Synopsis by Bruce Eder
Although sold as a feature film, Go Go Big Beat was actually comprised of three short features: Swinging UK, UK Swings Again, and Mods and Rockers. The first two were 26-minute jukebox shorts, both directed by Frank Gilpin and consisted of mimed clips of then-current (and a few very obscure) British acts lip-syncing to their then-current singles -- these included the Hollies, Brian Poole & the Tremeloes, the Merseybeats, the Animals, Millie Small, the Migil Five, the Honeycombs, the Applejacks, the Four Pennies, the Wackers, the Tornados, and the Swinging Blue Jeans. Introducing the various acts were then-popular British DJs Alan Freeman, Brian Matthew, and Kent Walton. If the third film had been similarly structured, the resulting movie might have turned a modest profit and left some fond memories behind, but the third section of the original movie was a short entitled Mods and Rockers, directed and produced by Kenneth Hume, presenting a modern dance piece of the same name. The problem was that Mods and Rockers as a dance work and setting was decidedly homoerotic in nature -- which was a big problem in 1964 -- and it was scored to the songs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, as recorded here by a band called the Cheynes, which included Mick Fleetwood on drums. The proper clearances for the songs and their use in a film as accompaniment may well have been overlooked; that was the view at the time, as threats of court action quickly followed the premiere. In any case, lawsuits followed over the marketing of the movie (the Beatles' name was larger than that of the Cheynes) and the use of the songs, and Go Go Big Beat disappeared soon after its release. It resurfaced, first on videotape from Rhino in the early '80s and later, in a much better mastered (if somewhat sloppily assembled) version, on DVD in 2004. In both instances, it was shorn of Hume's Mods and Rockers, containing only the two performance clip films directed by Frank Gilpin.
feud, minister, teenagers