WOUB-HD to Air ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week’ Nov. 25< < Back to
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years is a 97-minute in-depth look into The Beatles’ earliest years, from their achingly precise performances at The Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1962 to their very last touring show in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966. Directed by Ron Howard, the film was advised heavily by surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, widows of John Lennon and George Harrison.
The film depicts the band’s incredible skyrocket to the very top of the international consciousness, a feat that had never before been accomplished, and has yet to be replicated. From being terrorized by gangs of hundreds of screaming, barely-pubescent girls to the exploration of the band’s decision to stick strictly to studio recording after their 1966 tour, the documentary utilizes oodles of historical footage of the world’s favorite band to look into what made the group what it was.
November 25, at 8 p.m., WOUB-HD will broadcast the lauded documentary, which received favorable reviews from Beatles fans and film critics alike when it was released September 2016.
“It was really fun to see (The Beatles: Eight Days a Week) with my daughter when it came out,” said Chris Pyle, owner of Donkey Coffee and one of Athens’ very own true blue Beatles diehards. “Afterwards, she asked me ‘Dad! Why are they all chasing them and screaming like that? What are they going to do when they catch them?’ which are perfectly reasonable questions to ask coming from an 8-year-old.”
Beatlemania began shortly after the band’s release of Please Please Me, (which was recorded very minimally, and in a bit of a frenzy,) following their first unleashed singles in 1962. After the album was released in March of 1963, the group got their first taste of the insanity that would plague their touring years.
“There has been nothing like Beatlemania ever since The Beatles – nothing even comparable,” said Pyle. “I wish the film had explored a little more of the psychology – or perhaps psychiatry – that was behind Beatlemania. I can only guess that a portion of it relates to the fact that there was just a lot more mystery in the ‘60s, and mystery is a huge part of rock ‘n’ roll. Everything is uncovered now, you can look up any myth or legend and debunk it on google, and I think that is why rock music is slowly fading away. Back then, the only way you could find out about a band you liked was to go and see them.”
As The Beatles’ popularity swelled, so did the disturbing dedication of their fanbase.
“Everything is uncovered now, you can look up any myth or legend and debunk it on google, and I think that is why rock music is slowly fading away. Back then, the only way you could find out about a band you liked was to go and see them.” – Chris Pyle
“The crazy thing about the film is the fact that the band’s audience is the star of the film – like when the band comes to Australia, suddenly there were 300,000 people trying to see the Beatles, people trying to just get a glimpse of The Beatles in their hotel room,” said Pyle. “When the Beatles went to India, they figured that they had finally escaped all the craziness – but they were wrong. People recognized them there, too. They were the four most popular people in the world.”
It’s worth noting that The Beatles had years upon years of experience playing music professionally by the time they were touring internationally. From the very roots of their formation in 1957 – when Lennon met McCartney and Harrison – the band worked tirelessly under a number of monikers, regularly using the now off-the-market stimulant phenmatrazine to fuel their insane performance shifts in the red-light district of Hamburg.
“I feel like there could be an entirely new documentary just about the Hamburg years, you can’t get to where The Beatles were in 1963 without the band having worked really hard for seven or eight years beforehand,” said Pyle. “Sometimes you hear people say that they don’t like the early Beatles stuff, that it’s too much like a boy band’s music – and I think that’s just nuts. The music is amazing, and it’s held up all these years – and you could never get to the crazy, far out stuff that they created later on without it.”