My Favourite Scenes In ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

 

It was fifty years ago today, when 'A Hard Day's Night' first came out to play (more lame 'Sgt. Pepper' puns!)

It was fifty years ago today, when ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ first came out to play (more lame ‘Sgt. Pepper’ puns!)

 

Hey Jude/Bulldog/all,

I apologise for not having written in almost a week – I was going to write last night but I didn’t really have much time.

At the moment, I am sitting in our rented apartment in Melbourne, listening to my iPad playlist, and (obviously) making good use of the free WiFi we have been given access to. Outside, I swear it is about ten degrees, so it is nice to be inside a heated building!

(Onto the point…)

Today is the 6th of July, which is – as all Beatlemaniacs know – the 50th anniversary of the Liverpool premiere of A Hard Day’s Night! If you are lucky enough to be reading this in the US (as I’ve been emphasising for the past month), The Beatles’ first film would have opened in 50 cinemas around your country two days ago, and I am really envious! I’d love to see that film on the big screen… Also two days ago (here in Australia, this time), Australian A Hard Day’s Night BluRays made their way onto our shelves, so be sure to go and purchase one! Mine, however, is being shipped from Britain, where the release date is July 21st, so I still have to wait a bit longer. But anyway – to celebrate the 50th birthday of this iconic film starring my (and many others’) favourite band – I thought I would make a list of four of my favourite scenes in A Hard Day’s Night. So (in no particular order), here goes:

 

The Opening Sequence

The opening chord of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ is played, and we see three men being chased by hordes of teenage girls. On closer inspection, these three men are John, George and Ringo, and the audience is witnessing the start of one of the most iconic rock-and-roll musicals of all time. I love this bit of the film – it makes me laugh seeing John, George and Ringo run around, and darting around to all their hiding places. I read somewhere that the stampede of girls weren’t actors, and that the scene was almost genuine – why does that not surprise me (though I probably would have been one of them, if I were there 🙂 )?? Oh, and Paul in that fake moustache…

 

The Beatles At The Club

If you’ve never watched AHDN, you might be wondering what this scene is all about. Before John, Paul, George and Ringo make their way to this club, they have been checking out their hotel room with Paul’s ‘grandfather’ (who has joined the band on their adventures), and have been arguing about whether Ringo snores or not. Their ‘managers’ (Norm and Shake) gave each Beatle a load of fan mail, and told them to have each letter answered by the time the night is through. However, John plays the rebel, and convinces the other three to go to a club with him. Meanwhile, though, Grandfather abuses an invite to a casino that Ringo received, and decides to check it out for himself…

Anyway, what’s not to love about this scene? Ringo and George dancing, for one – I’m cracking up as I write this, with that image playing in my head. Sure, they may not be the best dancers in the world, but I still love their moves! Oh, and John looks like such a cool cat in this scene 🙂 …

 

The ‘Grotty’ Scene (or the ‘George-invents-a-word’ scene – both my names  for it)

Anybody reading this fantasise about writing a dictionary (I assume not, but anyway…)? Above is the piece of pop-culture that you’d have to credit with the origin of the word ‘grotty’! Here in Australia, ‘grotty’ is common slang, so was I pleasantly surprised when I discovered that my second-favourite Beatle is credited with being the first to use such a now-common word! So okay – George didn’t really invent the word (Alun Owen – the script-writer – did), but he was the first to use it!

But regardless of whether this scene invented a word or not, it is really funny (like the rest of the film)! I especially love it when George says that thing about Susan (a pin-up girl) being a ‘well-known drag’ – watch the above clip and you’ll know what I mean…

 

John In The Bath

The above scene is the cutest/funniest thing ever, and it is my favourite scene in any film of all time – END OF STORY!

Okay, maybe I should explain why I love this scene so much… Well, for starters, John in a giant bubble-bath, playing with a toy boat – self-explanatory (or in other words, it is not only so funny that it makes my eyes water with laughter, it’s also really cute). Add George shaving a mirror (shaving cream and all) – again, self-explanatory. And thank God John didn’t go down the drain (not that it’s even remotely possible for such a thing to happen!)! If you watch the right corner of the screen really, really carefully, you can actually see John get out – I’ve only spotted it myself a couple of times, but if you have really good eyesight, it should be easy to see. Oh, and apparently most of this scene is ad-libbed – as with the screaming girls within the opening sequence, why does that not surprise me?!

(Now for a couple of other things…)

Last Wednesday, I finally watched A Grammy Salute To The Beatles, the Grammys-run Beatles tribute/reunion from six months ago! I managed to get the DVD working on the DVD player in our top room, so my mum and I had a lovely afternoon watching it together! I thoroughly enjoyed each Beatles cover – my highlights being Dave Grohl’s ‘Hey Bulldog’ (and the speech he made before it), Imagine Dragons’ ‘Revolution’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘We Can Work It Out’ and The Eurythmics’ ‘The Fool On The Hill’ – and I thought that Eric Idle was very funny. Also, Yoko’s kick-arse dance moves were very cool! The best part by far, however, was when Paul and Ringo performed! They don’t seem over 70 at all, and they were absolutely fab (though what else would I expect??)! I loved absolutely everything that they played – either by themselves or together, as the half-Beatles – but my favourite bits would have to be when they played ‘Sgt. Pepper’/’With A Little Help From My Friends’, when Ringo played ‘Boys’, when Paul played ‘Birthday’ and when they played their beautiful finale of ‘Hey Jude’! A big thank-you to my lovely godparents for recording this and so many other Beatle-y things screened on Foxtel for me!

Oh, and it’s Ringo’s 74th birthday tomorrow – I will be wearing my brand-new Yellow Submarine t-shirt that I bought at the Queen Vic Markets the other day, and will listen to my Beatles albums on my iPad (considering my vinyl LPs/record player are at home in Adelaide). I will also be putting a ‘Happy Birthday’ post up here at some point, so look out for it! Ringo is supposedly performing on Sunrise (an Australian breakfast show) sometime this week, but their website was somewhat elusive as to when that is – I will be sure to post the time that he will be playing up here, as soon as I discover when that is!

So for now, I’ll finish off, and I’ll post again tomorrow. Good day sunshine 🙂

 

 

 

Beatle-y News

 

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A picture of some really-cool rare Beatle collectables that my godparents gave me yesterday (thanks!), sitting on our record player.

 

As most Beatlemaniacs are aware, 2014 is a huge year in the Beatles calendar. Americans have been getting all hyped over their 50-years-since-The-Beatles-invaded-America celebrations, with festivities ranging from a beautiful photo-book called The Beatles: Six Days That Changed The World (I will do a review on it some point) to the now-infamous Grammy special screened on Foxtel back in February (I, ashamedly, have not seen this yet – our household does not have Foxtel, so my lovely godparents recorded it for us, but my stupid BluRay player repeatedly rejects the disc that they put it on). However, those over in the US of A are not the only people celebrating at the moment; here in The Great Southern Land/Terra Australis/Down Under/Australia, we’ve been having a Beatlemania revival, too (yay – for once, the rest of the country is acting like an extremely-understated version of moi!). Since last September, there has been a ‘Beatles In Australia’ exhibition doing the Sydney and Melbourne rounds. I was in Sydney for a weekend back in December, and Mum wanted to see an exhibition at the Powerhouse; to my delight, I discovered that the above exhibition was also being held there, so I’ve already seen it. I am, however, flying up to Melbourne very soon especially to re-view the exhibit, as a three-month-early birthday present – talk about being a Beatlemaniac! If it’s anything like it was in Sydney, there will be everything from original posters that a screaming fan proudly held up at The Fab Four’s Sydney Airport arrival, to John’s original suit from the tour! There was also an extremely large portion of Beatles merchandise for sale in the Powerhouse gift shop at the time – hopefully the Arts Centre have a shop, too! Anyway, if you turn out to be in Melbourne before the 1st of July, check it out – I, for one, really enjoyed it in Sydney (and hope to do so in Victoria, too).

As for things going on back home in South Australia…The two major newspapers here (The Advertiser and The Sunday Mail) have been taking advantage of the 50th anniversary of John, Paul, George and Jimmie Nicol’s (who was the replacement drummer – poor Ringo was stuck in London with tonsillitis) visit to Adelaide – I, in turn, have been fattening my Beatles scrapbook with their twenty-million articles (which I am not complaining about)! Here in Adelaide, we made Beatles history by giving the boys their biggest reception ever – surprising, really, considering how small we are, but (as with before) I’m not complaining; all the former Beatles (except Ringo, of course) have commented on their Adelaide visit, and this makes me very proud to be South Australian. But anyway, check out the Sunday Mail today, and yesterday’s Advertiser (if you still have it) – yesterday, there was a giant four-page spread in the SA Weekend, plus an article on a security guard who got their signatures. Today, in the Mail, there was an article of a woman who met John and Paul in ’64, and got Paul’s signature in 1975 (what a lucky-duck).

As for the TV – about a week ago, there was a half-hour special called Yesterday: The Beatles In Adelaide (thus, I assume, only screened here) on Channel 7, which was based around interviews with DJs/fans who were present, and a lot of archival footage (which was really interesting to look at). Despite the fact the documentary was ten years old, it was really good and I really enjoyed it. However, there’s another television special coming up on Tuesday, 10th of June (a new one!) on ABC1, called When The Beatles Drove Us Wild – apparently, this one is something very special, and unlike the former, it goes for a full  hour, so tune in!

As for other Beatle-y news – most Beatlemaniacs now know that A Hard Day’s Night is finally being re-released! This is good news for us Australians, ’cause it’s been out-of-print here since 2005! I’ve already pre-ordered my BluRay, and you can do the same with the link below (we are the same region as the UK, so the disc is watch-able here):

http://http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hard-Days-Night-Anniversary-Restoration/dp/B00KATQSA2/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1402183042&sr=1-1&keywords=a+hard+day%27s+night+50th+anniversary+restoration

And while you’re at it, take a look at the brand-new trailer made especially for AHDN’s re-release (if you’re lucky enough to be reading this in the US, you’ll get to see it at your local cinema):

 

 

So anyway, have a fab long weekend (I’ve listened to Abbey Road, read my new Beatles books/magazine pictured at the top of the post and posted on here), and enjoy the sunny day that has somehow found itself in the middle of Adelaide’s – to quote George Harrison – “long, cold, lonely Winter” (and trust me  – Adelaide Winters are freezing). Good day sunshine, for now!