Our Zest of Honour

THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: THE TOURING YEARS (2016)

Journalist: “How do you keep up that zest on stage?”’
Lennon: ‘We just do the zest we can’.

The deepest impression this hugely enjoyable doco leaves is how much fun the Beatles had on their four-year whirlwind between Love Me Do in 62 and their last live concert in 1966. Their own infectious enthusiasm adds mountains of magma to the Beatlemania volcano erupting all around them – incredible scenes which, without filmed proof, would surely risk dismissal as mythical by future generations. beatles

And they didn’t stop playing live because they got sick of it – indeed, they absolutely radiate enjoyment even at their last concerts – but because they got too big to do it properly anymore, bigger than existing sound systems could cope with, bigger even than existing belief systems could cope with. But before they were overwhelmed and exhausted by the unique phenomenon that was them – which, ironically, sparked the retreat which spawned their best albums – they rode an exhilarating wave with style, wit and jubilation.

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