Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 11, 1965 (Tuesday)

Cliveden House, Cliveden, Maidenhead

Not only the conclusion of filming at Cliveden but also the last shooting done by the Beatles for their second film. The unit concluded filming the following day, May 12, with location shots all over London for which the Beatles' presence was not required.

At one point during their two days at Cliveden, the Beatles were challenged to a relay running-race around part of the splendid gardens. The contest was filmed with an 8mm home-movie camera by a member of the Help! film crew and the footage still exists. They competed against three other teams from the unit-the electricians, the carpenters and the camera operators - and each team had six runners, the Beatles augmented by Neil Aspinall and their chauffer Alf Bicknell. (To the surprise of many, because they were considered unfit, the Beatles' team won the race).

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 10, 1965 (Monday)

Cliveden House, Cliveden, Maidenhead, Berkshire and Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The outside view of Buckingham Palace was seen in Help! (filmed on May 12) but there was, of course, no way that permission could be obtained for the Beatles to film inside the real edifice. Instead, the Beatles went to the sumptuous Cliveden House, situated by the River Thames in leafy Berkshire, built in 1850-51 and presently owned and preserved by the National Trust.

The Beatles filmed here over two days, looking out of a window on the east side of the house, playing cards in the "French" dining room, also shooting the brief but fascinating "Intermission" sequence in Bluebell Wood, in a section of the extensive Cliveden grounds.

During the evening the Beatles returned to London for a recording session at EMI, where - taping especially for the US record market - John steered the group through two of his favorite songs by the American rocker Larry Williams: "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Bad Boy". Both were completed between 8:00 am and 11:30 pm and 1:15 in the morning. George Martin took away the mix tapes and dispatched them by airfreight the next day to Hollywood, and within five weeks they were in the record stores, on the Capitol-compiled LP Beatles VI.

Being well versed at performing such material from their pre-fame stage days, the Beatles played both songs live in the studio, with minimal overdubbing. "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" was perfected in seven takes, using only three of available four tracks. "Bad Boy" was recorded in just four takes.

At best, so the music press reported at the time, the songs might turn up on a British EP later in the year. In fact, "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" was included on the upcoming Help! album but "Bad Boy" wasn't issued in the UK until the December 1966 compilation A Collection Of Beatles Oldies.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicles- Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 9, 1965 (Sunday)

London and St. Margret's Locations

Out and about in London, Sunday certainly being the best day of the week for location-hopping with the minimum of fuss and bother. The first stop was New Bond Street where the Beatles were filmed walking past a Watches of Switzerland jewellers shop and then dashing into Asprey's directly over the road. (The interior footage was shot on April 30th on a set at Twickenham.)

Next on the agenda was the exterior of the "Rajahama" Indian Restaurant, actually the Dolphin Restaurant in Blandford Street, close by EMI Record's headquarters at 20 Manchester Square. (Interior scenes shot at Twickenham on April 5-6).

John and Ringo then travelled to the familiar St. Margaret's area, near to Twickenham Film Studios and just yards from the Turk's Head Public House, scene of a A Hard Day's Night shooting. Together they were filmed walking along South Western Road, Ringo posting a letter in a mailbox, and then Ringo alone filming "Attempt Number Three" on a weighing scale, almost getting his hand chopped off while waiting for a print-out of his weight. This scene was shot outside a grocery store in Winchester Road.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 8, 1965 (Saturday)

The Beatles had a day of rest.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 7, 1965 (Friday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Back to Twickenham for the filming of Paul's main solo scene in HELP!, when he has been accidentally injected with reducing fluid and enjoys "exciting adventures" on the floor amid everyday but seemingly giant-sized objects.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 6, 1965 (Thursday)

A little break in between filming on location.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 5, 1965 (Wednesday)

Filming continued in Wiltshire, while Ticket To Ride by The Beatles was in the top 5 hits.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 4, 1965 (Tuesday)

Knighton Down, Larkhill, Wiltshire

Considerable filming was done at this location, including an open-air (mimed) performance of "I Need You", shot amid troops from the real-life 3 Division (which used Salisbury Plain for exercises), gunners, machine-gunners and even a troop of horse-artillery.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 3, 1965 (Monday)

Knighton Down, Larkhill, Wiltshire

The start of three days filming to this location on cold and windswept Salisbury Plain, the Beatles arrived at their local hotel (Antrobus Arms in Amesbury) at 11:20 pm tonight.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 2, 1965 (Sunday)

Today the Beatles were still enjoying their break from filming.