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New DVD tells the untold story of Magical Mystery Tour

by David Haber, What Goes On Beatles News Editor

Christmas, 1967, marked the beginning of a new era in the epic story of the Beatles. It was their first project following the death of Manager Brian Epstein, and while the Magical Mystery Tour LP was a great hit, the airing of the Magical Mystery Tour movie in England on BBC1 was met with very poor reviews. The Beatles could no longer "do no wrong."

A new DVD which tells the untold story of this turning point in Beatles history, entitled "The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour Memories," is now available in the UK, and will be released in the US on September 29.

Chronicling the making of the film which started in August, 1967, Magical Mystery Tour Memories features the memories of celebrities and eye-witness accounts of fans who were there during the making of the movie. It also includes previously unseen exciting 8mm color home movie footage taken at the time.

A scene from the previously unseen 8mm footage

The DVD takes you behind the scenes to learn what it was really like at the time. Tony Barrow, Beatles press officer, remembers Paul bringing him the original idea, and the thinking behind it. In a rare interview with Mike McCartney, Paul McCartney's brother, Mike remembers how Paul went to great lengths to see how all the Beatles had equal parts in the film. Spencer Davis, a pal of "the boys" at the time, tells how he got involved.

Miranda Ward, a journalist and Beatles friend, tells how she got to go along for the ride. Freda Kelly, original Beatles Fan Club secretary, was there too. And Neil Innes, a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and later a Rutle, tells how the Bonzos got in the act.

The documentary takes you to the locations where the original film was shot, including the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay, and the RAF West Malling airfield in Kent.

And the whole thing is tied together with narration and commentary by the wonderful Victor Spinetti, actor in the first three Beatles films who was also a close friend of the Beatles and especially John, as he also shares his memories of that fascinating time.

Narrator Victor Spinetti

And as a DVD bonus feature, in addition to the stories of the film, Mike McCartney, Spencer Davis, Freda Kelly, Miranda Ward and Victor Spinetti tell fans more about their remembrances of their time with the Beatles.

Producer David Lambert said, "This is a happy, upbeat film. Probably the last time the Fab Four were all still getting along."

This DVD offers Beatles fans a unique opportunity to see rarely interviewed people like Mike McCartney and to meet people important to the Beatles story like Freda Kelly. If only to spend some time with Victor Spinetti, this film is a must have for all Beatles fans.

The DVD is now available to buy in the UK (Region 2) for 12.99. P&P is free. For more info on buying this in the UK, visit the Wienerworld website.

"The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour Memories" will be available in America (Region 1) on September 29. For more info, visit the MVD website, click on "MVD Visual", and then select "Beatles" in "View titles by artist".

Published September 22, 2008

This article is Copyright © 2008, David Haber, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission

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