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How The Beatles' 'A Hard Days Night' Was More Than A Movie

Of course, the Beatles' first feature film, "A Hard Day's Night", had to become a hit. 

Everything the Fab Four touched that fabled year of 1964 turned to gold. And then some. 

Now, though, the film's  being rediscovered for the spunky fun and off-kilter antics that young John, Paul, George and Ringo display in it, as well as the invention of the music video -- or at least its format -- by the movie's director Richard Lester. 

In fact, MTV -- the cable network built on music videos -- even gave Lester a pioneering award for his innovation. 

And top film critic Roger Ebert praised "A Hard Day's Night", well,  to the heights, calling it "one of the great life affirming landmarks of the movies." 

Um, that would be a thumbs up for a real thumbs upper. 

So all that makes this Thursday's one-night-only showing of "A Hard Day's Night" an even more pleasurable prospect when the film plays the Nevada Theatre, downtown Nevada City, at 7:30 p.m. in a benefit screening for the Bridge Street Project, which helps pay off the remaining debt on the Theatre's expansion and KVMR 89.5 FM's new attached building. 

"We wanted something a lot of people would be interested in," notes event producer Diane McIntire, the non-profit Nevada City radio station's outgoing Board of Directors President. "And there are lots of Beatle fans out there." 

"And we know many of them loved the music but maybe have never seen the film," she explained.  "And those that have seen it, well, now's a great time to see it again, rediscover its nuances and gags, all originally concocted over fifty years ago. " 

Everyone, of course, has a story.  McIntire's is damn sweet. 

"When I was a wee one, I was in love with the Beatles and anything British.  I'd practice my accent. As a 6th grader, I picked England as the country for an oral report and really got to do that accent." 

Not sure if she'll offer up that British accent on stage Thursday night, but she'll likely be decked out in some clothes from the era. 

"We're inviting people to dress up, come in costume, pull out your old mod bod '60s garb, maybe miniskirts and boots," McIntire said. "And the ticket price ($20) for the benefit includes a complimentary adult concoction based on recipes by (fellow board member) Richard Dunk, KVMR's famous cocktail connoisseur." 

Now that's what you call incentive. 

Oh, and the movie? 

Audiences of the era responded in kind to the Beatles' brash social impudence. And they still do. 

"The general aim of the film was to present what was apparently becoming a social phenomenon in this country," recalled director Lester.  "Anarchy is too strong a word, but the quality of confidence that the boys exuded! Confidence that they could dress as they liked, speak as they liked, talk to the Queen as they liked, talk to the people on the train who 'fought the war for them' as they liked." 

According to Lester, everything was "still based on privilege—privilege by schooling, privilege by birth, privilege by accent, privilege by speech. The Beatles were the first people to attack this… they said if you want something, do it. You can do it. Forget all this talk about talent or ability or money or speech. Just do it." 

Now that's one heckuva film director for one heckuva of a legendary band. 


WHO: KVMR 89.5 FM and the Nevada Theatre

WHAT: A benefit screening of The Beatles' classic 1964 film "A Hard Day's Night"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Thursday only (Oct. 12)

WHERE: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, downtown Nevada City

TICKETS: $20, including a complimentary custom cocktail; proceeds benefit the Bridge Street Project building fund; available at the door or at

INFO: 530-265-9073 or



KVMR kickds off its fall "Keepin' It Real" membership drive this Friday on that luckiest of days, Friday the 13th. 

"Our listeners are the lucky ones," says Membership Coordinator Adriana Kelly. "We've got a great kickoff weekend planned for them."

Jerianne Van Dijk and Todd Wahoske will serve up a bevy concert tickets as thank you gifts during the Friday Morning Show (7 a.m.- 10 a.m.), Amigo Bob has rounded up a slew of organic thank yous for his mid-day "Organic Matters", and Redlocks moves his Ital Culture reggae and worldbeat show from night to day (4 p.m. Friday). 

"We're mixing it up," says Kelly. 

On Saturday, Larry Hillberg's Backroads morning show will offer "Hiking With Hank," a chance for new or renewing members to go on a walk with legendary eco-historian and trails book author  Hank Meals.  In addition, the new "Beer Show" gets a 2 p.m. afternoon happy hour with Wes "Hophead" Robertson and Tom "Maltman" Dalldorf.

That night, Laura Miller offers an autographed Carole King "Tapestry" album on her "Diamonds and Rust" 6 p.m. Saturday program.

Tribute shows are also in order with a Tom Petty gala scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday morning, and Steely Dan is remembered in a 10 a.m. Tuesday special.