John Lennon liked hats that are eight-panel newsboy caps, with the brim unbuttoned from the crown. George sometimes wore a top hat, as he did in "Help!". However, the coolest hat in that 1965 film was worn by Ringo. It was a khaki colored, military issue tam o'shanter. It is described in a bagpipe forum this way:
If you watch the Beatles 1965 film "Help!", there is a musical sequence on Salisbury Plain near Stonehenge with the Beatles being guarded by British soldiers -- I think one of the Scottish regiments, based on what I've seen from stills shot at the time. In the movie, Ringo wears a khaki tam o'shanter obviously borrowed from a soldier and I've tried to ID the regiment from what you can see of the tartan backing and cap badge -- can anyone else hazard a guess? I think possibly the KOSB or RS (is that Hunting Stewart or Leslie?). The cap badge is *I think* the unpopular and short-lived "Lowland Brigade" badge issued for a time to all the units grouped in the brigade (there was at the same time a common "Highland Brigade" badge).
|52nd Lowland Cap Badge Design|
|52 Lowland Cap Badge|
At first I thought the cap badge backing (the square piece of cloth beneath the cap badge) was solid black, or what they call Government Tartran. I have changed my mind. The badge backing, after blowing up a picture of Ringo (see above), appears to be the Tayforth Universities Officers Training Corps Hunting Stewart Tartran.
|52 Lowland Cap Badge & Backing|
You can buy a 52nd Lowland badge off of Ebay, when they are available.
You can order the cap badge backing here -- see item E1J995.
You will have to have the badge backing sewed onto the tam o'shanter, then affix the 52nd Lowland badge over that. Finally, you will have a hat identical to that Ringo wore in "Help!" Final cost will be in the neighborhood of $100.
Finally, here's a video showing the Beatles (and Ringo in his hat) playing "I Need You" in the movie "Help!". You also get a good view of John's unbuttoned, green corduroy newsboy hat.
UPDATE: I ordered all the components as described above, and put them together. I sewed on the tartran backing myself, then carefully punched small holes through the tartran and the hat in order to afix the cap badge. Fortunately, I did not ruin the hat in the process. The badge is held on by a cotter pin inside the cap. Here is the result: a Scottish military tam o'shanter that is very close to the one worn by Ringo in the film "Help!":
|My recreation of Ringo's hat|