Friday, 16 September 2016

Eight Days A Week Film And Premiere: Bullet Point Review

I went to watch the premiere of Eight Days A Week:The Touring Years with my family last night – here's some thoughts


  • Red Carpet is blue.
  • Shocking to see what a frail old lady Yoko has become. Like seeing that old teacher you used to be terrified of, decades after leaving school.
  • Did she just say she was married to Paul?
  • To be fair they didn't help her by getting Scouse comedian John Bishop to do the interviews. When Yoko got confused by his accent he replies “You married one of us.” That bamboozled her.
  • My daughter asks if that old lady was Yolo. (She later tries to cover herself by saying “I know her name is Yoko. I thought it was Yoko Yolo?”). Ditto for when they interviewed 'Jazz Martin'.
  • Macca giving the thumbs up, and Ringo flicking peace signs like a manual-tourettes makes me wish each Beatle had had their own hand signal. I don't know about George's but John's would definitely have been flicking V-signs.
  • We're gonna get a post credits treat. And John Bishop has obviously never seen a Marvel film.

Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years

The tagline is “The Band You Know. The Story You Don't”. We'll see...

  • If you're wondering "Is it OK to sing along with the film when I'm in a cinema?" The answer is: "No". "But it's the Beatles!" Doesn't matter. Unless you are The Beatles SHUT THE HELL UP! Moving on...
  • Footage from Manchester ABC in 1963. Looks and sounds amazing. Where did they get this? Is it colourised? [Update: Pathe. And No].
  • The Beatles hired a third roadie in the States. Did not know that! Mark Lewisohn has probably already researched his entire family tree.
  • I think I've solved the McCartney 'piano strings on a bass mystery' (they wouldn't work). There's a picture of him playing a guitar with 'bass strings' on that I think comes from the post-Hamburg period where Lewisohn says he mimed on a broken guitar.
  • We're getting a little Apple Corps 'sanitation' – they cut away from John 'pulling a crip' (imitating a disabled person on stage).
  • Another good clip – pretty sure this one has been colourised.
  • Whoopi Goldberg gets emotional about her Mum buying her Beatles tickets. That's great parenting right there.
  • Beatles say racial segregation is stupid. Hear that 1960's America? Stupid. Gotta love em.
  • Important point. Obviously I am not A/B-ing but from what I'm hearing Giles Martin has done a great job in remixing/remastering.
  • Was worried looking at the trailer that the quality of the footage wouldn't warrant a big screen viewing - there's poor footage but it doesn't detract, and some great stuff.
  • There's a ton of '3D-ing' photos and digital cigarette smoke everywhere.
  • Everyone is smoking always. Surprised it didn't get an 18 cert in todays climate.
  • The press conferences are priceless. Eddie Izzard is right, they're four standup comics with impeccable timing. George tapping cigarette ash on John's head during an interview is hilarious.
  • Beatles handwritten lyrics for I Want To Hold Your Hand has a 'teachers note' at the bottom “3/10. See Me”.

  • There's a clip of Lennon playing on a melodica from '65. Put on your tinfoil hat cos he's playing the first three chords of Strawberry Fields Forever!!!!

  • Interview with Paul brings home how unique Lennon And McCartney were and why it was incredible they met. “I'd never met someone else who wrote songs”.
  • Footage of Liverpool fans singing at Anfield in 1964 capture the Beatles indirectly creating football chants. The rise of LFC under Shankley and the Mersey Sound = more serendipity.
  • Might be a dodgy stream but it looks like some of the audio and video are from different live gigs. (Didn't they do that on the Anthology show?).
  • Damn, Ringo is laying into the drums. Move over Bonzo.
  • Nice moment where they try to recreate what Shea would have sounded like through the tannoy PA. And by nice I mean hideous.
  • Cliched 'increasing speed photo montage to A Day In The Life orchestral freakout' segment. Works well though. That's why people do it.
  • That's Candlestick Park. So how are we gonna handle the studio years? Oh! - with a couple of animated jpgs and some on-screen text. At least they didn't fudge it with some “we played the studio” blather.

Post Credits Sting

What's it gonna be? Spiderman: Homecoming? Yellow Submarine reboot? Let It Be? Oh it's Shea Stadium. OK.

  • Sounds and looks good. This audio was rerecorded though. [Update: Extensively rerecorded as documented here. But they seem to have re-replaced Act Naturally with Ringo's original live (and flat) vocals. What goes on?].
  • Definitely think they've edited out another 'Lennon crip' here. They've kept the speaking in tongues. Didn't he tell the crowd to shut up too?
  • It's crazy to see the worlds biggest band do a 30 minute set featuring three covers.


Sorry Ron, that is “The Story We Already Knew”. Well told, nicely edited, with a few rarities that were worth the price of entry and sounding fabulous. But unless we're making a biopic of the third roadie - nothing new. Though that's a film I'd totally watch.

Worth buying or streaming.

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  1. I'm looking forward to catching it myself; though how they can say 'you don't know the story' seems fanciful, at best.
    My bullet point *preview* would probably look something like this:
    * Ringo's 'Peace & love' mantra has become a verbal tic. Annoying doesn't even come close.
    * Richie Cunningham should have voiced over the film in 'Arrested Development' style.
    * I honestly don't give a flying fuck what Yolo, Olivia, Dhani or any other hangers on think of The Beatles. But I would pay good money to hear Barry Wom's take on it all.
    * I hope Paul tells us why he doesn't have the good grace to sing any of John's songs in his set. Or George's. It's probably a drag.
    * I hope they interview the woman who kept the half eaten piece of toast George Harrison left on his plate in a Blackpool greasy spoon in February 1963.
    * Note to self - must stop rambling.

    1. Dhani wasn't there. But I wish Barry, Stig, Dirk and Nasty were.

      Confused about the Paul's set comment. Paul does play John and George's songs live and has done for years. Mr Kite on most recent tour and closes with Something every gig I believe...

    2. As I said Matt, I'm rambling; I have a love/hate relationship with Macca. He still can't get over the fact that John practically became a Martyr when he was gunned down. That and the fact that Yoko still won't allow him to change the writing credits on certain songs (Yesterday being the most famous) to McCartney and Lennon.
      I've seen him play a piano version of Help and, as you rightly say, he's playing Mr. Kite on his current world jaunt. He started dropping Something into his set - on and off - since George's demise, often on uke. And, thanks to Google, I saw that he once played All Things Must Pass c.2004 in North America.
      My point, really, is that his audiences would, I'm sure, love to see him broaden the Beatles part of his live set and sing some songs John took the lead vocal on. Anyway, apologies - I've probably been sitting in the sun too long. Great piece btw.

  2. Delightful commentary on the proceedings, Matt. I saw this advertized in the paper a few days ago and wondered if it was worth looking I know! I’ll probably rent it at some point.

    P.S. Were you exaggerating on the ‘18 cert’ comment about the smoking, or is that really how strict they are about it in Britain?

    1. Slight exaggeration - it can bump up your cert if it glamourises smoking. or portrays kids smoking, but history is taken into consideration. Doubt smoking alone would engender an 18 cert. Probably similar attitude to USA

    2. Okay, that makes sense. It's roughly the same in the US. I imagine "Eight Days a Week" was allowed to remain a 12A since it's a documentary and the smoking is historical reality. Interestingly enough, the film is classified as NR (Not Rated) in America; makers of documentaries never seem to bother submitting their movies to the MPAA for rating.