Welcome to The Beatles Rarity of the Week. Nineteen Sixty-Four was certainly one of the busiest years for the Fab Four and with their recent filming schedule for A Hard Day’s Night and recording sessions in the studio, April 26th of that year found them a bit out of practice as far as their stage act was concerned. This was the day that The Beatles appeared as the top of the bill performers on the New Musical Express Annual Poll Winners All-Star Concert. The Beatles had not played live in Britain for 15 weeks (or anywhere in two months) but here they were, ready to crank out an energetic 5-song set at the Empire Pool in Wembley for this annual event. ABC Television was filming it too for a May 10 broadcast on the show Big Beat ’64.
Being a little out of practice didn’t seem to be too much of a problem despite a few minor issues such as during this performance of “You Can’t Do That.” The mic that Paul McCartney and George Harrison were sharing for backing vocals would not hold it’s adjustment causing them to have to keep repositioning it to the right height while they sang. John Lennon loses track at one point about his upcoming vocal and has to rush back to his mic to begin singing the bridge. Finally since this recording is sourced from the ABC Television broadcast, the fidelity isn’t up to what our spoiled ears are used to today. Nevertheless , with a bit of imagination you can sense the energy that must have filled the room during the set. The complete set in order of performance was “She Loves You,” “You Can’t Do That,” “Twist And Shout,” “Long Tall Sally” and their latest single at the time “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
1) After the show, during the awards presentation, actor Roger Moore presented The Beatles with four huge trophy cups. John pretends to drink from his, while Ringo Starr places his on his head like a crown.
2) Besides The Beatles, other bands at the show included The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, The Searchers, The Merseybeats, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Joe Loss orchestra, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, Manfred Mann, Jet Harris w/Sounds Incorporated, Kathy Kirby, Big Dee Irwin and Joe Brown and the Bruvvers.
3) John Lennon plays the guitar solo in “You Can’t Do That” which he credits the then relatively unknown Wilson Pickett as being an influence for.
Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase, some music related to this post and/or The Beatles in general:
1) A Hard Day’s Night 2009 stereo CD remaster of original 1964 U.K. LP featuring “You Can’t Do That.”
2) Magical Mystery Tour – DVD or Blu-Ray 2012 remaster of original 1967 film plus extras and restored sound including 5.1 mix. Pre-order only until Oct. 9, 2012.