Randy Lewis of the L.A. Times talked to Howard and the surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
The Oscar-winning director has clear memories of watching their live U.S. performance debut in 1964 on “The Ed Sullivan Show” when he was just 9. He took the project as a fan but also to make sure that generations after the bands life-span knew about them. He says I’m thinking of the millennial s (born 1977-2000), I suppose; people who have grown up with the music and think they know something of the story — the intensity of the journey and the impact they had.”
The 95-minute film documents the first half of the Beatles career. Most of the footage is built on crowd-sourced material. Pictures and video that has never been widely seen or even at all.
The producer of the film, Nigel Sinclair had a great little old-lady story concerning found footage. She was at their final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Aug. 29, 1966 – 8th row with a camera in her hand. The lady told him, ‘Naturally I filmed all of the last song and all of the end of the show. I’ve got it in a can. It’s under my bed, I’m not sure if it still works. Would you like me to send it to you?’ Sinclair added, “We realized that she didn’t realize she had something she could probably sell, so we actually explained to her that we would pay her for it,” Sinclair said. “We sent somebody up to San Francisco to pick it up, because we didn’t want to lose it, and it was the Holy Grail. For our story, we wanted to capture the boys running off the stage for the very last time in history. So we have a lot of things like that.”
The films which comes out on the 15th of this month also demonstrated how the Beatles were against racism. The band had a rider in their contracts where they refused to perform in segregated venues while touring the U.S..
McCartney said, “One of the great things for me was all the civil rights things that we’d always naturally had an empathy with, just because we had loads of black friends and of all our [musical] heroes, many of them were black. To see in the film that we actually put it in our contracts … we didn’t remember that. I was very impressed with that. It was very cool.”
Ringo says, “The stuff you remember when you see the footage, and the old photographs, it helps,” Starr, 76,
The movie includes new interviews with Paul and Ringo as well as archival interviews of John Lennon and George Harrison. Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, and Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison also provided material.
We’ve all heard the stories on how the band couldn’t even hear themselves over the crowd of cheering and sometimes fainting girl, The mayhem was overwhelming says McCartney. They couldn’t do their best in concert but he brought up the 1969 rooftop concert as an example that the band never did lose it.
We have a link to the LA times article in the description of this video. – by John Beaudin