DVDs FROM BEATLES, ROLLING STONES AND BOB DYLAN & THE BAND
DVDs RELEASED IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2012
By Harvey Kubernik
The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour restored for DVD &
Blu-ray was issued October 8th. Apple Films fully restored the long
out-of-print, classic feature film for worldwide DVD and Blu-ray with
a remixed soundtrack (5.1 and stereo).
On October 24th the film was shown at the Paley Centre in New York,
followed by a panel discussion with guitarist and singer Steven Van
Zandt; singer/songwriter Elvis Costello; the screenwriter and director
Tony Gilroy; and Jonathan Clyde from Apple, the Beatles company.
Its a Beatles item with songs youll never forget,
a movie youve never seen in full theatrical distribution, and
a back story thats never really been heard, let alone fully
In the wake of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
LP and the One World satellite broadcast of All You Need Is
Love, the Beatles devised, wrote and directed their third movie
about a dreamlike story of a coach day trip to the seaside.
In September 1967, the Beatles loaded a film crew onto a bus, along
with friends, family and cast, and select music media and photographers
headed west on the A30 out of London to make their third film, this
time birthed and directed by the Beatles themselves.
"Paul said, 'Look, I've got this idea,' and we said 'Great!'
and all he had was this circle and a little dot on the top - that's
where we started," explains Ringo. "It wasn't the kind of
thing where you could say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, what you are about
to see is the product of our imaginations and believe me, at this
point they are quite vivid'," says Paul.
The film follows a loose narrative and showcased six new songs: "Magical
Mystery Tour," "The Fool On The Hill," "I Am The
Walrus," "Flying," "Blue Jay Way," and "Your
Mother Should Know."
October 2012 EMI/CAP communication touting the Magical Mystery
Tour campaign this fall partially details the history and the
mystery around this initial 1968 Beatles product.
Although the 53-minute film was shot in glorious color, it premiered
on U.K. television in black and white. Broadcast by BBC1 at 8:35pm
on Boxing Day, the film immediately attracted widespread controversy
as middle England and the establishment media erupted with indignation.
How dare they? They cried. They're not film directors!
Who do they think they are? They howled. Where were the four lovable
mop tops of Help! and A Hard Day's Night?
Those Beatles were out of control!
Partly as an upshot of this adverse reaction, the film never had a
U.S. broadcast and very limited distribution in the rest of the world.
The 2012 MMT configuration incorporates a Director's Commentary
by Paul McCartney, and "The Making of Magical Mystery Tour"
that has feature interviews with Paul and Ringo, along with other
cast members and crew. There is also unseen footage and three new
edits of "Your Mother Should Know, "Blue Jay Way,
and "The Fool On The Hill. All with footage not viewed
in the original print of the film.
The visual artist collective known as the Fool, who were resident
Apple fixtures, designed the costumes for the film. Visit Fool member
Marijke Koger-Dunhams website at http://www.maryke.com/cost.html
In addition, one unearthed sequence now integrated into this DVD is
the band Traffic acting out their 1967 hit single, "Here We Go
Round The Mulberry Bush. The segment was commissioned by the
Beatles for possible inclusion in Magical Mystery Tour,
but was not used in the final edit.
Magical Mystery Tour will be available in DVD and Blu-ray
packages, and in a special 10"x10" boxed deluxe edition.
The deluxe edition includes both the DVD and Blu-ray, as well as a
60-page book with background information, photographs and documentation
from the production, and a faithful reproduction of the mono double
7" vinyl EP of the film's six new Beatles songs, originally out
in the UK to complement the film's 1967 release.
The restoration of Magical Mystery Tour has been overseen
by Paul Rutan Jr. of Eque Inc., the same company that handled the
much acclaimed restoration of Yellow Submarine. The soundtrack
work was done at Abbey Road Studios by Giles Martin and Sam Okell.
This new Magical Mystery Tour DVD should also trigger
a listening to the terrific soundtrack album that first accompanied
the restricted theatrical release of the movie.
producer and engineer, Richard Bosworth, who has done recording sessions
with the original Hollies inside Abbey Road Studios, is a Beatles
expert based in Los Angeles and provides some never revealed sonic
insights about the Magical Mystery Tour sessions and soundtrack.
I think when one looks at the American Magical Mystery
Tour, it really is quite an album. Other than Strawberry
Fields Forever and Penny Lane, all the recordings
are new songs done during the same series of sessions. To me, Baby
You're a Rich Man is one of the best Beatle songs of this period.
Baby is the first Beatle record started and completed
at a recording studio other than Abbey Road. Olympic Studios was the
first independent London recording studio to start cranking out a
lot of hits with the Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Jimi Hendrix Experience,
and Traffic. The Beatles had of course heard these records and probably
said, Hey, we want to record at Olympic too, which they
did one evening in 1967.
I got to talk in depth to my friend Eddie Kramer (staff engineer
at Olympic at that time) about his role on Baby and All
You Need Is Love. Baby was recorded and mixed entirely
during that session, engineered by late great Keith Grant who passed
away June of 2012. Grant was the creative and technical genius behind
Olympic Studios in its first location, in central London, and it's
final location south of the river in bucolic Barnes, where Baby
was recorded. Kramer assisted.
As usual with a John Lennon song things went fast and furious.
Baby has a cutting edge production with unusual new sonic
textures. Kramer confirmed that the unique counterpoint instrument
to the vocals in the verses is the Clavoline, an early French synthesizer
with its own proprietary sounds. Paraphrasing what Eddie told me,
John saw the keyboard lying around the studio after a day time
film soundtrack session, started playing around with it and said let's
get this on our record. Lennon then overdubbed the iconic performance.
I know I speak for all Beatle aficionados when I say after hearing
Baby for the first time, What the hell is that sound?
It has a distinctly far eastern quality about it and continues
the trend of the Beatles introducing world music to their
recordings and to contemporary western pop culture of the day. Later
during the session while listening to a playback Kramer (a musician
himself) drifted over to a Vibraphone, a large percussive chromatic
keyboard instrument. Eddie also mentioned to me, I was playing
along on the Vibraphone. John was listening and liked the part I had
come up with. I offered him the mallets and he said he liked what
I was doing and insisted that I play the part!
Later in the month the Beatles returned to Olympic to record
the basic track for All You Need Is Love, they planned
to use for the worldwide broadcast One World. On this
session Grant gave up the main chair and Kramer took over as engineer.
While watching the broadcast what one sees is the Beatles doing overdubs
to the basic track Kramer recorded at Olympic.
Bosworth had the opportunity to record sessions at Abbey Road Studios
and Olympic Studios and felt the tremendous energy of all the great
music that was performed in those hallowed halls.
It's perhaps no accident whatsoever that several years after
its initial screening on wee British television screens, I first viewed
'Magical Mystery Tour' in a Toronto art-house theatre as a perfect
double-bill alongside its closest American counterpart, the Monkees'
indelible 'Head'," recalls lifelong Fab- AND preFab Four fan
Gary Pig Gold.
"And while that Monkee movie, believe it or not, may have sprung
from quite more of a cohesive storyline - not to mention an actual
shooting script - the Mystery Tour's still very apparent charm lies
wholly in its unabashed, unashamed, ultra- ad hocness. It truly is
no more, and certainly no less than a full-colour, all-singing, and
definitely all-playing Beatle home-baked movie. The kind of no-budget-needed
thriller that today would load straight to YouTube, but back in those
anything-went Sixties could so easily follow Queen Elizabeth's Christmastime
'67 speech into UK living rooms. Of course it was a great Tour then;
it's even more Magical today."
scheduled is the long-awaited official retail release from ABKCO Films
of the Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling Ireland 1965,
the cinematic debut of the band that arrives in November. This 2012
cut of the film features newly discovered, never-before-seen or heard
The ABKCO company has set Tuesday November 6th as the commercial release
date for the Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling Ireland
1965, the directors cut, the producers cut and this
new 2012 version will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and as part of
a Super Deluxe Box Set.
The 1965 version of Charlie was produced by Stones
1963-1967 manager/record producer and music publisher, Andrew Loog
Oldham. He enlisted director Peter Whitehead to travel with the group
and film them as (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction rocketed
the band to the pinnacle of the U.S. and U.K. charts.
Whitehead, who would later capture swinging London in
Tonite Lets All Make Love in London, crafted a 35-minute
version of the film (directors cut) that would surface, from
time to time over the years, usually seen with grainy visuals and
out of phase music.
Later, Oldham put together a 50-minute producers cut that was
first seen in the 1980s. As noted, both the directors and producers
cut are part of the DVD, Blu-ray and Super Deluxe Charlie is my Darling
The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling Ireland 1965
was shot on a quick weekend tour of Ireland just weeks after (I
Cant Get No) Satisfaction hit # 1 on the charts and became
the international anthem for an entire generation. Charlie is
my Darling is an intimate, behind-the-scenes diary of life on
the road with the young Rolling Stones featuring the first professionally
filmed concert performances of the bands long and storied touring
career, documenting the early frenzy of their fans and the riots their
live performances incited.
Producer Robin Klein and director Mick Gochanaur developed the new
65 minute version after researching and locating additional film footage
shot by Whitehead and uncovering a source of first generation audio
recordings of the bands concert performances.
Both individual Blu-ray and DVD editions of the package mirror the
discs featured in the Super Deluxe Box comprising the 2012 version,
the directors cut and the producers cut. Simultaneously,
there will also be a digital-only release of the 2012 edition of The
Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling Ireland 1965.
to Record Collector News from New York, Andrew Loog Oldham,
who hosted a October premiere screening and question and answer Charlie
is my Darling event with Steven Van Zandt at New Yorks
92 Street Y, emailed me some memories about his movie.
Sean Kenny, the maverick Irish stage designer, who worked closely
with Lionel Bart on many of Barts musicals like Oliver!
Sean was the resident art director at the Mermaid Theatre. Sean recommended
the director Peter Whitehead to me. It never received a theatrical
showing. The director screened it in Germany. You know, there were
none of the places where everybody was hungry for average product.
Im not saying this is average product, you know what I mean.
The BBC, if they had been interested, which they wouldnt be,
because the Rolling Stones were still persona non grata, even in 1965,
on that level, you might have been able to get 500 pounds for it,
or something like that. They werent going to devote an hour
of prime time.
I have always embraced and enjoyed the world of black and white
film because it ages better. Can you imagine how pasty they might
look if it was in color? Theres also my love for French and
I have often shown a print of this movie for charitable events
earlier this century. Things in Vancouver, Glasgow, Ireland and for
film festivals. The film was never meant to go out, even though I
had to tell the director that we were going to put it out to get him
to feel good about
the whole thing.
The film was done as an audition to see which one of the Rolling
Stones the camera actually loved off stage. We knew who the focus
was on stage. The concept was to see who was telegenic off stage.
Like an MGM screen test or how studio heads would view talent at RKO.
Who could handle a lead part, and Charlie (Watts) was the lead. I,
in my dreams, thought a director like Jean-Pierre Melville would call
to cast Charlie in a role since Alain Delon and Charles Bronson cant
make this flick. Could Charlie do it? Thats why,
you know, the combination of the fact that we were everybodys
darling. Everyone then in show business was called darling. And I
called it Charlie Is My Darling. Because he was just wonderful.
It was him that the camera loved. Ironically, Harvey, is it not the
same camera that loved Ringo? There you go.
"The unflappable-as-always Mr. Watts naturally remains, a near
half-century past the fact, the indisputable darling of this harrowing
Stones Irish tour document," insists the still-Rolling Gary Pig
as blasting and shattering as always, thanks in no small part to the
audio wizardry of original recordist Glyn Johns, this film sails far
above and beyond the anti-Beatle ethos of Andrew Loog's original Stones-view
to rival even D.A. Pennebaker's concurrent 'Don't Look Back' as THE
true bluesy monochromatic document of The Road circa '65. Indeed,
Mick, Keith, Brian, Bill, and even Charlie may have never beaten the
Dave Clark Five's 'Catch Us If You Can' to the darker cinematic side
of those once Swinging 60s, but one minute spent alongside Jagger/Richard(s)
in some gosh-forsaken post-show bedsit as they birth 'Sittin' on a
Fence' alone makes this film an absolute Required View."
Painstaking work was done on restoring the footage to come up with
the new film that offers a coherent narrative and gives the viewer
unprecedented access to the Rolling Stones original line-up
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones and
Bill Wyman on stage live and captured, literally, in trains,
planes and automobiles as well as backstage and in smoky hotel rooms
where they candidly discuss their future. Never-before-seen footage
of the bands early songwriting process is also included as motel
rooms host impromptu songwriting sessions and familiar classics are
heard in their infancy as riff and lyric are united.
The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling Ireland 1965
Super Deluxe Box Set includes both DVD and Blu-ray discs that incorporate
the new 2012 version of the film as well as the directors cut
and producers cut, plus significant unseen additional performance
and other footage shot in Dublin and Belfast in September of 1965,
bonus content, two audio CDs, one of which is the films soundtrack
album and the other a compilation of 13 live recordings the band made
over the course of their 1965 UK tour. A 10 vinyl record of
the live material is also part of the package, as well as a replica
poster heralding the September 4, 1965 date they played in Belfast.
In late September, MVD Entertainment heralded an interesting documentary,
The Story Of Bob Dylan & The Band on DVD format.
During 1966 Bob Dylan began his first electric world tour. It was
a landmark moment, both for Dylan and for the history of rock music,
and it bitterly divided his existing audience.
Backing Dylan on stage was an obscure group of Canadian musicians
and a drummer from Arkansas, collectively known as The Hawks.
In the months following the tour they would join Dylan during a lengthy
convalescence in New York's Catskill Mountains; when both parties
re-emerged, Dylan had undergone an artistic transformation that sent
ripples across American music and the Hawks had become simply the
Band, one of the most influential and important recording groups of
This DVD is the story of the relationship between Dylan and The Band.
Their journey examined and the amateur Basement Tapes
recordings that they made together in Woodstock, their re-invention
of American music and their sporadic relationship during the 1970s.
This release has rare footage, archive interviews, seldom seen photographs
and the music that changed the world, all at once making for this
in depth filmic study of Bob Dylan and the Band's respective and communal
careers yet to emerge.
on camera for new interviews are Garth Hudson; Band producer John
Simon; The Hawks' 66 tour drummer, Mickey Jones; the man who assembled
and tutored the Hawks and from whom they took their name, Ronnie Hawkins;
Dylan guitarist, Charlie McCoy; and Band biographer Barney Hoskyns.
Hoskyns is the author of Across The Great Divide-The Band and
America and the recent biography on Led Zeppelin, Trampled
Underfoot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin.
After a recent 2012 keynote speech in England on the theme of place
and community in music, Hoskyns emailed comments about the The
Story of Bob Dylan & The Band DVD and The Basement
I'll never forget the pilgrimage I made to Big Pink, the unprepossessing
and in fact rather small house occupied in the summer of 1967 by Dylan
and the Band, and standing in the adjacent fields with the Basement
Tapes playing in my ears on a Sony Walkman. I longed to go back
in time and peep through Big Pink's windows, to watch Bob singing
Lo and Behold and Million Dollar Bash as Rick
Danko and Richard Manuel yelped along behind him.
For me, this was the perfect picture of musical brotherhood,
of songs being organically made by men who'd pulled back from the
sadness of fame and the sapping demands of the industry they served.
Ironically, the ripples of those private recordings first heard
on the Great White Wonder bootleg in 1969 were
felt way beyond the woods of West Saugerties in the Catskill Mountains.
They changed the course of rock music, inspiring countless groups
to in the groovy parlance of the day get it together
in the country.
When Music From Big Pink album duly appeared in
1968, it prompted Eric Clapton to abandon the proto-heavy-metal of
Cream and saddle up with the rambling rock 'n' soul gang that was
Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Music From Big Pinks
long-term influence on the music we now call Americana is incalculable.
Dr. James Cushing. A DJ on KCPR-FM who hosts a weekly radio program,
Bob Dylans Lunch, offered his own reflections about
this Dylan/Band DVD item.
For me the parts that were most revealing had to do with the
sound of Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks and the way Levon and his friends
were sounding in the very late 1950s and early 60s. A period
that is examined. And to see it and hear it brings back to life a
period of rhythm in music that is almost entirely lost now. A period
in rock before anyone thought that rock would be art. Or before anyone
thought it would be cultural history. Or before anyone would think
a rock n roll singer would receive the Presidential Medal
of Freedom at the White House. To hear this joyful, innocent, simple
music, with girls dancing on screen at Go Go clubs really gives you
a sense how miraculous that this whole rock as art thing happened.
Its an example how the Fifties ended and the Sixties slowly
came in. Its nice to see the Fifties slowly starting to end
with the presence of these people whom we know are going to have a
very different destiny that has nothing to do with doing Little Richard
or Bo Diddley covers before they teamed with Bob Dylan.
On screen it was nice to see Big Pink again, the archive footage
of the Band. And engineer/producer John Simon. But part of the essence
of the Basement Tapes is that there isnt any real visual documentation
of it. That they happened in a kind of veiled secrecy. One of the
reasons some of the songs were done was to make them available for
other recording artists to cover them. Thats easy to say after
the fact. As to what actually went into the creation of those songs
and recordings I dont think anyone really knows. Although Griel
Marcus book on the Basement Tapes seems to put his finger on
the heart of it. It is an example that once again, Bob Dylan collaborates
with the folk tradition.
If the full 5 CD 5- hour each disc set of the complete recordings
was commercially released it would be an item to get completely lost
in. It really does become a kind of an equivalent of the Harry
Smith Anthology. In the sense that there are all these terrific
songs. Each song is terrific in itself and each song has a terrific
relationship with every other song on it. Some are old. Some are brand
new. Some are serious. Some are funny. Some are sort of silly and
some are excuses to crack up. But you get the sense these are real
human beings making real human music in a real human situation making
real human music for real human purposes.
The Basement Tapes are like a whole shadowy subterranean
alternative career for Bob Dylan. Its as though somebody discovered
that while James Joyce was writing Ulysses and Finnegans
Wake he also wrote two other novels that were completely finished
but then put in a trunk.
The Basement Tapes were wholly concealed from public hearing
On June 26 1975 an official double LP collection of The Basement
Tapes compiled by Robbie Robertson for Columbia Records was
released as Bob Dylan and the Band. In a 1976 interview for Crawdaddy!
I conducted with Robertson, I asked him about The Basement Tapes
album and the songs that he selected for the sanctioned label product.
All of a sudden it seemed like
a good idea, Robertson claimed. "I can't tell you why or
anything. It just popped up one day. We thought we'd see what we had.
I started going through the stuff and sorting it out, trying to make
it stand up for a record that wasn't recorded professionally. I also
tried to include some things that people haven't heard before, if
possible. Whether it went top ten or not didn't concern me. I just
wanted to document a period rather than let them rot away on the shelves
somewhere. It was an unusual time which caused all those songs to
be written and it was better it be put on disc some way than be lost
in an attic."
to Harvey Kubernik for contributing this article to mwe3.com
Portions of this story were published only in the U.S. in Record
Collector News magazine.
(Los Angeles native Harvey Kubernik has been an active music journalist
for 40 years and the author of 5 books, including This Is Rebel
Music (2002) and Hollywood Shack Job: Rock Music In Film
and On Your Screen (2004) published by the University of New
In 2009 Kubernik wrote the critically acclaimed Canyon of Dreams
The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon published by Sterling,
a division of Barnes and Noble. In summer 2012, the title is now out
in paperback edition.
his brother Kenneth, he co-authored the highly regarded A Perfect
Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival
published in 2011 by Santa Monica Press).