Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meeting the Beatles during the filming of Help

.Also from this auction comes a set of seven black and white photographs, a full set of Beatles autographs along with the autographs of Mal Evans and Eleanor Bron from the filming of the Help! movie. A fan named Gwyn Nichols had the opportunity to meet the Fabs while they were filming the "tank scene" at Salisbury Plain for the movie. She actually met them once and then came back several times afterwards and took some photos and hung around the set. Unfortunately the auction site does not provide close ups, but I was able to look at the write up Gwyn Nichols wrote for the auction and typed it up here for you to read.

Excitement! 1965. The Beatles had arrived!

It's the first day of filming on Salisbury Plain. Help!

Still in school uniform - straight to the film set, but disappointment. It had begun to rain.

The Beatles passed in their cars on the way back to their caravan. Quick, if we run we might catch a glimpse. Too late. We're standing in the rain, our hope now to capture some precious autographs.

Yes! God was smiling on us. Out came their "Road manager" Mal Evans with an invitation. So we entered their caravan, dripping wet. Words failed us. We are here squashed into the caravan with the Beatles!

I was facing John - he shook my hand. I promise never to wash it again. He sings my sheet of paper first. Next is Ringo, hence John name being upside down as the pad is turned around when passed on. The George who is sat next to Paul and behind me. Finally Paul sings -- pure joy. Now I have got to keep this sheet as dry as I can. The beginning of a week of excitement.

Day on Salisbury Plain, never to be forgotten and the Beatles only feet away.

We returned another day but were not able to talk to the Beatles. We did get to sit in the "bunker" talking to Elenor Bron and watching the filming of the Tank Scene. The Beatles running and leaping around before our eyes and I managed to take a few snaps of the day.

I would guess that account was taken right out of Gwyn's diary from after it happened. Reuters interviewed her recently and here is what she said. She added some more information about meeting the guys.

LONDON (Reuters) - Seven black-and-white photographs of the Beatles sitting on a grassy field, taken by a teenage girl on the last day of filming for their movie Help!, will be sold next week, the auctioneer said.

Gwyn Blanchard, then a 13-year-old student, trudged half an hour in the rain with a group of friends to the set of the Fab Four's second film, hoping for an autograph, but wound up being invited for a chat with her idols.

"We knew that the filming was going to happen that day. Being kids, we hatched a plan," said Blanchard, who lived near the site.

In Help!, released in 1965, the Beatles try to escape the clutches of a mysterious cult. The soundtrack includes some of the group's biggest hits, including "Ticket to Ride."

As the teenagers were walking toward the set, the Beatles drove by in their car and then went into their trailer. Blanchard and her friends decided to stand outside, and she said that for a moment, she doubted she would get her signature.

"We were just hoping that if we passed over our notebooks... just our English notebooks from school. We had them out, ready to hand them over when the door opened, and the manager said 'come get them yourselves'."

"John Lennon was sitting down in front of me," Blanchard told Reuters in a telephone interview. "I handed him my notebook first. He handed it then to Ringo and the pen wouldn't work!"
"John was the chattiest. They were joking and laughing."

Several days later she returned to the set, when the Beatles were filming the scene in which they play beside some tanks. Blanchard snapped some photographs as the band-members relaxed between takes.

"It was only a little black plastic Kodak that I had. We were actually quite close."

Blanchard said she had kept the photos and signatures in a box for several decades, but had decided to sell them.

Cameo Auctioneers, which will hold the sale November 10, said the photos, accompanied by the autographs on notebook paper, could fetch 2-3,000 pounds ($3,300-$4,950).

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