Beatles, Jackson slate big film plans

thebeatles.com

At long last, The Beatles have announced plans for a release of Let It Be and a new film to be put together by the great Peter Jackson. Here’s the Apple Corps. announcement:

London – January 30, 2019 – Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Ltd. are proud to announce an exciting new collaboration between The Beatles and the acclaimed Academy Award winning director Sir Peter Jackson.

The new film will be based around 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2nd and January 31st, 1969. These studio sessions produced The Beatles’ Grammy Award winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award winning title song. The album was eventually released 18 months later in May 1970, several months after the band had broken up. 

The filming was originally intended for a planned TV special, but organically turned into something completely different, climaxing with The Beatles’ legendary performance on the roof of Apple’s Savile Row London office — which took place exactly 50 years ago today.Peter Jackson said, “The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us, ensures this movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about – it’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together.”  Although The Beatles were filmed extensively during the 1960s – in concerts, interviews and movies – this is the only footage of any note that documents them at work in the studio.The Let It Be album and movie, having been released in the months following The Beatles’ breakup, have often been viewed in the context of the struggle the band was going through at that time. 

 “I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” continues Jackson, “After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure-trove. Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with.

“Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating – it’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate. …I’m thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage – making the movie will be a sheer joy.” 

Jackson will be working with his They Shall Not Grow Old partners, Producer Clare Olssen and Editor Jabez Olssen. The footage will be restored by Park Road Post of Wellington, New Zealand, to a pristine standard, using techniques developed for the WW1 documentary film which has been nominated for a BAFTA for best documentary. 

A RDH Great Stories Beatles exhibit.

The untitled film is currently in production and the release date will be announced in due course. This film is being made with the full co-operation of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison.  The Executive Producers are Ken Kamins for WingNut Films and Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde for Apple Corps. 

Following the release of this new film, a restored version of the original Let It Be movie directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available.

A RDH Great Stories Beatles exhibition in 2017.
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Flashback to Beatles in Teen World

One of the positive things about people knowing you are an enthusiast (we prefer that to “fan”) of a particular subject, team or band is that your friends from a long time ago or even recently sometimes give or send you something they’ve found gathering dust in their home or have recently bought.

Beatles fans are about the best when it comes to this. Pete Dicks of Beatles and Beyond in England has been great and sent us several books a few years ago. Others have sent me music that we wouldn’t have found elsewhere.

RDH Great Stories collection has grown substantially since we have been giving Beatles presentations and have had Beatles exhibits at several locations in central Indiana.

Today, we received a particular treat. We’re going to send you even back further into our past first though. In the summer after finishing the 6th grade, Richard Thompson and Ronald Hawkins put together an imaginary baseball magazine, clipping items from real magazines and writing stories to go with them.

Years later, Hawkins was the editor of the Thomas Jefferson High School newspaper and Thompson was the sports editor and cartoonist.

Until he retired, Thompson was a great educator, artist and more, following a track that he moved toward in high school. Hawkins went on to work for more than 40 years on newspapers, magazines and other media.

Mr. Thompson sent Mr. Hawkins a package that arrived today. It was a wonderful surprise. Mr. Thompson knows Mr. Hawkins is a Beatles presented and collector.

The item was a magazine from December 1965. Here are few images from it:

We doubt if this offer is still good!

Summer of Love fun at library

The first of two nights of my Beatles Summer of Love at the Martinsville Public Library was great fun for yours truly and I hope for everyone who attended. Here’s a clip from a performance by Dennis Champlin and Dena Holmes. The second of two presentations will be at 6 p.m. April 25 at the library, 110 S. Jefferson St., Martinsville, Indiana..

Here’s a link to a performance by them: https://www.facebook.com/BeatlesMemoriesandMemorabilia/videos/1875355519392299/

And here is link to two more songs by them:

‘Eight Days a Week’ best intended for newbees

“But Ronnie D,” my friend said.

I interrupted and said, “Please don’t call me ‘Ronnie.'”

“Okay, Ronald D,” the friend continued, “but you love the Beatles.”

“True,” I said.

“And you’re a big fan Ron Howard, too,” the friends said. “So what’s your problem with ‘Eight Days a Week: the Touring Years?'”

Where does this begin, particularly with the recently released 2 Disc Special Edition Blu ray?

When the documentary was shown in the theater in Cincinnati, it was immediately followed by the complete Shea Stadium concert. The two-disc, Blu-ray set doesn’t include the concert and that’s just one of the disappointments.

Eight Days a Week
Eight Days a Week

I buy any “fresh” Beatles products, continually feeding my 52-year plus addiction. The long version of the Beatles’ Anthology videos, the Beatles movies, The Beatles First Visit to the United States and the two-DVD Ed Sullivan Show set include nearly everything and more than is in this documentary and I own them all.

It’s also very disappointing to see some of the original black and white footage colorized.

I love the Beatles (see my Beatles Memories and Memorabilia Facebook page) and Ron Howard (that guy has great initials), but not this package. If you want to see a better film by Ron Howard, make sure you see “In the Heart of the Sea,” which was released in 2015.

The documentary is great for beginners, but not longtime Beatlemaniacs who’ll find this chiefly a condensed rehash. Unlike the promotional slogan for it,  it is not the story we haven’t heard before.

The extra disc would have been the place for the Shea Stadium concert. Instead, we’re only allowed 15 or so minutes of live Beatles’ performances, none from the Shea Stadium show. Also, I had hoped to see more of the Candlestick Park concert, their final live concert not counting the rooftop Get Back show.

The promotion for this film also included a tie-in with a new version of the Beatles’ Live at the Hollywood with a couple of additional live tracks including one which had previously been released in the mid-1990s as a part of an Anthology EP.

The CD was another failed opportunity. If the surviving Beatles and the Apple execs had converted Live at the Hollywood Bowl into a more comprehensive live CD that included other venues this would have been something fans have been clamoring for for decades.

In 2015, the wonderful “1+” video collection of Number 1 hits and other song was a superb offering of how the Beatles legacy could be enhanced.

Unfortunately, it appears with this year’s release that the Beatles and Apple are trying to see how far they can stretch the material and how much fans are still willing to buy.

I am extremely disappointed with these releases. Still, I will watch this many more times, trying to find something I might have missed and probably be ready to buy whatever is released next year.