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November 10th, 2009
Video: Watch "How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin"

How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin tells the extraordinary and untold story of how the Beatles punctured the Iron Curtain. In a personal journey through Russia by award-winning director Leslie Woodhead, he tells in first-person accounts the story of a secret revolution which contributed to the fall of communism.


  • comments (18)
  • Jerome (Иероним) Potts

    Viewing the film one more time, i got to wonder about the origin of the song “Back to the USSR”, whether it was a salute paid by the Beatles who, by then had perhaps learned of their immense underground success there. But, to my disappointment, the Wikipedia article on it documents otherwise (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back_in_the_U.S.S.R.#Overview). Phooey.

  • Camme

    Enlightening documentary of the musical evolution behind the Curtain! Enjoyed it very much! Thank you!

  • Tony Copple

    I tried to watch How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin on your site, and a voice says “This content is currently unavailable.” When will it be available again?

  • Jerome Potts

    A follow-up to this film is the Paul McCartney in Red Square concert DVD, distributed in the US by A&E TN. The songs are interspersed with interviews of many of the same personalities, with the addition of then prez Vladimir.
    That performance was one of McCartney’s 2003 “Back in the World” tour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back_in_the_World_tour) destinations.
    It would have been nice if other Beatles surviving personalities had made the trip to Russia with McCartney: Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Julian Lennon.

  • Alex

    This is an excellent video showing that politics, economics and wars don’t necessarily cause major change in a country. This should be required viewing for all world history classes. Where can I get a copy of this video?

  • Monte Thrasher

    I love this film! I’ve watched it several times, delighted each time.I never much liked Russian culture, not knowing there was any alternative to the dreary Soviet stuff I knew (I was a Cold War Kid) but I feel a real emotional connection now. How great that art can mean so much to people, set them free. Thanks Mr. Woodhead. An important story, very well told.

  • Donna Zirkle

    Please, tell me how I might purchase the video of “How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin”. I watched it tonight and just loved it and would like to have some friends over to see it.

  • Jeanette

    I too tried to watch but received the message that the content is currently unavailable.

  • Mike The K

    The scene where the band finally made it to Abbey Road, recorded there and met George Martin…made me cry. I know how they must have felt and it just got me.

  • Dusty Durst

    Where can I buy this doc.?

  • Katie Brugger

    Fantastic film! Thank you so much. I traveled in the Soviet Union for six weeks in 1979 and love programs like this. The film is really inspiring; not only does it show that the human spirit can never be extinguished no matter how authoritarian the political system, it’s also enlightening as to how change really happens. We were all taught in history classes that kings and presidents and wars were what were important in history. Maybe that was all wrong.

  • Jim C.

    Anyone know where the actual quote from Gorbachev can be found regarding The Beatles being the biggest factor in ending communism. I see it repeated on blogs and comment boards but no original source.

    • Mel C

      The book Rock around the Bloc by Timothy Ryback has quotes of Gorbachev and his wife Raisa speaking with Yoko Ono at the Kremlin in 1987. Yoko was there to attend an international peace conference. It does not quote him directly, but says he “invoked the memory of Lennon as a fighter for world peace.” Raisa said that she and Misha were admirers of the former Beatle and quotes a line from “Woman.” She also sang the lyrics to “I love you, I love you.” The only direct quote from Gorbachev in the book is him saying to Yoko “John should have been here.”

  • Pingback: How “The Beatles” brought down the Soviet Union – documentary video included

  • NBK

    It’s a great piece of work and contrary to North American belief that Ronald Reagan was responsible for the Iron Curtain’s fall by outspending the soviets with the war machine. It’s great to know it was the opposite. The Beatles changed the world as we know it for a generation in time. We know they’re the greatest recording act of the 20th century and their music will live on but perhaps their history will be even greater and they just might become one of the greatest composers listed in the future. I can remember in the heyday, actually feeling priviledged to have been alive during the ascent to the highest position on the planet during 1964-1967. Yea, that’s how big they were. They changed more than the Soviet Union. They changed the world. May their music and memory live on.

  • Alex

    Reagan had absolutely NOTHING to do with the fall of the Soviet Union. I saw an interview with Richard Nixon after the Soviet Union fell and he said that when he was president he knew the Soviet Union was going to collapse but no one knew when it would happen. Most of the time Reagan was kept under wraps because the Alzheimer’s was getting worse. He began showing signs of his decline by the mid to latter part of his firs term in office. When a country, a kingdom or empire falls it is not wholly because of what is happening on the outside but because of what is happening on the inside. There are two very good books to read about Reagan’s time in office:
    “Tear Down this Myth” and “The Man Who Sold The World.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharlene.loree Sharlene Loree

    Must buy the book soon.

  • George Hook

    I just finished watching this documentary and I wept like a baby. Insanely beautiful.

The votes are in and viewers overwhelming chose The Beatles as the artists that had the greatest impact on history. Read what viewers had to say about all the artists below, including the winning nomination submissions.
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