The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

First Hit:  An amazing and touching look at four young men from Liverpool England that changed music and the lives of many people forever.

For anyone one growing up as a baby boomer you will have some memory of The Beatles. Maybe it was listening to the 45 rpm single records or the 33 1/3 rpm LPs. Maybe it was the news programs showing thousands of people screaming their names as they went from place to place. Maybe it was watching them on The Ed Sullivan show.

Over the years, those memories have been enhanced and guided by various films, books and stories about The Beatles since their breakup. I’ve read all the books, seen all the documentaries, read all the articles, but none of them affected me as much as this film.

I teared up early in the film as joy, wonder, and respect overcame me about these four young men who followed their dream, to make music, together. I cannot say enough for Ron Howard and his ability to put together strings of old interviews, concert footage clips, while adding present time interviews with both Paul and Ringo and a small select group of others who were part of their concert past.

I was touched when Paul talked about the moment when Ringo joined the group and that they all knew the final piece was in place. He also spoke about how happy he felt when he and John realized that they both wrote music as their most favorite thing to do. Ringo spoke about how the group held each other together when they were being overwhelmed by admirers. Then they spoke about how in the back of a Loomis armored truck being shuttled off the field at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, they decided together that they were done with playing live musical concerts.

As with all their decisions, they did things together. They supported each other regardless of what came up. For instance, the whole issue that came up about John saying, that at the time, with young people they were more popular than Jesus and the controversy this statement started. Or even, more importantly, when they refused to play a concert because there would be segregation of black and white audience members. In fact, they were the first band to have written in their contracts that their audiences cannot be segregated.  

I enjoyed Whoopie Goldberg’s interviews especially when she realized that The Beatles taught her that she could be anyone she wanted to be and feel good about it. The surprise her mother gave her when she said they were going to Shea Stadium and see The Beatles was priceless.

Elvis Costello, Sigourney Weaver, Larry Kane, and all the other interviewees were perfectly placed into the archival footage. This film was amazingly edited to create a strong story about the life The Beatles were having during the touring years.

Ron Howard did an incredible job of piecing together this footage to present a strong story about The Beatles and their touring years.

Overall:  Fantastic and made even better because seeing the film in theaters gives attendees a bonus, The Beatles performing their Shea Stadium concert. Pure joy watching these young men play together.