The Beatles: Made on Merseyside

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The Beatles: Made on Merseyside
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Review

Sure, they’re not the freshest topic for a documentary but, let’s face it, the Fab Four’s story never gets stale. This film takes the early years angle, exploring the environmental, cultural and musical influences that sculpted and evolved the band, both in their home town and on the mean streets of Hamburg’s Reeperbahn.

At times, it feels like a televisual walking tour of Merseybeat tourist spots. For instance, there are some especially ripe descriptions of the Cavern Club’s unsavoury odours, from those who experienced them first-hand. And it’s these insights from friends and contemporaries, especially the charismatic Pete Best, that give this doc an intimacy lacking in many of its rivals.

“I don’t think many of the parents liked John. They used to refer to him as ‘that Lennon’,” says the Quarrymen’s Len Garry. Paul, meanwhile, “always did his homework on time”, while Ringo “was in hospital so much, the other kids called him Lazarus”.

Summary

Few dispute that the Beatles defined 1960s music and popular culture like no other band, but how John, Paul, George and Ringo made the journey from Merseyside teenagers to international pop stars is less known. Director Alan Byron's documentary recounts the rise of the band as American rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues dragged post-war Liverpool into one of the most vibrant music cities ever with the Mersey Beat sound.

Cast & Crew

Director Alan Byron
Producer Alan Byron
Music