Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Eloquence That Is Ineloquent

From Atlanta, the Beatles and company flew overnight to Houston, Texas, where their plane was swarmed by fans on the runway upon their 2 a.m. arrival. After a few hours of sleep at the Sheraton-Lincoln Hotel, they held a press conference, and then performed two shows at the Sam Houston Coliseum, with John's throat in rough shape.

The next city was Chicago, where John croaked his way through two more concerts at Comiskey Park. BBC Radio's Brian Matthew accompanied the group from New York through Chicago, accumulating material for a Light Programme special, The Beatles Abroad. In addition to interviewing the group at each stop, Matthew spoke with fans along the way. The raw tapes of his New York interviews can be found in an earlier blog post.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Live In Grabblebeebe

The second stop on the Beatles' 1965 North American tour was Toronto, a city they had visited in 1964. Once again, they were playing Maple Leaf Gardens, performing two shows on August 17th. Between the concerts, a press conference was held backstage.

From there it was on to Atlanta, a visit covered in an earlier blog post, where they played Atlanta Stadium on the 18th. As a bonus, here is a montage of farewells from Larry Kane's copious Beatle chats throughout the '64 and '65 tours, including one in Atlanta.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shea You Love Me Too

The pinnacle of the Beatles' concert career, albeit a distant and lonely pinnacle, was their August 15th, 1965 performance at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. Before they left the Warwick Hotel for Shea, the Beatles were interviewed by "Lord" Tim Hudson from KCBQ in San Diego.

Opening acts were King Curtis, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Brenda Holloway, and Sounds Incorporated, and the entire show was filmed for a TV special, The Beatles At Shea Stadium, broadcast on BBC-TV March 1st, 1966, and ABC-TV in America January 10th, 1967.

Acting as emcees were various "Good Guy" disc jockeys from local radio station WMCA, who kept the crowd of 55,600 busy with jingle singalongs between acts. Ed Sullivan was actually given the honor of introducing the Beatles' set, and the moments that followed were captured stage-side by WABC, as well as by Jerry G. Bishop, covering the entire tour for WKYC in Cleveland.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Re-raising Kane

As covered in a previous blog post, the Beatles arrived in New York City for their 1965 tour on August 13th, holding a press conference at the Warwick Hotel and appearing on WABC with "Cousin" Bruce Morrow.

As he had in 1964, Miami reporter Larry Kane joined the group on tour in 1965, and he interviewed Paul, Ringo, and George following the press conference. Kane also chatted with roadie Mal Evans, who reminisced fondly about his greatest fights.

August 14th saw the Beatles tape their final performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, at CBS Studio 50, for airing September 12th to kick off the new season:

Shortly afterwards, Larry Kane spoke with Paul in an attempt to quash the latest rumor of his secret marriage to Jane Asher.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Help! Is On The Way

On July 29th, 1965, the Beatles attended the Royal World Premiere of Help! at the London Pavilion. The next day, they were interviewed by Dibbs Mather during rehearsals for their live August 1st performance on Blackpool Night Out:

Meanwhile, America was ramping up for the opening of the film and the Beatles' imminent visit.

United Artists produced a series of radio commercials to promote Help!, with some ads targeting teenagers and others aimed at their parents.

The August 15th concert at Shea Stadium was being hyped by DJs such as Cousin Brucie on WABC and Lee Gray on WTRY, Albany.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Graham & Bernard Webb

From France, the Beatles flew to Italy, performing in Milan on June 24th, Genoa on the 25th, and in Rome on the 27th and 28th. An Italian reporter from RAI interviewed the group, possibly at a press conference in Rome on the 28th.

It was back to France on the 29th, for a concert in Nice on the 30th, then on to Spain on July 1st. They were interviewed by Australian reporter Graham Webb on July 2nd in Madrid, prior to their concert at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. After one last show at a bullring in Barcelona the next night, the Beatles returned to London to rest up for their next big American tour in August.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tres Bien Ensemble

Paul McCartney began June of 1965 on holiday with Jane Asher in Portugal (where he finished composing "Yesterday"). On the 11th, news of the Beatles being awarded MBEs broke, and Paul was summoned back to London a day early to join his bandmates in a press conference.

The subsequent week was spent at EMI Studios recording "Yesterday" and other numbers for the new single and LP, while John occupied much of his spare time promoting A Spaniard In The Works.

On June 20th, the group flew to France, where they would perform two shows in Paris and two in Lyon. During their stay at the Hôtel George V, they were interviewed by Jacques Ourevitch for French radio. Chris Denning also caught up with the Beatles in Paris, chatting with them about the MBE honors, and talking to a fan on the street. (NOTE: some of Denning's interviews in this blog post are actually from the Paris recording, namely record requests for "Do You Want To Know A Secret", "I'll Follow The Sun", and "Thank You Girl".)

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Walrus and the Gryphon

With principal photography on Help! completed, The Beatles had a chance to relax for a few weeks before setting out on a European tour.

On May 22nd, 1965, John and Cynthia Lennon accompanied Help! director Dick Lester and his wife to the Cannes Film Festival. On the 24th, just before they flew back to London, Lennon and Lester filmed an interview with Merv Griffin for his syndicated US TV show.

At some point during this hiatus, the band assembled (possibly at Twickenham during a post-sync session on May 18th) to record a rather silly interview to promote the movie. United Artists issued the result as an "open-end" recording on a promotional disc.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Filming for Help! was completed over the first two weeks of May, 1965. From May 3rd-5th, the musical numbers "I Need You" and "The Night Before" were staged on Salisbury Plain. On the 9th, location shots were captured around London, after which the Beatles and producer Walter Shenson were interviewed by Sandy Lesberg.

While they had been in a silly mood during that interview, the Beatles appeared to be stoned out of their gourds on the final day of principal shooting, May 11th. During filming at Cliveden House (standing in for Buckingham Palace), The Beatles participated in a relay race around the grounds of the estate, beating out a team of film crew members.

Visiting the set that afternoon was Buddy McGregor, a DJ from KNUZ-AM in Houston. Buddy announced the race for the benefit of his listeners, prior to conducting a cannabis-laced chat with John, Paul, and Ringo.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grandma Awards

From April 15th through 19th, The Beatles took a break from filming for Easter weekend, interrupted only by John and George's TV guest spot on Ready, Steady, Goes Live!

Shooting for Help! continued the following week, highlighted by the title song performance on the 22nd:

On the 28th, Peter Sellers stopped by the pub set (seen above) to film an insert for American television. The Beatles had won a Grammy Award for "A Hard Day's Night" (Best Performance by a Vocal Group), and Sellers presented the band with their trophies; the clip would be aired on NBC May 18th.

On the 29th, disc jockey Chris Denning was on hand to stockpile more interviews for his Radio Luxembourg series, The Beatles.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Relativity Cadenza

Capitol Records pressed the "Ticket To Ride" single in the US with label copy reading "from the United Artists release Eight Arms To Hold You". By the time it was released on April 19th, that working title had been scrapped, as George Harrison confirmed to Jerry G. Bishop a week earlier.

The new title song, "Help!", was recorded on the evening of April 13th, 1965, a busy day for the Beatles. It began with filming at Twickenham, shooting the "relativity cadenza" scene in the morning, and then being interviewed for Finnish radio as Victor Spinetti, Roy Kinnear, and Leo McKern performed their roles.

The interviews, conducted by Hilkka Kantelinen, were aired on Kaleidoskooppi, and included chats with director Dick Lester and hairdresser Betty Glasow, now becoming a minor celebrity in the world of Beatle radio interviews.

Around 1:45 in the afternoon, the group took a break and piled into a BBC Radio mobile vehicle to speak via telephone with Keith Fordyce for the 100th edition of Pop Inn. Around this time, they also plugged "Ticket To Ride" with Brian Matthew, on the overseas radio series Top Of The Pops.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Withered Heights

During the week of April 5th-9th, 1965, The Beatles spent their days filming Help! at Twickenham Studios. On the 6th, they received an award from Radio Caroline:

In addition to Caroline's Simon Dee, a DJ from Radio London interviewed the quartet on the film set; here is an interview excerpt with Paul from around this date, discussing the use of music in the movie.

The new Beatles single, "Ticket To Ride"/"Yes It Is", was released in the UK on April 9th, and the group spent the weekend promoting it. On the 10th, they videotaped an appearance on Top Of The Pops, miming to both sides of the disc. The original tape no longer exists, but half a minute was repurposed in a contemporary episode of Doctor Who:

On the 11th, The Beatles headlined the New Musical Express Poll-Winners' All-Star Concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley. The same night, they appeared live on ABC-TV's The Eamonn Andrews Show. In addition to lip-syncing both sides of the new single, they chatted for a full segment with Andrews and then appeared with panel guests Katharine Whitehorn and Wolf Mankowitz.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Acht Arms To Halten You

On March 10th, The Beatles left the sunny climes of the Bahamas, arriving back at London Airport early the next morning.

Two days later, they were back in the air, heading for Salzburg, Austria, to begin shooting ski slope and other snowbound scenes for Help! During their stay in Obertauern, they jammed with the house band during a late-night party at their hotel (see photo above), reportedly to celebrate Assistant Director Clive Reed's birthday.

By March 22nd, they were flying back to London, where the remainder of Help! would be shot over the next six weeks. Sometime around the start of April, Radio Luxembourg presenter Dieter Weidenfeld visited the set at Twickenham Film Studios. Together with his associates Monika and Norbert, Dieter chatted individually with all four Beatles, speaking in both English and German. George even sang and played a bit of a German pop song, while John crooned a line from "Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand"!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Do The Dog, Man!

The parade of American DJs continued to march through Nassau as filming for Help! continued into March, 1965. Murray the "K" hung around for a week or so, taping interviews and hoping for a cameo role.

Fred Robbins of Radio Luxembourg stopped by as shooting wound down on March 9th, recording a bit of audio-verité during a swimming scene. He also talked with George and Ringo at great length for his Assignment: Hollywood series.

Here is a bonus Murray the "K" interview with George, circa 1965 (date unknown), talking about his relationship with Pattie Boyd.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

High-Heeled Knickers

After resigning at the end of the North American tour in September 1964, Beatles press officer Derek Taylor had moved to Los Angeles, where he would represent the Beach Boys, Byrds, and other American artists before returning to London to work at Apple in early 1968.

Taylor flew from Los Angeles to Nassau along with Dave Hull, and recorded interviews on the set of Help! for broadcast on KRLA-AM. He also taped a special introduction for his reports, to be used on other radio stations. His lengthy Beatle interviews were conducted around March 3rd; in addition to the band, Taylor spoke with hairdresser Betty Glasow and producer Walter Shenson.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Dave Hull of Pasadena radio station KRLA-AM had interviewed The Beatles extensively during their August 1964 visit to Los Angeles. At the start of March, 1965, Hull flew to the Bahamas to cover filming of Help!

His lengthy interviews (at least partially taped March 2nd) have been released, with all references to Dave's name spliced out, possibly because the interviews were syndicated to other stations for use by local DJs.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy BirthClay, George!

February 25th, 1965 was the second full day of filming for Help! in the Bahamas. It was also George Harrison's 22nd birthday, and he celebrated with a party at the Balmoral Club in Nassau.

You can imagine how thrilled he wasn't to have the festivities interrupted by a phone call from an American DJ. Tom Clay from KBLA-AM, Burbank (formerly with CKLW) went to a lot of trouble getting through, battling international operators and a polite but annoyed Brian Epstein. George graciously spoke to Tom and accepted birthday greetings for a couple of minutes before returning to his party.