Peel the Onion | The Beatles: Get Back A Must Watch for Artists and Creatives (Part II)
There Will Be An Answer
All band members look uncomfortable and bewildered as each second of their workday is spied upon.
In the flux of blossoming into a competitive songwriter within the group yet still outside the Lennon-McCartney partnership, George Harrison's frustration boils over, and he finally quits. More profound Beatles scholarship will attest to Harrison's marital problems at the time as one reason for his abrupt departure.
"See you 'round the clubs," he says casually—no fight, no argument, just a clean, fluid exit. Within the cold colored lights of Twickenham, George comes across as petulant teen Beatle railing against older Beatle authority.
For example, John presents Don't Let Me Down, and the band runs through the song a few times.
George: "It sounds like the same old shit."
John: "Well, I like the same old shit."
Comic-relief Beatle and the world's most underrated drummer, Ringo Starr, is the least cringey of the bunch. He's quiet and stoic throughout but bored as hell as he waits for his comrades to get it together.
"I just farted," he says in Episode Three. "I just thought you should know."
George returns on the condition that they relocate to EMI's basement, which is 1960s shag-carpeted to fuck and looks gross and a bit austere (for the world's biggest band, anyway). For most of Episode Two, the mood lifts as they move from rehearsal mode to recording mode. The chemistry between all members is apparent, though not entirely free from underlying issues. The addition of keyboardist Billy Preston provides a crucial emollient to the easing of band tensions.
Episode Three's pièce de résistance is the rooftop concert, which has finally come to fruition through untold hours of film and real life. Though they don't know it yet, it's their last public performance, which happens in front of friends, family, and associates. The resulting album, Let It Be, is rough and raw but still decent with enough classics, written here in front of our eyes. Still, it's staggering that they managed to pull all of this off with the ridiculous month-long deadline they imposed on themselves. John was right. Backs against the wall, he and they are at their best.
"Get Back" is a frustrating, excessively indulgent snapshot of a band at its cultural zenith fraying at the seams both personally and professionally. It's the only film of its kind that shows an artist of this stature "chipping away" at the graft of genius as they attempt to bottle the last drops of Beatle potion from their collective wilt. Within the frames they support eachother, mess around, throw barbs and insults, make up, then do it all again the very next day. It's a fascinating portrait.
And in the end, a "fifth Beatle" is revealed. It's us. Millions of flies on the wall, watching, marveling, and wishing we had the special bond they had in their lives in our own. To be that creative and to spread that much joy to the world. Finally, in "Get Back," Jackson gives us our own private Beatles, as close to them as we will ever get. And with an 18-hour "director's cut" underway, are you ready for more?
Do you even like toast?
As he would refer himself, J.B. Browne is a half "foreign devil" living with anxiety relieved by purchase. HK-born Writer/Musician/Tinkerer.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.
Read more articles by J.B.Browne: