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No adjective can adequately convey how huge The Beatles already were on October 16, 1963, when director Richard Lester watched them arrive at London’s Playhouse Theatre and struggle good-naturedly through a fever-pitch crowd of teenage boys, screaming girls, reporters, photographers and news crews.

Inside, he saw them deal with a put-upon BBC radio producer and other clamorous claims on their attention with humour, command and a straightforward lack of pretension. These boys, he thought to himself, were naturals.

Film always interested The Beatles, and Lester was there at the audition to direct their first. ‘We were asked to sniff around each other, like dogs, to see whether we would get on,’ Lester recalls. ‘What came out was that we each knew the kind of film we didn’t want to make.’

A Hard Day’s Night was their first film for one reason: they said no to at least five others. Invitations started arriving in February or March 1963, and each was batted away. As Lennon explained in Melody Maker in June 1963, ‘We prefer to wait until we find a film with a good plot that will hold the interest. Otherwise it might do us more harm than good.’

In Li details

Although she has never been to the capital of Kansas, Louise Harrison said she expects to feel as though she is with loved ones when she appears with the Liverpool Legends, a Beatles tribute band, Sept. 24 at the Topeka Performing Arts Center.

“I always thought that all of the Beatles fans of the world were my extended family,” the 85-year-old sister of the late George Harrison said recently by telephone from a Liverpool Legends tour stop in Chicago. “I very much feel that way when I’m among their thousands of fans.”

Harrison will be with the Liverpool Legends, a tribute act whose members she handpicked and calls “the very best reproduction of a Beatles band that I’ve ever seen,” at the 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 concert in TPAC, 214 S.E. 8th, to share some of her stories about her kid brother, whom she held in her arms hours after his birth at home in Liverpool, England.

“We were all born at home. It was the same midwife that birthed us all,” said Louise Harrison, the eldest sibling and only sister of George Harrison, who had two other brothers. Louise was 11 when George, the youngest of her brothers, was born.

“I helped him learn how to details

Look at this picture of The Beatles performing at the Cavern Club in 1962. What do you notice? The cramped confines of the club? George Harrison’s youthful face, innocent of the onrushing tsunami of global fame? Now look at the audience.

Notice anything missing... boys. The Beatles were not the first performers to appeal to teenage girls – but as an enthralling new film, Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, vividly shows, in their early years the Fab Four brought fan mania to hitherto unknown heights of hysteria.

Mass stage invasions, faintings, hospitalisations – The Beatles were the first boy band, before anyone had thought of the term. The marvellous, timeless songs might also have had something to do with it. By 1966, the clamour around them had become so great that it was impossible for the group to tour.

They retreated into the studio to record Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and a new era had begun. ‘What place,’ Paul was asked on the group’s first American tour in 1964, ‘will The Beatles have in the history of Western culture?’ ‘You must be kidding with that question!’ he replied.

By: Mick Brown

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Documentary films often stir up controversy, but they usually wait until after they’ve started screening to do so – and most of the time, it’s the political or issue-oriented docs that cause a fuss, not films about show business.

But “The Sixth Beatle,” which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday night, is an exception to both those rules.

The film opened with an unusual and lengthy disclaimer stating that author Mark Lewisohn, one of the world’s foremost Beatle historians, felt that “many of the comments” made in the film “allege matters that are factually erroneous.” It went on to say that Lewisohn’s scenes, which are numerous and offer key perspective, would be deleted from the film after TIFF.

In the Q&A that followed the premiere, co-director Tony Guma responded to a question from TheWrap by saying that Lewisohn did a 90-minute interview for the film, but “didn’t like some of the stories” that are told in the film.

“We don’t know specifically what his problems were,” he added. “But we do know that he has been hired in the past by Apple [the B details

I remember well how my love affair with my Beatles started. On school nights, as a teenager, when I should have been asleep, I would instead huddle under a blanket in my bedroom, transistor radio hugging my ear, listening to “white music” on the high wattage WAPE (“Big Ape”) station. By day, meanwhile, I lived a rhythm and blues life in my all-black community in Jacksonville, Florida, in the segregated American South. It was a time of racial apartheid and turbulent resistance that was peaking in the 1960s. Through movies and television I was glimpsing a larger world of racial possibilities. I was a misfit teenager, ripe for change.

And then, during one of those nighttime rituals, I heard the Beatles wailing “I wanna hold your haaaand….”

I found out that they were young – from England of all places, so, surely they weren’t really white. Their songs had a forceful, funky dance beat and vocal swirls like the singers blasting from our record players and the local “black” radio station. They were brash and unafraid to break rules, fitting right into the times – at least as far as I was concerned. In addition, they had working class roots that se details

What do you think of when you hear the name John Lennon? He’s an icon and an innovator, but he is so much more and has created a legacy that will last for the ages, both with The Beatles and in his solo career.

Without him, so many songs would have gone unwritten and music history would be drastically different. His 1971 album Imagine is just like him, a moving piece of artistry punctuated with famous singles and strong messages that are a testament to history.

Before even talking about the music on the album, I have to first talk about the man behind the songs. Lennon is one of the greatest musicians of his time. His abilities shone when he was with The Beatles, co-writing many classics with Paul McCartney. After the band broke up between 1969 and 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career.

Imagine, his second solo album, was released in 1971, with massive social upheaval from the ‘60’s coming to a close but still prominent enough that major themes carried over into the message of many tracks.

The overall tone leans towards almost bitterness throughout the album, about both the tensions between Lennon and McCartney at the time and antiwar sentiments. It may be hard to reach, as it details

George Harrison ‘I Me Mine’ Book Expanded - Thursday, September 08, 2016

Described in a press announcement as “the closest we will come to George Harrison‘s autobiography,” Genesis Publications is issuing I Me Mine – The Extended Edition, which now spans the length of Harrison’s lifelong work in music, told in his words. The new book encompasses 141 songs, lyric sheets and photos – many unpublished until now. The expanded version is being released on October 4 in the U.K. and October 18 in the U.S.

I Me Mine was originally published in 1980. It took its name from a Harrison composition on The Beatles‘ Let It Be album and is said to be the final track recorded by the group.

“Writing a song is like going to confession… writing songs to try and find out, to see who you are.” – George Harrison in I Me Mine –

The Extended Edition In conversation with his friend and former Beatles press officer Derek Taylor, and in a first-person commentary that accompanies his songs, Harrison’s own words recount everything from his upbringing in Liverpool, to early Beatlemania and his spirituality and philosophy.

I Me Mine – The Extended Edition documents Harrison’s songwriting from 1963 to 2001.

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A new feature film is taking a deep dive into the tragedy on Dec. 8, 1980 that took the lives of one of the world’s most iconic songwriters. The Lennon Report -- in theaters and on demand Oct. 7 -- gives a dramatic look at what transpired behind the scenes when John Lennon was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital.

That night, it just so happened a young news producer (played by Walter Vincent) was at Roosevelt after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident. Once he realizes the identity of the shooting victim beside him, it’s clear he’s got an awfully big story on his hands. In the brand new trailer, the filmmaker attempts to get word out while the hospital staff tries to keep it under wraps and save Lennon’s life.

Richard Kind plays the emergency department’s director and Tony award winner Stephen Spinella plays its vascular surgeon, both tasked with trying to keep the former Beatle alive, while the rest of the staff deals with the deluge of press and frenzied fans. Adrienne C. Moore plays Dr. Pamela Roberts and David Mayas portrays Security Officer Medina.

The film was written by Walter Vincent and director Jeremy Profe and produced by Gabriel and Rafael Francisco.

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In 1965 The Beatles played New York's Shea Stadium, and no one could hear a thing. Now the film of the show has been polished to 4K perfection and the sound revived, and it's amazing...

The documentary film of The Beatles' Shea Stadium show has never been officially released on video or DVD, but has been given a serious lick of paint to accompany Ron Howard's Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years movie. Here's what we learned.

1. The noise is intense

It might be stating the bleedin' obvious, but the noise created by 55,000 screaming girls and their presumably perplexed guardians is enormous, especially when it's pumped through a cinema PA. Like a swarm of bees engaged in a fight with another swarm of bees. At an airport. As the Space Shuttle departs.

2. The band look bemused

In these days of stadium tours and outdoor festivals it's easy to take big crowds for granted, but back in 1965 this was all new. And, for the most part, the band look somewhat bewildered as utter carnage unfolds in front of them. 3. No one claps At the end of each song the screaming rises to a new crescendo, but there's very little actual applause. And the overhead shots that sweep the crowd don't show people w details

Rocker helps Beatles fans Imagine John - Saturday, September 03, 2016

It helps if you look like him, but anyone thinking about presenting himself as John Lennon on stage better have the chops to go with resemblance. Carm Castiglione knows that rule well. There are Beatles fans, and then there are Lennon fans and they don’t suffer fools gladly.

Lennon wasn’t just a voice for his generation, even in death he’s been a voice of following generations as well. So don’t hit the stage with a set of round glasses and the notes to Imagine. There’s a lot more to it than that. “I’m a fan of each Beatle. I like every Beatle,” Castiglione said. “I just started doing John Lennon a year ago. I think everything happens for a reason and I think the time is right to do this now. It doesn’t hurt the fact that I look like him and I really love his songs. John Lennon’s music really resonated with me. I’m also a composer and I find that John Lennon’s music has its dark side and I can relate to that.”

Castiglione will be performing at the first London Beatles Festival Sept. 23-25 at London Public Library’s Wolf Performance Hall and various other downtown venues.

“It’s one thing to try to sound li details

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