The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring YearsWritten by Matteo Sedazzari
The Beatles Eight Days A Week is the most recent addition in the history of the Beatles, made by Academy Award winning director and actor Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code Frost/Nixon). Howard is a talented film maker with attention to detail, in depth character development, engaging cinematography, fast moving and intelligent story lines. Howard has certainly come a long way after ‘that annoying kid from Happy Days’.
The Beatles’ rise to fame from plying their trade in Liverpool and Hamburg to making their dream come true ‘to be bigger than Elvis’, which is still debated to this day, whether they were or not, is legendary. One fact reminds us they did make the big time, no argument there. Eight Days A Week focuses purely on their touring years from 1962 to their final concert in San Francisco in 1966. The famous concert on 30th January 1969 on the roof top at Apple Corp, 3 Savile Row, London was a spontaneous gig. First time since the departure of Stu Sutcliffe in early 1962 did The Beatles perform as a five piece band, with Billy Preston on keyboard.
Unfolding in chronological order Eight Days A Week covers The Cavern Club, debut on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, their career nearly ending in the USA when Lennon stated The Beatles were ‘bigger than Jesus’, Ringo being replaced by “Beatle for a week” Jimmy Nicole, The Beatles insisting that the venues in the US Deep South do not enforce black and white segregation, and much more. Eight Days A Week is a raw and authentic account of their success, making the viewer feel they are with The Beatles. You get a sense of their overwhelming self-belief as well as feeling the toll The Beatles were enduring due to touring. Seldom have the true characteristics of John, Paul, George and Ringo been shown so strongly, which makes Eight Days A Week a unique insight, a job well done by Howard and his team.
The new DVD and Blue Ray includes a bonus disc and my word it really is a bonus. Having your appetite whetted by the main feature, disc 2 gives a further insight into the boys. Covering their impact in Japan and Australia as at that time no band had toured globally. Fans recalling meeting their idols, Ronnie Spector’s special bond with The Beatles, recollection of Shea Stadium and a few more. It is a shame that the estate of Sid Bernstein, which owns the rights to Shea Stadium Beatles’ performance, brought out a separate 30 minute film of this show to compete with Eight Days A Week cinema release, as it would have been nice if the estate had allowed this unique documentary to include what footage remains of Shea Stadium on the disc. Perhaps the estate of Sid Bernstein need to go back and listen to All You Need Is Love…. It’s easy….
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Available Here