Welcome to A Hard Day’s Night with the Beatles live and interactive virtual experience!
Be transported back to the 60s in London to see these places and more on this online tour, from the comfort of your own home.
• Get Back to the place where the opening scenes for A Hard Day’s Night were filmed
• the restaurant featured in Help!
• the former Apple Shop which had the psychedelic mural painted on the wall
• the registry office where two of the Beatles were married
• the apartment where Ringo, Jimi Hendrix and John and Yoko all lived – and where the Two Virgins album cover was taken.
• we’ll also see the house where Paul lived with Jane Asher. It was here that John and Paul wrote I Want To Hold Your Hand, and Paul dreamt one of his most famous songs.
A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles first film, was born out of the fact that film makers United Artists wanted to release a Beatles soundtrack album in America, and for that they needed a film. It was to be done quickly and cheaply, and the easiest way was for the Beatles to play themselves, showing how trapped they were in the middle of Beatlemania. The opening scenes are chaos and mayhem, with fans – real ones, no need for extras with hundreds of fans following the Beatles everywhere they went – running, screaming, chasing John, Paul, George, Ringo, – and Paul’s Grandad – around Marylebone Station in London. The Beatles did not have to put on much acting, as this was part of their daily life. When George falls over and hurts his knee, this was an accident – and a painful one for him! – but the director Richard Lester kept it in, and it captures the spirit of the film – the Beatles are the victims of their own success.
Richard Porter at the entrance of Marylebone Station in London
An easy going chap, but already a professional drummer, Ringo
met his bride Maureen Cox
in Liverpool the week he joined the Beatles. They got married in London on 11th February 1965
The happy couple moved into their first marital home straight away – the ground floor flat at No.34 Montagu Square
. Several Beatle wives were already pregnant
, when they tied the knot, and Mo (as she was called by family and friends) was no exception. One night Ringo phoned the Beatles chauffer Alf Bicknell
and told him to come quick, ‘baby’s on the way’. Alf took Ringo and Maureen to hospital, and baby Zak
came into the world on 13 September 1965.
Alf told me this story himself when I did a joint tour with him and we were standing outside the Montagu Square flat.
By the end of 1965 the Starkeys moved to Sunny Heights, a countryside mansion in Weybridge, where the family grew larger. Following Ringo, the flat at Montagu Square hosted Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix, who had lots of colourful adventures there – learn all about them on the Hard Day’s Night with the Beatles tour.
Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox at Montagu Square, London
The Beatles company Apple
, set up in 1967, was to reflect the Beatles creative ideas and aspirations translated into the world of business.
One of such avant-guarde ventures was to be Apple Shop
. A premises was founded in the unlikely location of Baker Street
– which is more famous for Sherlock Holmes than psychedelic clothing! The items were designed by the Fool
, a group of Dutch designers, specialising in bright colours, flowing loose shapes, surreal patterns – very hip and characteristic of the times.
Unfortunately, the striking look did not have a solid business foundation. The clothes were expensive to make, but not particularly durable and tended to fall apart quickly. The motto of the shop was “Beautiful Things for Beautiful People’ – but the ‘beautiful people’ preferred to take things without paying for them…
The spectacular psychedelic mural covering the whole building – also designed by the Fool – certainly worked as an advert, but was not liked by the local people, – and not by the local council, either!
Find out how the Apple Shop came to a swift and chaotic end on A Hard Day’s Night With The Beatles virtual tour.
The Beatles Apple Shop in Baker Street, London
The site of the Beatles Apple Shop in Baker Street, London
The Beatles’ second film Help! elevated musical comedy to the status of farce. Scene after scene the Beatles splash the audience with every imaginable type of humour and fun.
Here they are going to the “Rajahama Indian restaurant”, in search of “enlightenment” on the sacrificial ring on Ringo’s finger – it was the Dolphin restaurant in London’s Marylebone area during the filming in 1965.
Whoever is wearing the ring is going to be sacrificed to the “Dreaded Kaili” by the followers of the eastern cult. The ring would not come off the unfortunate drummer’s finger, and the Beatles hope to find an Easterner, – the Indian restaurant being an obvious choice. Ringo starts chatting to the guy standing outside dressed in traditional Indian clothing, and realises he is as English as can be! “He’s from the West”, – exclaims Ringo in surprise. “No, East, – Stepney” – says the guy – Stepney being an area in East London.
The Beatles’ search for the Easterners continues….
Find out more about the filming of Help! on our virtual tour
Site of the restaurant featured in Beatles film Help! today
This is a live online tour, and that there will be a Q & A session at the end. It is a great opportunity to meet fans from around the world!
For more virtual tours and online experiences, visit our home page
I am Richard Porter, author of the book Guide to the Beatles London; writer and presenter of The Beatles’ London’ DVD; and a guide of 30 years experience. I was the President of the London Beatles Fan Club for 10 years and was a former winner of the ‘Beatles Brain of Britain’ competition. I organised the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road, and was on the committee that erected a blue plaque to commemorate the Beatles famous ‘Rooftop concert’ at 3 Savile Row. In short, I am Super Fanatical Beatles Fan!
Paul McCartney with Richard Porter, Abbey Road Studios 1997
Plaque to John Lennon at 34 Montagu Square