Surviving Beatles At Premiere Of Eight Days A Week Film

Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are preparing to get together for the debut of a film telling the story of The Beatles' live tours.

The Beatles 1966

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years tells the story of the Fab Four's rise to megastar status from their gigs in The Cavern Club in Liverpool to sell-out tours of the US.  

The film was made by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard and is being debuted tonight (15th Sept) in Liverpool and in London's Leicester Square.    

Viewers will be treated to remastered footage from the band's historic Shea Stadium concert in New York, the first of its kind to play to more than 55,000 people.

Both Ringo and Sir Paul said the film brought back memories of the amazing times and, particularly, their unsophisticated sound system.

Ringo said with a laugh: "You know it's incredible now, but we'd just plug in to the house PA.

"You couldn't really hear anything ... it was just screams and the recording was pretty much that.

"But [referring to Giles Martin, the film's music producer - and son of Sir George] he's done, you know, some modern technology on it and managed to get our playing through so it's even better than it was."

Sir Paul said it is hard to describe the whirlwind of the band's rise to superstardom.

"You know, it's funny to say how it felt, because it was so crazy. We wanted to be famous. We wanted to do well.

"So we were doing what we really wanted to achieve and it was getting better and better.

"But this funny stuff of like all the screaming and the craziness was coming in at the same time as all the success, which is what we wanted, so we couldn't complain.

"But it got out of hand and the story is that, in the end, it kind of forced us off the road so we had to come back to this studio and make Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Some of the film's footage has not been seen before and director Ron Howard told Sky News: "That content was largely the reason that the people at Apple and the band wanted to make the movie because it would extend a lot of the live performances ... and give audiences the chance to discover what a great, great live band they were."

The surviving band members said they were not just proud of their music but also of their stand against racism in the US when, in 1964, they refused to play to segregated audiences.

Sir Paul said: "We were kind of quite intelligent guys, looking at the political scene and, coming from Liverpool, we played with black bands and black people in the audience, it didn't matter to us.

"So we went to the States and we played Jacksonville and we heard that the whites and the blacks were going to be segregated and we just went 'Whoa, no. No way.'

"And we actually forced them then, which is very early on in the '60s, to integrate. And so it's a great thing that we actually even put it in the contract."

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