Lost TOTP appearance emerges!
Film of The Beatles’ first ever “Top Of The Pops” appearance has been uploaded to YouTube. Taped 19 March 1964 for insertion into the 25 March edition, a good portion of “Can’t Buy Me Love” and a snippet (at the very end) “You Can’t Do That” (version 2) are on the film. However, this is not the original film, or a video tape from the BBC. This is home film footage that someone has made by pointing their silent 8mm movie camera at the TV screen.
Still, this is all we have from this performance, so it’s of historical significance. The Beatles were filmed at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, then called BBC’s Television Theatre. They were filmed using film stock, not video – and it appears the film is projected on to a big canvas behind the live dancers on the show, six days later when the programme aired. Who would have thought we would actually see this?
|Found at a flea market in England, the reel containing the performance.|
A big thank you goes to John C. Winn for identifying the footage.
The “Can’t Buy Me Love” clip was also shown on the 8 and 15 April editions of TOTP and on at least one of these occasions, the film was screened as is – without cutting to dancers in the studio. The first of the two filmed “You Can’t Do That” performances was also shown at some point, according to a tech op who was present at the filming, and therefore able to distinguish between the two versions. That could have been April 1, 1964, where it is listed as a repeat showing.
The uploader’s son is doing a college media course and has taken an interest in 8mm film. While he was at a boot fair on June 7, he found this film, along with a projector and lots of other old films from the 1960’s. His mother filmed part of The Beatles’ footage with her mobile phone and uploaded it to YouTube.