It was the 11th of May 1965. The Beatles were on location, wrapping up after filming their second movie “Help!” The director of the film, Richard Lester, was to film a few atmosphere shots and some scenery shots in London the next day, and after that, the 55th day of filming, “Help!” would wrap up officially.
The final scenes of The Beatles’ on this historic day were filmed at Cliveden House, a 19th century stately home in Maidenhead, Berkshire. In these scenes, Cliveden House was doubling as Buckingham palace. On this day, The Beatles were challenged “Officially” to a relay race by the crew of “help!” Although universally popular as singers, musicians, and composers, the Fab Four’s athletic prowess left much to be desired. It was during the shoot of the film that all four Beatles openly admitted to smoking and indulging in marijuana use, not daily but relatively frequently. Besides the marijuana indulgence, the Beatles also liked their fine food and meals. John Lennon calls this his Fat Elvis period as well as remember it as his whiskey and steak era. But being adventurous lads, the Beatles boys readily accepted the challenge to run a relay race.
The relay race
The race was supposed to be around Cliveden Gardens, outside of and around Cliveden House. There were four separate relay teams, and each team consisting of six members. Besides the Beatles team, there were some electricians, carpenters, and some camera operators. The Beatles team consisted of the Fab Four and their road manager Neil Aspinall and their chauffeur Alf Bicknell.
So how would they do? John Paul, George, Ringo, Neil, and Alf Bicknell were to be the visitors in the once-in-a-lifetime race. The once-in-a-lifetime race, according to Paul, was “Fifteen furlongs”. Paul said the Beatles were very proud of their victory in the relay race.
There is no record of exactly when the race took place during the day, whether before the day’s shoot was wrapped up, during the lunch break, or at the end of the day, or during the wrap celebration. Their relay race was filmed, and sadly the footage has never been released to the public. The film was shot with the home camera, interestingly.
Some interesting facts
John Lennon was the only Beatle member who did not become a full-time vegetarian. According to most sources, George Harrison was the firm Beatle vegetarian. Ringo became a vegetarian, not for spiritual reasons like Paul and George, but for health problems.
The Beatles’ songs Sexy Sadie may sound like it is about a woman, but actually, it is about a man John Lennon. The original lyrics of the song were incredibly cruel. “Who the f**k do you think you are?”