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Ron Howard, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Talk Beatlemania, New Eight Days A Week Documentary

September 15, 2016


Today, Ron Howard’s new Beatles documentary, Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, makes its world premiere in London. And although the two living Beatles haven’t actually seen the final product, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr sat down with Howard yesterday for a Facebook live interview about the film. The three joked about each other’s fame and discuss the advent of Beatlemania and what they’ve learned from the process of making the film, Billboard reports.

McCartney notes his excitement in finally seeing the documentary, which follows The Beatles in the years they were still playing live and includes new footage sent in by fans. Howard calls it “kind of an adventure story” before tentatively likening his own experience with fame as a child actor on Happy Days to the craziness experienced by The Beatles in their height of fame.

“We would go and do these public appearances and there’d be 10,000-15,000 people,” Howard says. “And you’d jump in the car, and it’d be shaking. One time, they tried to grab my hat, they pulled it away. Even when I had hair, I didn’t like it if they took the hat. That probably happened three times. It probably happened 3,000 times for these guys. You can’t really compare anything to what they were going through. This is what I discovered working on this film.”

Starr throws in his own memory of the band listening to themselves on the radio, while McCartney recounts his nerves during his performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, saying, “I don’t know how I did it.”
In viewing the film, however, McCartney hopes to relive some of those experiences from the other side. “In the cinema, we’re going to be able to hear ourselves,” he says. “We couldn’t hear ourselves when we were live. So much screaming going on. Howard chimes in, saying, “Although, there might be a lot of screaming in the theater.”

Billboard also recently published an interview with the trio in which they talk about meeting each other in the ’70s when Starr and The Who drummer Keith Moon “wandered into the Happy Days set” and were warmly greeted by Howard and co-star Henry Winkler.

McCartney and Starr also discussed their excitement in seeing the film in that interview, with McCartney noting that it will be a bit of an out-of-body (or band) experience. “One of the things was seeing yourself as The Beatles,” he says. “In the end you kind of become a fan — ‘Bloody hell, they’re great!’ Then you sit back and realize that’s you. It’s hard to take in.”