50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : 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.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : 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.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 8, 1964-

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

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 7, 1964-

The Beatles still filming their first feature film

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 6, 1964-

United Artists also required the recordings for the Beatles to mime to during shooting. "And I Love Her" was later remixed for UK album release".

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 5, 1964-

While on the road filming, work on the Beatle's recordings were being carried out in their absence by George Martin at EMI Studios in Abbey Road. He produced mono mixes of "I Should Have Known Better", "If I Fell", Tell Me Why", "And I Love Her", "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You", and "I Call Your Name".

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 4, 1964-

Another train related sequence was shot today at the station in Crowcombe, Somerset, when the Beatles ran along the platform adjacent to the slowly moving train, pestering the uppper-crust passenger (Richard Vernon) and shouting "Hey mister! Can we have our ball back?"

One of the two schoolgirls cast by director Richard Lester for a train sequence - shot, in fact, on the first day, - was Pattie Boyd, with whom he had previously worked in a television commercial for Smith's potato crisps. Right away, George Harrison took a liking to Pattie and they soon began dating, leading to their marriage on January 21, 1966.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 3, 1964-

The Beatles still filming in the West Country

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 2, 1964-

Various locations today through March 6th - London to the West Country

Today, the Beatles became film actors for the first time, hurriedly joining the closed-shop actor's union Equity only minutes beforehand, on the platform at Paddington Station. They were proposed and seconded by Wilfrid Brambell and Norman Rossington, the two main support players in the group's debut feature film, which, for the moment was untitled. They were all gathered at Paddington for a purpose, of course, the first six day's shooting - Monday to Friday of this first week was to take place on a train. Hire of the train and the track facilities set back Proscenium Films, producer Walter Shenson's company, making the film for United Artists at a tidy sum of £600 per day, but the results were certainly worthwhile. At 8:30 this first day, amid scenes of Beatlemania at Paddinton Station, the train pulled out from Platform Five and headed for the West Country.

No actual shooting was done at Paddinton, however, the film's opening sequence, shot at a London station, was done instead at Marylebone. The Beatles decided after this first day that they could board the train more discreetly elsewhere, so for the remaining five days of shooting they embarked at Acton Main Line, in west London. Similarly, they never returned to Paddington in the evenings, jumping out at interim suburban stations like Acton Main Line, West Ealing, Westbourne Park and Hayes & Harlington, where they would be met by their chauffeur-driven car.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 1, 1964-

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The Beatles' first Sunday session for EMI, recording three songs in three hours, 7:00-10:00 pm. The first was "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You", written by John for George to sing, and recorded in four takes. They then taped two songs which would end up not as part of "A Hard Day's Night", but on an EP: "Long Tall Sally" and "I Call Your Name". (Surviving paperwork suggests that the latter, if not both, were intended for the film soundtrack at this early stage).

"Long Tall Sally" was a stupendous recording: Just as John had once captured "Twist And Shout" to perfection in a single take, so Paul, performing his greatest ever Little Richard impersonaton, put his all into "Long Tall Sally" - and, again, one take was all that was required. The Beatles backing - including George Martin on piano - was perfect too, so they didn't even bother with a second take.

"I Call Your Name" was also a recording of merit, the Beatles lending a ska beat to the middle-eight section of this Lennon composition. The song had been released before, by Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas as the B-side of their August 1963 number one "Bad To Me" (also written by John). The Beatles' recording was completed in seven takes, the "best" being take seven but the finest ska solo coming in take five, so this was edited into take seven at mising stages.

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