Paul McCartney should have known better when he announced during his recent U.S. tour that he, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were all involved in a new video series: ”It’s bringing us together, and there’s a chance we might do a little music for it.” He was probably toying with the press, aware that most reporters would reflexively proclaim, ”Beatles reunion!”
”We’re involved in an anthology they’re doing on the Beatles,” McCartney said. In fact, when he said ”they’re doing” he meant ”we’re doing,” because the project is being undertaken by Apple, the Beatles’ own company. The project, tentatively called The Beatles Anthology, should at long last bring to the surface a trove of rare Beatles performances. Among the most- anticipated rarities are the group’s many promo clips, some of which have never been available in their entirety.
Expected to run at least 10 hours, the series will present the Beatles’ history from inside the eye of their pop-cultural hurricane. McCartney, Harrison, and Starr have sat (individually) for extensive interviews and have provided private film, and Apple has spent the last few years – and reportedly millions of dollars – contacting television stations and video archives worldwide, searching for Beatles footage and buying up rights.
The series, which has been in the works since the Beatles broke up in 1970, is now in the hands of British television director Geoff Wonfor. But don’t look for it any time soon. Apple says it won’t market the anthology until the whole thing is finished, and at the moment producers are only up to 1967. There is tentative talk, however, of a BBC airing in late ‘94, with a video release to follow.