Making of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ presented at Cranford Public Library

Vinnie Bruno, pictured at home with various Beatles paraphernalia, tells people if they want to speak to others as he does when making his presentations, speak about something you like. For him, that’s music, particularly The Beatles.

CRANFORD, NJ — Film critic Roger Ebert once described “A Hard Day’s Night” as “one of the great, life-affirming landmarks of the movies” and added it to his list of “The Great Movies.” It was the first Beatles movie and debuted in 1964, at the height of Beatlemania, portraying 36 hours in the lives of the Fab Four — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — as they prepared for a television performance.

Discussion and analysis of the creative process of the making of “A Hard Day’s Night” will be presented on Wednesday, August 23, at 6:30 p.m., at Cranford Public Library, 224 Walnut Ave., Cranford. Beatles scholar and storyteller Vinnie Bruno will be hosting this interactive and informative program.

What is it about The Beatles that makes their music so special that, nearly 60 years later, fans would still be interested in such a presentation? For Bruno, it’s hard to describe, but one word comes to mind — magic.

“There was something about these four guys,” he said. “They could not read or write music. They came from working-class families. They only recorded for a period of six years. When they broke up, Ringo, the oldest Beatle, was 29. They were kids. They transcend generations completely.”

Bruno was just 10 years old when he saw The Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and, 60 years later, he’s still a fan. He never took a music course in his life, but played drums in a band and then went off to college. Speaking about music in front of an audience was a natural progression for him. “I read books and I remember stuff,” Bruno said. “I don’t need notes. It’s all in my head.”

Back in 2000, Bruno gave his first lecture about The Beatles behind a podium, without using PowerPoint as he does today. He spoke about The Beatles for three hours and nobody left the room. “It blew me away,” he said.

Bruno would present a program, on occasion, while he was still working full time as director of First Year Programs at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York. Now that he’s retired, he’s developed more than 150 programs for libraries, senior centers and Zoom. “I do more work now than when I worked,” he shared. “But I enjoy this.”

In his roster of programs, there are lectures about musicians from the 1950s to the 1970s, including Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Queen, Billy Joel, David Bowie, and Elton John, to name a few.

For anyone looking to get into this line of work, Bruno advises, “Talk about something you really like, your passion. If it’s your passion, you have to pursue it.”

Bruno resides in both Woodbridge and Arizona. He gives presentations in both areas, including six-week courses about various music topics, such as “The Making of The Beatles Classic Albums” and “Another Rock ‘n Roll Show: From Chuck Berry to Billy Joel.”

He said he’s always working on new stuff to add to his repertoire. Currently, he’s writing individual programs about each of The Traveling Wilburys members, The Moody Blues, and Van Morrison.

“I keep going,” he said. “Music is the best thing we have in life. Music brings people together. It’s the best thing we have invented.”

To learn more about Vinnie Bruno, visit:

Photo Courtesy of Vinnie Bruno