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Old 11-29-2021, 11:48 PM   #561
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Yes, Harrison was able to write songs better than Lennon and McCartney's worst.

I'm not sure what that proves, but go off, I guess.
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Old 11-29-2021, 11:53 PM   #562
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i'll concede that "rapidly surpassed" in india was hyperbole, but i'll die on the "george was the best songwriter in the band by 1969" hill.
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Old 11-30-2021, 06:40 AM   #563
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All 3 were good. Obviously, Paul and John's input was at the forefront. The only way for George to flourish as an artist was to leave the Beatles. I enjoyed the documentary, but I'm not sure I could sit through it again. I haven't seen Anthology since '95, but I could watch that again.
By the way, Ringo was always on time or early. He was the professional musician of the bunch. Show up on time, do your work, and leave.
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Old 11-30-2021, 07:58 AM   #564
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i'll concede that "rapidly surpassed" in india was hyperbole, but i'll die on the "george was the best songwriter in the band by 1969" hill.
Considering what Paul was churning out at this time, I could buy the argument that George had reached his level, but surpassed? I don't think so.

And unfortunately, George was only able to maintain that level for a short time.
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:42 AM   #565
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I had Thanksgiving week off and took full advantage of the time to watch the entire documentary, and I wasn't disappointed. Peter Jackson did a lovely job restoring this thing - both the video and audio quality were amazing for something over 50 years old. I didn't find it to be too long or tedious, but that's probably more because I'm such a fan. I thought it was fascinating.

Random thoughts:

As GAF mentioned, the amount of material Paul came in with is astounding. I mentioned before how I didn't like how much Paul is featured in the original Let It Be film as compared to the others, but it's certainly hard to argue when he's the one presenting the most songs.

By contrast, it's apparent that John is distracted by his relationship with Yoko (as well as his drug use, conveniently not mentioned in this film, I'm sure to Disney's approval) because he really doesn't have much to offer up here. He has two songs that are far enough along to push through - Don't Let Me Down and Dig A Pony - and that's really it. There's a reason why they went back to some older stuff and pulled out One After 909 and Across The Universe. Yes, there are some sketches forming that pop up later, like Gimme Some Truth, Jealous Guy (from Child Of Nature), and I Want You. But if you want to use that line of thinking, then you need to concede that Paul has just as many of those with Another Day, The Back Seat Of My Car, etc. It's really no contest who the creative force was at this point.

Because of John's lack of input, it really is infuriating that they didn't use more of George's songs here. To not proceed with All Things Must Pass, which even at this stage is beautiful, is such a travesty. Can you imagine it being the closer on this?

The best part of Part 1, by far, is Paul starting up Get Back right on the spot. That is just amazing to watch in real time.

As for Part 2, which I actually enjoyed as much as Part 3, the beginning when just Paul and Ringo show up, after George has walked out, is heartbreaking. John hasn't shown up and you don't know if he's going to bother now, and Paul says "and then there were two", and he's holding back tears and actually starting to tremble. That was gutting. You wonder if he would have broke down eventually if not for John calling in.

When watching (listening really) to the flower pot scene, all I could think about was how Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the original director, was either forbidden to include certain footage, or was incompetent with his film. How do you not include this in the original? To hear an honest conversation between John and Paul over the current dynamics of the group? Come on.

God bless Billy Preston. While the group were getting on better with the move to Saville Row, it's obvious things go to another level when he sits in. Watching him seamlessly integrate into songs like Get Back and Don't Let Me Down is truly astonishing and really speaks to his genius as a keyboard player.

I'll say this for John. While he didn't have the material, he's certainly more into it by the end, and his humor and wit is on full display - I'm sure partly due to the heroin, but still. It helps keep things light in the studio, and the many in-between jams that he mostly instigates are a real treat to listen to. An important aspect to remember in all of this.

Having the complete rooftop performance with all the different camera angles was perfect. The hilarity of the cops trying to stop it is on full display - that hidden camera in the lobby is pure gold. But my favorite part of it all is actually AFTER they play, when they are all listening back in the control room and everyone is grinning ear to ear. They sounded great and they know it. Even George, whose refusal to perform live pissed me off to no end, seemed taken away with it. I don't know how they convinced him to get on the roof at the last minute, but thank goodness he did.

Considering the length of this, I was surprised that the Apple Studio Performances of Two Of Us, Let It Be, and The Long And Winding Road were not included in full here. They showed snippets of the first two during the closing credits, and that's it. I guess that will be added to the inevitable Director's Cut whenever this thing comes out on Blu-Ray, but to me, that was a glaring omission.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:29 AM   #566
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It's clear John had an anti-authoritarian streak (among other psychological issues), so while he went along with these big conceptual projects, he was prone to not taking them seriously, showing up late, unprepared, etc. And while there is indeed a big gulf between what he had ready to work on vs. Paul and George, let's not forget that he was just as productive as his bandmate as recently as 6 months earlier when they were recording The White Album (which arguably has his best assortment of songs). On top of that, he released two albums of experimental music with Yoko (the Two Virgins series) during that late '68 to spring '69 span that this documentary sits in the middle of, and was recording a third (Wedding Album). So it's not as if he was just strung out on junk and doing nothing. His interests simply appeared to lie elsewhere at the time, and being forced to a deadline in one month was also likely bad timing in terms of where he was in his writing process.
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Old 11-30-2021, 12:00 PM   #567
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My comment about John being distracted by Yoko was both from a personal standpoint as well as musically. She was his muse at the time and The Beatles were definitely in a secondary role by then, so the point remains that he obviously contributed less, and it wasn't really limited to the deadline they had either, it was really to the end.

I have no idea why, when given a deadline, that they forged ahead with this. Not sure if it was at Paul's insistence or something else, but there was no reason that they couldn't have simply continued on after Ringo finished his film, especially when they released the Get Back single to buy some more time. That certainly would have relieved some of the pressure.

One more thing I forgot to mention. The intrusion of Allen Klein was really the backbreaker here, given what we know happened shortly after this. There's a book out there called You Never Give Me Your Money that goes into detail about the business side (it's good, but would get higher marks from me if the author didn't feel the need to veer off into the salacious and gossipy side of things at times), which depicts how he ruined things to the point of no return. It's a shame that John became so enamored with him and wouldn't listen to reason. Things might have turned out differently.

And I just read how Peter Jackson showed the part of the film to Paul where George suggested a solo album, and how John agreed and thought alternating solo and Beatles albums would work. Paul's comment was he wish he'd known that at the time.

For all the fascinating conversations in this doc, it's ironic that it still came down to lack of communication at times in the end.
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Old 11-30-2021, 12:27 PM   #568
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Lennon indeed made a huge mistake backing Klein, and I’d also blame him (and George and Ringo) for letting Phil Spector have “final cut” over the Let It Be project despite Paul’s protestations.

But yeah it’s tragic that there’s an alternate history where the band only goes on the occasional hiatus so they could all pursue their own projects inbetween.
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Old 12-01-2021, 06:50 AM   #569
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They never should have let Spector get his grubby hands on the tapes.
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:14 AM   #570
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Finished Part 2.

The 8 hours of this doc was justified for that flower pot hidden microphone conversation between John and Paul alone. I feel like it managed to say more somehow than 50 Beatles biographies.

I also appreciated Paul preemptively dismissing suggestions that Yoko was the cause of the band's tension.

John had me cracking up once every 10 minutes during this thing. They're in a serious discussion about the future of the band and Paul says "We were talking--" and John cuts in, quoting the missing George's lyrics "--about the space between us?" Not only witty, but perfectly timed re: the situation.

My biggest laugh may have been when Mal was taking breakfast orders and John says "Sparrow on toast".

And yes, Billy Preston truly did save this album. I love when George talks earlier about loving the sound of electric piano and I couldn't agree more.
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Old 12-04-2021, 04:00 PM   #571
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I've been so derelict the last few years when it comes to being a productive member of this little internet community, but I spent a good chunk of my free time on this site for a long time and I still think of this place often, and fondly.

One of the threads I think of a lot is this one. It felt like the one place a lot of us came to and managed to keep positive, while infusing a lot of posts not just with opinions and such but also how the Beatles and their music made us feel, then and now. I cherished that, not gonna lie. As a person born just as the band ended things, their music is intertwined into my life and being in ways I don't even fully understand. - that might sound corny and I wish I had the vocabulary to better explain it, but it's true.

And, now, upon finishing Get Back, my first thought was to come here and see if any of you that are still here watched it and enjoyed it. Seems like, so far, the feedback is almost all positive.

It is rare to get such a raw and unfiltered look at a band, let alone one with mythological standing, not to mention from an era where cell phones and such were not present. What a treasure trove. I am sure I'd not have been quite as riveted if it were nine hours of footage from most other bands, but when you combine all the elements - their historical significance, the quality of their music, already knowing how it ends, comparing and contrasting it against another film made from the exact same sessions, their personalities, seeing songs we know and love created in real time, etc, for me I could have watched another few episodes of this and not gotten bored.

I could name a ton of moments that were either joyful or sad or eye opening or corrective or more, but I'll just comment on three, which is me just echoing others here: the flower pot scene is just astounding. I listened to it three times before moving on, and will likely go and listen again. For those of us that love music I don't know how much more impactful it gets as far as getting to hear such a conversation. Just wow. And, yes, seeing Get Back basically being birthed in real time was such a fucking pleasure. I am sure to those that make music such a scene is pretty familiar, but for it to be shown to laymen, and to have it be such a well known song done by icons, it was utterly mesmerizing and gave me a major jolt of joy and amazement. And seeing Yoko and Linda interacting was lovely - not to mention how many friends and family were just milling about even with just days to go. All that pressure towards the deadline and they're all cool with Linda's daughter running amok. That probably speaks to what the band were all about, but maybe I'm placing more significance on it than it warrants, don't know. I guess I'll mention a fourth which is the flip side of my last comment - seeing Peter Sellers wanting to get the fuck on out of there was pretty interesting. He caught them at a bad moment, to say the least.

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well and that you're having as good a holiday season as is possible under the circumstances. Even you, Laz.

GAF, sorry your pale hose didn't advance farther last month but the present and future look good, assuming the lockout doesn't last too long. I have nothing to say to phanan as it pertains to October baseball.
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Old 12-04-2021, 06:39 PM   #572
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I've been so derelict the last few years when it comes to being a productive member of this little internet community, but I spent a good chunk of my free time on this site for a long time and I still think of this place often, and fondly.
Ditto. It's been so long since I've been in here that I somehow got locked out, having no idea what email address and password I had originally signed up with, so I had to get Sicy to help me back in (thanks, Sicy!).

But after watching, and then immediately re-watching, Get Back, I had to know what the old gang thought. It comes as no surprise to me that you all just get better and better at writing about music, and most everything I wanted to comment on has already been said better than I could have.

One thing I'll say is that I've spent a lifetime as mostly a George & John girl, but man, I've now veered hard into Paul's lane. I really felt for him trying to hold it all together, which meant sometimes being a pill, and I have massive newfound respect for him as a person and a godlike genius musician and songwriter. As Peter Jackson said, Paul was absolutely the Frodo of the Beatles. But I love each of them, with all their flaws and brilliance. I was really struck by the emotional intelligence and self-awareness they each displayed.

What a treat it's been spending this last week with the Beatles. I'll probably spend the rest of my life watching Get Back.
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Old 12-04-2021, 07:02 PM   #573
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I've been so derelict the last few years when it comes to being a productive member of this little internet community
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Old 12-04-2021, 09:33 PM   #574
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I might have to watch this thing.
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Old 12-05-2021, 06:57 AM   #575
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I have nothing to say to phanan as it pertains to October baseball.
Yankees suck. Good to see you.
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Old 12-05-2021, 07:42 AM   #576
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Welcome back, NSW and joyfulgirl! Get back to where you once belonged, indeed!
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:36 AM   #577
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Anyway, I hope you are all doing well and that you're having as good a holiday season as is possible under the circumstances.
Jumping into this thread to to you and joyful. Miss you both!

I've been creeping around this thread because there was a big discussion at our small Thanksgiving dinner about whether this documentary was too long and meandering and only meant for super fans. Currently, my significant other is watching it. I've tried on multiple occasions to get into the Beatles and failed. Neither of my parents listen to them, and their music just keeps passing me by.

But like joyful said, the people here write so well about music that I've enjoyed reading this thread and seeing the appreciation others have for this band and this documentary.

And while we've got so many people here, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season too.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:13 AM   #578
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Welcome back, NSW and joyfulgirl! Get back to where you once belonged, indeed!


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Jumping into this thread to to you and joyful. Miss you both!

I've been creeping around this thread because there was a big discussion at our small Thanksgiving dinner about whether this documentary was too long and meandering and only meant for super fans.
Hey, you! And here I am hoping for the 18hr director's cut that Peter Jackson mentioned he's considering. There are definitely some slow parts for the casual fan, but I was mostly rapt throughout. When re-watching it, I did realize how much I had tuned out whenever the suits were talking.

Some moments I enjoyed that came to mind this morning:

Ringo loving sitting next to Paul at the piano
George helping Ringo with Octopus's Garden
Ringo everything, actually. Such a sweet presence.
George's sartorial selections
Everything about Two of Us
Maureen's bobbing head
The row of feet tapping in the playback room
Linda and Yoko talking
Mal dancing with Heather
Mal's face when told to get a hammer and anvil
Commonwealth
Paul's commitment to dramatic readings of news stories about them
Every second of John's silliness
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Old 12-05-2021, 11:47 AM   #579
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One thing that is fascinating to me, and it's not exactly a total revelation but more of an underlining, is that despite how dispassionate/disinterested John was during the recording/rehearsal sessions, seeming to take none of it very seriously and cracking jokes at every turn, when it was time to perform his songs live, the man fucking BROUGHT IT. In 1980 he dismissed Dig A Pony as "another piece of garbage", but what a spirited rendition of it we got. It's telling that the versions of that song and One After 909 which made it onto the eventual album were those live ones, and I suspect that had he not garbled the lyrics on a verse in the first take of Don't Let Me Down, they might have used that one as well (Let It Be...Naked uses a track made by combining both live takes). He seems nearly possessed when he's up there, just a rock and roll guy through and through. It's odd to use a term like "professional" with such an idiosyncratic person, but when you put in the time these guys did in the Hamburg clubs, it becomes part of your blood.

Two things started to choke me up in the second half of Part 3: Paul and John ballroom dancing in the studio, and later, the band and their families and the crew listening to the playback of the rooftop recordings, and knowing they had done something special.

Also, another thing that isn't new, but should be restated: Billy Preston played on 10 of the 14 tracks (incl. Don't Let Me Down and Old Brown Shoe) from these sessions. He's a legitimate member of the band on this album, plain and simple. Especially as he was not a hired gun playing pre-arranged parts; they were letting him join in and add what he wanted to these songs. When you consider that he also played organ on Something and I Want You (She's So Heavy), arguably Abbey Road's greatest tracks, his impact on late-period Beatles is undeniable.
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Old 12-06-2021, 10:21 AM   #580
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GAF, sorry your pale hose didn't advance farther last month but the present and future look good, assuming the lockout doesn't last too long. I have nothing to say to phanan as it pertains to October baseball.
Can't wait for next season. But we need a right fielder (Conforto? Castellanos?) and another rotation arm.

Nice win for your Steelers last night.
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