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on 25 November 2013
Well produced visual evidence of the crimes previously portrayed in Jonathon Green's oral history of the mid 20th century English, mainly London-based, art/music avant garde...great stories from Barry Miles, John "Hoppy" Hopkins, the redoubtable Mick Farren & a slew of the usual suspects. A great portrayal of Syd Barrett's position at the centre of the storm and a long-overdue reappraisal of the artistic integrity of a certain Mr. P McCartney...avant fanboy that he was. 2 1/2 hours of great footage & intelligent discussion.It's so sad that level of innovation & community spirit is so far behind us...see for yourself.
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on 30 July 2014
About the only negative thing I could say about this item is that it could have been longer and since it's pretty long, that's a pretty light negative. I have a feeling that, as with Jonathon Green's classic late 80's tome 'Days in the Life' (which complements this item perfectly), there was more to be offered but that the running time reached almost to capacity and certainly to the limits of 'standard practice'.
Stylistically, this item reminded me of the 1987 TV documentary accompanying Derek Taylor's book also entitled 'It Was Twenty Years Ago Today' in that it puts The Beatles at the centre of a mandala of movers and shakers. There's more depth here than in that overview of 'the summer of Love' which is here taken as a tabloid summary of complex currents running through and around the 'counterculture'.

While I was expecting that the producers were using the enduring McCartney more as something to hang all of this on in contemporary times, it is clear from the content that McCartney did have a pivotal role in proceedings and since that opinion seems to be being voiced by counterculture figures like the late Mick Farren (seen here for the last time) who have been critical and reluctant to hand him credit, it's all the more revelatory and actually for the first time provides valuable insight into McCartney's onward journey back to the overground of The Beatles' fame and beyond.

But that's not to say the focus is Beatlist or McCartneyist. There could have been more on Syd Barrett (although materials like interviews may be in short supply with this disappeared innovator) but what there is, here, mostly from legendary producer Joe Boyd, hands him deserved credit. Lots of stuff about AMM as well which puts a lot of the early Floyd experiments as well as McCartney's into context.
As for interviews with the great documentarists of this era, Barry Miles and Jonathon Green, well I could listen to them all day and it's great to finally see the latter.
Also compelling are journalists Chris Ingham and Mark Paytress whose analysis at intervals throughout lands a narrative coherence perfectly leveraged by the editor and producer. It's also great to see and hear so much of John Hopkins to whom all other contributors appear to give all credit. I also enjoyed (and could have taken a lot more of) John Dunbar's most relaxed appearance to date in any items about Indica.
All in all suggestive of a great deal more cutting room floor material which I hope the producers have stored away for a 2-disc edition in the future, as most of this producer's excellent DVDs seem to have 'Extended Interviews' sections as bonuses, probably made impossible by the long running time of the documentary in this case.

The one thing that this excellent work makes clear is that there is more to be drawn out from this epoch than nostalgia and this documentary displays a mindfulness of the need to offer contemporary inspiration, something which I hope is taken up in future forays into the stories and scenes of the late sixties.
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on 7 March 2016
60’s Subculture

By Rob Jones

Going Underground: Paul McCartney, The Beatles and the UK Counter Culture is a 153 minute DVD that features rare footage, private photographs, probing interviews and music from the likes of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Soft Machine, AMM and others.
Therefore, the subversive 60’s set will revel in this review of the stirrings and styles of a cultural underground that was to filter in to the mainstream and play a decisive role in taking four Merseyside mop tops from pop players to rock adventurers.
A new era of social, sexual and aesthetic perspectives were apparent and nowhere was this fresh breed of behaviours more apparent than at the London nightclub UFO. At this alternative venue barriers were broken and the old guard was dismissed as an era of experimentation unfolded.
This in depth account of a potent period is revived via a series of contributions from pertinent characters at its core and media who offer a look back buzz. As a result a vital document is created that sits nicely in amongst the annals of a disparate decade where a seemingly early innocence morphs in to a later psychedelic innovation. Of particular influence was McCartney and his role in the proceedings is explored from the point of what touched him and how that manifested itself in to his own output.
This is a well researched and neatly presented piece of memorabilia and it is well worth a punt!
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on 29 May 2015
Just finished watching this DVD, and I really enjoyed it. The story of "The underground" a subject often misunderstood, and hard to explain, to anyone who didn't live through it. And quite frankly, even if you remember it, unless you were at the core, probably unfamiliar to many of us, exactly what promoted and produced it. As Joe Boyd says here, without Hoppy, how much of it would have occurred , and sadly after he was locked up for 6 months for a trivial offence, the "authorities" did manage to silence it's main protagonist. It does bring back some great memories, and will help future generations to have some idea as to what brought about the huge cultural shift, in music and art, morals and religion of the sixties. If you want to understand some of the most interesting recent decade, the 60's, then buy this, and enjoy it !
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on 28 March 2016
This is quite an extraordinary documentary film and while others here have detailed much of its contents what has not been championed enough is the quite extraordinary level of archive footage that runs throughout the film. Quite where the producers found this stuff is a myestery as it remains the finest selecrion of late 60s Beatles/ McCartney and associated film - as well as a ton of generic material from the era - I have seen outside of the Anthology set. Did someone working on this have a real 'in' with some very influential people I wonder...?
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on 11 April 2014
When 'counter culture' meant more than retail therapy, giants walked the streets of London. From the Albert Hall poetry reading in 1965, to the Ally Pally in 1967 (I was happily there), this DVD documents a high water mark in Britain's own unique artistic, social - sexual revolution. I can smell the sandalwood throughout this video and tell you what, it is beautiful.
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on 2 October 2015
Very entertaining and informative and with over two hours long it was worth every penny. I didn't know that Paul McCartney was so pivotal in the underground scene so if like me you grew up in the sixties or just love sixties music and bands then this is for you
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on 8 February 2015
Thank you
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on 24 August 2014
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on 25 July 2014
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