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CBS' 50th anniversary Beatles tribute: What you won't see on TV

Linda Marshall-Smith, who was at the taping of “The Night They Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles” which will air Feb. 9 on CBS, told Beatles Examiner in an interview the actual taping of the show took four hours and there was a lot the TV audience won't see.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at "The Night They Changed America."
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr during the taping of "The Night That Changed America."
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“We were taping (on Jan. 27) for a good four hours plus they still have to add the David Letterman Ed Sullivan Theatre interview to it, so not sure what will be in and what won't make it in,” she said.

“The taping started at 7:30 p.m. and ran until 11:30 p.m., four solid hours,” she said. “In between the performances, the audience was treated to Beatle-y clips and videos … real fun stuff, like a clip from the 'Let It Be' sessions where the Fabs jam to songs like 'Lawdy Miss Claudy,' 'Shake Rattle and Roll,' 'Kansas City' and 'Miss Anne.'”

She said other clips which might appear in the broadcast included sound bites of some of “The Ed Sullivan Show” stage crew who were there on that night in 1964.

“How one guy got to stand in for George (because George was sick) and how John couldn't get over the fact that they were standing on the same stage, and in the same spot that Buddy Holly and the Crickets had occupied. Really fun insider stuff,” she said.

In between each performance, a star introduced the next band or singer, and also shared what the Beatles meant to them. “I'm not sure how much of that will get into the actual broadcast,” she said.

She also said security was all over anyone taking photos. “I tried to get pics and video, but almost got thrown out twice by security, who were on me in seconds.”

Celebrities she saw in the audience and/or on stage at some point: Tom Petty, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Jeff Bridges, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, LL Cool J, Eric Idle, Kate Beckinsale, Peter Frampton and Steve Lukather.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr closed the show and performed several Beatles songs each, then joined in together for the finale. (You can see the set list here.)



Stick with Beatles Examiner for all the latest stories about the 50th and don't miss our special roundup: Beatles 101: Read all about it: Our fab stories on the Beatles' 50th anniversary.

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