WHEN BEATLES DROVE US WILD (2014)

WHEN BEATLES DROVE US WILD (2014)

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Part social history, part love letter from a legion of adoring and now-famous fans, When The Beatles Drove Us Wild is a colourful retelling of the band's one and only trip Down Under in June 1964.

As we are frequently reminded throughout the one-hour documentary, it was an event the likes of which had never been witnessed in the sleepy and socially conservative backwater before and never would again.

Half of Adelaide's population turned out to welcome the group. Melburnians queued for three days when tickets went on sale. The army was called in to maintain the peace when screaming teenagers, and a fair share of adults too, stormed Sydney and Melbourne to see their idols. Entrenched social and moral values crumbled and a generation of musicians watched in wonderment as four working-class lads from Liverpool rewrote the rules of rock'n'roll, fashion and the way to address one's parents and superiors. Australia would never be the same again.

Regardless of whether one fully subscribes to that view of history, When The Beatles Drove Us Wild is an entertaining snapshot of a place that has changed irrevocably in the intervening half-century.

Filled with rich archival footage and revealing interviews with people who were there - it's worth watching just for Ian ''Molly'' Meldrum's reminiscences - it sees the Beatles' visit as the trigger that would help 1960s youth find a new and vastly different voice.

Looming large over everything are the Fab Four themselves (plus unofficial fifth man drummer Jimmie Nicol, who briefly filled in for the sick Ringo), with their infectious charm, swagger, cheek and idealism, not to mention reminiscences of fall-of-Rome debauchery in hotel suites. (00:57:29)


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