When I stated in my last post that “The Beatles – Get Back” was all the rage I wasn’t kidding.
Here with a guest post review of Get Back is my friend Chris Turchetti.
Chris is a Rhode Islander, and a lifelong musician, he is also the composer for both film projects of Blindogg Productions – I hope you enjoy his take on Get Back…
I was born in 1965. I’m a lifelong Beatles fan.
The Beatles broke up in 1970.
I didn’t actually fully “discover” The Beatles until around 1975 though…
Fifth Grade was when I also started studying drums with a private teacher.
For better or for worse, my Dad was a lifelong “real” musician… So, I basically had the advantage of having a teacher live in my house with me!! Two years later, I was so advanced, that I was reading out of Berkeley College Drum Books. Reading Rhythms came easy to me.
~~ I FEEL FINE ~~
To me, my opinion is that drums aren’t about technical abilities, they’re all about “feel”.
And when you talk about the Feel of a Drummer, we all learned it from Ringo both as players and as listeners!
Well, you either had it or you didn’t. you can’t fake feel. It’s like faking passion, and being in love. Your partner will notice!!
Musical feel can happen on any instrument, but on instruments other than drums, it gets better with technical ability. Paul was a master of the bass, but none of the other Beatles were really technically proficient at all, but it didn’t matter because they defined the word band. And as a group, they made each other better. They even pushed each other. John & Paul especially. John wrote Strawberry Fields, Paul’s answer was Penny Lane. That kind of thing.
On to the Documentary Get Back:
~~ TOMMORROW NEVER KNOWS ~~
Let’s face it, as a lifelong Beatles fan , a documentary is going to be watched and at least liked…A lot. Just for the content itself. It’s a sure thing. They can’t go wrong with that subject matter. But after seeing the trailer, I was hooked! This looked unbelievable, awesome, interesting as hell, long lost footage, something brand new to my eyes and ears. And it was all of that and then some. Sixty hours of footage broken down into almost 8 hours, separated into 3 parts. Ohhhhh…. I couldn’t wait…
The first part was on Thanksgiving Day. A Thursday, and as much as I was looking forward to it, I got Covid the previous Monday and couldn’t have cared less about this coming Thursday! But fortunately, I was well enough to watch all 3 parts – Thursday, Friday & Saturday.
~~ ROCK N’ ROLL MUSIC ~~
The thing about the Beatles is that , somehow, both Paul & John were prolific songwriters! Even though at this time, Paul was 27, George was 25, Ringo & John were 29. And by the next album, Abbey Road, George was right up there with them. They all sang and had very different distinctive voices that somehow blended absolutely perfectly together. They were so so far ahead of their years. So mature. So experienced.
And yet, so normal.
It was great to see them in this time frame during the writing and recording of the Let It Be Album because we got to witness so many songs that ended up on their solo albums and even Abbey Road. This wasn’t their last hurrah even though it was their last release. This was their 2nd to last album.
~~ WE CAN WORK IT OUT ~~
Get Back shows The Beatles being pressed for time as they had 22 days to write and record an entire album!
I found the whole thing very moving. But I also found that it could have been about 6 hours instead of 8. Watching them fiddle through tunes that they don’t even remember doesn’t lend itself to their legacy. Nobody wants to see that. And some parts sounded awful as they fooled around on way too much, even on their own songs, like singing Two Of Us with their teeth clenched. I get that it depicts them being playful and all of that messing around sure did amuse the lads. It’s a release, it’s needed, I get it, all work and no play, yes I get it, but there was sixty hours of footage and I’m sorry Peter Jackson but you included way too much crap filler, even for the biggest fans. It actually got, dare I say it, boring. It didn’t last, but it was just a disappointment. And they had a deadline!! I was thinking “Do they have no sense of urgency?! Why do they continue to procrastinate?! Time is wasting away!! C’Mon boys, I thought you were professionals!” But I was torn between yelling at the Beatles to get their butts in gear, and screaming to Peter Jackson “We Don’t Want To See Or Hear This , Through 60 hours of footage, you couldn’t find a better 6 minute segment?!”
~~ TELL ME WHY ~~
Then there’s the inclusion of Yoko, ummmm…. screaming????
How is this a documentation of how the Beatles overcame an incredible deadline and wrote yet another classic album, and all in 22 days ? I know some people call it art, but there’s no inclusion of Linda, who Paul asked to sing the high parts on Let It Be and she did a fine job and later became a key part in Paul McCartney & Wings‘ sound. But this documentary does prove that Yoko did not break up the band because she sat on an amp, as Paul joked.
~~ THINGS WE SAID TODAY ~~
I’m still not sure how I feel about when John & Paul go to the cafeteria for a private lunch & in the flower pot on their table, there’s a hidden microphone to record their personal & private conversation talking about how George felt and why he left the band and how Paul is too dominating sometimes. I mean, it’s great to hear them speak privately and we’re all glad that we were a fly on the wall over fifty years ago, but, that’s an invasion of their privacy, I don’t care who you are, it was wrong to do that to them & I’d love to know more about how they both felt when they found out. By the way, when did they find out? Fifty years later through this documentary?
~~ I WANT TO TELL YOU ~~
Highlights for me are too many to list, but even though I know that McCartney was a genius, he really shows it in this film, along with his excellent playing abilities on Bass, Piano, Guitar & Drums, his ideas come quick and he just has that natural ability to create from nothing. There was a moment when Billy Preston was playing these songs with the boys and their faces just lit up like they just tasted sugar for the first time, and they were absolutely inspired by such a great player and what he was adding to the songs.
Then there’s the famous argument between Paul & George… Classic.
The key part is when Paul says to George “I Can Hear Myself Annoying You.” These words cut deep because now, it’s all back on George. But George got him back, though unknowingly, when we see Paul, all teary eyed after George left the band, and John hadn’t shown up when he said he would, Paul is sitting there staring into nothing and says “And Then There Were 2” referring to himself & Ringo. Another highlight was when George says “Maybe We Should Have A Divorce”, and Paul says “Well, I said that at the last meeting, but it’s getting nearer”. Something that I noticed afterwards is when Paul says “And Then There Were 2”, he had no idea that as of today, he’s more right than he knew as Paul & Ringo are the remaining 2 Beatles. It’s eerie to watch him say those words now.
~~ CARRY THAT WEIGHT ~~
The official Fifth Beatle, George Martin, who was so important to them right up until Let It Be, wasn’t a key factor in his usual presence musically speaking, mostly because this album was supposed to be a straight ahead band playing live with no overdubs, meaning that George Martin wouldn’t be scoring any orchestral parts for this album. But then, Phil Spector did. And Paul told him ” Don’t Ever Do It Again!” But good ole George Martin would Get Back to his forte on the next album, Abbey Road.
~~ ALL TOGETHER NOW ~~
The rooftop concert? Well, for me, I have to say that it was an obvious publicity stunt and it came off that way.
That being said, it was still a fun time for all of the people in the streets, on the rooftop, and the Beatles themselves, and you could see that they had a great time.
~~ THE END ~~
So, to wrap up, all in all, I loved watching this. It was informative and kept my interest all the way through. The Beatles were a magical time and we will never see anything like them again. Whatever band you like today will admit that they were (are?) influenced by the Beatles. Jump ahead 50 years and tell me which band is that relevant today and will be this popular 50 years from today and all of the current bands will say they were influenced by ? If you have an answer, your answer is irrelevant.
~~ HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE ~~
All over the globe, The Beatles just continue & continue to inspire generation after generation. I feel lucky to have lived in the years that brought the Beatles to the world and I know that I’m a better person and player because of them. Peter Jackson has done a very fine job, but humans have to find the fault in everything, it’s in our DNA, plus, you can’t please everyone, well, unless you’re the Beatles!