The Beatles Were ‘Night Owls’ According to George Harrison

Aside from writing and releasing music, the Beatles created A Hard Day’s Night. According to George Harrison, filming early in the morning was difficult for these self-described “night owls.” Here’s what we learned from one interview from 1964. 

The Beatles woke up early for some ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ interviews

Patti Boyd and the Beatles; George Harrison (w/Patti Boyd behind), Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon on the set of 'A Hard Day's Night'
Patti Boyd and the Beatles; George Harrison (w/Patti Boyd behind), Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon on the set of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ | Max Scheler – K & K/Redferns

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Harrison, and Ringo Starr appeared in the Beatles, also creating films like Yellow Submarine and A Hard Day’s Night

In 1964, this group released their music film, featuring the original song of the same title. They acted as themselves, detailing a typical day in the rock band. With A Hard Day’s Night as one of their first acting projects, there were some challenges for these musicians. 

The Beatles didn’t like ‘getting up early’ — ‘we’re night owls, folks’

The Beatles earned praise for A Hard Day’s Night, appearing in promotional interviews together. Some challenging aspects were the work hours — and waking up early to film the original production. 

“Getting up early,” McCartney said during A Hard Day’s Night interview (via Beatles Interviews). “That was one of those things. We had to get up about six o’clock in the morning, you know, sometimes. Which is — oh — I’m sure it’s not good for anyone, that. It’s very bad for your health.”

When asked if Harrison felt the same way, the guitar player confirmed that the Beatles were “night owls.”

“You mightn’t have noticed,” Harrison said. “No, but– you know, we all go out at night. And then suddenly our day was reversed so that we had to be up at six in the morning, but we still couldn’t get the hang of going to bed at night.” 

“So we were going out at night and getting up in the morning for the first week or so, and I just couldn’t believe it,” he added. “Six o’clock, somebody dragging me out of bed.”

Ringo Starr added that he “always” has bags under his eyes. Waking up early in the morning just “filled them up a bit more.” 

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The Beatles would sometimes ‘take drugs’ to stay awake through performances

Even during her memoir John, Cynthia Lennon detailed the pre-Beatlemania days of the Beatles (and the Quarrymen). For early gigs, the artists would play for hours, rotating with other bands, throughout the night. Their performances were extended from ending at 12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

“It didn’t occur to me that the boys would take drugs,” Cynthia Lennon wrote. “It was only after they got back that John told me they’d learned to stay awake through the night by swallowing slimming pills.” 

The Beatles became one of the world’s biggest rock bands. They released “A Hard Day’s Night,” “The Night Before,” “Good Night,” and other hit songs. Now, their music is available on most major streaming platforms.