I was only ten-years-old when the Beatles broke onto the world stage in 1962. The four lads from Liverpool stayed together until I reached draft age in 1970. I remember the pain in my soul I felt that this prolific team of incomparable music was suddenly over.
Today, at the Sedona Film Festival’s Mary Fisher Theater, I sat in the second row as Ron Howard’s “Eight Days a Week” tracked their live concert years 1962-1966 and soaked in some Beatles magic.
Given the depth of their careers, Howard is masterful in his choice to focus only on the tour years. This documentary of Beatles-mania is far more than a story of an epic rock band that put Elvis into the shadows, along with a lot of American artists. It’s truly a slice of 60s turbulent life and Boomer generation flexing its global muscle. This movie is the most alive feeling documentary I’ve ever seen.
Mom was a maid in a downtown Milwaukee Holiday Inn where The Beatles slept. I think we can all forgive my mom for stealing a pillowcase Ringo slept on. Ah, but when money got tight, Mom had to sell Ringo’s pillowcase for eighty bucks.
Despite how the Sheetz family benefited by Beatles Fever, Mom made me swear to never grow my hair long and be like the evil Beatles. Sorry, Mama. That would be one of the few promises to you I could not keep. By the age of 18, in 1970, when the Beatles broke up, I felt I was all grown up. A little behind an era that was already ending, I grew my hair long and dressed wildly. Better late than never. I felt like free man from my strict Catholic upbringing.
As I sat in crowd in the Sedona movie theater tonight, filled 95% with Boomers, all of us with memories of The Beatles as the sound track of our lives, I was thrilled at the sound and quality of the film and Ron Howard’s masterful telling of the wild story. The film is like time traveling. You feel the rise of Beatles fame on daily basis and the deep bond these four artists shared. A bond that kept them grounded from the hysterical crowds.
After the credit roll there was a 30-minute remastered concert of The Beatles at Shea Stadium without any narration. Truly delicious. BuzzBroz gives this portal into rock and roll history 5 stars. It’s bound introduce a whole new generation The Beatles. – Ken Sheetz