New Ron Howard-directed Beatles doc will highlight the touring years

Unsung rock band the Beatles to be subject of film directed by actor from "The Andy Griffith Show"

Missing the Beatles? Feel like there’s nothing new to add to the band’s history? Apparently you’re wrong. Make room in the never-ending stream of Beatles projects for an as-yet-untitled new documentary sure to bring Liverpool’s finest back into the spotlight.

Drawing on one particular aspect of the band’s early years, the film will tell the story of the Beatles as a live band, one that powered through late nights during its early years onstage in Hamburg, Germany, honing their chops and tightening their sound until they exploded in Europe, America and around the world.

Produced with the cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, the project will be produced by White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment and will be directed by Academy Award-winner Ron Howard.

The documentary draws a distinct boundary around its subject matter, ending in 1966. In Beatles lore, the band’s most visible transformation occurred during that year, when, in order to focus on making music in the studio, it quit playing concerts after the final stop on its American tour at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. At that same moment a cultural shift was being fomented around the world, one made possible by new technology and a blossoming youth culture.

According to the press release issued jointly by Apple Corps and the film’s producers, the documentary “will seek to explain what it was about that particular moment in time that allowed this cultural pivot point to occur.  It will examine the social and political context of the time, and reveal the unique conditions that caused technology and mass communication to collide. The film will also explore the incomparable electricity between performer and audience that turned the music into a movement – a common experience into something sublime.”

Skeptics and non-Baby Boomers wondering how much new information about that period can be added to the voluminous histories of the 1960s -- it's not like that period is begging for coverage, after all -- can find solace in knowing that new Beatles footage will likely be included in the documentary. 

In a statement, Howard, an avowed Beatles fan, said: “I am excited and honored to be working with Apple and the White Horse team on this astounding story of these four young men who stormed the world in 1964. Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated." 

No word yet on a release date. We're confident that somehow the news will reach you when it's announced. 

Looking for music tips? Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit

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