The “Compleat” Beatles 1982

This is what Beatle fans had until the Anthology came out in 1995 and turned a new generation onto the Beatles. I wore out the recorded VHS copy my cousin gave me. It is a two hour documentary of the Beatles. It was narrated by actor Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange) and was well done. I remember watching this and “The Kids Are Alright” in the 80s. It was nice seeing the footage that was not as available as today.

I do remember some small frustrating parts of it. I think it was  “Hey Jude” about to begin (David Frost Show) and whoever cut the film placed a George Martin voice over during some of the performance. Remember this was a time when you couldn’t just go on youtube and see performances. Overall it was very well made. I still have a copy of it somewhere. Paul McCartney bought out the negative rights to the film in the 1990s to clear the way for Anthology and below is that story from Wikipedia.

The Compleat Beatles was initially released as a PBS documentary in the United States, and then on VHS, Betamax, CED and Laserdisc that same year on the MGM/UA Home Video label. The 1982 Laserdisc was released in both Analogue and Stereo versions, as well as being released in Japan and England (in PAL format) in 1983.[3]

The film did very well, and in 1984 Delilah Films and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer arranged for it to be released theatrically in the U.S. by a small distributor named Teleculture. This contributed to its continuing to be a best seller on VHS. Some years later, when Paul McCartney was preparing The Beatles Anthology, he bought the negative and all the rights to the film from Delilah to get it off of the market and clear the way for his production. That, according to the film’s director Patrick Montgomery, is why it is not available on DVD or any newer formats and “probably never will be.”

If you find a copy somewhere buy it…it is worth it. Even if you already have Anthology. The Beatles Anthology is far superior but it does make a good companion piece.

This is from Rolling Stone magazine. It went over the other documentaries of the band. They make a good case for The Compleat Beatles. The link to the page is:

Again nothing has compared to the Anthology but The Compleat Beatles was very well done.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/the-compleat-beatles-10-takeaways-from-great-overlooked-fab-four-doc-121193/

But one Beatles doc you might not know – and its cause has not been helped by not having an authorized DVD release yet – is 1982’s The Compleat Beatles, written by David Silver, directed by Patrick Montgomery, and narrated by Malcolm McDowell, chief droog from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Clocking in at two hours – and titled in the spirit of The Compleat Angler, England’s definitive book on fishing, from 1653 – The Compleat Beatles tells the band’s entire story, from pre-fame days, with checkpoints at each album, right up through the breakup. It’s brimming with keen musical analysis, and a coterie of voices you normally don’t get with a Beatles documentary.

For a long time, in the VHS era, it was a staple of high-school music teachers, starting 35 years ago in the summer and fall of ’82. If you were lucky enough to have had the TV set wheeled in by a Beatles-mad instructor, you know this is a special film.

Here are 10 reasons to check out this overlooked masterwork of the Beatles’ cinematic canon.

1. Writer David Silver had a pitch-perfect understanding of the Beatles’ career arc – and importance in their time and beyond.
“Poets of a generation, heroes of an era,” The Compleat Beatles begins, with Malcolm McDowell reciting Silver’s lines with Shakespearean gravity. This is to be a proper assessment of a band that was so much more than a rock & roll collective, something we’re made to feel immediately. “Like all poets and heroes, they reflected the spirt of their times.” The early sequences in the film present footage of a bygone Liverpool, which looks pretty grim, as if nothing mercurial could emerge from this seaport. When the opening chords of the Beatles’ cover of Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music” kick in, the film itself seems to pop with possibility, as if infused with Beatle-esque spirit. There was nothing the band couldn’t do, and now there will be nothing this movie can’t do.

2. Gerry Marsden was an ace witness to what the Beatles were doing.
The leader of Gerry and the Pacemakers, perpetual Liverpudlian also-rans, Gerry Marsden was always broad-spirited when it came to talking about the band that so outpaced his own, but you don’t get to hear him very much on film. Here he explains how the Liverpool acts were able to transform skiffle into something far grittier from what he terms the “ackky dacky” sounds of Lonnie Donegan. First he whips out a guitar to show how Donegan would play “Jambalaya,” before remarking “we’d get the record and we’d rock it up a little bit,” entering forth into a cool little demonstration. It’s a great primer for how the Northern bands were able to develop their own sound from what was a reductive, chipper genre in skiffle.

3. Early manager Allan Williams was quite the character.
Williams liked his tall tales, and the Beatles basically screwed the guy over after he hooked them up with Hamburg and they jumped ship for Brian Epstein, but Williams clearly loved reminiscing about his relationship with the band, which would continue on for a while still. (And resurface later when the legality of the Hamburg Star Club tapes was in dispute.) He describes a letter from Howie Casey of Derry and the Seniors begging him not to send “that bum group the Beatles” over to Hamburg, for fear that this would mess up everyone else’s good thing. Williams then goes on to (accurately) describe the style of then-drummer Pete Best as not very clever. Hardly a feeling-sparer, which is probably why the likes of John Lennon liked him – at least for a while.

4. George Harrison’s mom deserves serious props. The Compleat Beatles does an excellent job of synthesizing how the Beatles came together in their pre-fame years (complete with an image of John Lennon’s report card decrying his “insolence”), with a clear, concise chronology, and valuable insight directed towards the subject of George Harrison and his mother. Most Beatles studies focus, in terms of maternal subjects, on Lennon and his mother, Julia, and Paul McCartney and his late mother, Mary, but Mrs. Harrison knew a thing or two about rocking out. “To his classmates, George Harrison was the boy whose father drove the bus they all rode to school,” McDowell states. “His mother sat up with him night after night as he taught himself how to play Buddy Holly songs,” with his inclusion in the Quarrymen assured because “his mother could tolerate their noisy rehearsals.” Way to go, Mrs. H.

5. Reeperbahn mainstay Horst Fascher was one badass MF.
The Compleat Beatlesmakes commendable use of the underrated Star Club material to soundtrack several scenes, and it’s a delight when self-professed Beatles protector Horst Fascher turns up on camera. He made sure that they didn’t get in too much distress on their first Reeperbahn forays, or, as he puts it in the film, “If you are in trouble with some girls who are prostitutes, and you don’t know the girls are prostitutes, and the pimps find out, you can get in a lot of trouble,” which made Horst the guy to seek out to cure your ills and keep your ass intact, given that he was a former boxer who had been booted from competition for killing a sailor in a street fight. Ah, Hamburg.

6. The Litherland Town Hall show from December 27th, 1960, was the watershed gig of the Beatles’ career.The film also features a number of segments with Bill Harry, a friend of the band who was instrumental in spreading the good word about them in Liverpool – even before they deserved it – with his Mersey Beatmagazine, which documented the comings and goings of life on the local beat scene. Harry gives the backstory for the gig that would change the Beatles’ career. “They came back from Hamburg still as an unknown band,” Harry remembers, but he promoted they hell out of them, “because they were close friends of mine.” This got a promoter to book them at Litherland Town Hall, shortly following Christmas in 1960. Allan Williams was there, too. “The moment the Beatles struck up and did their stomping, every kid froze, and then they ran to the stage and started screaming.” That would be the gist of a lot of what was to follow.

7. According to George Martin, “Yesterday” was the crucial pivot point for the band’s sonic development.
Martin is eloquent throughout The Compleat Beatles: erudite, dapper, utterly sure of himself, being interviewed in a recording studio by his console, with no Beatles intruding with misremembered bits of info, something that dogged the Anthology. It’s just Martin, holding a master class in what it was like from his end to work with these guys. “They always wanted to have new ideas and sounds coming through. I found that they were almost more inquisitive than I was. In fact, in the end, it kind of exhausted me. Sometimes they knew what they wanted to do, but more often than not, they didn’t,” coming across like Yoda both frustrated and blown away by the gifts of Luke Skywalker. Regarding “Yesterday”: “It isn’t really a Beatles song,” Martin remembers saying to McCartney, then goes through how he made his pitch for the Beatles to forsake their standard drum-bass-guitar attack, which would become, through various methods, the mode of the future.

8. The doc features the coolest, trippiest, most cost-effective visual evocation of “Tomorrow Never Knows” ever filmed.
McDowell’s narration intones that “Two of John’s songs ‘She Said She Said’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ were the results of his recent experiments with drugs” – fair enough – as a quick tour of Revolver begins, but what follows is brilliant: Using only the cover of the album, director Montgomery, through a series of sweeps, pans and fast dissolves, gives us something of a visual acid trip, as “Tomorrow Never Knows” blasts from the soundtrack. Once you see the effect, it’s hard to disgorge it from your mind each time going forward that you hear that mindblower of a track.

9. The band’s final world tour was pure terror, and no film better evokes it.With a collage of on-the-street interviews, footage from Beatles record burnings and people getting hurt at shows as frantic MCs plead for calm, The Compleat Beatlesprovides a strong sense of why touring had to stop for the band. As the footage unfurls, there’s a low droning figure in the soundtrack, sort of like the protracted hum of the final chord on the Sgt. Pepperalbum stretched out for several minutes. We also get a self-righteous cop in Minneapolis who goes on at some length about how much he hates the Beatles: “As far as Beatle music, I could care about it not one bit personally … one of their group, with the British accent, told us they would never come back to Minneapolis, and I told him that would be too soon for me.”

 10. In Martin’s view, the Beatles were fated to become huge. George Martin has a lot of key lines regarding his four upstarts and their career. At one point he states, “Without Brian Epstein, the Beatles wouldn’t have existed,” by which he means that success would not have come to them and they would not be the galvanic entity we all know. But Martin is in downright Socratic mode, though, when he ventures towards a larger explanation for that success. “I think that the great thing about the Beatles was that they were of their time, their timing was right. They didn’t choose it – someone chose it for them. But the timing was right, and they left their mark in history because of it.”

The Beatle Cartoon Series

I have all 39 episodes taken from VHS tape but you can view most on youtube. The cartoon reminds me of the style of Rocky and Bullwinkle.  John and George were voiced by Paul Frees who did the voice for Boris Badenov on Rocky and Bullwinkle. They ran on ABC from 1965-1969 though only 65-67 were first run episodes.

The show was made on the cheap and the cartoon Beatles were put in usual cartoon situations like a jungle, haunted house, or on a boat. The main thing was to play a Beatle song in the background while our heroes got out or into a jam.

They were a rating success. I watch them now and think…why not get actors with real British accents to voice them? They are silly and fun but George especially had no accent at all. The Beatles had nothing to do with them and didn’t really like them at first when they were first on air. They started to appreciate them more as time went on.

With season 3 you start seeing more pop art being incorporating in the episodes. They have segments where flower power framed the newer songs. Some of the segments looked really good but then they would go back to their younger selves. Some of the episodes could be considered so bad they are good…but I like them.

I never got to see these until the 1980s.

Below is an episode in the 3rd season where at least they show updated pictures of the Beatles in the title sequence with a groovy background.

Below are the episodes descriptions from Wikipedia

Season 1 (1965–66)

1. A Hard Day’s Night / I Want to Hold Your Hand: The Beatles are in Transylvania rehearsing in a haunted house with “monstrous” visitors, including a vampire, a ghost, a werewolf, and a witch, with a parody of Boris Karloff; To hide from their fans, the Beatles run inside a diving bell which drops them into the ocean with a lovesick octopus. Sing Alongs: Not A Second Time / Devil In Her Heart

2. Do You Want To Know A Secret / If I Fell: The Beatles go to Dublin, Ireland for the weekend where they meet a leprechaun named Wilhelmina Morris; John is kidnapped by Dr. Dora Florahyde and Igor, both of whom want John’s brain for their monster. In the I Want To Hold Your Hand Sing Along, Ringo is shown inside a submarine. Sing Alongs: A Hard Day’s Night / I Want To Hold Your Hand

3. Please Mr. Postman / Devil In Her Heart: Ringo loses 15 rings he bought with all of the Beatles’ spendings and they are expecting a telegram from manager Brian Epstein for more money; Ringo wanders into the woods in Transylvania where he meets a witch who wants Ringo for a husband. Sing Alongs: If I Fell / Do You Want To Know A Secret

4. Not A Second Time / Slow Down: The Beatles abandon their flight and land in Africa while trying to get away from their fans, but three girls keep tracking them down. They later encounter a few crocodiles; The Beatles are on the way to the town Ringo Ravine (named after Ringo) until they encounter a donkey that smells gold named “Gold Nose”. Sing Alongs: Baby’s In Black / Misery

5. Baby’s In Black / Misery: Paul gets kidnapped by Professor Psycho who wants Paul to marry his creation Vampiress, half girl and half bat; The Beatles go to a wax museum where a vampire follows them. Sing Alongs: I’ll Get You / Chains

6. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me / Chains: In Africa, Ringo asks a medicine maker named Jack to help fix the Beatles’ flat tire. He then turns a worm into a snake and it lusts for Ringo; After getting knocked out, Ringo dreams about himself as Captain William Bligh from the movie Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Sing Alongs: Slow Down / Honey Don’t

7. I’ll Get You / Honey Don’t: The Beatles run into hunter Alan Watermain (a parody of Alan Quartermain) in Africa after escaping from their fans and go out hunting for a lion; Ringo is mistaken as a bull rider, and the cowboys send him to ride on a super-tough bull named Honey. Sing Alongs: You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me / Any Time At All

8. Any Time At All / Twist and Shout: The Beatles imagine themselves as the Three Musketeers (Plus One) while they are on a tour at a museum in France; The Beatles attend an art show where a girl tries to be like other artists. They inspire her with music. Sing Alongs: I’ll Be Back / Little Child

9. Little Child / I’ll Be Back: A Native American girl on a Texas Indian reservation wants to prove that girls are as good at trapping as boys are by trapping the Beatles; The mayor of a Texas town gives Ringo a golden guitar as a gift, only to be stolen by three men, prompting the Fab Four to hunt for the thieves and get the guitar back. (The song “Ticket to Ride” is heard at the beginning of this episode.) Sing Alongs: Long Tall Sally / Twist And Shout

10. Long Tall Sally / I’ll Cry Instead: The Beatles stay at a castle for the night during a fog. John and Ringo try on a couple of cursed armor suits and start to fight each other; After signing too many autographs in Japan, George’s hand gets swollen and suffers “autographitis”. His bandmates take him to a hand doctor but end up in a karate class by mistake. Sing Alongs: I’ll Follow The Sun / When I Get Home

11. I’ll Follow the Sun / When I Get Home: The Beatles’ car breaks down and they are captured by a highwayman who happens to be a car repair man; The Beatles explore the Notre Dame in France where they later meet its famous hunchback Quasimodo. Sing Alongs: I’ll Cry Instead / Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

12. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby / I Should Have Known Better: The Beatles, spending the night at a temple in Japan during a rainstorm, are mistaken for Japanese ancestors of four girls; The Beatles are in Rome trying to find a theater to rehearse. Their last resort is the Coliseum. Sing Alongs: I’m A Loser / I Wanna Be Your Man

13. I’m A Loser / I Wanna Be Your Man: In Hollywood, Ringo gets hired as a stuntman by Incredible Pictures Inc. and ends up in the hospital after getting pulverized in many scenes; In Rome, the Beatles buy a statue of the Goddess of Musica made from stolen gold coins melted down and sculptured. Sing Alongs: No Reply / I’m Happy Just To Dance With You

14. Don’t Bother Me / No Reply: In Rome, The Beatles are being followed by two spies who are after their songbook, “New Beatle Songs”, marked “Top Secret”. The Beatles movie Help! and Oddjob from the James Bond movie Goldfinger are spoofed; In Japan, The Beatles are warned by a Charlie Chanlookalike about a jewel thief named Anyface. Things become complicated when Anyface shows up disguised as Paul. Sing Alongs: It Won’t Be Long / I Should Have Known Better

15. I’m Happy Just To Dance With You / Mr. Moonlight: The Beatles are in a Roman Street Festival where Paul wins a dancing bear named Bonnie; The Beatles meet Professor Ludwig Von Brilliant who is on a mission to view an eclipse. After being adrift at sea, they escape from an island on a submarine. Sing Alongs: Don’t Bother Me / Can’t Buy Me Love

16. Can’t Buy Me Love / It Won’t Be Long: John is given a friendship ring from a Polynesian tribal chief, which means he must marry the chief’s New York-accented daughter who dislikes pineapples; While picnicking in Japan, John goes for a swim in a pond with shrinking potion in it and gets shrunk. The other Beatles think John is a Beatle doll and chase after him. Sing Alongs: Anna (Go to Him) / Mr. Moonlight

17. Anna / I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party: In Japan, Paul gets lured into a ghost ship called “Ah-Nah”. The other Beatles dash off to the rescue before they might lose Paul for good; Paul, George and Ringo sneak away from John and go to Greenwich Village for some fun time at a Beatnik party rather than going to a museum. Sing Alongs: Matchbox / Thank You Girl

18. Matchbox / Thank You Girl: In Hawaii, John buys a trailer for the group to stay in rather than staying at a hotel so many times. They later encounter a group of Hawaiians who are evacuating from a volcano; The Beatles sneak away from their manager to get something to eat at a French restaurant by enrolling in a cooking course. Sing Alongs: I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party / Help!

19. From Me To You / Boys*: In Hawaii, a surfer named Surf Wolf challenges George to a surfing duel; The Beatles participate in a Mr. Hollywood Contest in California. Sing Alongs: Please Mr. Postman / I Saw Her Standing There
Note: The opening title erroneously shows “With Love From Me To You”

20. Dizzy Miss Lizzy / I Saw Her Standing There: John and Paul secretly sign George up to an ice boat race, and he partners up with a girl named Lizzy; In Madrid, John and Paul visit a restaurant where John develops a hot foot with ashes in his boot. Rosita falls for John, and her boyfriend Jose challenges John to a duel. Sing Alongs: Ticket To Ride / From Me To You

21. What You’re Doing / Money*: The Beatles are on a fishing trip, and Ringo runs into gypsies. One of them falls for Ringo and wants to marry him. George comes in as a woman claiming he’s engaged to Ringo to get him back; John puts Ringo in charge to keep their money safe in his jacket pocket. Later Ringo is being followed by a mystery man at a carnival who is after the money. (The song “Help!” is heard at the beginning of this episode.) Sing Alongs: Dizzy Miss Lizzy / All My Loving

22. Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand* / She Loves You: The Beatles visit the Bavarian alps mission is to climb up a mountain with the dog Gunthar to put up their own flag on top; The Beatles are about to rescue a girl who they think is held as a prisoner on a ship. As a result, her boyfriend, a knife thrower, comes to her defense…with knives. Sing Alongs: Bad Boy / Tell Me Why

23. Bad Boy / Tell Me Why: The Beatles visit the Bavarian Alps. They encounter a runaway named Hans who wants to be a Beatle, prompting The Fab Four to run after him with their music (in which Paul plays the bass right-handed) and take him back home. (The song “Slow Down” is heard in the background); In Spain, Ringo is the jockey of a donkey that can run like a horse whenever she hears loud music. Sing Alongs: Please Please Me / Hold Me Tight

24. I Feel Fine / Hold Me Tight: Paul thinks Hollywood’s a phony. Actor Dick Dashing wants to prove Paul he is wrong by putting him in some different movie scenes; In New York, George and Ringo visit the Statue Of Liberty until they have spotted a man with a package which they think is a bomb. Sing Alongs: What You’re Doing / There’s A Place

25. Please Please Me / There’s A Place: In Madrid, a bull named El Taco gets knocked out, and the Beatles decide to help out with the bullfight with Ringo as the matador, and John and Paul as the bull; John’s sympathy helps a trained ape named Mr. Marvelous escape from the television studio and go out to explore the outside world. Sing Alongs: Roll Over Beethoven / Rock And Roll Music

26. Roll Over Beethoven / Rock and Roll Music: The Beatles are on their way home after visiting New York City until Paul gets grabbed by an elephant named Beethoven; The Beatles are invited to play at the Duke’s Palace, but they are mistaken for a string quartet. Sing Alongs: I Feel Fine / She Loves You

Season 2 (1966)

27. Eight Days A Week / I’m Looking Through You: A great movie lover named Lips Lovelace loses his ability to kiss. Paul decides to take his place in the studio with a leading lady who falls for him; The Beatles are in Egypt. They are wandering around in a pyramid until Ringo encounters a ghost who wants a body, and he chooses Ringo’s. Sing Alongs: Run For Your Life / Girl**

28. Help! / We Can Work It Out: Paul and Ringo go to a fashion show in Paris, but the designs are stolen by a thief named Jacques Le Zipper. Paul chases Jacques to the Eiffel Tower, and has trouble with heights; George becomes superstitious. The Beatles encounter the Lucky Wizard who is really a thief trying to give them bad luck and rob their money. Sing Alongs: The Night Before** / Day Tripper

29. I’m Down* / Run For Your Life: The Beatles are on a tour at a wine factory in France where Ringo accidentally knocks down a vat of wine. If it does not get fixed in two hours, the factory will go out of business; The Beatles are on a tour at the Palace of Versailles. Ringo gets knocked out by a statue, and dreams about the days of Marie Antoinette. Sing Alongs: Eight Days A Week / Paperback Writer

30. Drive My Car* / Tell Me What You See*: The Beatles help a young man and his girlfriend get their old jalopy running in a car race, the Popsville Hot Rod Race; While visiting “the man of a thousand faces”, The Beatles fool around with his makeup machine and change into different characters. (John briefly imitates Jimmy Durante and Swee’Pea from “Popeye” makes a cameo.) Sing Alongs: Yesterday** / We Can Work It Out

31. I Call Your Name* / The Word*: Ringo is convinced to release his pet frog Bartholomew in the swamp. Later a movie producer offers a filming deal to Ringo and the frog, and the Fabs have dashed off to find Bartholomew; The Beatles are being punished after gazing at the girls’ unveiled faces. The only way to get out of the situation is to say the password: “love”. Sing Alongs: She’s a Woman** (original broadcast, replaced with a repeat of I Feel Fine) / Wait

32. All My Loving / Day Tripper: The Beatles are in India where they learn how to charm an animal at an “Indian Charm Skool”. When the animal is revealed to be a tiger, they use music to tame it when it is about to claw John and Ringo (The song “Love You To” is heard in the beginning of this episode.); After watching the movie The Way Out Creatures From Planet Glom, the Beatles take a trip out into space with a beautiful woman who is actually an alien taking them on a one-way trip 23 billion miles from Earth. Sing Alongs: I’m Looking Through You / Nowhere Man

33. Nowhere Man / Paperback Writer: The Beatles walk into a cave for some exploring which is a home of a hermit who wants to be alone. He tries to get rid of them, but no luck; Each of the Beatles write fictional stories of how they met with Ringo as a theatre actor, Paul as a scientist, George as a secret agent, and John as a war pilot. Sing Alongs: And I Love Her** / Michelle**

Season 3 (1967)

34. Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields: In a spoof of James Bond, the Beatles are jealous of a detective named James Blonde who gets more attention from many women, so the Fab Four head to their hometown of Liverpool to stop a robbery on Penny Lane so they can be heroes; Traveling with their driver James, the Beatles use music to add color and happiness to the lives of the children at an orphanage, a reference to Strawberry Field in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool. John sums up the experience with “It’s all in the mind, you know.” Sing Alongs: Good Day Sunshine / Rain**

35. And Your Bird Can Sing / Got To Get You Into My Life: The Beatles and a couple of hunters hunt for a rare bird called a green double-breasted tropical woosted that can sing anything, including “Hound Dog” and “She Loves You”; The Beatles are in India, learning how to escape from their bodies from Swami Rivers. It works, but the problem is that the souls’ bodies are moving by themselves, and they must get them before it’s too late. (“Love You To” is heard in the background) Sing Alongs: Penny Lane / Eleanor Rigby

36. Good Day Sunshine / Ticket To Ride: Ringo thinks he’s a jinx. When the Beatles arrive at Carney Island, it starts to rain. Their music turns the rainy day back into a sunny day which makes Ringo happy. (The song “Little Child” is heard at the end of this episode.); The Beatles each have their own hobby. Paul paints, George builds a three-eyed robot, John writes and Ringo collects “birds” which is an English slang term for girls. Paul releases the only one Ringo caught and he runs after her. Sing Alongs: Strawberry Fields Forever / And Your Bird Can Sing

37. Taxman* / Eleanor Rigby: The Beatles get knocked out while carrying tons of money to the bank, and dream about the days of Robin Hood. Paul exclaims: “It never happened”; A group of children claim that an elderly woman named Eleanor Rigby is a witch. The Fabs tell them the true story about Eleanor Rigby in a song. (The song “I Feel Fine” is heard at the end of this episode.) Sing Alongs: Got To Get You Into My Life / Here, There and Everywhere**

38. Tomorrow Never Knows*/I’ve Just Seen a Face*: The Beatles fall into a well and end up in the inner world with foreign natives. The chief wants the Fabs to marry his daughters, and they began to run away. (The song “Love You To” is heard during this episode.); Ringo loses his singing voice. For treatment, his three mates send Ringo to a haunted house to scare his voice back. Sing Alongs: She Said She Said** / Long Tall Sally (repeat)

39. Wait / I’m Only Sleeping*: The Prince of Krapotkin’s girlfriend is in grave danger. The Beatles help him to save her from the Prime Minister who wants to marry her; John falls asleep while telling a story to a couple of children. In his dream he volunteers to help King Arthur and Merlin slay a vicious dragon. However, John and his mates opt instead to play music to put the dragon to sleep. Sing Alongs: Penny Lane (repeat) / Eleanor Rigby (repeat)

 

 

Let It Be movie 1970

This movie was released in May of 1970.

All of the Beatle movies have been remastered, cleaned up, and released except this one. Let iT Be was released on Laserdisc, Betamax, and VHS in the 1980s but that is it. It’s frustrating that all we have are old grainy copies of it.

I wrote briefly about this movie earlier but now that Yellow Submarine is being released in theaters…it’s past time for Let It Be to at least be cleaned up and released on Blue-Ray. I’ve read where there are thousands of feet of the film that has never been seen. This is historical now. From what I’ve read the Harrison and Lennon estate have held it up because of the acrimony between the members at that time. They act as if this is some secret not known to the public.

The acrimony in the movie is apparent between Paul and George during one scene, especially where Paul is directing George on how to play something. John is pretty laid back throughout the film with the presence of Yoko by his side. Ringo is…Ringo. All in all the film leaves out most of the bad feelings. Behind the scenes, George quit and John Lennon supposedly said they should call Eric Clapton to take Georges place or fill in because ““He’s just as good and not such a headache.” Of course, if this is true we don’t know for sure.

George did come back and participate and brought Billy Preston. That was a brilliant move on George’s part. You always act a little better when guests come over. Everyone was probably on their best behavior. Billy also added some great organ parts to their songs.

I have mixed emotions watching this as a Beatle fan. Yes, the end is coming but they would get together again in a few months and make one of the Hallmark albums of their career and one of the best albums ever with Abbey Road.

The film is not all doom and gloom. The first of the film was shot at Twickenham Studios starting each day early in the morning and you can tell the mood wasn’t good. After a little over 20 minutes into the film, they moved out of Twickenham to Apple and things picked up quite a bit.

The music. The soundtrack is not the Beatles best album but it is still a good album. When you have Let It Be, Get Back, The Long and Winding Road, Don’t Let Me Down and Across the Universe on an album how bad can it be? It would make another bands career to have 2 of those songs on their album. That is the quality of the Beatles.

You will hear the Beatles very raw. That was the whole idea of the movie in the first place.

The payoff of the film comes via the rooftop of Apple at the end. They all got together and played a mini-concert on the roof. We do not see everything they actually played on the roof. This would be the Beatles last public performance. It was a good performance considering it was cold in January in London at the time. They all seem to be having a good time. The performance was at lunchtime and stopped traffic and drew the police up to the roof to stop the music. If they sounded this good on the roof in January I can’t imagine what a tour what have sounded like…

Just release the movie guys. It’s past time to do it.

Paul McCartney interview for Rolling Stone magazine in 2016

You mentioned the Let It Be film. Is there any chance it will ever be rereleased?
I keep thinking we’ve done it. We’ve talked about it for so long.

What’s the holdup?
I’ve no bloody idea. I keep bringing it up, and everyone goes, “Yeah, we should do that.” The objection should be me. I don’t come off well.

Ringo Starr interview for Rolling Stone magazine in 2012

Are you thinking about releasing the Let It Be movie on DVD?
I think that’s also a possibility. One day that will come out. But we’re not talking about it right now. As you know, there’s very little that hasn’t come out. I’d forgotten that one though. You just mentioned the one thing that hasn’t come out. I’m too busy living now.

Juinor’s Farm/Sally G. by Paul McCartney and Wings

Juinor’s Farm/Sally G. single by Paul McCartney and Wings.

I had this single as a kid. Juinor’s Farm and Sally G were both partially recorded in Nashville during Paul’s six-week stay there in 1974. Juinor’s Farm is one of my favorite songs by Paul McCartney. The song rocks and the solo was performed by a 21-year-old Jimmy McCulloch. The song reached #3 in America. The band stayed at a farm in Lebanon TN around 30 miles from Nashville. I remember at the time it being big news that Paul McCartney was going on record in Nashville. I was seven years old and remember seeing Paul on the local news.

Jimmy McCulloch was a guitar prodigy… He was playing in a band when he was 11. He was in a band supporting The Who when he was 14 and in the band Thunderclap Newman in 1969 when he was 16. He went on to play with John Mayall (That guy knew how to pick guitar players) and Stone the Crows… He then went to play with Paul McCartney and Wings in 1974. He gave Paul’s songs an edge and I wish he would have stayed in Wings longer.

He left Paul to play with the reformed Small Faces in 1977.  In 1979 died of heart failure due to morphine and alcohol poisoning. You have to wonder how much better this guy could have been…

The B side was Sally G. and it hit #17 on the Billboard charts and even #51 on the country charts. This song has stayed with me through the years. When I listen to it…I think, now this is more of a what a country song should sound like. I really hate modern country music. No pickup trucks or tractors in this song. Modern country music could learn a lot by listening to country songs in this period and earlier. Paul composed the song after visiting a club in Printer’s Alley in Nashville.

This was McCartney’s last release on Apple Records

sallyg.jpg

This is from the Tennessean about Paul’s 1974 visit to Nashville. It was written by Dave Paulson

1974
Paul McCartney touched down at Metropolitan airport with his family on the evening of June 6, 1974, emerging from the plane wearing a green battle jacket and flashing a peace sign. The Tennessean reported that Paul answered questions “briefly but willingly” and even humored a group of kids who were amused by his British accent (he said the word “elevator” at their request).
The music superstar told a crowd of about 50 fans and members of the press that he’d come to Nashville for his three Rs — rehearsing, relating and riding. Music producer and executive Buddy Killen, who would act as the McCartneys’ Music City guide during their six-week stay here that summer, greeted the family upon their arrival.
The McCartneys rented a 133-acre farm just outside of Lebanon from songwriter Curly Putman (“Green, Green Grass of Home”) for $2,000 a week. They had requested a farm within 50 miles of Nashville that had horses and swimming facilities.
“I’ve got a farm in Scotland,” McCartney told reporters during an informal press conference on the farm. “You’re not the only people who have farms, you know. Back in Scotland, we’re country people in our own way.”
During their stay, the family visited the homes of Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins and even took in a few movies at their local drive-in.
McCartney and his family caused quite a stir when they joined the audience at Opryland for the third annual Grand Masters Fiddling Contest on June 16, 1974. During the intermission, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton performed their final show together before Parton embarked on her solo career. Linda McCartney got out of her seat several times to take photos of the duo. The McCartneys went backstage to meet with Wagoner and Parton, and then escaped into a waiting automobile.
McCartney told Nashville reporters that he was raised on country music, and he tried his hand at a bit of country songwriting while he was in town: He wrote the song “Sally G.” after a trip to Printer’s Alley.
McCartney drove around on a newly purchased motorcycle during the family’s Nashville visit. When a group of reporters waited at the Putman farm gate for a “highly informal” press conference, Paul and Linda rode past, smiling and waving.
Linda told The Tennessean she was “not much into materialism anymore,” though she had made a recent trip to Rivergate to purchase gifts for her family. Another big machine Paul loved — the Mellotron synthesizer — was not readily available in Tennessee at the time, to his chagrin.
As his time in Tennessee came to a close, McCartney told a group of local reporters that he hoped to mount a U.S. tour the following year, and that if it happened, Music City would definitely be on the itinerary.
“We just couldn’t skip Nashville,” he said. “We have too many friends here.”
McCartney continued to skip Nashville for the next 36 years.

When Paul did come I was there in 2010… he also came back in 2013 and I was there again. Three hours of one favorite after another…

You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) Beatles

I bought the Let It Be single by the Beatles in the mid-1970s from a relative’s yard sale. I loved Let It Be and then I flipped it over. The song started off with a catchy piano riff and then took a left turn never coming back.

I won’t even attempt to describe it because it would lose everything in words. It is a funny record (I don’t mean “My Love” bad funny… wo wo wo wo, wo wo wo wo…sorry Paul) it’s a comedy record. You could tell they were having a great time doing it.

Brian Jones played saxophone on the recording. Yes, that Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. He dropped by the studio and John and Paul thought he would play some guitar but he had a sax so they thought of this tune and he played on it.

My friend and I would listen to this over and over. We would quote from it…”Welcome to Slaggers” at school. Sometimes…and this is probably sad but we still do.

The song was recorded in May of 1967 and June of 1969 and was released as the B side of Let It Be in 1970.

It’s just so off the wall. The thing that surprises me isn’t the 1967 sessions…it’s John and Paul working on this in 1969 when they were not exactly best mates anymore. How could you not get along and make this? I guess they went through bad and good periods like any friendship or partnership…

The original version was 6:08 long but John edited it down to 4:19 for the single release.

Here is a quote from John Lennon

“That was a piece of unfinished music that I turned into a comedy record with Paul. I was waiting for him in his house, and I saw the phone book was on the piano with ‘You know the name, look up the number.’ That was like a logo, and I just changed it. It was going to be a Four Tops kind of song – the chord changes are like that – but it never developed and we made a joke of it. Brian Jones is playing saxophone on it.”

 

Paul McCartney on Brian Jones

“I naturally thought he’d bring a guitar along to a Beatles session and maybe chung along and do some nice rhythm guitar or a little bit of electric twelve-string or something, but to our surprise, he brought his saxophone,”

“He opened up his sax case and started putting a reed in and warming up, playing a little bit. He was a really ropey sax player, so I thought, ‘Ah-hah. We’ve got just the tune.”

“It’s not amazingly well played but it happened to be exactly what we wanted. Brian was very good like that.”

Free As A Bird

In the 1990s I kept reading about the Beatles Anthology coming out and the three surviving Beatles getting back together to release old never heard before music as well as new. They were going to take a John Lennon demo and add something to it. This was beyond exciting for me. I was too young to remember a new Beatles song coming out.

It had an older feel but sounded modern at the same time. George Harrison’s distorted slide guitar playing brought an edge to it. It even had the strange ending like some of their other songs.

I got an early release of the Anthology CD from a friend of mine that worked in a record store and he said…don’t tell anyone. I sat glued to Free As a Bird because for once I was listening to a new Beatles song… I was one-year-old in1968 so I missed them when they were originally out. I liked the song and still do. I have talked to Beatles fans who don’t really like it that much but the song has stuck with me. Real Love…the second release didn’t do as much for me because it was basically a solo John Lennon song.

Was Free As a Bird the best song in the Beatles catalog? No not even close but just to hear something new was fantastic. The Anthology videos and CDs jump-started their popularity all over again…and it hasn’t stopped since then. I had cousins who were teenagers at the time who never had an interest in them until Anthology came out. All I could say to them was…I’ve told you for years.

The video of Free As a Bird is fantastic and still one of my favorite music videos. It told their history through the different eras of their career. Every time I watch it I always notice something I didn’t notice before.

Little did he know that day in1977 when John made a demo of a song idea on a cheap cassette recorder… it would be a future Beatle song. Not to even mention that the tape itself would be part of the song.

It did win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal…

After reading the mixed reactions one thing dawned on me. The Beatles did the right thing by not reuniting when John was alive. There is no way they could have made anything that would have lived up to the expectations of everyone…You cannot compete against a memory because you lose every time… But yea… I still would have loved to hear it.

 

 

Beatles Movies

Beatle Movies: A Hard Days Night, Help, Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be.

A Hard Day’s Night – The plot was the Beatles on their way to a television appearance and the chaos that happens on the way there. Fans are chasing them everywhere and this part was in real life identical. Throw in Paul’s movie grandfather and you have the movie. The film is rated in the top 100 of some movie lists. The sound track is great and the Beatles were natural comedians and they had a witty script. A Hard Day’s Night was very close to real life because it was partly written by someone who went on tour with the Beatles and wrote some first hand information.

The Beatles were compared to the Marx Brothers when the movie came out. This movie is where their image was set in the public’s eye…John the intellectual, Paul the cute one, George the quiet one and Ringo the funny one (all of them were funny) of course it wasn’t that simple in real life.

This is the best movie they made and it fit them perfectly. I was fortunate enough to see this at a movie theater when it was re-released in 2000. Seeing the movie they way it was shown in 1964 was a great experience.

Help – A religious cult lost a ring that they had to have for a sacrifice ritual… Guess who had the ring? Ringo of course… the ring would not come off of his hand so they made trips to various places to help Ringo including Scotland Yard and mad scientists. The film looks great restored with vivid color. The filming locations included England, Austria and the Bahamas. The cinematography of the movie was great.

This was my introduction to Beatles movies and although not critically acclaimed it still is a good movie. John didn’t think much of the movie…his quote was “it was like being a frog in a movie about clams.”…it is enjoyable all the same. I’ve probably watched it more than any of their movies.

Magical Mystery Tour – The Beatles making a colorful home movie is the best way to describe it. The music makes the movie. It was a psychedelic trip that most Beatles fans enjoy. Where else can you see a video of I Am the Walrus, Blue Jay Way and The Fool on the Hill? They play 4 wizards that…well…. they play 4 wizards. I have seen this movie multiple times and every time I think maybe I missed something previously and its better than I remember…no… except you get to see them in their psychedelic phase and above all else the music. I can’t say I don’t enjoy it but only a little at a time.

It has been restored with a “making of” included with it. I enjoyed the documentary more than the movie, It’s not for non Beatles fans but for Beatles fans its a fascinating look an interesting time for them. I have to admit I like scenes from this movie more than the whole movie like Lennon’s spaghetti scene I Am the Walrus scene… The ending with the tuxedos is pretty cool also.

Yellow Submarine – A beautiful animated movie with the Beatles looking for Pepperland. I saw this as a kid and was mesmerized by the colors and these strange talking characters. Most of the soundtrack are older songs and orchestrated music by George Martin. The Beatles didn’t even do the voices because they were not really interested but ended up loving the movie. They did appear at the end of the movie in person.

This movie is very enjoyable for kids and adults. I pull it out every year and watch it.  My favorite character is Jeremy who helps and hinders and is a unique character in the movie to say the least. The animation is terrific and ahead of it’s time. To some people this is their favorite Beatles movie. Watch this movie if you can… it is enjoyable.

Let It Be – A record of the Beatles breaking up. They stayed together for another year but this is a glimpse of the tensions that were happening. I’m a huge Beatles fan but it is hard watching this movie at times but I do like it. The first half is somewhat depressing but the second half lightens up when Billy Preston starts playing keyboards and they move the recording to the Apple headquarters. The rooftop scene is great and it is the last live performance of them and I would like to see the complete performance. Every time I watch I hope they will work it out… of course it won’t happen. You see George and Paul have a small fight and you see Yoko sticking to John like glue.

The music is great of course… from Let It Be to I Dig a Pony. You get the rawest Beatles performance since they played in Hamburg warts and all. I have a bootleg copy of this and it was actually released on laser disc but a blue ray release will not happen anytime soon because from what I’ve read the Harrison and Lennon (Yoko) estate does not want it released. I’ve also read where Paul and Ringo don’t like it and I’ve read where they don’t care. They have released so much…why not finish the story and release this…

It’s been so many years ago and it’s not like it hasn’t been documented that they were not getting along. This is for Beatles fans only.