The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 18, 1964 (Saturday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's Twickenham and Hall of Remembrance, Flood St. London

The Beatles spent the morning undertaking post-sync work on A Hard Day's Night, adding and re-cording bits of dialogue where necessary. The afternoon, however, was devoted to an entirely different project.

A Hard Day's Night had still to be completed when Brian Epstein accepted a proposal from London-area ITV franchise Rediffusion (renamed on April 6th and no longer Associated-Rediffusion) for the making of a one hour television special starring the Beatles. Hence, the two productions overlapped. (Typical of this period's "starring" vehicles, viewers certainly did not see an hour of the the Beatles in the one-hour show, for it also featured PJ Proby, the Vernons Girls, Long John Baldry, Millie, the Jets (an American dance act) and other NEMS artists Cilla Black and Sounds Inc.) At this early stage, the whow was provisionally called John, Paul, George, and Ringo but it was later re-titled Around The Beatles to reflect the fact that it showed the acts performing "in the round", rather like an early Shakespeare production.

The group's contract for Around the Beatles called for them to attend five days of rehearsals between April 17 to 27 (for some of the other acts, rehearsals had begun on the 13th), to take place up to the 26th at the Hall Of Remembrance in Chelsea, and at Rediffusion's Wembley Studios on the 27th - the same place where video-taping would occur on the 28th. But owing to the still-busy A Hard Day's Night schedule, the Beatles diary was able to accommodate only three of the five: this afternoon, the 25th & 27th.

Brian Epstein negotiated a beneficial contract with Rediffusion, which granted him and the Beatles, among other perks, the opportunity to employ their preferred producer and director. Their choice for the former was Jack Good, the maestro behind early British TV pop shows like 6.5 Special and Oh Boy! As director, they chose Good's longtime associate Rita Gillespie. The Beatles would also work with Good again later in the year when they appeared in his US television show Shindig.

The complete Beatles Chronicle- Mark Lewisohn

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