The news today, oh boy, in Beatleland

This picture describes me so well!

This picture describes me so well!

For today, I thought I’d do a relatively quick post highlighting some important things going on across the Beatleverse. First, I just saw this article today, and it got me very excited! A new feature-length documentary about the Beatles! There can never be too many of those! Hopefully this one, unlike The Beatles: The Lost Concert, will actually make it to theaters without being pulled due to copyright issues…
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ron-howard-directing-new-beatles-doc-focusing-on-bands-early-years-20140716
As much as I already know about the Beatles’ existence, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing the same magical story told over and over again. It’s almost like seeing a favorite musical continually revived year after year.

I also watched a fantastic program about the Beatles on CNN last week entitled, “The Sixties: The British Invasion”. It was the sixth part in a ten-part series about the most important and revolutionary events of the sixties. As you might have guessed, this episode focused on the arrival of the Beatles in America and the impact of the entire British invasion on American life. I will admit that I saw a VERY similar program on PBS a while back, but that didn’t make this one any less interesting. I always enjoy hearing about how groundbreaking, innovative, and fab the Beatles and their 60s counterparts were back in the day. 🙂

In other news, Paul has begun touring again after a health scare in May. Thank goodness he is better, and judging from a video of a recent concert, he appears to be in his usual top form. I know this may sound greedy considering that I’ve already seen Paul in concert once, but I would give just about anything to see him again. Those fireworks during Live and Let Die were even better than advertised!

This is a bit unrelated, but thanks to tangerinetrees99, I found this incredible list of symptoms of Beatlemaniacism, which I will share with you. I think at least 90 of these apply to me. And yes, I did bother to read the entire list. That’s what any true Beatlemaniac would do!
http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/fvKWJLM/101-Ways-to-Know-Youre-Too-Obsessed-With-the-Beatles

There are no particularly Beatley events coming up in the very near future for me, but if anything comes up, I will definitely blog about it. I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful summer/winter, depending on what side of the world you’re on. 🙂

Happy (belated) birthday Ringo Starr!!!!

Priceless. :)

Priceless. 🙂

Sorry this post is a little late, but I wanted to wish Ringo a very happy birthday! Even among Beatle fans, Ringo often gets a lot of flack for not contributing as much to the Beatles as the other three members, but I genuinely feel that he was just as important to the band’s dynamic as John, Paul, and George. I’m also happy that Ringo was featured prominently in the Beatle movies after being designated “the acting Beatle” by the critics after A Hard Day’s Night. Generally, I feel that with a name like Ringo, how you go wrong???
In honor of Ringo’s birthday, here are some of what I’ve determined are his “best moments” that I’ve come across on Youtube. Enjoy!

This is a pretty well known part of AHDN, and also the scene for which Ringo was most critically lauded. Now, do I think this scene is Oscar-worthy? Not really. But it certainly is charming, and sometimes, that’s all that matters. 🙂

We all know that George was very involved with Monty Python, but when I was watching an episode recently, I had no idea that Ringo would be in it! Needless to say, it was a pleasant surprise.

This video mostly features Elton John (I haven’t done an Elton post in forever… That must change!) and Marc Bolan, but in case you’re wondering, that is in fact Ringo dressed as a clown holding a camera in the beginning. He also drums fantastically in this song. What a great group of musicians all in one room.

I just discovered this. It is by far Ringo’s best moment ever. That is all.

Well, once again, happy birthday Ringo!!!!! I wish I was seeing him on his current All Starr Band tour, but hopefully I will see him one day. Then, I will have seen not one, but TWO Beatles in person! My life would essentially be complete. 🙂

A Hard Day’s Poll

As many of you may know, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America. It also marks 50 years since the release of their first movie, A Hard Day’s Night. To commemorate this, about 500 theaters across the US are re-releasing A Hard Day’s Night this July! Although I own the movie on DVD, I still sort of want to experience it in a actual theater. If only the movies would charge 1964 prices for this special event… 🙂

After reading an article about this in the newspaper today, which included an original review of the movie from 1964 (the reviewer back then apparently did not know George’s name…), I was inspired to break out my DVD and watch this movie, yet again. I’ve probably seen it about six times in its entirety by now, and I found myself reciting a lot of the lines under my breath, in attempted Scouse accents. I love how fast paced this movie is, which shows how crazy and hectic the Beatles’ actual life was back then. In fact, this movie plays more like a documentary than a traditional movie.

Just as a side note, a couple of famous teenage extras in this movie include Phil Collins and Meryl Streep. How awesome it would have been to be an extra in this film! That would surely be a story to tell the grandkids. Also, considering that this movie was made to capitalize on the Beatles’ fame at the height of Beatlemania, I don’t think the screaming girls throughout the movie were really acting… 🙂

Anyway, with this movie in mind, I’ve created a poll devoted to the Beatle movies. Personally, I would probably vote for both Help! and A Hard Day’s Night as my favorites, but I’d love to see how others vote. Enjoy!

My Top 10 Favorite Movies

The Beatles while filming Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles while filming Magical Mystery Tour

I know this list won’t be strictly Beatle-related, but I felt like I had to do it at some point. I’m not really into movies the same way I’m into music, but I do enjoy a lot of movies, mostly comedies, and thought I’d share some of my favorites with you! There are a couple of Beatle-related movies on here as well. 🙂

10. Elf
I thought about not including this since it’s a Christmas movie, but a good movie is a good movie, regardless of the season. Anyway, I absolutely love this movie! I saw it it in the theaters when I was young, and ever since I’ve been entranced by its charm. I really don’t know how anyone could dislike this movie, unless they can’t stand Will Ferrell. Whom I love dearly, so that’s not an issue for me. 🙂

9. Stranger than Fiction
I first watched this back in January when my friend recommended good Will Ferrell movies for me to watch. As soon as I saw this, I was hooked. The story is fascinating and the acting, from Ferrell to Emma Thompson to Dustin Hoffman to Maggie Gyllenhaal, is phenomenal. Also, for a movie not based on a book, the screenplay is fantastic. Not that many people know about it, but it’s a great movie that makes you laugh, cry a little, and contemplate life.

8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Though I’m a huge Python fan, I’ve actually only seen this entire movie once. That said, I think it’s one of the most brilliant comedies ever made. I don’t think I’ve laughed harder at a movie from start to finish ever than I did at this movie. This would probably be ranked higher if I’d watched it more than once, but I do love it. A lot.

7. A Hard Day’s Night/Help!
I know in a previous list I separated these two movies, but here, I just can’t. They’re both so great for different reasons, and really I don’t prefer one over the other. I really should just have all of the Beatles movies in this slot.

6. The Sound of Music
I’m definitely a sucker for old fashioned movie-musicals, and this I think is one of the best. Whenever this is on TV, which thankfully is pretty often, I have to watch it and sing along to all of the songs. Julie Andrews has one of the most beautiful singing voices I’ve ever heard, and all of the songs are classics.

5. Forrest Gump
Watching this in my history class recently reminded me just how much I loved this movie, which is why I’ve included it here. I don’t think I need to tell anyone why it’s amazing, but I’ll just echo the masses and say that Tom Hanks is a brilliant actor. This is also one of the only movies that really makes me emotional at the end. It’s visually stunning, emotionally penetrating, and well deserving of its status as a modern classic.

4. George Harrison: Living in the Material World
I hope I’m not cheating by including a documentary on this list, but this one is so amazing that I can’t resist. It’s three and a half hours long, but it never drags. And of course, it’s about my dear George. 🙂
He lived a very interesting life, which lends itself well to a fantastic documentary. I’ve probably watched this 4 or 5 times. By the end, I’m always crying, but always glad I watched it again. I’d recommend this to any music fan or fan of documentaries.

3. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
The third and final Will Ferrell movie on this list, but probably the most well-deserved entry. I first watched this movie in December because of the hype over Anchorman 2, but as soon as I watched it, I understood why so many people love it. It’s absurd, ridiculous, weird, and absolutely hilarious. I tend to like movies with kind of a weird charm anyway, which this definitely has. Here’s hoping there will be an Anchorman 3!

2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
I am a huge fan of movies from the 80s, but this one stands above the rest I’ve seen as a true masterpiece. This is my go-to “snow day/rainy day/boring day” movie, and no matter how many times I see it, I laugh just as hard in all of the same parts. There’s also the memorable scene with Twist and Shout, which of course I love! If you’ve somehow never seen this, you’re missing out. And life moves pretty fast to be missing out on this. 🙂

This pretty much gives it away...

This pretty much gives it away…

1. Field of Dreams
I haven’t seen this in a while, but it’s without a doubt my favorite movie. I first watched it as a 7th grader obsessed only with the Mets and not yet with the Beatles, but as my love for the Beatles and many other things has developed, this has remained my #1 favorite movie. Its story is magical and uplifting in a way that truly distinguishes it as a work of art, and even my friends who aren’t baseball fans love this movie. I definitely need to watch this again soon, and you should, too!

I hope you enjoyed this list! Have a great week!

Oh the weather outside is frightful… But Paul is so delightful!!!

A lovely pic of Paul and Linda singing together!

A lovely pic of Paul and Linda singing together!

So it’s snowing here in NY! School was dismissed early today (hooray!) and I had a few extra hours on my hands, and what do you suppose I decided to do??? Well, after doing some homework, I decided to sit down and watch Rockshow, the 3 hour concert documentary made of Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1976 tour of North America. I honestly can’t imagine a better way to spend a snowy afternoon than sitting in my basement for hours on end watching Paul sing to me via the television, albeit in a movie from 35 years ago.

This was a movie that as a major Beatles and Paul fan, I’d been wanting to watch for a long time, and I was certainly not disappointed! For those expecting a movie with lots of behind-the-scenes footage of the band, this has none of that. It’s just the concert, from beginning to end, but really, shouldn’t that be enough? It’s Paul, for crying out loud. He’s (arguably) the single most entertaining person who has ever lived!

Watching this reminded me of the absolute joy I felt watching Paul onstage live last June, and I loved watching him perform many of the same songs in this movie, like “Lady Madonna” and “Blackbird”, as well as a bunch of Wings songs, that he did when I saw him. It’s definitely not hard to believe it’s the same person; he does the same little Paul things now, like making what I call his “bass-face”, that he did 40 years ago. Paul truly is a natural showman, definitely the best out of the four Beatles, and his love for music shines through in his performing.

I’d also like to add that Paul just looks amazing in this movie. From the mullet which only he can pull off, to the sparkly jacket and pink tie, to the odd but charming shiny pants, to his amazingly perfect, angelic, sexy, raspy voice, he is a bonafide rock star in every sense of the word. Paul is just so perfect at music and life. I felt the need to clap after every song while watching this movie, even though he obviously can’t hear me. I seriously need to meet this man, give him a big hug, and tell him just how much I love him.

So, if you’re wondering what all of this fuss is about, here are a couple of awesome clips from the movie! The first one is of a song not actually written by Paul, but by other Wings member Denny Laine! What I did not realize before watching this movie is that Denny actually has a great voice, though he is a little kooky. And I am obsessed with this version of the song. It’s by far the best version I’ve heard.

This song, “Bluebird,” is I think one of Paul’s most underrated solo songs. It’s really quite lovely, and this version is wonderful. Even after all of the screaming and high-octane rock numbers, Paul always knows how to scale it back vocally for a song like this. That’s why he’s so great!

The reason that I’m including this next song, “Let ‘Em In,” is purely because at 1:03 in the video, Paul clearly says, “Do me a FLAVOR” instead of the actual lyric, “Do me a FAVOR”! I laughed when I heard that. Silly Paulie. 🙂
This song seems pretty easy to learn on the piano, so I may attempt it in the future. I’ll let you all know how that turns out…

Okay, one more video. This one is of “Jet,” one of my absolute favorite Paul songs, and this is what I mean when I’m describing his voice during this concert. Especially during this song, he just sounds so irresistibly sexy! I was practically drooling while watching this at home. And when he does the little “Ooh, she said!” hand gestures… I lost it. Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t grow up in the 70s, for everyone else’s sake…

That’s all for now! I do have an idea for another post, but that may have to wait until tomorrow. Stay fab everyone!

My Official Ranking of the Beatle Movies

I’ve been thinking of doing this post for a while, but for the last few weeks, I’ve had other things to post about, like Paul’s new album and the George tribute concert. But this weekend, there’s nothing notably Beatley going on, so I’ve decided to rank all of the Beatle movies in order from least favorite to favorite. There have been a lot of movies and documentaries made about the Beatles besides the 5 movies that they were actually in, so my ranking consists only of the 5 “official” Beatle movies: A Hard Day’s Night, Yellow Submarine, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, and Let It Be. You may or may not agree with my ranking, but here it is anyway!

5. Let It Be

The famous rooftop concert, immortalized in Let It Be

The famous rooftop concert, immortalized in Let It Be

This choice is a little biased because I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch this movie, so I had to put it last. I’ve heard that there’s some cool footage of the Beatles in this movie, like the rooftop concert at the end, but everything I’ve read about it describes it as basically a documentary of the Beatles’ breakup. I know it’s been over 40 years since they broke up, but I still think it would be really sad to watch their magical bond breaking before my eyes. I just think this is probably the least entertaining out of all the Beatle movies, so that is why it’s my least favorite.

4. Magical Mystery Tour

A gorgeous shot of the Beatles while filming Magical Mystery Tour

A gorgeous shot of the Beatles while filming Magical Mystery Tour

This movie is really, REALLY, weird! It has no plot and is basically just the Beatles doing weird, silly things with some other people in tow for a little over an hour. Despite this, I love it. It’s just so random that it seems almost intentional, and the songs in it are great. Paul was the Beatle who spearheaded the whole project, and while I concur that this wasn’t his best idea ever, I think this movie is an important part of the Beatles’ story.

3. Yellow Submarine

A cool picture of the Beatles doing press for Yellow Submarine

A cool picture of the Beatles doing press for Yellow Submarine

I’ve only seen this movie once, and not in a while, but I remember that it made me deliriously happy for some reason. I think I was tricked by the colorful animation and weird, trippy sequences. The animators must have taken a lot of LSD while making this movie. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful animated movie and very fun and entertaining to watch. I’d recommend it to anybody who likes the Beatles or cartoons, which from my life experience is basically everybody.

2. A Hard Day’s Night

An iconic shot from A Hard Day's Night

An iconic shot from A Hard Day’s Night

Choosing between A Hard Day’s Night and Help! for my favorite Beatle movie was extremely difficult. It felt like choosing between two of my children. But in the end, I put A Hard Day’s Night at #2, but just barely. In reality, I like it just as much as Help!, but for non Beatles fans, I’d recommend Help! over A Hard Day’s Night.
Anyway, I have watched this movie many times, but every time I watch it is just as entertaining as the first time. I love so many things about it: the snarky comebacks from John, the adorable chase scenes between the Beatles and the police, the “live” performances, the absolutely priceless scene with John playing in the bathtub and George in a t-shirt staring intensely into the bathroom mirror, the clever British humor throughout… I could go on and on. It’s perfect. I am in love with this movie!

1. Help!

Aw, what cuties!!!!

Aw, what cuties!!!!

Here’s why I put Help! above A Hard Day’s Night as my favorite Beatle movie: It’s not a “mockumentary” like A Hard Day’s Night. It’s not an actual documentary like Let It Be. It’s not an animated movie like Yellow Submarine. And it’s certainly not a Beatle-directed semi-debacle like Magical Mystery Tour. It’s just a “normal” movie that happens to star the Beatles, and I think that’s what draws me to it so much. They do play themselves in the movie, but unlike A Hard Day’s Night, they’re in color! Which makes them even more handsome!!! 🙂
I think this movie is also the most Monty Python-esque Beatles movie, which might be another reason why I like it so much. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it’s so absurd, hilarious, and fun! And as a bonus, the Beatles somehow became even better looking here since the last movie they made, which makes this all the more pleasurable for me to watch. This movie is just a ball of laughter, and I think everyone should watch it at least once!

If you haven’t seen any of these movies, it’s time to get your act together and watch one! Or two! Or all five! You won’t regret it, I promise!
Have a wonderful weekend!