Tuesday, April 12, 2005

It's been a hard day's night

I hired a buncha DVD's on Sunday and have been watching one or two as time permits.

One of them was the Beatles "Hard Day's Night", I didn't watch the movie but watched the bonus disc with a ton of interviews and behind the scenes type stuff. I think it went for about two hours. Nothing from Paul, Ringo or George (who was alive at the time). But a stack of recollections from cast and crew who were behind the making of the movie. The bespoke tailor, the hairdresser, George Martin(who is wonderful as ever), various bit actors who only made it to the cutting room floor etc etc.

It was a rush job made on a very tight budget as the general feeling was that the Beatles were a fad that would fade pretty fast. Some recollected working on "something special" others were that busy they didn't really appreciate how big an event it was until it was over. However one could get the sense of the hurricane that was Beatlemania at the time of filming. A couple of actors caught a ride with an individual Beatle and found the experience genuinely scary. So much so, one actress refused a second offer from McCartney and caught the tube instead.

And boy can some of these people who were involved in the film talk! They talk and talk and talk and talk without prompting..... actors especially. I noticed a couple of edits where they were cut down. And it was funny seeing the sound editors almost yelling during the interview, the bespoke tailor with a button undone on his jacket and one actor who was in the swingin' 60's scene describing how there was only 800 people really involved in it who shopped at the "right" shops, went to clubs and had their hair done by the "right" people.

A touching slice of life from a period I wasn't around to remember.

I watched another DVD from Billy Connoly. Very funny and he had a recollection of the biege bland boring 40's and early 50's. When he heard Elvis, 'Well, since my baby left me....." BA BOOM he could remembering thinking "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? I DON"T KNOW WHAT IT IS, BUT I WANT SOME."

Perhaps the tired old noughties need another Elvis of some kind.


  • I worked with Walter Shensen, the producer of the Beatles films (among many others) back in the late eighties. He was a lovely, gentleman who never tired of telling tales of his time with the Beatles, and Peter Sellers (The Mouse that Roared and The Mouse On the Moon, or Dudley Moore (Thirty is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia) He died a few years ago.

    As wonderful as Elvis' records were, a good part of the force of their impact was a function of the still highly segregated radio world. It is much less segregated now.

    Here in the US, radio ownership/management/programming has become largely a function of huge corporations, making the playing, on radio, of more esoteric material from smaller labels some orders of magnitude harder.

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 2:21 pm  

  • Thanks for the info on Walter, he didn't make the interviews (I just checked). Peter Sellers name came up quite a bit in the "making of" as well as the Goons as a whole(who George Martin produced for as well)

    The problem of this awful radio homogenization is less of a hassle downunder as we have access to the marvellous national Triple J. It offers a real alternative, sort of a government sponsored college radio deal.

    But yeah.... same problem here with only two or three networks that control the music in the major cities. JJJ has about a 10% share of the audience in each city.

    Their playlist is really diverse. One moment there will be some hip hop, then some new heavy rock followed by a really obscure track by Beck for instance. It seems more artist driven than production driven.

    And for some reason it works.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 4:12 pm  

  • Walter wasn't on Disc 2 but was on Disc 1 which had the main feature.

    And Peter you're right he could tell a tale!

    By Blogger Johnno, at 10:27 pm  


    listen and spread the word!!!!


    By Blogger Funk Master, at 8:14 am  

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