A critical analysis of the 22 August 1962 Cavern films made by Granada Television.
On 22 August 1962, Manchester-based Granada Television sent a film crew to The Cavern to film a few minutes of The Beatles' lunch time stage performance with the potential to be used on a local TV program, Know The North. Dating back to the early 1970s, it has been common opinion that The Beatles were filmed performing "Some Other Guy" (Barrett) and "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" (Leiber/Stoller/Penniman). A contract between Granada and Ringo for this session can be seen - here.
On 5 September 1962, Granada sent an audio recording crew back to The Cavern to re-record The Beatles' night time performance with the intent to dub the recording onto the film from 22 August. At the August session only one microphone was used. At the September session, three microphones were used. Apparently, the entire September session was recorded by Granada sound engineer Gordon J. Butler but apparently the tape no longer exists. Only two songs ("Some Other Guy" and "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey") survive in the form of acetates. A detailed description of these acetates can be found - here.
However, due to the poor filming/recording conditions in The Cavern, neither the film or recording was seen as usable and was subsequently shelved with no current plan for use. Eventually, once The Beatles' popularity grew, the August performance of "Some Other Guy" was shown on 6 November 1963 on the Granada program, Scene At 6:30.
In his book, Way Beyond Compare, John Winn presumes the version used for Scene At 6:30 is the same as seen in the Granada documentary titled, The Early Beatles (broadcast 1 January 1984). According to Dave, a collector from the UK, the version that circulates in trading circles is more than likely taken from The Early Beatles broadcast.
That version begins with the first chord of the song and ends with the infamous shout from a male audience member, "We want Pete" along with John's reply, "Yeah". It is from a single camera shot from a short way back from the stage in the audience . The image zooms in and out and pans left and right but with the exception of a 12 second edit of alternate shots (more about those below) which occurs between the first and second verse, the shot is unbroken. Also, there is an odd "jerk" to the image during the first line of the second verse (more about that below). This version obviously uses the actual audio from the August performance and is not overdubed with the September recording.
Dave further states that the same version was "rebroadcast in the 1970s and later on 9 December 1980" in a Granada tribute program to John Lennon. These would likely be the sources for early vinyl bootleg appearances of the recording. Dave further adds that the 1980 broadcast included an introduction with Bob Wooler announcing simply, "It's The Beatles" (more about that below).
Over the years this version, with various different edits, was used in a variety of documentaries. Most notable were The Compleat Beatles and John Lennon-Imagine. These documentaries utilized several additional alternate camera angle shots edited into the "Some Other Guy" performance.
As previously mentioned, it was commonly believed that Granada filmed The Beatles playing "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" and this is what is seen in the alternate clips but the audio was lost and only silent images survive. That might be true for some of the alternate shots but that belief probably originated because of the acetates mentioned above. In reality, the alternate shots reveal that several other songs were performed. All the alternate shots that have become publicly available are silent but it is apparent other songs are being performed. In his book, Every Little Thing, Maxwell Mackenzie claims the "original cavern film featured several other songs" and speculates that "Money" was one of them. The "Money" speculation is probably based on a sliding guitar riff John is seen playing in one of the alternate shots. At this time, it would take much deeper research than I care to undertake to determine what the band is actually playing. Has anyone out there made any determination as to what they might be playing?
The audio of all common copies of this version feature a "glitch" (sounding like a tape stretch) at approximately 0:44 into the recording. Dave further adds:
- "SOMETIME IN THE EARLY 1980s, JOHNNY HAMP (A DIRECTOR AT GRANADA) WENT THROUGH ALL THE GRANADA FILM REELS TO LOOK FOR BEATLES FOOTAGE. THIS RESULTED IN THE SHOW "THE EARLY BEATLES" IN 1984. SEVERAL MORE PIECES OF FILM WERE FOUND (POSSIBLY FROM "KANSAS CITY") WHICH WERE THEN INSERTED INTO THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF "SOME OTHER GUY". I AM ALMOST SURE THAT THE VERSION BROADCAST ON 9 DECEMBER 1980, WHICH I ONLY SAW ONE TIME, HAD NO EDITS AS I CAN REMEMBER HEARING THE SOUND GLITCH AT APPROX. 0:44 AND NOTICING THAT THE FILM WAS UNAFFECTED AND STAYED WITH A SHOT OF THEM ON STAGE. ALL VERSIONS SINCE THEN SEEM TO HAVE VARIOUS EDITS OF OTHER PIECES OF FILM TO COVER THE GLITCH AND YOU DON'T SEE THEM ON STAGE. THE SOUND GLITCH, BY THE WAY, HAPPENED SOMETIME IN THE MID 1970s POSSIBLY WHEN AN AUDIO COPY OF THE FILM SOUNDTRACK WAS MADE FOR E.M.I. AND THE FILM WAS DAMAGED (SEE HANS OLOF GOTTFRIDSON'S BOOK "FROM CAVERN TO STAR CLUB" P217). ALL COPIES OF THE SONG WITHOUT THE SOUND GLITCH SIMPLY EDITS IN THE SAME WORDS FROM LATER IN THE SONG."
To summarize, what we have left is essentially a single camera shot performance of "Some Other Guy" and a variety of alternate camera angle shots that are typically edited, to varying amounts, into the "Some Other Guy" performance. Occasionally, the alternate angle shots are shown under unrelated audio. In The Compleat Beatles, they are shown along with audio of "Hippy Hippy Shake" from the December 1962 Star Club recordings. NOTE: The Compleat Beatles introduces the "Some Other Guy" performance with a totally unrelated Bob Wooler announcement from a Decca EP by The Big Three recorded 29 August 1963 and released in November 1963 and is not relative here.
Simple enough right? But...
In 1995 came "Anthology" which featured what appeared to be a very clean copy of the "Some Other Guy" performance interspread with even more alternate angle shots. While the audio appeared to be the same, when I first saw the "Anthology" version, I thought the "Some Other Guy" portions looked different. I logically attributed this to the clip being a lower generation, closer to the original copy. But everytime I watched it, something just didn't sit right. Something WAS different about it but I couldn't put my finger on what it was. Then as I was researching the clip for The Savage Young Beatles, the difference became overwhelmingly apparent... most of the video portion was an entirely different performance. The audio was the same but the visuals were not.
What really drew my attention to the difference was something I had previously noticed about the "Anthology" clip but had forgotten about. At approximately 1:08 into the clip, right at the "whoa ho ho ho" before the solo, there was a "visual glitch" that appeared to change the ambience of the image. So I decided to examine the glitch. To my surprise it became apparent that there are two seperate films. See the photos below for an illustration of the visual glitch.
When I first posted a notice about this on this site, I received a variety of info from Beatles fans. Most notable was Dave mentioned above. He also brought to my attention an audio edit at 0:13 into the "Anthology" version. In "Anthology", Bob Wooler announces, "At this midday session at The Cavern, we proudly present The Beatles". But on the original clip, as previously described, the announcement is simply, "It's The Beatles". Dave mentioned this to Bob Wooler who replied that he hadn't noticed that. And it should be noted that neither of these intros match the intro heard on the 5 September 1962 recording.
Dave also pointed out that the audio of the "Anthology" intro actually continues to 0:13 into the recording at which time the audio edits to the vintage version audio. Upon close examination it's obvious that the announcement (5 seconds) and the first 8 seconds of the song are from an entirely different performance than we are used to. The rest of the "Anthology" version overdubs and syncronizes the vintage version audio onto the new visuals which are mostly from the new performance but also utilizes approximately 18 seconds (in 2 segments) of the vintage version along with a combination of alternate angle shots. The audio edit is evident by the truncated G chord at 0:13 of the "Anthology" version.
Consequently, the "Anthology" version features approximately 1:30 of a "new" performance which can be seen within the following time frames (the first 13 seconds of which is new audio)...
0:00 - 0:38 = :38
1:08 - 1:12 = :04
1:25 - 1:38 = :13
1:39 - 2:04 = :25
total time = 1:30
While examination reveals a variety of differences (shadows, the audience and The Beatles' positions on the stage), the easiest and most obvious way to determine which version you are seeing is Paul and John's hair. In the vintage version, Paul's "bangs" seem a bit sweatier and are pushed over to his right. John's bangs are kind of shaggy and hanging down kind of straight. In the "Anthology" version, Paul's hair is dryer and covers more of his forehead. John's looks more neatly combed. Also, in the vintage version, George has a glaring light on him. In "Anthology" he doesn't.
Dave says Bob Wooler told him, in 1996, that he remembered Granada had The Beatles perform "Some Other Guy" "...at least twice..." and the aural/visual evidence certainly concurs with that statement.
In conclusion, my synopsis is this...
The first 13 seconds of the audio in the "Anthology" version actually goes with the bulk of the film seen in "Anthology". For whatever reason, the audio from the vintage version was chosen for the rest of the clip. Also, I believe the "Anthology" version was performed first. The reasons for this are...
1.The band looks sweatier in the vintage clip. This would indicate they had been playing longer than in the "Anthology" version.
2. In the vintage version, George has a glaring light on him. Perhaps the camera crew felt there wasn't enough light for the first performance and added another light for the second performance.
3. A possible reason the audio from the vintage version was dubbed onto the "Anthology" version is, maybe, the audio of the first performance was too poor and the crew felt the song should be done again. Strangely though, the audio in the first 13 seconds of the "Anthology" version actually sounds cleaner than the rest. Perhaps the recording was fine but the tape was damaged.
- I SUSPECT THAT THEY FOUND THE NEW INTRO AND FILM - POSSIBLY WITH A NEW SOUNDTRACK - AMONGST THE 4.5 HOURS OF FOOTAGE THAT JOHNNY HAMP FOUND BACK IN THE 1980'S.
The vintage version features an unexplained anomaly. At the line, "sippin' up the honey like a yellow dog", in the second verse, the image abruptly jumps closer to the band for 2 seconds. The audio continuity seems fine but the jump is odd. Upon close examination it is revealed that this anomaly is actually part of the "Anthology" performance but does not appear to be featured in the "Anthology" version.
As a result, I would designate the individual clips as...
"Version 1" - the bulk of the "Anthology" version
For the reasons mentioned above, I feel this was performed first.
"Version 2" - the bulk of the vintage version
As mentioned, Paul is much farther to his left. I would speculate that the camera crew determined that he was too much in front of Ringo. In addition, since this performance was the one commonly seen all these years, it was likely deemed best and later takes are typically considered best. Additionally, since Bob Wooler's intro is abbreviated, perhaps he was getting tired of saying it.
Due to the chronology of the public appearance of the versions, this might be confusing but I do believe (and Dave concurs) that they were performed in that order. And, subsequently, it seems indisputable that at least three performances of "Some Other Guy" were performed and filmed.
Below are some stills to help illustrate some differences.