Beatles at Work

So as we continue to retrace the path the 'Fab Four' took as they conquered America 50 years ago, we've seen them play the Ed Sullivan Show, knock out Washington and Carnegie Hall, get a tan in Miami, and probably write a lot of the soundtrack to their upcoming film,  A Hard Day's Night.  One of the greatest music films ever made and certainly one of the best films of the 60s, took only seven weeks to film at a budget of $500,000. (That wouldn't even cover the catering bill of a film today.)  By the end of February 1964, loaded down with American LPs, the Beatles were back at Abbey Road working out new songs.

The origin of the footage below is a bit sketchy but it's one of the few known films to exist that captures the Beatles in the studio.  Here, we see the fellows working out an arrangement for "And I Love Her," one of Paul's first big ballads and a highlight of the b&w Jean Luc Godard-inspired film that would set the tone for Beatlemania and to the boy's dismay, set the mold for how we still think of The Beatles today: John the wit, Paul the polite, George the philosopher, and Ringo--well--he's Ringo. What else needs to be said?  Check out John playing the earliest version what became the Epiphone EJ-160E. (The EJ-160E will set you back considerably less than a vintage original and still sounds quite Beatley.)

Beatles at Work

Though the first Beatle Casino is still months in the distance, the Rolling Stones--the Beatles new friends in London--at this time are getting ready to make their mark on the US charts as well, and their hard driving blues sound has already got under The Beatles' skin along with Bob Dylan.  Introspection and louder guitars are on the way.  Also note that as you see the boys work away in the studio, there is not a headphone in sight.  These sessions are all trial and error as a group, singing and playing at the same time. Our appraisal of the results 50 years on? Fab, of course.