Experience the Beatles’ touring years in ‘Eight Days a Week’

Join us Saturday, Nov. 25, for an evening of Beatlemania. Start with the band’s early days in “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” at 7 p.m., and stick around for “Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution” at 9:30 p.m.

“The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” is based on the early part of the Beatles’ career (1962-1966) – the period in which they first captured the world’s acclaim. Follow the band from their gigs at the Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966 as the film reveals how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon. Explore how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together, while also exploring the Beatles’ unique musical gifts and their remarkably complementary personalities.

The Beatles began touring Europe in late 1963, after an extraordinary arrival on the British scene in 1961 and ‘62. However, it was their much-heralded “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance on February 9, 1964, that caused the Beatles’ popularity to explode. By June, the band’s first world tour was underway, and they continued on a relentless schedule for the following two years. By the time the band stopped touring in August of 1966, they had performed 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities around the world. The “Beatlemania” phenomenon their touring helped create was something the world had never seen before and laid the foundation for the globalization of culture.

“The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” features rare and never-before-seen archival footage of shows and interviews, plus new interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and prominent observers like Whoopi Goldberg, Elvis Costello and many others. Experience the exhilaration of The Beatles’ phenomenal rise to fame as well as the toll it eventually took on the band’s members, prompting them to stop touring and devote their prodigious musical talents to their groundbreaking studio recordings.

Which leads us to “Sgt. Pepper.” Immediately following “Eight Days a Week” is an encore broadcast of “Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution.” Hosted by award-winning British composer, author, music historian and broadcaster Howard Goodall, the film looks back at the creation and ongoing influence of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” released on June 1, 1967. Hailed as a landmark achievement by critics worldwide, the album won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and ranks #1 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time as “the most important rock & roll album ever made.” The documentary conjures up the psychedelic, phantasmagorical world of Sgt. Pepper and provides context for the culture of the day, showing how the album and its classic songs, including “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “She’s Leaving Home” and “A Day in the Life,” became a driving force within that culture.

Get your own copy of “Eight Days a Week” or “Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution” and other Beatles goodies and support quality programming on Arizona PBS.

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