Paul McCartney a Pirate?

Paul McCartney has posted this photo on his Instagram feed:

#PiratesLife  And this on Facebook.

Release date is the same day as the newly re-mixed 50th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band comes out……

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Beatles “Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” Blu-ray Photo Unboxing

After seeing this on the big screen in the cinema on its first day of release we finally got around to purchasing a Blu-ray copy for the collection. Chose a good day to do it too, as our local store had 30% off all DVD’s and BluRays! This is the Australian, 2 Disc Special Edition (for all images click on each to see a clearer, higher definition version):

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Here’s the rear cover:bathb-rear

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The inner 3-panel gatefold fans out to reveal this fabulous photograph on its rear: bathb-inner6

On the other side are the storage for the booklet and the 2 discs:bathb-inner4

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The 64 page booklet is nicely done, with a lengthy introduction from director Ron Howard, plus a long essay about the Beatles touring years by Jon Savage, plus lots of great black and white photographs:

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A close-up of the sticker on the Australian edition:bathb-sticker

And for those of you who like the small print on the rear outer cover:bathb-smallprint

And finally the two discs:bathb-disc1bathb-disc2

 

 

Eight Days A Week – A Fan Review, plus News on the DVD and Blu-ray

Well, we saw Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years at a screening in Sydney, Australia last night – and it truly does live up to expectations.

The tale of the Beatles touring years is well-told in a (mostly) chronological order with some strong thematic elements sprinkled throughout. Great existing concert footage (remastered and with the sound remixed) sits comfortably alongside newly uncovered footage from fans taken at the time. There are also new interviews with Paul and Ringo (interspersed with archival interviews with John and George), and many observers, key players and fans including Richard Lester, Neil Aspinall, Sigourney Weaver, Elvis Costello, Larry Kane, and Whoopi Goldberg to name just a few. The addition of 30 minutes of pure, infectious performance from the Shea Stadium concert (as an added cinema-only bonus experience) was simply cream on the top.

Enough from me though. Here are some immediate post-movie thoughts from a big Australian Beatle collector and fan, Bruce Hamlin. Bruce runs The Beatles Records Information Service:

In a word: Fab, FAB, fab, etc.

So lets get it straight – this is not a movie of their concerts. Ron Howard has broken the Beatles career into 2 parts that are often quoted in magazines. The Touring Years (that go up to Candlestick Park or just after) and the rest, which is obviously The Studio Years.The end result of the touring stopping was Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. So that’s actually where this movie finishes (basically).

And what do we get for our money? Some nice and recent interviews with Paul and Ringo. Some very nice sound bites from George and John. There are lots of clips of live songs. Most, unfortunately, have small voice-overs that do tend to detract from them but the audio for the live stuff is great so it tends to make you forget the voice-overs.

Lots of clips from concerts that I havn’t seen before. And believe me, I do have lots in my own collection. Lots of relevant American (especially) newsreel footage of fans, press conferences, interviews with the boys and fans and some other talking heads. Instead of the usual musicians talking about how seeing the boys on Ed Sullivan made them pick up guitars and form bands, this time we get more of a female perspective [especially] how the American girls were affected by The Beatles. So that was an interesting difference to the usual.

It does go back to Hamburg and Liverpool, so it does start at the beginning and yes, we do get “Some Other Guy” from the Cavern. For Australians there was a few seconds of Adelaide footage, and maybe a blink’s worth of a Melbourne street scene! Hong Kong, Canada, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy but no really good concert footage from any of them.

The story linked together pretty well. I did really enjoy the movie. And I will be going to it again, especially as it’s only running for one week here.

Shea Stadium was tacked on at the end as a separate entity. Great to see it on the big screen. Some tech wizardry on some of the close ups, being brought up REAL close to the point of the picture distorting a bit. While we didn’t get the voiceovers that were in the released version, we also didn’t get the support acts and as with the original, they have played pretty loosely with the audio. BUT it still sounds great in the theatre with the great sound system.

All in all, like I said FAB! I really enjoyed it as a Beatles fan. I tried not to dissect it too much, just sat back and really enjoyed the movie.

As it’s only around for a few more days – get off your bums and go and see it NOW.
It will probably be on DVD by Christmas, but the big screen experience is the best way to catch it. My only real complaint was that it didn’t run for 30 hours !!!! That way we would really have got ALL the concert footage from everywhere. Thank you to StudioCanal and Event Theatres.

Bruce was correct about the DVD and Blu-ray being out in time for Christmas.

StudioCanal has just announced a November 21 release date for the UK, and November 18 in the USA. There will be 2-disc special edition, and single-disc standard editions in both DVD and Blu-ray formats:

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Special Edition Content and Features:

* Blu-ray/DVD 1 – Feature presentation
* Blu-ray/DVD 2 – Bonus Material (approx. 100 minutes of extras, highlighted below)
* 64 page booklet with an introduction from director Ron Howard, essay by music journalist and author Jon Savage and rare photos from The Beatles’ private archive
* Words & Music (24 mins) – John, Paul, George & Ringo reflect on songwriting and the influence of music from their parents’ generation, Lennon/McCartney writing for other artists, The Beatles as individual musicians, and the band as innovators. Also featuring Howard Goodall, Peter Asher, Simon Schama and Elvis Costello. The interviews with Paul and Ringo are previously unseen.
* Early Clues To A New Direction (18 mins) – A special feature touching on The Beatles as a collective, the importance of humour, the impact of women on their early lives and songwriting, and the band as a musical movement. Featuring John, Paul, George & Ringo, along with Paul Greengrass, Stephen Stark, Peter Asher, Malcolm Gladwell, Sigourney Weaver, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Curtis, Elvis Costello and Simon Schama. Again the interviews with Paul and Ringo are unseen.
* Liverpool (11 mins) – The early days in Liverpool of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s are brought vividly to life by those who worked closely with them at that time including fan club secretary Freda Kelly, Allan Williams an early manager, and Leslie Woodhead multi-award winning documentary film director.
* The Beatles in Concert (12 mins) – Five great but rarely seen full length performances of The Beatles live in concert – Twist and Shout, She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love, You Can’t Do That and Help!

Additional Standard Bonus Features (on both Special and Standard editions):

* Three Beatles’ Fans
* Ronnie Spector and The Beatles
* Shooting A Hard Day’s Night
* The Beatles in Australia
* Recollections of Shea Stadium
* The Beatles in Japan
* An alternative opening for the film

Here’s the pack shot for the Deluxe Blu-ray version:edaw-deluxe-packshot

Sadly, there’s no Shea Stadium concert included. That would have been a nice bonus, but it looks like to could have possibly become part of a rights battle. That concert film footage is owned by a different company. Perhaps Shea will be released separately at some stage down the track. We can only hope.

Eight Days A Week – Excitement Builds

On the day of the official launch of the new Beatle documentary film Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years, excitement is building.

This is the front page of the regular weekend lift-out in my local paper, The Sydney Morning Herald, today:img_2035img_2036

And this two-page article appeared in the paper’s Sunday edition two weeks ago:img_1928

Even The Big Issue, a great magazine that’s sold on the street in Australia to assist homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people, has been getting Beatle-happy:img_1925img_1926

We’re off to the Sydney premiere this evening and really looking forward to seeing what director Ron Howard has done. Reports so far suggest his film hits just the right note as far as satisfying die-hard Beatle fans as well as those new to the band.

Eight Days A Week – The Hulu Extracts

Hulu, which has the rights to show the new Ron Howard-directed Beatle film Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, has begun uploading some extracts ahead of it being available to stream live from September 17.

There are five of these so far. First up is “How The Beatles Fought Segregation”:

Also, “When Paul Met John”:

A Whoopi Goldberg memory of seeing the Beatles at Shea Stadium:

The Beatles describe their writing process:

And a very fast fan summary of who they like best, and why:

Meanwhile, over at the official Eight Days A Week website there’s now a downloadable podcast featuring Giles Martin, the producer who supervised the audio for both the film and the new compact disc:

Of course, the best way to see Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years will be on the big screen in the cinema where, as a bonus, the film will be accompanied by screenings of a newly-restored version of The Beatles At Shea Stadium – 30 minutes of rare footage from the historic 1965 concert:

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(Image copyright: Subafilms Ltd.)

 

Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years premieres in cinemas in the U.S. on September 16, in the U.K., France, Germany and Australia on September 15, and in Japan on September 22.

The Last Gig – Candlestick Park, 1966

Now on the official Beatles YouTube site:

“It was to be the last ticketed concert for the band, ever. This short film was recorded at the last major event at Candlestick Park in August 2014, Paul McCartney’s ’Farewell to Candlestick: The Final Concert’.

See the exclusive presentation of The Beatles 30 min performance Shea Stadium, only in theatres along with Ron Howard’s Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years. From September 15.”

A Couple of Beatle DVD Finds

We went “op shopping” recently and discovered a little bit of Beatle treasure.

First up a copy of Paul McCartney’s 2005 concert film In Red Square:

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It comes in an outer slip-case. Here’s the rear cover:McCartney Red 2

There’s also an inner booklet included with a range of images from the historic concert:McCartney Red 3

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The other DVD we found is a 2008 documentary called Magical Mystery Tour Memories:MMTM1

This is a documentary, a behind-the-scenes/memories of making the actual1967 Beatle film Magical Mystery Tour. Narrated by actor and Beatle friend Victor Spinetti (who not only appeared in MMT but also the films Help! and A Hard Day’s Night), there are lots of stories about what happened during the filming. They range from those who were officially there as part of the cast and crew, through to the many innocent bystanders who just happened to bump into the Beatle entourage as they travelled by bus around England making their largely improvised film. There are appearances and reminiscences from the likes of Paul’s brother Mike McCartney; Beatle Fan Club secretary Freda Kelly; former Beatle insider Tony Bramwell; their press officer Tony Barrow; and Neil Innes from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (and later The Rutles).     MMTM2MMTM3

It has to be said this is a fairly low-budget affair that received only mixed reviews when it was first released, but it’s an interesting documentary to have in the collection and contains some very nice stories and memories of what it was like making Magical Mystery Tour.