A Hard Day’s Bomb

By Murray Bourne, 18 Dec 2004

Feeling that I needed a dose of nostalgia, we watched The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" yesterday.

When I first watched it (in my pre-teen days) it was when Beatlemania was in full flight - and they could have produced a terrible movie about the Beatles and we would have loved it.

Well, they did and we did.

The scenes I remember most vividly were the opening with the Beatles running to escape screaming teenagers and the wacky outdoor scene at the sportsground to "Can't Buy Me Love". All the rest was so forgettable - especially (the ghastly) Wilfrid Brambell.

Watching the movie was unsettling, I guess. It was way ahead of its time and broke a lot of new ground. But if they had just spent 20 minutes on the script instead of 10, it would have been a lot better...

Of course, the important thing was the music and George Martin's recollections (in the "Supplementary Materials' DVD) were interesting. They recorded "A Hard Day's Night" album in less than 24 hours - no multi-tracking, no overdubs; what you see is what you get. All those interviewed remarked how 'nice', 'polite' and 'unaffected' the Boys were with all the fame. So why did the writers decide to present them as unpleasant yobs?

See the 3 Comments below.

3 Comments on “A Hard Day’s Bomb”

  1. Tang Kim Seng says:

    I know many die-hard Beatles fans would have watched almost all of their stage performances and heard their songs so much they can even hum the Beatles tunes in their sleep. The Beatles phenomenon has become all too familiar for many people in the 60's and 70's generations.

    But as one Chinese saying goes: "Even if one is served with dragon's meat(a delicacy)every day, it'll get stale after awhile". After forty odd years, how excited can the audience get if the same moveiclips keep popping up over and over again ? Now that they found something refreshing in the supplementary materials - never mind if the boys were in their pyjamus, haggard & unshaven, never bathe for days, etc. as far as the Beatle fans are concerned, they'll get to see their idols in fresh perspectives (you know, I get that same good feeling when I see Bruce Lee in 'never-see-before' fight sequences).

    Some time ago, I watched the imitation Beatle band performed 'live' at the Kallang Indoor Stadium. No big deal ? After all, who wants to watch an imitation band performed 'live' when one can listen to the original band in CDs ? But the audience simply adored them - the band sets the right nostalgic mood and sang many of their well-known songs. Everyone knew it's fake. But perhaps being fake may be their selling point. It's a new idea riding on the success of the Beatles. Perhaps the audience is curious to find out if they're as good as the orginal band. But the formula seemed to work - anything about the Beatles is great; even better if they are refreshing stuff that the audience has not ventured into before.

  2. fred blog says:

    Why were the Beatles so phenomenally successful? Were they just lucky that the post-war baby boom children became teenagers at exactly the right moment for them? They were astonished by their own success as well - but the remarkable thing was how unfazed they were by it all.

  3. Tang Kim Seng says:

    True the post-war baby boom was one of the factors contributing to their success. But the scenario was also true for many up-and-coming rock bands who were vying for top spots in the rock-&-roll chart.

    I offer a different perspective to explain their success. Suppose they did not do what they were supposed to do at that time ? Would they have been successful if

    1. They called themselves 'Roaches', 'Flies' or 'Termites' ?
    2. They didn't know each other years before the band started ?
    3. Brian Epstein was not their manager initially ?
    3. John Lennon & Paul McCartney couldn't write songs and had to hire someone else to do it ?
    4. The boys did not appear in the Ed Sullivan Show on national TV three times ?
    5. They didn't look pretty on stage, i.e boyish look in tailored suits & ties ?
    6. They were Americans instead, so no more long waits at the airports by anxious teenage girls ? Absence makes the heart grow fonder ?

    Would they have been so successful ? Perhaps not.

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