Thu. Apr 25th, 2019

They find in Mexico a missing recording of The Beatles on the BBC in 1966

They find in Mexico a missing recording of The Beatles on the BBC in 1966

I promise we've come to talk about The Beatles, but first we'll go through Seville. Yes, the Seville of 20 years ago, that of two thirtysomethings with more skill than pasta who tie the blanket at their head and they throw themselves to shoot camera in hand, in London and without knowing even a jot of English, one of the strangest movies from our recent filmography. That experiment "cum laude" by Alberto Rodríguez ("The Minimal Island") and Santi Amodeo ("Astronauts") was called "The Pilgrim Factor" (2000) and started from a premise as absurd as fascinating: that a certain Pilgrim, just a peasant attracted by the new American sounds, had left some proto-pop rock recordings that ended up falling into the hands of The Beatles, who copied, marinated and popularized those candid rhymes; decades later, a Spaniard, an Italian and a Swede addicted to the color orange, all of them hustlers of "the chicken city" (ie, London), will be involved in the purchase and sale of some documents linked to Pilgrim, obtained by two hard and casual in a flea market, that could change the history of music. So far the fiction (or not).

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And it is that until exactly one day ago, a recording of The Beatles in 1966 for the program «Top of the Pops» was practically a myth of the caliber Pilgrim. There was a photographic and documentary record of that visit to the BBC, but the mime cuts recorded by the four from Liverpool, on which they sang live "Rain" and "Paperback Writer", had disappeared. "Unfortunately there was a time when the BBC programs were not filed as carefully as they are today and some were lost", a spokesman of the British chain lamented a few years ago. That recording, on the back of the inexhaustible "Beatlemania," became a unicorn, a legend, like that lost tape that enchanted Chaplin.

The fact is that yesterday, the unicorn was finally seen in, turns that gives life, Mexico. A Mexican fan had for years the only record of that performance, only eleven seconds of the total. It is not the original recording of the BBC, but the one made by a spectator with an 8-millimeter camera, that perhaps he did it more to try the pileup than conscious of the transcendence of what would be, in time, this cut. For Chris Perry, member of Kaleidoscope, an organization that rescues and restores lost moments of television, we are nothing more and nothing less than "the Holy Grail of The Beatles. Finding it so much later has been amazing ».

Of course, they have had to fight against the reluctance of the owner of the tape to get the copy: "He had only told three people that he had the recording in his possession for fear that it would be stolen." On April 20, the British Film Institute will screen these eleven seconds of pop and gold so that no one will say that the "show" of June 66 did not exist. The Pilgrim thing has yet to be seen.


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