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Club Sandwich 54

            All the audiences who have watched the 17 minute Richard Lester film shown before Paul's concerts must have felt like a drowning man who sees his whole life flash before him!
            Because the film is shown on three separate screens, fans have had a job catching all the images that flash by. What you're getting up there is not just how Paul has changed since 1964, but how our world has changed. In that film are all the people and events that shaped those changes.
            It has been 25 years since American director Richard Lester last worked with Paul - you might just remember their first effort together, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT! That first Beatles film has been called the CITIZEN KANE of rock'n'roll movies' so influential did it prove. Richard of course then steered The Beatles through HELP! in 1965, and that was pretty much his last contact with Paul for nearly a quarter of a century, until he was asked to come up with a film to be screened prior to Paul's band taking to the concert stage.
            But the 58 year old director has been far from idle in the intervening years - his films have included the critically acclaimed THE BED SITTING ROOM, JUGGERNAUT and ROBIN AND MARIAN as well as the enormously successful THREE MUSKETEERS, CUBA with Sean Connery and SUPERMAN II and SUPERMAN III. But even the man who helped make Superman fly found enormous problems fitting the most eventful 25 years of the 20th Century into 17 minutes. Along with his assistants and researchers, Richard Lester sifted through over 24 hours of archive footage to arrive at the final selection.
            In case it all flashed by too fast, here are the edited highlights of the fascinating and revealing film: The songs you hear are A HARD DAY'S NIGHT; ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE; THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD; LIVE AND DIE; SAY,SAY,SAY and THAT DAY IS DONE. The images to match those unforgettable songs brilliantly sum up an age, beginning with The Beatles taking to the stage of Shea Stadium to a barrage of flashbulbs in 1965.
            From then on you get glimpses of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, the mini skirt, the Maharishi and Beatle home movies from India in 1968. There are Haight Ashbury's hippies, Czechoslovakia's Alexander Dubcek, the 1968 black power' Olympics, Che Guevara, Bobby Kennedy, the 1969 first men on the moon, Paul and Linda's wedding, Andy Warhol, Jackie Onassis, Woodstock, Vietnam, the troubles beginning in Northern Ireland, Watergate, the oil crisis of the mid-70s, Poland's Solidarity, punk rockers, Live Aid, ET, Ronald Reagan, the Falklands War, Gorbachev, the death of the Ayatollah, the destruction of the Brazillian rain forests and that final, searing image of the 1980s of the lone, unidentified Chinese student facing the tanks in Tiananmen Square.
            Paul's renewed collaboration with Richard Lester continues into the 1990s, he is currently making a film of Paul's tour which will incorporate some of the memorable images already seen on a video screen near you.
            It would hardly have been fair for any band to open up for Paul McCartney in concert, but Richard Lester's brilliantly evocative film proved the perfect appetiser for the feast that followed.


Club Sandwich 54