The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, but before then, they spent thousands of hours onstage, especially during their tours of duty in Hamburg between August 1960 and December 1962 in places like the Indra, the Kaiserkeller and the Star-Club along the Reeperbahn and the Grosse Freiheit. After scoring their first hits in 1963, they were on the road almost constantly, culminating with a show at Shea Stadium in New York on August 15, 1965. Some 55,000 were in attendance at what is recorded as the first-ever stadium headline gig by a rock act.
Ron Howard–yes, him–has built a documentary around these years called The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. The theatrical debut is coming September 15. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Their prescient manager, Brian Epstein and Ed Sullivan, their biggest American booster, filmed the Shea Stadium gig using fourteen 35 mm cameras (an insane expense of the day), which was turned into a 30-minute doc. It’s been restored and upconverted to a 4K print which will run prior to the Howard film.