Thanks to the filmmakers Studio Canal, we are excited to have two tickets to give away for the premiere showing at Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema on September 15th. It is for one night only and will be followed by 30 minutes of newly re-mastered Beatles Live at Shea Stadium footage.
Everybody knows that The Beatles were a phenomenon in their day, but having split such a long time ago, in 1970, a tattooed and bearded barista today may well find it difficult to know what all the fuss was about and the context in which the Beatles arrived and then adapted and changed pop music forever. And they bloody did! They weren’t just lazing about in the sunshine…
The film uses live footage and interviews and it begins in Hamburg then takes us from 1962 with the release of their debut single Love Me Do to around the time of the Revolver album in 1966 when they stopped touring. -Someone had thrown a firecracker onto the stage during their last American tour and they were spooked. They were also sick and tired of being unable to hear themselves play due to the screaming.
In the four years following their first single, the band would release seven groundshifting albums, a tonne more singles and starred in 2 films. They wrote their own songs, they wrote other bands’ songs, they boxed Muhammed Ali, they electrified Dylan. Judas! Got stoned with Dylan and then experimented with the jewels and binoculars of songwriting. To paraphrase Bill Hicks: They got so high that you had to scrape the band from the ceiling with a rake… and they even let Ringo sing some songs! Then there was their personal lives in which they were shagging like Austin Powers. One was already married, two others went on to marry and another one threatened to maybe get engaged yeah, and led the world on for ages. In the UK it created careers for everyone that could either sing a wee bit or hold a guitar. It spawned the greatest mass uptake of instruments the world had seen since the zither phenomenon of 1949 (See end of post) and wouldn’t be seen again until the advent of Punk in the late 70s.
To say they were busy during this time is an epic understatement and to put this whole shebang in context, a popular band now will spend over 2 years recording an album and touring it -and so for the Fab Four to write, record and release seven albums of original material in four years is totally phenominal (Unless you are a 1960s jazz musician). They were also busy busy busy touring when they weren’t recording and perhaps didn’t have time to take it all in. I think that they were just getting on with it thinking that this was what you were supposed to do. So they saw the world and the world in return saw them in their fully fledged spunkiness; cheeky, funny and charming.
It is all before John met Yoko Ono; before Apple records and Allen Klein; before India and Transcendental Meditation; manager Brian Epstein is still alive and dealing with the finances. George and Ringo still were still ok with their publishing royalties. They also weren’t yet giving the Rolling Stones a cold every time they sneezed and with Revolver out of the way and a lot more available time for the studio; the stage was set for the experimentation of Sgt. Pepper which was becoming a little bit more than just a twinkle seen on the outside of their increasingly large pupils.
Ron Howard’s film captures the fab four in the midst of their unguarded early stardom. This is made more poignant knowing the darkness to come. It’s a must see film if only to hear John Lennon say “I’m Eric” to an interviewer that asks him which one of the band he is. It makes me want to be Eric too. Here’s the trailer:
Here’s the film preview:
“February 9th, 1964, 8:12pm EST – after a brief commercial break, four young men from Liverpool step onto the Ed Sullivan stage, changing culture forever.
Seventy-three million people watched The Beatles perform that night, the largest audience in television history. But it is what the band did next that would introduce them to the entire world, permanently transforming the music industry and forever engraining them into the fabric of popular culture… They went on tour. By the time the band quit touring in August of 1966, they had performed 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities around the world. The cultural phenomenon their touring helped create, known as “Beatlemania,” was something the world had never seen before or since.”
This is the not-to-be-missed story of the band’s exceptional touring years – an intimate portrait of the band, and a behind-the-scenes look at The Beatles on tour. Exploring the effect it had on their relationships, as well as their musical evolution, and looking at how they transformed the world of music, the film features interviews, unheard music and exclusive concert footage from the biggest band of all time.
Stay in your seat after the film to experience 30 minutes of footage from the legendary 1965 Shea Stadium performance, presented for the first time in a digitally restored 4k transfer with remastered sound.
The Shea concert footage includes audio remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Giles Martin and Sam Okell. This has allowed the performance to be heard more clearly over the other background noise including the screaming fans. For the first time ever the viewer is able to experience the concert as it was meant to be seen and heard and to appreciate how extraordinary this band was live given the challenging technical conditions under which they were expected to play.”
AND NOW THE COMPETITION QUESTION…
Which Beatle complained of working ‘Eight Days A Week’ inspiring the song of that name to be written?
Winner will be picked and announced on 13th September.
Winning tickets to be collected at the Cameo box office.