Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Haworth Takes Them Seriously

 August 27-30, 1963

Don Haworth is a distinguished radio writer and producer in the second half of the 20th century.  During this week, he produces a BBC television documentary on the Mersey Sound, which has been sweeping the UK.  It is the first time that  the band is treated as a subject for serious consideration as part of a social phenomenon.  They do the shooting in and around Liverpool in the midst of a six day run, two houses a night, in Southport, Manchester.  Their play list:
  Roll Over Beethoven
  Thank You, Girl
  A Taste of Honey
  She Loves You
  Baby, It's You
  From Me to You
  I Saw Her Standing There and
  Twist and Shout (the perennial barn-burner)

Haworth footage

This scene, which you may have seen before, was filmed for the documentary to illustrate the rabid dedication of the fans. George to the rescue! (Obviously, the soundtrack was added later.)

The show will be broadcast in the UK on October 9.  This documentary will also become very important to the Beatles' story as later, some of the footage will be sold to the Jack Paar Show and used on American TV (November 16) just days before another seminal event, the assassination of an American President.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Famous Photo

August 22, 1983

The Beatles show Robert Freeman the pictures that Astrid Kirchherr had taken of John and George in her home studio in Hamburg and asked if he could do something like that for their next album cover.  Freeman is a professional and he recognizes a great visual idea when he sees one.  The photo session takes place today.

Astrid's John

Freeman's Beatles

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Six Welsh Nights

August 12-17, 1963

The Beatles do six nights, two shows a night in Llandudno, North Wales, from whence they are easily able to travel home to Liverpool.  Such luxury!  On the 14th they run over to Manchester during the day to record some more TV footage to be shown on Granada TVs northern show Scene.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Farewell, Cavern

August 3, 1963

The Beatles play the Cavern Club for the last time today.  It's kind of surprising that they are still playing there, since they have a nationwide fan base and the Cavern is rather small, dark and dank.  And it's only about 5 months until they break in  America and become the first wave of the massive "British Invasion".  They must have a soft spot for the Cavern.  They are paid £300, thus increasing their fee by 6000% since their first gig at the Cavern a bit more than two years ago.  For local fans, the worst case scenario is about  to become a reality.

There are some great reminiscences of the Cavern in its salad days here at the bottom of the page.  (Thanks, Happy Nat, for sharing your extensive collection of Beatle related information.)

At the same time, the extended group makes two decisions.  To hire former Cavern bouncer Mal Evans to help Neil look after the boys travel and to play only proper theater shows from now on.  The Beatles are no longer a dance hall band!

Cavern pic from Sam Leach's website

Modern reconstruction of Cavern Club stage