Even as we say goodbye, the Beatles keep saying hello. Although they broke up 34 years ago — and endured the deaths of John Lennon in 1980 and George Harrison in 2001 — the world’s most praised quartet keeps releasing product. The latest: a five-DVD ”Beatles Anthology” set, available April 1. (Future projects may also include a DVD of the long-out-of-print ”Let It Be” documentary and a new version of the ”Let It Be” album, stripped of Phil Spector’s oft-derided production touches.)
While the first four discs of the new ”Anthology” DVD set contain the documentaries shown on ABC in 1995, plus some added footage, the fifth holds 81 minutes of new extras, from unseen interviews to 1994 footage of Harrison, Starr, and McCartney jamming. Here are four moments from that disc likely to stir Beatles fans’ emotions, or at least make them laugh.
The Beatles suck at Beatles trivia As Paul explains that he took the lyrics to ”Golden Slumbers” (”Sleep little darling, do not cry”) from an old lullaby, George cracks up his former bandmates by asking, ”What album is that on?” (The answer is ”Abbey Road,” of course.) Meanwhile, none of the Beatles — nor producer George Martin, who’s also present for the interview at Abbey Road Studios — can remember who played bass on the song. They eventually narrow it down to John or George.
Paul says he liked sleeping with George and Ringo No, not like that. McCartney notes that the Beatles lived in close quarters in their early days, and that he and George even shared a bed on a hitchhiking trip. Later, he and Ringo slept in the same room. ”When I joined, Paul was the only one who would sleep with me,” the drummer says. McCartney tells Ringo that he enjoyed those days: ”It was nice, staying in a room with his friend, learning his habits. You’d stay up late, and the light was always on.”
Ringo gets sentimental As the trio’s 1994 reunion winds down, Ringo looks at his friends and says, ”It’s been a beautiful and moving day — I like hanging out with you guys.” But George and Paul never seem comfortable with each other. ”Now I don’t have to see you for another 40 years,” George jokes as they part.
The Beatles rock once more — sort of The footage of the three ex-Beatles jamming is tantalizingly brief. They never manage to finish a song as they run through oldies like ”Blue Moon of Kentucky” and the unrecorded early McCartney composition ”Thinking of Linking” (for which he never wrote a second verse). But Harrison and McCartney could still harmonize with eerie, unrehearsed ease, and, as Ringo notes, whenever they sing together, ”It sounds just like the Beatles!”