24th April – The Beatles In Pubs!

24th April throughout the years sees the Beatles in various pubs!

1960 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney appear together in the Fox and Hounds pub in Caversham, Berkshire. The pub was run by Mike and Bett Robbins, Paul’s cousin. John and Paul hitched from Liverpool, and were asked to play a few songs as a duet. They chose the name ‘The Nerk Twins’ for the occasion – the only time just the two of them performed live.

1964. The Beatles attend the ‘wrap party’ for the completion of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ The party is held in Winchester Hall, the function room of the Turks Head pub, which was used in the film as the location where Ringo interrupts all the pub games. It is thought the Beatles sang a few songs at the party, but this has not been confirmed.

1965. The Beatles film a scene for ‘Help!’ at the City Barge pub at Strand on the Green, Chiswick.  In this scene the Beatles are seen emerging through Post Office Alley – a very attractive walkway down to the River Thames. On the riverside they are confronted by men dressed up as Scotsmen, who are actually from the dreaded Kahili, the sect that are trying to kill Ringo. The Beatles run into the City Barge to escape, but Ringo falls through a trap door into the basement to be confronted by a tiger. The Beatles have to leave the pub by throwing themselves through a plate glass window! Visitors to the pub do not have these problems today – the interior scenes were shot in the film studio, and the pub does not even have a basement. Even without the Beatles connection, this is a great pub in a wonderful location.

The City Barge Pub, Strand on the Green, Chiswick

Paul McCartney to Announce New Tour Dates?

It seems Paul McCartney is set to announce a new series of concerts tomorrow (April 25th). There are many rumours online already about gigs in North and South America. At least one of the venues mentioned is holding a press conference tomorrow to announce a major gig – so expect an official word from Paul’s website http://www.paulmccartney.com as well.

We will of course bring all the latest news here too!

April 23rd 1964 John Lennon Gives Short ‘In His Own Write’ Speech

On April 23rd 1964, John Lennon took a break in the filming of A Hard Day’s Night to attend the Foyles Literary Lunch, held in his honour at the Dorchester Hotel. John had just brought out his book, ‘In His Own Write’ which was a best seller.

John thought it is only a small casual affair, and had been clubbing at the Ad Lib with Cynthia the night before, only to wake up the next morning very hung over. When he and Cyn arrived at the Dorchester, they were shocked to see hundreds of people, and even more shocked when John realised he had to give a speech. He hadn’t prepared anything, so just stood up and said “Thank you very much, and god bless you’ and then to the person next to him ‘You’ve got a lucky face’.
People at the lunch were expecting a long speech – but certainly didn’t get it! John did sign scores of his book ‘In His Own Write’

Giles Martin Speaks Out over International Record Store Day Controversy

For International Record Store Day, a special 7 inch vinyl single was released of Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane. Only 7000 were released for the world, sparking long queues at participating shops, hours before they were open. Many of these copies appeared on Ebay within hours of being sold, at double the price sold in record stores.

Giles Martin, who mixed the new single has spoken out about this. When it was pointed out on twitter what was happening, Giles replied “I agree, this is crazy. I’ll try and push to make more copies. Music is for everyone, not for eBay.”

Hopefully he’ll be listened to!

April 20th 1964 – Paul McCartney films an unused Scene for A Hard Day’s Night

April 20th 1964 – Filming: Paul McCartney’s unused scene in A Hard Day’s Night

Paul McCartney filmed a solo sequence for The Beatles’ debut feature film A Hard Day’s Night on this day. However, it was omitted from the final cut.

The premise was that McCartney was looking for Ringo Starr, who had gone missing temporarily. McCartney discovered a rehearsal room where he had a conversation with an actress, played by 18-year-old Isla Blair. It was filmed at the Jack Billings TV School of Dancing at 18 Goldhawk Road in London, above what was then The Bush pub, on Shepherds Bush Green.

The scene, however, remained unused. There have been many reasons put forward to why this was, mainly centering on it not fitting in with the rest of the film. However, I heard something different. In 2001,  I was asked along to Twickenham Film Studios by Director, Martin Lewis, to help with the bonus DVD of a Hard Day’s Night. One day the crew got together, and the next day the cast, to reminisce about their time on the film.
During the filming, I was told by 2 different people that worked on the film that the real reason this scene was cut was that Isla Blair was wearing a very low cut dress, and Paul kept on looking where he shouldn’t be! Well, he’s always been a breast man!

Paul McCartney with Isla Blair

Happy Birthday Ken Scott!

Happy 70th Birthday today (20th April) to Ken Scott. Ken was an engineer on many Beatles records, and later worked with David Bowie, Supertramp, Pink Floyd and Elton John.

I met Ken a couple of times inside Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios (a good place to meet anyone!) and he is a very nice man.

Hope you have a good day, Ken!

Ken Scott with Blogger Richard Porter, Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios

Special ‘Sgt Pepper’ issue of Mojo Coming Soon.

MOJO magazine celebrates the 50th Birthday of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – rebooted in 2017 with a thrilling new stereo mix. Paul McCartney tells us how they “vibed” it; Jon Savage on the songs and the significance; Nigel Hartnup relives THAT sleeve shoot; Giles Martin defends his Pepper for the new millennium; and more! Look for it on UK newsstands from Tuesday, April 25.

For more details, see: http://www.mojo4music.com/25379/paul-mccartney-sgt-pepper-exclusive/

The new issue of Mojo magazine

April 18th 1963 – Twist and Shout at the Royal Albert Hall!

April 18th 1963. Yet another busy day for the Beatles. During the day, they do a photo session with Fiona Adams. One of the pics is selected as the cover of the Twist and Shout EP.

In the evening, they make their first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall, where they are part of the ‘Swinging Sound 63’ show, broadcast by BBC Radio.

Amongst the audience is Jane Asher, who is doing a photo shoot for ‘Radio Times’ magazine. She is asked to react to the many acts onstage. In the magazine, she is seen screaming at the Beatles. She meets them backstage, and gets on very well with Paul McCartney, and they start dating.

Also in the audience are the Rolling Stones. The Beatles had met the Stones a few days before at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, and asked the Stones along as their guests. After the show, Brian Jones helped the Bealtes’ roadies load the van with the Beatles instruments etc. Brian has long hair, and is mistaken for a Beatle by fans. He has to be dragged away from the screaming girls. However, as he is being led away, he has a big smile on his face, and is heard to mutter, ‘I want more of this!’

The Twist and Shout EP
Jane Asher screaming at the Beatles at the Royal Albert Hall

The Beatles’ Liverpool and London Featured on TF1 France

A feature on Beatles places and people was shown today on TF1 in France. It includes an interview with your blogger, Richard Porter and wife Irina, and shows a selection of our Beatles memorabilia. It also shows me on my London Beatles Walk at Abbey Road Studios.


For more on my London Beatles Walks, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com