Sunday, February 27, 2005

Today in Beatles History, pt. 63

Paul McCartney, Walter Shenson, Richard Lester Posted by Hello

Twenty-one years ago today---Feb. 27, 1964---the Beatles were in Abbey Road studios recording three of the songs---"If I Fell," "And I Love Her," "Tell Me Why"--- for the soundtrack of their first feature film. Inasmuch as film producer Walter Shenson's main interest was making good and interesting low-budget films of all kinds (like The Mouse That Roared and Dudley Moore's 30 is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia, among others) and not just rock and roll movies, he was somewhat unaware of just how he helped change rock film for the better when he took on the task of producing the Beatles' feature film debut, A Hard Day's Night. Or so it seemed to us when, during the preparation of David Ehrenstein's and my 1982 book Rock on Film, we spoke with Shenson about the making of HDN and the Beatles’ second feature, HELP! We interviewed him on the eve of his '82 re-release of the first Beatles movie---with its added music and prologue (to the tune of "I'll Cry Instead") and new Dolby soundtrack. The following first person narrative was knit by us from the enlightening conversation we had with him. It was intended for Rock on Film, but somehow fell through the cracks and never made it to the final cut. It has not been published until its appearance here on people-vs-drchilleair. U.S.-born Shenson (born 1919) died in 2000 in Woodland Hills, California. MORE (link removed)

© 2005 Bill Reed & David Ehrenstein

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