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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : April 1, 1964 (Wednesday)

The Beatles broke up today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 31, 1964 (Tuesday)

Scala Theatre, London and Playhouse Theatre, London

This was perhaps the most exciting and rewarding day's work on A Hard Day's Night the "TV performance" that was the climax of the film. It was shot this day at the Scala before an audience of 350 screaming fans, film union rules dictating that each person, even though thousands would have gladly done it for nothing, be paid for the pleasure of screaming at the Beatles. (Among these 350 was a 13 year old child actor named Phil Collins, later to achieve worldwide fame of his own with Genesis and as a solo musician.)

In the finished film the Beatles mime to four songs in this sequence, "Tell Me Why", "And I Love Her", "I Should Have Known Better" and "She Loves You". They filmed others too, certainly "You Can't Do That" was one to be left unused. During "Tell Me Why" director Richard Lester allowed himself to be briefly visible on camera, appearing - Hitchcock-like - in a shot that looks out from the back of the stage into the Scala auditorium.

This hectic day for the Beatles concluded with a lengthy evening session for BBC radio at the Playhouse, recording an insert for the next edition of the weekly series Saturday Club, broadcast in the Light Programme between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon on April 4th. Additionally, during a session break, John recorded an interview for broadcast on the BBC's Home Service Radio network.

For the Saturday Club session, from 7:00 to 10:30 pm, the Beatles chatted with host Brian Matthew and recorded "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", "I Call Your Name", "I Got A Woman", You Can't Do That", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Sure To Fall" (In Love With You), and "Long Tall Sally". The last three songs fell into the final half hour of the domestic broadcast,  simultaneously transmitted by the BBC's General Overseas Service.

Between 9:00 and 9:30 pm, while the other Beatles took a break, John was interviewed again by Brian Matthew, this time for the Home Service series A Slice Of Life. The subject of thies edition, broadcast from 4:00 to 4:30 pm on Saturday, May 2nd was "Hobbies" and for just under three minutes listeners heard John speak about his writing and best-selling book.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 30, 1964 (Monday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 29, 1964 (Sunday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 28, 1964 (Saturday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 27, 1964 (Friday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 26, 1964 (Thursday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala Theatre in London

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 25, 1964 (Wednesday)

The Beatles enjoying several days off from filming at the Scala.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 24, 1964 (Tuesday)

Scala Theatre, London

More filming at the Scala. During a break on the 24th, John discussed his new book in an interview given to the British-based Australian broadcaster/actor Dibbs Mather, which was then distributed exclusively to overseas radio stations by the BBC's Transcription Service in its series Dateline London. Neither the series nor the interview was heard in Britain.

An extended Easter weekend break followed the Thursday shoot, with John and Cynthia, accompanied by George and girlfriend Pattie Boyd, spending the weekend at the remote Dromolan castle in County Clare, Ireland, Paul staying in London and Ringo and friends spending Easter at the country house Woburn Abbey, in Bedfordshire. Filming resumed the  following Tuesday.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 23, 1964 (Monday)

Scala Theatre, Charlotte Street, London and Lime Grove Studios, London and Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, London

Filming a Hard Day's Night switched to the Scala Theatre to central London for seven working days (this day through to April 2). The main premise of the film was that the Beatles appear on a television show, the Scala was therefore mocked-up as "United TV House". The film's "performance" finale was shot here on March 31st.

To promote his first book, In His Own Write - this was the date of the publication - John appeared on the live BBC TV program Tonight, broadcast from 7:00 to 7:35 pm from the Corporation's Lime Grove Studios in west London. Following the reading of brief extracts by programme presenter Cliff Mitchelmore and regulars Derek Hart, and Kenneth Allsop, John was interviewed by Allsop for exactly four minutes.

Later the same evening, the Beatles attended the annual Carl-Alan ballroom dancing awards event, at the Empire Ballroom in Leicester Square, Central London, where the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) presented them with two awards for their musical achievements in 1963. The moment was filmed by TV and newsreel companies, including the BBC which broadcast proceedings live from the ballroom - entitling its programme The Carl-Alan Awards - from 10:25 to 11:15 pm.