The world owes Yoko an apology! 10 Things We Learned From The Beatles: Get Back

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The world owes Yoko an apology! 10 Things We Learned From The Beatles: Get Back


The Beatles didn’t know what they were for

The concept of Let It Be was: no concept. The Beatles arrived at an empty studio and wondered where the equipment was. (And revealed that they knew very little about setting up public address systems.) Why were they rehearsing? A show on QE2? A concert on Primrose Hill? A TV special in Libya? A movie? What would the whole look like? Would it be plastic? Why, wondered George Harrison, were they recorded? Get Back makes it clear that The Beatles had no idea what to expect from Let It Be.

And they sure didn’t realize how sneaky director Michael Lindsay-Hogg was. Not only did he record their conversations, he also hid microphones in canteen flowerpots. I had no idea that the surreptitiously recorded conversation between John Lennon and Paul McCartney existed, in which the greatest songwriting partnership of all time discusses the deterioration of their relationship and how they failed with it. Harrison.

“George said he wasn’t getting enough satisfaction anymore because of the compromise he had to make to be together,” Lennon says. “It’s a festering sore that we tolerated. Yesterday, it was a wound that became even more infected and we did not give him a bandage. As exciting as it was to hear this secret and candid conversation, I couldn’t be the only one who felt slightly belittled by the experience.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg made a terrible movie and had a lot of bad ideas

Sometimes you need to know when to shut up and when to listen. But not Lindsay-Hogg. Throughout Let It Be, no matter what happens, he’s there, smoking a cigar, giving unnecessary comments and instructions, or stories about working with Orson Welles as a child actor. He just won’t give up with his idea of ​​a trip to Libya and at one point suggests filming in an orphanage or a children’s hospital. “Not one where they are really sick, ”he adds, as if that makes his horrible idea even better.

Paul McCartney est really good for writing songs

Macca’s songwriting skills weren’t in question before this documentary was released, but watching it put Get Back together out of nowhere is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Wait a second, the song doesn’t exist; the next, he plays it and improvises the lyrics, realizing it by sheer force of will. The fact that Ringo Starr is sitting opposite yawning and Harrison looking equally selfless suggests that McCartney did this sort of thing a lot. For those of us who are seeing this for the first time, it looks like some sort of witchcraft.

Ringo is an amazing drummer

Another long-drawn-out non-debate that really needs to be put to bed. Starr isn’t a lucky companion – he’s one of the greatest drummers of all time and the Beatles wouldn’t have been so good without him. Blame Jasper Carrott for adding fuel to this particular fire. But again, his contribution is there for everyone to see. He wasn’t as creative as the other three, but when needed he was there – drunk or hangover if Get Back is anything to do – whether that was hitting a piano cover, slapping them in the face. thighs or stroking his drums – and better than anyone.

One of the best… Ringo in Get Back. Photographie : TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy

The world owes Yoko Ono an apology

Yoko didn’t break the Beatles. Blaming him on his constant presence has always been an absurd and lazy accusation based on misogyny and racism (seeing Paul’s partners, Ringo and George and various guests entering and leaving the studio really hammers those double standards), but I hope that we can once and for all put to bed any nonsense about how she caused the group’s decline. Yes, there were tensions – complicated, deep, and long-standing – but, as McCartney says in Part 2, Yoko’s presence was only a hindrance if the rest of the group allowed it. “It’s really not that bad. They just want to stay together, ”he says of her and Lennon. “She’s awesome, she’s doing really well. “

Billy Preston Could Solve Any Crisis

“It’s interesting how well people behave when you bring in a guest, because they don’t want everyone to know they’re so bitchy,” Harrison remarked in the TV documentary Anthology by 1995, when asked to bring in keyboardist and band Little Richard. member Billy Preston for the Let It Be sessions. They are on fire when they play with Preston – perhaps inspired by his talent, perhaps liberated by the move from Twickenham Studios to Savile Row, and ultimately gave up on the idea of ​​giving a concert in Libya to close the movie. More importantly, maybe it was that Preston was totem, a Hamburg-era friend they talk about so fondly throughout Get Back, and a reminder of friendlier, happier times.

Glyn Johns dressed unbelievably

Despite Harrison’s best efforts in a purple shirt, pink striped pants, and furry boots apparently made of rugs, he can’t hold a sartorial candle to design Glyn Johns in her various coats. Whether he was mustard, mid-thigh and crossed, big, white and hairy, proto-puffer in black vinyl, crushed velvet brown or navy blue with a deckchair stripe, the man dressed more like a rock star than n ‘ no matter who in the room.

Mal Evans is a joy to watch

The Beatles road manager would have done anything for them no matter what they asked. McCartney casually mentions, as he leaves for lunch, that maybe it would be good to have an anvil. About an hour later, Evans is sitting there, hitting an anvil in a first take of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. He adds song ideas for The Long and Winding Road, and almost immediately after Harrison’s announcement of his departure, Evans checks that he’s going to be okay for the money and says he’ll talk to Apple about his residual payments. What a guy to have around.

Unfiltered and straightforward… The Beatles in Get Back. Photography: Linda McCartney

Reality TV got us ready for Get Back

As horrible as some of his ideas were, Lindsay-Hogg was probably right in trying to build some sort of narrative. Unlike now, he didn’t have 20 years of reality TV to fall back on, which conditioned viewers that there wasn’t much going on. Also remember that until now, most artists were seen only in staged formats, never in a direct and unfiltered way. Now we are comfortable with – we demand – that kind of access.

McCartney comes out better than expected

The received wisdom was that McCartney behaved like some sort of controlling ego monster during Let It Be sessions, and that was the main reason it was never reissued. Watching Get Back, however, Peter Jackson takes a sad song and makes it better. We see McCartney supporting his band mates in their writing, massaging their egos, writing prolifically, injecting enthusiasm, and moving it all along, all while displaying levels of self-awareness and an ability to predict the future without previous. The moment after Harrison and Lennon leave is a no-show where he sits in his chair and says “and then there were two” as his eyes fill with tears, it’s too much.

This shouldn’t be the end

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course, but there was a way to overcome it all. The history books tell us that by January 1969 the four were pretty much at each other’s throats, disinterested in their tedious daily work and McCartney’s schoolteacher ways – but this no was simply not the case. It’s impossible after watching Get Back not to imagine a different future where The Beatles recorded All Things Must Pass for Let It Be, heeded warnings from Glyn Johns regarding the arrival of the inevitably disastrous Allen Klein as manager , returned to their roots with a string of concerts across the UK, took a few years off to each record a solo album and reunited again.

If that’s too much, let’s imagine at least a future where Jackson has all of the Anthology footage to work his magic on.

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