Let it be known: Decades later, Beatles still making news

Welcome to another edition of New Beatles News, the column that keeps Fab Four fans informed and up-to-date on all things Beatle-related. Some exciting things have been happening across the Beatles universe, so let’s get started, shall we?

The biggest news, without question, is the release of The Beatles: Eight Days A Week — The Touring Years, a documentary by filmmaker Ron Howard.

The project focuses on the five years between the band’s first stint at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1961 through the touring schedule at the beginnings of Beatlemania and culminating in the band’s last public performance at Candlestick Park in San Fransisco in 1966.

Note to fellow fans: I know, I know, technically the last public performance was on the roof of Abbey Road Studios in 1969, but the movie “Let It Be” already covered that.

The performances in those five years occurred long before today’s ubiquitous smartphone-like devices document any and everything a person sees or hears.

However, many concert-goers in those days did bring along their trusty super 8 cameras to capture bits and pieces of the events.

For more than a decade a search has been on for fans who may have a bit of footage and a story to tell about their Beatles concert experiences. This new documentary was created in part using archival footage crowdsourced from some of the 40 million fans who liked the official Beatles Facebook page as well as from a specialized Twitter search.

The movie will be shown in theaters for only one day on Friday. The next day it will be streamed on Hula. Why only one day? The producers reasoned that the film might not have huge mass market appeal but that same 40-million-person fanbase would make sure the project would be a success.

I am not a big fan of movie theaters, but since I don’t mess with Hula I am going to make an exception for this picture.

The next item in our New Beatles News hopper is from Guinness World Records which confirms that the sale of the Beatles “White Album” serial number 0000001 — the first one pressed — was sold at auction for a $790,000, the highest price ever paid for a vinyl album. A record for a record, you might say.

The album was sold by Ringo and his wife Barbara Bach with the proceeds going to The Lotus Foundation, a charitable organization founded by the couple. It had been stored in a vault for 35 years and is in near-mint condition. Rumor has it that John Lennon claimed the first copy, but Ringo somehow managed to snag it.

Speaking of setting records, on Aug. 15, Paul McCartney and his band’s three-hour performance at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the highest-grossing show in that venue’s 20-year history.

I concede that concert tickets these days are often quite steep which would boost the bottom line, and at 11,000 seats it was the smallest venue on his tour. But, still, It’s been almost 50 years since the Beatles did that rooftop gig and the allure of their music and history continues to draw huge crowds.

Finally, in news not directly related to music, it has been confirmed that Ringo voted for Britain to leave the European Union in last June’s referendum.

He said he voted for “Brexit” because he thought the EU was in “shambles” and felt it was “making arrangements” not in England’s best interests.

He went on a bit of a rant that reminded me of current political bluster here in the U.S.

Paul was asked about his vote and said he was on tour and didn’t have a chance to vote. I like that excuse. I may have to use it myself this November.

Well, that’s it for New Beatles News. See you later down that long and winding road. And remember: All you need is love.

Norman Knight, a retired Clark-Pleasant Middle School teacher, writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to letters@dailyjournal.net.