Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 17, 1964 (Tuesday)

Les Ambassadeurs, Hamilton Place, London

The Beatles twice visited this splendid private club, situated just off Park Lane in central London, to film sequences for A Hard Day's Night, on this day and again on April 17th.

On this first occasion, they filmed the sequence in which they discovered Ringo's father gambling at "Le Circle Club". Veteran BBC broadcaster Jack de Manio came to Les Ambassadeurs to record an interview with John about his imminent foray into the world of books (In His Own Write being due for publication on the 23rd). The interview was broadcast in the Home Service news-magazine program Today (presented by de Manio) the next morning, Wednesday, March 18th, between 7:15 and 7:45 am. It was also repeated in the second-half of the program, on air 8:15-8:40 am.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 16, 1964 (Monday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Filming of the "studio canteen" sequence, in which Wilfrid Brambell persuades Ringo to take his nose out of "A Booook" and go "parading" instead, deserting his fellow Beatles in their hour of need.

The other Beatles were not involved in this day's action so George took the opportunity to accompany Brian Epstein at a Cilla Black session for Saturday Club.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 15, 1964 (Sunday)

The Beatles took a break today filming at Twickenham Film Studios.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 14, 1964 (Saturday)

The Beatles took a break today filming at Twickenham Film Studios.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 13, 1964 (Friday)

Gatwick Airport South, Surrey

Shooting moved 27 miles south of London for two of the film's most important sequences. It meant an early start for the Beatles, who arrived at Gatwick at 10:00 am. The first task of the day was to shoot the film's closing sequence, in which the Beatles ran into view and clambered into a helicopter which then took off into the sky, scattering promotional photographs of the group onto the ground below.

After lunch, the Beatles were filmed larking about on a nearby helicopter launch pad (the helicopter was overhead, with the camera man on board). Along with footage shot on April 22nd, and 23rd, this formed a part of the "Can't Buy Me Love" liberation sequence.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 12, 1964 (Thursday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Shooting of the "Hotel Room" sequences, in which road managers "Norm" and "Shake" (actors Norman Rossington and John Junkin re-creating the roles of Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans) order the Beatles to remain in their room and answer fan mail, and in which - having sneaked out to a night club- the group return to discover a hotel waiter, minus his suit, bound and gagged in a wardrobe.

Meanwhile, working at EMI from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, George Martin made stereo mixes of the two German language recordings, "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand", and "Sie Liebt Dich". Copy tapes  were dispatched to West Germany, and even to the USA, for record release.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 11, 1964 (Wednesday)

Twickenham Film Studios, The Barons, St. Margaret's, Twickenham, Middlesex

The Beatle's first day of shooting at Twickenham Film Studios, where they would make not only "A Hard Day's Night", but also "Help!" (in 1965), several promotional videos (1965 and 1968), Get Back/Let It Be (1969) and where Ringo would shoot the studio scenes in his solo venture The Magic Christian (also 1969).

On this day, working from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm (the early starts were maintained throughout the shooting), the group filmed on a set resembling a train guard's van, where they played cards and also mimed to "I Should Have Known Better", later edited into the film's train sequences.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 10, 1964 (Tuesday)

The Turks Head, Winchester Rd. St. Margaret's, Twickenham, Middlesex and Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

One of the main talking points in what was to be called a Hard Day's Night was Rindo's long solo sequence, in which - having been encouraged to desert the group by Paul's "grandfather", Wilfrid Brambell - he embarks upon a series of adventures, most ending in disaster. The first element to be shot was his trip to a pub, where he complains about the sandwiches, accidently smashes a beer bottle and then almost maims a parrot positioned uncomfortably close to the dart board. The sequence was filmed on this day at the Turks Head public house on Winchester Road, St. Margaret's, close by Twickenham Film Sutdios where the film production was based and where the studio work would be filmed.

Also this day, at Abbey Road, George Martin produced stereo mixes of "Can't Buy Me Love", "Long Tall Sally", "I Call Your Name", and "You Can't Do That", and mono mixes of "Long Tall Sally", "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" and "Sie Liebt Dich". An intriguing document was uncovered at EMI in 1991 suggesting that a "drummer" participated in this 10:00 am - 1:00 pm session with regard to "Can't Buy Me Love" - which only can mean that he did some overdubbing. He was paid a Musician's Union session fee of £5 15s (£5.75) - the Beatles were also paid for their sessions in these early years, quite distinct from their royalty calculations - but his name was not detailed on the document.

This answers one question that has long puzzled some Beatles students, why the drumming on this song's stero mix differs slightly from the mono. But it also raises a new question regarding the drummer's identity: Ringo's "A Hard Day's Night" shooting schedule would seem to suggest that he had little, if any, opportunity to visit Abbey Road on this day.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 9, 1964

Various locations, London to Newton Abbot

THe conclusion of the train filming, traveling this time from London to the Devonshire town of Newton Abbot, 2500 miles having been clocked up during the past week. A Monday to Friday work schedule, leaving weekends free, was maintained throughout the shooting, but for the necessary exceptions.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : March 8, 1964

The Beatles still filming their first feature film - still not titled.