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The Beatles ‘Eight Days A Week’ documentary coming to DVD in November

On November 18, the new documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years directed by Ron Howard will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray, plus a 2-Disc special edition.

UMe Polygram Entertainment The Beatles Eight Days A Week

Photo: Polygram Entertainment and Capitol/UMe.

The film was released last week in theaters for a one-day to one-week run which varied across different cities. After the film, the 30-minute Shea Stadium concert film from 1965 was also shown. This footage from the concert is not listed as being included on the DVD.

As a Beatles fan and journalist who saw the film in theaters, the title ‘The Touring Years’ seemed a bit misleading to me. Instead of focusing mostly on the shows that The Beatles performed, the film provided an overall look at their career during the years they were touring and spent lots of time on The Beatles’ efforts in the recording studio.

While there is not much new information offered in the documentary, the high points of the film are the rare photographs and video clips that were included to illustrate the story of The Beatles’ touring years. For example, in February 1964 during an interview in Washington DC, John tells a reporter his name is “Eric.” The uninformed reporter believes him and introduces Lennon convincingly on camera as “Eric” so that John has to enlighten him and tell him it was just a joke.

Another rare clip is an interview with The Beatles in Sweden circa 1963/64 where George is standing behind John who is seated. George keeps flicking ashes from his cigarette on the top of John’s head and John doesn’t necessarily notice.

There are also insightful interview clips from Paul and Ringo in the present day, as well as other celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg and Elvis Costello.

Another highlight is an interview with Dr. Kitty Oliver, an African-American journalist and author who went to The Beatles’ concert in Jacksonville, Florida as a teenager. The Beatles refused to play to a segregated audience at the Gator Bowl. They had it written into their contract, so the venue agreed to integrate the crowd.

“Here was a band I loved and music I was such a fan of, that seeing The Beatles overrode the idea of walking in to this all-white environment that I had never been in,” Oliver recalls.

Historians believe that this strong stand that The Beatles took in Jacksonville in September 1964 led to an end of segregation in most of the big stadiums in the South. – Trina Yannicos


Below is a description of content included on the DVD release as stated in the official press release:

Featuring a wealth of specially created supplementary material totaling 100 minutes of extras, the deluxe home entertainment editions contain exclusively-created featurettes for fans to delve even deeper into the band’s world.  Accompanying these are stunning, fully restored full length performances of some of the band’s most iconic tracks including “Twist and Shout” and “She Loves You” recorded at the ABC Theatre, Manchester in 1963 and “Can’t Buy Me Love” at the NME Awards, 1964, in London, bringing the experience of seeing The Beatles in concert fully to life for all fans. A full breakdown follows:

2-disc Special Collector’s Edition (DVD and Blu-Ray) includes:
1 x DVD/Blu-Ray feature disc
+ 1 Bonus Disc (containing approx. 100 minutes of extras, highlighted below)
64 page booklet with an introduction from director Ron Howard, essay by music journalist and author Jon Savage and rare photos from The Beatles’ private archive

Words & Music (24 mins)
John, Paul, George & Ringo reflect on songwriting and the influence of music from their parents’ generation, Lennon/McCartney writing for other artists, The Beatles as individual musicians, and the band as innovators.  Also featuring Howard Goodall, Peter Asher, Simon Schama and Elvis Costello.  The interviews with Paul and Ringo are unseen.

Early Clues To A New Direction (18 mins)
A special feature touching on The Beatles as a collective, the importance of humor, the impact of women on their early lives and songwriting, and the band as a musical movement. Featuring John, Paul, George & Ringo, along with Paul Greengrass, Stephen Stark, Peter Asher, Malcolm Gladwell, Sigourney Weaver, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Curtis, Elvis Costello and Simon Schama.  Again the interviews with Paul and Ringo are unseen.

Liverpool (11 mins)
The early days in Liverpool of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s are brought vividly to life by those who worked closely with them at that time including fan club secretary Freda Kelly, Allan Williams an early manager, and Leslie Woodhead multi-award winning documentary film director.

The Beatles in Concert (12 mins)
Five great but rarely seen full length performances of The Beatles live in concert – Twist and Shout, She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love, You Can’t Do That and Help!

Additional features are:

  • Three Beatles’ Fans
  • Ronnie Spector and The Beatles
  • Shooting A Hard Day’s Night
  • The Beatles in Australia
  • Recollections of Shea Stadium
  • The Beatles in Japan
  • An alternative opening for the film


Pre-order: Deluxe Collector’s Edition (2-DVD)


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Paul McCartney joins Billy Joel for The Last Play at Shea Stadium: DVD release and eyewitness report

On July 16 and 18, 2008, Billy Joel performed the last concerts ever held at Shea Stadium in New York before it was shut down forever. Many guests made surprise appearances during the two nights – but none bigger than Paul McCartney who joined Billy onstage on July 18, 2008.

Today, a DVD documenting the historic concert was released called The Last Play at Shea: The Documentary Film. It chronicles the behind-the-scenes preparations and gives some history about the legendary Shea Stadium where The Beatles performed the largest rock concert at the time on August 15, 1965, and then returned again a year later on August 23, 1966.

On March 1, 2011, Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium – The Concert is being released on DVD, featuring the performances of Paul McCartney singing “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Let It Be”. Also included are guest performances by John Mayer, Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, John Mellencamp, Steven Tyler and Roger Daltrey.

A 2 CD/1 DVD package set of Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium – The Concert is also being released in March.

Read an eyewitness report below from a Beatles fan who attended ‘The Last Play at Shea’ (originally published on in 2008)


Paul McCartney joins Billy Joel onstage for ‘The Last Play at Shea’ concert

Exclusive report and photos by Pat Tyson (pictured below)
(posted July 28, 2008)

When I heard that Billy Joel was going to be the last performer to play at Shea Stadium, I just HAD to be there!

I knew I had to attend the very last concert at Shea, since I, like so many teenagers from the tri-state area, had seen The Beatles perform there. In my case, it was 8/23/66.

So, last February, I logged onto the Shea Stadium server and patiently waited for my turn in the “virtual line”. I got a ticket for the 7/16/08 show; it was a “nosebleed” seat, but I was okay with that. Then I heard Billy Joel ADDED another show for 7/18/08 (my birthday!) and not content with attending the “next-to-the-last-show” at Shea, I knew I had to go through this process all over again! (You never know who might show up at the last show) So again I logged onto the server and again I scored a “nosebleed” seat.

Since it was my birthday I decided to do it up in style, and ended up getting a Loge seat from a ticket broker! That left me with two tickets to dispense of (7/16 nosebleed & 7/18 nosebleed) which I did by way of e-Bay! Read on for my report from the show:

Oh, man, did July 18th ROCK!!! The “Last Play At Shea” (Shea Stadium) started almost one hour late (9 PM instead of 8 PM). The place was packed! Billy Joel rocked…..brought out Tony Bennett (“NY State of Mind”)…..then we saw a bunch of security guards on the field RUN off the field in single file – a million miles a minute – and we wondered if it was for a “special guest”. Not every performer gets that kind of security.

There was a sign on the rafters that said “PAUL IS ALL” – so we were waiting for him (oddly enough, I remember the same sign there on 8/23/66 when I saw The Beatles at Shea – maybe the same girl posted it?). Then Billy sang “A Hard Days Night” and we all stood up in anticipation (but nothing!!!). Then Garth Brooks came out and sng “Shameless” which is a Billy Joel song.

Billy then played on and the next thing you knew it was Roger Daltrey!!!! Talk about getting your money’s worth (he sang “My Generation”). A few more Billy songs and then Steven Tyler from Aerosmith came out and sang “Walk This Way”……they both rocked!

Then Billy played and walked off the stage (the end or so we thought). So we kept applauding and saying B-I-L-L-Y and he came back…did another song and then left again…..same thing……we brought him back.

Then he says, “Ladies and Gentlemen………SIR PAUL McCARTNEY” and everyone went WILD! He and Billy played “I Saw Her Standing There” and brought the house down!!!! Macca got a rousing ovation and then left the stage.

Billy sang another song and then…….we got Macca again!!!!!! He spoke to the crowd and said that Shea Stadium had a special meaning for him and he was glad to be there! With that, he launched into “Let It Be” and of course the crowd sang along with him. That was the closing act!!!

How cool is Billy Joel to let another performer close his show – even if he is a Beatle! OH WOW!!!!!! Macca looked great too… had on a white shirt and dark pants and looked very handsome!

The crowd at Shea was a younger crowd – I was amazed!!! And when I took the Long Island Railroad home, I sat with everyone from the concert. The Long Island Railroad had to book extra trains to accommodate everyone and even printed a special “Billy Joel at Shea Stadium” train schedule!

Oh yeah and everyone that went to the concert got a laminated picture of Billy on a rope chain (you know those things that look like backstage passes). It’s for a free download of one of his songs from the concert.

Anyway, all of the younger kids on the train with me are huge Billy/Beatles fans so they were jazzed too! We heard this young kid in the back of the train talking on his cell phone to a friend and he said “yeah, the concert was great – some guy named Paul McCartney closed the show”. Our mouths dropped open in amazement!!!! That kid has a lot to learn!!

So to be able to close out Shea Stadium in such a spectacular way brought it “full circle” for me; The Beatles were the first band to play at Shea and I was lucky enough to see a Beatle be the last performer to play there before it closed!


© 2011 Daytrippin’ – The contents of this article including photos may not be reproduced without permission from Daytrippin’ and the author. A brief excerpt may be reprinted with a link to the article and proper credit.


Review: Paul McCartney’s Good Evening New York City live CD/DVD set

Paul McCartney’s new live CD/DVD, Good Evening New York City, was released on November 17. It features performances recorded at New York’s Citi Field on July 17, 18 and 21, 2009. McCartney’s shows were the first concerts ever held at the new Citi Field, which replaces Shea Stadium.

If you want to feel like you’re really at a live show watching the legendary ex-Beatle do what he does best, make sure you definitely watch the Good Evening New York City DVD first, BEFORE you listen to the CDs. On the DVD, you get to hear Paul tell a few stories in-between songs, like his experience hearing Jimi Hendrix play “Sgt. Pepper” only two days after it was released back in 1967. You also get to hear how Paul came up with the melody to “Blackbird.”

And most striking to this longtime Beatles fan was when McCartney sings “Here Today”, his tribute to the late John Lennon, and gets extremely choked up during the performance. As many times as I’ve seen Paul in concert or watched previous live performances, I can’t recall ever seeing him get this emotional during this touching song. “As you can tell, sometimes that song catches me out,” Paul explains to the audience afterwards.

But, warning, you don’t necessarily get the same experience on the live McCartney CDs. To me, the purpose of a live concert recording is to be able to re-live over and over the magic that was created that one special night. However, it seems like Paul doesn’t see it that way. On the CDs, all his comments in-between songs have been deleted. At the beginning, he declares, “Good Evening New York City,” and that’s the extent of his spoken words throughout the recording, except when he shouts out “Billy Joel” after their duet on “I Saw Her Standing There.”. This is not the first time he’s done this on a live CD. For the 2002 release of Back in the US, Paul did the same thing and deleted all his comments in-between songs on the live CD.

Not only that, but there are instances where a different vocal recording appears on the CD compared to the one that was used on the DVD. For example, the vocal used on the DVD for “Here Today”, in which I just mentioned that McCartney gets noticeably choked up, is a different performance on the CD where there is no crack in Paul’s voice whatsoever. As a result, while the live CDs are a great performance of McCartney’s solo and Beatles hits, they sound way too smooth and polished to offer the true, authentic live concert experience.

And in the end… the DVD (not the CDs) really recreates the magic of seeing Paul McCartney in concert. At the age of 67, he still puts on a great live show. There’s no mistaking that the man loves what he does. My recommendation is that you get the deluxe edition of the set (available exclusively at Best Buy) which also includes a second DVD featuring Paul’s news-making performance from July 2009 on top of the Late Show with David Letterman’s marquee in Manhattan.

TV alert: A Paul McCartney Thanksgiving special will air on ABC at 10 pm on November 26 featuring excerpts from “Good Evening New York City” as well as original footage from The Beatles Shea Stadium concert.


Exclusive: Filmmaker Clay Adams reveals details about working with The Beatles on Shea Stadium film soundtrack

M. Clay Adams, the former owner of Clayco Films, produced many film segments for the Ed Sullivan Show during the 1960s. When Ed Sullivan’s production company collaborated with The Beatles to produce a documentary of their legendary 1965 performance at Shea Stadium, Clay Adams was the manager of production operations for the film.

At the time, Adams, who died last year at the age of 99, had been in the film business for over 25 years. He had a young teenage son, Michael, who was a huge Beatles fan. In February 1964, Michael was one of the lucky ones who attended the live February 9, 1964 Beatles debut on the Ed Sullivan Show as well as The Beatles dress rehearsal (the segment filmed for their third Ed Sullivan appearance which aired on February 23, 1964). He actually got to meet The Beatles after the dress rehearsal. He also attended both Beatles concerts at Shea Stadium in 1965 and 1966.

So after his dad, Clay, flew to London to work with George Martin and The Beatles on the over-dubs to the Shea Stadium film soundtrack, Michael was extremely anxious to hear about the trip. In the lost art of letter writing, Clay typed up a letter dated January 10, 1966 to his son, who was busy in school, and told him intimate details of working with George Martin and The Beatles in the recording studio. He also revealed his personal observations on each of the Fab Four.

For example, Clay Adams, describes his first impressions of Paul McCartney:

Paul was the first one to get there, right on the dot of 9:30. He came in with a short black fur coat and needing a shave. But he was full of fun and ready to get down to work right away. Actually what the boys and George Martin really felt was wrong with the Shea soundtrack was only that it was lacking in the “low end” and drums in some places. The bass guitar was not as loud as on their records. So while we were waiting for the other boys to arrive, we over-dubbed “I’m Down”, “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, and “Baby’s in Black” with Paul only.

Readers can get a sense of what the Beatles daily lives were like from this historic letter. This excerpt almost seems like a scene out of A Hard Day’s Night as Adams writes:

Meanwhile nobody seemed to know where the rest of the boys were. Every time I’d ask what has happened to John, George and Ringo – George Martin would say he hadn’t the slightest idea except that Paul was living in the city nearby while the other boys had to come from out of town. Finally at about 10:30 in bounced the other three, all laughing and quite unaware that they had been keeping us in suspense.

What’s most fascinating about Adams’ letter is how he truly was a “fly on the wall” during a Beatles’ recording session.

All four of the boys were really great. They worked hard, did anything we asked them to and cooperated in every way. Also, they are such great “pros” and know their own arrangements so well that the recording session went much easier and faster than I ever anticipated. John was quite anxious to do “Ticket to Ride” better so we did that completely over and our track of “Help!” had a big drop-out in it which we had tried to fix up in New York – so we did that one all over. The rest were merely fixed here and there to fortify the Shea track. Paul loved my word “fortify” and whenever there was a lull he would say to me, “How are we doing Clay – did we fortify that one okay?”

Adams’ observations about the individual Beatles are quite insightful as well:

It was fun between recording sessions. Almost invariably Paul and John would immediately start tinkering around with some new musical ideas for new songs on their guitars. As soon as one would play a few notes, the other would pick up an accompaniment no matter how complex the arrangement. Meanwhile, George Harrison – who I called a frustrated drummer – would be trying to teach Ringo some new trick beat that he had thought up. They are all constantly fooling around with the other’s instruments. Ringo fooling with a guitar or the piano. George on the drums, etc. I thought Paul was the most musical though. When we had finished the over-dubbing I sat with him at the piano while he improvised. He has a great sense of harmony and phrasing. You should have heard his improvised chords fooling around with that song that’s my favorite from “Oliver” – I can’t think of the title.

The Beatles at Shea Stadium 50-minute documentary concert film was first aired on the BBC on May 1, 1966. The film was aired in the United States on ABC on January 10, 1967. However, since then, the film has never been commercially released to the public.
Michael Adams commented on the status of the film:

The film was a joint Sullivan Productions and NEMS venture. My Dad provided the film and sound crew and everything that came afterward until it was a finished product. When both parties had signed off on the completed film, two masters were made. Copies were then made and were presented to Sullivan Productions and NEMS for their prospective broadcasts. My Dad hung on to the masters and waited for the companies involved to follow up and ask for them.

In 1987, Paul McCartney phoned my Dad and requested a master for Apple. At the time, Paul said that they were interested in releasing it. They subsequently released a few songs on the Beatles Anthology. They [Apple] still have that master and who knows, maybe one day they will release it. In the meantime it keeps getting bootlegged. There’s boot copies of the US and the UK telecasts floating around out there (as well as that 2nd master).

With the release of McCartney’s Good Evening New York City CD/DVD today (November 17) which was filmed at the “new” Shea Stadium, now known as Citi Field, ABC will be broadcasting a one-hour special on Thanksgiving night, November 26, featuring McCartney concert excerpts as well as original footage from the Shea Stadium film.

To read the entire letter that Clay Adams wrote to his son about his experience working with the Beatles, visit

Our thanks to Michael Adams for sharing such a fascinating piece of Beatles history.