For many, music is a source of escape. The melodies and lyrics give voice to the feelings that we can’t put into words. And for many, The Beatles were that escape. On November 25, 2021, their new 8-hour long documentary series “The Beatles: Get Back”, was just released on Disney+. Filmed in 1969 for the 1970 feature film “Let It Be”, the series gives viewers insight into the chemistry within the band, who were preparing for their first live performance since they declared they were finished in 1966 due to their exhausting and excessive tours.
Director of the series Peter Jackson challenges the infamous narrative about the breaking up of the band, by showing their candid conversations during their writing sessions. Over time, John Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono has often been blamed for the breakup, as well as Paul McCartney who was accused of spoiling the dynamic of The Beatles.
For years since The Beatles broke up, tabloids had framed the situation as being caused by horrible fighting, and drama. “I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth. After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure trove. Sure, there’s moments of drama, but none of the discord this project has long been associated with.” Peter Jackson stated back in 2019 when the series was first announced. “Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating. It’s funny, uplifting, and surprisingly intimate.… I’m thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage. Making the movie will be a sheer joy.”
The question many fans are asking is what The Beatles themselves think of the documentary.
“The Beatles saw it in its entirety two or three months ago. I was expecting to get notes because I was pretty tough. I was expecting, in the back of my mind, that I was going to hear from somebody, ‘Can you cut that out,’ or ‘Don’t show that.’ I was expecting those sorts of notes, and I didn’t get one note. I just got, ‘Don’t change a thing.’”. Jackson states in an interview with Decider on November 25, 2021.
Paul McCartney, former Beatles band member, made several remarks in an interview with The Sunday Times on November 12, 2021, on how the series changed his perspective on the band’s split.
When asked whether the series changed his views of the band’s split, he said “Really yes. And there is proof in the footage. Because I definitely brought into the dark side of The Beatles breaking up and thought, ‘God, I’m to blame.’ It’s easy, when the climate is going that way, to think that. But at the back of my mind there was this idea that it wasn’t like that. I just needed to see proof.”
“I’ll tell you what is really fabulous about it, it shows the four of us having a ball,” McCartney told The Sunday Times after watching the film. “It was so reaffirming for me. That was one of the important things about The Beatles, we could make each other laugh.”
The film will feature The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, on the rooftop on London’s Savile Row, a significant performance for long-time fans.
Not only are fans overwhelmed by this series, but for songwriters around the world, this documentary is more than just a trip back in time. It’s never-before-seen footage of The Beatles’ song-writing processes, and the genius music theory tactics that went into the making of their classic songs. However, these ‘tactics’ really weren’t tactics at all. Their art was anything but calculated and planned out. Throughout the 8-hour long, three-part series, The Beatles are most often seen improvising, casually spitting out lyrics as they create some of their now most iconic songs to grace their discography.
In the span of the year 1969 when the series was recorded, The Beatles wrote, produced, and released two of their greatest hits/albums to be made in their careers: Let It Be & Abbey Road. About a year later, the band announced their breakup.
The Beatles were one of a kind and will be known forever as one of the greatest, and most influential bands in the history of music. They made songs that were simplistic yet in a class of their own. Like the mark they made in history, their music will live on forever. In times of trouble, especially with the tragedies and pandemic currently occurring today, people need music to stay grounded and be there for each other. Music that reminds you everything will be okay. And when the brokenhearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be.