Showing posts with label Eight Days A Week (film). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eight Days A Week (film). Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2017

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Funeral services for early Beatles promoter Allan Williams were held this week in Liverpool. Williams died in December at age 86. There's no report on whether associates such as Pete Best attended the service. Nor were there any public comments or statements from Ringo, Paul or other members of the Beatles camp.

Williams secured the Beatles their first bookings in Hamburg, Germany, which were crucial to their development as a band. He's often billed as the band's first manager.


Sean Lennon attended the launch of a new line of clothing designs by Stella McCartney in New York this week.


Liverpool artist Tony Booth, who designed signs for many of the Beatles' early Liverpool-area gigs, died this week at age 83. An exhibition of some of his signs was held in Liverpool last August, and he also designed signs for the 60th anniversary of the Cavern Club, which is being celebrated this weekend.


Ron Howard's documentary, "Eight Days a Week" Beatles' touring year documentary has been nominated for a BAFTA Award. The film has grossed $12.2 million worldwide.


Paul McCartney was among celebrities who attended a farewell bash in honor of President Obama last weekend.


Plug: Readers of the Glass Onion Beatles Journal may enjoy our new sister blog, Pop '67!, which focuses on the pop culture of 50 years ago. Check it out!

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Eight Days a Week" held over for third week in theaters

"The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" is doing amazingly well in U.S. theaters, where its run has stretched to three weeks now, beyond the originally intended two days in advance of the film's streaming premiere on Hulu.

Billboard's Beatles expert Steve Marinucci reports that the film's box office take to date is $2,088,918. Not shabby, considering the theater showing were merely considered a teaser to the film's arrival on Hulu.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Beatles Bits

The new Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl album debuted at Number 7 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, making it the group's 32nd Top 10 release.


Singer Ed Sheeran was among the talking heads who didn't make the final cut in "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years."
"Ed had recorded a segment for the film,” a source told The Sun. “But it failed to make the final cut along with a load of other talking heads by Ron who wanted to make more time for The Beatles themselves.
"Ron had to be ruthless, but Ed will be gutted. He’s crazy about The Beatles and has grown really close to Paul over the past couple of years, even introducing him to his dad.”
Speaking about the various talking heads being cut from the film, Ringo said: "When we saw the first cut there were a lot of other people doing a lot of talking, which I believe he’s cut out now and it’s mainly me and Paul talking and it’s better.”

Paul McCartney says he liked Ron Howard as Ritchie on "Happy Days."


Artificial intelligence technology was used to compose this tune, supposedly in the style of the Beatles:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Video: Paul, Ringo and Ron Q&A from Abbey Road Studios

Review: Beatles' "Eight Days a Week" full of fun, missed opportunities

I don't recall ever coming out of a movie theater with my ears ringing, but it happened last night. There's a lot of high-pitched screaming in "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years." Imagine what it must've been like to be in the band?

That's essentially the experience the movie provides, putting us in the eye of the hurricane that was Beatlemania. It's loud, exciting, fun and scary. There are so many screams and so many faces: smiling, crying, laughing, contorted.

Better than any documentary I've seen, including "The Beatles Anthology," Ron Howard's documentary captures the liberating hysteria of Beatlemania and the band's hectic touring days.  There's scene after scene of screaming, stampeding fans and the Beatles traveling around the world, boarding and de-boarding airplanes.

There are hilarious fan interviews, as with the young girl who insistently tells a reporter that "George has sexy eyelashes," and stunning scenes, such as a gigantic  crowd of Anfield Football Club fans in Liverpool patriotically singing "She Loves You." In a talking head interview, actress Sigourney Weaver talks about going to go see the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and then, amazingly, we see her as a teen, smiling in the crowd.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr also provide new interviews and we hear a good amount via archive interviews from John Lennon and George Harrison. Howard captures the band's humor and camaraderie. Their appeal then, and now, is clear: These guys are funny, friendly, supremely confident and super-talented.

It's all exhilarating, to the point of being too much. The montages of screams and travel eventually get redundant and I started to long for more of what I came for -- extended live performance footage from the band.

When first announced, the intention of "Eight Days a Week" was to create the missing Beatles concert film, to collect performances -- both fan-shot and professional -- and present the band playing its music. But, somewhere along the line, the mission got muddied and we now have a mix of a Beatles biography and, still, a live-performance showcase.

Don't get me wrong. There's some jaw-dropping performance footage here, and several songs are played in full. I'm thankful for every one of them. Yet, I kept wishing for more and thinking about performances that weren't, and should've been, included.

For example, songs played before live TV audiences get short shrift. There's very little footage from the band's excellent "Drop In" appearance in Sweden in 1963 and none at all of Paul singing "Yesterday," even though excellent renditions exist from both "Blackpool Night Out" and "The Ed Sullivan Show."

I wish Howard/Apple had dropped some of the biography and chronology and included more songs. Yet, I also want to have it both ways: I was very moved by the film's section on the band's refusal to play segregated concerts in the U.S. South and by historian Kitty Oliver's comments about how much it meant to her, as a teen in Jacksonville, to see the band play and stand among fans both black and white.

Certainly, a film focused on the Beatles and their cultural impact is worthy, but so is one focusing on their songs and performances. And so, for that matter, is one about their growth as artists in the recording studio. There are a few sections in "Eight Days a Week" that focus on this, contrasting the Beatles' ability to experiment and innovate in the confines of Abbey Road versus being creatively stifled by too much touring and too much screaming.

When we finally reach the end of the touring years -- after Jesus, Imelda Marcos and the Budokan -- the film is like a student trying to finish a term paper 10 minutes before class. Everything from Sgt. Pepper through Abbey Road becomes a blurred montage, with an on-screen caption telling us that, after they left the road, the band happened to record some of the best music of the 20th Century. Then we go out with a couple of songs -- in tantalizing quality -- from the "Let it Be" rooftop gig. It's all a case of trying to do too much in too little time.

Given that, it was a relief in the theater to sit through the credits and then watch the 1965 Shea Stadium film. Finally, after all those rapidly changing scenes, we could relax and see the band play several complete songs in a row. The picture and sound quality was excellent and the scenes of John losing a grip while playing organ on "I'm Down" never cease to make me crack up and laugh out loud. If only more of Howard's film could've been like this.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Details on Blu-ray, DVD release of "Eight Days a Week" - No Shea!

Below are the Blu-ray and DVD specs for "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years," which is now playing in theaters (I'm going tonight!) and streaming on Hulu starting tomorrow.

The details come from Amazon UK, which is listing two-disk and single-disk DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film.

A quick look tells us the restored 1965 Shea Stadium footage, which screens in theaters this week but not on Hulu, won't be included.

This takes a lot of excitement out of these home video packages for me. Sure, there is bonus material but nothing that seems terribly exciting. Plus, I subscribe to Hulu, so I can stream the movie any time there. So, maybe we'll see as a standalone package at some future date, possibly grouped with other decently filmed concerts. But not now.

Count on Apple to always leave fans craving more. Or complaining. Take your pick.


Two-disk special edition DVD and Blu-ray:


The band stormed Europe in 1963, and, in 1964, they conquered America. Their groundbreaking world tours changed global youth culture forever and, arguably, invented mass entertainment as we know it today. All the while, the group were composing and recording a series of extraordinarily successful singles and albums. However the relentless pressure of such unprecedented fame, that in 1966 became uncontrollable turmoil, led to the decision to stop touring. In the ensuing years The Beatles were then free to focus on a series of albums that changed the face of recorded music.

Master storyteller and Oscar winner, Ron Howard, explores this incredible journey in his own unique way: How did The Beatles do this? How did they cope with all the fame and pressure? How did they not only survive, but go on to revolutionise popular music? With original interviews, footage, staggering live performances, and the intimate study of character that Ron Howard is known for, he puts us right inside this extraordinary adventure, answering the question everyone always wants to know: What was it like to be there?!!

Featuring a wealth of specially created supplementary material totalling 100 minutes of extras, the deluxe home entertainment editions contain exclusively created featurettes for fans to delve even deeper into the band’s world. Accompanying these are stunning, fully restored full length performances of some of the band’s most iconic tracks including “Twist and Shout” and “She Loves You” recorded at the ABC Theatre, Manchester in 1963 and “Can’t Buy Me Love” at the NME Awards, 1964, in London, bringing the experience of seeing The Beatles in concert fully to life for all fans. A full breakdown is included below.

2-disc Deluxe Collector’s Edition (DVD/BD) includes:
  • 1 x BD/DVD feature disc
  • + 1 Bonus Disc (containing approx. 100 minutes of extras, highlighted below)
  • 64 page booklet with an introduction from director Ron Howard, essay by music journalist and author
  • Jon Savage and rare photos from The Beatles’ private archive
  • Words & Music (24 mins)
  • John, Paul, George & Ringo reflect on songwriting and the influence of music from their parents’ generation, Lennon/McCartney writing for other artists, The Beatles as individual musicians, and the band as innovators. Also featuring Howard Goodall, Peter Asher, Simon Schama and Elvis Costello. The interviews with Paul and Ringo are unseen.
  • Early Clues To A New Direction (18 mins)
  • A special feature touching on The Beatles as a collective, the importance of humour, the impact of women on their early lives and songwriting, and the band as a musical movement. Featuring John, Paul, George & Ringo, along with Paul Greengrass, Stephen Stark, Peter Asher, Malcolm Gladwell, Sigourney Weaver, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Curtis, Elvis Costello and Simon Schama. Again the interviews with Paul and Ringo are unseen.
  • Liverpool (11 mins)
  • The early days in Liverpool of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s are brought vividly to life by those who worked closely with them at that time including fan club secretary Freda Kelly, Allan Williams an early manager, and Leslie Woodhead multi-award winning documentary film director.
  • The Beatles in Concert (12 mins)
  • Five great but rarely seen full length performances of The Beatles live in concert - Twist and Shout, She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love, You Can’t Do That and Help!
Additional features are:
  • Three Beatles' Fans
  • Ronnie Spector and The Beatles
  • Shooting A Hard Day’s Night
  • The Beatles in Australia
  • Recollections of Shea Stadium
  • The Beatles in Japan
  • An alternative opening for the film

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pics: Red carpet arrivals at "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week" London premiere

It's a blue carpet, but filled with lots of celebrities.

Ringo and Paul

Alan Williams

Olivia Harrison

Giles Martin

Stella McCartney

Ron Howard, Yoko Ono, Brian Grazer


Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin

New "Eight Days a Week" clip: "The Beatles Fresh Off the Plane"

Listen: BBC Radio 6 interview with Paul, Ringo and Ron

Listen here to a new BBC Radio interview with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Ron Howard about the new "Eight Days a Week" film.

"Eight Days a Week" premiere will be first time seeing film for Paul and Ringo

In a promotional Facebook chat this week Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr noted they hadn't seen the Apple-produced, Ron Howard-directed "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - the Touring Years." Today's premiere will be the first time.
McCartney said:”In the cinema, we’re actually going to hear ourselves for the first time. We couldn’t hear ourselves when we were live, as there was so much screaming going on.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Another clip from "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week" - George's sexy eyelashes

Facebook Q&A with Paul, Ringo and Ron tomorrow

Go to the Beatles' official Facebook page.

"The Beatles: Eight Days a Week" headed to classrooms courtesy of Little Steven

A special screening of "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" this Thursday will raise money for an educational program that will put the film and related materials in U.S. classroom.

Deadline Hollywood reports:
The NYC premiere will serve as a fundraiser to help support the RRFF’s educational efforts. Van Zandt and Paul Shaffer will co-host the event that will include celebrity guests, teachers, students and donors.

Two days later, in conjunction with Scholastic Inc. as partner and with the support of Apple Corps, the classroom materials will be available at, joining more than 70 pre-existing multimedia lesson plans on the free site.

Apple Corps sued over Shea Stadium film rights - UPDATE

Apple Corps is being sued over rights to the Beatles Shea Stadium concert film just as it is set to accompany screenings of Ron Howard's new documentary about the group's touring years.

Sid Bernstein Presents LLC, a company representing the interests of the late promoter who organized the 1965 Shea concert depicted in the film, claims it, not Apple, has rights to the footage. 

Reuters reports:

Sid Bernstein, who died in 2013, was a promoter who helped bring the Beatles to the United States from their native Britain.

The complaint said he also helped stage the group's Aug. 15, 1965, performance at Shea, and arranged for TV variety show host Ed Sullivan's production company to film it.

But the plaintiff, which said it was assigned Bernstein's rights, said the group's manager, Brian Epstein, took custody of the "Master Tapes" and began using them without seeking consent.

UPDATE: Apple has responded in a Bloomberg Tech story:
The suit is entirely frivolous, Apple Corps’ New York lawyer Paul Licalsi said in an interview. Bernstein’s agreement with the Beatles at the time explicitly barred him from any filming rights and a copy of the deal will prove it easily, he said.
"Mr. Bernstein never made any claim for the film for nearly 50 years until he died," Licalsi said.
No word, yet, on any change in plans to screen the film, which is set to accompany screenings of Howard's "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" in theaters this week before it beings streaming on Hulu Sept. 17.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ron Howard discusses Beatles "Eight Days a Week" film

Fast Company has published a detailed interview with Ron Howard regarding his upcoming documentary "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years." did get to meet and talk to Paul and Ringo, as well as Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison. How did the surviving Beatles and their families contribute to the creative process?

They gave me the final cut, just like I have on my feature films, which was, I thought, a huge show of respect. I spoke to each of them and met with them first, at length. They had a chance to vet my ideas and decide whether they wanted to get behind this approach. Yoko and Olivia knew all the stories about the very beginning, but we’re not telling the part of the story where they’re present. Still, they each had a point of view and a tremendous amount of knowledge. They’ve seen cuts and offered up some comments, and I’ve agreed with some and not others. They’ve been fine with that. They really encouraged me to tell the story as I was seeing it. And I think they’re happy with the result.