatles arrived at IBC in the early evening, by which time the other acts had taped their contributions. The Beatles session was especially interesting, for apart from recording versions of "Twist And Shout", "Roll Over Beethoven", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Long Tall Sally" and "Can't Buy Me Love", they also, unusually, performed a medley of their hits to date - "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me", "From Me To You", "She Loves You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand" - and then finished with "Shout", the Isley Brother's 1959 song which the Beatles hadn't performed since the onset of fame.

Although they mimed to these recordings on April 28th, the accompanying audience screams were preserved on the finished television soundtrack, detracting from the performance.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 18, 1964 (Saturday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's Twickenham and Hall of Remembrance, Flood St. London

The Beatles spent the morning undertaking post-sync work on A Hard Day's Night, adding and re-cording bits of dialogue where necessary. The afternoon, however, was devoted to an entirely different project.

A Hard Day's Night had still to be completed when Brian Epstein accepted a proposal from London-area ITV franchise Rediffusion (renamed on April 6th and no longer Associated-Rediffusion) for the making of a one hour television special starring the Beatles. Hence, the two productions overlapped. (Typical of this period's "starring" vehicles, viewers certainly did not see an hour of the the Beatles in the one-hour show, for it also featured PJ Proby, the Vernons Girls, Long John Baldry, Millie, the Jets (an American dance act) and other NEMS artists Cilla Black and Sounds Inc.) At this early stage, the whow was provisionally called John, Paul, George, and Ringo but it was later re-titled Around The Beatles to reflect the fact that it showed the acts performing "in the round", rather like an early Shakespeare production.

The group's contract for Around the Beatles called for them to attend five days of rehearsals between April 17 to 27 (for some of the other acts, rehearsals had begun on the 13th), to take place up to the 26th at the Hall Of Remembrance in Chelsea, and at Rediffusion's Wembley Studios on the 27th - the same place where video-taping would occur on the 28th. But owing to the still-busy A Hard Day's Night schedule, the Beatles diary was able to accommodate only three of the five: this afternoon, the 25th & 27th.

Brian Epstein negotiated a beneficial contract with Rediffusion, which granted him and the Beatles, among other perks, the opportunity to employ their preferred producer and director. Their choice for the former was Jack Good, the maestro behind early British TV pop shows like 6.5 Special and Oh Boy! As director, they chose Good's longtime associate Rita Gillespie. The Beatles would also work with Good again later in the year when they appeared in his US television show Shindig.

The complete Beatles Chronicle- Mark Lewisohn