As the Beatles shot to fame in the early sixties, they continued touring at a breakneck pace. This hectic period extended from their first gig at The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their final official performance in Candlestick Park, San Francisco in 1966. The surviving members muse on the frenzied insanity of those years and help explain why the band finally decided to stop performing live, and focus instead on their next album: 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Audio recordings of the band in studio sessions reinforce the genius of these young musicians as they keep pumping out instant classics.
Filmmaker Howard captures the euphoric madness of Beatlemania with archival footage of concerts, press conferences and backstage moments. The band members are, as always, cheekily witty and the music sounds amazing, thanks to re-mastering by way of George Martin’s son Giles. We get to watch the lads from Liverpool riff together, and also get a sense of the era as the group steadfastly refuses to play before a segregated crowd in Florida. Ideal double bill for a rainy day: this and “A Hard Day’s Night”!