Becoming famous is besmirched as easy and frivolous these days. In a world full of reality stars, vloggers with millions of subscribers, and viral videos giving the everyman 15 seconds of fame, it doesn’t take much to be a sensation. It’s so subconscious to the current population and the concept of being famous has changed dramatically at an increasing rate.
Although musicians are still front and center of our pop-culture, they’re being overshadowed by the faces of the Internet, unless they become one themselves. Something John, Paul, George, and Ringo never had to worry about. The 4 young boys from Liverpool were practically the only faces to be seen around the world in the 60s. Everyone was struck by Beatlemania.
Watching Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, the overwhelming roar of screams that made up the soundtrack to the Beatles lives becomes surprisingly more prominent than their iconic music. The documentary shows a journey over 4 years of the boys’ life at the start of their career which really was a non-stop journey around the world playing to masses of worshipping crowds.
The film stays on a Beatles tour, beginning right at the first wave of fame and ending at their very last live performance together. It’s an unexpected short run but it changed the 4 band members phenomenally. It’s a unique and comfortable focus without major controversy, but rather an exploration of the years of their lives and how it affected them as a unit, asking the question, who were the Beatles year on year as the tours got crazier and the mobs got rowdier?
It’s a treat to stop regularly throughout the running time to explore a new avenue, whether that be George Martin, their producer, or the effect the band had on a young Whoopi Goldberg, navigating her life as a young black girl in the 60s.
The documentary plays like a piece of the Beatles material itself as the pace and tone shifts as does their mood, their creativity and their outlook on their lives as the band. What’s perhaps most enjoyable though is being able to see The Beatles having the time of their lives and realising that they could well have been just as successful as comedians as they were composers and performers.
The musical interludes as such remind us though why the world fell in love with this one in a billion group of boys who quickly became men. Their music is infectious, and so is their stage presence and personalities.
Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years doesn’t need to hammer home how amazing these musicians were, though; the record sales and inability to meet a person who’s never heard of the band show that much. What the documentary does is show us one side of the Beatles lives that actually was a whole lot more than anyone could ever imagine. It takes the boys charm, humour, and good spirits to show us not how incredibly mad Beatlemania got in the 60s but how well John, Paul, George, and Ringo were able to remain so purely joyful, positive and of course neverendingly talented throughout those times!
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years is out in cinemas September 15