Friday, July 22, 2011

As Well As Loving

From February 15th-20th, 1965, The Beatles were in EMI Studios recording eleven songs for potential use in their second movie.

On the 22nd, they flew to the Bahamas to begin filming, landing at Nassau Airport that evening where they mingled with American journalists, including familiar faces Larry Kane and Gene Loving of WGH-AM. Loving also spoke with Brian Epstein and a couple of fans.

February 24th was the first full day of shooting, as The Beatles were filmed riding bicycles along Interfield Road. Gene Loving chatted with John, Paul, and George between takes, and also recorded interviews with Brian Epstein, hairdresser Betty Glasow, director Richard Lester, and producer Walter Shenson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just Say That I Smiled

On the sixth day of 1965, Murray The "K" phoned London and spoke with Paul and Ringo, who were in the midst of their Christmas Show run. Paul commented on the latest iteration of the rumor that he would be marrying Jane Asher.

Murray didn't think to ask about Ringo's marital plans, but it turned out to be sooner than anyone imagined. Ringo and Maureen Cox were wed on February 11th. The next morning, the newlyweds faced the multitudes briefly; the event was covered in an earlier blog post, but here is an extra bit from a Reuters newsreel. The joining of the Starkeys led fans to speculate on George's matrimonial future.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Eppy New Year

OK, it wasn't exactly Brianmania, but The Beatles' manager did have a high profile in the winter of 1964-65. He even had his own fan club for a brief time! In addition to the publication and promotion of his biography, A Cellarful Of Noise, Brian Epstein began taping inserts for the NBC-TV series, Hullabaloo.

From a studio in London, Brian introduced and occasionally chatted with British acts; on the weekend of December 19th, 1964, he interviewed Dick Lester about plans for The Beatles' upcoming second film. This segment aired in the 5th episode of Hullabaloo, broadcast February 9th, 1965.

Here is a newsreel clip of Brian being interviewed at a New Year's Eve party, looking forward to 1965. And while we're on the subject, here is a vintage recording of Harry Shearer reading an excerpt from Brian's book, from the 1969 KRLA documentary series The Chronicles Of Pop. Picture Derek Smalls reading the passage for added hilarity.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Beatles Christmas Show

The Beatles had closed 1963 with a highly successful run at the Finsbury Park Astoria, headlining a Christmas show mixing music and sketches. They weren't exactly anxious to repeat the feat, but Brian Epstein insisted, so Another Beatles Christmas Show was booked for the Hammersmith Odeon in 1964. Also on the bill were the Yardbirds, whose guitarist, Eric Clapton, would eventually form a lifelong friendship with George.

Rehearsals took place in the third week of December, and the show opened Christmas Eve, lasting through January 16th, 1965. During the first week of shows, the Beatles were interviewed backstage by American DJ Paul Drew, and British DJ Chris Denning. The latter was there to gather material for a new Radio Luxembourg weekly series, The Beatles, which would debut on January 3rd. The Beatles' initial contribution consisted of a halfhearted chat conducted while stuffing their faces, and some amusing record requests and dedications.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Model Patient

On December 1st, 1964, Ringo entered University College Hospital in London to undergo a tonsillectomy. Prior to checking in, he held a press conference, covered by ITV News and Reuters.

Anxious fans were kept apprised of Ringo's status via daily bulletins from Beatles Fan Club secretary Anne Collingham, and the CBC-TV news magazine This Hour Has Seven Days even devoted a full segment to the medical event.

A fully recuperated Ringo talked to ITV News again upon his discharge December 10th, taking a moment to deny rumors of George's secret wedding.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Poetry And Music

Dudley Moore and Peter Cook's sketch/variety TV series, Not Only... But Also... made its debut on BBC2 January 9th, 1965. John Lennon agreed to participate in the premiere episode, reading and adapting selections from his book In His Own Write.

His first contribution was a filmed piece to accompany Moore's reading of "Deaf Ted, Danoota (and me)". Lennon, Moore, and Norman Rossington shot the whimsical footage on Wimbledon Common in the morning of November 20th, 1964.

Nine days later, John was in the BBC Television Centre to tape a lengthy segment for the show. The same trio in various combinations recited "About The Awful", "All Abord Speeching", "Good Dog Nigel", "Unhappy Frank", and "The Wrestling Dog". John also appeared during the show's closing theme song, "Good-bye-ee".

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Not Tory?

The Beatles finished recording Beatles For Sale on October 26th, 1964, then headed back on the road.

October 29th found them at the ABC Cinema in Plymouth, where they mingled with the press, including BBC reporter Michael Rinehold. Two nights later, they were at the Gaumont in Ipswich, where they chatted with Anglia TV correspondent John McGregor.

The tour concluded November 10th in Bristol, and the rest of November was filled with promotional appearances for their new single and upcoming LP. TV appearances included Thank Your Lucky Stars, Top Of The Pops, and Ready, Steady, Go! They also taped sets for BBC Radio's Top Gear and Saturday Club.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cake Canaveral

The UK tour rolled through Scotland from October 19th-21st, 1964, with shows in Edinburgh, Dundee, and Glasgow.

On the 20th, The Beatles filmed a very silly TV interview for Grampian Week, backstage at Caird Hall. Reporter June Shields did her best to keep them on track, as John ad-libbed a couple of "traditional Gaelic airs".

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't Tell Harold!

The Beatles began October 1964 with a TV taping for the US pop program Shindig, slotted in among several recording session dates for the LP Beatles For Sale and a new single.

The touring machine cranked up again on October 9th with the start of their UK Autumn Tour. On general election day, October 15th, they pulled into Stockton-on-Tees for a concert. At their hotel, a crew from the local Tyne Tees TV series North-East Newsview filmed an interview with the band about the politics of the day, a topic in which they showed obvious disinterest.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mr. Barry Epstein

Although he had officially resigned as Beatles press officer at the end of the North American tour, one of Derek Taylor's biggest projects was released in October 1964. Taylor had ghostwritten Brian Epstein's autobiography, A Cellarful Of Noise, and Brian made several promotional appearances that month to publicize the book.

On October 1st, as the book was released in the UK, Brian was interviewed on BBC-TV's Tonight by Cliff Michelmore. October 13th found Brian at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, reading extracts from the book for a potential spoken-word LP which never surfaced. Two brief clips from the session tapes were released in 1995 on Anthology 1.

Epstein traveled to the US later that week, and put in an appearance as "Mr. X" on the CBS-TV game show What's My Line? October 18th. Guest Paul Anka recognized Brian and sat out the round, but it didn't take long for the remaining panelists to uncover his identity.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When I Get Home

September 19th, 1964, was a day of rest for The Beatles. They spent the day as guests of American Flyers owner Reed Pigman, on his ranch in Alton, Missouri.

The next morning, they flew from Arkansas back to New York City for one final concert, a charity show at the Paramount Theater. During the flight, KYW-AM reporter Art Schreiber interviewed Paul, George, and Ringo.

On the morning of the 21st, it was time to assemble at Kennedy Airport for the long flight back home to London. ABC News cameras captured the scene as George and Ringo spoke with reporters while signing autographs and waving farewell to fans. Art Schreiber was also present, taping goodbye messages and interviewing Derek Taylor about his surprise resignation as Beatles press officer (following a squabble with Brian Epstein).

The road-weary Beatles arrived at London Airport that night, ready to enjoy a week of recuperation before heading back into EMI Studios to record Beatles For Sale. The month-long tour of North America was perhaps the most grueling they would ever undertake, and certainly the most financially rewarding to date. As Paul noted upon their return, American fans seemed to have a limitless appetite for Beatle music in the summer of '64.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Ringo Kid

The final new city on The Beatles' exhausting summer 1964 tour was Dallas, Texas. Local radio station KLIF-AM built up anticipation in the preceding weeks with special promotions and jingles.

They arrived at Love Field just after midnight on September 18th and drove to the CabaƱa Motor Hotel. That evening, they gathered backstage at the venue, Dallas's Memorial Auditorium, where WFAA-TV reporter Bert Shipp interviewed the cowboy-hat-sporting musicians.

Another press conference followed, leading up to the concert, the last regular performance on the tour. Note that this press conference recording contains an extra 3 minutes of material compared to its earlier posting on this blog.