Five unanswered questions about The Beatles: Get Back (2023)

it took me a long time to putBeatles: Voltebehind me, And not just because it's eight hours long. Nearly three weeks after the docuseries premiered on Disney+, a part of me is still stuck in 1969.To returnfromgot mepartly because, in addition to many other virtues, the Beatles were so good. Their charisma and rapport cannot be separated from their recordings (the former influenced the latter), but their engaging (if partially performative) public appearance has almost as much to do with their intact legend as with the music they made. When future Beatles manager Brian Epstein first saw the band play in 1961, he was themetnot only for its looks and sound, but also for its sense of humor and "personal charm". Though the band approached the abyss when he didlet it be,To returnIt's full of Beatles charm. (Note: I know some of you must be tired of hearing and reading about the Beatles by now. Give the hype a few centuries to die down.)

The intimacy of the three-act epic, which director Peter Jackson presents without the distancing effect of talking heads or 50-year-old narratives, deepened my parasocial bond with a band that fell apart long before I was born. To search forTo returnIt's an acceptable reflection of sitting in a studio with an attractive group of friends who are some of the greatest songwriters of all time. Spend enough time in fervent creativity at the nexus of '60s culture, and the present can't help but feel drab by comparison. To highlight an overused expression,Beatles: VolteIt's a vibe that's hard to forget and impossible to replicate in real life.

I still like itTo returnbecause I worry I'll never see anything like it again, not just about the Beatles but about anything. In an age when most media is instantly accessible, popular intellectual property is endlessly recycled, with virtually every file erased when every album from rock's peak, includinglet it be, has been reissued and remastered and embellished with demos and rarities whenever Baby Boomer checkbooks allow:To returnit is a rare, rich and unexplored treasure. Seeing it is like discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls, except instead of snippets of text on crumbling parchment, it's crisp audio and video that looks like it was recorded last week.To returnThe fidelity is elusive - it took years of hard work with proprietary technology for the decades to fade away - but it still seems like a miracle that most of this footage has remained nearly invisible until now. This is the world's most famous band in one of its most important months, plucked from the amber and brought back to life (in anon-threateningthe image).

And so, instead of sendingTo returnI keep turning pages in my mind to my impressive pile of complete content. I have some silly and irrelevant questions like, should I eat more toast? And: if the Beatles hadn't voluntarily left the roof, would these embattled bobbies still be uncomfortably waiting for them to stop playing? Or: What was original documentarian Michael Lindsay-Hogg's worst suggestion for a rock concert hall, an orphanage, or a children's hospital? But documentaries also stimulate reflection on some more important issues. So, before we close the book on the Beatles until their next inevitable revival, let's look at five recurring questions triggered byTo return.

it was hatTo returnteach us about the Beatles?

If there is anyone in the world whoI would not do thatI had to learn a lot about the BeatlesTo returnIt's Mark Lewisohn. Lewisohn, a leading Beatleologist, is the author of a bookshelf full of books about the band, includingThe Complete Beatles Recording SessionsjThe Beatles: All Those Years, a complete chronicle in three ongoing volumes that will make Jackson look like a dilettante. But even Lewisohn's eyes widened.

"Nobody knows everything about anything," he says via email. "Even in this case, after listening to nearly 100 hours of the month's audio reels, I knew when I saw the photosTo returnHe wanted to tell me a lot. In fact, I underestimated him. It is nothing short of The Beatles' pedagogical handbook, ultimately educational for me and anyone else who really wants to see and hear who they were and how they functioned.To returnmakes an immeasurable contribution to our understanding of what made the Beatles so great."

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Like everyone else alive (including probably Paul and Ringo), I know less about the Beatles than Lewisohn, and I found thatTo returnalso instructive in some respects. But not necessarily in the way the initial hype promised.

Much of the coverage that prepares the ground forTo returnfocused on the potential of the seriesremodelthe long-standing public perception of the sessions leading up to itlet it beand the dissolution of the Beatles in general. Former members of the Beatles helped create this impression by critiquing the sessions and the resulting documentary for nearly half a century; 1970, Johncalledin the films "Hell" and "Six Weeks of Misery" and earlier this year Ringowe shootthe document as a "too narrow" vision with "no joy".To returnchallenges the notion that the sessions were depressing work. on the other hand toolet it be, what accessibleno of several Formatvia Althoughlet it becontains some of the controversial exchanges that reappear inTo return, Ringo's criticism does not ring true. by Lindsay Hogganswersa Ringo is right: there's a lot of hilarity, silly language work and productive collaborationlet it be, and that is the balance between suspense and silliness, breakage and affection doesn't seem too different to me. like jacksonauthorized,To returnis, in some ways, a "much more difficult film thanlet it be' who didn't even notice that George had briefly left the band.

Lewisohn says thisTo returnis "honest" and He "maintained the utmost integrity", suggesting that Jackson did not misrepresent what happened (although Paul, Ringo and John and George's widows acted as producers). For all your cinema verite clothes,To returnIt is still a work created by experienced artists who knew they were being watched. So what we're seeing may not accurately reflect how the Beatles experienced the sessions. On the surface, however, they seemed to have a lot of love (or at least lighthearted tolerance) for one another, and despite their growing resentment, they still functioned well as a band. the idea thatlet it beit was a relentless depressant, it was above all a myth bornnegative bias, the in-between context in which the original documentary was released, and the inaccessibility of the original copy in the intervening years.

notTo returncorrecting an actual record (as opposed to a vaguely and selectively remembered record) is still a useful counterpoint for people who print the legend. When the band reunited at Twickenham most of its members had been colleagues and close collaborators for over a decade. They weathered the crucible of Beatlemania together, matured together and created incredible art together. They didn't have any bond that could really be broken overnight or ever. Yes, there were years of estrangement, splinter trails and press criticism, but most Beatles still socialized and recorded together, both immediately and long after the split, and even Lennon and McCartney eventually reconciled to some extent. When it comes to feuds between former bandmates, the Beatles are no match for Simon & Garfunkel or Waters & Gilmour.

I know somethingTo returnit reinforced my pre-existing impressions of the understandable tensions that would soon divide the group, a natural death caused by the growth of a group formed when they were nameless teenagers: John's drug use and devotion to Yoko; George's frustration at being underrated as a songwriter; Paul's sometimes overbearing attempts to keep the trains running. The film is not a definitive document of the Beatles' split, as the low point in the band's relationship did not come during the sessions produced.let it be🇧🇷 The Beatles made another album after that—Abbey Roadfollowedlet it beSo whatprecededin business, and until trade differences separate them,intention to do more🇧🇷 At the beginning of 1969 the worst was yet to come, it was announcedTo returnfor John Lennon's fateful passion for Allen Klein. Ultimately, though, watching the Beatles thrive and why they shined as brightly as they did during their decade of constant reinvention is far more rewarding than worrying about why they weren't life partners. (Nothing reminds you of how quickly the Beatles remade music quite like hearing them relive their old songs as artifacts of an earlier time less than six years after recording.please please me.)

Happily,To returnit's much more than a tick tock of the band's decline. It's an in-depth and unique look at the act of creation, both the magical moments when inspiration strikes and the more tedious chopstick-rubbing sessions when those subtle sparks ignite. The series brings the Beatles' creative process of the late '60s to the screen in a much more nuanced and compelling package than 80 Minutes.let it be, What is missingTo returnThe narrative structure, intriguing imagery, and meticulously clean dialogue. In fact, it does not write a new story, but it enriches and deepens an old story, whose end the world has heard about for years. But as worn as these songs are, it's still wonderful to see them born.

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To returnHe showed me how memories are made. It reminded me that history is arbitrary and that the lyrics, setlists and performances that came after seemed fatal were actually changing by the time they were set in stone. (As George puts it, "You just walk into something and it does itself. Whatever it is, it will do it.") He emphasized that the Beatles were ahead of their time not only as musicians but also as multimedia artists. who have made a name for themselves in everything from fashion to album and movie covers. (Although they thought they were making a more conventional documentary and TV special, writing and recording a Beatles album on camera was previously essentially reality american family, or streaming more than 40 years before Twitch.) And it also made clear how aware at least some of the Beatles were of where they had been, where they were going, and how likely they would be remembered long after the fact. The interpersonal issues that fans and academics still argue about today are not subtext.To return🇧🇷 they are discussed by the band in real time. But although the Beatles knew what was tearing them apart, they couldn't undo the damage. Life can be so cruel.

who looks betterTo return?

Simple: George using this.

Five unanswered questions about The Beatles: Get Back (1)

But I'm not talking about who had the best outfit. Which Beatles stocks have risen the most since this video finally surfaced?

But it could be a coincidenceTo returnThe Beatles' biggest beneficiaries are the two who survived to see it. II wrotelast week likeTo returndrives Paul: He has the sexiest hair, the most ambitious vision, the most indomitable work ethic and the bestlet it beBest songs from No wonder Paules pumpedaTo return, because it helped him to come backpublic relations faux pasHe did so in 1970, which helped create a lasting perception that the band had broken up. actually i wasgo lastand who does the most to keep the group together.To returnmakes it clear that while Paul's controlling tendencies bothered George and John, they were also the impetus for getting the Beatles where they were, making music and movies for us. And no, I wasn'tMirando ein Yokowhen there "Get Back" sang.

Every group project needs a Paul.

– Ben Lindbergh (@BenLindbergh)December 11, 2021

And then there's Ringo thechristian magicianstar, which quietly conveys why he was the missing piece to propel the group to the top. As Linda McCartney noted, he was the easiest Beatle to find: the oldest, kindest and quickest to get along with.Comic Relief🇧🇷 Some people might find it humiliating or crazy to be the mere mortal playing the chords of "Take a trip to Carolina' while his friends compose 'Something' and 'Let It Be'. This difference in songwriting skills didn't seem to bother Ringo, who was happy to be in a beloved band and improve his music. It arrived on time, open for check-in and ready to play. And if it wasn't meSleep a littleÖpass some gasoline, was working on the chords for "Octopus's Garden" (with a littlehelp from your friends🇧🇷 Ringo was the clingy type and an invaluable buffer among the more combative Beatles. The way he handled the band drama helps explain why at 81 he looks 60.

EsTo returnthe ideal length?

Whenlet it be... nakedcame out in 2003, it was accompanied by a 22-minute bonus CD calledfly on the wall, which gathered a plethora of studio conversations and snippets of songs from thelet it besessions foundfly on the wallso seductive I tracked down the Beatles bootlegThirty days, a 17-disc collection of the "best" of the same sessions. Twenty-two minutes wasn't enough, but I found that 17 discs (and over 18 hours) was much more than I needed. Is eight hours the sweet spot?

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Jackson was the only one with unlimited access to nearly 60 hours of video and more than double that amount of audio, so he has the best sense of which directions weren't being followed. For one thing, everything to do with the Beatles is historically significant, so it must have been difficult to keep most of the footage in the vault. On the other side Jacksonis not known forits cheap production, so anything it couldn't find room for must be boring or superfluous.

Jackson is very passionate about anything Beatles-related, and it's clear he didTo returnwith other fabulous minds in mind. Beatles fans are a huge demographic, but there's still a significant barrier to getting in here. Some people are not willing to go eight hours without seeing anything. Others would be fine with a standard-size document about the Beatles but hesitate to spend a third of their day creating a mediocre (by Beatles standards) album. And even as a Beatles-obsessed Jacksonian, I admit that a tweak might be needed here or there.stopped my mind from wandering🇧🇷 Look, I like "Don't Let Me Down", but I know how it goes. (Given that about 18 versions of this song survive, I'd like to know what ended up in the digital bin.)

That sounds like overkill, but in general I'd say eight hours is not far from ideal length. An eight-hour operating time makesTo returnan event, a gastronomic meal to be digested and discussed in several sessions. It's long enough to include the unproductive days that paint a fuller picture of the Beatles' time at Twickenham, and long enough to make viewers feel like they've taken a journey and become immersed in an environment. Length also sets it apart in a market saturated with Beatles nostalgia: there's no shortage of regular Beatles movies, if that's what you want, and burying much more would be detrimental to those with endless Beatles appetites. that gold again. Also, if you're seven hours old, what's another hour? Damn, who am I kidding: I would watch the extended edition and relive it in VR.

You would goTo returnDoes the format fit anything else?

To returnis a testament to the brilliance of the Beatles. But its message is more universal: music isGenial🇧🇷 No, this is not news. But I can't think of a more compelling example of what makes music special than this series.

You remember the moment when McCartney started strumming, borrowing a line from Harrison's "Sour Milk Sea" and suddenly belting out the future song "Get Back." It's the most breathtaking documentary moment since Robert Durst's false confession.the curse, although this one is as exciting as it is scary.

Also among the songs oflet it beAs a quick album to put together, "Get Back" is something of an anomaly. Although the film looks like the Beatles are starting from scratch, many of the songs featured on the album (orAbbey Road) have been floating around in their heads for months or years. But when Paul played "Get Back", he was really playing it live. It's the clearest look at music history that's happened in the studio since Bruce Dickinson asked for more rattles.

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Of course, it's not like you or I can make it easy to produce a successful look; this is Paul McCartney, whose combination of genius and practice helped him write timeless songs in his sleep. ("I had one this morning," he says, before playing the entire song from "The Back Seat of My Car.") So, yes, the Beatles raised the bar. But bands will form because someone saw Paul write "Get Back" or Harrison came in and announced he wrote "I Me Mine" or "Old Brown Shoe" overnight. You can't write a book or make a movie or (probably) program a game in one night. But if you're hardworking, talented and lucky, you might right now write a song that people won't stop singing for 50+ years.

What works of art would you like to see emerge as we peek inside?let it beThe delivery room? Even if every artist hired a Michael Lindsay-Hogg whoTo returnmodel would not work for everything. You could film a novelist in the middle of a masterpiece, but it wouldn't be fun to watch someone else sit still and write. The magic of making music as shown inTo return, is that it's an exciting and spontaneous spectator sport: you can see and hear what's going on, whether it's Paul ("Tucson, Arizona!") or George ("I'm not attracted to any other lover!") after a Line disaster or the whole band trying a faster tempo for "Get Back".

Watching Bob Ross paint can be relaxing, but I'm not sure you could find a convincing equivalent.To return- a chronicle of creation that speaks for itself - of any other kind of art. There's already too much television to catch up on, and too many documentaries are too long. But hopefully more bands will keep their cameras rolling while they work, should inspiration strike.

Should we mourn the breakup of the Beatles?

Sometimes it feels like the Beatles never gave up.To returnIt's the latest in a long list of recent reasons to celebrate them again:The Beatles Anthology, Ö1, Öamar, ÖThe Beatles: Rock Band, or your catalogto loanMusic streaming services, theYesterday🇧🇷 But though they are inevitable,To returnit's bittersweet, and not just because it documents the Beatlescomes very close to the endtheir formal alliance, but because it is a portrait of four Godbrothers who are about to leave their friendship, at least for a while. It's hard to hear McCartney say to Lennon, "Probably when we're really old we'll all agree and sing together", instead of complaining about the fact that he and Lennon (fast) never sang together again after the Beatles broke up, or Lennon couldn'tageabsolutely. It's also difficult to hear the Beatles perform new or near-finished versions of future solo songs like "Gimme Some Truth", "Jealous Guy", "All Things Must Pass", "Another Day" and "The Back Seat of My Car". 🇧🇷 "No dreaming of the Beatles albums that could have been. Combine the highlights of the albums John, George and Paul self-released in '70 and '71 and you've got what it takes to be the best Beatles album (if not them). the first two).

I'd rather think about what we gained than what we lost. Here's my more positive take: I don't think we lost a lot of music because the Beatles broke up. Had the band stayed together for a few more years, they would have moved even further ahead of their closest rivals in the music career. But it's not like the Beatles can be considered much better than they already are. Let's just say the group patched things up, stuck around for five years, and recorded at a pace that was almost the same as before. They could have had six or seven solid albums after that.Abbey Road🇧🇷 But individually, the ex-Beatles made about 13 albums in that period, which I would rate from good to excellent. (Your mileage may vary.) I would argue that the pressure to succeed as a solo artist and the need to outdo one another contributed to this productivity. While the average quality of these solo albums is lower than the average quality of hypothetical Beatles albums, it's hard for me to imagine that the Beatles together made much more good music than the ex-Beatles alone in that time period. 🇧🇷

The fact that the Beatles got to know each other during their formative years as musicians allowed them to reach the heights they did. But in 1969 they mostly wrote separately. (At theTo return, some of their songs are enhanced by significant input or contributions from others, but most are fully formed when presented to the group). Also, everyone sang their own songs. Granted, it would have been nice to hear what the other Beatles contributed to each other's solo songs, but while the Beatles had a distinct sound, the lack of that sound was arguably less costly and transformative than, say, The Stones or The Quien. A split at the same time would have been for solo songs by Jagger, Richards or Townshend in the early 70's and the Beatles would have written music together that never really happened. But would Beatle John have felt free to include the screams and confessed lyricsono plastic tape🇧🇷 Would Beatle Paul have taken the band to Scotland to preserve the pastoral beautyTO KNOCK🇧🇷 Would have convinced Beatle George John and Paul to give in to any strong musicAll things must happen?

More generally, would it have been better if the Beatles had stagnated, fallen and fallen out of favor in the 70s or 80s, like most of their peers (and their own solo productions), rather than perpetually upward evolution? Could there be a more fitting ending than The End? There may be a better Beatles timeline in the musical multiverse than this one, but as McCartney once didCanto, “It wasn't bad, so a much better place would have to be something special. There is no reason to be sad. Especially now when we can travel back in time whenever we want to where the Beatles belonged.


What did Paul McCartney think of the Get Back movie? ›

I loved it." The movie helped reframe how McCartney saw the Beatles and his part in the dissolution of the band. "I really forgave myself when I saw that," he said. "Everyone's messing around and we're all messing around, we're goofing around. ...

What do the Beatles think of Get Back? ›

The Beatles were the ones that we were waiting for them to look at it –Ringo (Starr) and Paul (McCartney) and Olivia (Harrison) and Sean (Lennon) — and the verdict came back from them saying: 'Six hour — great. We understand why it's six hours. We're happy with a six-hour version.

What was the controversy with the Beatles? ›

The furore came to be known as the "'More popular than Jesus' controversy" or the "Jesus controversy". It followed soon after the negative reaction from American disc jockeys and retailers to the "butcher" sleeve photo used on the Beatles' US-only LP Yesterday and Today.

Who is the true 5th Beatle? ›

Stuart Sutcliffe was the original bassist of the five-member Beatles. He played with the band primarily during their days as a club act in Hamburg, West Germany. When the band returned to Liverpool in 1961, Sutcliffe remained behind in Hamburg.

What does Beatles stand for? ›

Etymology. Originally spelled Beatals, punningly referencing the expression beat all (“surpass everything”), then later altered to Beatles, blend of beat +‎ beetles, with beat referring to "beat music" or the "beat" of a drum, and beetles inspired by the contemporaneous band name The Crickets.

What were John Lennon's last words to Paul McCartney? ›

Although their intimate conversations remained private, Paul's wife Linda McCartney once revealed John Lennon's last words to his former band mate. As Ultimate Classic Rock reveal, they were: “Think about me every now and then, old friend.”

What is the message of Get Back? ›

The song began as a satirical and critical look at attitudes towards immigrants in Britain. Paul McCartney intended to parody the negative attitudes that were prevalent among politicians and the press. Race issues evidently played on McCartney's mind during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions.

How did The Beatles get rejected? ›

Record label rejected The Beatles' off these 1962 songs—now tape of the audition could sell for $90,000. On New Year's Day in 1962, a then-unknown band called The Beatles performed 15 songs for British label Decca Records. The band believed the audition would land them a recording contract. It did not.

What is Beatles most famous for? ›

The Beatles were an English rock band that became arguably the most successful act of the 20th century. They contributed to music, film, literature, art, and fashion, made a continuous impact on popular culture and the lifestyle of several generations.

What made the Beatles so famous? ›

The secret to their success was their ability to walk the line between commerciality and artistic integrity. It seemed like they kept their own agenda and were not swayed too much by outside forces. They kept their finger on the pulse and led trends into the next.

What was the Beatles original name? ›

Read a brief summary of this topic. the Beatles, formerly called the Quarrymen or the Silver Beatles, byname Fab Four, British musical quartet and a global cynosure for the hopes and dreams of a generation that came of age in the 1960s. The principal members were John Lennon (b.

Why are they called the Beatles? ›

They took the idea of naming themselves after an insect like the Crickets, but changed the spelling for a pun on musical beats. It's a simple as that. There's no deep hidden meaning.


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