Beatles A Day in the Life Blog posts of '1964' 'February'

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Friday, February 28, 1964

Studio One, BBC Piccadilly Studios, London

Following the success of their initial "bank holiday" special - From Us To You, broadcst on December 26, 1963, the BBC booked the group to headline a second such program, taped this day and transmitted in the Light Programme under the same title between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon on Easter Monday, March 30th. Recording took place between 6:30 and 9:00 pm (inclusive of rehearsal time) at the Corporation's studios at 201 Piccadilly, central London. (Other guests in the show, booked by the BBC but supposedly at the invitiation of the Beatles, included Acker Bilk, the Swinging Blues Jeans and Vince Hill. They were all taped at a different session).

The Beatle's contribution was the usual mixture of music and with, the latter surfacing in the form of light-hearted interviews with the program's host Alan Freeman. Recordings made especially for the show were "You Can't Do THat", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Till There Was You", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Please Mister Postman", "All My Loving", "This Boy" and "Can't Buy Me Love". Additionally, the show opened and closed with an a 55-second recording, "From Us To You" - however, this was not the version recorded on December 18, 1963 for the first such "bank holiday" special, but a new rendition taped at this February 28th session. (The two subsequent From Us To You shows - taped on May 1 and July 17, 1964 - repeated this new version).

Reaction to the program was mixed. A BBC audience research report noted, among others, two widely different opinions from members of the public. A security guard considered the Beatles "vastly over-rated; their performance was decidedly amateur, and their entertainment value nil", while a solicitor, self-described as being "over-20", stated "How can anyone fail to like them? Their music is so gay and uninhibited, and they themselves are full of joie de vivre."

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Thursday, February 27, 1964

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Two sessions at Abbey Road, 10:00 am-1:00 pm and 2:30-7:15 pm. In two takes of the second re-make, "And I Love Her" was finally recorded to everyone's satisfaction, and then two more film songs were started and finished, both composed mostly by John: "Tell Me Why", done in eight takes, and his stunning ballad "If I Fell", finished in 15.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Wednesday, February 26, 1964

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

This long day at Abbey Road began with a three hour mono-mixing session, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, preparing British and US masters of the single "Can't Buy Me Love"/"You Can't Do That". Issued at home on Friday, March 20th and in America the previous Monday, the 16th, its seized upon what was now global Beatlemania and sold in immense quantities, topping the charts everywhere. In the USA, Capitol shifted more than two million copies within a week, the single earning a gold disc on it's day of issue, an unprecedented achievement. In Britain, advance orders alone passed the million mark.

From 2:30 to 5:30 and 7:00 to 10:15 pm, the Beatles turned their attention to re-makes of "I Should Have Known Better" and "And I Love Her", although they ended up leaving this latter title for yet another time and a second to re-make.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Tuesday, February 25, 1964

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The Beatles' first feature film, to begin shooting the following Monday, necessitated the writing and recording of a crop of new Lennon-McCartney songs. Some were required before the film went into production, others were to be recorded after the film was completed. So, this day saw the first in a new series of EMI sessions. It was also George's 21st birthday.

But the most pressing duty of the day was to finish off, with vocal and guitar overdubs, what would be their next single, "Can't Buy Me Love", and then tape it's B-Side, John's "You Can't Do That", a nine-take recorded completed in one session, 10:00 am to 1:30 pm.

Between 2:30 and 5:30 pm two film songs were recorded, although both would be re-made this same week: Paul's "And I Love Her", (two takes) and John's "I Should Have Known Better" (three).

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Monday, February 24, 1964

The Beatles had a day off.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Sunday, February 23, 1964

Studio One, Teddington Studio Centre, Teddington

The Beatles hardly had time to overcome the jet-lag before they were thrust back into homeland activities again. This morning they travelled to the Teddington Studio Centre of ABC Television to tape their 2nd appearance on the variety show Big Night Out. Following rehearsals, the program was shot in front of an audience during the evening - and it wasn't until 10:30 pm that the Beatles were able to leave the premises. The program was transmitted by most of the ITV network the following Saturday, February 29th, although in the London area it was screened the following Tuesday, March 3rd. Other guests on the show were Billy Dainty, Jackie Trent and Lionel Blair.

Viewers saw the Beatles participate in three comedy skits with show hosts Mike and Bernie Winters. One of these took advantage of the group's famous return from the USA, with them filmed sailing in a boat down the adjacent River Thames, alighting at the studio, driving in an open-top car around the studio lot and entering through a door marked "Customs", with the Winters' dressed as customs officers. Naturally, they opted to search the group's luggage, finding each suitcase stuffed with cash.

The Beatles also mimed a music set, playing "All My Loving", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Till There Was You", "Please Mister Postman", "Money (That's What I Want)" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand".

Note: News cameras from ITN filmed the Beatle's River Thames jaunt for it's early eveing bulletin (6:05-6:15pm) and George volunteered to provide the commentary, parodying the annual Oxford Vs Cambridge boat race broadcasts by John Snagge.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Saturday, February 22, 1964

Kingsford-Smith Suite, London Airport, Heathrow, Middlesex

The return of the Beatles to England after such an eventful first trip tot he USA was deemed a matter of such national importance tha BBC footage of their touchdown at London Airport, and an accompanying interview, was slotted into the Saturday afternoon TV sports program, Grandstand, broadcast between 1:00 and 5:15 pm. Correspondingly, the interview was conducted by David Coleman, the BBC's premier sports commentator.

The item - not a brief filler but of 13 mins, 12 seconds duration - was shown along with horse-racing. Eddie Waring was commentating on live rugby league from Hunslet, amateur boxing from Cardiff and the classified football results.

The return was covered by most film and TV organizations. Pathe News turned its footage into a special Beatles Welcome Home report for cinema distribution, narrator Bob Danvers-Walker piling on the puns in best Pathe style, "Never mind crush-barriers, the Beatles fans would smash the sound-barrier!". And it was covered by radio, too, the Beatles crowded around a telephone at London Airport shortly after landing and were interviewed by Brian Matthew, 4 mins, 20 seconds of which went into the last 20 minutes of this morning's edition of Saturday Club, broadcast, as usual, by the Light Programme from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. (The interview was followed, incidentally, by a dedication for George's imminent 21st birthday - "Shop Around" by the Miracles was requested and played - sent in by George's mother).

The return was also covered by radio news and a brief extract from one such interview, Neville Barker Talking to George Harrison, was repeated in The Public Ear on Sunday, March 8th (3:00-4:00 pm) as part of a feature titled, "Beatlemania".

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Friday, February 21, 1964

To return to England from America, The Beatles flew first from Miami to New York, where they boarded an airplane to take them to London. They arrived back the following day.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Thursday, February 20, 1964

The Beatles enjoyed this week of relaxing a bit, before returning to England.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : Wednesday, February 19, 1964

`Please Please Me' LP, 48th week in the Top 10 (UK New Musical Express chart). `With The Beatles' number 1, 13th week (UK New Musical Express chart).