Beatles grant rare music license to doc about their former secretary

Good Ol’ Freda, a documentary about former Beatles secretary Freda Kelly, has scaled the Everest of music licensing feats: it has licensed three Beatles songs.

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Good Ol’ Freda, a documentary about former Beatles secretary Freda Kelly, has scaled the Everest of music licensing feats: it has licensed three Beatles songs.

Kelly worked for The Beatles between 1963 and 1972 as both a secretary and manager of their fan club. The Liverpudlian, now 60 years old, had long denied filmmakers the rights to her life story. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, filmmaker Ryan White said Kelly had finally agreed to share her story “for her 2-year-old grandson — she sees it as a sort of home movie.”

The Beatles soundtrack appearances are notoriously difficult to obtain. The TV show Mad Men purportedly spent $250,000 last season for a clip of “Tomorrow Never Knows”.

White met Kelly through his uncle, Billy Kinsley, a veteran of the ‘60s Liverpool rock scene as a founding member of The Merseybeats, a band that shared bills with the Beatles. Though White doesn’t say how much the songs cost (slyly answering “Clearly the living Beatles have a lot of respect for her”), the documentary will feature four Beatles songs in the film including “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Love Me Do”.

The film premiers at South By Southwest on March 9.

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