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Watch an Exclusive Clip From New Beatles Movie, ‘It Was Fifty Years Ago Today!’

A new documentary, It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond, will be released on DVD and video-on-demand on Sept. 8.  We have an exclusive clip that you can watch above.

The focus is the year 1967, when the Fab Four moved away from being a touring outfit and turned their attention to studio creativity against a developing background of Swinging London, the rise of the teen culture, LSD and the coming Summer of Love, resulting in the recording of their groundbreaking album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

In the excerpt of 1966 archive material, which sets the scene for what was to follow, American DJ Tommy Charles explains why he’s spearheaded a ban on playing Beatles records, adding that he wants the band to “grow up.” Asked to counter, John Lennon says, “I don’t mind if he never plays them again.” The Beatles are then asked if they feel Americans are “out to get” them.

The movie was directed by Emmy-nominated director Alan G. Parker, known for Rebel Truce: The Story of the Clash, Hello Quo, Never Mind the Sex Pistols and Who Killed Nancy, among others. It includes rare interviews with original Beatles drummer Pete Best, Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell and many more.

“We’re combining first-hand accounts of the events that allowed Sgt. Pepper to happen with rare and unseen footage … from mainstream archives and private collectors,” Parker said. “The last days of touring, the execution of the album and the aftermath that it left behind will, I hope, give the audience an intimate sense of the band, the time and the impact of this extraordinary album.”

The documentary’s distributors, BFD, noted that “1967 would arguably be the most crucial year in the band’s career, a year in which they stopped being the world’s No. 1 touring band and instead became the world’s most innovative recording artists, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in the studio. The result was the creation of their new alter ego, Sgt. Pepper, with the desire to create a pop music first: the concept album.”

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