Beatles 50th Blog

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

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 16, 1965 (Friday)

Studio One, Wembley Studios, Wembley

An appearance on Rediffusion's Ready, Steady, Go! was still one of the best ways for an artist/group to promote the release of a new single. The problem was, the Beatles would no longer appear live on the program and they would no longer pre-tape (as they had done on November 23, 1964). A partial solution was effected this evening, when John and George (only) went along to Rediffusion's Wembley Studios to plug "Ticket To Ride" and be interviewed by show host Cathy McGowan in this live Good Friday broadcast, 6:08-7:00 pm. Among the other guests appearing in this edition was Adam Faith, Doris Troy, the Kinks and Herman Hermits.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 14, 1965 (Wednesday)

Alisa Ave. St. Margaret's, Twickenham, Middlesex

The first time the Beatles are seen in "Help!" is when their Rolls Royce pulls up in a suburban residential street, they get out and proceed to enter four adjacent terraced houses here in Ailsa Avenue (located not far from the studio) - Ringo in number 5, John 7, Paul 9, and George 11, while, across the road, two women bystanders (Dandy Nichols, later to star in the BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, and Gretchen Franklin), ponder on the boys' remarkable normality and whether or not they would appreciate a wave.

What neither they nor the world could see was that, on the inside, the four houses had been knocked into one enormous communal area - although this, of course, was shot on a set at Twickenham. While in Ailsa Avenue this day the Beatles also shot some street scenes.

The group were not involved in shooting on the 15th and then they and the crew enjoyed a long Easter weekend break, re-convening a the studio on Tuesday, April 20th.