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

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: April 20, 1964 (Monday)

The Jack Billings TV School of Dancing, Goldhawk Rd. London

The only one of the Beatles not, so far, to have been involved in a solo scene for A Hard Day's Night was Paul, and this and the next day balanced that situation with the rehearsing and shooting of a long sequence. Out looking for the missing Ringo, Paul comes across a rehearsal room (actually a west London dance studio), enters and has a long conversation with an actress (Isla Blair) who has been rehearsing lines presuming that she was alone.

Despite the two-day shoot, and some re-writing by Paul and also by Richard Lester of Alun Owen's original script, the sequence was cut from the finished film, so Paul never did appear in a solo sequence.

Meanwhile, back at Abbey Road, 2:00-3:15 pm, George Martin was at work producing mono and stereo mixes of "A Hard Day's Night", the tapes taken away by United Artists.

The Beatles Complete Chronicle - ML

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: April 19, 1964 (Sunday)

IBC Studios, Portland Place, London

Although the acts in Around The Beatles would give the appearance of a live performance, in that they would not be miming to records, they would, in fact, be miming to a pre-taped soundtrack. Consequently, all of the musical participants in the production assembled today at an independent recording studio - IBC in Central London - for a 10:00 am-8:30 pm session. Second engineer/tape op was Glyn Johns, destined to be engineer/producer for the Beatle's Get Back/Let It Be album. (Terry Johnson was balance engineer for this IBC session; there was no producer, as such.)

Excercising their right, as stars of the show, to record their session last, the Beatles arrived at IBC in the early evening, by which time the other acts had taped their contributions. The Beatles session was especially interesting, for apart from recording versions of "Twist And Shout", "Roll Over Beethoven", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Long Tall Sally" and "Can't Buy Me Love", they also, unusually, performed a medley of their hits to date - "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me", "From Me To You", "She Loves You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand" - and then finished with "Shout", the Isley Brother's 1959 song which the Beatles hadn't performed since the onset of fame.

Although they mimed to these recordings on April 28th, the accompanying audience screams were preserved on the finished television soundtrack, detracting from the performance.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: 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

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: April 17, 1964 (Friday)

Les Ambassadeurs, London

A return to Les Ambassadeurs, shooting the film's discotheque sequence in the club's Garrison Room the Beatles dancing to "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Don't Bother Me". Suddenly, their biggest American champion, Ed Sullivan flew to England on Wednesday, April 15th, ready to interview the Beatles on location the next day. But Thursday, had seen the group frantically busy by their own high standards, so Sullivan's appointment was re-scheduled for today.

For all of his traveling and waiting, one wonders if Ed could have been happy with the result. The interview, conducted in the club's walled-garden, was extremely brief, 1 minute, 34 seconds, for insertion into the Sunday, May 24th edition of the "Ed Sullivan Show" (transmitted by the CBS network, 8:00-9:00, EST). A bonus, however, came in the form of a clip from A Hard Day's Night, supplied to Sullivan by United Artists to accompany the interview: it was a section from the Scala Theatre "Live Performance" filming on March 31st, the group miming to "You Can't Do That". When final editing was taking place this sequence was cut from the film, so - although he couldn't have known it at the time, six weeeks before the film's world premier - Sullivan's US broadcast had the footage exclusively.

The complete Beatles Chronicle, -Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : April 16, 1964 (Thursday)

Notting Hill Gate locations, London and Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The Beatles spent much of this day on location in Notting Hill Gate filming "chase scenes" with mock-policemen. The "police station" was actually St. John's Secondary School at 83 Clarendon Road. (Although the interior sequences were shot on a set at Twickenham, the Beatles did spend time inside St. John's on this day, mostily using it as a refuge from fans.) They also filmed in a neighbouring cul-de-sac (Heathfield Street) and, in a sequence cut from the finished production, at the Portland Arms public house, running in through an entrance in Portland Road and immediately exiting through another door onto Penzance Place. (Because it was deleted, director Richard Lester was able to use the same idea and location for his next film, "The Knack".)

Although it was now approaching completion, the Beatle's film remained untitled - until, that is, Ringo emerged somewhere after a long day's work (reputedly March 19), commented to someone "it's been a hard day" and then, seeing that it was already dark, tacked "s night" on the end. The phrase captured to perfection the mood of the film and was immediately adopted as its title, announced to the press on April 17th. (Ringo may have previously seen the phrase in John's book, for it appears in the "sad Michael" story.)

However the title had come about, though, was immaterial to the problem it now presented John and Paul: they had to write a song "to order", the title already set. And they did not disappoint, within a few days it was ready for recording, and the Beatles came to Abbey Road this evening to do just that, beginning the session at 7:00 and ending at 10:00, completing the song in just nine takes.

A Hard Day's Night was not only the title of the film: it was also the title of the accompaning 13 track album released by EMI on Friday, july 10, 1964, all songs composed by Lennon-McCartney, and of the Beatle's next British single, issued on the same date.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : April 15, 1964 (Wednesday)

Scala Theatre (exterior), London and Studio 4, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London

A return to the Scala Theatre in Central London, although only to the outside of the building, filming scenes in Scala Street, Tottenham Street and also Charlotte Mews.

Paul taped his first solo TV appearance in the evening, being interviewed in a one-off chat/revue show presented by David Frost, the fast rising young star of British TV. Under the title "A Degree of Frost", the programme was transmitted from 10:15 to 11:00 pm on Wedndesday, May 18th by the BBC1 network (now with the numerical suffix, to differentiate it from BBC2, which had opened on April 20, 1964. It was repeated on Tuesday, September 1st, 8:00 to 8:45 pm.

The show was taped from 8:30 pm in front of an audience at the BBC's Television Centre premises in White City, west London, with rehearsals having begun eight hours earlier, at 10:30 am. (Busy filming at the Scala, Paul would have arrived some time later.) It was produced by Joe McGrath, the first of several occasions that he would be associated with the film and TV work of the Beatles, individually and as a group.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : April 14, 1964 (Tuesday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's, Twickenham and Arlington Road, St. Margaret's, Twickenham

Studio and also location shooting for a sequence deleted from the finished film, in which the Beatles, stuck in a traffic jan, are cursed at by a passenger in another car. Playing the part of the Beatle's chauffeur was British comedy actor Frank Thornton. The location shooting was done in a road neighbouring the studios, outside the house of one Ken Lewis, a Liberal Party council-election candidate who loaned his campaign bus to the traffic queue.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : April 13, 1964 (Monday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret.s, Twickenham

Shooting in the morning of George's solo sequence in the film, in which he is taken to the marketing boss of a clothing company and mistaken for the model of their new range of what George describes as "grotty" shirts.

George also featured in the the afternoon "bathroom" filming, in which he shaved in front of a mirror while John played submarines in the bath, sang "Rule Britannia" and apparently disappeared down the plug-hole. Paul and Ringo did not attend filming this day - had they done so they would have re-met Roy Orbison, visiting Britain and keen to catch up with the group which had, theoretically, been a support act on his previous British concert tour.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : April 12, 1964 (Sunday)

Marylebone Station, London

A return to Marylebone, without fans this time, for some shooting of the film's opening sequences.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life : April 11, 1964 (Saturday)

Today the Beatles had a day off.