Beatles Across America Available For First Time
An archive Beatles ITN news documentary from 1966 has been made available for video download through digital company Wippit.
The 23 minute documentary was only ever aired once in the UK and featured the Beatles' controversial tour of the US in 1966, which followed the interview that Lennon gave claiming that the group were 'more popular than Jesus Christ.'
The programme shows Lennon defending himself for the comments he had made five months earlier and making something of an apology.
Highlights of the rare footage are the one on one interviews with the man who first brought the issue to the attention of American Christians, DJ Tommy Charles from radio station WAQI in Birmingham, Alabama and the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Robert Shelton.
Shelton challenged if it was their views on civil rights and colour that really irked him most claimed that due to their ‘mopheads’ he couldn’t even identify if they were ‘white or black’.
Paul Myers, CEO and founder of Wippit says, "It’s a stunning insight into the psyche of the time. The Beatles are unarguably the most popular act in music history and this engaging documentary demonstrates how culturally important they had become too.”
ITN’s head of music partnerships Ross Landau said: “The Beatles across America is one of ITN’s oldest documentaries filmed for the Roving Report strand. It was only aired once and captures the band at the pinnacle and most controversial period of their career in the USA”.