THE Beatles almost became the first reality TV stars in America when they agreed to become the subjects of filmmaker Albert Maysles' 1960s pop documentary.

Maysles followed the FAB FOUR around New York when they first arrived in America in 1964 - and was given largely unrestricted access to the quartet.

The group enjoyed his company so much they plotted the first reality TV show together, but plans to go to the Middle East fell through.

Maysles recalls, "We got some great footage in New York. Not a single restriction was made other than they didn't want to emphasise that one of them was married. So we didn't film John's wife Cynthia.

"I sat down with the boys and they started describing scenes for a movie they wanted to do. They said, 'Why don't we go to the Pyramids in Egypt and bury ourselves up to our necks, and you could film that.' We thought that was the start of a good idea.

"The Beatles could have been The Osbournes for the 1960s."

Maysles' lost footage of the Beatles' first four days on American soil is now being released on a DVD, THE BEATLES: THE FIRST US VISIT.

26/01/2004 20:57