Down To Earth Spirit

Rod, Lennon & Me / Story Of The Old Photograph (2015)

Documentary Short by George Giorgi Janelidze


Music history can be consumed in various ways, and some stories are told over and over. But sometimes it is interesting to take a look from another perspective and hear the stories from the ones who actually were part of the big, even though as “footnote”.

That is what Giorgi Janelidze does in his documentaries. Tbilisi, Georgia, is his home base, where other TV formats reported from. The writer, director and producer is part of the Human Rights Center as well. With “Nobody’s Child”, he already followed the paths of The Beatles with their teacher Tony Sheridan in 2003. Now with “Rod, Lennon & Me”, he continues his research.

Together with “The Girl Is Mine”, it was nominated at the Great Lakes International Film Festival and even won the documentary short. The particular picture, which is mentioned in the subtitle of the movie, was gone for 52 years. Shot in 1957 by the father of Rod Davies, it shows The Quarrymen performing on a truck, the same day another famous photo was taken and John Lennon and Paul McCartney met.

But of course, there is much more about it. Main protagonist Rod tells from days at school, from trying to not be beaten up by the tough guys and what sport John was good in. Rod and Giorgi therefore visit the spots like Abbey Road Studios, Cavern Club and pass by Baker Street and the place where Paul and Ringo got married.

Rod himself was replaced by Paul in The Quarrymen. The simple reason: He played the banjo as they started as a Skiffle group. But when they became more Rock’n’Roll, he was not interested in a change at that time. Even though nowadays he likes the style, as well as Blue Grass and Western Swing.

He also tells about how they learned lyrics back in the days and when he met Paul in Brighton. Plus Giorgi gives him time to perform songs like “Freight Train”, “Come Go With Me”, “Peach Picking Time In Georgia” and more.

Biopics like “Nowhere Boy” might tell similar stories. But this one is close to the characters and maybe the most accurate way to learn about the origins of the biggest band worldwide.