December 6, 2021

"In the Beatles circa 1969, Paul McCartney is the negotiator-in-chief, and he’s aware of every eggshell he has to walk around or smash to achieve greatness..."

"... or just to get shit done.... [H]e comes off as surprisingly aware of the minefield of sensitivities around him... and he’s certainly beyond aware that he’s paying a cost to be the boss. He’s a domineering older brother to George and rival/BFF/frenemy to John, and now he’s playing de facto manager to everyone — not necessarily because he’s taken pole position in the band on merit alone, but because Lennon is suddenly more invested in a woman... Seeing McCartney recognize and articulate all these shifts, and soldier on while he gets a little bit sad about them, is one of the pleasures of 'Get Back.' If you don’t come away from this with just a little more admiration for Paul, you may just be too in the bag for John and Yoko and their bag-ism, but that’s all right. Everybody is going to be your favorite or most admired Beatle, some time before you complete the eight-hour Get Back Challenge. 'Daddy’s gone away now, you know, and we’re on our own at the holiday camp,' McCartney says, about they’ve felt rudderless since the death of manager Brian Epstein. In the contretemps with Harrison where the guitarist famously says 'I’ll play whatever you want me to play, or I won’t play at all if you don’t want me to play,' McCartney tells the whole group he’s aware of turning into dad, and he doesn’t like it: 'I’m scared of that one… me being the boss. And I have been for, like, a couple of years – and we all have, you know, no pretending about that.'"


Lots more at the link. I resisted watching this show because I didn't want to subscribe to another streaming service — in this case, Disney. But I gave in, paid the $8 for the first month, and intend to exit as soon as I'm done watching this 8-hour extravaganza. I'm only one hour into it, after 2 sessions. I can only take so much. They look bored, that is, John, George, and Ringo look bored. Paul is more or less everything. That's pretty unpleasant! But I see that's the idea, and I have to watch it slowly enough to appreciate the details, the clues. Is John bored or is he utterly mentally absent, relocated somewhere in drugworld? Is Ringo bored or is he paying intense attention and just essentially, perpetually mute? Is George bored or is he an angry, resentful son of a bitch? 

ADDED: Willman casually used the term "bag-ism" — accomplishing a little play on words. I know what it means. I remember bagism, but I looked up the Wikipedia page anyway:
Bagism is a satire of prejudice, where by living in a bag a person could not be judged on their bodily appearance.... Bagism involved wearing a bag over one's entire body.... John and Yoko introduced the idea during a well-received press conference in Vienna on 31 March 1969.... By catching the attention of the masses with its outlandish premise, bagism presented a social and political message to the world. As Lennon stated, "Yoko and I are quite willing to be the world's clowns; if by doing it we do some good." 
Yoko said that bagism was inspired by the theme of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, which was "One sees rightly only with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes." She hoped that the bag (by hiding her and John's physical appearance) would make their essence, or the essence of their message, visible....The couple had earlier appeared in a bag, at The Alchemical Wedding, an underground artists' gathering, at London's Royal Albert Hall in late 1968.... John and Yoko climbed into a large white bag on stage, sat cross-legged, knee-to-knee, hunkered down and closed the bag. They moved only twice in 45 minutes, hunkering further down. This was a strong challenge to the audience.... 
Bagism is mentioned three times in the songs of John Lennon. The first time is in "The Ballad of John and Yoko" where John refers to "eating chocolate cake in a bag", which was at the Vienna press conference, and the second is in the song "Come Together", where he sings: "He bag production." This is a reference to Bag Productions Ltd, Lennon's public relations company, which derived its name from Bagism. The third reference is in "Give Peace a Chance", with the line, "Everybody's talkin' about Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism, This-ism, That-ism, ism, ism, ism."

There is no Wikipedia page for Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, or Tagism. I checked! When I looked for "Madism," Wikipedia asked me if I meant "Madison," and I thought maybe there's a theme this morning, here is Madison with Madism, and I pictured myself sitting alone in the coffee shop, smoking that cigarette, much freer to follow my own bizarre, troubling thoughts, wondering Oh my God, is this the real thing? Has someone thought of this before? Am I insane?

ALSO: Why isn't that Saint-Exupéry quote in my Kindle version of "The Little Prince"? I know I'm looking at a translation from the French, but I've done a word search for "rightly," "heart," "essential," "invisible," and "eyes," and I'm finding nothing even close. Is this one of those fake quotes that everyone keeps repeating? I see the quote on various quote sites, but when I do a Google book search for it, "The Little Prince" does not turn up. Maybe I can't find it because I'm not looking for it with my heart.

BUT: I get it. The quote is Yoko's. She's summing up the book. And it is a fair summation. The quote sites that attribute it to Saint-Exupéry are making the mistake, corrupting the record, which I hereby correct.

56 comments:

gilbar said...

now he’s playing de facto manager to everyone

i thought it was Linda McCartney (and her father) that took over playing de facto manager?
because Lennon is suddenly more invested in a woman..
i thought it was Paul marrying Linda that caused the outrage?

Serious Questions:
Were you guys Even AROUND in the '60's? Were you so stoned you didn't pay attention?

Wince said...

Althouse said...
But I see that's the idea, and I have to watch it slowly enough to appreciate the details, the clues.

Have you tried to play it backwards?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Ann Said " ... I resisted watching this show because I didn't want to subscribe to another streaming service — in this case, Disney. But I gave in, paid the $8 for the first month, and intend to exit as soon as I'm done watching this 8-hour extravaganza. I'm only one hour into it, after 2 sessions. I can only take so much."

SAME!
I did the same thing, with the same intent, and thought the very same thing. Except I'll add that I fell asleep at one point.

(Paul has always been my favorite Beatle)

Good news is I finally watched the original Lady and the Tramp.

Marcus Bressler said...

I am watching on the FWB's Disney+ app we loaded onto my Amazon Prime TV. Just got through Part one and have been too busy catching up on Yellowstone to start Part two. IIRC, John was looking bored because he was doing heroin at the time and Ringo was heavy into his alcoholism for many years by then. Amazing what drugs and booze can do to your attitude. Also amazing to me as a layman that they can jam and come up with the songs they did. The whole "let's do it in the Middle East" idea was hilarious and glad the band didn't go along with it.

Sydney said...

Do you have to be a huge Beatles fan to enjoy this? I was a teenager in the late 70’s, so they didn’t mean that much to me. Their music was always there, in the background. The clips I have watched of the documentary don’t entice me much.

Ann Althouse said...

"Paul has always been my favorite Beatle)."

I've moved around between Paul and John, but over the broad scheme of things — and Fate denied John a long path — Paul is the greatest.

I remember in the early fall of 1975 listening to "Mind Games," entranced, then going out to dinner and John and Yoko were sitting at the next table. I can pinpoint the time, because Yoko was heavily pregnant, and I can look up when Sean Lennon was born.

We moved back to Michigan shortly thereafter, and I remember, living there for one year, looking for a home in the heart of the country, playing "Ram" every day.

Caroline said...

Funny. I was looking for your sunrise post last night so I could talk about the Beatles some more. I actually watched it again this weekend. I noticed so much more the second time around. George’s Lord Byron hat …the tan and brown striped mugs…i hâte the word iconic, I really do, but there’s no other descriptor.
And yes, I will be unsubscribing first thing this morning. I wrote down the steps, which they explain when you sign up, because streamers are notorious for making the unsubscribe process inscrutable.

Iman said...

It seems I will have to break down and subscribe for a month - although I dislike Disney and nearly everything they’ve come to represent - to watch this.

All I’ll need to hear is the bass line from I Dig a Pony and I’ll be transported back to the driveway of the family home, where I’ll be listening to the lads while washing and polishing the paint right off my ‘64 GTO.

tim in vermont said...

Eric Clapton should not have spent so much energy trying to steal George's wife, taking advantage of the fact that George came to him as a mentor on guitar.

"If I could play lead all the time, like Eric Clapton..... It's just patterns!" - George

George comes off as kind of beta, which I guess is why women prefer the two alphas, which is natural. Ringo was paying intense attention, I agree, and was saddened by the whole thing, which he once said was his inspiration for Octopus's Garden. I love Ringo even more after watching it, he always was my favorite Beatle, if I a guy is allowed to have one. He was sort of gutted by the breakup, I think. Listen to his song "I am the Greatest." The rest of them were set free. But once John forgot that it was bros before hos, it was over for them.

But No Direction Home and Long Strange Trip were two pretty amazing rock documentaries, this one though, was probably the best one if you are a musician, since there was so much inside baseball on display.

tim in vermont said...

"Ram" is a great album that stands up today.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The Beatles clip you posted the other day, Ann - with Paul creatively strumming and singing the birth of "Get Back" - that was amazing. I thought more would be better. Turns out - nope.

Extra cool that you sat next to John and Yoko.

Heartless Aztec said...

As a fake musician, guitar, mic and amp freak it's a fascinating watch. The one thing I can't do is travel back to the 1970 time stamp. It's there and I'm here. I can remember it all - for the most part - but closed off as they are in the studio without the swirling late 60's cultural references it all sort of sterile watching band politics play out. Which reminded me of an old truism - being in a band is harder than being married.

rehajm said...

As someone alive but too young to remember the unraveling is compelling. We're watching with my MIL who was one of those rabid fainting goat of a fan and remembers her where and when of everything Beatles.

She always remembers John in the leadership roleI I have always viewed Paul.

I can't see how Yoko was supposed to be the one to break them up. Perhaps the damage had already been done...

rehajm said...

I like the references to the other artists of the time. Elvis birthday and Lets get Clapton. Heh...

...and the trappings of economic success. Those Muppet coats!

Joe Smith said...

They were rock 'gods,' and still bored.

But it was their job. At some point, work is work.

And often times work is boring...

howdydoody said...

As a huge Beatles fan, I could not get enough of it. I loved every minute. And I have to admit that I shed a tear when John and Paul were smiling at each other rocking out on the roof.

Mattman26 said...

They moved only twice in 45 minutes, hunkering further down. This was a strong challenge to the audience....

Made me laugh.

AMDG said...

The Lennon interview with Jann Wenner unfairly became the accepted history of The Beatles for decades. Paul became the bad guy and the rock press followed that template. “Ram” was savaged upon its release but is now recognized as the great album that it is. Paul did get something out of that though - “Silly Love Songs” is an answer to the critics who lambasted him for being slight.

From 1967 through 1969 the amount of music The Beatles produced is astounding. In two years they recorded four albums (one of the a double album), a partial an EP, and numerous singles. If they weren’t sick of each other it would be a miracle. If they had taken an extended vacation from each other after recording “Abbey Road” and taken Glyn Johns’ advice regarding Allen Klein history might be different!

McCartney is an interesting cat. I always get the sense that he is performing - that he never has truly revealed himself to the public. That is why then”flowerpot” recording is so important - he doesn’t know anybody is listening.

dbp said...

Since you've got Disney for a month, WandaVision and The Mandalorian are pretty worthwhile.

Howard said...

Geez I was completely wrong. I always thought bagism was when people follow their true calling. Like when someone refuses to do something: "Sorry, dude. That's not my bag"

Hannio said...

"They were rock 'gods,' and still bored.

But it was their job. At some point, work is work.

And often times work is boring..."


There is a saying that if you make a profession out of what you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life.

I think it is just as likely that if you turn what you love into your means of living it becomes work, and you will end up hating it or bored with it, and you will need some other means of escape.

Ann Althouse said...

"Funny. I was looking for your sunrise post last night..."

We skipped the sunrise run yesterday because it was raining. Skipped it again this morning because of high wind. Dangerous!

Ann Althouse said...

"Eric Clapton should not have spent so much energy trying to steal George's wife, taking advantage of the fact that George came to him as a mentor on guitar."

George was already cheating on Patti and treating her badly (according to her autobiography). George cheated on her in her own house, right in front of her, with Ringo's wife.

Ann Althouse said...

George threw his wife away. She was not stolen.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Sounds like Paul took over the leadership of the Beatles but lacked the leadership skills to keep John, George, and Ringo fully engaged.

When people are fighting without apparent reason it is often about money. Where does 1969 fit into their Taxman days? What I think they didn’t fully appreciate was that despite the high marginal tax rates of the time they were all going to be fabulously wealthy. It would be interesting to know how much of the wealth of each can be directly attributed to money they made as Beatles as opposed to later projects. It may be that the market didn’t value the Beatles enough to keep the group together.

Joe Smith said...

'George threw his wife away. She was not stolen.'

I don't know anything about the Beatles' wife gossip, but it got me to image search a bit.

No offense, but Harrison's wife was a bit odd-looking, and Ringo's wife (at least the one I found) was downright plain to be charitable.

I know love is blind, but I didn't know it was that blind : )

Loren W Laurent said...

It is nothing new to say many musical bands resemble a marriage.

I will simply add that it is even more akin to a polygamous marriage.

John, George and Ringo were competing wives, all wanting the approval of Paul while also nursing resentments of their mutual husband in varying passive/aggressive degrees.

And, after all, it is quite the psychological change to go from being a band of brothers to becoming prickly shared wives.

As such, it was not enough to get Paul's affection: they needed to see the others receive less. Being that Ringo seemed to have made his peace in the marriage, this typically manifested itself in a petulant George rebelling against Husband Paul and Top Wife John.

John obviously turned outside the marriage to Yoko, but by bringing her into the studio he was, on some level, wanting her to audition to be a new wife to the band, a wife that would strongly be on his side -- indeed, a wife that would push George and Ringo down the pecking order to a more comfortable distance; indeed, at this point, John was already seeking comfortable distance from the world by partaking of heroin.

Paul perhaps sensed this on some level: he either had to accept Yoko in marriage familiarity, or have John leave the family. Paul being Paul, he tried to straddle the fence, but note: Yoko chose to eat George's infamous biscuit, after all, a power play George understood all too well -- even Yoko knew not to eat Paul's biscuit.

That said, it is important to keep in mind that -- although "Let It Be" was released chronologically after "Abbey Road" -- they were still to pull together to record the "Abbey Road" album AFTER the rooftop rapprochement. One final family portrait, as it were, before the desire for more traditional marriage structures claimed them all.

-Loren

Pete said...

Ann, thanks for explaining bagism. I remember the term, but never understood it back then. I was a big John fan, but lost interest in what Yoko brought in. But I actually have a better impression of her now that I've seen the documentary - she is right there, but not in the way and everyone accepts/ignores her.

gilbar said...

speaking of Destroyers of Souls....
Kamala Harris has been branded a 'bully' who inflicted 'constant-soul destroying criticism' on her office staff in a damaging expose by a liberal newspaper.
The Washington Post piece...


When you've lost the WaPo you might as well be Linda McCartney; you're finished

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

They look bored, that is, John, George, and Ringo look bored. Paul is more or less everything. That's pretty unpleasant! But I see that's the idea, and I have to watch it slowly enough to appreciate the details, the clues. Is John bored or is he utterly mentally absent, relocated somewhere in drugworld?

John was mentally checked out because of Yoko, but not like people think. John spent his youth under the thumb* of his Aunt Mimi until he rebelled at sixteen and was by now ready for another mother figure, a role Yoko was happy to fill.

Is Ringo bored or is he paying intense attention and just essentially, perpetually mute?

Yes, he was. He had very little to do while they were working on songs. He once said that during the recording of Sgt. Pepper's he got really good at chess because that's all he did for a couple of months, play chess with Mal Evans.

Is George bored or is he an angry, resentful son of a bitch?

George is angry. Paul and John had always treated him like an annoying little brother, especially once he started to write songs for himself.

*Yes, Stones reference.

tim in vermont said...

Now you have won me over to Patti's side, and I see George's role differently, but Eric threw her away too, eventually.

Stan Smith said...

The most interesting part of the series to me was when Billy Preston showed up. What had been chaos, boredom, fooling around, and general inattention to the work at hand turned to actually attempting to get something done, however briefly. And Preston's presence seemed to galvanize the "boys" into what they had once been, a band that loved what they were doing. Shown again in the rooftop concert, where John and Paul seemed to actually care about music again.

Duke Dan said...

Amazing how 35 years before the iPhone and 50 years before tiktok these guys took so many videos of themselves.

Christopher said...

I'm only one hour into it, after 2 sessions. I can only take so much. They look bored, that is, John, George, and Ringo look bored. Paul is more or less everything. That's pretty unpleasant! But I see that's the idea, and I have to watch it slowly enough to appreciate the details, the clues...

Watched the first segment last night with another hard-core fan. And I think most will have to be hard-core fans, either of the Beatles or this style of documentary, to get through. Even I called out two segments where Jackson could have put up a title card saying "This went on for another half hour." But then this is the guy who gave us five or six endings to the last LOTR movie, and turned a lovely short novel (The Hobbit) into a three-part extravaganza.

That being said, I enjoyed it and look forward to the rest. Our quick take last night was how bossy Paul was, reasons stipulated above; and the poignance of referring to "Mr. Epstein;" and the insanity of the short schedule they were on.

Also, we wanted to punch Michael Lindsay Hogg in the face.

tim maguire said...

If you haven't seen Hamilton, check that out too before you cancel Disney. It was way better than I was expecting.

Narr said...

The Beatles were great, and greatly overrated. IMHO.

I doubt that I'll spend eight hours thinking about The Fab Four, their lives and music, in all the years that remain to me--outside whatever I read here.

It's interesting that the discussion is of Soandso's wife with the exception of Yoko, who should have stayed in the bag.

Scotty, beam me up... said...

I also signed up for the Evil Empire+ (TM) streaming service to watch “Get Back”. Having seen the “Let It Be” movie several years ago, I was curious to see the difference between the 2 movies derived from the same film footage. To me, it seemed that Paul took over the leadership role of the band with John being indifferent by 1969. Lennon was having mental health issues by 1965 (“Help!” he said was a cry for help with his mental health struggles) and experimenting more and more with different types of drugs by 1969. McCartney took over leadership of the band to keep things going forward. Meanwhile, George Harrison was experiencing a burst of song writing creativity that had brought him up to the level of Lennon and McCartney by then and those two couldn’t see it right in front of their noses that he was now their equal. Hence, the Harrison’s first post-Beatles album, “All Things Must Pass” was three LP’s in the one release. John, George, and Ringo going with Allan Klein as the band manager (McCartney wanted is FIL, a show business attorney to be the manager) even though The Rolling Stones, who had Klein as their manager, warned the Beatles that Klein was a con man. I believe that was a very big reason the band broke up. Maybe if the band had not gone with Klein and they decided to take breaks to recharge and to work on solo projects like The Stones and The Who, they would have stuck together for a long time. Hell, the both The Stones and The Who are still together almost 60 years later despite internal friction over the years.

One thing I did notice in “Get Back” was the copious amount of white wine being consumed by The Beatles every day of the “Get Back” / “Let It Be” song writing / practice sessions / recording sessions that occurred every day of filming in January 1969. It seemed like their red headed roadie was constantly opening new bottles of wine and refilling their wine glasses. I am sure that the wine was charged to Apple Corp as a business expense…

tim maguire said...

rehajm said...I can't see how Yoko was supposed to be the one to break them up. Perhaps the damage had already been done.

My one trip to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame came when they had a Beatles retrospective (about 20 years ago). Two things that stand out were a phone connected to Ono's Manhattan apartment. You could pick it up and ring her and maybe she'd answer, sometimes she'd call and whoever picked it up got to talk to her (neither happened while I was there). I thought that was pretty cool. The other thing that stood out most was a video of a Beatles practice session. Paul, George, and Ringo were on stools in a semi-circle, and across from them were John and Yoko.

Yoko, who had no reason to be there, sat straight and perfectly still with her hands on her knees, staring at Paul, George, and Ringo throughout the entire video. I don't know how they could work like that. Despite Ono showing a lot of support for the show and donating many of the exhibits (and the phone!), I came away more convinced than ever that she broke them up.

Narayanan said...

Bagism involved wearing a bag over one's entire body. According to John and Yoko, by living in a bag, a person could not be judged by others on the basis of skin colour, gender, hair length, attire, age, or any other such attributes. It was presented as a form of total communication: instead of focusing on outward appearance, the listener would hear only the bagist's message.
-------
does this explain why Hilary Clinton choice of MAO-STYLE-BAGS and why she was not 50 points ahead?

Pianoman said...

Note that after the Beatles, Paul formed Wings, and George became a member of Traveling Wilburys.

John had a solo career, and trotting around the world with Yoko. Ringo had ... a solo career? Kind of?

Kind of obvious who the diplomat was.

Reminds me of the Billy Joel song, "Zanzibar":

Rose, he knows he's such a credit to the game / But the Yankees grab the headlines every time ...

effinayright said...

Extra cool that you sat next to John and Yoko.
***************
My wife has a Hollywood friend who hugged Ringo during an AA session. She vibrated like a tuning fork for days afterward.

mikee said...

The freaky drummer turned out to be the sanest one of all.

Doug said...

As a lifelong Beatle fan and amateur historian, I willingly ponied up the $7.99 for the Di$ney+ channel to catch "Get Back".

A tiresome letdown. I was struck by how self-indulgent they were. Their (and I mean here Lennon and McCartney) creativity consisted of hammering away at guitar and piano riffs until they got tired of them and moved on to some other mindless "song". They goofed around with nonsense lyrics until they got their gobbledy-gook to sync up with the meter of their music. The title song started out to be skewering of a British PM's crusade against immigration, and ends up being a sophomoric ditty about two of McCartney's endless supply of comic book characters. What a letdown. No wonder Apple Corp. failed so astoundingly.

Despite my admiration for him as a musician and singer, I have always thought Paul was a nitwit. John was a nasty piece of business. George had to fight to get his songwriting talent to show through the Len-McC facade. Ringo - eh, nice guy I suppose who won life's lottery when George Martin didn't want Pete Best around.

What a disappointment.

Doug said...

I will say this about the "film" though. Peter Jackson has probably created a huge market for the packaging of any bits of film that might remain in the vaults of the moptops in recording sessions or tuning their instruments. Or smoking ciggies.

Fortunes to be made.

Wilbur said...

All we are saying
Is give cheese my pants

I did enjoy No. 9 Dream, a great stoner song. One of the few post-Beatle songs by any of them I find listenable today. Junior's Farm is still good.

Doug said...

How on earth did Yoko get away with it? I mean, her whole schtick. Were people around them so hypnotized by the Beatles' aura that not one person would step up and say, "Uh, she's a phony, borderline loony, and probably just after your money and fame"?

Ficta said...

"If you haven't seen Hamilton, check that out too before you cancel Disney. It was way better than I was expecting."

Yes! It certainly wasn't what I was expecting. It really is a rap-Broadway fusion adaptation of a Ron Chernow biography; as insane as that sounds.

Narr said...

Jackson is a genius, fully equal to his subjects.

Bagism-->Jackson-->LOTR/Hobbit-->Baggins-->Bags in history.

Just today I came across this reference to bags: until Frederick II of Prussia's reign, the punishment there for infanticide by an unmarried girl or woman was that the perp (not the impregnator, of course) would be made to sew a large leather bag in which she would be drowned.

rcocean said...

"He stole his wife away."

I always found that phrase funny, like a wife was a set of silverware or a trombone. Wives don't get stolen, they leave their husbands. Nobody really goes with another person against their will.

Conrad said...

Several people have remarked about the infusion of energy when Billy Preston starts playing with them -- and I do mean STARTS, because the change happens immediately. For me, one of the most memorable and revealing moments of the whole film comes a day or so later, when John seems to seriously entertain the idea of having Preston join the band. George seems in favor, too. But Paul says, slightly exasperated, something like: "It's hard enough with four."

I don't think they ever would have done it, of course, because they (and John especially) had too much ego tied up in having invented the Beatles and turned it into the biggest entertainment act in the world to bring in anybody new, however much sense that might have made musically. But what Paul said in that moment really points out the problem they had as a band by 1969, which is that there were three distinct bandmates who each could write great songs and who had their own ideas as to how they should be arranged. As George said in the film, he had enough good songs written that it would have taken him ten Beatles albums to get them released (and he was perhaps 150 songs behind Lennon and McCartney by this time in terms of realizing songwriting royalties). For them to remain simply as the Beatles was constricting for all of them, except perhaps for Ringo. At a minimum, it meant doing everything by committee; but it also meant having to compete with one another to ensure that their songs would make it onto the next album. I also think that they were so close personally that they didn't like having to compete that way and thus potentially hurt each other in order to advance their individual creative impulses. It was better for them to go off in separate directions where they would each be in charge of their own projects.

madAsHell said...

I'm not a Yoko fan. I had that girlfriend at 15.

What is stunning is the crucible the Beatles walked through. There was INTENSE pressure to produce.

On the other side of the coin........they got better. No one will ever compare "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", and "Let It Be". They had climbed this huge learning curve.

On the third side of the coin?......I have the biggest, bad-ass, Gretsch guitar you're ever seen strapped over my shoulder right now.

Go figure!!

madAsHell said...

......and the other thing.

Those guys, The Beatles owned the charts for a least four years.

You wanna get the attention of the bar patrons?.....Crank up "Let It Be", or "Hey, Jude". Instant Karaoke Sing-Along.

Fifty years later.

Those guys were GOOD.

Quaestor said...

As a huge Beatles fan, I could not get enough of it. I loved every minute. And I have to admit that I shed a tear when John and Paul were smiling at each other rocking out on the roof.

Beatles fans. Getting huger by the day... except those dining on that special hospice diet.

Much palaver here and there about the Beatles. Today it's about Get Back, which I'm told is the greatest "rock doc ever", whatever that means. Having seen This is Spinal Tap (couldn't find a font with umlauted n, sorry) I'd venture Chris Willman is setting up some rather tall hurdles for Get Back to leap over, but it's a very small pond, puddle really, with some very big fish flopping around in the goo.

All this absurdly permanent boomer adolescence is depressing -- the same thing, day in, day out -- gushing about this one or that one, usually by given names only (well, Starkey wasn't given his) as if these people have even an inkling of who the members of that famous quartet really are or were. But brighter days are coming, only two left. Kind of looking forward to that inevitable existential crisis. Will the last to go be followed by an avalanche of senior suicides? Could be the greatest entertainment the Beatles ever provided.

Wilbur said...

Quaestor, as a Boomer I share your puzzlement, if not your disgust, with the endless and complete fascination with all things Beatles.

Once they started to see themselves as more than musicians, they stopped making music you could dance to. The Stones never lost sight of that. Well, I guess you could waltz to Let It Be.

But after Sgt. Pepper it was mostly songs with ridiculous lyrics. But "Oh, so meaningful!" Riiiight.

guitar joe said...

There's a pressing plant in Kansas, and one of the presses is dedicated to new copies of Abbey Road on vinyl. Boomers aren't the folks buying them. It's millennials. The Beatles are to 60s rock what Sinatra was to my parents' generation of pop music, and they'll probably have similar staying power. If you don't like the Beatles, fine. Don't listen and ignore the press about the new documentary.

Get Back is not, however, the greatest rock documentary ever. It's too long, especially the first installment. I won't be surprised if Jackson later releases a version trimmed to about 4 hours.

One thing I found interesting is how different my reaction to Yoko Ono was this time. I now think Let it Be was edited to make her look a lot more intrusive than she was. It's clear in Get Back that she was one of many hangers on, which included two of Harrison's Hare Krisha friends, various film and recording techs, friends and family members. It's a wonder that the Beatles could summon any concentration with all that activity around them.

Rollo said...

Paul may have lost something inside when he became the de facto CEO of the Beatles, struggling to hold the group together. Paul's music with Wings always seemed commercial and soulless to me.

Yes, boomers are obsessed with boomerdom, but articles and blog posts like this are becoming rarer and rarer. They aren't a major part of today's media diet. I am already nostalgic for boomer nostalgia. November 22nd comes and goes now with barely a ripple of memorializing.

(Autocorrect tried to change "boomerdom" into "boomerang." Next time you feel like Beatle blogging, maybe try going to the park and bagging a wallaby. It could get the trend started)