The Story Behind The New Beatles Song “Now And Then” is Being Told on Disney+

Portrait of British pop group The Beatles (L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison (1943 - 2001), Ringo Starr and John Lennon (1940 - 1980) at the BBC Television Studios in London before the start of their world tour, June 17, 1966
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The final Beatles song is here. The song, called “Now And Then” used new technology to piece together the song using vocal tracks from all of the Beatles members including the late John Lennon and George Harrison. The surviving bandmates confirmed it will be the last new song to ever feature all of their voices, so it is truly a bittersweet moment for the Beatles and their fans.

Along with the song release, Disney+ is premiering a new short documentary called Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song. The 12-minute film features the complete story of the song’s creation along with exclusive footage and commentary from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Sean Ono Lennon, and Peter Jackson.

25th November 1963: Liverpudlian beat combo The Beatles, from left to right Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon (1940 - 1980), and George Harrison (1943 - 2001), performing in front of a camera-shaped drum kit on Granada TV's Late Scene Extra television show filmed in Manchester, England on November 25, 1963

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The writer and director of the film, Oliver Murray, shared in a press release, “The legacy of The Beatles set one of the most important foundations for modern youth culture. It is a great honor to be given the responsibility of telling this story and I think it will conjure up a lot of different emotions for people as we all have a very personal relationship to the band’s work. ‘Now And Then’ is a story of musical archaeology and a brotherly bond between four guys that gave the world some of the most popular entertainment in history.”

Jackson, filmmaker and the director of the music video, opened up about how emotional it was to work on the video as a fan. Jackson explained, “We wanted the short film to bring a few tears to the eye, but generating emotion using only archive footage is a tricky thing. Fortunately, the simple power of this beautiful song did a lot of the work for us, and we finished the first 30 or 40 secs of the film fairly quickly.”

He continued, “Having done that, we jumped straight to the ending and tried to craft something that could adequately sum up the enormity of The Beatles’ legacy – in the last few seconds of their final recording. This proved to be impossible … I realized we needed the imagination of every viewer to do what we couldn’t, and have each viewer create their own personal moment of farewell to The Beatles – but we had to gently steer everyone to that place. I had some vague ideas, but didn’t really know how to achieve this.” He said that he knew one of his ideas was the one when Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison visited and had tears in his eyes when Jackson was explaining the concept of the ending of the video.

Watch Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song on Disney+. Now, tell us what you think about the song in the comments!

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British Invasion

March 2017

This mop-topped issue has the top 25 British Invasion acts and the second British Invasion of the 1970s and '80s.

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