SEE THE MUSIC FILM EVENT OF THE YEAR
CHECK SITE FOR THEATRE LISTINGS
ONE CHANCE TO SEE THE LEGENDARY SHEA STADIUM PERFORMANCE ON THE BIG SCREEN
Due to popular demand The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years has an extended run.
Stay in your seat after the film to experience 30 minutes of footage from the legendary Shea Stadium performance, presented for the first time in a digitally restored 4k transfer with remastered sound.
The new film from Academy-Award Winning Director Ron
Howard features rare and exclusive footage, and is produced with the
full co-operation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and
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.
The hyperbole surrounding the opening of the Golden 1 Center will reach a climax on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Paul will christen the state-of-art venue with two highly anticipated sold-out concerts. To gently refresh your memory, the Beatles are the best-selling music artists in the United States, having sold 178 million certified units.
The Beatles were active between 1960 and 1970 and recorded 12 original studio albums from 1963 to 1970. The band had more No. 1 albums on the British charts and sold more singles in Britain than any other act. It owns a record 20 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s all-time Hot 100 chart. The Beatles account for three of the top five albums in Rolling Stone’s Top 500 albums of all time: 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (No. 1); 1966’s “Revolver” (No. 3) and 1965’s “Rubber Soul” (No. 5).
Paul’s Beatles song “Yesterday” has been recorded more than 2,200 times. His post-Beatles band Wings released “Mull of Kintyre,” one of the all-time best-selling singles in Britain. A 21-time Grammy Award winner, Paul wrote or co-wrote 32 songs that reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Those are just numbers, though.
The Beatles’ global cultural impact may never be exceeded simply because of how much they dominated worldwide consciousness when they were a performing band. Beyond era-defining music, the Beatles with their clothes, movies and cheeky engaging public personas changed the world. Paul has remarkably forged a Hall of Fame career beyond the Fab Four, and his live performances justly celebrate that legacy and the considerable body of work he has created since. Paul’s Wings, formed with Linda and guitarist Denny Laine, also lasted a decade, and Paul has had a solo career lasting twice as long as either band.
McCartney has been a road warrior most of his professional life. While touring is now incredibly different from the early Hamburg residency days or even the Beatles stadium tours, the road is the road, and he doesn’t have to do it.
There was time when he distanced himself from the Beatles legacy, but the band’s music makes up over half of the expansive set list on his current One On One Tour.
When the Beatles stopped touring, they had logged 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities. Their final concert took place Aug. 29, 1966, in San Francisco at Candlestick Park. That performance came as the pressures of constant touring, recording and simply being Beatles had exhausted the four members of the band. The band gave one more performance, on Jan. 30, 1969, with keyboardist Billy Preston, on the roof of their Apple Corps offices at 3 Savile Row. For 42 minutes they played nine versions of five songs, which appear on their second-to-last album, “Let It Be.”
That giddy last performance works as an oddly bright coda to Ron Howard’s just-released documentary film called “8 Days A Week: The Touring Years.” The film focuses on the early Beatle years – 1962 through 1966 – and features new interviews with Paul and Ringo, along with archival news conferences and interviews with John and George. There is also newly released material from Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison.
Released in theaters for a day and available on the streaming service Hulu, the film serves as both fascinating cultural anthropology and functional primer for Paul’s upcoming concerts, which will unwrap Golden 1.
Made for both longtime and newbie Beatles fans, the film offers fascinating details about the group, to which public access was astonishingly available: They played a lot of music before they ever recorded an album. They gigged hard and long. The tough, tight-knit live band they eventually became evolved from slogging through endless nights at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and the marathon residency sessions in Hamburg. All that paid off at the end of their live-performance careers.
When playing stadiums through rustic equipment, often a hundred yards from the 20,000 screaming fans, they couldn’t really hear a thing. Still, for the most part, when they bounded onto the haven of the performing stage, they could do what they’d been doing all along – play some rock ’n’ roll songs. They trusted and relied on each other. They made group decisions, and everyone had to be on board with whatever it might be before they went forward. Unanimously they insisted on not playing segregated venues, and had that written into their contracts.
Beatlemania was a real thing, and we have never seen anything close to it since. The phenomenon was worldwide. The weight became unbearable, but in beginning, they bore it with wit and equanimity, often in the face of a disapproving press, which vocally wondered how they’d react when the bubble inevitably burst. Who's coming to Golden 1? The acts, events and signature games coming to the new downtown arena Paul was always very proud of the songs. They evolved from teenage concerns to appropriately adult ideas, and obviously the body of work endures.
Interview with Nigel Sinclair, the producer of the recent Beatles
movie “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years” by phone
about decisions involved in the making of the film and the Beatles'
Nigel Sinclair: I approached it first of all by
talking to my to my friend Ron Howard and asking him if he would like to
make a documentary about the Beatles.
AXS: So you were the person who brought Ron Howard into this?
NS: Yes, I worked with him on the movie 'Rush' and
we came to know each other. I said to him, 'Ron, do you like the
Beatles?' And he said, 'Everybody likes the Beatles. What a funny
question.' And I said, 'Well, the reason I'm asking is I'm about to make
a documentary at the request of Apple, the Beatles company, and
therefore, indirectly the Beatles themselves, and I wondered if you have
any interest in doing a documentary. Have you ever done a doc? And he
said, 'No, I haven't. Actually, he went on to do one after that, called
'Made in America.' But he said, 'Sounds interesting.' Course, the rest
you know. He came on board and he did this brilliant film.'
AXS: Was it difficult to tell the story?
NS: I think what was a challenge, not difficult, was
to find something completely fresh to tell tell a story that was
familiar. And I know Ron and I and the other producers, Scott Pascucci
and Brian Grazer, we wrestled with that. We were very lucky to have Mark
Monroe, a writer who has achieved great things in documentaries on our
writing team. He's won Oscars for all sorts of things. And Paul Crowder,
the editor. And what happened is Ron and Paul and Mark and I became a
little caucus group working out the story. Ron wanted three or four
things he declared at the beginning. He wanted to figure out how the
Beatles worked as a team and how it worked between them. He wanted to
figure out what the impact had on their journey and their decisions
being cramped together in, as he put it, this space capsule called the
Beatles. How did that affect their decisions that they were in hotel
rooms together so much for these three or four years? And, of course,
the answer is it got them to write great songs. The other thing we all
wanted to do was to document what we called rather portentously a
millennial approach to storytelling, which was to answer not what
happened because people know what happened. So many people and reviewers
say they know and they've seen every Beatles film and they know all
about it. But to go on to the question of why did this happen? Why was
this so explosive? Why did the Beatles appeal to so many people? What is
the why of this, not the what? I think we feel we achieved that in the
film, at least beginning to answer that question, which cultural
historians will struggle with for another hundred years.
AXS: You answered what was to be my next question about what was the most challenging part of the film?
NS: I can amplify that if I may. The hardest part of
the film for us was to come to terms with the fact that the film is
about their touring, which is so triumphant and glorious and at the end
of the story, they actually leave touring and choose to retire from at
least the stage side of public life and go into the studio. And as we
dug a bit deeper and we interviewed Paul and Ringo and we looked at the
footage, what we found was that they felt actually, because they were
such a strong collective unit together, that if they didn't stop
touring, they wouldn't survive as a group because it was becoming so
rugged. And the disconnect between their touring lives and their studio
lives was becoming more and more apart. And then actually, the challenge
of how to bring the film to an end. As you know, we have them going to
the studio and have them record 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club', an
album which becomes voted the greatest album of all time by Rolling
Stone four years ago something like 46 years after it's recorded. Which
endures to this day as one of the great masterworks of popular culture
music. And that was actually the butterfly. We actually said in our
outlying notes that we gave to Apple this is really the butterfly
leading the chrysalis. The chrysalis like incubating the butterfly was
going on tour, being locked in hotel rooms together. And very much in
each other's pockets. And they go to the studio and they start to flower
as men and diversify, which is a good thing and become more different
people. And that feeds its way into the music, because it goes from one
genius album to the next. So that for us we were really anxious how to
bring the film to a conclusion. And when that worked out, we actually
felt, 'Eureka, we figured this out.'
AXS: Why was the original concept of using a lot of fan footage changed?
NS: Actually, there's quite a bit of fan footage in
there. The fan footage taken from the audience, with the movie cameras
of 1964 and 1965 and 1966. They had limited batteries and they were 8mm.
And in fact, they were over somebody's shoulder. It's not, actually,
that much fun to watch. And as Ron wanted to tell a story, you know,
there are places like, in Australia, where they're doing, I think it's
'You Can't Do That,' there's some color footage taken by a fan jumping
around. The stuff in Stockholm is fan footage. George singing 'Roll Over
Beethoven.' And we have quite a bit of fan footage. The whole
Candlestick sequence. All of that footage is from fans, so-called
bootlegs from fans. The sort-of fan footage from the audience wasn't
going to carry the story. So we used it where it helped us move the
story along. But of course we have some great performances which people
may have seen. They've not seen 'Can't Buy Me Love' the way we've got it
there on the screen with the sound fixed and, in fact, we colorized it.
But we used the fan footage where we could. There's about 18 pieces of
not before seen footage in this film.
AXS: You mentioned the colorized material. Was any
of that in color that you did not colorize or did you colorize
everything that was shown?
NS: The Manchester songs 'She Loves You' and 'Twist and Shout' were already colorized. They were shot in some fancy 35 mm.
AXS: That was for a newsreel thing, wasn't it?
NS: It was for a Granada TV special, yeah. They only
did those two songs, actually. They did them a number of times. We were
given the originals stems from the stems from the sheet. There were a
few cameras. And Paul Crowder, our editor, re-copied it and we mixed the
sound much more clearly and successfully. The footage like when they're
going down to the Cavern it looks like we colorized that but that's
actually natural color footage. And the second half of the film most of
the footage in color was naturally in color. We colorized. Ron had a
rule to colorize anything where they might have actually been a color
camera there. So we transgressed that ruling in one place because that
we felt that with the Washington D.C. concert we did an experimental
test on it just because the company that was going to colorize we had
something around. And when it came back we could see all the details of
the cymbals on the edge of the stage. We could see Mal Evans and all
these personalities. It goes from 2-D to 3-D. So we made the decision to
colorize that, Ron did. And because he brought it to life, people seem
to like that. There's a moment when Paul and the Beatles are running
into a room from a car and they're getting crushed against the wall. And
you can't really see it in black-and-white. So we colorized that. It's
only a few seconds, but then you can see quite sharply them being sort
of not roughed up but really that it's borderline unacceptable what's
happening to them. We wanted the audience to see that so they understood
what they were going through.
AXS: That Washington piece really blew me over. It looked good. That was a great job.
NS: We were worked on it and people at the vendor
put their heart and souls in to it. I think they felt it was important.
So, I feel that was good. We were very excited to hear from Larry Kane
the story of them refusing to play the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, which
hasn't been widely reported previously. And then a friend of mine told
me he'd read an article in MOJO about a woman who'd gone to that show. I
was telling him I'd been working that day on that subject and we'd
interviewed Larry Kane. And he said, 'You know I read about a woman who
went to that sound. So we tracked down the MOJO article. Took us a long
time. Got hold of the journalist that wrote the article. And he wasn't
sure how to get a hold of Kitty Oliver. But we did eventually find her.
We called her up and said, 'Are you the person who went to the
concert?'” We thought, 'Wow, this is really exciting. Historical
reconstruction. We brought her into town, interviewed on the same day as
we interviewed Ringo Starr, coincidentally, in Los Angeles. And the
rest you know. She was there. That was something to see both Paul and
Ringo discover this piece of information. That was a humbling experience
for Ron and his producers.
AXS: How did Paul and Ringo help you?
NS: Well, first of all they gave two interviews at
the beginning of 2015 after we'd done enough research and we some
footage where we knew where we were going. And then again, quite
recently, in April of this year. And in both interviews, Ron approached
it from the point of view that they've now lived another third of their
life since the last mash of Beatles interviews which was, of course, the
Anthology in 1994, and we very respectfully asked about perspectives
and how it's changed having lived another third of their lives. It was
very interesting and a more historical appreciation of the magnitude of
what we achieved. And Paul has said in the Rolling Stone interview he's
comfortable now looking back on the Beatles and thinking this was
actually quite amazing. Because he's a lovely man and how did this
happen. Both of them in the second interviews, in particular, answered a
lot of really detailed questions about how this happened.
AXS: Was it hard to determine which concerts to use and which not to use?
NS: Yes. We had, we called them ten-folds. We had
about ten of them and the film was much longer. As it became clear to us
that the story was one of survival and one of brotherhood. Really to
sort of, to use the jargon, really what the story was, was that the
Beatles at an extraordinarily very young age, formed what's call in the
fine arts business a collective, an art collective. Which sometimes
artists do in the arts, occasionally directors do. But musicians not
often. Where it was john's band at the beginning, it became all their
bands, particularly when Ringo joined. And it was just really
fascinating to see how that unfolded. So I would say that the thing
intrigued Ron was the way that more than if you want to use that .. .the
thing that intrigued Ron as we discovered it was how much what they did
was shaped by the collective nature of the way they operated. They
picked their own music. They wouldn't agree to do 'How Do You Do It',
they insisted on 'She Loves You.' They picked the running order of songs
on their albums. They picked their album covers. They decided what they
would play and where they would play it. They decided what their image
is. They decided not to change their accents and to become posh London
and retained their Scouse Liverpool accents. They decided what they
would wear. They were in the way that was completely radical in 1962,
1963. Certainly, '63. They were running their own lives. And the other
thing is their whole operation was that they worked together … when you
look at them telling jokes, they're not looking at you to see if you're
the interviewer and if you think it's funny. They look at each other to
see if it's funny. If you watch it, notice they're not interested in
what the audience thinks, like at their press conference. They're like
the Marx Brothers. They're cracking jokes to each other. The only
audience they care about is each other. And what Ringo said to us was
'One of us would get big headed,' he said. 'With all the stuff that was
happening, it was impossible not to. And he'd start throwing his weight
around and the others would just level him. They'd say, 'Who do you
think you are?' That kept us on the level through this entire touring
period.' And we thought that was a really interesting and fascinating
insight from Ringo.
AXS: What kind of reaction have you gotten so far from the Beatles? Have you talked to them directly?
NS: At the premiere, we were all blessed to talk to
them after the film. I spent some time talking to Paul and Ringo. And
they were very complimentary about the film. Based on what they told me
personally, they liked the film and they told Ron they're very happy
with the film. And they promoted it very hard, as you probably have