A new documentary film details the events that gave birth to Beatlemania and changed the North American music landscape.
The date was February 11, 1964. On a makeshift stage at the Washington Coliseum and two days after appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, four young men from Liverpool gave a performance that changed and shaped the music scene in North America , if not the world. Thirty minutes and 12 songs after they stepped on the stage, Beatlemania was on.
The Beatles: The Lost Concert details the story on how an unknown British group grabbed the attention of music fans on the North American continent through the use of rare film footage and recent interviews with some of the people who lived through it. Giving their account of the historic events are people like Chuck Berry, Steve Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Sid Bernstein, the promoter who made the first call to the band’s manager.
The movie also shows a collection of pictures recently discovered of The Beatles arriving at Union Station, in Washington D.C., the press conference that followed and the concert in the nation’s capital. The concert, professionally filmed by an eight-camera crew and mixed live on location, was broadcast in movie theatres across America a month later, much to the delight of millions of teenagers.
The original film footage changed hands privately several times over the 45 years that passed, but have now been restored and remastered, and the entire concert is included in The Beatles: The Lost Concert. This is reportedly the only complete Beatles concert available.
The impact of The Beatles on the music industry is indisputable and The Lost Concert offers a glimpse at the start of Beatlemania. Mike Mitchell, the photographer whose pictures preserved the moment for history, says, “The concert was like being in the delivery room at the birth of an entire generation.” Tommy Roe, one of that concert’s opening acts, adds, “This is history.” The film will interest the legions who lived through Beatlemania as well as the fans influenced by it.
The Beatles: The Lost Concert will premiere in New York City on May 6. Movie theaters across the United States will screen the documentary on May 17 and 22, in a limited engagement.