The Beatles produced a promotional film clip for "Strawberry Fields Forever", which served as an early example of what became known as a music video. The film features reverse film effects,... See full summary »
John Lennon can be heard playing the opening notes to "Strawberry Fields Forever" during one scene in a hotel room. The song would not be released until years later, but this is an indication that Lennon had the melody in his head for quite some time. See more »
The end credits on the original video release of THE BEATLES: THE FIRST U.S. VISIT erroneously gave the composer credit for "Till There Was You" to Richard Rodgers. Subsequent releases corrected this credit and accurately gave Meredith Willson credit for composing the song. See more »
[At a press conference at Kennedy Airport.]
Can you please sing something for us?
Is it because you can't sing?
No, we need money first.
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Shown here as part of BBC2's Beatles' night, this vibrant documentary is the real-life alter-ego of the "A Hard Day's Night" Beatles' stereotypes and shows that the Fab Four were quite witty and offbeat enough, without fictional embellishment.
Covering their arrival in the States in early 1964, just as "I Want To Hold Your Hand raced up the charts as their debut US hit and taking in concerts in Washington and Miami, interspersed with their historic and record-breaking appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, we get a first hand glimpse of the punishing schedule the Beatles endured in their bid to break America. Their youthful exuberance and enthusiasm gets them through and it's obvious that they take delight in their new-found celebrity in the homeland of rock 'n' roll, from where they took so much early inspiration. This of course was to pall, so that within two short years they'd exert their collective wills to get off the constant grind of globe-trotting touring.
Their infectious, unscripted witticisms raise many a smile at their numerous press conferences and it's easy to see them unconsciously debunking the myth of fame and cult of personality which was the norm amongst pop idols of the pre-Beatle era, notably a certain Mr Presley, of course.
The music's terrific, all the early classics turned out with vim and skill, again before their growing tiredness and cynicism, allied to their inability to hear what they were playing, conspired to drag down their performing standards.
My only criticism is that a certain Mr Lennon is strangely absent from much of the backstage proceedings, perhaps because he required to attend to the needs of his wife, she unsurprisingly hidden away (you just see her in one scene) in the background while Paul refers to him at another point as "the married one"). That said, Paul George and particularly Ringo put themselves about entertainingly, so that in the end you never doubt that America will catch the British wave and propel them to super-stardom.
As a long-term Beatles fan, who admittedly finds the later era Beatles a much more interesting proposition as people and musicians than the lovable mop-tops on show here, this was a fascinating insight into how four provincial lads would become world figures and mostly deserving of everything that came their way through personality, hard work and of course, loads of talent.
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