50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 20, 1964 (Friday)-

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham and Studio Nine, Television House, London

During the late morning and afternoon the Beatles shot more "corridor" scenes for A Hard Day's Night at Twickenham. Ringo was also interviewed by reporter Lyn Fairhurst for the BBC radio program Movie-Go-Round, broadcast April 12th, following immediately after a group interview done the day before with Peter Noble.

During the late afternoon and early evening the Beatles went to Television House, the central London HQ/studios of Associated-Rediffusion, where they quickly rehearsed and then appeared live on Ready, Steady, Go!, broadcast from 6:15 to 7:00 pm. It was their second live spot on the program, but was also their last, for their next and final group appearance was pre-taped.

The Beatles mimed to three disc recordings: "It Won't Be Long", "You Can't Do That", and "Can't Buy Me Love", took part in a humorous fashion parade, were presented by RSG! co-host Keith Fordyce with a special award from the US trade magazine Billboard to recognise the fact that they held the top three singles chart positions simultaneously and were interviewed by the series' other main host, Cathy McGowan.

This performance of "Can't Buy Me Love" was twice re-shown. The first time was on Friday, April 24, 1964 (6:10 to 7:00 pm) in Ready, steady, Go To Montreux!, a special edition recorded at the Casino in Montreux, Switzerland, Light Entertainment Programmes. The second time was on Thursday, July 15, 1965 in Pick Of The Songs.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 19, 1964 (Thursday)-

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's Twickenham and Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London and Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's and Television Theatre, London.

During the early morning and mid-to-late afternoon the Beatles filmed at Twickeham, spending the first of two consecutive days shooting TV studio "corridor" scenes. They were also visited on the set by film columnist Peter Noble who interviewed them for the BBC radio Light Programme series Movie-Go-Round, broadcast on Sunday, April 12 (3:00-4:00 pm). It was followed in the program by an interview done the next day, with Ringo only.

Around noon they left to attend the 12th annual luncheon of the Variety Club of Great Britain, at the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, central London, where leader of the opposition Harold Wilson presented them with the award for "Show Business Personalities of 1963". The moment was captured on film by several TV and newsreel companies, including the BBC which made a 30 minute program of the luncheon - The Variety Club of Great Britain for 1963 - screened from 10:30 to 11:00 pm on Friday, March 20th.

In the evening, between 7:00 and 8:30 (including rehearsal time), the Beatles could be found at the BBC's Television Theatre in Shepherd's Bush, west London, taping (without an audience) their debut appearance on Britain's most famous TV pop show, Top Of The Pops, the first edition of which had been transmitted on New Year's Day 1964. Though broadcast at this time from Manchester, the Beatles were allowed to pre-tape and to do so in London, miming to both sides of their new single, "Can't Buy Me Love" and "You Can't Do That". Both performances were included in the following Wednesday's edition, March 25th, transmitted from 6:35 to 7:00 pm, while "Can't Buy Me Love" alone was repeated on April 8th (same time).

In other weeks, before the Beatles had taped an appearance, or if the BBC had used up its contracted number of transmissions of a particular item, Top Of The Pops would run either its own commissioned, non-descript film item to accompany a song, or the studio audience would be shown dancing to a spinning disc. This situation applied until the early 1970's.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 18, 1964 (Wednesday)-

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Shooting of "dressing room" sequences for the film. Wile waiting around on the set at Twickenham, the Beatles recorded a number of items for broadcast in the BBC Light Programme radio series The Public Ear on Sunday, March 22 (3:00 to 4:00 pm) and also transmitted simultaneously by the BFBS - British Forces Broadcasting Service, in West Germany. In keeping with the sophisticated nature of the series, they interviewed temselves, rather than be interviewed by a BBC man, so humor was at a premium.

Listeners on the 22nd heard a novel opening to the programme, a reader had written into The Public Ear asking that advance warning be given if ever the Beatles should be set to apear, so that fans could contact other fans and ensure that as many as possible were tuned in. This letter was read out, following which Ringo announced, "We're on today, later on, so don't forget, get on the phone and get all your friends listening!"

When "later on" arrived, George assumed the role of BBC interviewer, adopting a plum accent and discussing John's book "In his own words" first with Ringo and then with the author, who proceeded to read an excerpt, "Alec Speaking". George then chatted about the making of A Hard Day's Night with Paul and, to round off the show, joined part-way credits, ascribing themselves joint producer credits along with the real incumbent, John Fawcett Wilson.

Extracts from the broradcast, together with extracts from the Beatles' first appearance on The Public Ear, and interview given by Brian Epstein to Bill Grundy, an interview given by George Martin to Edward Greenfield, various discs and a linking script written and read by William Mann (music critic on the The Times) comprised an interesting 30 minute programme, The Beatles, Who are they?, broadcast globally by the BBC's General Overseas Service.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : 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.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : 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.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 15, 1964 (Sunday)-

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

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 14, 1964 (Saturday)-

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

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : 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.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : 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.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : 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.

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