A 8mm home movie clip of The Beatles less than a minute long shot in 1965 that just surfaced has over 142,000 views on YouTube since it was published April 26. The film is a trip in time back to the days of Beatlemania. The 49 seconds of silent film footage was taken by Dawn Swane, an Australian dancer who also worked as a makeup artist for Granada TV and often took her 8mm movie camera to the studio. She filmed the four Beatles mugging for the camera on Nov. 1, 1965 as they were preparing to shoot the TV special “The Music of Lennon & McCartney” for Granada.
Swane recalls, “I was in the makeup room. And so we were having some champagne and so we started to, well we were all drinking some champagne. And anyway, I don’t know if it was John or if it was Ringo but they took the camera off me and said, ‘This is no way to use a camera,’ and they sort of jiggled it upside down and inside out a bit, and everybody was just mucking around. But that was great. I mean they were a nice group of people. They really were.” Swane was photographed with the original call sheets for the show, which were signed by all four Beatles. The footage has been donated to Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) by her daughter, Melinda Doring.
“The Music of Lennon & McCartney” was shot over two days from Nov. 1-2, 1965. The 50-minute show was devoted mainly to how other artists interpreted songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and featured a variety of musical styles. Those on the show were The George Martin Orchestra (“Ringo’s Theme”/“This Boy,” “I Feel Fine”); Peter & Gordon (“A World Without Love”); Lulu (“I Saw Him Standing There”); Alan Haven and Peter Crombie (“A Hard Day’s Night”); Fritz Spiegl’s Ensemble (“She Loves You”/“I’ll Get You” in classical style); Antonio Vargas (“She Loves You” on Spanish flamenco guitar) and Dick Rivers (“Things We Said Today” in French).
Also featured were Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas (“Bad To Me”); Cilla Black (“It’s For You”); Marianne Faithfull (“Yesterday” with the Beatles’ recording with Paul singing used for the first verse, then the rest of the song with Faithfull); Henry Mancini (“If I Fell”); Esther Phillips (“And I Love Him”); Peter Sellers (“A Hard Day’s Night”). The show also had a segment with clips of recorded songs, some pretty obscure, without the actual performers, of Lennon-McCartney songs by the Rolling Stones, Ella Fitzgerald, Honor Blackman, Les Conway, the Chipmunks and Anthony Newley. George Martin, by the way, plays some rousing piano to open the show. The Beatles themselves performed “We Can Work It Out” and “Day Tripper,” plus the short segment of “Yesterday.”
The show was produced by Johnnie Hamp, who told Beatles Examiner, “I’d just made a program of Burt Bacharach’s music. It was well received, so I thought that since Lennon and McCartney had written enough songs by that time to do a show featuring many of the different versions recorded by them and others. I put the idea to Brian and had several meetings with Paul and John to decide who we wanted to appear. The last meeting was to decide which two songs The Beatles would do. They played me 14 tracks and I chose ‘We Can Work It Out’ and ‘Day Tripper,’ the other tracks became ‘Rubber Soul.’
“Henry Mancini asked me if he could be in the show,” Hamp continued, “although he had not recorded any Lennon and McCartney songs. He just did a piano solo.” Hamp said Lulu also wanted to appear, but also hadn’t recorded any Lennon and McCartney songs. “I told her to go quickly and record one!”
He said the show was filmed over two days and edited later, although the Peter Sellers segment was recorded earlier. “Paul sat in on the edit out of interest. The final edit was shown to an audience for reaction and applause that was recorded.” The entire special can be seen here. (Reference information about “The Music of Lennon-McCartney” from the book “The Beatles Film & TV Chronicle 1961-1970” by Jörg Peiper and Volker Path.)