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Celebrate America's Birthday With A Weekend-Long Salute To America's Music!
US Theatrical Premiere!
Program Number Seven
Three Films: The Beatles - 1960s Rock - 1970s Rock

Sunday July 6, 2008 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood


(1977, 17 x 55 mins, Theatre Projects, Directed by Tony Palmer)

John Lennon was the instigator of Palmer's landmark 1977 TV series that boldly set out to tell the story of 20th century popular music in 17 distinctive films. The series was a massive international hit - but was barely seen in the USA. To celebrate America's holiday weekend we are presenting all 17 films - grouped into five thematic programs - each consisting of three films. There are also two introductory films that are being shown as FREE screenings - one on Saturday - the other on Sunday. The films feature hours of unique, specially-shot material and ultra-rare archival footage of America's top musicians. Tony Palmer is attending the weekend and will introduce each program. See separate webpage for full details.


(1977, 165 mins, Theatre Projects, Directed by Tony Palmer)

Our seventh and final program of this very special salute to America's music on America's birthday consists of three films. Films about the music of the 1960s, the 1970s and about the Beatles. A lot of the music in these three films was created in other nations - particularly in Britain. But as all of the creators of the music attest - their original inspiration came from American music. Thus spake the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Donovan, Eric Burdon et al. The living testament to the power and impact of American popular music has been how it took root throughout the world - and inspired artists in other cultures to create their own music rooted in the American tradition.

"Mighty Good" Strange as it seems, in 1976 no overview documentary existed on the Beatles. The group that had drawn all its early inspiration from American music and had become the biggest musical phenomenon of the century - surpassing Sinatra and Presley in commercial success, critical acclaim and lasting influence on other artists - had not yet had its story told on film. Partly because the story was so vast and daunting to approach. Partly because of the complex rights involved. And partly because of the still tender emotions among the four members after their break-up in 1970. The idea for the "All You Need Is Love" series had sprung from John Lennon - and both Lennon and McCartney were on very good terms with filmmaker Tony Palmer from past endeavors (such as Palmer's 1968 film "All My Loving"). Lennon and McCartney both agreed to participate in Palmer's film about the Beatles for the "All You Need Is Love" series. And vitally - they also sanctioned their company Apple to provide Palmer with priceless footage from its archive. This was the archive that was eventually used to create the "Beatles Anthology" TV series some 20 years later. But in 1976, there was no "Anthology". There was no "Compleat Beatles" (made in 1984). Palmer's film naturally had limitations of budget and time - but given the pro-active support and involvement of Lennon and McCartney - and the fact that it was made barely six years after the break-up - this film is rightly hailed as an invaluable insight into the Beatles. The involvement of George Martin and the fact that the film was scripted by former Beatles publicist and close friend Derek Taylor verifies its importance. The film also looks at the Beatles' impact on American culture - with contributions from The Beach Boys and The Byrds among many.

"All Along the Watchtower" The sixties began, according to Eric Burdon as “a party”. “The aim of all of us, Hendrix, The Who, The Stones” Burdon goes on, “was to ball every chick in sight”. Unfortunately, the party went sour. After the death of Brian Epstein, the Beatles quarreled and split up. Jagger was arrested. Drugs became fashionable. The swinging sixties eventually tore itself apart in an orgy of self-congratulation and self-indulgence. Yet despite that - the music created in that decade is the lasting legacy of the era. Featuring Eric Burdon, Donovan, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, Alexis Korner, Manfred Mann, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Frank Zappa.

"Whatever Gets You Through The Night" This film takes place almost entirely on stage; fans are always seen from the performer’s point of view. Thus, we begin to feel and experience first hand the pressures being put upon various individuals by the music industry. We are backstage with David Bowie as he makes himself up for a performance. We watch Alice Cooper ritualistically smashing up a doll, while the fans shriek for more and more. We are with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull as he prepares to face a screaming crowd. We watch Eric Clapton before drugs, during drugs and after drugs. We are on stage with Keith Emerson as he hurls his electric organ as the audience. This is the 1970s... (before punk and the New Wave). Iconic performers include Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gary Glitter, Jethro Tull, Elton John, Kiss, Labelle, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Keith Moon, Helen Reddy and Roxy Music.

Introduced by Tony Palmer

Tonight's Stars!

Musicians & Composers (seen and/or heard):
Emerson, Lake and PalmerThe Beach Boys The BeatlesDavid BowieEric BurdonThe ByrdsEric ClaptonAlice CooperDonovanThe DoorsByran FerryPink FloydGary GlitterGeorge HarrisonJimi HendrixMick JaggerElton JohnJanis JoplinKissAlexis KornerLabelleJohn LennonThe Mamas and the Papas Manfred MannBob Marley & The WailersPaul McCartneyRoger McGuinnKeith MoonRoxy MusicHelen ReddyThe Rolling StonesRavi ShankarRingo StarrJethro TullThe WhoBill WymanFrank Zappa

Actors/Directors/Producers/Cultural Icons:
Clive DavisBrian EpsteinBill GrahamBill GrahamGeorge MartinMurray the KDerek TaylorAllan Williams

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