I Finally Saw The Beatles On The Big Screen!

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One of the biggest news events in Beatle-land this year has been the recent release of the Ron Howard documentary about the Beatles’ touring years, entitled The Beatles: Eight Days A Week. As I have mentioned before, it’s been a dream of mine for years to go see a Beatles movie in the theaters and pretend I’m a fan from the 1960s seeing A Hard Days Night upon its release.

I tried to do that back in 2012, when a documentary called The Beatles: The Lost Concert was scheduled for wide release in theaters. This documentary (supposedly) captured the frenzy of the Beatles’ first concert in North America, which occurred in Washington D.C. on February 11, 1964. Unfortunately, it was never released in theaters due to copyright issues. When I learned of its canceled release, I was heartbroken, but I never stopped believing that perhaps one day another Beatles documentary would find its way to a theater near me.

I first heard about The Beatles: Eight Days A Week over the summer, and even after watching the official trailer on the Beatles’ YouTube channel and visiting the movie’s website, I still sort of thought it was too good to be true. I reserved mild hope that I’d be able to see this movie, but I figured that my efforts to see the Beatles on the big screen and learn new Beatles trivia would be thwarted once again.

However, as events fell into place, the stars aligned, and my prayers were answered, I actually was able to see this movie at a theater near my school just a few weeks ago! I was so excited at the prospect of seeing 90 minutes of remastered Beatles footage and audio, and the movie definitely exceeded my giddily high expectations.

At this point in my Beatles fandom, I’ve read and watched so much about them that it’s difficult for me to be shocked by any aspect of their narrative. And yet I continue indulging in Beatles-related releases like this movie because I am always amazed at their magical story. The Beatles’ rise to success in the 1960s is a remarkable tale, filled with astounding chart domination, incredibly concentrated musical output, and incalculable influence on the culture of their era. I keep coming back to Beatles movies, articles, and programs because I revel in hearing about how they took the world by storm and altered the whole concept of rock music and success for a band. It’s infectious and endlessly fascinating.

Back to the movie at hand, it certainly did not blow my mind with a wholly new perspective on the Beatles’ touring years. However, it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie-watching experience for a Beatles fan. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of backstage footage that I had somehow never come across on YouTube or television. These clips emphasized that the Beatles really were a hilarious four-headed monster, at least in their early days. The movie also detailed a few points about the Beatles’ stops in specific areas of which I was not previously aware.

These included a 1964 Beatles concert in Florida that they flatly refused to perform unless they sang to an unsegregated crowd. Though the Beatles were from England, they were very conscious of the racial tensions present in the US at the time and took this opportunity to maintain their belief that any form of segregation was morally wrong and unacceptable to them. This isn’t really a huge spoiler, but I previously had no idea that the venue actually agreed to unsegregate the seating for that particular concert so the Beatles would still perform,  which helped set a precedent for unsegregated concert venues in that and surrounding areas.

This movie also focuses a lot on the difficulties that the Beatles faced during their rise to worldwide acclaim through their tours. I was not wholly aware of the actual danger that they were in just entering a building or driving around. There were many clips of near-riots on streets all over the world that stemmed from the Beatles’ arrival in that particular city. This is a helpful reminder for aspiring musicians that the only sustainable reason to become a musician is because you deeply love music, not because you want to be famous. I am always in awe of the immense scope of Beatlemania in the mid 1960s, but it certainly was not all good days and sunshine.

Despite all of this, I would trade just about anything to spend one day experiencing the height of Beatlemania. However, seeing this movie in the theaters is probably the next best thing. The Beatles: Eight Days A Week may not be groundbreaking, but honestly, barring some huge, covered-up scandal I don’t know about, it is difficult for any new Beatles project to be groundbreaking. What I absolutely love about the release of this movie is how it contributes to keeping the Beatles’ music and story alive in today’s generation. As long as there is the occasional Beatles-related project or musical re-release, I’ll have confidence that they will remain eminent figures in cultural lore.

A Beatles Buzzfeed Bonanza

The Beatles circa 1964, likely taking one of the Buzzfeed quizzes posted below... :)

The Beatles circa 1964, likely taking one of the Buzzfeed quizzes posted below… 🙂

 

Today I’ve decided to combine two of my favorite things, the Beatles and Buzzfeed quizzes, into one post. I confess that I, like many of you I’m sure, occasionally find myself taking random quizzes on Buzzfeed just to entertain myself and pass the time. They are definitely addicting, especially when there are a whole bunch of Buzzfeed quizzes related to a topic I enjoy, like Harry Potter, Parks and Rec, theater, vegetables, and of course, the Beatles. I’ve come across many fun Beatles buzzfeed quizzes and articles over the years, and I will compile some of them for you in this post! Enjoy!

How Well Do You Know The Beatles?

I thought this one was laughably easy, in that I actually laughed out loud because I knew each one right away. Nevertheless, it’s a good quiz to make you feel like you haven’t tried that hard but still know everything about the Beatles.

Which Beatle Are You?

This quiz is not quite as straightforward as you may initially think… Instead of just the four Beatles as the four possible answers, you also have the option of being a Beatle in a certain period of their existence. For example, I got “Late 60s Paul McCartney,” although I’m pretty sure I once got “Psychedelic George Harrison” as my answer. Perhaps I put a different favorite pattern in the beginning this time, I don’t know. Honestly there’s no wrong answer for this one! (unless you get Pete Best or something, I’m so sorry if you did)

Can You Guess The Beatles Song From Its Opening Lyric?

Thankfully I got 21/21 on this one, but some of it was a bit tricky! I found myself singing most of the lyrics in my head as I read them, which made it much easier to guess the associated song title. This is a slightly more intermediate level Beatles quiz than the first quiz I posted, so if you’re feeling confident in your Beatles fandom after taking that one, go for this one next!

How Big Of A Beatles Fan Are You?

Okay, this quiz is hard. I got 18/20, and some of the ones I got right were complete guesses. This is definitely one of the hardest Beatles trivia quizzes I’ve taken. I am now a humbled Beatles fan who fully admits that she does not know everything about them. But it’s okay because now I realize that I have more random Beatles facts to learn! Yay learning!

19 Things Only Beatles Fans Will Find Funny

Finally, this is not a quiz, but it is a compilation of amusing Beatles-related GIFs, pictures, memes, etc. It is glorious. Enjoy!

I have a couple of ideas for what I could post next, but if any of you have suggestions about a post I should do, please comment below! Thank you!

 

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. 🙂

Beatles Song Of The Week: “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

So, I didn’t end up having time today to do my top 10 solo Beatles albums, but seeing as this week is going to be a HUGE week in Beatleland, I thought I’d kick it off by posting the song that basically started Beatlemania in America.

This song was #1 when the Beatles arrived in America on February 7th, 1964, and since then it’s been a perennial favorite among critics and Beatle fans alike. While it’s not my favorite early Beatles song, I do concede that it is a fantastic and surprisingly intricate song. The opening guitar riff is great and the harmonies between Paul and John are just brilliant. As with many Beatles songs, there’s a lot more going on than meets the ear. I also love how innocent this song is in reality; I mean, how many songs about love today would end with just handholding??? You know what I mean! 🙂
So, enjoy this song, enjoy the Beatles, and enjoy the week! I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be posting next weekend, but I guarantee that it will be fab!

Congratulations Paul for FIVE Grammys!!!

I'm so glad they performed together!!! :)

I’m so glad they performed together!!! 🙂

So I know this post is about a week late, but I just wanted to acknowledge that Paul won a total of 5 Grammys last Sunday!!! In case you care, here they all are:
Best Rock Song- Cut Me Some Slack (with Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, and Krist Novoselic)
Best Music Film- Live Kisses
Best Surround Sound Album- Live Kisses
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package- Wings Over America
Best Compilation Soundtrack- Sound City (in which he was involved with “Cut Me Some Slack”)

The Beatles also received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, although I can’t quite figure out why they didn’t win it sooner. Anyway, although I didn’t watch most of the Grammys, I did enjoy watching all of the segments with Paul, Ringo, or even better, BOTH OF THEM TOGETHER!!! Here are some clips from the show if you are interested.

Paul accepting the award for “Best Rock Song” with Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, and Krist Novoselic

I think it’s funny that Paul barely says anything in the acceptance speech. I guess he wanted to give Dave the spotlight, which was pretty considerate and humble of him.

Ringo performing “Photograph”

I don’t know why the critics thought this was boring and a waste of time. Is Ringo the exciting showman that Paul is? Well, no. But is the song great and a well-acknowledged classic? Yes!

And now… The best part of the entire show! Paul AND Ringo performing together on one of Paul’s NEW songs, “Queenie Eye”!
http://mashable.com/2014/01/26/ringo-paul-mccartney-grammys/
I couldn’t find a good video of this on Youtube, so just scroll down here for the video. Obviously, this was by far my favorite moment of the show. I sort of wish they did more than one song, but I guess that’s what the Ed Sullivan special is for!!! Next weekend is sure to be a great weekend, what with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and all, so be on the lookout for some celebratory posts!

Well, needless to say, overall the Grammys this year made me very happy! I think I will do a post about my top 10 solo Beatles albums tomorrow. Enjoy the weekend!

2013: I’m looking through you, where did you go???

Oh my gosh, this is so adorable! I love them so much!!!

Oh my gosh, this is so adorable! I love them so much!!!

Wow. I can’t believe I’ve actually been running this blog for a whole year now. This year absolutely flew by, and I can’t believe I have been fortunate enough to see both Paul McCartney and Elton John live in the last 6 months. I definitely did not see that coming last January! I hope that this blog has brought some people entertainment and smiles, because that’s what the Beatles bring to me! 🙂

What I think is so wonderful about having a blog related to something you love is that it gives you the opportunity to express that love to the world however you want, whenever you want. It’s a wonderful thing to have this pastime, and I truly have enjoyed every second I’ve spent blogging. If anyone is hesitating about starting a blog, I would highly recommend that they go ahead and do it. I’ve found that blogging is very therapeutic and relaxing for me, and I’m sure the same goes for others as well. As I said when I started this, I wasn’t sure whether I’d have enough to write about the Beatles to carry a whole blog, but clearly that hasn’t been a problem because I’m still going. And my obsession with Elton John has helped that out a bit as well… Thanks Elton for providing additional blogging material. Not that you’re actually reading this. 🙂

If this is at all possible, I love the Beatles an infinite amount of times more now than I did even a year ago, and I was a pretty big fan back then already. While writing about them, I’ve found that my love for them is so much deeper than just enjoying their music and fawning over their good looks from 50 years ago. There’s something deeper with the Beatles and their music that makes them so timeless, and I think it’s that they showed a genuine understanding of what music is all about: putting abstract thoughts and feelings into songs that people will listen to again and again.

Perhaps this is why after the umpteenth time listening to Revolver or Rubber Soul, I always find something new to think about, because I interpret each song differently every time. There’s so much depth to the Beatles in the character and personality of each band member that gets translated into their music, and I greatly admire their work ethic and drive to push themselves musically. They are a perfect example of how people should always look to improve themselves and their work, no matter how great they think they are.

I also think that there is a certain pure beauty in the Beatles’ music that I find applies to most of the artists I like. Not everything is perfectly executed in every song, but there is always an intent behind each one to create something beautiful and an understanding of how to do so, and I respect that their music is not just slickly produced noise, it’s genuine, honest art.

I feel like I’ve rambled a lot, so now I’d like to share a cover the Beatles did on Live at the BBC that I’m currently listening to while I type this. It’s so beautiful, and they didn’t even write it, but they perform it so amazingly that I just have to share it here. I just love how John, Paul, and George’s voices sound together on this one, with John singing so tenderly on lead vocal and George and Paul providing some gorgeous backing harmonies. There’s so much heart and soul put into this that always makes me emotional, and if you listen to it, I think you’ll understand why.

I’ve tried to vary the content and format of my blog posts by switching things up and not always starting each post with a pretty picture of George Harrison, though I always want to, but if you have any suggestions on something I could do better, I’d appreciate any feedback. I think I might start doing a “Beatles Song of the Week” or something like that, but other than that I don’t have too many ideas. I will definitely continue blogging as regularly as I can this year, and I greatly appreciate each and every one of the over 7,000 views I’ve received. Is that a lot? Not really. But does that discourage me from trying to reach more people? NO! 🙂

I’ve very excited for this upcoming month, because there will be a couple of televised tributes to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America about which I will surely be blogging. I hope that everyone who reads this blog has grown to love the Beatles, or just life in general, a little more because of it.
Have a great first full week in 2014!

You Know You’re a Beatlemaniac… Part 6!

This is what I wrote on the wall outside Abbey Road Studios. Short, sweet, and to the point.

This is what I wrote on the wall outside Abbey Road Studios. Short, sweet, and to the point.

Yes, I have brought this back! It’s taken a while, but I have come up with a plethora of Beatlemaniacism symptoms to share with you! Some of these I honestly can’t believe apply to me, but they all do. So, without further ado…

You know you’re a Beatlemaniac if:

– You thought, for quite a while, that the Hofner violin bass played famously by Paul McCartney was the only type of bass guitar in existence.
– You and your friends are STILL quoting the SNL sketch from last December that featured Paul and Martin Short.
– If you’re out somewhere where there’s a DJ and you have the opportunity to request a Beatles song, you always take that opportunity.
– You occasionally tear up out of the blue at the thought of George not being in this world any longer. All things must pass, but George will live forever in your heart!
– Hearing the news that the royal baby’s name was George made you VERY happy!
– You lie in bed at night listening to the Beatle Christmas messages just to silently fangirl over their adorable voices and hilarious antics even though it’s nowhere near Christmas. It’s never too early to start celebrating!
– When you’re listening to their music, you get so into it and lost in Beatleland that you sometimes actually forget where you are.
– You pay extra attention to a conversation if you hear that someone’s name is John, Paul, or George. But let’s face it, NO ONE is named Ringo besides Ringo himself!
– You listen to Beatles music for nearly the entire duration of long plane rides or car trips to keep yourself entertained.
– You are a Beatles completest who must own every version of every song they ever recorded, ever.
– Your name on Doodle Jump and other assorted apps is something along the lines of, “#1 George fan”.
– Even though you’re a girl, you wish that you could sing like the Beatles. If I had Paul McCartney’s golden voice, I would thank my lucky stars every single day.
– Your ultimate, probably-never-going-to-happen dream job is to start an all-girls Beatle tribute band. But it might help if you learned how to play guitar first…
– You’ve memorized every note of every Beatles guitar solo and insist on singing along to all of them.
– You freak out when the Beatles are randomly mentioned in museum exhibits. Yes, it does happen. I was with my family at Kensington Palace this summer and they had an special exhibit devoted to the fashion of the royal ladies of the past 50 years. There was a video showing Princess Margaret wearing some pretty frock and meeting the Beatles that was being shown on repeat, and it took me about 10 minutes to leave that room.
– You also freak out when there’s an SAT practice question about the Beatles and how the large majority of people consider them to be the greatest band of all time. Wow. If this happened on the actual SATs, I would probably be very distracted and disoriented, so maybe it’s better that most SAT questions are not Beatle-related.
– You have emotional (well, emotional on your side) conversations with your teachers when they comment on something Beatle-related you’re wearing or that you’ve written.
– You say, “Good day Sunshine!” every time you see your neighborhood cat, whose name just so happens to be Sunshine!
– You’ve considered simplifying things at Christmas by asking for Paul McCartney. Just Paul McCartney under the tree, maybe with a festive bow. That’s all you really want.
– You love finding pictures of the Beatles doing random, normal human things like washing their hands, playing with their kids, eating (preferably fish and chips), or driving. It makes them seem less like gods and more like actual people to you.
– You will insist to your future spouse that one of your kids is named at least partially after a Beatle, whether with a first or middle name. I love the name Gavin, for some reason, so how about Gavin Paul for a young lad? George Eric? John Elton?
Okay, maybe not John Elton, because when little John has to write his last name first and his first name last, it will read “Elton, John.” And you would never put that kind of artistic pressure on a young kid. It wouldn’t be fair.
🙂

That’s all for now. Enjoy the rest of the weekend! I will try to review Elton John’s new album, “The Diving Board,” tomorrow! Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!