'The Beatles: Get Back" - TV Review

The result of Peter Jackson getting his hands on the extensive footage shot of the Beatles around the making of "Let It Be:" an eight hour TV series that should have been three hours. Yes, it's fascinating to see them working together, creating songs together, and the tensions that occasionally arise, but this could have been presented in three one hour episodes instead of three episodes totaling eight hours.

What I got from it:

  • John is occasionally / often an ass ... although he does get serious when he needs to, but can be very annoying in between
  • Paul is trying to hold it together a bit more than the others
  • George is occasionally pretty unhappy - he quit the group for three or four days in the middle of this
  • Ringo just ... listens, and comes up with near-perfect beats from just listening to their guitar work - he's not flashy, but he's excellent
  • Yoko was always there. Other girlfriends, wives, and children come and go.
  • John and Paul are frickin' fountains of creativity, spewing brilliant songs all over, happily crossing genres and styles
  • Paul switches smoothly from bass to guitar to piano (he plays drums too, but not all that well)
  • the involvement of Billy Preston is interesting - you won't find any other credited musicians on any of the Beatles other recordings
  • if Yoko broke up the Beatles, it wasn't acrimonious (or at least not about that): it was perhaps because John wanted to make music with her more than with the Beatles
  • the real problem is that you had four incredibly creative people in one room, all with different visions
  • George did his best songs here? "For You Blue," "Old Brown Shoe" - he turns out to be a decent piano player too (Okay, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is his best ...)
  • many famous people show up (Peter Sellers comes to mind), but I was most amused by two momentary clips of a guy named Alan Parsons - who was probably very unimportant here (he's named the "Tape Operator"). They're incredbly short, and only there because of his later fame.
  • Jackson includes multiple performances of some songs (the one that appeared the most was "Get Back?"). While it was interesting to see a song transform from a chorus and a few words into the brilliant song we all know on the album, we heard some songs multiple times in their finished form in practice - and that gets old.