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Rhythm Guitarist John Lennon was known for his political activism, as well as his love for guitar-based rock and roll.


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The Beatles and Films

The Beatles had a limited but largely successful film career beginning with A Hard Day's Night (1964), a loosely scripted comic farce, sometimes compared to the Marx Brothers in style. It focused on their hectic touring lifestyle and was directed in a black-and-white documentary style by an up-and-coming Richard Lester, who was already known for directing the television version of the Goon Show.

In 1965 came Help!, a Technicolor extravaganza shot in exotic locations with the style of a James Bond spoof.

Magical Mystery Tour, a McCartney idea adapted from Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters LSD-oriented bus tour of the UK, was critically slammed when it aired on British television in 1967, but it is now considered a cult classic.

The animated Yellow Submarine followed in 1968 but had little input from the Beatles themselves save for a live-action epilogue and the contribution of four new songs (including one holdover from the Sgt. Pepper sessions, "Only A Northern Song"). Nonetheless it was acclaimed for its boldly innovative graphic style and clever humour along with the soundtrack. The Beatles are said to have been pleased with the result and attended its highly publicised London premiere.

Let It Be was an ill-fated documentary of the band in terminal decline, shot over an extended period in 1969. The music from this formed an album of the same name; although recorded before Abbey Road, after contractual disputes along with significant and controversial tinkering by producer Phil Spector, this album was released in 1970.

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