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.

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What’s happening in Paul McCartney/Elton John Land

I. Love. Them. :)

I. Love. Them. 🙂

So, this past week there has been a lot going on with two of my favorite musicians, Paul McCartney and Elton John! First, both of them performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas last weekend, and while I was not in attendance, I loved watching both of them perform via a live online stream! They were fantastic as always and performed many awesome songs, two of which I will share with you in this post!
Here’s Elton John doing a rousing rendition of Tiny Dancer on Day 1 of the festival:

And here’s Paul McCartney performing a great song, “Save Us”, off of his new album on Day 2! I cannot wait for this album to come out in October!

I loved watching the Emmys this past Sunday, because not only did my favorite actor, Jim Parsons, take home another award, but Elton John also performed! He did a “tribute” to Liberace, which was nice except that it seemed more like a plug for his new single, “Home Again”, than a tribute to a fallen musical legend. Oh well, he was great anyway and I love the song!

So after that, Paul made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Monday night, giving a hilarious interview and performing a free concert on Hollywood Blvd for 10,000 lucky fans! I watched that as well, and Paul amazed me with his unbelievable talent as he always does. Here’s Paul performing his new single, “New”, from that concert!

I also enjoyed watching Elton John’s appearance on the Ellen show on Wednesday. Here’s a funny clip of him talking to Ellen about Miley Cyrus’s controversial performance at the VMAs this year. He is just hilarious!

So I didn’t think this week could get any better, but then it did! I had been not-so-subtly dropping hints to my family that I really wanted to get tickets to one of Elton John’s upcoming concerts at Madison Square Garden in December. Well, just as I was writing down instructions to my parents about how to get the online presale tickets, my dad informed me that via the Chase Pre-Presale, they had already gotten two tickets to his concert on December 3rd!!!! That’s right folks, I’m going to an Elton John concert!!! YAY!!!!!! I’m so excited!!!! Thanks mom and dad! 🙂
I honestly can’t believe that we’ve been able to obtain tickets to see not one, but TWO Sirs in one year! What incredible luck! In honor of this amazing situation, I’m planning on posting my top 10 favorite Elton John songs tomorrow!
Have a great weekend!

Paul McCartney’s “New” Song!

This week, as I was tuned in to the 12:00 Beatle Block on Q 104.3, I heard something that caught me completely off guard. They reported that Paul McCartney had just released a new single, entitled, rather appropriately, “New”, and that his new album was coming out on October 14th in the UK and October 15th in the US! I knew that Paul was making a new album, but I had no idea about this new song! What a wonderful surprise for a Beatles/McCartney fanatic like me!
And so I thought I’d share this song and my thoughts on it here on my blog. Here you go!

My first thought when I first listened to this song was, “IT’S BEATLE PAUL!!!! HE’S BACK!!!” Not that he ever left, of course, but this song is so wonderfully Beatlesque that I practically jumped for joy when I heard it. It’s so bouncy and happy, and I’m almost certain that wrote the lyrics with his wife Nancy in mind. There’s definitely a lot of Penny Lane in there, with some Got To Get You Into My Life and Fixing A Hole for good measure. And yet it doesn’t sound retro, but instead it sounds fresh and modern. I love how Paul continues to reinvent himself with every song and album he releases, and as long as he keeps loving to make music, it will show in his songs.
As much as I love George, nothing makes me quite as instantly happy as hearing Paul’s voice, and it’s awesome that he’s going strong after all these years. He is still a relevant musician, he can still write amazing songs, and he still rocks! I can’t wait for the album in October! I LOVE PAUL!!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEORGE HARRISON!!!

George celebrating his 21st birthday in 1964, all those years ago...

George celebrating his 21st birthday in 1964, all those years ago…

In case you were wondering, February 24th is George’s actual birthday, although he and most of the world thought it was February 25th for most of his life. However, he eventually found out that he was born at 11:50 PM on the 24th. Only George Harrison could have a birthday that spans 2 days!
So, today is the birthday of George Harrison: the Quiet Beatle, the Dark Horse, and my favorite Beatle! I’m celebrating today by wearing my All Things Must Pass shirt, and the only way that I see fit to commemorate what would have been George’s 70th birthday is to make a list of all the reasons why I love him. You’ll see that it’s a VERY long list!

Why I Love George Harrison:
– Let’s just get this out of the way… He is the single most beautiful person who has ever lived, inside and out! No one else even comes close. If there were a “best looking male celebrity of all time” contest, he should win, hands down! And after viewing my post from yesterday with multiple Georgeous pictures, how can you disagree?
– He was an outstandingly skilled guitar player with such a unique touch that I only need to hear 1 or 2 notes of his slide guitar to know it’s him.
– He seems like he was a wonderful father to Dhani, and it shows, because Dhani is so much like George!
– He had the thickest and most natural Liverpudlian scouser accent of the four Beatles. Thank you veddy much.
– He was hilarious and witty and so naturally funny! This led to some fantastic music videos, like Crackerbox Palace and This Song in 1976, which was definitely one of his best years, music and looks-wise.
– He was a huge fan of Monty Python and saved the franchise by funding Life of Brian, which I watched for the first time last night… I couldn’t stop laughing! It’s just as good as Holy Grail! And George appeared in it for about 10 seconds!
– He wasn’t really “the Quiet one,” as his sister can attest.
– He frequently changed his hairstyles throughout the years. Variety and George Harrison are the spices of life!
– His last words were, “Love one another.”
– He initiated the whole relief rock concert thing with the Concert for Bangladesh. Without him, there would be no Concert for Sandy, or Concert for George!
– He had a wonderful smile that lit up the world, and still lights up my computer/iPod screen…
– He was the only Beatle, in my opinion, to truly benefit from the breakup and improve musically because of it. All Things Must Pass = Best solo Beatle album BY FAR!
– He loved gardening, race cars, and Monopoly, among other things.
– He, at one point, looked like Jesus.
– He was not afraid to write songs about the Lord or experiment with the sitar and Indian music. In that respect, he was truly an innovator.
– He skiied like a boss and saved the day in Help!, while rocking a top hat better than Abe Lincoln himself.
– His singing on the 1965 Christmas record… There are no words. The weirdy high, warbly voice in the beginning and at 5:28… Yeah, that’s George doing funny voices!!!

– He kept his cool in the face of all the Beatlemania madness, never letting fame go to his head.
– He wrote great songs with the Beatles BEFORE Something and Here Comes The Sun. While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Taxman, anyone? Or, even earlier, Don’t Bother Me and I Need You? Exactly.
– He rocked those striped pants on the Smothers Brothers show in 1968 like no one else could. Not to mention that fabulous ruffled shirt. Oh my George.

– He could dance rather well, on stage and off. Check out A Hard Day’s Night and the video below for proof. The George Harrison Shuffle should be patented!

– He basically founded the Traveling Wilburys, and because of them, well it’s aaaallll right, we’re going to the end of the line!
– He attended Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd’s wedding. Why, I don’t know. I guess he had a lot of room to forgive in his heart.
– He was great friends with Eric Idle and knew Paul McCartney for almost 50 years.
– He had an extraordinary sense of style. George and Pattie are my fashion inspirations. I need an orange sweater like the one he wore in the Revolution video!
– He seems like he was a genuinely sweet, loving, and caring person to know. I’ve never read one bad thing about him from someone who knew him well.
– He loved to eat! There are tons of pictures and a funny video on Youtube of him stuffing his face with food. I can only hope that I look that good eating…
– He started the Material World Foundation, which is still going strong!
– He has transcended generations. Millions of people today, including me, still love him for being so special, unique, spiritual, and lovely.
– He manages to simultaneously make me sad and cheer me up. Just hearing a certain song of his, or even a note of his guitar playing, can make my eyes gently weep. At the same time, he’s the person who makes me smile more than anyone else. An appropriate emotional response to such a complicated man, I think.
– He had the most luxuriously wavy Beatle hair for sure! I wonder what shampoo he used… I’d love to make my hair that sleek and shiny!
– He realized that there was more to life than material things at a young age, and spent most of his life searching for the truth.
– According to Beatleology, he is my inner Beatle, the one I’m most like! I knew there was a reason I like him so much! We’re a lot alike!
– He gave Tom Petty multiple ukuleles at once for no reason whatsoever other than to be nice. Hey, you never know when they might come in handy!
– He didn’t let a hoarse voice stop him from touring the U.S. in 1974, as the “Dark Hoarse/Horse.”
– He had such a unique, gentle, soothing speaking and singing voice that always puts me at ease.
– He released great music consistently up until his death in 2001, and even his posthumously released album Brainwashed is so good that I can only imagine what else he had up his sleeve.

There are more, but I don’t want this to drag on forever. Besides, I think you get the picture. George is amazing and wonderful and I love him. If I could have one wish, it would be for him to be alive. And if I ever met him, the first thing I’d say would be, “I LOVE YOU!!! You’re such an inspiration! Thanks for the beautiful music!” So, one more happy birthday to my sweet George!!! You rock Georgie!!! Hare Krishna to all!!!