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THE BEATLES Destination Hamburg Wienerworld WNRD 2439 (2007)
Tired trawl through Fab Four Hamburg days ...

The Beatles

Other than the much touted previously unseen footage of the Fab Four, there's no real apparent reason for this DVD release. Even Beatles collectors will surely find it hard to get enthusiastic about a project that lacks real conviction, let alone enough material to stretch it over the hour mark.

'Destination Hamburg' of course deals with the oft documented time when The Beatles took up three significant residencies in Hamburg. Indeed, the DVD concludes with the phrase 'conceived in Liverpool, born in Hamburg'. But in fact the interviews amount to little more than a few general reminiscences by the influential Beatle contemporary Tony Sheridan (who also provides a musical backdrop to the DVD) and Roy Young who talk about their Hamburg days.

But there's no obvious interview with Pete Best and indeed the footage of British beat group agent Ian Heinz, although an interesting snap shot of the time, is used in place of what should have been another potential talking head interview.

All those things aside the real failing of this DVD is that the actual subject matter of Hamburg is ditched about two thirds of the way through and we are left with many previously seen clips of the Beatles first American press conference and familiar TV newsreel footage of the fans waiting at the airport as the Beatles return from the States.

Even the Beatles and Ken Dodd footage has been seen many times before, and with much better quality footage than here. To top it all there's some completely redundant and often seen footage of Southern States protests against Lennon's comments on the respective popularity of The Beatles and Jesus.

The bottom line is that this DVD might just jog a few memories as to the significant role of Tony Sheridan in easing The Fab Four into the Hamburg nightlife. But that aside, there's little here to detain us, beyond an audio of some humorous radio banter with the late Kenny Everett, and a handful of audio tracks by Tony Sheridan


Review by Pete Feenstra

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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