John Blakemore predicts that this series will prove the Beatles were the
Even with their place in history assured, the three remaining Fabs have
finally decided to tell their sides of the story. Presumably, this was
as a result of avarice, pride and ego in varying quantities from the mop
tops (plus a widow).
The big questions are: what do they hope to achieve from the extensively
hyped ‘new’ single and TV series? And how does the average fan feel
about it - conned and manipulated, or overjoyed?
It was with these thoughts that I watched the first part of the series.
The half hour before 8pm was spent part in nervous trepidation that the
pop group that played an important part in my formative years would
finally let me down, and part in fervent hope they really could prove
yet again that they are the best at what they do.
An hour later, I didn’t give a damn that I probably had been manipulated
or that by the end of the marketing plan I’d have spent a fair few bob
on the single and albums (in all formats), the video, the books and the
T-shirt because I loved it, yeah, yeah, yeah.
From the opening credits, with the wall of screams I still remember from
London concerts, right through to the end, it was a superb testament to
their early years.
Did it tell us anything new? Well, not really, but the Beatles’ history
has been so well documented it’s probably unrealistic to expect it to.
It would have been interesting to have had an interview with Pete Best,
to get his perspective on the sacking which led to the introduction of
Ringo, but this is also probably too much to expect from what is, in
reality, an accurate but clearly sanitised version of events.
The film clips, photos and interviews were skilfully put together to
provide a perfect trip down memory lane, or a lasting document of their
rise to fame, depending on which side of 40 you are.
Did I view it through round rose-tinted Lennon specs? Probably, but,
trust me, the Beatles were that good and I’m confident the next five
episodes will go on to prove it.
John ‘Paul, George and Ringo’ Blakemore is the UK advertising director
of SmithKline Beecham