This past weekend, I went to see the Ron Howard documentary, The Beatles in Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, that period from 1962 to 1966. As you could imagine, the performance I attended was sold out.
After we purchased our tickets, we stood on a looooong line which seemed to have a lot of silver, white, gray and bald on the men’s heads, and plenty of “blonde” on the women. It didn’t matter; we all were 16 again for a few hours. And I can assure you, there wasn’t a Gen-X or Millenial in sight. Baby-boomers reigned supreme.
Of course, there was plenty of anticipation for what we were about to watch. It was, after all, the story of the band who changed a generation and the music we would listen to and enjoy forever.
Within the context of this film of four lads from Liverpool, we learned that both Mozart and Strauss wrote over 300 hundred songs which was a rare feat indeed. The only other songwriters who accomplished this were John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Yes, you can say it: WOW!!!
We saw rarely shown footage of the Fab Four in private moments as they wrote and recorded the music we have come to love. We saw snippets of interviews with all of them, showing them as regular people looking for some of the same answers we do. We saw parts of many concerts they performed live, and in a world before digital and computer enhancements, it was remarkable how they were able to perform on key and on beat without all of the ecouchrement today’s musician use to sound perfect.
This was a film, which sadly for now will have limited engagements in select theaters. But for true Beatles fans, it was just perfect. The film ended with a ten minute peek of the last live concert The Beatles ever performed together, The Lunchtime Rooftop Concert of January 30, 1969.
As an extra added attraction, there was a thirty minute presentation of the fifty minute 1965 Shea Stadium concert, which was phenomenal. Their humor and talent were truly on display. If you were at Shea so long ago, you probably didn’t really see this side of them because you were so far away from the performers and the screaming was deafening. And maybe you would now be able to see your young self with all the shots which were taken by the producers of that event.
In any event, make the time to see this documentary. I, like the rest of the audience, had a “feel-good” moment at the end of the film and at the end of the added Shea event, as we all stood and applauded as if it were live and in person.
And for that brief moment you, too, can be 16 again.