Beatles, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul Mccartney, Peter Jackson, Ringo Starr

Beatles, George Harrison

'Get Back': Meet the Beatles Once Again, Courtesy of the Most Emotional Fab Four Doc Ever

'The Beatles: Get Back' finds Peter Jackson reworking eight hours of 'Let It Be' footage and reworking the Fab Four's final act. It's a revelation, says Rob Sheffield. Our review

4 hours ago

'The Beatles : Get Back' finds Peter Jackson reworking eight hours of 'Let It Be' footage and reworking the Fab Four's final act. It's a revelation, says Rob Sheffield. Our review

Peter Jackson ’s three-part, nearly eight-hour doc flips the script on John, Paul, George and Ringo’s final act — and completely revises your opinion of the band you’ve known for a…

didmean that he ended up with an 80-hour edit, because he’s just very respectfully kept all these little moments. But I’m sure there’ll be some fans who will want the 80-hour.”Those “quiet moments” are the heart of the film, and they’re packed with emotional details. Ringo offers Yoko a stick of gum. Linda and Yoko whisper while the boys play “Let It Be.” George floors the others with an acoustic version of a Bob Dylan outtake. Paul plays “Strawberry Fields Forever” at the piano while John sits a few feet away, hunched over his guitar, trying to act cool, pretending this moment doesn’t mean a thing to him.

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Some worried thatGet Backwould sanitize the band’s conflicts, but that’s not the case. Their abrasive sides are on display, from John’s gum-chewing side-eye to Paul’s bossy rants. George, as always, rules as the Queen Bitch of this band.Get Backis a treasure trove of Salty George moments, like when he drily asks Paul, “Is this one called ‘I’ve Got a Feeling?’” He’s a key reason the Beatles were one of the movies’ all-time great comedy teams, in addition to everything else they were.

The most famous scene from the originalLet It Beis Paul and George sparring over a guitar part. George scoffs, “Whatever it is that will please you, I’ll do it.” He pauses with his icy glare. “But I don’t thinkyoureally know what that one is.” George could really turn on the Bette Davis when he wanted to.

But inGet Back, the moment hits hard because you see it in context — the song they’re arguing about is “Two of Us.” When you witness the joyful eye contact between Paul and John, as they harmonize, you can also see the rage smolder on George’s face. (No poker player, Harrison.) No wonder this is the song that pissed him off; it must have been agonizing to feel blocked out of that John/Paul duet. Everybody else on earth treats George like a world-class artist, including peers like Dylan and the Band. But the Beatles still treat him like a little kid.

Even Ringo, the stoic saint of infinite patience, gets his hackles up. (Who knew Ringo had hackles?) When the director casually says it’s the end of the band, Ringo snaps. “You’re only surmising that. Just ‘cause we got a bit grumpy!” It’s touching to see Ringo close ranks to defend his mates. The Beatles can knock each other all day, but even at that point, they won’t let any outsider step to them. The only non-Beatle they really seem to trust is their loyal road manager Mal Evans — the secret hero of the movie, the Sam to these four Frodos.

Over the years, Yoko has been stupidly maligned as an intruder at the sessions. ButGet Backfinally destroys that myth. She’s there because John needs her there, only she’s not interfering. There’s a priceless scene where they’re working on “Don’t Let Me Down,” while Yoko, the woman who inspired John to write this soul-baring confession reaches over and brushes a few crumbs off his shoulder. She reads the newspaper, while John wails, “It’s a love that lasts forever!”

Paul always gets to the studio early, before the others have probably woken up. In one great scene, he sits at the piano to demonstrate how he writes songs, striking up “Martha My Dear.” “From there,” he explains, “unless you stop yourself, there’s no stopping yourself!” A perfect Paul proverb.

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He also brings in his girlfriend, rock photographer Linda Eastman. He introduces her to a camera man, then adds, “Linda’s a camera man.” Then he sits at the piano to run through some stunning new tunes: “Golden Slumbers,” “Another Day,” “The Long and Winding Road.” The songs aren’t finished, but he’s just showing off for Linda. He’s determined to dazzle this woman.

(This detail cannot be over-stressed: Paul has already decided Linda is the love of his life. He is correct. They’re inseparable for the next 38 years, until her dying day. At this point, he’s still a young rock star, not to mention the most adored bachelor on earth, but that doesn’t faze him. He has total emotional confidence in this life decision. He is

26 years old. Let’s face it: as a culture, we haven’t evenbegunto fathom the mysteries of Paul McCartney. The gods made only one of him.)But there’s constant tension between the band and the film crew. The director can’t stop interrupting the music to nag them. There’s an ugly scene where the band has left for the day, so the crew guys pick up their instruments and jam.(Haven’t they seen

A Hard Days Night? Nobody touches Ringo’s drums! They loom large in his legend.)One morning, John tells George about this man he just met last night: rock manager Allen Klein. John raves, “He knows me as much as you do! Incredible guy.” Given Klein’s role in the band’s demise, it’s a sad scene. The Titanic has just grazed the iceberg.

Meanwhile, the deadline keeps looming, as the days count down to the rooftop concert. When George Martin frets they don’t have enough songs, Paul assures him, “We’ve still got a lot more songs we haven’t even rehearsed. Two slow ones we’re doing, ‘Mother Mary’ and ‘Brother Jesus.’” But under the jaunty surface, even Paul is getting worried. As he admits, “To wander aimlessly is very unswinging.” When they finally make it to the roof, you can see they’re relieved, but they’re also surprised how great they sound. At the end of “I’ve Got a Feeling,” John can’t resist yelling “fuck yeah!” (Somehow this made it to the version they released.)

But the most poignant scene inGet Backcomes after George quits. Nobody knows if he’ll come back. People sit around to complain about Yoko, but Paul sticks up for her. He quips, “It’s going to look so comical in 50 years time: ‘They broke up because Yoko sat on an amp!’” Everyone laughs, but you can see the grief in Paul’s eyes. His life is changing, he knows it, and he’s in the middle of something he really doesn’t understand. Nobody had any idea this moment was captured on film until Peter Jackson told

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Rolling Stonelast year. It sums up everything indelible aboutGet Back. At the center of the chaos, it’s just four boys, trying to steal a moment or two to play music together. It’s a friendship that’s faltering, but you can see why all four of them are fighting to keep it going, even in their hour of darkness.

Read more: Rolling Stone »

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