13 January 1963
Thank Your Lucky Stars
Alpha Television Studios, Aston Road North, Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire
(broadcast: ABC/ITV, 5.50 - 6.30 pm, 19 January)
Please Please Me (mimed)
Other guests on the show were Petula Clark, Acker Bilk, Mark Wynter, The Chris Barber Jazz Band, and The Brook Brothers.
Andrew Loog Oldham recalls:
"In January of 1963, I starred in my own movie with the Beatles. I had left school at age 16 in 1960, window-dressed for Mary Quant, bummed around Europe and the South of France, hung coats at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club and finally ferreted my way into pop music by becoming press agent for Mark Wynter, a teen idol who'd scored big in the charts with "Venus in Blue Jeans" and "Go Away, Little Girl." One of my duties for Mr. Wynter involved my accompanying him to Birmingham for the filming of the top pop program of the day, ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars. Watching from the wings, I was held by this group - the Beatles - performing their new release and second single, "Please, Please Me" on national television. For me, it was a pop epiphany.
They weren't that different in appearance from the other acts. They were all wearing suits and ties, but they exuded an attitude that was blunt, up and honest as they mimed to the soundtrack of their single. The sound was familiar, but this was no mere copy of the American music we all loved - it took it to another level and injected the Pentecostal joy back into rock 'n' roll. The group would bring this gospel of pop to America and take it from being a long-distance collage of dead Kennedys, wide-open spaces and doo-wop skyscraper opportunity into the brave new world of the '60s. And a few months after that, the Beatles had taken over the world.
I went over to John Lennon and asked him who their manager was. He stuck his thumb in the direction of an elegant-looking man standing in the hall. Brian Epstein radiated success in his expensive overcoat, paisley scarf and haughty demeanor; a younger Kevin Spacey would have loved to play Eppy in rep. I studied this unpop-looking hotshot for a moment and quickly decided he was worth a hustle. He was definitely a man obsessed, a man on a mission - and I wanted in. We took each other's measure and passed the tests."
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