Reporter (played by Marianne Stone): “What would you call that hairstyle you're wearing?”
George Harrison (played by himself): “Arthur.”— A Hard Day's Night (1964), screenplay by Alun Owen, directed by Richard Lester
This is not, truth be told, my first post about the film that added a whole new dimension to Beatlemania (see this one). But, with the 50th anniversary of the classic film’s premiere in New York City here, the urge was irresistible to allude to it again.
“Mop top” is the most common label for the Fab Four’s hairstyle. As it happened, the first member of the “Beatles” to adopt it was then-bassist Stu Sutcliffe (who died tragically in 1962), who was given the tonsorial look by his girlfriend in Hamburg, Germany, in 1960. Among the group members who eventually became famous, it was George who first requested this style for himself.
What I like about the quote from the film is how it reflects that George, the “quiet one” of the Beatles, also possessed a sly sense of humor. In a way, it also demonstrated his response to the media’s obsession with this non-musical aspect of the group’s vast influence. At a New York press conference in 1964, asked where their haircuts came from, George answered, with typical cheekiness, “our scalps.”