It’s long and wind­ing, so why not let it be

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

PAUL McCart­ney used to ar­gue with John Len­non be­cause it was a penny ex­tra to have jam on your toast. Look at all the jam he’s got now, the jammy bas­tard. He owes me 15 quid, by the way. I don’t know how he can sleep.’’

So says Al­lan Wil­liams, the first man­ager of the Bea­tles, bring­ing some much needed lev­ity to this over­long ( 90 min­utes), plod­ding and tawdry ex­pose of the dark side of band.

Wil­liams fights for air space with the usual types dug up from Liver­pool or Ham­burg ( Tony Sheri­dan, Klaus Voor­man and other less well known peers), who imag­ine they are de­liv­er­ing rev­e­la­tions: The Bea­tles trans­formed the whole Bri­tish scene,’’ says Len­non’s art col­lege friend Bill Harry,

not just in mu­sic ( long pause for dra­matic ef­fect) . . . they were a cul­tural phe­nom­e­non.’’ Well, duh.

Try as it might to be a tell- all se­ries of rev­e­la­tions, like a poor stu­dent try­ing to write an anal­y­sis, it can’t help telling a story so well known that even the ca­sual or lapsed Bea­tles fan is well ahead of the game.

Is there any­one alive who doesn’t know the Bea­tles took am­phet­a­mines in Ham­burg so they could play for days on end? It seems to come as a sur­prise to the mak­ers of this film.

But then, at minute 13, Ger­man club owner Horst Fascher drops a bomb­shell. They came to me once and said, For the price of one au­to­graph, we all four made love to the same girl.’

The un­stop­pable Fascher con­tin­ues: I think the girls showed them what to do with their lit­tle pee- pee.’’

In an al­to­gether more cul­tured way, the nar­ra­tor ex­trap­o­lates: For John Len­non, Ham­burg pro­vided an es­cape from the sex­ual norms with which he’d grown up in mid­dle- class Liver­pool.’’ Cue trans­ves­tites in sexy clothes, fuss­ing in mir­rors, eye­lashes like lead weights.

Then there’s a long di­ver­sion into the saga of Brian Ep­stein’s ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, once again a yawn for the mildest Fabs fan, even with the un­con­firmed sug­ges­tion that Len­non may have ex­per­i­mented with him.

Bea­tle ba­bies: some moth­ers do ave em. Most preg­nant girls were given money and told to sign some­thing guar­an­tee­ing their si­lence.

Oh, and some­one pro­fess­ing

to have been a chauf­feur claims to have de­liv­ered a gi­ant lump of hashish to Ap­ple. Once.

There are more rev­e­la­tions in Hunter Davies’s fairly pedes­trian 1968 bi­og­ra­phy The Bea­tles.

Any­one look­ing for a sen­si­ble in­quiry into the sub­stances that fu­elled the as­ton­ish­ing flood of cre­ativ­ity dur­ing the Bea­tles’ decade to­gether will be sorely dis­ap­pointed. But if scraggy old kiss- and- tell Bea­tle girl­friends and shal­low, re­hashed bi­og­ra­phy ap­peals, this is your show.

Fab bore: This Bea­tles doc­u­men­tary goes down a road well trav­elled

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.