In 1995, the appearance of work Anthology of the Beatles was the audiovisual staging of one of the many resurrections of the group without John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr ever again, de facto, physically reunited. Something that now happens again with the premiere of the documentary The Beatles: Get Back, by Peter Jackson, that this Tuesday had its premiere in London.
But the most die-hard fans knew perfectly well that, beyond the interviews with Paul, George and Ringo, John’s unreleased demos (Free as a Bird and Real love) transformed into Fab Four songs and never-before-seen images, there was still a material that had to, at some point, see the light.
The entire month of January 1969, in which filmmaker Michael Lindsay-Hogg recorded the group in London while rehearsing and composing the new material that would eventually become Let it be (disc and film), featured as the band’s “testament” in their documentary already dripping between the material of the five DVDs, and waiting, like Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes, the right moment to see the light.
That moment came when the New Zealand director Peter Jackson met McCartney at the avant premiere of The two Towers, the second part of the film trilogy of The Lord of the rings by JRR Tolkien, and where Macca told him that there was an idea of the Beatles starring in the saga.
Paul McCartney and his daughter Mary, at the premiere of ‘The Beatles: Get Back’, in London, this November 16. Photo Joel C Ryan / Invision / AP
A short time later, Jackson was contacted by Apple Records to be part, from his position as director, of a traveling show about the Beatles that, in the end, never happened.
Successful Director Offers
There the filmmaker asked about the raw footage of Lindsay-Hogg’s film, and was informed not only that there were almost sixty hours of unreleased material, but also that a colleague of his had just gotten off the project of doing something with those saved celluloid tapes. under seven keys.
“If you need a director, here you have one”, he told them, and took the material to evaluate what to do. And finally resolved to do Get back, original name of the album, show and movie project. “I was in the right place, at the right time,” says Jackson, per Zoom, to a series of journalists, in a virtual press conference Hosted by film critic and producer Scott Mantz.
That was, then, the kickoff for Get back. The idea that started as a movie It ended in a six-hour-long miniseries, which will be uploaded to the Web by the Disney + streaming platform on November 25, 26 and 27., divided into three chapters of two hours each.
A documentary that could easily have been called The Real Let It Be NakedSorry for the mocking comment on the record that Sir Paul fired in 2003, where all the overdubs that producer Phil Spector added to the January ’69 sessions were removed.
The Beatles as you never saw them
A 2021 model TV show to which the worn advertising slogan “The Beatles as you never saw them” (to which Jackson himself appeals at some point during the virtual meeting with the journalists) suits him wonderfully.
The story that Jackson comes to tell denies, in his own way, the official, beyond the fact that he himself clarifies that Harrison’s temporary departure from the band is shown after arguing with McCartney (something that in Let it be does not appear), to put one of the topics that point to these times as the beginning of the end of the Beatles.
Or the presence of Yoko Ono sitting next to Lennon at all times, often with needles and a tissue. “She did not interfere with work. At no time did he say things like ‘This one should only have been faster’. He was there because he loved John ”, he worries to clarify.
McCartney, Starr, Harrison and Lennon, in a scene from the documentary “The Beatles: Get Back”. Photo EFE / Apple Corps Ltd.
A Lennon that surprises
“My perception of each of the band members changed and there were things that surprised me. John Lennon, for example. Because there is the Lennon of the 60s, and the one of the 70s, the most activist, the angry, the Gimme some truth. And that’s not the one we see in this footage. Here he is relaxed, patient, he never raises his voice. The angry John here does not appear at all“, he warns.
And it deepens the contrast: “Because there is the idea of the loving McCartney, but here you can see the loving John.” The revelation of the New Zealander continues to amaze, and highlights another stereotype that, in this case, seems to be dissolving.
“When I started to see everything, I found myself laughing a lot. The problem with Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s film was the timing, the moment it was released, with the Beatles already separated. That’s what makes it a sad movie, “reflects Jackson.
And he adds, in favor of his theory: “Both Lindsay-Hogg and Glyn Jones, the engineer of the album, told me that they remember laughing and laughing in the whole process, and that they have no idea why people think it was all wrong”.
A 21-day no-waste summary
So in Get back you can see a summary of those twenty-one days arranged chronologically between rehearsals, recordings, compositions and the forty-five minute grand finale of the Apple Terrace concert, shown for the first time in full.
The job took Jackson four “very difficult” years. (six months just to see the raw footage) and the reception of those involved was excellent. “For the first time in my life they told me: ‘Don’t change anything’”He says, and it’s easy to imagine him negotiating with Hollywood priests to defend his point of view in the stories based on Tolkien’s volumes, or on his version of King Kong.
Peter Jackson spent six months visualizing the material for its realization. Photo: Disney
Get back, then, it will be a new tome that joins that New Testament of the 20th century in a non fiction version that is the story of the Beatles. And it comes with the seal of total quality that a guy like Peter Jackson can give you.
Someone who, after this, of course will not direct any other documentary related to the world of rock, as he took care to clarify at the end of the press conference.
The inventors of the “reality show”
And that realizes that, just like the Beatles and director Richard Lester, in the movies A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, in their way they invented video clips and MTV when it was a music channel, there may also be a reading that in Get back John, Paul, George and Ringo are seen by scholars or by new generations as the predecessors of today’s music reality shows.
Thus it could have been posed, by showing their intimacy when composing and rehearsing, thinking that the only future there is is eternal and together, without even considering even in his wildest nightmares the idea of a traumatic separation and fights over the vile money that will reach the lowest accusations and facts that can be found in a group of four friends.
The inventors of the “reality show”, long before the format became popular.
Another theory, and there are already a thousand, about the Fabulous Four of Liverpool, which will serve to keep them present as if the fifty-two years that have passed since the events occurred until today are only the blink of an eye.
Or, to put it in the immortal words of John Lennon as he said goodbye to what was his last show with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr: “I want to thank you on behalf of myself and the group, and I hope we passed the audition.”
Reference from clarin