A little-talked-about Beatles documentary(!) was released in December on Disney+. Joking aside, the column inches that Peter Jackson’s Get Back has generated must have the execs at Disney rubbing their hands with glee.
It’s a sign of how obsessed people are with John, Paul, George and Ringo that spliced-together footage that’s over 50 years old can still be such a massive deal.
That said, for me, watching the documentary made The Beatles seem more real than ever. Filmed in glorious colour (unlike much of the black-and-white footage of their career) and seeing them going about their ‘work’, you’d barely know it was filmed in 1969.
A recent conversation reminded me that it’s almost 30 years since I spent a winter in St Petersburg. As a modern languages student in the early 1990s, I was lucky enough to spend six months in newly-minted Russia.
It was a magical time and one that I still recall with great fondness, so I thought I’d relay a few of those memories. These particularly relate to how alien the country felt to a callow British 20-something. I’m starting with how we got around.
Every morning we would have Russian classes, allowing us the afternoon to explore the city – something we did without question.
Although we could walk into the heart of the city, it was close to an hour-long trudge, so the trolleybus was a regular option.