Beatles August Anniversaries Remembered
Saturday, August 22nd marks the 58th anniversary of the first filmed footage of John, Paul, George, & Ringo performing live together. The band, who had never been professionally filmed live before, were caught on camera at Liverpool's Cavern Club performing two songs, both covers -- "Some Other Guy" and "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey" -- for the Granada TV show, Know The North. The show was only Ringo Starr's fourth official performance with the band, having joined on August 18th. At the end of the "Some Other Guy" clip, you can clearly hear fans call out for the soon to be forgotten original drummer Pete Best. Author Mark Lewisohn recently revealed that Best actually snuck into the Cavern that day and witnessed the historical performance. Incidentally, the next afternoon -- August 23rd, 1962 -- John Lennon and Cynthia Powell were married.
Historian Mark Lewisohn uncovered that the footage was deemed unsatisfactory at the time, and shelved until the group were established UK stars and premiered on November 6th, 1963 on the program Scene At 6:30. Several differing takes of "Some Other Guy" have survived and been shown frequently over the years with the clip of "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey" seemingly chopped up and used for B-roll.
Hollies singer-guitarist, Liverpudlian Terry Sylvester, replaced Graham Nash in the band and made his bones in such Liverpool groups as the Escorts and the Swinging Blue Jeans. Having played the Cavern Club countless times, he told us that although an immensely historic and legendary venue -- at the end of the day, the place was dump: "It was horrible. It was smelly. It smelled of disinfectant. There was only one way in; there was no back door, so everyone had to come in carrying the amps up and down the stairs all past the people comin' in. Very small place, very small. You'd be playing to 200 people. Maybe 300."
Sunday, August 23rd will mark the 56th anniversary of the Beatles' legendary debut at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl. According to historian Chuck Gunderson, author of the groundbreaking book, Some Fun Tonight, which chronicles the "Fab Four's" 1964, 1965, and 1966 North American tours, the Hollywood Bowl show -- which was the group's fifth in a 25-city month-long road trek of one-nighters, grossed the band a whopping $25,000 -- a full $15,000 more than Frank Sinatra commanded -- and the equivalent of nearly $207,000 in today's money. Following the concert's opening acts, the Bill Black Combo, the Exciters, the Righteous Brothers, and Jackie DeShannon, the Beatles hit the stage at approximately 9:30 p.m. and performed their 12-song set in about 30 minutes in front of 18,300 people.
The Beatles' setlist at The Hollywood Bowl on August 23rd, 1964 was: "Twist And Shout," "You Can't Do That," "All My Loving," "She Loves You," "Things We Said Today," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Can't Buy Me Love," "If I Fell," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Boys," "A Hard Day's Night," and "Long Tall Sally."
In 1977, The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl was released. The album, which featured songs from all three of the group's shows at the venue -- August 23rd, 1964 and August 29th and 30th, 1965 -- was remixed and produced by George Martin for release. The album, which was the Beatles' only official live album, and their first previously unreleased archival collection, went on to peak at Number Two on the Billboard 200 album charts. In 2016, the revamped The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl was issued as a companion to Ron Howard's documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years.
Renowned Beatles author Bruce Spizer has published nine books on the Beatles, and has consulted on the remastering of their Capitol Albums box sets. Spizer says that he's definitely hoping for a complete unedited version of The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl to be released in the near future: "I personally would have no problem with the unedited Hollywood Bowl '64 and '65 concerts coming out on CD. Because I think the excitement is so great and the fact that they miss a few notes doesn't bother me a bit, and really doesn't to me show a reflection of, 'Gee, John and Paul missed a note on that song.'"
Saturday, August 22nd, marks the 51st anniversary of the last time John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were photographed together. Although in the ensuing years, the members spent time together in every conceivable combination -- they, sadly, never again were captured together all at once.
The band -- with a heavily pregnant Linda McCartney only days away from delivering her and Paul's first child together, Mary -- met up with photographer Ethan Russell at John Lennon and Yoko Ono's massive English estate Tittenhurst Park to take promo shots for their forthcoming Abbey Road album.
Photos from that day have been seen widely and were featured on both the front and back covers of the band's 1970 Hey Jude compilation.
During his last TV interview in April 1975, John Lennon told Tomorrow Show host Tom Snyder that the Beatles broke up simply because they had grown stale: "We didn't breakup because we weren't friends, we just broke up out of sheer boredom, y'know? And boredom creates tension. It was not going anywhere. We'd stopped touring, and we just said 'time to make an album.' Y'know, the same four of us, we'd be looking at each other and playing the same licks. We were very good friends and we'd known each other since we were 15, y'know? And we got over all the actual fighting."