Rare footage of The Beatles to be screened for first time in 40 years
By Laura Piper
Friday 29 November 2013
For more than four decades, a canister of film lay in a damp London garage, unopened and forgotten.
Stacked among 64 other unmarked cans, it sat for decades gathering dust, without anyone suspecting the nine minutes of music gold that rested inside.
Then, after a chance look at a faded, scribbled label buried within the can, a long-lost interview with The Beatles was found.
First broadcast on Scottish Television in April1964, the film footage captured the Fab Four being interviewed on ‘Roundup’, an hour-long children's current affairs programme on Scottish television network STV.
Now, the Scottish public are being invited to view it in its entirety for the first time at the Edinburgh Filmhouse this weekend.
“We think it may be the longest surviving television interview of the Beatles on record,” said John McVie, Media Coordinator for STV.
“We have so little footage left of the 1960s, this is a rare chance for people to see this valuable interview.”
The Beatles (STV/BFI)
The archive footage offers a revealing insight into Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon's songwriting partnership that Beatles fans will find especially interesting.
"Sometimes we write them on old pianos or anything that's lying around, guitars and things. Normally we sit down and try and bash one out," explains McCartney in the film clip.
"Then again, there's no formula. He [Lennon] can come up with one completely finished, but we still say we both wrote it though."
The Beatles (STV/BFI)
McCartney also mentions the first song he ever composed: “We wrote funny songs then - mine was 'I Lost My Little Girl'."
McCartney and Lennon also recall the first time they met each other, at the age 13.
"I was playing at a garden fete in the village where I lived just outside Liverpool playing with a skiffle group," said Lennon. "And he came along and that's how we met."
Asked how the band likes the hordes of screaming fans, McCartney laughs, adding: "We love that ... the atmosphere in the theatres, really it's marvellous."
The full interview will be screened on December 1 as part of an event run by the British Film Institute.
The ‘Missing Believed Wiped’ event is the result of a nationwide search of attics and basements for unseen and rescued footage.
As Scottish film journalist and archive TV fan Jonathan Melville said: “Edinburgh's Filmhouse were keen to host the event and we were lucky to be able to secure a screening of a newly discovered Doctor Who episode, The Web of Fear, alongside a long-lost Lulu performance and comedy from the Monty Python team, before Monty Python.
“We're also delighted to be screening footage of The Beatles from an STV interview, which had been lost for many years before being returned to the broadcaster.
“It hasn't been seen anywhere for over 40 years and it will be shown before a classic Sean Connery performance, another piece of TV which was lost until just a few years ago."
STV’s John McVie will also be there to introduce the footage and provide the audience with a more detailed background as to how important historic film can be.
“Footage from this time period is like gold dust to us,” said John. “Our archives suffered greatly due to a fire at the Theatre Royal in 1969, where our films had been kept.
“We’re hoping that this event might also attract more people in Scotland to come forward with tapes they might have hidden in their attics and garages.
“You never know what could be unearthed.”
Do you have old footage that you would like to share? Contact STV by email or Tweet us @STVEdinburgh.