Sgt Pepper Documentary

Sgt Pepper

A new documentary celebrates the classic 1967 Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The film, It Was 50 Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond, focuses on the 12 months around the recording of the album.

The movie, directed by Alan G. Parker, features archival video and interviews with people like John Lennon’s sister Julia and former Beatles drummer Pete Best. Check out the trailer for the movie.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond will be in U.K. theaters on May 26, 2017 followed by release on DVD later in the summer.

Also, as part of the celebration of the anniversary of the album, a new box set special edition is being released of the album featuring 34 bonus tracks of outtakes.

For more about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, check out the video of “Things You Didn’t Know” about the album below.

Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Happy Birthday Butch Cassidy

    Butch Cassidy

    Butch Cassidy was born on April 13, 1866 in Beaver, Utah as Robert Leroy Parker. His nickname “Butch” may have later come from working in a butcher shop.

    Cassidy was first arrested at around the age of 14 when he left an IOU after taking a pair of jeans and a pie from a store for a pair of jeans. After a jury acquitted him, he pursued various jobs throughout his youth, including work on ranches.

    Cassidy’s first bank robbery occurred on June 24, 1889 in Colorado. While he continued to do some ranch work, his illegal activities increased.

    He formed his “Wild Bunch” gang of criminals after getting out of prison in 1896. After that, it was not long before he added Harry Alonzo Longabaugh — “The Sundance Kid” — into the gang.

    Of course, it would be the association between Butch and Sundance that would inspire the classic 1969 movie directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

    The fate of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid remains somewhat of a mystery. Two bandits were killed in San Vicente, Bolivia as shown in the film. But many debate whether those two men were actually Butch and Sundance. Some speculate they returned to the U.S. where they lived out their days.

    Happy birthday Butch, wherever you are. And as a bonus, here are Six Things You May Not Know About Butch Cassidy.

    Photo via public domain. What is your favorite scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Springsteen Song Rejected By the Harry Potter Films

    Springsteen Song Harry Potter

    The Harry Potter films had almost everything.  They had magic and adventure.  They had a story beloved by children and adults.  But they did not have a Bruce Springsteen song, although they could have.

    Bruce Springsteen offered his song “I’ll Stand By You Always” to the franchise, but filmmakers turned him down.  Reportedly, Springsteen wrote the song between 1998 and 2000 after reading the first Harry Potter book to his eldest son, Sam.  He then made the song available to director Christopher Columbus for either Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).

    Springsteen explained to BBC Radio 2 that “I’ll Stand By You Always” “was a big ballad that was very uncharacteristic of something I’d sing myself.”  He added, though, that “it was something that I thought would have fit lovely.”

    The song’s rejection had nothing to do with the quality of the song.  Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s contract stipulated that no commercial songs could be used in the movies.

    “I’ll Stand By You Always” almost had a second life when Marc Anthony planned to include it on his album Mended (2002).  But ultimately Anthony left the song off the album.

    In Springsteen’s demo version, “I’ll Stand By You Always” is a quiet ballad.  The lyrics contain no overt references to Harry Potter, but they do sound like they were written from a parent to a child.

    I know here in the dark tomorrow can seem so very far away;
    Here the ghosts and the goblins can rise from your dreams to steal your
    heart away;

    Together we’ll chase those thieves that won’t leave you alone out from
    under the bed, out from over our home;

    And when the light comes we’ll laugh my love about the things that the
    night had us so frightened of;

    And until then,

    I’ll stand by you always, always, always.

    Around the time that Springsteen was shopping the song to the Harry Potter folks, a CD-R with the song was given to some executives at Columbia Records.  But the song is not generally available.  Springsteen’s demo of “I’ll Stand By You Always” hit the Internet for a brief period recently, but for now it is gone.

    Springsteen does tend to release old songs eventually, so we may still see an official release of “I’ll Stand By You Always.”  But until we do, you may imagine how the song might sound along with Conan O’Brien (“Let’s raise our wands to all the wizards and steel workers. . . “).

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    New Honest Trailer for “The Princess Bride”

    Honest Trailer

    The Honest Trailer series pokes fun at movies, and their latest target is The Princess Bride. The 1987 “romantic fantasy adventure comedy film” seems perfectly ripe for the sarcastic treatment.

    Everybody loves The Princess Bride, although as the Honest Trailer notes, most probably never saw it in the movie theater. The film, which was directed by Rob Reiner, has become a classic of repeated viewings on VHS, DVD, cable, and through the Internet. I cannot even count how many times I have seen it.

    So, sit back and enjoy a little fun being poked at The Princess Bride.



    What is your favorite Honest Trailer? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Scene in “The Right Stuff” That Makes You Love John Glenn

    John Glenn phone

    John Glenn passed away today on December 8, 2016 at the age of 95.  The former NASA astronaut and Senator is one of the few people who could accurately be described as an American hero.

    An American Hero

    Glenn served his country well in a number of ways.  He left college to join the service after Pearl Harbor, eventually serving in the Navy and then the Marines. He served in the Korean War and later as a test pilot and as an astronaut.

    As a Marine Corps pilot, he broke the transcontinental flight speed record.  In 1962, he became the first American to orbit the Earth.  In 1998, at age 77, he became the oldest man in space as part of the crew of the shuttle Discovery.

    In politics, Glenn represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate for 25 years.  During that period, he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination and was often considered for a place on the ticket as vice president.

    The Right Stuff

    But of all his accomplishments, one scene about his life stands out for me.  In the movie The Right Stuff (1983) about the original Mercury 7 astronauts, Ed Harris plays Glenn as a somewhat moralizing goody two shoes, who still comes across as admirable.

    One scene in the film centers on events from January 27, 1962 after Glenn’s flight is postponed due to weather conditions.  Vice-President Lyndon Johnson and the press are outside Glenn’s house wanting to talk to Glenn’s wife, Annie.  Annie, upset and not wanting to meet with the press or the vice president, talks to Glenn on the phone.

    In the scene, Glenn is aware of the political and media pressure on the space program.  And he is pressured to tell his wife to talk to the vice president.  But instead, he backs his wife “100%.”  The other astronauts also come off well in the scene, putting aside any diffenences to back up Glenn.

    The incident and Glenn’s response is a true story, even if a bit stylized with a humorous take on LBJ for the big screen. Johnson and the media were pressuring Annie, and Glenn backed up his wife all the way.

    Glenn later explained, “She said she was tired, she had a headache, and she just wasn’t going to allow all those people in her house … I told her whatever she wanted to do, I would back her up 100 percent.”

    There would be a few more delays due to a fuel leak and weather problems.  But of course, Glenn did get off the ground on February 20, 1962 in Friendship 7, becoming the first American to orbit the earth. But he was already a hero to those who knew him.

    Godspeed John Glenn.

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