Kaleidoscope Entertainment set to Release Beatles Film IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY! THE BEATLES: SGT. PEPPER & BEYOND
Today Kaleidoscope Entertainment is delighted to announce that it will release the new Beatles documentary: IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY! THE BEATLES: SGT. PEPPER & BEYOND in UK cinemas 26th May, including special Q&A previews across the UK, followed by its release on Digital 1st June (EST 01 June, TVOD 08 June) and DVD 3rd July.
The film will also be available on a special collector’s edition double-disc Blu-Ray and double-disc DVD with over 4.5 hours’ worth of exclusive bonus material. A special launch event is also planned in Liverpool, the home of The Beatles on the 1st June – the 50th Anniversary date of the Sgt. Pepper Album.
From the Emmy nominated director of Monty Python: Almost The Truth, Alan G. Parker (Rebel Truce: The Story of The Clash, Hello Quo, Never Mind the Sex Pistols, Who Killed Nancy) and produced by Reynold D’Silva and Alexa Morris, the film features incredible rare archival footage unseen since the 1960s. The film also features rare interviews with The Beatles’ original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks, Beatles associate Tony Bramwell, Pattie Boyd’s sister Jenny Boyd, Hunter Davies, Simon Napier-Bell, Ray Connolly, Bill Harry, Philip Norman, Steve Turner, Andy Peebles, Freda Kelly and The Merseybeats.
On 1st June, 1967 The Beatles released their ground-breaking studio album, SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “The most important rock & roll album ever made…”, it left an indelible mark on the 60s and went on to become one of the biggest selling records of all time.
IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY! THE BEATLES: SGT. PEPPER & BEYOND examines the twelve months (Aug 1966 - Aug 1967) that would arguably be the most crucial in the band’s career, a year in which they stopped being the world’s number one touring band and instead became the world’s most innovative recording artists, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in the studio.
Unable to hear themselves perform and mired by controversy, the band decided to stop touring in August 1966. What followed was a period of extreme creativity and rebirth during which they embraced Swinging London, the ‘avant-garde’, LSD and the advent of the Summer Of Love. The result was the creation of their new alter ego, Sgt. Pepper, with the desire to create a pop music first, the concept album.
A devoted fan since the age of nine, the film’s director Alan G. Parker has set out to explore this period by filming interviews with former employees, fellow musicians, family member and journalists, all of whom were there at the time. These stories are in turn supported by a vast array of impressive archival footage, much of it not seen since first transmission. The result is a detailed examination of why the band stopped touring, how the album was conceived and its recording at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, its lyrics, the creation of its sleeve and finally its release. All this is set against a background of the band’s changing relationship with their manager, Brian Epstein and the tragedy of his death, the creation of Apple and the powerful influence of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Director Alan G. Parker said “We’re combining first-hand accounts of the events that allowed ‘Sgt. Pepper’ to happen with rare and unseen footage that we’ve forensically unearthed from mainstream archives and private collectors. 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.”
About Kaleidoscope Entertainment
Launched in November 2008, Kaleidoscope is an award-winning, London based, independent all-rights distributor with a catalogue in excess of 1,000 features and Television Series.
Kaleidoscope offers our partners a unique 360 distribution model, covering theatrical, all physical and digital distribution channels, TV sales and all ancillary rights.
We maintain long-standing direct relationships with all major UK retailers including supermarkets, specialists, online retailers, digital vendors, broadcasters, wholesalers and non-traditional high street outlets, offering an unrivalled distribution base for maximum revenue generation, along with directly selling and distributing to all major Digital, Television and Subscription Video on Demand channels.
Our principle management team is highly experienced, and all our executives are highly talented, commercial individuals, with a passion for film, who we believe are among the very best in the business.
Kaleidoscope operates and owns several successful co-brands – the principal three being international distribution company Kaleidoscope Film Distribution, UK distribution specialist Platform Entertainment and acclaimed documentary label, Spectrum.
Past successes for Kaleidoscope include: acclaimed World War 2 action feature, Winter in Wartime; Road, the astonishingly intense and visceral true story of legendary Irish biking dynasty, the Dunlops; Joss Whedon’s award-winning Much Ado About Nothing; Sundance award-winners Glassland, starring Toni Collette and The Wolfpack; Donnie Yen martial arts epic, IP Man 3; and family feature animations Khumba 3D: A Zebra’s Tale, starring Liam Neeson and Steve Buscemi, and Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods 3D, starring Jack Whitehall, Greg Davies and Nick Frost.
Further successes include: Kickboxer: Vengeance, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dave Bautista; thriller, The Forger, with John Travolta and Christopher Plummer; and all-action epic, Extraction, with Bruce Willis, Gina Carano and Kellan Lutz.
DIRECTOR – Alan G. Parker
Alan G Parker started out his career in the music industry at the age of 20, following a few years as a band manager/promoter in a remote part of Lancashire! He moved to London in 1985 where over a period of almost 20 years he was, at one time or another, a press officer, a writer (18 books published to date) and the project co-ordinator in back catalogue at EMI Records, working with artists like; Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks, The Stranglers, Sex Pistols, Slade, The Ramones, Blondie, Big Country, The Alarm, The Who, Whitesnake, UFO, The Mighty Wah!, Spear of Destiny/Theatre of Hate, Terrorvision, The Almighty, Monty Python, The Carry On Team, UFO, Saxon, Whitesnake & The Jam.
During his later years at the label Parker also became a staff member at ICE magazine with his own column ‘The Gimmick’ while also contributing to other ‘lads’ magazines.
In 2001 he travelled to New York with Director Don Letts and Producer Martin Baker (son of actor Stanley), while on US soil they witnessed 9/11 first hand, made a documentary about the NYC underground scene and Parker made some big career choices. Upon returning to London he left EMI behind and joined forces with both Letts and Baker as a researcher the three of them completed two more full length documentary movies including the critically acclaimed ‘All Mod Cons: The Jam’ (Universal Music) via a company they jointly owned named Diamond Films Ltd.
Parker directed his first feature length documentary ‘Never Mind the Sex Pistols’ for 2 Entertain/BBC 3 in 2005. Since then his critically acclaimed and hugely successful ‘Who Killed Nancy’ (Soda Pictures) saw him carry off the BBC Radio 6 best new Director of 2009. ‘Rebel Truce: The Story of The Clash’ (Eagle Entertainment) was named best documentary of 2007 by Time Out magazine. While his next cinema release ‘Monty Python: Almost the Truth’ (Eagle Rock Entertainment/IFC) saw him nominated Stateside for an Emmy. ‘Hello Quo: The Official Status Quo Story’ was his third film for the big screen and opened in the UK in October 2012. He is one half of the company A Geezer & A Blonde Productions London Ltd, along with Producer Alexa Morris.
Known to his female fans as ‘mean, moody and magnificent’, Pete took the drum seat for The Beatles in August 1960 at the request of Paul McCartney. For the next two years he endured the struggle for the band to find success, living in rough conditions for their stints playing in Hamburg and their constant set-backs in trying to get a recording contract. In circumstances that have never been fully explained Pete was sacked from the group in August 1962 on the verge of their major breakthrough. In the film he reveals his secret connection with the Sgt. Pepper album.
Liverpudlian Tony is integral to the Beatles story. He grew up with the band and went on to work with Brian Epstein at NEMS and then graduated to head Apple Films then later becoming CEO of Apple Records. His memoir Magical Mystery Tours – My Life With The Beatles is one of the most popular books amongst fans and followers of the band. Paul McCartney is on record as saying, “If you want to know anything about the Beatles ask Tony Bramwell, he remembers more than I do”. Tony gives a surprising account in the film about what the recording sessions for Sgt. Pepper were really like.
The prolific Sunday Times journalist, author and broadcaster is the only authorised biographer of The Beatles. With unlimited access to the group throughout the period which the film covers he is a fund of delightful first hand stories not least about the situation when a Beatle discovers he has no money to pay a restaurant bill.
Author and rock manager though sometimes also composer, record producer, film maker and public speaker. Co-writer of Dusty Springfield’s number one smash You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me he has also managed The Yardbirds, Ultravox, T-Rex, Japan, Asia, Candi Staton and Wham! Simon was very much at the epicentre of the music business in the summer of 1967 and provides extensive background to Brian Epstein’s sad decline and subsequent death.
The journalist, author and screenwriter had major success in the 1970s with his two hit films, That’ll Be The Day and Stardust, which captured perfectly the rise and downfall of a pop star. Unlike most Beatle writers he was heavily involved with the group in the studio years and recorded many interviews with them. He provides an in-depth fascinating eye-witness account of the period
In 1958 Bill was a fellow student alongside his friend John Lennon at Liverpool College Of Art alongside Paul McCartney and George Harrison who attended the Liverpool Institute in the same building. He became a pivotal figure in the cities’ music scene in 1961 when he launched the Mersey Beat newspaper. He is the author of numerous books about the group.
Having interviewed the group many times throughout the 1960s, the author and journalist provides first-hand accounts of their incredible story. Published in 1981, his ground-breaking biography Shout! gave for the first time intimate and revealing details of The Beatles story and has been followed by a succession of definitive books about music stars with acclaimed individual biographies of both John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Julia is the younger half-sister of John Lennon, the eldest daughter of John’s mother Julia Lennon and John ‘Bobby’ Albert Dykins. A tenacious guardian regarding the truth of her brother’s early life, her book, Imagine This, set the record straight on many unknown areas of her family’s extraordinary story.
A wide-ranging author of books on popular music, his 1994 tome, A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song is an immaculately researched background to one of the greatest musical catalogues of the 20th century. His recently published Beatles ’66: The Revolutionary Year has been widely praised and in the film he provides an illuminating overview of the events leading up to Sgt. Pepper.
One of the most loyal employees of The Beatles, Freda was the group’s fan club secretary for a period of 11 years from 1962. Her modesty and discreetness was highly valued by the group and unlike many others she has never set out to profit from her insider knowledge.
Barbara was at the centre most of The Beatle world as a secretary to Brian Epstein and later working for Apple. This is her first ever interview about her life at this time and she contributes one of the most revealing anecdotes in the film.
Formed in 1976, the Buzzcocks were at the forefront of the UK punk rock scene and last year celebrated their 40th anniversary with a major tour. Guitarist Steve has been a Beatles’ fan since the age of seven and has vivid memories of the 1960s and the evolution of their music.
As the sister-in-law of George Harrison, her sibling Pattie having married him in 1966, Jenny was closely involved with the group during the period. A successful model, she embraced a spiritual awakening and travelled with the Beatles to India to learn from the Maharishi. Whilst there Donovan wrote his everlasting song tribute to her, the sixties anthem, Jennifer Juniper.
Tony Crane & Billy Kinsley (The Merseybeats)
In 2017 The Merseybeats celebrate 56 years together since their formation making them one of the longest running bands in pop music history. Regulars at the Cavern Club in Liverpool with the Beatles they achieved a string of top 40 hits in 1964 and 1965.
Beginning his career as a club DJ, Andy joined Radio 1 in the 1970s and was a regular presenter of Top Of The Pops. His interview with John Lennon in December 1980, two days before his death was one of the last conducted by the former Beatle.
PRODUCER – Reynold D’Silva
Reynold D’Silva is the founder of Silva Screen Music Group, an independent British company which counts Silva Screen Records, one of the world’s leading film music labels, as its flagship asset, releasing over 600 film soundtracks in its thirty year history. The label portfolio includes SO Recordings and Silva Classics.
The company has created a unique catalogue of award-winning recordings of the greatest hits of film and television which are marketed worldwide through various media and have been heard in many adverts across the globe for brands such as Nike, Burger King, HSBC and Bulgari amongst others.
An avid music fan and lapsed bass player, D’Silva has forty years of across the board music industry experience. He is a shareholder, and or, director of several international music related companies in the UK, USA, France and India ranging from recorded music and publishing, artist discovery, artist management / agency, royalty software and live events.
Ren/oir Pictures is his latest venture producing Fifty Years Ago Today! – The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond and is an Executive Producer on General Magic - a film about a company that has been described as the most important company to come out of Silicon Valley no one has heard about! In pre-production is The Ultimate Rock Pad, the story of the apartment at 34 Montagu Square, central London, whose occupants in the 1960s included Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Yoko Ono and where classic songs such as, “Eleanor Rigby”, “Tomorrow Never Knows”, “Don’t Let Me down”, “I’ve Got A Feeling”, “Oh My Love”,” The Wind Cries Mary” and “Purple Haze” are associated with.
PRODUCER – Alexa Morris
Alexa Morris is an outstanding film producer based in London, United Kingdom.
Alexa first came to the attention of Alan G Parker in the summer of 2008 having been brought on board by recommendation of acclaimed film producer Martin Baker (son of Bafta award winning actor Sir Stanley Baker) to oversee the licensing on the movie Monty Python Almost the truth. Miss Morris’ lateral thinking and pragmatic approach have made her a reliable go to source for leading industry individuals. Her specialities include international PDV offsets and tax credits to ensure every production she undertakes utilises all of it's resources making projects extremely viable and attractive for investors.
In 2010 she co-founded A Geezer & A Blonde Productions with Alan G Parker. Collectively they have successfully established themselves within the industry, with a library of financially successful films, which have also received critical acclaim and excellent reviews. While managing to maintain their independence with view to future plans of expanding the A Geezer & A Blonde brand into a studio they have managed to cultivate excellent relationships with some of Hollywood’s best known studios and TV networks as well as popular online streaming services for distribution.
The lavish score featured in the film was composed by Andre Barreau (Sliding Doors, Dangerous Parking and Evan Jolly (co-composer The Crown/Hacksaw Ridge) and recorded in both London and Prague utilising The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
ARCHIVAL PRODUCER – Keith Badman
Keith Badman is a FOCAL International Award-Nominated Archive Footage Researcher, as well as an author, historian and journalist. A long-time columnist for Record Collector magazine, he has assisted in archive searches for DVD, Blu-ray & TV releases by the Rock Gods, The Beatles and Queen (the last being, The Great Pretender, the official 2012 documentary on the group’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury).
Enlisted for archive assistance by BBC, Channel 4, Granada ITV and Yorkshire ITV in the UK and Rhino, Delilah and VH-1 in America, he is also responsible (or partly so) for twelve music books; the subjects of these ranges from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to the Small Faces and Cavern club. His definitive, 2004 book on America’s legendary Beach Boys was even endorsed by the band’s illustrious leader, Brian Wilson.
What was his last major literary case, you ask? The mysterious death of screen legend, Marilyn Monroe is your answer. For many years he hunted down and studied practically every piece of surviving information about her demise. The result? He was finally able to unequivocally answer the five-decade old question of how exactly the actress died.
Self-employed in the publishing / music / entertainment industry for over two decades now, Keith has built a strong reputation on his incisive, in-depth, ground-breaking research. If you're looking for that elusive lost film or trying to solve a baffling entertainment-related mystery, he is your man. He didn't obtain the "Columbo of the entertainment world" tag for nothing, you know!