Producer Stuart Samuels Talks “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years”

Author: Pat Prescott

“The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years” is Academy Award-winner Ron Howard’s highly anticipated documentary feature film that tells the story of The Beatles’ phenomenal early career and the incredible, profound impact the band imparted upon the music industry and the world. The film explores how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon. You can see it today in theaters but tomorrow you can watch it at home in the comfort of your living room. Here’s the catch; you’ll have to sign up for Hulu’s new paid service to see it. What a great way to get viewers to sign up. However you decide to do it, watch the movie this weekend and listen to my conversation with co-producer Stuart Samuels who helped curate footage for the film. It’s getting some Oscar buzz already and a little controversy over footage from the historic Shea Stadium concerts.

Stuart and I go way back. In the eighties we worked together on the award winning late night TV show Night Flight. Stuart is a brilliant writer, producer, academician and documentary filmmaker. We talked about how he became involved with this film. Stuart was always interested in music in the context of culture and history. When he worked on Night Flight, he brought history, popular culture and music together and with the new Beatles documentary he’s doing more of the same.

Stuarts’s first film was an award winning documentary called “Visions of Light”. In 2008 he pitched an idea to the Beatles to do a film telling the story of their early years from the fans’ point of view. Stuart says that during the heyday of the Beatles, it was the first time ever that the world was singing with one voice. It was the beginning of the universal youth culture and the Beatles were the first messengers of that era. Stuart and his team started collecting film from the fans and the members of the group and their families loved it. Once Ron Howard signed on to put it all together, the rest was history.

There is so much archival footage of the Beatles, that it’s special for Stuart and his team to have found so much that is new. He believes in telling the story from the inside and that’s what they’ve done with this film. Stuart says the Beatles moved from popular culture to political culture, crossing all racial and socioeconomic barriers in the process. He believes that in this documentary, people will be able to see the Beatles and their success story in a whole new light.

“The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years” is in select theaters today, September 16th, and available tomorrow , September 17th, on Hulu.

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