Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 25, 1965 (Sunday)
The #1 song on the UK Singles Chart on April 25, 1965
The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 24, 1965 (Saturday)

City Barge, Strand-on-the-Green, Chiswick, London

The Beatles went out on location this day, shooting the sequence that precedes the one in which Ringo is trapped in a cellar with a man-eating tiger (shot April 7th). They filmed in the tiny Chiswick hamlet of Strand-on-the-Green, walking down the narrow Post Office Alley and out onto the River Thames towpath. Then, as they realize their life is in danger (from marauding "thugs" dressed as bagpipe players), they seek shelter inside the City Barge public house (interior City Barge footage was shot on a set at Twickenham). They then re-emerged onto the towpath without Ringo (trapped in the cellar) by diving straight through the pub's glass window frontage.

John and Paul weren't needed after this filming. George and Ringo went elsewhere (not used in the finished film, and location not documented) to shoot a street and telephone-box scene, and then an additional item was filmed, without any of the Beatles, inside the food department at Harrods in Knightsbridge. (Again, not used in the finished film) There was no shooting on Monday, filming commencing again on Tuesday.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 23, 1965 (Friday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

More filming of the drama-school sequence with Frankie Howerd and Wendy Richard. Clang and Ahme joined the sequence this time.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 22, 1965 (Thursday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

One of the first sequences in "Help!" has the Beatles performing the title song in what is supposed to be a television appearance (hence the black and white footage: British TV did not begin color transmissions until December 1967). It was also shown being projected onto a home-movie screen at which Clang, filmed in color, threw darts. The scene was shot this day at Twickenham.

The untouched B&W footage (that is, without McKern and his darts), as supplied to them by United Artists, was distributed to TV companies by NEMS to promote "Help!" when it was released as a single on July 23rd. BBC1's Top Of The Pops, for example, showed the clip in the programs on July 29th (7:30-8:00 pm) and August 19th (7:25-8:00 pm). (This latter edition also included UA-supplied movie footage of "Another Girl".) On commercial television, what has come to be known as "dartless" clip was included in the 200th edition of Thank Your Lucky Stars, this time titled Lucky Stars Anniversary Show, networked by ABC on Saturday, July 15th (5:50-6:30 pm), and on TWW's Discs A Gogo on Monday, July 26th.

Later in the day, the Beatles began shooting a long scene which did not make the finished print, in which they were joined by British comedian Frankie Howerd, playing the part of Sam Ahab, teacher of dramtic art, and - as Lady Macbeth, one of Ahab's pupils, - the then unknown actress Wendy Richard (later to play Miss Brahms in the BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? and more recently appearing as Pauline Fowler in the BBC soap EastEnders).

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 21, 1965 (Wednesday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Filming of the scene, supposedly set inside Scotland Yard, in which the Beatles visit the office of Superintendent Gluck.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 20, 1965 (Tuesday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

The resumption of shooting after the Easter break. Among the scenes shot today was the one in which a "thug" attempts to remove Ringo's "Sacrificifial Ring" as he puts his hand into a mailbox to post a letter. (The location element of this sequence was filmed on May 9).

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 19, 1965 (Monday)

Ticket To Ride, The Beatles' ninth Capitol Records single, was the first release from the Help! album sessions. It was issued as Capitol 5407, with Yes It Is on the b-side.

The single spent a week at number one in the Hot 100. The label stated that it was from the forthcoming United Artists release Eight Arms To Hold You, which had until early April 1965 been the working title for the Help! film.

In the United Kingdom the single had been released by Parlophone on 9 April 1965.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 18, 1965 (Sunday)

Room 65, EMI Studios, London

An early mono mix of "Help!" and stereo mixes of this and also "The Night Before", made between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. (Help! would be done again in both mono and stereo on June 18th)

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 15, 1965 (Thursday)

Appearance on BBC's `Top Of The Pops'.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 17, 1965 (Saturday)

Saturday Brian goes to Spain on vacation and...

Top #5 songs in the USA

  • The Supremes - Stop! In The Name Of Love
  • Freddie and the Dreamers - I'm Telling You Now
  • Wayne Fontana - Game Of Love
  • Herman's Hermits - Can't You Hear My Heartbeat
  • Petula Clark - I Know A Place

Top #5 songs in the UK

  • Unit 4+2 - Concrete And Clay
  • Cliff Richard - The Minute You're Gone
  • The Rolling Stones - The Last Time
  • Them - Here Comes The Night
  • The Beatles - Ticket To Ride