Give My Regards To Broad Street (1984 UK)

maccaI’m going to wade in, boots ‘n all here…What more insults can we fling at the only Angela Lansbury look-a-like in rock music history? For starters, get out your thesaurus and look up synonyms for “uncool” – if there were any justice in the world you’d find a full-page photograph of Paul McCartney in characteristic “thumbs aloft” pose. What more is there to say about this droopy-eyed, jowly-faced, elderly man? His hair dyed black with an auburn afterglow. (All that cash and he looks like he’s done his hair at home with a tin of creosote) Well, back in ’84 he made this home movie, see? And a certain person on this blog (who is having a bad day because its that time of the month again) is gonna review it. See?! So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, lets draw back the curtain once more…

…to reveal a tragical history lesson on how not to make a classic musical film. The obvious lessons from 1967’s Magical Mystery Tour disaster had not been learned. Seventeen years later and Paul had grown a mullet on his barnet, but not any wisdom underneath. I can still remember Macca being interviewed about this film shortly before its release. He sank a lot of his own money into the project and was bemoaning the fact that British investors didn’t know a good thing when they saw one. Its runaway success would be his revenge on those who wouldn’t fund the film. Anyway, it bombed and Paulie waved goodbye to his cash. “The people will decide,” he predicted. They did. They stayed away from any theatres screening it, up and down the planet. Those who did actually pay and stay in the cinema were a select few. A chosen people. Maybe they should get together and write a book on the event.

Paul’s master tapes from his new album are missing. Paul reacts to this by going in the studio to cut some tracks and then shooting some music videos. Ringo can’t find his drum sticks. And that’s it as far as plot goes, teenyboppers and toastmasters. The supporting cast is odd – Ralph Richardson is wasted, Bryan Brown disinterested. George Martin appears like a sad apparition who just wants to flee from the cameras. Ringo positively sucks in ways only Ringo can. Wifey Linda seems to enter into the spirit of Paul’s conceit though, as though the script was pillow talk. The multitudes of old pals/guest stars who wander through the proceedings must have gone on to wonder if doing a favour for a friend was too high a price to pay for a blot of this magnitude on their CVs. Except for Ringo of course. For him, Broad Street was a break in-between his year long holidays he’d been taking, every year, since 1970. Paul, wisely, didn’t bother to ask George Harrison if he wanted to play in this paddling pool. He already knew the answer. He could even visualize George’s middle finger accompanying this answer.

BroadstreetFeature(What’s our boy dreaming about?… If only Yoko and Mark David Chapman had never been born…I can write heavy stuff as good as Instant Karma or Revolution…what about The Frog Chorus? Or Wonderful Christmastime? Why do the critics label me cheesy and lame? )

Broad Street is depressing and boring, completely devoid of life and energy. The most that can be said about Paul’s ‘performance’ is that he had the good taste to look totally disinterested the whole time; despite the threatened take-over of his company if the tapes cannot be found. PM maintains a glum poker face, as does the rest of the cast. I didn’t care about the plot because he didn’t seem to care. This must have been his attempt to make a cinema vérité film similar to “A Hard Day’s Night,” but there is not a moment of humour or even pleasant camaraderie with his coworkers. He merely wanders from place to place like a sleepy zombie. Maybe the makers of “The Walking Dead” need to give Macca a screen test.

However, there are a few things in this mess that you may get a kick out of. For instance, the Silly Love Songs scene. If you don’t find yourself laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of their outfits, the set, and the random break-dancer then you don’t know what’s funny. It seems like twenty years after Beatlemania burst into life, McCartney was trying to recapture the magic. But the eighties were the wrong time to hope to resurrect that 60’s carefreeness. If you’re a Beatles fan this will bring you down. Its worth seeing just to know how you can go about spoiling a motion picture. It should be analyzed in film school. Although ostensibly directed by Peter Webb, rumour has it that Paul actually took full control of the film early on, and the lack of directorial experience shows (rather painfully). Paul is credited with writing the script (such as it is), which seems to have been composed on a napkin or on the back of an envelope.

gay bro(1970s Macca: “C’mon, I’m cool baby!” Man on seat: “That’s gay, bro.”)




  1. Utterly hilarious, I love it!!! XD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha ha ha. 🙂


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