[mov] The Beatles – Eight Days A Week – Touring Years (2016)

Eight Days A Week

Eight Days A Week

I have written three articles about Beatles. Two for their previous documentary, Anthology (here and here). The last one was in 2014, 50 years after the famous Ed-Sullivan show (here). And after watching this documentary, it is fascinating that I still can find interesting thing to share in this article.

First, I just realised Beatles was probably the birth of youth culture. Nowadays, it is usual that a singer or a song is famous all around the world. Thanks to media and Youtube. But at 1960s, it was phenomenal that a rock band from Liverpool was, within two year span, attracting huge mass of youth in  Europe, US, Southern Hemisphere (Australia), until Asia (Manila and Japan).

Their concert in Shea Stadium was attended by 55,600 people! In Japan, they created controversy since their show was hosted in Budokan Hall, that’s used to host famous traditional sport. Ed Sullivan show was watched live by 73 millions viewers around the world.

Second, I just realised  they were very young during the touring years. And yet, the intensity of work and stress they needed to face was incredible.. They were  23-25 years old. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book (The Outliers, my review here), it was estimated that Beatles has performed so many hours together. That contributed to the level of their musical and song writing ability. While concert was typically 2-3 hours, Beatles perform long hours (at least 8 hours) daily during the Hamburg years. And in this documentary, they were like almost everyday on the road to do concerts.

And the society at that time was so different than what we have now. In US, there’s still segregation policy based on the skin color. And Beatles needed to decide their ‘policy’ on this (they refuse to play on concert with segregated seats). They also had to deal with the fact that no musician has ever played in big stadium. There was no sound system strong enough at that time. And when they played, they couldn’t hear anything about the sound came out from their equipment. As Ringo mentioned, he just played by memorizing the time and guessing based on the body language of the three men in front of him.

This documentary really show how close John-Paul-George-Ringo were. They needed that to face the public, the pressure.

Personally still think that they’re the greatest musicians I’ve ever known. An interesting quote from this movie is about how Beatles has produces lots of great songs. If we trace back, before them, who wrote more than one hundred great musics, you will arrive at Schubert-Mozart era.

Verdict : Perhaps will not that much interesting for viewers who do not know about Beatles. But Beatles fan will definitely enjoy this.

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