THE BEATLES BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
The Beatles are perhaps the most famous music group in history, with record breaking albums and the largest fan following ever. However, they also made contributions to other areas, like art, fashion, literature, and film. Their songs and images helped to carry messages of peace, love, imagination, and liberation, and broke open the minds of millions of people to make a lasting impact on human society.
The band formed in the late 1950's in Liverpool, England, with guitarists Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon, bassist Stu Sutcliffe, and drummer Pete Best. They were originally a skiffle band, which was a British variation of an American folk group. They also incorporated other various American music styles like the blues, pop, and rock ‘n’ roll. Early names of the band included The Quarrymen, Johnny & the Moon Dogs, and The Silver Beetles. John Lennon was the one who finally came up with the name The Beatles, which was a hybrid of beat and beetle. By the early 1960's they had developed quite a fan following in Hamburg, Germany. Quickly they gained popularity elsewhere, including their home town of Liverpool.
In 1961 Sutcliffe left the group. Soon after they hired a manager, Brian Epstein, who helped them create their image, appear well mannered in public, and establish a following with the more conservative media of their time. They signed a record deal in 1962, and soon after Best left the band and Ringo Starr was incorporated as their new drummer. By 1963 The Beatles had become an English sensation, and America hopped on board a year later in 1964. During this time they also made numerous television appearances on shows like “The Morecambe & Wise Show” (1963) and “Ready, Steady, Go!” (1963-64) and TV movies and documentaries such as “The Mersey Sound” (1963) and “Big Beat ‘64” (1964). They began their acting career as a band in the television film “The Royal Variety Performance 1963” (1963). Shortly after they made their first movie, director Richard Lester’s “A Hard Day's Night” (1964). This picture was a loosely scripted comedy following them as they make their way to a London television show taping. During their trip, Ringo Starr goes missing, but he returns just in the nick of time to perform before in front of the TV audience.
Lester directed their subsequent feature, too, called “Help!” (1965), which was about a cult that chased after the band to obtain a holy sacrificial ring that was stuck to Ringo Starr’s finger. The The film was shot in exotic locations and was the first of The Beatle films to be shot in color. It had a much larger budget than their first, but failed to attract quite the same attention as did their debut. In 1965 they also had their own TV show, appropriately titled “The Beatles”. As their fame grew, so did their guest appearances. For instance, they starred five times on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (1964-66) and twelve times on “Thank Your Lucky Stars” (1963-66). In 1967 they produced their own television film, “Magical Mystery Tour”, which besides its few good songs and handful of good scenes, was rather amateurish.
A year later they provided music for an animated feature called “Yellow Submarine” (1968), which offered an innovative graphic style and emotionally stinging plotline. They also made an onscreen appearance at the draw of the feature. Their final motion picture was the documentary “Let It Be” (1970), and it served as a chronicle of the band’s break up. However, it also featured their epic impromptu performance on the roof of the Apple building in Savile Row. They won an Academy Award for Best Music for the film.
After the division of the band, each member continued to feed their hunger for film, and acted, directed, produced, or did all three. The Beatles as a band also continued to be the object for a number of documentaries, including “Ready Steady Go, Volume 1” (1983), “Ready Steady, Go Volume 2” (1985), and “American Masters” (2007).
2007 American Masters
2004 The Solo Years: Paul McCartney
1995 The History of Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 3
1985 Ready Steady Go, Volume 2
1983 Ready Steady Go, Volume 1
1977 All You Need Is Love
1972 Sympathy for the Devil
1970 Let It Be
1969 The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
1968 The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
1968 Yellow Submarine
1967 Magical Mystery Tour
1966 El rey en Londres
1966 Tokyo Concert
1965 The Beatles
1965 The Eamonn Andrews Show
1965 New Musical Express Poll Winners' Concert
1964 Top of the Pops
1964 Blackpool Night Out
1964 The Ed Sullivan Show
1964 Big Beat '64
1964 New Musical Express Poll Winners' Concert
1964 Variety Club Awards
1964 Big Night Out
1964 What's Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A.
1964 A Hard Day's Night
1963 The Royal Variety Performance 1963
1963 Thank Your Lucky Stars
1963 Ready, Steady, Go!
1963 The Mersey Sound
1963 Pops and Lenny
1963 The Morecambe & Wise Show
1963 Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium