The Beatles, BBC documentaryJust as the Amoeblog has been doing here on the West Coast, over in the UK the BBC is also celebrating the Fab Four with its ongoing Beatles Week that includes lots of rare footage and interviews. One of the many highlights of the week, which began on Saturday, is the great seventy minute documentary The Beatles: The First US Visit, which follows John, Paul, George, and Ringo during those infamous two weeks in 1964 when the Beatles invaded America. They were filmed by David and Albert Maysles, who were granted an intimate behind the scenes view of the group in varied settings..
Over their fortnight of filming, the director brothers captured Beatlemania as it rapidly took hold of America, thanks in great part to their appearance / performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which reached 73 million television viewers (something that could never happen nowadays with the media pie cut up into so many more pieces).
That performance is captured in this documentary, as are clips of The Beatles in their hotel room, at press conferences and photo shoots, and out in nightclubs in that time period. Also included is the Four's debut American concert at the Washington Coliseum. This is the TV debut of the Maysles' historic documentary.
Another gem offered by the BBC this week (unfortunately only in the UK -- BBC America is not carrying the weeklong tribute) is the documentary The Beatles on Record (see excerpt below), in which the Fab Four are joined by their producer George Martin to talk about their music. This Bob Smeaton directed documentary manages to condense a total of sixty great Beatles songs into the film -- most of which are being re-released in a remastered form tomorrow (Weds 09/09/09), when the entire remastered series of the Beatles will be available in Amoeba Music for the store's big Beatles Day celebration. More info about the Beatles reissues coming out tomorrow right here, and more about our big plans to celebrate in our stores here! Plus, more posts all about The Beatles here!
The Beatles On Record excerpt