On this and the following day, The Beatles filmed the Rajahama Indian restaurant scenes for Help! at Twickenham Film Studios.
While making the scenes The Beatles had their first exposure to Indian music. The interior kitchen and dining scenes were filmed on a purpose-built set at Twickenham.
We were waiting to shoot the scene in the restaurant when the guy gets thrown in the soup and there were a few Indian musicians playing in the background. I remember picking up the sitar and trying to hold it and thinking, ‘This is a funny sound.’ It was an incidental thing, but somewhere down the line I began to hear Ravi Shankar’s name. The third time I heard it, I thought, ‘This is an odd coincidence.’ And then I talked with David Crosby of The Byrds and he mentioned the name. I went and bought a Ravi record; I put it on and it hit a certain spot in me that I can’t explain, but it seemed very familiar to me. The only way I could describe it was: my intellect didn’t know what was going on and yet this other part of me identified with it. It just called on me … a few months elapsed and then I met this guy from the Asian Music Circle organisation who said, ‘Oh, Ravi Shankar’s gonna come to my house for dinner. Do you want to come too?’
Billboard, December 1992
Also on this day...
- 2017: Full details of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary edition
- 1970: Ringo Starr is interviewed for the BBC’s Scene And Heard
- 1967: Paul McCartney visits Jane Asher in Denver
- 1964: Filming: A Hard Day’s Night
- 1963: The Beatles receive their first silver disc
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1946: Jane Asher is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.