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59 minutes ago, FerrisBueller said:

Straight into 'Here Comes the Sun' too, just perfect.

I'm glad it didn't finish the album, the medley followed by 'Her Majesty' is just brilliant!

Lennon always claimed to loath the mini-opera and wanted a different running order by virtue of the latter being side one. and 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' bing the climax of the album. He normally got his way, but was so disinterested by then that he likely let it go. Furthermore, decisions about the music had largely always been via consensus. Her Majesty was supposed to sit between 'Mean Mr Mustard' and 'Polythene Pam' it was discarded, because as a throwaway song, McCartney decided it didn't fit and told one of the engineers, John Kurlander, to bin it. However it had been instilled in him never to throw anything 'Beatles' related away. He picked the tape up off the floor and appended to to the end of the edit tape. When the first lacquer disc was cut from this it was included by accident. The band like it and left it in for the final version.

 

The problem is, like the White Album, Macca's often questionable quality control and Lennon's indifference meant that there were more throw away songs on the album - three of them imo. Whilst McCartney was poncing around with his silver hammer and Lennon, dispensing with his polythene and mustard junk - left overs from their time in Rishikesh, George, dark horse that he was, was quietly composing and recording what were to become two of the finest songs in the entire Beatles back catalogue and easily the best contributions to their final album. 'Something', dedicated to Patti, which Frank Sinatra branded the best love song ever written and 'Here Come's the Sun' written in Eric Clapton's garden having bunked off another onerous band related business meeting. Harrison said it felt like skipping school, playing truant...no one wanted to be there anymore. It's was a sunny spring day and it's about the optimism of not having to be a Beatle any longer. 'The End' was very much in sight. This is a really fun song to play on the acoustic - capo on the seventh fret. 

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15 hours ago, Line-X said:

Lennon always claimed to loath the mini-opera and wanted a different running order by virtue of the latter being side one. and 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' bing the climax of the album. He normally got his way, but was so disinterested by then that he likely let it go. Furthermore, decisions about the music had largely always been via consensus. Her Majesty was supposed to sit between 'Mean Mr Mustard' and 'Polythene Pam' it was discarded, because as a throwaway song, McCartney decided it didn't fit and told one of the engineers, John Kurlander, to bin it. However it had been instilled in him never to throw anything 'Beatles' related away. He picked the tape up off the floor and appended to to the end of the edit tape. When the first lacquer disc was cut from this it was included by accident. The band like it and left it in for the final version.

 

The problem is, like the White Album, Macca's often questionable quality control and Lennon's indifference meant that there were more throw away songs on the album - three of them imo. Whilst McCartney was poncing around with his silver hammer and Lennon, dispensing with his polythene and mustard junk - left overs from their time in Rishikesh, George, dark horse that he was, was quietly composing and recording what were to become two of the finest songs in the entire Beatles back catalogue and easily the best contributions to their final album. 'Something', dedicated to Patti, which Frank Sinatra branded the best love song ever written and 'Here Come's the Sun' written in Eric Clapton's garden having bunked off another onerous band related business meeting. Harrison said it felt like skipping school, playing truant...no one wanted to be there anymore. It's was a sunny spring day and it's about the optimism of not having to be a Beatle any longer. 'The End' was very much in sight. This is a really fun song to play on the acoustic - capo on the seventh fret. 

I'm glad that Her Majesty ended up on it, about as perfect as a 30 second song can be.

Not a fan of some of the Macca output then? I hear quite often people not digging Maxwell's Silver Hammer etc, i unashamedly love that tune. I'm a bit of a Maccaphile in honesty, he can do no wrong in my eyes.

Also, no love for Mean Mr Mustard?

 

Love that story about Something, I read somewhere that the best version of it was the one George sang in the kitchen to Patti - not sure who said that, presumably Patti.

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On 12/01/2021 at 09:51, Mark_w said:

According to Last.FM I have listened to Polythene Pam more than any other Beatles song in the last few years.

Ah wow, is Last.FM still going?  Used to use that a lot. 

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On 12/01/2021 at 09:51, Mark_w said:

According to Last.FM I have listened to Polythene Pam more than any other Beatles song in the last few years.

I love the way Lennon is so scouse on that. Similar to the way he does Maggie May on Let It Be.

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Some great comments and insight on here. Especially for a newbie like me. 

 

I'm interested in any comments on the hey jude david frost performance, that I've just watched on YouTube. 

 

Ringo apart, it was visible and tangible that they had absolutely zero in common with frost or the crowd of extras/fans. No rapport. The aloofness. Fascinating really. 

 

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Paninistickers said:

Some great comments and insight on here. Especially for a newbie like me. 

 

I'm interested in any comments on the hey jude david frost performance, that I've just watched on YouTube. 

 

Ringo apart, it was visible and tangible that they had absolutely zero in common with frost or the crowd of extras/fans. No rapport. The aloofness. Fascinating really. 

 

 

 

 

Actually, they were quite well acquainted with Frost, he first interviewed McCartney in 1964 and had continued to do so.

 

 

The full clip begins with them badly parodying his theme tune while he stands there himself looking somewhat embarrassed and awkward. Both 'Revolution' (posted on this thread) and 'Hey Jude' were recorded at Twickenham Film Studios in September 1968 where a stage had been set up and an 36 piece orchestra deployed...but it was mimed. The Musicians Union had placed a ban on the latter, so bands got around it by recording the vocals live on both. Nonetheless, the amps were set up. The videos were shot by Michael Lyndsey-Hogg who directed the 'Let it Be' movie which initially reconvened for shooting at Twickenham in January the following year. The crowd are as you say extras/fans who had been previously recruited and some of which selected from the so called 'Apple Scruffs' that used to congregate outside Abbey Road Studios. They were told to be at Victoria Station at 4pm and were bussed out to Twickenham. They were asked to surround the stage and join in during the finale. So although the entire experience probably felt quite contrived, I don't think that the Beatles are necessarily 'aloof'. Remember, this was filmed during the back end of the five month toxic 'White Album' sessions during which relationships in the band were at an all time nadir. Nonetheless, all the testimonies that I've read indicate that in between takes, the band (particularly Paul and Ringo) were cordial and approachable. 

 

I think there were three takes filmed of the performance, two of which you can find online. 

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On 12/01/2021 at 09:17, FerrisBueller said:

 

Not a fan of some of the Macca output then? I hear quite often people not digging Maxwell's Silver Hammer etc, i unashamedly love that tune. I'm a bit of a Maccaphile in honesty, he can do no wrong in my eyes.

 

After the soaring beauty of 'Something' we are promptly brought ingloriously crashing back down with the banality of 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' which has always reminded me of one of those crap seventies novelty records. 

 

The Beatles back catalogue is replete with the most astonishing musicality, much of it courtesy of Martin and McCartney. It has always utterly bewildered me how such an extraordinarily gifted man's quality control was compromised on so many occasions. I think this was in part due to his innate control freakery which spiraled out of control after the death of Epstein; (although BE never had any input into the musical direction, but by then John and George were almost beyond caring whilst Ringo....well Ringo is Ringo). Added to that, the complete lack of self-appraisal and the belief that the Beatles were beyond criticism. How he can simultaneously compose superb material such as 'Hey Jude', 'Back in The USSR', Blackbird and 'Helter Skelter' alongside utter dross like 'Ob- La-Di Ob-La-Da', 'Wild Honey Pie', 'Why Don't We do it in The Road' and the dreadfully insipid 'I Will' has always been utterly beyond me. That he saw fit to sully the Beatles discography with post 1966 inane shite such as 'Your Mother Should Know', Hello Goodbye', 'Rocky Racoon' 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' etc is a great shame. Of course, Lennon was not immune to dodgy material himself, but although increasingly indifferent, always detested Paul's seemingly unwavering mission to transform the Beatles into an act verging on vaudeville. John always loathed McCartney's music hall evocations and fondness of the ballad which he derogatorily disdained as McCartney's 'Granny Music' - particularly following the surrealist period of 66 and 67 when he wanted the band to pursue a more avant garde direction. 

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On 23/01/2021 at 13:20, Line-X said:

After the soaring beauty of 'Something' we are promptly brought ingloriously crashing back down with the banality of 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' which has always reminded me of one of those crap seventies novelty records. 

 

The Beatles back catalogue is replete with the most astonishing musicality, much of it courtesy of Martin and McCartney. It has always utterly bewildered me how such an extraordinarily gifted man's quality control was compromised on so many occasions. I think this was in part due to his innate control freakery which spiraled out of control after the death of Epstein; (although BE never had any input into the musical direction, but by then John and George were almost beyond caring whilst Ringo....well Ringo is Ringo). Added to that, the complete lack of self-appraisal and the belief that the Beatles were beyond criticism. How he can simultaneously compose superb material such as 'Hey Jude', 'Back in The USSR', Blackbird and 'Helter Skelter' alongside utter dross like 'Ob- La-Di Ob-La-Da', 'Wild Honey Pie', 'Why Don't We do it in The Road' and the dreadfully insipid 'I Will' has always been utterly beyond me. That he saw fit to sully the Beatles discography with post 1966 inane shite such as 'Your Mother Should Know', Hello Goodbye', 'Rocky Racoon' 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' etc is a great shame. Of course, Lennon was not immune to dodgy material himself, but although increasingly indifferent, always detested Paul's seemingly unwavering mission to transform the Beatles into an act verging on vaudeville. John always loathed McCartney's music hall evocations and fondness of the ballad which he derogatorily disdained as McCartney's 'Granny Music' - particularly following the surrealist period of 66 and 67 when he wanted the band to pursue a more avant garde direction. 

It's subjective isn't it. I think your dross list is very close to being as good as your superb list.

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18 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

It's subjective isn't it. I think your dross list is very close to being as good as your superb list.

Meaning that depending upon your perspective, it is either all complete crap, excellent - or between both, unremarkable mediocrity.

 

Art is indeed subjective, relative, subject to preconceptions, preferences and dislikes but can also be objectively appraised - hence good taste and bad taste.  

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44 minutes ago, Line-X said:

Meaning that depending upon your perspective, it is either all complete crap, excellent - or between both, unremarkable mediocrity.

 

Art is indeed subjective, relative, subject to preconceptions, preferences and dislikes but can also be objectively appraised - hence good taste and bad taste.  

Ok. I'm not sure the assessment of those songs as 'dross' is remotely objective. Feel free to prove otherwise.

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1 minute ago, Mark_w said:

Ok. I'm not sure the assessment of those songs as 'dross' is remotely objective. Feel free to prove otherwise.

Burden of proof is incumbent on those making the claim. For my part...exhibit A your honour.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Line-X said:

Burden of proof is incumbent on those making the claim. For my part...exhibit A your honour.

 

 

Umm you made the claim...

So if I understand correctly...
Your opinions of art are 'objective appraisals'

Mine are bad taste

But you can't quantify how something is objectively appraised? Or give any guidance as to how one could move from the latter to the former (I'm guessing it's just agreeing with you?)

Thanks for sharing.

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3 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

Umm you made the claim...

"Umm"- I did indeed concede that, that was my point. So I presented the evidence.

 

3 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

So if I understand correctly...
 

Well you're not doing very well so far. No you do not.

 

7 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

But you can't quantify how something is objectively appraised? Or give any guidance as to how one could move from the latter to the former 

I haven't even passed comment on whether I can or I can't. We can talk about it if you like. In respect of the White Album, I would contend that some material is clearly not up to the standard of the rest of the album. Some things speak for themselves.

 

12 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

I'm guessing it's just agreeing with you?)
 

??? Not at all, that would be entirely derived from my own subjectivity wouldn't it. Saying that, I can't mitigate for your bad taste ;)

 

19 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

Thanks for sharing.

Not at all. There's more where that came from...

 

 

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1 minute ago, Line-X said:

"Umm"- I did indeed concede that, that was my point. So I presented the evidence.

Calling a song dross, or just posting the song itself, is not sufficient evidence that it is objectively dross. It's evidence that you really don't like it, and nothing more. Presenting your opinions as an objective position that everyone should agree with is really arrogant.
 

 

3 minutes ago, Line-X said:

I haven't even passed comment on whether I can or I can't. We can talk about it if you like. In respect of the White Album, I would contend that some material is clearly not up to the standard of the rest of the album. Some things speak for themselves.

Yeah feel free to contend that, but that isn't an objective view as I'm sure you know. Your view is as subjective as everybody elses. You gave your opinion, I gave mine, and then rather than just accept that's the position you feel the need to place your opinion as being of more worth, and to do so hide it behind a cloak of palpably false 'objectivity'. Your musical taste is no better than anybody elses, it's just yours.

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38 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

Calling a song dross, or just posting the song itself, is not sufficient evidence that it is objectively dross. It's evidence that you really don't like it, and nothing more. Presenting your opinions as an objective position that everyone should agree with is really arrogant.

Jesus. Lighten up. Let's ask the man himself...

 

 

There, that put me in my place.

 

I don't think everyone should agree with me at all, but as I said, some things do speak for themselves. 'Wild Honey Pie' is a jarring throwaway 52 second piece of McCartney banality, utterly bereft of creative/lyrical merit and musicality and ploddingly executed. And actually, when pressed and since the above 'Anthology' clip, McCartney conceded that he regretted the inclusion of such sub standard filler material on the White Album. He definitely wouldn't have placed every housewife's favourite, 'Ob-la-di, ob-la-da' in that category though which has continued to be a live staple. Definitely in the top 5 most irritating McCartney songs...in fact it irritated everyone concerned and involved with it...all ****ing gazillion takes of it. It was one of the main factors that toxified the White Album Sessions prompting the brilliant Geoff Emerick to quit working with the Beatles, the usually demure and restrained George Martin to holler expletives at Macca over the intercom of Studio 2 and Harrison to sardonically invoke reference to it three months later in the lyrics of 'Savoy Truffle'...a song otherwise lyrically derived from the inner sleeve of a box of Good News chocolates and refence to Eric Clapton's sweet tooth. Also, you can actually hear Lennon beat his frustration out during the piano intro. Popular belief has it that he also intentionally sabotaged 'The Long and Winding Road' with that meandering bassline. Let's not go there.

 

38 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

Yeah feel free to contend that, but that isn't an objective view as I'm sure you know. Your view is as subjective as everybody elses. You gave your opinion, I gave mine, and then rather than just accept that's the position you feel the need to place your opinion as being of more worth, and to do so hide it behind a cloak of palpably false 'objectivity'. Your musical taste is no better than anybody elses, it's just yours.

What???? A lot of wild unsubstantiated assumptions there chap. You haven't given your view at all, Simply launched an unprovoked and borderline irrational series of responses to what was intended to be quite light hearted observation on my part, Genuinely, I don't understand, how a man of such inspired and transcendent musical talent and gift for melody felt the need to churn out such garbage which sullied the Beatles back catalogue. Joking aside, I don't place my viewpoint as being of any more worth than you, I genuinely thought that this was a given and demonstrable - and at no point have I suggested that my musical taste is better than anybody else's other than a glib and entirely facetious quip that I can't mitigate for yours.

 

I'd be most intrigued to hear your viewpoint and particular concerning the musical worth of 'Wild Honey Pie' why you might contend that this is equal in standard to his other contributions to the White Album and compositions during 1968 which invariably, others do not. Purely my original point. McCartney himself acknowledges that it was a throwaway jam originating in Rishikesh and only found space on the album because, for some inexplicable reason, Patti Harrison liked it.

 

Seriously - calm down and don't take this so personally. To clarify, my taste/viewpoint is no more valid than yours. Do feel free though to demonstrate why you contend otherwise, instead of indignantly attacking me. I recall you did exactly the same over some views that I expressed concerning Nigel Pearson back in 2015. 

 

Really - it's just a forum. Enjoy the match tonight instead. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Line-X said:

You haven't given your view at all, Simply launched an unprovoked and borderline irrational series of responses to what was intended to be quite light hearted observation on my part

Well I did...
 

2 hours ago, Mark_w said:

It's subjective isn't it. I think your dross list is very close to being as good as your superb list.

 

2 hours ago, Line-X said:

Meaning that depending upon your perspective, it is either all complete crap, excellent - or between both, unremarkable mediocrity.

 

Art is indeed subjective, relative, subject to preconceptions, preferences and dislikes but can also be objectively appraised - hence good taste and bad taste.  


You made a light hearted observation, I made a light hearted observation. And then, I think the above post is a pretty up yourself implication that your view is based on objective appraisal, and mine is just an indicator of bad taste. If I've read too much into that fair enough, but I think that's where we got side tracked from light hearted fun.

 

5 minutes ago, Line-X said:

Seriously - calm down and don't take this so personally. To clarify, my taste/viewpoint is no more valid than yours. Do feel free though to demonstrate why you contend otherwise, instead of indignantly attacking me. I recall you did exactly the same over some views that I expressed concerning Nigel Pearson back in 2015.

What you're clarifying now, is exactly what I was saying. I was just taking issue with the idea that your view is baed on an objective assessment followed by repeatedly labling songs garbage or dross without any explanation of what makes them so terrible.

For what it's worth...
I think Wild Honey Pie is 50-odd seconds of quirky fun, comparing it to other Beatles songs, except maybe Her Majesty or Polythene Pam if you really felt the need to, feels like a pretty pointless excercise. I'm not contending that it's equally as good as the rest of his White Album output, but I think that album is a more interesting listen than a lot of other Beatles albums, and that albums that don't have some variety in their structure, and the purpose of the songs, would probably be quite a boring listen. The White Album is better for Wild Honey Pie than it would be without. Revolver & Rubber Soul probably have a lot fewer songs that you'd consider 'trash filler' but I genuinley don't enjoy them as much as the White Album or Abbey Road because they don't feel as varied.

Rocky Raccoon, Ob-La-Di & Hello, Goodbye are great, I can't even begin to comprehend where your perception of them comes from, and I won't if your explanation is just 'they're shit, look here it is on youtube'.

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1 minute ago, Rain King said:

I even like Maxwell's Silver Hammer which I know is widely regarded as shite. 😬

I mean if it is that's a crime too. It's brilliant.

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8 minutes ago, Mark_w said:

For what it's worth...
I think Wild Honey Pie is 50-odd seconds of quirky fun, comparing it to other Beatles songs, except maybe Her Majesty or Polythene Pam if you really felt the need to, feels like a pretty pointless excercise. I'm not contending that it's equally as good as the rest of his White Album output, but I think that album is a more interesting listen than a lot of other Beatles albums, and that albums that don't have some variety in their structure, and the purpose of the songs, would probably be quite a boring listen. The White Album is better for Wild Honey Pie than it would be without. Revolver & Rubber Soul probably have a lot fewer songs that you'd consider 'trash filler' but I genuinley don't enjoy them as much as the White Album or Abbey Road because they don't feel as varied.

Rocky Raccoon, Ob-La-Di & Hello, Goodbye are great, I can't even begin to comprehend where your perception of them comes from, and I won't if your explanation is just 'they're shit, look here it is on youtube'.

Thanks for that - an enjoyable reply to read and I certainly agree that the White Album is varied - in my opinion, at times, not refreshingly so unlike the appealing eclecticism of 'Revolver' or 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band'. For all the whimsical excursions, and in spite of the title, I'd say it's actually their darkest piece of work if we discount 'Let it Be' which was more of a shelved and discarded project belatedly dusted off and polished at the behest of Spector. As I said, there was a dark pall hanging over the protracted sessions, although that doesn't detract from the raw energy that the ennui of 'Let it Be'/ the 'Get Back; project lacked. 

 

I certainly don't agree that The White Album is a better piece of work for the inclusion of the material you/I mentioned. "50-odd seconds of quirky fun" does not necessarily equate to good music - particularly when it completely destroys the momentum. I guess I find it frustrating that I genuinely maintain, as arguably their most intriguing and fascinating bodies of work, given the judicious pruning that George Martin as executive producer implored them to apply, 'The Beatles' really could have been the greatest single album of all time. But then, similarly, for me it wouldn't be the same without Revolution 9 and yes I can certainly understand why many would disagree with that.

 

Like I said, because it was recorded in an atmosphere of tension and strained relationships, it lacks cohesion and is, for better of for worse, the result of four individual personalities pulling in vastly different directions - it's simply that, given his talent, I often find McCartney's the most frustrating and perplexing. There’s little in the way of direction in the scattergun mix of influences and it was an utter nightmare for Martin with The Beatles often consecutively working in different studios. The result is some epic songs interspersed with some not so great derivative songs, and sorry, some utter rubbish. Eliminating that, 'Sexy Sadie; “Blackbird”, “Helter Skelter”, “Back in the USSR” “Birthday”; “Julia”, “Dear Prudence”, 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', “Happiness is a Warm Gun” “Revolution 1”, (although the single version would have been better), 'Yer Blues', 'Martha My Dear'...what a list. But, trimmed down we would have lost four solo artists on their uniquely chaotic and frequently messy odyssey.  It took two records to cram in all their ideas, - I'm amazed it wasn't three - some of them inspirational, some of them irritating, some maddening, but for the Beatles aficionado - fascinating nonetheless - and I guess that's the point you're making. Thank **** Lennon never managed to get his six minutes plus of avant garde horseshit that was 'What's The New Mary Jane' on there though. I'd be fascinated to see whether you would have regarded input resembling  'The Two Virgins' or 'Life With the Lions' i the same light as Macca's as I termed it - *dross* - had it have materialised onto the WA as he wanted. Particularly in view of the fact that this was the direction that Lennon was eager to steer the band. Suddenly the notion of Macca's 'Granny music' isn't so bad after all I guess. But at what point does this cease to be the greatest band in history granted artistic licence and simply the overrated and overindulgent product of four conceited egos increasingly divorced from reality and the waning ability to self appraise their own worth?

 

One of the things that has always struck me about Beatles albums is how much stronger they would have been if EMI hadn't placed so much contractual pressure on them to release singles, which had far more commercially appeal and marketing potential than albums. Imagine Rubber Soul minus 'What Goes On' and 'Run For Your Life' (fillers, which Lennon himself abhorred), and with the addition of 'Day Tripper' 'We Can Work it Out' -which would have been the case today. Or Revolver minus 'Good Day Sunshine' and 'I Want to Tell You' replaced by 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain'. However, without the singles and a public forever eager to be sated with ever more material, the phenomenon would not have been as it was and they wouldn't have been granted the autonomy to become a studio band that they benefitted from later in their career. Also the grueling schedule that was thrust upon them was borderline criminal. Look at how 'Beatles for Sale' was recorded on the fly. A very, very tight professional live band able to flit in and out of the studio in between their hectic itinerary and the by then debilitating curse of Beatlemania...but it did lead to the inclusion of some rather uninspired standards/covers simply in the interest of expediency. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just watched the Ron Howard documentary Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years on Sky.

 

What an incredible 2 hours of education and insight. I'm no huge fan but I absolutely loved it. 

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