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The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years

Airs Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

The Beatles in Liverpool, England, Sept. 1962.

Credit: Courtesy of © Apple Corps Ltd.

Above: The Beatles in Liverpool, England, Sept. 1962.

This program is part of our TV Membership Campaign. Support quality programming you depend on from KPBS. Give now!

PBS presents the U.S. broadcast premiere of Academy Award®-winner Ron Howard’s authorized and highly acclaimed Emmy® Award and GRAMMY Award®-winning documentary film about The Beatles’ phenomenal early career, on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 at 8 p.m. on PBS.

Official Trailer

Explore the history of the Fab Four from their early days in Liverpool to their last concert in San Francisco in 1966. The film, by Oscar-winner Ron Howard, reveals how the foursome united to become the global phenomenon that was “The Beatles.”

The film will be followed by an encore broadcast of “Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution” at 10:30 p.m., which continues the story beyond The Beatles’ touring years, during the months the band spent creating “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album.

“The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years” is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966) – the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim.

Photo credit: Courtesy of PBS

Give $25/month or $300 now and get the Beatles: Eight Days a Week Combo including a 2-Blu-Ray or DVD set; “The Beatles: Live at Hollywood Bowl” CD; PBK, Exclusive Beatles 1964 Tour Book; an exclusive Beatles and PBS mug; and the exclusive Beatles and PBS tote. This gift includes a KPBS License Plate Frame (if you're a new member). Also enjoy access to KPBS Passport and myKPBS Film Club. There are 2 other combo packages available at the $120 level and the $240 level.

The film explores how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon, “The Beatles.”  

It reveals their inner workings – how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together – all the while, exploring The Beatles’ extraordinary and unique musical gifts and their remarkable, complementary personalities. 

The film focuses on the time period from the early Beatles’ journey in the days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966. 

Photo credit: Courtesy of © Apple Corps Ltd.

The Beatles playing at The Cavern, Liverpool, England, Aug. 1962.

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 Feb. 9, 1964, that caused The Beatles’ popularity to explode.

Photo credit: Courtesy of © Apple Corps Ltd.

The Beatles backstage, Opera House, Blackpool, 1964.

By June, the band had commenced their first world tour, and continued on a relentless schedule for two subsequent 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of © Apple Corps Ltd.

The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C., Feb. 1964.

The cultural phenomenon their touring helped create, known as “Beatlemania,” was something the world had never seen before and laid the foundation for the globalization of culture.

The film features rare and never-before-seen archival footage of shows and interviews, plus new interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and numerous prominent observers.

It captures 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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of © Apple Corps Ltd.

The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios in London, England, with Sir George Martin, Jan. 1967.

CREDITS:

Produced with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. White Horse Pictures’ GRAMMY Award®-winning Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci and Academy Award®-winner and Emmy® Award-winner Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment are producers with Ron Howard. Apple Corps Ltd.’s Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are executive producers, along with Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall.

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