Can you imagine any of those scenes without the soundtrack? Even worse, can you imagine any modern day band or music that wasn’t inspired by The Beatles in some capacity?
Be it movies, music, books, fashion, or anything and everything in between, The Beatles have left a lasting impact on today’s modern society and will forever be written in history as one of the, if not the, best bands of all times. They’ve written about 300 songs, made several albums, introduced a new idea of fashion for the entire world to see, made some controversial remarks, and split up to cause the whole world to cry.
Aside from that, there were five people ever to be named a Beatle, they split up under several circumstances, they all had mildly successful solo careers soon afterwards, and two of them died.
The latter is not even mentioned in The Beatles: Eight Days a Week- The Touring Years. Perhaps the title of the documentary gives it away, but the new film strictly adheres to following The Beatles as they toured world wide album after album until their last one on their office rooftop.
Directed by Ron Howard under the tag line of “The Band You Know. The Story You Don’t,” the documentary shows The Beatles as they formed after Ringo Starr joins as drummer, where they released song after song and album after album, going on tour from 1963 to 1966 and eventually falling into resentment and nixing tours altogether.
The documentary provides not only some never before seen and newly remastered footage of the band from their shows, anything from a set they did on The Ed Sullivan Show to their huge sold out, 65,000 plus people show at Shea Stadium, but also an inside look at how the band dealt with their insanely speedy ride to fame, and ultimate break up.
Paul McCartney quickly opens up with an anecdote detailing the signing on of Ringo Starr to the band, causing much elation for him as well as John Lennon and George Harrison, who figured their band would end with the lack of a drummer that fit their needs. Tears aside, McCartney jumped from Starr’s entrance to the fame the band received after they released “Love Me Do,” their first song to be famous, the fifth song they tried to release in the first place.
From there, the story takes off, detailing their growth and rise to fame as these 19 and 20 year olds at the top of the world. Special guest stars also reveal anecdotes of how The Beatles came to affect their lives, like how Whoopi Goldberg was in the crowd at Shea Stadium, or how Sigourney Weaver wore a pretty dress because she wanted the band to notice her. And as the stories went on, the more the audience fell in love with a band they thought they knew everything about. Audience members gain a new found appreciation for the band.
But how much more information is there that you possibly couldn’t know? Just about every detail of their tour, like how they slept in a bathroom at The Plaza to hide from the press and media, or how they played in a non-segregated crowd in the U.S. and helped aid the Civil Rights Movement. But most of all, it’s the little small quips that Starr and McCartney, as well as other guest stars, make about the band during these formative years that truly provide the most insight into The Beatles.
The documentary is a must watch, not only for Beatles fans but for fans of all music and movies. While the lack of closure at the end– with the film abruptly ending with a collage of the band’s last five albums shown as if it were a Powerpoint Presentation– was a bit unexpected, the entire documentary was entertaining and hooked the viewer immediately. Check out the trailer below and be sure to watch the film immediately!
We attended the New York premiere at Village East. The event was in partnership with Stevie Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, benefiting music education. The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation brings multi-media educational materials focused on popular music to thousands of classrooms, free-of-charge, every year. Following the screening, the foundation launched an unprecedented educational initiative for middle and high school social studies and language arts teachers and their students based on the film. Stevie Van Zandt and co-host Paul Shaffer were in attendance.