An alternative title for this review series could be I watched The Beatles: Get Back so you don’t have to. Well that’s part of writing about music. You listen to and watch everything and tell people what you think so that way they can decide if something is worth their time. And this isn’t the last review I’ll be working on. I have a couple others in the queue. One book and one TV series. So keep on the lookout for those during my short return from my ‘not hiatus’. In case you missed parts 1 and 2, you can read them here.
It was a tedious watch for sure and a lot of the same thing over and over again to the point where I thought I was going crazy because I thought I’d heard that bit before. And since it’s a lot of the same thing over and over again, I didn’t find as much notable about this episode besides the rooftop concert, the real highlight of all of this. So time for my first impressions review/reaction thing!
Three days until the rooftop concert and we have Ringo playing one of his compositions you know and love from Abbey Road, “Octopus’ Garden”. This is the first time we see kids in the studio with Heather, Linda’s daughter paying a visit, talking about cats and playing drums with Ringo, sings like Yoko while John plays guitar, how adorable!
Like in the last episode, the band and Billy Preston continue rehearsing new songs and sometimes play covers in between. In this episode I see one of my favourite George outfits, the pink and purple pinstripe suit and purple ruffly shirt he wore to the Wonderwall premiere (I love that picture of him and the beautiful Jane Birkin). If classic rockers can repeat outfits and look cool, so can you! And I get a kick out of the fuzzy boots he wears. And I loved seeing his colourful guitar called Rocky.
George’s love song to Pattie, “Something” from Abbey Road, is a classic and I liked seeing it in the early stages, a nice change from constantly hearing “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down”. Just after that they play a country/blues style version of their early hit “Love Me Do”.
It’s nice to hear more from George, personally my favourite Beatle, like him playing “Old Brown Shoe”.
Something I didn’t realise until now watching this documentary and doing some background research is how much Billy Preston contributed to Let It Be. And George in return produced That’s The Way God Planned It and Encouraging Words. And I liked seeing him singing in the documentary.
As Allen Klein arrives to meet with The Beatles, George trips, but looks stylish as always doing it. So lesson here is always dress well!
Basically, John even says as much about being strained after singing the same songs over and over, while talking about the dress rehearsal with George Martin. Other than that, Paul seems to be the most serious and the leader at this point, saying he wants to record instead of talking about the rooftop concert. George is reluctant about the rooftop concert, but Ringo loves the idea.
Finally at an hour and 20 minutes in we finally see some preparations for the rooftop concert. Cameras everywhere. It’s crunch time. A cold day too since it’s January so you see John and George in fur coats. Lucky for them, no rain. We all know how temperamental the English weather is. Now time for the highlight of this whole thing, the rooftop concert. Spectacular and even better with the HD video quality. Of course not everyone in the 60s were all cool and all hippie and there were complaints to the police. Anyway, if you’re a Beatles fan, you should think like the NWA song “Fuck Tha Police”. Let people have fun! The Beatles hadn’t played live in a while so this is really special. Maybe because I’m a classic rock nerd, but I think it’s so weird seeing people in 1969 not knowing who The Beatles are, normies! Or beyond that, what’s a word for them? Squares? Grey? Or maybe I’m the weirdo for being obsessed with rock bands. How do you not recognise them? Overall it was well received and a big part of classic rock history that we all know.
From there they go back to the studio and continue to work on music for Let It Be.
Anyway, I think you can fast forward through most of this or even feel okay taking a bathroom break. I really think this documentary could use an edit. Like I said before, this is like unabridged DVD extras. I can imagine a lot of us have shorter attention spans because of the pandemic and our changing media consumption habits, a lot more short form content. Even though I love The Beatles, I think this documentary can be summed up with the name of a Beatles song, “It’s All Too Much”.
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