Beatles' legacy celebrated in new film documentary
By Catherine Jones
30 January 2015
THE legacy of the Beatles on popular culture is being celebrated in a new digital music documentary being released next week.
Come Together features performances by 10 of an estimated 8,000 international Beatles tribute bands keeping the music of the Liverpool icons alive around the world.
The film, being released as a digital VOD, was the brainchild of documentary makers Steve Ison and John Scofield and was shot primarily in and around Liverpool – including the Cavern Club – during International Beatleweek, five decades after the band was formed in 1960.
It is narrated by John Lennon’s half-sister Julia Baird.
And among the bands featured are Pepperland from Sweden – who performed with Mark McGann at the Royal Court last year, the Beatlemaniacs, Indonesia’s G Pluck Beatles, The Cavern Beat and American English from Chicago, and Liverpool’s Mersey Beatles and all-girl Fab Four band the Beatelles.
ComeTogether A BeatlesTribute - Trailer 2014 from SCOFIELD on Vimeo.
“The idea for the documentary came when I went to Liverpool several years ago with a friend who performed as John Lennon in one of the featured tribute bands,” explains Steve.
“I had never seen anything like it! 300,000 people, like me, with the same connection…the music of The Beatles. The quality and diversity of the bands was unbelievable.
“We had to share this story with others.”
Come Together is a tribute to The Beatles’ legacy, a phenomenon that shows no signs of stopping. The lengths that some tribute groups go to honour The Beatles range from simple vocal harmonies to groups affectionately called 'boots and suits' bands. Regardless of nationality, they attempt to look and sound as close to John, George, Paul, and Ringo as possible.
Liverpudlian Gavin Pring, who plays George in Las Vegas-based The Fab Four, says: “We remind them (the audience) of someone that they can’t see any more, especially for the Georges and the Johns in the band.
“I had nine to five jobs. I used to work at Customs and Excise – I was a taxman! And I did other jobs. And I never found a job I actually liked.
“And I realised quite early on of you’re in a band and you do a good job, people cheer and you get instant gratification for something.
“They split up with a girl or they met their wife to Something or...one of the songs of the Beatles will have documented a period in their life, and it comes back in a second.
“And whatever it is about what we do, it’s their experience that they see, and they can’t help it. And they will do anything to grab it, even if it’s for a second. That feeling of hope.”
The Cavern Club Beatles with John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, on Liverpool Town Hall balcony
The documentary aims to capture the spirit, motivation, energy, and interpretation of The Beatles’ legacy through rare footage, tribute concert performances, interviews, and personal stories by bands and fans alike from across the world.
And after years of negotiation, Sony/ATV Music Publishing gave filmmakers unprecedented permission to use more than 65 Beatles songs in the film.
“I was more than pleasantly surprised by how Come Together captured the spirit and dedication of the bands we continue to bring in each year for our event,” says the Cavern’s Bill Heckle, executive director of International Beatleweek.
The film’s digital VOD release is scheduled for next Tuesday, February 3, via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video HD, PlayStation, Xbox, VUDU, Vimeo on Demand, VHX, Gumroad, Google Play, YouTube Rentals, and others.
Details on http://www.cometogethermovie.com.
IN PICTURES: Beatles Tribute bands
The Upbeat Beatles tribute band
The Fab Four Beatles tribute band
The Beat Rush (formerly The Aspreys) Beatles tribute band
The Cavern Club Beatles
Bootleg Beatles tribute band
Beatles tribute band Sgt Peppers
Birmingham Beatles tribute band