Five Times When It Was Fun Being A Beatle
Being a Beatle was the best — except for if it wasn’t.
Ron Howard’s new documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring YearsÂ (nowÂ Â Â on Hulu; growsÂ Â to additional theatersÂ Â Â Friday;Â Â outside Nov. 18 on Blu-ray/DVD)Â Â captures the exhilarating highs of Beatlemania, while being fairly frank about the mortifying lows.
“There were always people like this as we went into the gate,” says Ringo Starr, crooking his fingers through a pretend chain-link fence. In Wales, “I remember it well,” one determined enthusiast resolutely grabbed hold of the drummer’s shaggy locks.
The crowds in Washington were bolder. Into a lock of Starr’s hair, a woman wielding a set of scissors famously helped herself at a reception at the ambassador’s house in 1964. “And we thought, ‘No, no, NO,’ ” states Paul McCartney.
“We believed it would be quite a cool crowd,” he adds. “But they weren’t cool in any way.”
Two: Sonically, Shea Stadium was one of the very frustrating venues of the career. They played there again.
Not that they recall their encore performance. When asked about the second Shea series during interviews for The Beatles AnthologyÂ documentary, Starr says he blanked: “We played with it twice??!!”
“Then (the filmmakers) went to George (Harrison) and Stated, ‘And the second time you Played with Shea …’ And George said, ‘We Played with twice??!!’ “
3. Close to the end of their touring years, fans screamed to them not at them.
By declining her invitation to the Presidential Palace the band unwittingly snubbed lady Imelda Marcos. A mob of spitting and kicking demonstrators responded in kind.
“It was a scary moment,” Starr says. “I had been sharing (a hotel room) with John (Lennon), and we called down for breakfast and papers.” Neither showed up. “We called again: ‘Can we have the breakfast?’ And we set the TV on and there’s this sad shot of all of these disappointed kids at this (reception) we did not turn around. And that is why it went mad.”
4: The Beatles had free run of the place when they were recording at Abbey Road.
“They weren’t allowed to get into the kitchen at night,” says Eight Days a WeekÂ Â manufacturer Nigel Sinclair. “Eventually, they got fed up” the group’s road manager Mal Evans “went down there with a hammer and also hacked the padlock away” through sessions for 1968’s White Album.
“And when he got, the fridge was padlocked because people drank others’s milk. He hacked off that (as well),” Sinclair says. “On Monday, when folks arrived, they believed there had been burglars.
“The only folks who said to them were the men and women who ran the kitchen at Abbey Road.”
5. Their children used them to meet celebrities that were cooler.
“John came to the Happy DaysÂ set” at the mid-’70s, Howard says.Â Â Because, um, Lennon’s son Julian “desired to fulfill the Fonz” (Henry Winkler).