Thursday, 19 January 2017

Unofficial "Pepper" documentary

A Sgt Pepper film is in the making, though not an official one
There is an upcoming "Sgt Pepper"-film in post-production at the moment, but it's unofficial and cover band The Bootleg Beatles* are providing the music. There will be talking heads (Beatles biographers Hunter Davies and Philip Norman), a real Beatle (it's Pete Best) and film clips from both mainstream archives and private collectors.

"It Was Fifty Years Ago Today…Sgt Pepper And Beyond", is directed by Alan G. Parker, who also have directed other musically oriented documentaries, like  "Who Killed Nancy?" (Sex Pistols, 2009), "Hello Quo" (Status Quo, 2012) and "Rebel Truce", (The Clash, 2007).

Screen Daily has the story.

*The Bootleg Beatles are involved in a big celebration of the Sgt Pepper album in the UK. They will perform the full album and other 1967 songs with the aid of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on May 31 and June 3, as well as at London's Royal Albert Hall on June 1. The music is arranged by Nigel Osborne and the concerts will be hosted by the legendary Liverpool poet Roger McGough (also of Scaffold and Rutles fame). These three events are already sold out, but there are still tickets to later performances in Liverpool, Birmingham and Nottingham available.

7 comments:

Brian Quigley said...

Nothing against Pete Best, but his use proves this project is about grabbing whatever you can and stuffing it in a package that you can put a BEATLES label on. Pete has about as much to do with the 67 Beatles as I do.

James Percival said...

You are undoubtedly right about the overall scope of this project, Brian, but curiously enough if Roag, Pete and Rory's book 'The Beatles: The True Beginnings' (2002) is right then the Bests did have a very small input into Sgt Pepper. The claims is that Mona lent John the medals he wore for the cover shot. As many of us amateur historians of the Beatles are aware, Spencer Leigh's 'Drummed Out' (1998) finally revealed the insider secret that Neil Aspinal fathered Roag and maintained a relationship with Mona until about 1968. This meant that Hunter Davies' 1968 narrative that the Beatles has no idea what Pete was doing was not true. I have read an interview with Hunter where he revealed he know about the secret but had not written about it for whatever reason. The Bests' book also claimed that Mona visited Neil in London and had sporadic contact with the Beatles. The book contains photos of gifts that they claim the Beatles gave to Mona. I have no reason to disbelieve this but the book is not that accurate with dates (at least 2 errors I have spotted).

bri286 said...

Just bought two tickets for the RAH gig on June 1st directly from the box office - it's not too late to get yours!

Martin said...

Hopefully this will spur Apple into doing their own 50th anniversary thing for Pepper.
Would love to see Granada's 'It Was 20 Years Ago Today' and the 1992 'South Bank Show'
officially released. There is other stuff, of course: like the alternate footage that appeared on Revolver Records Youtube channel...

Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marc Wishart said...

I'd be wary about believing too many of Roag Bests (admittedly very entertaining) tales,to be honest. He also claims that John wrote Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite based around some music hall posters loaned from Mona. Errm...

James Percival said...

Hi Marc
If Roag claimed that about the poster then his imagination is definitely getting the better of him. Equally, the secrecy about Aspinall's relationship with Mona meant that the full story was not told for a long time. Obviously the Beatles did have a direct link with the Best family until Mona and Neil split up around 1967/8