|Photo by Pat Mancuso (notice the little camera on the ground?)|
If you have been a reader of this site for any amount of time, then no doubt the name Pat Simmons should be familiar to you. I would guess that Pat is most known for being the co-editor of the "With A Little Help From My Friends" fanzine in the 1970s. It along with "The Write Thing" was the best Beatles fan newsletters at the time and they are the model that I used in making this site.
Prior to the fanzine, Pat was the Area Secretary for the Official Beatle Fan Club as well as a member of the George Harrison Fan Club with Pat Kinzer as president. Both Pats traveled to London during the summer of 1968 and 1969 and met George himself. That story has been told her many times over the past 11 years.
Today I am reviewing a DVD that recently was published by APCOR of the time Pat went to England in the summer of 1969. Pat rented a super 8 camera and filmed much of her experience in London, Esher, and Liverpool. Parts of her film made it into the bootleg circuit on a dark and grainy VHS in the 1980s. APCOR outdid themselves and present everything Pat shot in cleaned up color. You can actually SEE what is on the screen. Sound has also been added, which only enhances the footage.
Much of what you see is London in the summer of 1969. Carnaby Street, Hyde Park, Picadilly Circus, etc are all featured. If you have been to London - it is interesting to see how things looked at those locations in the groovy summer of 1969 compared to today. It is your basic home movie and at times Pat moves the camera around a little too fast and you say to yourself, "Oh Pat -- slow down!"
What doesn't make this a regular home movie is the cameos by the Beatles. The Fabs were at EMI making Abbey Road at the time and Pat was able to capture moments where you can see them (except for Paul) leaving their cars and heading up the stairs at EMI. In a blink and you'll miss it moment, you even can spot Lizzie Bravo on the steps! Besides the Beatles cameos, you also spot George Martin, Mal Evans, Kevin Harrington, and Terry Doran in the footage. Pat also recorded 3 Savile Row and Paul's house on Cavendish Avenue.
She took the camera up to Liverpool and one the ferry across the Mersey and Lime Street Station. She visited with the Harrison's and you can't help but love seeing Mrs. Louise Harrison blowing bubbles.
The highlight of the film is when George Harrison comes to the door of Kinfauns and you watch has Pat Kinzer hands George item after item which he graciously signs.
The package for this DVD is amazing. There is a little booklet where Pat S. tells her entire story of being in the UK in the summer of 1969. The photos and memorabilia printed in the booklet are awesome.
This DVD might not be for everyone. It is a great visual of what it was like in England in the summer of 1969 and many Beatle fans will find great interest in it. Others might think there's too little Beatle content and too much of Pat and her friends acting silly or footage of the park. It depends on what type of Beatle fan you are I suppose.
Pat is a personal friend of mine and I want to commend her on sharing her footage with the world. It is important to so many of us to see and I hope it encourages any other fans out there to also release the video footage they might have tucked away. Thank you Pat!
If you want to order your own copy of the DVD, you can get it as part of a bundle with the "A is or Apple volume 3" book or it can be purchased on its own.
Go to http://www.apcor.net/news/ and check it out.
Note: It supposed to work on any DVD player around the world. However -- here in the United States both myself and Pat Simmons could not get the DVD to play on our DVD or Bluray players. We were able to watch it on desktop computers without any issues. Something to keep in mind.