Monday, July 28, 2014

A Hard Day's Night Memories from first generation fans

As you all know by now, I really enjoy the stories from those of you who are first generation Beatle fans.   A few months ago I asked if any of you had any special memories about seeing the film "A Hard Day's Night" and here are some of the stories sent to me. 

 At the end of the summer of '64 our family was staying at a beach house in Old Lyme on the Connecticut shore.  During our vacation we went to the movie theater on Main Street, Old Saybrook to see "A Shot in the Dark" starring Peter Sellars.  The trailer that they showed that evening was for a soon to be released film called "A Hard Day's Night". I don't remember much about the first of the Pink Panther movies but seeing that bit of The Beatles on the big screen for the first time loomed very large indeed. The thrill of the 'C-LAa-N~ggggg' of the first chord and seeing them running forward was all I thought about for weeks. I do remember at the time being somewhat disappointed to discover that the movie would be in B&W but now in hind sight - it was perfect, as so much about the entire Beatles Experience was.        

On September 12, 1964 my friend Dotti, my cousin Laurel & I piled into my dad's station wagon. My dad drove and my mom and  younger sister came along. Although it was raining we begged and pleaded that we still would go to The Mansfield Drive-In , the first place that "A Hard Day's Night" was playing in the area.  It was the same night that the real live Beatles themselves were playing at The Boston Garden less than 90 miles away but for two 13 year olds & an 11 year old from Connecticut it may have well as been a million miles away. (The 3 of us would get our chance to see The Beatles in Boston in 1966.)     We watched most of the movie with our heads out of the car widows because we couldn't see through the rain on the wind shield. We started imitating the accents right away and my dad asked,  "What does that mean 'clean old man' ? Why do they keep saying that?"        In the days that followed we ran around fields and down fire escapes. Of course we listened to the music. We did everything we could to perpetuate the excitement & positive energy that The Beatles' movie had instilled in us.                                     

I think that I saw AHDN in the theaters about 8 times. Some years later when it was shown on TV I recorded the audio on my little reel to reel . No DVRs - not even any video recorders  were available then.--Heather

 I was 10 years old in 1964 and mad for the Beatles from day one. My aunt  Carole, who was 10 years older than me, took me to see AHDN for the  first time at the North Park Theater in San Diego. I was so excited. We  sat towards the back of the theater, which I recall was full. The girls way down front screamed throughout the film. But sitting with my aunt I guess I didn't feel it was  appropriate to join in on the screaming,  but recall wishing I was down front.

BUT when I returned to see the film on my own, I did indeed sit up front, and screamed my little heart out as I got caught up in all the excitement with the other girls around me. The bonus back in the day...  here were always two movies shown at each scheduled showing. Also
showing at later screenings was a film showcasing many British bands.  I also always stayed through more than one showing, and would watch it all afternoon over and over! 

I remember my friends at school and I would reenact AHDN on the  playground! We had memorized all the lines!

Such joyous memories! --Karen

I have great memories of the movie, "A Hard Day's Night". I, along with my younger sister Chris and my friend Nina, were true Beatlemaniacs! We lived and breathed the Beatles "day and night"!  

I was a member of the Beatles Fan Club in England, and I received a copy of the movie script from it. By the time the movie came to the theaters, the 3 of us had memorized parts of the script, and after seeing the movie 3-4 times, we memorized all of it! The first couple of times we saw the movie, there was much screaming from all the girls in the audience, especially when the Beatles were performing their songs. But at least one of the times we could actually hear fairly well, but couldn't resist singing along with all the songs that we had memorized the first time we played the records.  

Another memory that has stayed with me regarding the move is this: I had a very large backyard and my music lover dad had installed outside speakers so he could listen to music outside in the evenings. We would put on our Beatles records, especially "Can't Buy Me Love", and have the songs blaring out into the yard and the 3 of us would act out that scene from the movie as accurately as 3 teenage girls could. Of course, we put on black turtleneck tops and black pants as our "costumes". Looking back, I can't believe we didn't have any complaints from the neighbors, but we did these things during the daytime, so the times were very respectful.  

Those wild, crazy days of Beatlemania have stayed with me all my life and provide some of the best memories of my life. When I hear their music, especially those early songs like "Can't Buy Me Love", "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "I Saw Her Standing There", and "Things We Said Today", my mind travels back in time and it's like I am there again, a young teenager in love with the Fab Four. --Janis


  1. Heather doesn't mention that we also memorized all the dialogue in AHDN almost immediately. I think we both could recreate it from memory even today. And a lot of key phrases ("dead grotty," "she knitted him," etc.) entered into our daily speech. Give us a kiss!

  2. the waiting line for AHDN at the movie theatre here was all the way around the block which had never happened before and how could anyone ever forget when John sang IF I FELL in the last medley- it will forever be my favorite