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The Beatles: Get Back — Time-Coded and Annotated

December 28th, 2021 · 67 Comments · Movies, Music

The Beatles: Get Back

Time-Coded and Annotated

Beatles Get Back John Lennon rooftop guitar raised


Some of the characters beyond the Fab Five:
(And yes, it’s five — because in this doc The Beatles become a quintet.  😉)

Peter Jackson — the cinematic master behind this entire production

Jabez Olssen — Peter Jackson’s super-skilled right-hand-man editor – never seen on screen, but is a part of every second of footage

George Martin — The Beatles’ Music Producer, one of a handful cited as being “the fifth Beatle,” dapper, suave, smart and cool

Michael Lindsay-Hogg — original 1969 Director – directed The Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus the month before, and The Beatles’ Hey Jude and Revolution videos at Twickenham four months earlier – hereinafter referred to as MLH

Tony Richmond — original 1969 Director of Photography – also the D.P. on The Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus the month before – with the mustache, looks like Freddie Prinze

Glyn Johns — Recording Engineer & Co-Producer – looks like Nicky Hopkins – dresses like Austin Powers (as Peter Jackson joked).  The New York Times even did a funny–cool piece about it.

Alan Parsons — credited as Tape Operator (was only at Savile Row, not Twickenham).  Seven years after the events of this movie he would go on to write & produce one of the great albums of all time, Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Edgar Allen Poe) which you can hear in its entirety here.

Denis O’Dell — Apple Films Producer – associate producer of A Hard Day’s Night, producer of Magical Mystery Tour, and was producing The Magic Christian with Peter Sellers and Ringo as Get Back gets started — looks like Milos Forman

Mal Evans — beloved Road Manager & Assistant to The Beatles – been with them since the Cavern days

Kevin Harrington — Beatles Roadie – the ginger-haired kid – looks like Ed Sheeran

Neil Aspinall — Producer / Apple Corps Managing Director – childhood friend of Paul & George, started out as the band’s van driver back in the Pete Best days

Peter Brown — the band’s quasi manager after Brian Epstein died – started as a salesman at Epstein’s NEMS music store in Liverpool

Derek Taylor — The Beatles’ Publicist – originally a journalist, Epstein hired him to work for the band full-time in early 1964

Ethan Russell — 23-year-old still photographer in the sessions – had shot the Stones’ Rock n Roll Circus the month before – his portraits of the band members are on the Let It Be album cover – cool short 2020 interview with him here.

Chris O’Dell — American-born Apple employee, roof concert guest, rock n roll adventurer, author of a great memoir, and a YouTube storyteller.  (No relation to Denis)

Robert Fraser — nicknamed “Groovy Bob” by Terry Southern, he was a leading “Swinging London” art dealer and all ’round bon vivant who put on John’s first Yoko-inspired avant garde art show “You Are Here” at his gallery in July of ’68.

Les Parrott — Camera Operator

Peter Sutton — Sound Recordist  🙂

Paul Bond — Clapper Boy and Additional Camera

Dave Harries — Apple Sound Engineer

Sally Burgess — from the Apple Press Office, short red-ish haired woman with the big glasses at Savile Row

Debbie Wellum — Apple Receptionist and unsung hero for delaying the cops in the lobby

Jimmy Clark — Dapper Doorman

Bob Smeaton — thanked in credits — Anthology & Festival Express director


The must-see nearly 4-hour Peter Jackson interview:


The songs that seem to be directly (or subconsciously) about where the band is at and where they’re heading —

All Things Must Pass (January 3rd)

Two Of Us (On Our Way Home) (January 6th)

Get Back (January 7th)

Carry That Weight (a long time) (January 9th)

Let It Be (January 9th)

Bye Bye Love (Everly Brothers song) (January 25th)


The credits run 6½ minutes at the end of each episode.  In episode 3, they run concurrent with footage.  But in episodes 1 & 2 they run with a black screen — so you can knock 13 minutes off the total run time of 468 minutes = 455 minutes = a 7½ hour documentary.



EPISODE ONE  —  Days 1 thru 7  —  January 2nd thru 10th, 1969

2 hours & 30 mins (plus 6:50 minutes of credits)

Writing / Rehearsals at Twickenham

The opening title cards that appear before each episode:

“The ‘Get Back’ project in January 1969 produced over 60 hours of film footage and more than 150 hours of audio recordings.”

“Numerous editorial choices had to be made during the production of these films.”

“Scenes that contain audio-only material have been supplemented with representative pictures.”

“At all times, the film-makers have attempted to present an accurate portrait of the events depicted and the people involved.”

0:40 – 11:00 — starts with an 11-minute recap of their career.

Opens with audio of The Quarrymen singing the early McCartney/Harrison original In Spite of All The Danger — set to historical footage of Liverpool in the late 1950s.

Other than the minor date / age errors, this is a good basic quick Beatles history narrative set-up to how we got to the sessions and film we’re about to see.

Peter Jackson is a *great* cinematic storyteller.

11:00 — DAY ONE — Thursday, January 2nd, 1969

Of note — the band was last in the recording studio October 17th, 1968 — only 2½ months earlier — finishing recording The White Album.

Great use of the calendar to show the days — a smart / easy-to-follow story structure.

Love that Mal Evans is the first person we meet as the January journey begins.

11:30 — On The Road To Marrakesh/Child of Nature (later to be Jealous Guy) — John’s singing voice begins the story, just as it did the band.

It’s so cool to see the Twickenham soundstage completely empty, then begin to get filled in.

Boy — is the editing ever good right outta the gate!!  Gawd — this is GREAT filmmaking!

And the pictures are so sharp!  Wow.

12:05 — George correctly asks, “Where’s the console?  The mixer and the 8-tracks and all them.”  🙂

12:15 — John leading George & Ringo through a part of Everybody’s Got Soul – a Lennon song that never got finished.

Peter Jackson’s doing a *great* job with the title cards explaining what’s happening and why.  The band must write, perform and record 14 new songs in the next two weeks.  (!)

12:35 — Don’t Let Me Down — new John song — first early run-thru.

13:15 — George correctly points out “I don’t think this is a very acoustically good place.”

13:35 — Co-producers of the album Glyn Johns & George Martin first appear.

13:55 — MLH asks the band to turn down their amps because it’s drowning out their conversations, and George asks, “Are you recording our conversations?”  😄

14:20 — I’ve Got A Feeling — Paul teaching it to the band.
John & Paul sitting side by side and having fun.
Great camerawork and editing!

16:20 — the first meeting off to the side.  Paul is the only bandmember in it!  George Martin mentions how Twickenham is not good acoustically.  He wants to do something with a PA, like doing a live performance, because it will “trigger” something.  Film Producer Denis O’Dell is in on the conversation, explaining how he’s leased Twickenham until the end of May to film The Magic Christian (with Peter Sellers & Ringo Starr).  MLH wants a “spectacular” venue for the performance climax.

17:25 — Johnny B. Goode  bit
17:35 — Quinn the Eskimo  bit
17:44 — I Shall Be Released  bit

18:00 — Yoko in the shiny black (satin?) body suit.

18:30 — Don’t Let Me DownPaul helping John write it — they’re obviously a team … and writing together.

19:40 — Paul, Glyn, MLH discussing where to play a concert.  MLH pushing for the amphitheater in Libya — but Ringo “put his foot down” that he’s not traveling.

Paul to MLH: “I think you’ll find we’re not going abroad.”  😆

21:25 — Two of Us (On Our Way Home) — Paul teaching it to the band, working out lyrics.

23:30 — DAY TWO — Friday, January 3rd

23:35 — Paul on grand piano, Ringo tap dancing.

23:40 — Great shot of the colored lights being turned on, creating the beautiful wash on the floor-to-ceiling scrim behind the band.

23:47 — George reading the latest Beatle fanzine — including about Paul visiting official Beatles biographer Hunter Davies in Portugal.

24:30 — George talking about all the songs he’s written – “and they’re all slowish.”

24:45 — Taking a Trip to Carolina — by Ringo!  Then he sings it while playing the grand piano.

25:50 — Paul & George talking about getting 8-track recording equipment and how EMI should be taking care of it.

26:30 — Paul says there are about 100 songs John & he wrote together in the early days that they never recorded.

26:40 — Just Fun  (Lennon/McCartney)

26:55 — Because I Know You Love Me So  (Lennon/McCartney)

27:40 — Thinking of Linking  (Lennon/McCartney)

27:55 — Won’t You Please Say Goodbye  (Lennon/McCartney)

28:15 — One After 909  (Lennon/McCartney) – old song that they loved – laughing and having a great time

Cool early B&W photos and young John & Paul playing together.

30:00 — goofing on Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da. (Lennon/McCartney)

30:20 — Midnight Special (traditional, Leadbelly)

30:35 — What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?  (written by Howard Johnson, James V. Monaco, and Joseph McCarthy in 1916, a hit for Emile Ford & the Checkmates in 1959)

30:50 — The Harry Lime Theme  aka  The Third Man Theme (instrumental, by Anton Karas, 1949 film score)

31:45 — George gets shocked by microphone.

32:30 — working on I’ve Got A Feeling – writing the lyrics / coming up with arrangement.

34:00 — Mal keeping track of the lyrics with pen and paper.  💖

34:45 — They ask Mal to time Don’t Let Me Down cuz John thinks “it’s only about ‘alf a minute long”  🙂 — turns out to be 3 minutes 40 seconds!  😁

34:55 — Don’t Let Me Down – partial

35:35 — Gimme Some Truth !! — jointly composed by John & Paul; would later appear on Imagine as a John song.

37:05 — Lowrey organ carried in.

37:30 — All Things Must Pass — first time playing for band – John on Lowrey organ.
Like Paul’s Get Back — another song that seems subconsciously (or consciously) about where the band is at and going.
They are all jointly composing/arranging the song.
Really shows yet again their collaborative process.

40:00 — Somebody asks if they want pale ales.
Paul gets a pale ale.
George — white wine.
John — “I’ll have a beer.”
Ringo nothing.

40:00 — George advocates for their live recording approach as opposed to the overdubs of The White Album etc.
He also talks about maybe including “some oldies but goldies” in the TV show so the audience can recognize something – but then says it would be okay if the show aired a week after the album was released.  So funny how they just take as a fact of life that their fans would know the songs a week after their album was released.  😮

Paul looks high.  😎

41:25 — George recommends bringing back Every Little Thing (Lennon/McCartney) from their 1964 Beatles For Sale album.

41:55 — George talking favorably about Clapton’s leads and improvising, and how George isn’t as good at that.

42:25 — Paul: “It’s jazz, man.”

42:45 — George mentions Ray Charles and Billy Preston!  “The best jazz band I saw was Ray Charles’ band.  That jazz really moves me in a fantastic way.  Billy Preston is too much!  I’m sure you’ll dig it when you see it.  Billy plays piano with the band.  Then he does his own spot where he sings and dances and plays organ solo.  Then Ray Charles comes on.  He’s better than Ray Charles, really, because he’s, like, too much!  Because he plays organ so great.  Ray Charles doesn’t bother with the organ now.  He’s just, ‘I’ll leave it to the young guy.'”

The show he’s referring to having seen was the Saturday Sept. 21st 1968 Ray Charles show at the Royal Festival Hall in London, three months prior, which he says in the Anthology book (p. 318) that he attended with Eric Clapton.  It has mistakenly entered Beatles lore that George saw Ray (and Billy) during the week he left the band later this month (and then invited Billy to the studio), but that’s not accurate.  He saw them in Sept. ’68.  And he’s talking about having seen them on January 3rd, before he took his break from the band a week later.

43:22 — I’m So Tired — Paul has red eyes like he just stepped out for a spliff.  🤪
Great eye-rubbing “tired” footage.  👍  This is the end of their second day back working together after 2½ months.

Of most interesting note:  also on this day but not included in the doc was a conversation where George tells Paul about seeing Beat poet Michael McClure’s play The Beard, prompting me to explore that beatific Beat–Beatles confluence and uncover a ton of cool new stuff about that connection that you can read here.  😉

44:30 — DAY 3 — Monday, January 6th

44:30 — Glyn & Paul talking about getting George’s and EMI’s recording equipment into Twickenham.  (MLH & Tony Richmond also present.)
Glyn stressing that this filmed show be approached as a live performance.

45:00 — Ringo arrives hungover hazy.  “I won’t lie.  I’m not too good.”  😁

45:10 — MLH pestering that they should be thinking about the show.  Paul responds, “But we are thinking about the show.”   😁  And John goes, “We never stop thinking about it.”  😁
The band are just waking up, just coming to, and again MLH goes on about it — “Wouldn’t it be nice if we did this show with a big audience?”
George responds: “I think we should forget the whole idea of the show.”  😆
Paul goes: “Yeah, okay, I’ll go along with that.  We’re back to square one.”
MLH is SO painfully out of synch with the band (and Glyn).

45:35 — George’s 8-track arrives.

45:55 — Great edit — George H asks, “Is [Magic] Alex going to plug all that up?”  And Peter Jackson cuts to George Martin, who gives a classy knowing “Yeah, right” smirk.  😄  Then George M goes on to say that Alex rang him up yesterday and said the band didn’t need an 8-track because Alex was going to build one.  (!)
I only know George Martin from various interviews over the decades, but I gotta imagine the lads could read instantly how seriously George Martin took Magic Alex.  🙂

46:00 — Magic Alex footage — he first met John — who made the mistake of trusting/believing in him — like he would soon do with Allen Klein and Phil Spector.   😥

46:50 — You Wear Your Women Out  (writing credit to all four)

47:05 — My Imagination — also credited as group-composed – short high-energy jam – nice surreal camerawork / editing.

47:25–56:00 — group writing Don’t Let Me Down

47:25 — Paul, John & George working on the lyrics / arrangement.

48:25 — They start talking about needing a piano player.  John: “We need a guy that plays piano all the time.”  Paul: “Somebody like Nicky Hopkins.”

49:00 — John mentions “watching that pop show on BBC2.  The Move were on.”  (Roy Wood’s band)  He mentions how their voices were different and “they never joined into a group.”

Paul is very much leading the working out of the arrangement.

50:56 — Hare Krishna guys in Twickenham.

52:35 — Love to see the boys using pens on paper writing the lyrics.  🥰

It’s very much the three of them — Paul, John & George — who are more or less equally batting around ideas.

53:25 — producer Glyn Johns sits among them also throwing in ideas.
This is something about The Beatles — that from the very beginning they were open to collaborating — from following Brian Epstein’s advice, to embracing George Martin, to the carte blanche they gave Richard Lester, and all down the line through photographers and tailors and art designers — they were very open to incorporating other artists’ input.  😉

54:24 — Paul counts in John’s song — like John later counts in Paul’s.

55:05 — George says that what they’ve come up with is corny.  “I think it’s awful . . . If you had a tape recorder now and recorded that and played it back you’d throw that out straightaway.”  😆

Even though they’re not solidifying the magic at the moment — it’s clear they are three equals working together.  (With, of course, Ringo laying down exactly the right backing for what the three frontmen come up with.)

56:15–1:02:14 — group writing Two Of Us

Again, it’s the three of them bouncing off each other.  Paul is definitely in a bit of a quasi-leadership role.

57:30 — The beginning of the “I’ll play whatever pleases you” scene
Seeing the full lead-in and lead-out from that, unlike in MLH’s Let It Be — you now see it in context.

57:48 — Paul gets up and takes his guitar off.  “I can’t do this on camera.”

58:00 — Paul: “I’m scared of me being the boss.  And I have been for, like, a couple of years.”  Paul to George: “I always feel as though I’m trying to put you down and stop you playing.  But I’m not.  I’m trying to stop us all playing until we know what we’re playing.”

58:10 — George: “But you’ve got to play in order to find which fits and which doesn’t.  That’s all we can do.”

58:40 — Paul: “But doesn’t everyone agree that it’s confused at the moment.  So, all I’m trying to say is we’ve only got 12 more days, so we’ve really got to do this methodically.”
George: “I’ll wait until you get all your bits and then work my part out if you like.  It’s a matter of working it out with you while you’re working your bit out.  You know, have you got your bass bit?”

Paul gets defensive or is frustrated.  “I’m not trying to get to you.  I really am trying to just say, ‘Look lads, the band, shall we try it like this, you know?’  It’s funny though how it only occurs when the — it’s like, ‘Shall we play guitar all through Hey Jude?’  Well, I don’t think we should.”
George: “Yeah, okay, well, I don’t mind.  I’ll play, you know, whatever you want me to play.  Or I won’t play at all if you don’t want me to play.  Now, whatever it is that will please you, I’ll do it.  (pause all around)  But I don’t think you really know what that one is.”

And that’s the whole thing . . . that has been twisted out of context and blown out of proportion for all these decades.

George is being totally cool and is not annoyed.  They’re just working it out.
It’s almost exactly like the conversation they were having minutes earlier about Don’t Let Me Down.
This is a TOTALLY normal conversation between guys in a band sitting around jamming ideas on a song.
Even right after this mistaken-for-tense moment, they’re all just carrying on a normal conversation between bandmates.

Even Two Of Us (On Our Way Home) is like a song written to and about the band.  (I know it was inspired by he & Linda — but art is filled with creators tapping one vein that echoes another.  😉)

All Things Must Pass . . . On Our Way Home . . . Get Back . . . all songs addressing where they are as a band and where they’d like to be heading — subconsciously or consciously.  Wild.

1:02:30 — DAY 4 — Tuesday, January 7th

1:02:35 — Paul, joking: “Lennon’s late again.  Thinking of getting rid of him.”  😁

1:02:48 — George, joking: “You’re playing that bass again,” referring to Paul strapping on his classic Hofner.

1:02:55 — Paul & George asking soundman Peter for better mics.

* * 1:03:10–1:06:40 — Paul starts writing Get Back * * — in a way the song is a hymnal entreaty to the band “to get back to where they once belonged.”
Ringo listening intently.
George starts playing along — Ringo starts clapping a beat, then singing harmony!
1:06:15 — Ringo moves to the drums.
1:06:40 — suddenly Lennon’s there on guitar.

1:06:55 — four bandmates & MLH & Glyn Johns talking about the show / concert.
MLH says Denis O’Dell suggested doing it there at Twickenham, but MLH wants to do it somewhere better.  “Because you are The Beatles.” . . .
Paul: “The only thing about that is, we don’t want to go away.”
Then MLH goes on about it AGAIN!  “Think of the lights on the water.  Torch-lit.  2,000 Arabs.  Visually it’s fantastic.”  🙂
Paul says again: “But we’re not going away.”
Then MLH goes at it AGAIN: “I will every day say Tripoli.”
Then Paul says: “We should do the show in a place where we’re not allowed to do it.  You know, like, we should trespass, go in, set up, and then get moved, and that should be the show.”
1:07:46 — Then he jokes about playing in the main gallery at the Houses of Parliament “and getting forcibly ejected, still trying to play numbers, and the police lifting you,” then mimics getting dragged away singing She Came In Through The Bathroom Window.  🤣

Then MLH becomes a full-on Monty Python character saying, “What about a hospital?  But I don’t mean for really sick kids.  I mean for kids with broken legs. . . .  Or maybe an orphan’s home.  What about an orphanage?  How does that grab you guys?”  😳

Some say John seems detached.  Maybe he’s high, but I see him as simply listening and thinking.

1:09:23 — John: “I’ve decided the whole point of it is communication.  And to be on TV is communication.  We’ve got a chance to smile at people, like All You Need Is Love.  So that’s my incentive for doing it.”
John: “The worst that we have is a documentary of us making an LP.”

The break-up conversation:

Paul: “But we haven’t played together, you see.  That’s the fucking thing.  But when we do come together to play together, we all just sort of talk about the fucking past!  We’re like old age pensioners.  ‘Remember the days when we used to rock?’  😅  But we’re here now, and we can do it, you know?  But all I want to see is enthusiasm.  See, the thing is also – I get to a bit where I just sort of push all my ideas.”
George: “A lot will come out of it if we could get the enthusiasm.”
Paul: “I mean, why are you here?  I’m here because I wanna do a show.  But I really don’t feel an awful lot of support.”
George: “We keep coming up against that one, and I keep saying, ‘Yeah well, I’d like to do this, this and that.’  And we end up doing something again that nobody really wants to do.”
* 1:10:35 — Paul: “If this one turns into that, it should definitely be the last for all of us.”  (!)  “Because there just isn’t any point.  It’s stupid.  It’s just stupid.  The people who are being stupid are the four of us.”
* 1:11:00 — George: “We need to be creative, instead of being in the doldrums, which it always is.  The Beatles have been in the doldrums for at least a year.  Ever since Mr. Epstein passed away, it’s never been the same.”
[As confirmed in this doc, and also from doing a deep dive into other sources, it was really the unfortunate death of “Mr. Epstein” that started an inevitable domino tumble towards dissolution.]
Paul: “We’ve been very negative since Mr. Epstein passed away.  And that’s why all of us, in turn, have been sick of the group.  It’s discipline we lack.  We’ve never had discipline.  We had a sort of slight, symbolic discipline.  Like Mr. Epstein.  You know, and he sort of said, ‘Get suits on,’ and we did.  We were always fighting that discipline a bit. (everybody laughs)  There really is no one now to say, ‘Do it,’ whereas there always used to be.  Daddy’s gone away now, and we’re on our own at the holiday camp.  And I think we either go home or we do it.  I think we’ve got a bit shy of certain things.  I think I’ve gotten a bit shy of certain things.  Cuz you know how often, like, on albums we sometimes blow one of your songs [to John] cuz we come in in the wrong mood.  And you say, ‘This is how it goes.  I’ll be back.’  And we’re all just, ‘Oh, well you … (scat sings)’  So it’s like, if we’re doing the show, then we’re gonna have to work hard.  And that means by the time a week from now comes all these songs we’ve got, we gotta know perfectly.”
George: “I don’t wanna do any of my songs on the show (!) because they’ll just turn out shitty.”
Paul: “No, but — thinking it’s not gonna come out great won’t help.  If we cancel the show now, we’ll be throwing it away.”
MLH: “But equally, at the moment we haven’t got a show, and so none of us really want to do it.”
* 1:12:35 Paul: I’ll do it.  I’m not interested in spending my fucking days farting around here while everyone makes up their minds whether they want to do it or not.  It’s like Mal said last night, ‘If you’re gonna do the show here, you’ve gotta decide today.’  And as far as I can see, there’s only two ways — we’re gonna do it, or we’re not gonna do it.  And I want a decision!
* 1:12:57 — George: “Maybe we should have a divorce.”
Paul: “I said that at the last meeting.  But it’s getting nearer, you know.
John: “Who’d have the children?”  🤣  the guy who adds levity to the heavy.
Paul: “Dick James.”  😥  (the guy who’s ripping them off for their royalties)

MLH: “We all need you.  And if you can’t get it together, that’s really very sad.  I think what we should do now is let you play a little.”
All agree.

1:13:50–1:17:30Maxwell’s Silver Hammer — Paul on grand piano, very upbeat, teaching the song to and working it up with band.
George on the Fender Bass VI.
Whistling – and tongue clucking.
They’re all very chipper and goofing shortly after their heavy conversation about the band breaking up.

1:15:00 — band goes to lunch (in the Twickenham cafeteria)
Paul says as he’s walking out: “Mal – we should get a hammer.  . . . And an anvil.”  😂
Mal looks around, like “Huh? . . . Me? . . . . . .  An anvil?  . . .”  😄

1:15:20 — Mal on the anvil (!)  HUGE smile on his face  😍
1:15:35 — full band whistling  😀
Full run-thru of song.

1:17:30–1:20:05 — Across the Universe – playing John’s recording (apparently on an acetate lp!) to teach the band — then the band plays it.
Apple’s Peter Brown seen in background.

1:18:01 — band starts to play Across The Universe

* 1:20:05 — Rock and Roll Music by Chuck Berry — Peter Jackson incorporates live Beatles 1966 concert footage — blending with the Twickenham performance! — incredible editing!!!
This is a hit video single from the movie.  😉

1:22:00 — DAY 5 – Wednesday, January 8th

1:22:10 — George talks about what he watched on BBC2 last night (Out of The Unknown) and then the show Europa that then inspired him to write I Me Mine.
Great find by Peter Jackson of the printed TV listings for that night.

1:23:30 — I Me Mine — “Do you want to hear the song I wrote last night”  🙂 — George plays it solo on guitar.
1:25:00 — John’s unfortunate: “We’ll see you later.  We’re a rock n roll band, you know?”  😥

1:25:45 — Paul face-to-face with John: “Have you written anything else?”
John: “No.”
Paul: “We’re gonna be up against a crisis.”
John: “When I’m up against the wall, Paul, you’ll find I’m at my best.”
Paul: “Yeah, I know, John, but I wish you’d come up with the goods.”
John: “Look, I think I’ve got Sunday off.”
Paul: “Well, I hope you can deliver.”
John: “I’m hoping for a little rock n roller.”

1:26:20 — MLH & band & George Martin discussing show ideas — whether to do it at Twickenham a la Hey Jude or somewhere else.
1:27:04 — George Harrison: “I don’t know of anywhere.  That’s why we came here.”
George Martin: “I think you might as well do it right here.”
Paul: “But acoustically it’s not very good here, is it?”
George Martin: “It’s not as good as it could be elsewhere.”
1:27:24 — John sings his answer: “I’d like to say that I like the intimate idea, rather than the large one, simply because we should concentrate on the sound.”

1:27:45 — Two Of Us – Paul singing as Elvis impersonation, John & Paul dancing together!

1:28:07 — Don’t Let Me Down  snippet
1:28:18 — I’ve Got A Feeling  snippet
1:28:40 — Stand By Me – snippet – Paul lead vocal

1:28:58 — George: “Legalize pot.”  😊

1:29:10 — Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

1:29:15 — George’s Les Paul falls over — hadn’t anyone invented guitar stands by 1969?

1:29:30 — You Win Again by Hank Williams – (a song the Dead also covered!) – John vocal, on grand piano, Paul on drums, George on the Fender Bass VI electric bass – an instrument we’ll see frequently in the doc, played at different times by George, John and Billy Preston!

1:30:14 — I Me Mine — John & Yoko waltzing while the other three guys play the song.

1:31:00 — George plays flamenco music, John does a Spanish dance.

1:31:10 — the interminably intolerable MLH wanking on about “staging” each song until John finally tells him to “Just sod off!” and everybody laughs.  😂

1:31:28 — MLH & Denis O’Dell (head of Apple Films, producer of Magical Mystery Tour and The Magic Christian) discussing staging a TV special at Twickenham.
1:31:40 — they show possible staging sketches to Paul — it’s compared to Around the Beatles, their April 1964 ITV hour-long TV special where they played in-the-round.
You can see the whole show complete with sixties go-go dancers, a young Long John Baldry (Got My Mojo Working), Beatles sister Cilla Black, The Beatles’ only ever live performance of Shout (by the Isley Brothers), and the band playing *to* Ringo instead of him behind them, on YouTube . . .

1:31:55 — Paul tells Denis O’Dell — “Show it to John.  John & Yoko know about that.  They’re artists.”  (!)
John: “It’s – Around The Beatles ’69.”  🙂
They talk about putting plastic transparencies in front of the band.  You can hear Paul playing Let It Be in the background.

1:32:35 — MLH talking to Ringo: “Think of a helicopter shot over the amphitheater …”
Ringo: “Yes, but that’s the only argument you’re giving me is the helicopter shot, and you’ll see the sea and you’ll be in the theater.  And that is for one, two minutes, say, of that shot — and that isn’t worth me going out there, when I really prefer to do it here.”  🙂

1:32:55 — John talking about putting in “blocks of plastic in any shape we wanted.  We could move the audience round.”

1:33:10 — back to MLH hectoring Ringo.  🙂  He goes into some weird tangent — “It’s like four years ago.  And there’s nothing wrong with four years ago, except we’re all 28 now …”  Ringo literally laughs at him.  “Well, yes, we are.”  This guy’s nutty as a fruitcake, as my mother used to say.  🙂

1:33:35 — back to John & Denis O’Dell, who riffs on John’s plastic box idea, “Like Kubrick would do.”  (!)  Denis had actually set up a meeting the year before with Kubrick, John & Paul to discuss them making a version of Lord of The Rings.  United Artists had approved the idea, John & Paul were all for it, but Kubrick thought it was unfilmable, and Denis said years later that realistically the band could never have devoted the time to it that it would have taken.  And now here’s the band and producer 50 years later in a movie directed by the guy who finally got Lord of The Rings made!  — and won Best Director and Best Picture Academy Awards for the third installment. 

1:34:00 — MLH — “If it is going to be your last TV show ….” (!)
Ringo responds: “Yeah, but you’re only surmising that.  Just cuz we got a bit grumpy.  We’ve been getting grumpy for the last 18 months.”
MLH: “But I don’t want you to be unhappy cuz, like, I love you like I love your three colleagues.”
I reckon the only reason they didn’t just fire this guy who was clearly so out of his league and out of place was because they were already under such pressure to write the new album in two weeks they didn’t want to also deal with finding a new director and getting him up to speed.
It has certainly crossed my mind more than once — what if they’d asked any number of the very happening late-’60s directors to do this like D.A. Pennebaker, Mike Nichols or Francois Truffaut?

1:34:14 — John with pen in hand drawing a stage plan on the back of the original sheets.  (Boy, these’d bring a pretty penny today!)

Ringo to MLH: “See, I’d watch an hour of him just playing the piano.”  Then he smiles, like, “Sod off with your kooky ideas.”  😄
Then MLH does make the valid observation that he doesn’t want to do it “here on a stage with tubular scaffolding around it.”

Funny / cool editing by Peter Jackson, cutting back & forth between Denis O’Dell talking up the Twickenham shoot, and MLH trying to convince Ringo not to do it there.  🙂

MLH to Ringo, interminably: “If you will take the veto off . . . ” and Ringo just smiles and shrugs, like, “Fat chance.”  😂

1:35:15 — MLH & Tony Richmond join John & Denis.
MLH argues to them that doing it in a studio isn’t the “one in a million” setting he’s going for.  (he’s right about this)  Then he goes back into his “Can’t you see this at night, torch-lit in the desert” routine.  😮

1:35:27 — Denis asks MLH: “What’s George’s latest reaction to all this?”
MLH: “I don’t know.”
Denis: “Well, you’ve left out a quarter!”  🙂
MLH admits “the documentary is running out of gas.”
Denis responds “It’s really why I’m letting you go on shooting stock — cuz I knew you’d come on the third day and say, ‘What else is there?'”
* People give MLH credit for the original footage — but it was an Apple decision and production and funding.

1:35:50 — MLH to John: “Paul and you are not getting on as well as you did.  It’s not as easy.  What do you feel about that?  It [this show] might make it better again – whatever the wound is.”
John: “Yeah.  That’s what I was thinking.”  (!)

1:36:20 — Everybody moves to a group meeting around the grand piano.
Paul: “An outdoor scene has to be in England.”
Denis: “It’s too bloody cold.”
Paul mentions the super-ornate & gorgeous Tower Ballroom in London.  [click on this link and see this room!  😉]
George suggests them doing it as “a nightclub act.  Just the smoochy low lights and about ten people.”  [they ended up with a seated audience of four on the roof!]
MLH keeps stressing the audience “really ought to be the whole world.”
Denis says they’re now circling back to the Sabratha amphitheater in Libya.
MLH: “I don’t think anything is going to beat a perfect acoustic place by the water out of doors.”
Denis begins advocating for the amphitheater.
1:38:35 — John arrives and joins conversation.
MLH: “We’re off to Africa.”
Paul: “No we’re not.”  🤣
George: “What is the point of doing it abroad?  I’d much rather do it here, and then go away.”
John seems to like the outdoor amphitheater idea: “It’s like having the most fantastic set on earth.”
Ringo: “But how many are going to be looking at the set besides us and him?”
John mentions how “Every time we’ve done an album, we’ve said, ‘Why are we stuck in EMI?’  We could be doing it in L.A.  We could be in France.  And here we are again, building another bloody castle around us.”
Paul: “Well said, John.  Well said!”
John: “And this time we do it there.  I’d be thrilled to do it — timing it so as the sun came up just on the middle eight.”
John: “Just give me one reason to stay here.”
Ringo: “For the people!”
John: “The people?  That’s the only reason.  Alright, so we take ’em with us.”
Paul: “Look, we were gonna give tickets away at this door here.  We’d give out those tickets, but they include a boat ride as well.”
MLH: “We take them with us, and that’s the show.”
George: “It’s just impractical to try and get all these —”
Paul: “But it’s not, you see —”
George: ” — lug all them people there, and try and get all that equipment …”
John: “That’s not our problem.”
George: “Of course it’s our problem.”  [good for George!]

1:40:15 — WHAT is with MLH and these stupid code names for the bandmembers?  NOBODY uses them but him.  The guy is so infantile and so off-base so often!  For the life of him, he can’t play in the key of the song being played around him.

Paul: “So, like, I’ll come in with you, as long as you can get a couple of boats, like the QE2.”

George: “And then we’re stuck with a bloody big boatload of people for two weeks.  😄  At least you can go home from here.  You can get away from it all.  I think the idea of the boat is completely insane.  It’s very expensive and insane.  Who’s gonna cough up for that?  They haven’t even made back the money it cost to buy the film for Magical Mystery Tour.”  (!)  Boy, it sure comes across in the many hours of this doc how absolutely essential George was to this magical alchemy.

John: “We should be able to get the boat for the publicity they get from it.”

George: “They won’t even give us a free Fender amp!”  😂

Denis: “You’d love the place.”

George: “I may love the place, but I’d rather do the show here, and then go and love the place.”  😂

Ringo rightly asks: “How are you going to get a ship in a couple of days?”
John: “We got the American Navy for How I Won The War.”
Shows footage from the 1967 Richard Lester film.
Ringo: “I was there.  Yes, I know.  But they were passing by and you only used them for a few hours.”

It ends with MLH trying to get them to agree to the Libya idea, and bandleader John lays it down – “We’ll mull it over tonight.  Leave it in the air and just think about it.  We can all say yes now and somebody can decide no tomorrow.”  [see, also: tomorrow]  🤣

1:42:15 — DAY SIX — Thursday, January 9th

1:42:20 — Paul brings Linda to Twickenham

1:43:12 — Another Day by Paul & Linda — Paul solo on grand piano

1:43:40 — The Long And Winding RoadPaul running thru it solo on the grand.

1:43:55 — Ringo to MLH: “I went off the boat, actually.”
MLH keeps arguing for the show being for “the world.”
Ringo says: “The biggest part of our world is America and England.”

1:44:50 — Paul and Mal discuss locations for the show.
Paul suggests doing it on a farm in Scotland. (where he bought a farm in 1966 and would retreat later this year as the band dissolved)

1:45:20 — Mal asks Paul if he ever saw The Wizard of Oz  🙂  and Paul says No!!

1:45:52 — Mal helping Paul write the lyrics to Long & Winding Road!

1:46:25 — MLH & Linda praising Ringo.  Linda: “I feel the most relaxed around Ring.”

1:47:35 — Golden Slumbers — early take – Paul solo on grand piano – with Ringo sitting at his side.

1:47:42 — Linda taking pictures.  And Peter Jackson incorporating them!  Wow!  😉

1:48:58— George arrives.

1:49:40 — Carry That Weight — Paul’s song for Ringo to sing!
George and Ringo gather around the piano and sing it with Paul.
Another song about what they were all going through to add to All Things Must Pass, On Our Way Home, Get Back, & Let It Be.

1:50:53 — the beautiful (Grateful Dead-like) The Castle of the King of the Birds  (!)  (writing credit to all four Beatles) – George on drums!  😮

1:51:25 — For You Blue — George song, on acoustic guitar.  Paul on grand piano.

1:53:00 — Get Back again — the version condemning white nationalism.

1:55:00 — Commonwealth  (Lennon/McCartney) — the commentary song on British racism — Yoko dancing in her seat!  John & Paul laughing together.

1:58:30 — She Came in Through The Bathroom Window — great
John on grand piano.
Fantastic film editing!

2:01:05 — Mal mentions it was Elvis’s 34th birthday yesterday.
John salutes “God bless our gracious king.”  😁

2:01:20 — George talking about locations for the show.
George: “Shall we do some other people’s tunes as well?  That’d be nice.”
John: “I don’t know any.  I can only just bear doing your lot’s songs.”  🤣
George: “Some other people’s songs are much better than ours.”
John: “That’s why I don’t learn them.”  😂
[Sure wish George would have mentioned some songwriters or songs he admired!]

2:01:50 — Honey Hush by Big Joe Turner for ten seconds

2:02:05 — For You Blue for a few seconds

2:02:35 — Suzy Parker – Beatles original, composition credited to all four – John lead vocal

2:03:05 — House of the Rising Son for a few seconds

2:03:33 — Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind — 30 touching seconds of George on acoustic guitar singing Dylan

2:04:00 — Across The Universe — goofing version

2:04:25 — Shakin’ In The Sixties — goofing riff

2:04:55 — Let It Be — serious Paul solo on piano run-thru — great version.
Linda taking pictures.
2:06:10 — Linda & Yoko talking.
John playing the Fender Bass VI.
Glyn definitely helping with the arrangement (again).
More great visual editing by Peter Jackson.

2:08:05 — Let It Be take two — vocal harmonies
2:08:40 — Yoko & Linda talking again.

2:09:40 — DAY 7 — Friday, January 10th

2:09:45 — weird awkward scene with music publisher Dick James – reviewing the Northern Songs catalog.  Paul doesn’t seem to like/trust him.
2:12:50 — Ringo to George: “Would you like to see what you have half a percent of?”  😢

2:13:20 — George: “Neil [Aspinall] would like us to have a meeting.  He was very excited.”
John: “Was he?  Good news?”
George: “Yes, very.”
John: “Oh, alright, I’ll come for good news.”  😁

2:14:13 — Get Back – rockin crazy high-energy version

2:14:30 — Hi-Heel Sneakers (by Tommy Tucker) – John lead vocal

2:15:00–2:21:05 — Get Back
2:15:10 — shots of Glyn Johns’ makeshift recording console room.
John & Paul face-to-face, happy, working out the chords.
Jamming it / rocking it out / having fun.
It’s a beautiful thing to see them collectively working together.
Paul writing / working out the arrangement with the band; and then the lyrics.
Paul is being critical of George’s contributions.  😥

2:21:05 — Two Of Us — cool film editing.

2:22:20 — George leaves band — when they break for lunch — ie; early in the day
George to John: “I think I’ll be leaving the band now”
John: “When?”
George: “Now.”

George: “Get a replacement.  Write into NME and get a few people.”
Mal: “I’ll ask George Martin to see about residuals.”

2:22:57 — Film shows George’s diary!!  Is this real?!?  It presents it as real.

Friday January 10th, 1969:
“Got up, went to Twickenham, rehearsed until lunchtime – left the Beatles – went home.”

2:23:40 — I’ve Got A Feeling / Don’t Let Me Down — just the trio — almost primal scream therapy versions.
2:24:30 — Yoko “singing”
2:25:25 — Paul on drums
2:25:30 — Ringo’s funny faux radio report – “The big sound of 1969.”  😁

2:25:49 — Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

2:25:51 — Paul playing on scaffolding like a monkey-gym.

2:26:06 — MLH still pimping his show while the band is breaking up in front of him (!) I don’t know if I hate this guy or just strongly dislike him.
MLH: “Maybe for the show you could just say George was sick.”  😮
John: “No.  I mean, if he leaves, he leaves.”

2:26:18 — John: “If he doesn’t come back by Tuesday, we get Clapton.”
Yoko at the microphone singing “John John John” (!?)

2:26:45 — Maureen Starkey’s first appearance!  (aka Mo)  Soon to be a hero of the story.  💓
and Neil Aspinall — Apple Corps Managing Director – two people who were there from the Cavern onwards
— both appear on the scene — undoubtably because of the new band crisis — sitting in the chair circle on the soundstage.

2:26:53 — Neil: “Really, the box that George is in, it’s him versus John & Paul, when it comes to what they’re gonna do and what they’re gonna play.  You try doing that for a few months, you’re gonna end up pissed off.”

2:27:08 — George Martin: “They’re our songwriting team, and he’s his own team.  And if he’s not working on his own song …”
MLH: “Yes but, John & Paul aren’t writing together much anymore, are they, really?”
George Martin: “Nevertheless, they’re still a team.”

2:27:20 — Paul jokes to Maureen — “A-7 … D-7 … G-7 — get ’em off over the weekend and you’re in.”  🤣
I love the love between Paul and Mo.  ❤️‍🩹

2:27:27 — band meeting in chairs on the soundstage – also with George Martin, Neil Aspinall, MLH & Glyn Johns.
John approaches — “So, cats and kittens, what we gonna do?”  🙂

2:27:41 — MLH talks about being an actor and working with Orson Welles.  (There was an unsubstantiated rumor MLH was Welles’s son.)  He talks about Welles quitting a production — but he came back an hour later.

They sure don’t seem worried about George leaving.

2:28:05 — Paul: “The Mersey Beat Award for Best Couple of The Year goes to John & Yoko.”  🙂

2:28:20 — Paul: “I think we should do the show in The Cavern.”  (!)
George Martin: “Location isn’t really a main problem at the moment.”

2:28:35 — George’s song Isn’t It a Pity starts playing over somber-looking faces.

* 2:29:10 — John, Paul & Ringo all huddle and embrace with coats on by the scaffolding.

Title card:
“John, Paul & Ringo decide to meet with George, hoping to convince him to rejoin the band.”

2:29:29 — Image of Ringo’s beautiful house.
Title card:
“On Sunday [Jan. 12th], the four Beatles, along with Yoko & Linda, meet at Ringo’s house.”

. . .  fade to black  . . .

“The meeting does not go well.”

2:29:50 — Credits start — they’re 6 mins 50 secs long.
The song credits are unique to each episode, and songs are listed in the order they appeared in the episode.

Recording of Isn’t It A Pity by George plays over closing footage and credits.

Then The Castle of the King of the Birds  (!)  (like the Grateful Dead’s Fire on The Mountain)


Re: George leaving the band:

Peter Jackson said in that must-see 4-hour discussion about the film (in the YouTube link at the top of this page) that at the time George left the band he was also having a domestic crisis at home, which Jackson didn’t include in the doc, in part because there was probably no audio or video of it, and also he didn’t want to get into those kinds of personal side stories.  But Pattie Boyd writes about it in her memoir Wonderful Tonight that at this exact time in early January ’69, George was having an affair with a 20-year-old French girl (Charlotte Martin), and Pattie actually left him over it.  Plus his mother was seriously ill up in Liverpool (necessitating George’s trip there mentioned in episode two), so there were serious external pressures in his life besides whatever was going on with the band.


Some Post-Episode-One Observations, written and posted online before Episode Two was released:

In interviews, Peter Jackson tells the story of how, back in 2017, 29 seconds of silent unseen Beatles footage was uncovered from when they were filming Help — and how it became a news story all over the world.  😮 Even if you subtract the original film’s entire 81 minutes from this 455 — that still leaves well over six hours of footage of unseen footage!  You can catch the 29 seconds here.

GREAT sound editing — including inserting the sound of pages turning when they’re flipping through a magazine (or birds chirping with the photo of Ringo’s house in the next episode) and other such subtleties that help bring the images more to life.

And the film editing is just f’ing BRILLIANT.

Upon second viewing I’m choked up / crying in joy.  This is SO well made!

I find my mouth hanging open so often when I’m watching this.  🙂  I’m literally jaw-dropped.  😮

This is the greatest movie ever made!  🙂  or so I think right now.  😄

Glyn Jones is really the album’s producer — George Martin isn’t there very much at Twickenham.

Phil Lesh was a trumpet player — then was enlisted as the bass player.
Paul McCartney was a guitarist — then morphed into being the bass player.

“Liverpool is the capitol of Ireland.”  Paul in McCartney 3,2,1.

I know Peter Jackson praises Michael Lindsay-Hogg, but Hogg f’ed up.
He missed the joy; and he misrepresented what happened.
He was as misguided in his documentary choices as he was in his insistence of the show being in Libya.

I don’t know how songwriting royalties work on streaming services — but a LOT of songwriters (or their estates or whatever) are gonna get nice paycheques from this.

John & Paul are really a creative partnership, no matter who comes up with the song first.

This has clearly joined Don’t Look Back, Woodstock and The Last Waltz as one of the greatest rock docs ever made — it’s just whatever order ya wanna rank ’em.  😉




EPISODE TWO — Days 8 thru 16 — January 13th thru 25th, 1969

2 hours & 47 mins  (plus 6½minutes of credits)

Rehearsing / Recording at Savile Row

0:55 Day 8 — Monday, January 13th, 1969 — still in Twickenham

2:05 — Ringo, Mal, MLH, Tony Richmond & Kevin Harrington talking about the band meeting yesterday with George.
Ringo: “It started out fine, then it all sort of fell apart in the end.”

2:35 — MLH on the state of the documentary.

2:57 — Flowers arrive “for Mr. Harrison.”  (from the Hare Krishna people)
MLH: “Harry who?”  😂  

3:40 — Paul & Linda arrive.

4:30 — Neil Aspinall (Apple’s Managing Director) — frizzy hair — joins.  Then Glyn Johns also joins.

4:35 — Sitting in a circle of chairs in Twickenham:
Paul, Linda, Ringo, Tony Richmond, Glyn Johns, MLH, Kevin Harrington, Neil Aspinall.

4:50 — Linda saying that at the George meeting yesterday Yoko was speaking for John and she doesn’t think he (John) “believes any of that.”  (!)
Paul says George walked out, saying, “I’ll see ya.”

5:10 — Long riff by Paul about John & Yoko — defends them as a couple.  He REALLY doesn’t mind her being there.
5:20 — Paul: “If it came to a push between Yoko and the Beatles, it’s Yoko, you know.”

5:40 — MLH: “When John and I were talking the other day, John said he really didn’t want to not be a Beatle.”

5:50 — MLH asks about Paul & John writing together.
Paul: “We’ve cooled it because we’re not playing together.” … “We used to live together, in the same hotels, get up at the same time every morning …”
Paul: “Musically we can play better than we ever have before.”
Paul: “It’s difficult starting out from scratch with Yoko there.  I start writing about white walls cuz I think John & Yoko would like that, but they wouldn’t.”

6:30 — Paul: “She’s great.  She really is alright.”
Paul: — “It’s silly for anybody to say, No you can’t do that.”

7:09 — Paul: “For them to be able to compromise, I have to be able to compromise first.”

7:18 — Paul: “We probably do need a central daddy figure to say, you know, ‘Nine o’clock, leave your girls at home, lads.'”

7:30 — Paul: “It’s gonna be such an incredible sort of comical thing, like, in 50 years time  (!)  ‘They broke up cuz Yoko sat on an amp.'”

Paul & Ringo start bringing their girlfriends/wives to the studios after John brought Yoko.  This is a great thing breaking the old-school world of women being second class citizens, and as reflected in John’s song on Sometime In New York City

8:25 — MLH and Paul talking about short-term plans.

9:00 — Paul’s news bulletin show idea — and the final bulletin would be “The Beatles have broken up.”  (!)

9:35 — “And then there were two.”  Paul says, looking sad, teary eyed.  [And, ironically, it’s the two who are the only two still living in 2021.]

10:20 — Linda — “We looked at Help the other night, and Hard Day’s Night, and that was them playing …”

10:35 — MLH to Linda — “I’m a bigger fan than you are.”  (!)  What an incredible jerk this guy is.

11:15 — MLH: “I thought the other day I might leave, but then I thought, they won’t even notice.”  That’s one thing he’s got right.  😁

11:40–16:00 — The John & Paul cafeteria scene with the mic in the flowerpot talking about the George problem.  SO cool.
If you think it’s hard to understand now — you should hear the original on bootleg!

John:  It’s like George said — he didn’t get enough satisfaction anymore, because of the compromise he had to make to be together.  It’s a festering wound that we’ve allowed to … and yesterday we allowed it to go even deeper, and we didn’t give him any bandages.  And when he is that far in, we have egos.

Paul:  The thing is, that’s what I was trying to say to George, you know.  Whereas previously I would have said, ‘Take it there with diddle-derddl-diddle-der.’  But I was trying last week to say, ‘Now take it there.  Anything you like.  Put whatever you…’

John:  You see, the point is now, we both do that to George this time, and because of the buildup to it.

Paul:  Yeah, we treat him a bit like that.  See, cuz he knows what we’re on about.  But I do think that he’s right.  That’s why I think we’ve got the problem now, you know, the four of us.  You go one way, George one way, and me another.  But I know it’ll apply to all of us, if one day you can all be singing like you sing.  George can be really playing, I mean, like he plays, not like I keep trying to make him play.

John:  Yeah, okay, because you’re afraid that how he’ll play won’t be like you want him to play, and that’s what we do, and that’s what you do to me.  And I’m not gonna tell you what to play.

Paul:  See, that … that seems to be the trouble, is that if you’d have been able to say that on the occasion, just even to say, ‘Look, I’m not gonna say anything about the song because it’s very difficult, I’m gonna really try and now…’

John:  You know, I’ve always done the numbers like that.  Now, the only regret about the past numbers is when, because I’ve been so frightened, I’ve allowed you to take it somewhere where I didn’t want.  And then, that my only chance was to let George take over, or interest George in it.  If you give me your suggestions, let me reject them and pinch the ones I like… is where my writing side is.  Same goes for the arranging.  I don’t want it to… I don’t know.

Paul:  I know.  I do know.  I know what you mean, yeah.

John:  ’Cause there was a period where none of us could actually say anything about your arrangements ’cause you would reject it all.  I’d have to tell George and I would just say, you know, like you do about me.  You know, ‘I’m Paul McCartney’, and a lot of the times you were right, and a lot of the times you were wrong. Same as we always are.  But I can’t see the answer to that, because you’ve suddenly got it all, you see.

Paul:  I really don’t want you…

John:  Well, all right.  I’m just telling you what I think.  I don’t The Beatles revolve around the four people.

Paul:  You know, but I tell you what.  I tell you one thing, what I think.  The main thing is this: you have always been boss.  Now I’ve been, sort of, secondary boss.

John:  Not always.

Paul:  No, listen.  Listen.  No, always!  Really, I mean, it is gonna be much better if we can actually just stick together and say, ‘Look George, on I’ve Got A Feeling I want you to do it exactly like I play it.’  And he’ll say, ‘I’m not you, and I can’t do it exactly like you do it.’

John:  But this year, what you’ve been doing, and what everybody’s been doing, I’ve not only felt guilty about the way we’re all guilty about our relationship to each other, cuz we could do more.  And look, I’m not putting any blame on you.  I’ve suddenly realized this, because that was my game, you know, but goals, they’re still the same.  Self-preservation, you know. I know what I like, I’ve let you do what you want and George too, you know.

Paul:  Yeah, I know

John:  If we want him, if we do want him, I can go along with that, because the policy has kept us together.

Paul:  Well, I don’t know, you know. See, I’m just assuming he’s coming back.  If he isn’t, then he isn’t, then it’s a new problem.  And probably when we’re all very old, we’ll all agree with each other, and we’ll all sing together.

16:20 — Loading George’s 8-track recording equipment back into the truck.

16:25 — Ringo: “George has gone to Liverpool.  He’s due back Wednesday.”  [George’s mother is sick; she would pass away 18 months later.  Ringo’s saying this on Monday – so George is not in London for 3 of the 7 days he “quit.”]

16:40 — The three start rehearsing again.

16:55 — Get Back — Mel handwriting the lyrics.
John & Paul writing / trading lyric ideas.

18:35 — Paul citing the use of “Tucson Arizona” because that’s where they make the High Chaparral TV show on NBC.  🙂
[Chris O’Dell, from Tucson, was given the job of typing up these lyrics, and she got a pang of fear that they were telling her to leave — to get back to where she once belonged!  🙂 ]

18:40 — taking a crack at Get Back.

19:45 — more show planning with MLH & Paul.

20:25 — Paul shows setlist still taped to his bass from the last U.S. concert tour!

20:30 — DAY 9 — Tuesday January 14th

20:35 — Paul telling Paul Bond (clapper guy / second camera) how all the music ever written is on the piano.

21:15 — Martha My Dear — Paul solo on grand piano.

22:10 — Ringo shows up – Paul: “Good morning, Rich!”
Ringo & Paul’s joyous animated duet on grand piano.
It’s SO great cameras were rolling for this!

Glyn Johns sure seems cool.

23:20 — Paul singing Woman on grand piano — early Beatles song.

25:00 — The Back Seat of My Car — Paul song — on grand piano.

25:20 — Song Of Love — Lennon/McCartney song — goofing in Elvis impersonation.
Ringo operating the film camera.

26:25 — sets for The Magic Christian coming onto the soundstage.

26:34 — Paul taking about making a scripted movie.  Funny group goofing on roles for different people.
Paul: “Do you want to be a goody then, Glyn?”
Ringo: “The roughneck who changes.”
Glyn: “With a bit of sentimentality.”
Paul: “The hard drug-dealing yob.”
Ringo: “With a good heart.”
Paul: “Who turned to religion.”
Paul: “Ringo’s the schoolteacher who goes to see him.”
Ringo: “Mal’s the policeman who’s gone wrong.”
Mal: “They’ll never get anything out of me unless they use a pump.”
Paul: “Tony [Richmond] is in it.  He’s the fence — where Glyn gets rid of the drugs.”
MLH: “Can I be in it?”
Ringo: “You can be a traffic sign.”  🤣  🤣  🤣

27:45 — Paul goes up on chain pulley into the scaffolding.

28:20 — John, Paul & Ringo sitting in chairs goofing — classic Beatles humor — something both Brian Epstein & George Martin cited as an important reason they first wanted to work with these nobodys.
Glyn and Mal sitting behind.
John: “A lot of us started with Rosy.”  🤣

29:00 — John: “I see you’ve given up smoking, Richie.”  😁

29:25 — Peter Sellers shows up.  The Beatles were fans of his from The Goon Show days in the late ’50s.
Sadly he doesn’t do much but smile.
John goofing and being funny.  “You’re talking to the ninth-best-dressed pop singer in the world, you know? . . . Look out Tom Jones, I say.”  🤣
31:30 — Peter Sellers leaves.

31:40 — Talking about the documentary and scheduling.

32:10 — John: “I was up late, sorta stoned and high and watching films.”

32:54 — Paul: “We can’t carry on like this indefinitely.”
Paul: “What we need is a serious program of work.”
Paul: “To wander endlessly is very un-swinging.  Un-hip.”
Paul: “What we need is a schedule.  Achieve something every day.”  (!)  <— that’s MY working practice in life!  💖
Paul’s drinking white wine pretty early in the day!

33:50 — George Martin shows up and sits with them.
John goofing with camera and scat riffing.
John on masturbating — “You don’t go blind … but very short-sighted,” he says, squinting through his thick glasses.   🤣

35:40 — Mean Mr. Mustard — John song — audio only, no footage.

* 36:20 — Madmen – unreleased John song – on electric piano!

36:52 — Discussing immediate band plans in the absence of George.
37:01 — Paul: “I think we stop filming now — as a matter of policy.  That’s a wrap for you, lads.”
37:08 — audio only — Paul: “George is in Liverpool now [Tuesday], and he’s supposed to come back tomorrow.”
John: “So we should go and see him, you think?”

Title cards:
“Rehearsals are cancelled for tomorrow.”
“John Paul and Ringo will meet with George again.”  [at Ringo’s House – “Brookfields” – a 16th century mansion in Elstead, Surrey, that he bought from Peter Sellers]
“The meeting [on Wed. Jan. 15th] is positive and productive.”
“The live TV Special is abandoned.”
“They will relocate to their new Apple Studio, and record the songs there.”

37:55 — Nice Savile Row footage.

38:15 — DAY 10 — Thursday, January 16th

Packing up at Twickenham.

38:40 — Glyn Johns in his little temporary control room at Twickenham.

38:50 — Oh! Darling – Paul solo on grand piano.

39:05 — Twickenham band gear being broken down and carried out by Mal & Kevin.  (Mal in a suit!?!?)

40:20 — George Harrison seen showing up at Twickenham.  (?)

George Harrison & Glyn go to Apple and find the studio unacceptable. (no footage)

41:08 — Shot of the Abbey Road Studio doorway when it was still called EMI Recording Studios.

Friday January 17th / Saturday the 18th / Sunday the 19th — the Abbey Road (EMI) team installs new equipment into the Savile Row basement — creating the Apple Studio.

Title cards:
“An 8-track recording desk is created by lashing together two portable 4-track mixing consoles.”
“The sound is then fed into George Harrison’s 8-track recorder.”

41:55 — DAY 11 — Monday, January 20th  —  Apple Studio 

42:00 — More great Savile Row area footage.  Rosemary’s Baby on an Evening Standard poster with the headline: “The Weird Mia Farrow Film That Has The Censor Anxious”  😁

42:20 — Title card:
“On Monday morning Apple Studio is not quite ready.  The Beatles will continue to rehearse, and start recording on Tuesday.  For this first day at Apple, cameras are not allowed inside.”

42:30 — The documentary film crew interviews two girls out front — “Apple Scruffs” Eileen Kensley & Sue Ahearne — who can be seen again on the street during the rooftop concert in episode 3 at 1:53:25 standing behind the hood of the silver car.
John & Yoko arrive in white Rolls Royce.
It looks like it’s DP Tony Richmond who’s interviewing the girls, and he asks them about John & Yoko — who wonderfully answer, “It’s his choice, isn’t it.  It’s got nothing to do with anybody else really.”
Tony asks them — “You’ve obviously read in the papers about the possible split of the Beatles.”  (!)
“What would you like to see the Beatles do now?”
The girls answer — “A show.  A live show.  Any show.”
. . . . then the camera pans up to the roof.  🙂  This is great freakin filmmaking.

44:05 — DAY 12 – Tuesday, January 21st
Savile Row studio recording — green (apple) carpet, white walls, small-ish room.

44:47 — George Martin sashays in like a gunslinger who owns this town.

45:43 — The band seems to be happily reunited.  George: “Good vibes, man.”  🥰

46:00 — Ringo complements Glyn on his sound and the acetates he’s making and the sequencing of songs

46:30 — Yoko asks George Martin where to buy classic piano music scores.

47:30 — News story about Beatles punching each other.  “It wasn’t the first time they traded a few punches.”

48:00 — Derek Taylor — being asked about the bad press, and about suing the writer. John & George mock punching each other.

John is totally together and into it — showered, hair combed.

48:30 — You Are my Sunshine – a Ray Charles #1 hit in 1962 – John singing.

49:00 — MLH asks John to do intro for Rolling Stones Circus.

So good to see all four back together and smiling again.
Especially including George!

The Beatles Get Back all the band smiling and happy

51:00 — John reading from the newspaper – funny – band jamming on it.

52:00 — Mal arrives with crazy Magic Alex bass/regular guitar with spinning neck.  🤣

53:10 — New Orleans (originally by Gary U.S. Bonds) – all three on vocals

53:20 — Queen of the Hop (by Bobby Darin) – Paul & John trading lead vocals

George looking through a stack of new albums.

Glyn & company moving in PA speakers, setting up recording consoles.

53:46 — Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea – a 1954 hit in the U.S. by a group called The Four Lads  (!)  — and in England by Max Bygraves.  Lead vocal by John.

54:15 — Thirty Days by Chuck Berry – but was a hit for both Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks and Cliff Richard & The Shadows who both called it & and sang it as Forty Days.  John lead vocal.

54:42 — Too Bad About Sorrow – Lennon/McCartney original ­– Paul & John sharing lead vocal

56:00 — Dig A Pony – new John song

56:54 — Glyn Johns: “I keep telling you not to, and you won’t listen to what I say.”
Paul: “You’re right.”  😁
This back-and-forth reflects the cool joking banter that the Beatles themselves exchange — and that George Martin and others have cited as a difference between the three Beatles and Pete Best.
MLH is the Pete Best of this collective.  Glyn Johns is Ringo.  😉

56:58 — unboxing the Leslie speaker.

57:55 — My Baby Left Me – by Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup – rockin’ out, John on vocal, Paul on drums.

58:16 — Hi-Heel Sneakers – by Tommy Tucker – John vocal, Paul on drums.
Yoko actually seat dancing!

58:40 — Hallelujah I Love Her So – by Ray Charles – John vocals

58:56 — George looking at Beggar’s Banquet album.

59:09 — Article appears — “The End of a Beautiful Friendship” — ie; The Beatles breaking up is WAY in the air.
59:36 — Paul reading from the fucked-up article.  John & George play to it — a spoken-word and music improvised collaboration.  😍
Denis O’Dell shows up in Apple Studio.

1:01:00 — Good Rockin’ Tonight – John singing Elvis Presley’s hit — with Paul reading the newspaper article in the background.

1:03:30 — Dig A Pony – great full band run-through

Peter Jackson said the move to Savile Row was when you saw John resume control of the band.  And he’s right.  (of course)

1:05:15 — Shout “Shag”  🙂  by the Isley Brothers (the song they climaxed the Around The Beatles TV show with)

1:05:40 — John and Ringo walk out of studio arm-in-arm.

1:05:50 — They go in control room to listen to playback of recording.

1:06:20 — They’re totally goofing and having so much fun.  😍

1:07:08 — Dig A Pony – serious take for Glyn

1:07:50 — John writing Dig A Pony lyrics – blue pen on paper.

1:08:20 — Dig A Pony – next take
John suggesting to Ringo drum patterns for the song.

1:09:40 — Madmen – John’s song bit again

1:09:50 — I’ve Got A Feeling / Don’t Let Me Down
great editing of images together

*  1:11:07 — John: “We need somebody else.  Probably be like a guy that plays piano all the time — that one that plays with the Stones.”
Paul: “Nicky Hopkins.”
John: “Yeah.”

1:11:50 — Don’t Let Me Down – crazy playful goofing version 

1:13:00 — She Came In Through Bathroom Window — John on electric Fender piano, Paul teaching song to band.
Incredible visual editing by Peter Jackson.

1:15:40 — GREAT John & Paul talking, eye to eye, about vocal harmonies and getting the riffs right.

1:16:10 — DAY 13 – Wednesday, January 22nd

1:16:17 — John & George reading more newspaper accounts of the band.

Ethan Russell photographer
Derek Taylor in studio

The boys are getting along GREAT.

1:18:35 — The studio walls seem to be equipped with folding panels that can switch from metallic reflectors to padded absorbers. (!)  (?)

1:18:40 — Paul & MLH discuss Primrose Hill show idea.

1:19:40 — John: “Did you see Fleetwood Mac on Late Night Live last night?  They were so sweet, man.  Their lead singer [Peter Green] is great, looks great.  And he sings very quiet as well.  He’s not a shouter.”  Then John mimics the sound, as George leans in, riveted.
Paul: “It’s a bit like Canned Heat.”
John: “Yeah, but better than Canned Heat.”
George: “There was only four of them last night, weren’t there?”
John: “Yeah.  They’re really good, though.  It’s just that sweeter, just the guitar hanging.”

1:20:10 — Going Up The Country (Canned Heat) — Paul vocal

1:20:45 — Dig A Pony – full band take (short)

1:21:40 — I’ve Got a Feeling – rough working out

They’re having SO MUCH fun!

1:23:15 — new goofing take on I’ve Got a Feeling

1:24:15 — John talking about MLK and “I had a dream.”!!  “Like a big poem it was.”  How he was like a poet – “like Tennyson, he was.”

George – “We should make a collage of our gold records on the wall.”
John – “If you can get them off Mimi’s wall.”

1:26:30 — Billy Preston arrives — doesn’t know they need a keyboard player
[the exact half-way point of the episode, to the second!]
He’s in London to do a couple of TV appearances.  According to both Tony Bramwell and Chris O’Dell, Billy’s UK agent Larry Curzon was at William Morris next door to Apple and was always coming by their building.  When it became known that Billy was in town, Chris called Larry to arrange a time for him to come by.

Big smiles and happy greetings all around.

1:26:50 — John gives Billy the lay of the land — how they’re playing everything live.  “Every number’s got a piano part.  And normally we overdub it.  But this time we want to do it live.  I mean just live to ourselves.  Straight off, one number after the other.  And that means having somebody in on it.  If you’d like to do that, you’re welcome.”

1:27:05 — Billy — big laugh / smile — “Sure.  Beautiful!  Ha!  Are you’re kidding?!?!” and he giddily laughs again.

The Beatles and Billy Preston at Apple Studio 3 Savile Row

John is the leader who asks him to play with them.
Nobody else in the band could have done that.

1:27:25 & :31 & :34 — George Martin seen smiling bigger than I’ve ever seen him.  🥰

1:28:23 — kick-ass “I’ve Got a Feeling” — Billy on electric piano – BEAMING away!  🙂
I reckon this is the first song he played with them.  And of course he’s locked right in.
1:28:34 — euphoric Paul smiling at what’s happening — ten seconds into the song!!
Fantastic camera work & editing throughout all this!
1:29:00 — Yoko seen smiling at the music being played.
1:29:28 — song ends
John: “You’re in the group.”  😍  🤣

And just like that  —  The Beatles are a quintet!!!   🤩

In these 3 minutes, the entire storyline changes.

Imagine when Billy got back to wherever he was staying that night and phoned whoever he was closest to at the time.  “You’re not gonna believe this, but . . . ”   🤩   🥰

1:29:45 — Don’t Let Me Down – short

1:30:01 — John: “You’re givin us a lift, Bill.” 🙂

Wow — they’re really starting to gel!

Billy is just BEAMING ear-to-ear

1:30:15 — Don’t Let Me Down – couple more takes
1:31:15 – Billy takes a rockin’ solo

1:32:10 — Save The Last Dance For Me – the 1960 #1 hit for The Drifters with Ben E. King on lead vocals

1:33:05 — Dig A Pony with Billy

1:34:20 — the band goes to the control room to listen to playback

1:34:40 — Don’t Let Me Down – John flamenco guitar

1:35:35 — MLH again talking about concert plans

* 1:36:10 — John tells MLH how they *have* the documentary —  “It’ll be fantastic.  With this whole buildup from bits of paper in Twickenham, all that scene, and it’ll be a movie, not a TV show.  It’ll be the third Beatles movie.  It’s good enough now.”

1:36:40 — Peter Brown Apple exec shows up — talk about Allen Klein  😥

Brian dying and Klein comin in were a one-two death knell to the band.

1:37:30 — DAY 14 — Thursday January 23rd

1:38:00 — Freakout Jam — Yoko screaming — Paul on drums.
Band members filmed from 2nd floor window arriving at 3 Savile Row.

1:38:55 — MLH in a full suit & tie, John, Ringo & George Martin plotting out the recording and show schedule.
1:39:05 — George Martin: “You’re working so well together right now [John “Yes”] let’s keep it going.”
1:39:14 — MLH: “I think we’ll aim for next Thursday.” [which turned out to be the day they indeed did it.]
They plan to work thru the weekend — for once!  🙂

1:39:45 — Twenty Flight Rock by Eddie Cochran — Billy dances into studio.  🥰
This is the song Paul played for John (and impressed him) the first day they met (July 6, 1957).

1:40:20 — Paul cites great names of the ’50s – Eddie Cochran, Gene Burks.

1:41:30 — Oh! Darling

1:43:06 — first time we see George playing his custom-made Rosewood Telecaster that he’d later play on the roof concert.
Sometime in the next year he gave the guitar to Delaney Bramlett, who ended up lending it to Jerry Garcia to play during an Ian & Sylvia jam in the Festival Express documentary about the infamous 1970 train trip across Canada, finally released in 2003, and directed by Beatles Anthology director Bob Smeaton.

Jerry Garcia playing George Harrison's Rosewood Telecaster on stage with Ian & Sylvia in the Festival Express documentary

1:43:30 — Get Back — major working out of arrangement, several versions

John even counts in the Paul songs.

Boy, they’re having fun!

* 1:54:00 — Hilarious goofing version of Help.  Paul loses it laughing.  🥰

Then Please Please Me

* 1:55:00 —  Peter Jackson’s hit single video edit of the namesake song of this documentary Get Back — maybe the peak video collage of the film so far — including a rockin’ Billy solo.

1:56:37 — George in the control room during playback saying to John: “It would be nice to put it out as a single.  Just do a single of it now.”
John:  “Okay — let’s knock it off as a single.”  😉

And again for anybody who wonders who the bandleader is in The Beatles in January 1969 — it’s John Lennon who puts a new guy in the group, and John Lennon who’s asked to make the decision about the band’s next single.  😉

The Beatles become a quintet with Billy Preston

1:57:50 — DAY 15 — Friday January 24th 

Billy’s not there in the studio — he’s rehearsing for the Lulu show — which aired tomorrow the 25th.

1:57:50 — John to Paul: “Did you hear about the book idea?”
Paul: “Yeah”
John: “I think the photos are great, man.  Really great. . . . They can have the book and the film out simultaneously.”

1:58:55 — John: “We’ve got Billy a contract.  We got him off Capitol.  (!)  George [Harrison] will produce him.”

1:59:15 — George: “The main thing, Billy is just really so knocked out, so thrilled doing it.  And also he sees it’s his great opportunity. . . . We’ll have to decide about paying him.  [John: “Yes, right.”]  Cuz if we were having Nicky Hopkins we’d have to pay him session musician rates.”
George really does seem like Billy’s ear and representative within the band.

1:59:45 — John: “I mean, I’d just like him in our band, actually.”  George enthusiastically nodding yes.  “I’d like a fifth Beatle.”  (!)

1:59:50 — John: “At Twickenham, suddenly there was three, now there’s four of us, then there’s five!”  🙂
George: “We can do that as well.”  [It’s SO too bad they didn’t!]
George: “If I asked Dylan to join the Beatles, and he would, you know.  And we get ’em all in here.”  🙂
John: “We’ll call it The Beatles & Co.  That’ll be our band.”  (!)  – like The Dead & Company!
George with a smile: “I mean, it’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, innit?  We could get ’em all.”
Paul: “I just don’t kniw, because it’s bad enough with four.”  🙂  [at least they all laugh]

2:01:00 — John sings – I’m On The Road to Marrakesh (which became Jealous Guy)

2:02:00 — Hail, Hail Rock n Roll by Chuck Berry – (brief) – Mal on tambourine.  💖

2:02:20 — Stand By Me – Ben E. King – (brief)

2:02:44 — John: “We seem to be at a loss without Billy.”

2:03:00 — Two Of Us
2:03:34 — John & Paul on acoustic guitars

2:04:25 — Two of Us – playful
John & Paul eye-locked again.

2:05:50 — their comical ordering of lunch — John: “Sparrow on toast.”  🙂  Paul: “Boiled testicle.”  🙂

23-year-old photographer Ethan Russell very present and taking tons of what turned out to be great pics.

2:06:10 — Paul noticing the connections between the songs — Get Back and Two of Us (on our way home)  “So there’s a story.  And there’s another one — Don’t Let Me Down —> Oh! Darling.”

2:06:30 — George gets his bowties.  🙂

2:07:00 — Two of Us – killer partial take

2:07:30 — control room hang n talk

2:08:30 — Polythene Pam – John singing and on acoustic guitar

2:09:17 — Mal opens the case for the lap steel they call “the Hawaiian”

2:09:37 — Her Majesty – brief – George on the Hawaiian

2:10:01 — Teddy Boy — McCartney song written in India last year.  According to Mark Lewisohn this was the first time the song was presented to the band.

2:11:15 — Maggie Mae (traditional) — John & Paul both on acoustics.  According to Lewisohn, this was a “traditional Liverpool song about an infamous local lady of the night.”

2:12:00 — Fancy My Chance With You – early Lennon/McCartney song written when they were teenagers.

2:12:45 — Paul to Billy – “Nobody’s asked if you’d mind coming in every day.”
Bill: “Oh no, it’s a groove.  I had nothing else on.”

2:12:53 — Paul mentions him getting paid.

2:12:55 — Dig It! – John on the Hawaiian

2:13:13 — Pattie Boyd (Harrison) makes her only appearance

2:13:40 — Ringo showing off his Sony home video camera  🙂

2:13:50 — I Feel Fine

2:14:00 — George H asks George Martin about how his studio is going.  I think this is AIR Montserrat that became a major studio, recording the Stones, Elton, McCartney, Michael Jackson and scores of others until it was tragicly destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

2:14:30 — DAY 16 — Saturday January 25th – no Billy Preston

2:14:30 — Footage from Maharishi’s in India –  while Dehra Dun by George Harrison plays

2:14:50 — John mentions to Ringo that he looked at his clothes from India last night “next to me Pepper suit”  😁

2:15:03 — Peter Jackson shows more Maharishi footage set to George’s song Within You, Without You

2:15:20 — Paul talks about watching the footage from India last night.  “I’ve got all the film of it.”
He raves about the opening, and then they show it, with images of Cynthia Lennon, Pattie, Jane Asher (!), Donovan and their whole traveling krewe.

Lots more footage of India.

2:17:10 — Paul describes the long shot of John walking with the Maharishi, “And it’s just not you, you know?”  😄

They talk about John going up in the helicopter — and how he thought the Maharishi might just slip him the answer.  😆

2:19:00 — Why Don’t We Do It In The Road – to two monkeys humping  🙂

2:19:34 — John in India looking for all the world like John Sebastian!

2:19:55 — George talking about the whole purpose of them going was to find themselves.  “And if you were really yourself, you wouldn’t be any of who we are now.”  (!)

2:20:10 — John says “All Act Naturally now, then plays the 1963 Buck Owens hit and Ringo staple on acoustic guitar.

2:20:23 — Glyn: “Is Billy coming today?”
George: “No, he’s doing a TV show all day.”  Again, it’s George who knows what Billy is doing.

2:20:30 — Bye Bye Love — John singing the Everly Brothers hit on acoustic guitar, Paul harmonizing.
I don’t want to be accused of reading too much into things, but once again this is a song about saying “bye bye happiness” as the band seems to be winding to a close.

Yoko making a calligraphic painting — black Japanese characters on white paper.

2:21:30 — Two of Us – great – playing with it – funny – many variations

2:22:55 — first appearance of Alan Parsons — with title card — close-up, in his orange shirt, although according to Mark Lewisohn he started two days earlier, on Jan. 23rd.

2:23:30 — John does Two Of Us in a Dylan inflection  🙂
George with his funky-cool slipper-boots.  🙂
They’re all smiling and laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
Then they do the song reggae style.  🙂

2:25:25 — Glyn with the practical advice to get one number down (duh!) . . . and then get another one finished.

2:25:30 — George: “Have we got to have this album recorded by Tuesday then?”  (!)
Glyn now says he’s not going to leave until Thursday.

2:25:55 — George asks “Are we still doing the show?”
Paul: “I don’t know, really.”

2:26:15 — George wants the piano to sound like a bad honky-tonk piano.

2:26:20 — George Martin putting newspapers on the grand’s strings so it won’t sound so grand.

2:27:00 — For You Blue — George’s “honky-tonk” song.
John playing the lap steel.
According to Mark Lewisohn, this song was arranged, rehearsed, recorded, and in-the-can in one day!

2:27:48 — Chris O’Dell with the short blond hair holding clipboard and pen next to Mal.

Chris O'Dell at Apple Studio 3 Savile Row

2:28:15 — While George is running through For You Blue, John tells everyone, “Just don’t talk when he’s playing, gang.”  — once again looking out for his younger brother.

2:28:30 — take 2 of For You Blue

2:28:50 — 20-year-old Alan Parsons in orange shirt & black tie in control room.

Alan Parsons in Apple Studio in Peter Jackson documentary

2:29:05 — Then John requests they do For You Blue once more so George “can get the guitar like he wants it.”

2:29:10 — they start another take — which becomes the take that appears on the Let It Be album.

John on the lap steel.

2:29:52 — George during group playback in the control room — “I think we’re getting a good sound in Apple Studios.”

2:30:16 — John has an idea about the mixing, and Paul says, “That’s a good idea.”
John: “Yeah, I’m full of ideas like that.  I’m famous for ’em.  Literary Beatle, you know.”  😁
George: “Hail to the captain.”

Title card:
“The Primrose Hill concert is no longer possible.”

2:30:53 — show/concert talk:
MLH points out they don’t have a show planned.
John: “I would dig to play onstage, you know?”
Paul: “Yeah.”
John: “I mean, if everything was alright, and there was no messing around, and we just play on a stage.  That’s why I said yes to the TV show.  I didn’t want the hell of doing it, but nobody else wants to go on the stage or do a TV show.  Nobody wants to get out there, you know?

The band loves being in the Apple studio.

2:31:45 — George: “The things that have worked out best ever for us haven’t really been planned any more than this has. . . . You know, whatever it’s going to be, it becomes that, you know?”
John talks about how this started out as Paul’s “number” — “but now it’s turned into our number.”
2:32:50 — John asks George “What do you think?” — nice.  But George doesn’t answer in the moment.
John is really leading the discussion to come up with what they’re going to do.
George on the Apple Studio: “I think this is the nicest place I’ve been in a long time, this studio.  Also, this is the most I’ve ever played, by playing every day.  I can feel my fingers getting loose.  I just wanna play.”
John: “That’s what it was about.”

2:34:50 — Paul on the difference between 16mm and 35mm.  (The film has all been shot on 16mm so far, but one or two 35mm cameras are seen on the roof.)

Show planning talk that really reveals they all have it in their minds that this is the end.

2:34:57 — John: “Just the still photos would make a UA movie with a soundtrack on it.”  [and fulfill the third film requirement of their 1964 3-picture deal with United Artists]

2:35:03 — George: “I think we should blow it up to 35 and if they don’t take it they’re fucking fools because they aren’t going to get anything else, are they?” — again, more group acceptance that there isn’t any more coming for this band.  This documentary really makes clear over and over that they knew the band was wrapping up.

2:35:15 — Paul says (correctly) that blowing up 16 to 35 “is a mess.”
MLH claims this will blow up alright — but of course the finished product as seen in theaters and on other formats proved it didn’t.

2:35:30 — Glyn: “It just seems like the last two days have gone so ridiculously well.”
John: “He’s right, you know.”

2:35:55 — Paul talking about the final show being “the end of it.”
Paul: “I want to go and have fun with it, rather than just finish off exactly as we started.  I’d like to do a (phoosh — grand arm spreading flourish) for the finish.” — again, it’s all talk about this being the end.
Paul: “I mean, just get out in the open, a change of scene, and go and do it somewhere else, do a live show, do it on a stage.  You know, I’d like to light a rocket to really sort of take off for the end of it.”  (!)

2:36:07 — the first time we see George with his psychedelic Stratocaster that he hand-painted himself in DayGlo colors that could be seen exactly a year earlier, January 1968, in color, on the Magical Mystery Tour TV broadcast.  😍

2:36:50 — I Lost My Little Girl — Paul song sung by John

Title cards:
“Arranging an alternative concert location within the next couple of days is not possible.”

“However, Michael and Glyn have a suggestion that might give Paul the payoff he’s hoping for.”

“They could stage a performance at a much more convenient location . . .”    😎

* 2:37:35 — GREAT footage of roof scouting  —  Paul & Ringo & Glyn & MLH & Mal & Kevin & Ethan the photographer, and obviously a cameraman, probably Tony Richmond.

2:39:02 — Paul & George Martin planning logistics including time for getting the other cameras in to shoot on Thursday.

The lads drinking red wine — and getting pretty loose and goofy.

2:39:17 — Ringo opens the box with his new music stand.  🙂

2:40:00 — Let It Be — many takes
George with his psychedelic painted Stratocaster.

2:40:45 — John playing the Fender Bass VI.

2:42:00 — “Groovy Bob” – Robert Fraser the art dealer shows up  🥳

2:45:19 — George Martin lying on floor reading newspaper.  😁

2:46:35 — Title cards:
“The Beatles decide to stage their rooftop performance on Wednesday.”

“Four days from now.”

2:46:50 — Credits start.  They’re 6 mins 25 secs long — again, song credits are unique to each episode, listed in order of appearance.

Cool Billy Preston-led “Blues Jam” plays over the credits.  This is likely the recording Mark Lewisohn cites as coming from the January 23rd sessions.

The Walk – a 1958 R&B hit by Jimmy McCrackin with Paul on lead vocals, recorded at Savile Row January 27th.

Without A Song — cool song from 1929 (!) by Vincent Youmans — Billy singing, and sounds like he’s on the grand piano.

Love Me Do — jamming version with Billy wailing on the electric piano.


Some observations after 2 episodes / 5½ hours, and just before the climactic episode drops at 3AM (Eastern) . . .

I’m SO glad — as Peter Jackson said, when they were given the 6-hour window by Disney, Peter & his editor very quickly decided, and I quote, “Let’s just make the movie we want,” he said, rubbing his hands together.  😍  And he said he included everything a Beatles fan would want to see, because (something like) “If we don’t put it in, it’s just going to go back in a vault for another 50 years.”

The fur coat John wears on the roof and is always referred to as Yoko’s was in fact the coat John always wears and carries with him.  And according to Deep Beatles aficionado Jan Fennick, the coat was actually his wife Cynthia’s mother’s!

My 33-year-old neighbor told me how she’s been watching it with her daughter, who has become a huge Beatles fan.  I’ve read similar comments online about how people are experiencing this intergenerationally.  This is a beautiful thing.  How many other rock bands / pop artists would evoke such a response?

John & Paul are really a creative partnership.  I was as guilty as many who thought they’d pretty much gone their separate ways even by The White Album the year before.  But you can see them here looking into each other’s eyes and working up these songs in tandem.

It was so great to see Paul so strongly defending John bringing Yoko to the rehearsals.  I had bought into the easy story that she had caused a fissure — but it’s clear none of his three bandmates are bothered by her at all.

It’s so nice to see John really on top of it and in control by the time they moved to the Savile Row studio.  I love how it’s John who asks Billy Preston to join the band, and that we get to see Billy’s ear-to-ear beaming reaction and blurting out “Are you’re kidding?!?!”  🥰

Peter Jackson has done a masterful job showing the real-life drama that was going on — the pressure of the pending live concert deadline, the near breakup of the band, the desperate need for a keyboard player — and then one just shows up!  Whadda story!!

I love how the band becomes a quintet — for both the sound and the energy.  John says at one point, “I’d like a fifth Beatle.”  To which Paul jokes, “It’s bad enough with four.”  ?

And I love how Paul is the big-picture structuralist, noticing the connections between the songs and mapping out a sequence — how Get Back and Two of Us (on our way home) are connected — and Don’t Let Me Down reflects Oh! Darling.

I know it’s been 5½ hours and will soon be nearly 8 — but this is the most intimate portrait ever made of the most influential band ever formed.

They knew the end was coming.  In Part One there was talk of a “divorce” and in Part Two they’re talking about going out with a bang.

It’s SO bizarre that guitar stands and music stands were not staples of major studios and bands’ gear in January 1969.  This is the biggest money-making group in the history of the world . . . and a Les Paul falls over at Twickenham cuz there’s no guitar stand in the joint!  Then when they get to Apple, there’s not a one, and they’re always picking them up lying on the ground!  Ringo is seen opening the packaging of the cheapest kind of music stand that exists … and he’s got a kid–on–Christmas–morning smile on his face like this is some treasured gift!  How the hell does EMI or Apple not have tons of great music stands?!?!

And now, the entire rooftop concert — which no layperson has ever seen, ever — is about to be streamed on this blessed Beatles day, minutes away.


EPISODE THREE — Days 17 thru 22 — January 26th thru 31st, 1969

2 hours & 18 mins

Recording, Rehearsing & Rooftop Concert at Savile Row

Title cards:

“The Beatles have been rehearsing for 16 days for a live album …
and possibly to stage some kind of a show.
They have to be finished by the end of the month.”

“The latest plan is to perform on the rooftop of their own building.
Three days from now . . .”

1:24 — Beautiful shot of bobbies on horseback riding past 3 Savile Row.

DAY 17 — Sunday, January 26th 

1:30 — Octopus’s Garden – Ringo singing his new song on the grand piano — only the second song he’s ever written (!) according to George.  Yay Ringo!

1:55 — George Harrison helps him writing it.  So nice.
3:28 — George Martin comes over and listens and mouths harmony.
4:03 — John calls Ringo Richie  🙂
4:25 — John plays drums for Ringo on his song.

Red wine or sherry or scotch or something in bottles on table.

4:29 — Paul is the last to arrive — with Linda and Heather.

4:45 — Heather funny kitten / cat talk – John goofs with her about eating them.  😁

5:35 — Let It Be — Billy back in the studio on piano.
6:12 — George Martin on electric piano.
6:42 — Heather on Ringo’s hi-hat.
7:03 — Paul instructing Ringo on lightening up on the drums.  At least according to the film editing, Ringo seems none too pleased with the suggestions.  😄

7:48 — Band jamming on something they called I Told You Before (Get Out Of The Door) — songwriting credited to all four — Paul on drums — Billy on the organ — George on guitar — John on the Fender Bass VI — and Yoko on atonal screeching, which 6-year-old Heather starts imitating.  Two versions of this song appeared on bootlegs, a 21-minute jam, and this is from the 8-minute version.

8:50 — John merging Twist and Shout and Dig It  (!)  — part of this performance is on the Let It Be album.  Paul on grand piano, Billy on organ.
9:34 — George Martin playing a shaker!
Lots of Heather footage.  🙂
9:39 — Mal dancing with Heather.  Mal’s got moves!  🙂

10:13 — Photographer Linda and band photographer Ethan Russell seen sitting together.

11:07 — Blue Suede Shoes – the Carl Perkins-penned song was first a hit for Perkins, then for Elvis.  John lead vocal.
Paul on the grand, Billy on the organ.

11:50 — Shake Rattle & Roll – the Big Joe Turner hit, also a hit for Bill Haley & the Comets.  John & Paul share lead vocals.

12:30 — The Long & Winding Road — several varying takes, Paul giving instructions.
John playing the Fender Bass VI.

13:07 — Linda taking photos

13:30 & 14:06 — Chris O’Dell seen sitting on the floor with Linda & Heather lying down.  She has a haircut like Goldie Hawn had around this time, but she tells me it was not intentional and was cut by Linda Cavendish in London.

Chris O'Dell in Peter Jackson's Beatles Get Back documentary

J&B scotch bottle in background.

14:33 — George Martin working with George Harrison on acoustic guitar.

15:00 — Paul coaching John on Long & Winding Road.

15:34 — Mal & Glyn trying to fix George’s guitar.

16:40 — the Long & Winding Road that appears on the album.

Funny–cool to see George Martin sitting on the floor in the studio.

17:20 — great long scene in the control room talking about the arrangement of Long and Winding Road.
18:15 — Paul: “The only way I’ve ever heard it in my head is like Ray Charles’ band.”
Billy Preston listening in.
That looks like Maureen Starkey in the green dress sitting on the floor.

19:30 — DAY 18 — Monday, January 27th

19:30 — Shake, Rattle & Roll again – band rockin out — Paul wailing on the grand.

20:18 — Kansas City (George lead vocal) / Miss Ann (Little Richard song – John lead vocal) / Blue Suede Shoes  (John lead vocal) 

20:19 — John seen jumping around, crunched down, t-shirt over knees.  🙂

Alan Parsons in pinstriped suit jacket in control room.

21:10 — John & Paul dancing together in control room  🙂

21:35 — George wrote a new song – it’s “happy and a rocker”  🙂
Talks about John’s advice “I keep hearing your advice from 10 years ago saying ‘finish ’em straight away, as soon as you start ’em, finish ’em.”

22:35 — Old Brown Shoe — new great George song – plays on grand piano for band – works out song in real time.

22:50 — Paul dancing to it.

23:30 — Hammond organ brought in — to go with the Leslie speaker (which George puts his guitar through, including on the Let It Be single).

23:35 — Paul on drums – using brushes.
23:40 — George on grand piano.
24:00 — Ringo on Fender Rhodes piano.
24:05 — Billy Preston on electric Fender Bass VI!

25:10 — Let It Be
Billy on electric piano.

26:37 — The Long & Winding Road

28:25 — Trying to get the PA and mics right.

30:20 — Oh! Darling
Glass of white wine on Billy’s piano — but at 38:30 you see Paul drinking from it.  😉
30:50 — John says, “Just heard that Yoko’s divorce has just gone through.”

31:30 — Don’t Let Me Down

31:55 — John handwriting lyrics on the top of the grand piano.
32:24 — Great Billy electric piano part — John: “Oh, Little Willie! Yeah!”

33:10 — The film & studio guys goof around on the instruments — Alan Parsons on Billy’s electric piano.

33:30 — The band going over the proposed book layout — and reading newspaper reports about themselves and laughing and goofing on them.
34:01 & 34:23 — Newspaper headline: “John Lennon loves Yoko.”

34:00 — Strawberry Fields Forever!  Paul singing (!) on grand piano.

34:35 — MLH planning the shots for the roof concert.

35:05 — Get Back — multiple takes

36:02 — 20-year-old Alan Parsons seen in control room – then again at 37:20, 38:26, 39:55, 42:30, 42:42, 42:56, 1:04:40.

37:00 — Take These Chains From My Heart – Hank Williams hit (although he didn’t write it) – Paul singing

37:35 — George Martin: “You were very good, Bill.”

High energy in the studio as the concert approaches.

38:00 — another Get Back – several takes – lively.
George in his flower slippers  😁

40:00 — Get Back — more different versions, including the one from the album.

40:14 — great shot of George & Billy smiling and grooving together in the control room.

40:31 — Ringo gives Yoko a stick of Doublemint Gum – cute scene of her tearing it in two and giving half to John.

41:25 — I’ve Got A Feeling — John’s voice ragged (a la Twist & Shout)

44:00 — Ringo rockin out at the end.  🙂

The short red-ish haired woman with the big glasses is Sally Burgess from the Apple Press Office.

45:15 — Paul: “John’s got something [a meeting] at 1:30, and so do I.”

45:50 — George Martin: “Good night, Rich” to Ringo.

46:00 — DAY 19 — Tuesday, January 28th — two days before rooftop concert

Title card:
“A bad weather forecast delays the rooftop concert by 24 hours.” (pushing it to Thursday)

46:35 — Writing down list of songs they can do on the roof.

47:20 — John: “I’m trying to get us to do one of George’s in the first batch.”  💝

47:55 — Kevin opening wine bottles.  😄

48:00 — Something by George
48:01 — Fleetwood Mac’s single Need Your Love So Bad seen on top of Billy’s electric piano.
48:03 (and 1:00:40) — roadie Kevin adjusting some weird instrument

Kevin Harrington adjusting weird instrument in Apple Studio in Get Back

48:15 — George trying to figure out the lyrics for Something, asks Paul & John.
John: “Just say whatever comes into your head each time.  ‘Attracts me like a cauliflower,’ until you get the word, you know?”

49:45 — Love Me Do — their very first single! — but the first time done as a quintet!

50:15 — Paul leaves to go to a meeting (!)  It’s never revealed what it is.

50:25 — I’ve Got A Feeling — just the three of them plus Billy — several takes.
George with his psychedelic hand-painted Stratocaster.

50:45 — John asks Glyn to fix his mic cuz “it keeps falling down” – requires a screwdriver.

50:48 — image of typed lyrics to I’ve Got A Feeling

51:35 — fans looking in the basement window — again around 53:30, 1:00:35 and 1:04:30.

52:35 — Kevin opening white wine bottles, then pouring glasses.

53:00 — John mentions meeting with Allen Klein, then starts raving about him.  😓  “I just think he’s fantastic.”  “He knows everything about everything.  Very interesting guy.  I was there till 2 in the morning.”  😥
John didn’t want to bring it up in passing like this.
John to George: “He knows me as much as you do!”
John says the Stones get much more in royalties than the Beatles do.
Images from the Stones’ Rock n Roll Circus show.

55:25 — Old Brown Shoe — George on grand piano, then standing delivering vocal sans instrument.
Billy on the Fender Bass VI, and then on piano as George sings.

55:35 — George wants some black leather shoes, size 8.  😄

56:50 — First John, then Ringo, then Billy playing the weird handheld electronic instrument — a Stylophone — a stylus-operated keyboard invented by Brian Jarvis in 1967, first put into production in 1968.  Bowie used one on Space Oddity.

58:10 — Paul back in studio.

58:25 — Don’t Let Me Down

59:00 — John to George Martin: “I’ve had some wine you know.”  🤪

59:20 — Don’t Let Me Down — the version released as the B-side of Get Back.

1:00:00 — I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Lennon/McCartney)
Paul on giant shaker.

1:00:20 — Half A Pound of Greasepaint (Lennon/McCartney) — goofing song

Lots of full white wine glasses being passed around.

1:00:51 — Ringo playing a bell tree in his leprechaun-green suit matching the Apple carpeting.  😁

1:01:15 — Control room playback footage.  Derek Taylor’s there.

1:01:30 — John: “Allen Klein’s here.”

Title card:
“The Beatles head upstairs for their first meeting with Allen Klein.”  😰

1:01:50 — DAY 20 — Wednesday, January 29th — the day before the rooftop concert

1:01:55 — Ringo tells MLH they’ll have “about six” numbers to do on the roof tomorrow.  (They end up doing five different ones.)

1:02:15 — John & Glyn talking about Allen Klein.  John says how they met last night till 12 or 12:30.  “Went through everything.” … “He’s fantastic.”  😥  Glyn thinks Klein’s “strange, very strange,” rude and dismissive of others.
1:02:35 — John: “We’re all hustlers.”
Ringo: “A conman who’s on our side for a change.”

1:03:10 — MLH talking about 9 cameras for the roof concert.  He certainly does get cameras in the right places to capture the climax.

1:03:12 — Paul: “The best bit of us, always has been and always will be, is when we’ve got our backs against the wall, and we’ve been rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing.  And he [John] knows it’s a take on the dub.  And he does it great.”

MLH talking about the need for some kind of an audience.

1:03:45 — Ringo’s “I farted.”  😮

1:03:55 — Tony Richmond: “Paul, what’s the problem?  We’ve got everything set for tomorrow.”
Paul: “The roof is, like, too far out.”  😲

1:04:30 — John & Paul tight face-to-face conversation.  Glyn sitting right next to them.  (Alan Parsons sitting a few feet away – looks stoned  😎)
John: “I can’t wait to work it, you know?”
Deep conversation about their aim and goals.
Paul saying it’s just an album that they’re doing.  John says “albums is what we do.”
John sort of looks a bit old and weary.
But I love the way he really does focus right in on Paul’s face — very intently.  These are two guys who’ve sat face-to-face and had heavy life-changing conversations for 10 years.

1:05:00 — Paul mentions how George doesn’t want to do films.
Paul: “For who is tomorrow the day?  It’s not for me.”
Paul wants to do the end of the movie *in* the studio.  What an idiot.  😮  He embraces it once it happens — but how does not see its potential?!

1:07:10 — John: “I think we’d be daft to not do it.”  [the rooftop concert]
1:07:15 — George joins the conversation.
1:08:00 — Ringo joins.
Ultimately it’s — John, Paul, George, Ringo, George Martin, Glyn Johns, MLH & Tony Richmond.

1:08:20 — John: “We’ve only got to seven [songs].  Let’s do seven.”
Paul pauses and sort of reluctantly says “Yeah.”

1:08:38 — Paul: “The only people who have to agree to what we’re doing is the four of us — and we’re the only ones who haven’t even talked about it.  We had the meeting before all this and said ‘TV show.’  That’s what I have to get in my head.  [But] It’s an album.”

1:08:50 — George: “All that footage of film could make about half a dozen films.”

1:09:15 — Paul: “This TV show was supposed to be a TV show of the last album.  But when we came to do it we said we’ll write new songs.”

1:09:23 — John walks away briefly from the Paul–Glyn conversation.

1:10:05 — George Martin says the songs are “at a stage where it’s a dress rehearsal stage, where if you did a performance, it would probably be it.”  Sounds like he’s advocating for the performance on the roof.

1:10:20 — John talks about the physical strain of doing Don’t Let Me Down and all the rest.

MLH keeps stressing how “we don’t have an ending.”  But what’s the rooftop concert if not a climactic ending?

1:12:00 — Paul: “Get it together now [record the songs properly] instead of talking about the show.  Get it so we’ve got the 14 songs.  We’re talking about this abstract thing we hope to get, and by talking about it we’re not getting it.”

1:12:55 — George: “I’ll do it if we’ve got to go on the roof.  But I don’t want to go on the roof.”

Paul & George don’t want to do the rooftop concert – Ringo & John want to.  As do the film crew, and seemingly George Martin.

* 1:13:05 —  BOOM!  When George & Paul are poo-pooing it  —
Ringo says, “I would like to go on the roof” — and that really seems to change the equation.
Paul to Ringo: “You would like to?”  Ringo nods in the affirmative.
John: “Yes, I’d like to go on the roof.”

1:13:20 — Paul: “Have we got a list of the songs we’ve done?”
And George Martin cooly pulls one out of his jacket pocket.  😍
They go through all the song titles of everything they’ve been working on.

1:14:30 — Dig It — very high energy / crazy.
John cross-legged on chair — sings the song list like it’s lyrics.  🙂
Paul McCartney’s brother Mike seen playing the grand piano.

1:16:15 — George H. to John: “I’ve got my quota of tunes for the next ten years, or albums.”
Discusses the idea to do albums solo but also preserving the Beatles.
Yoko: “It’s great.  That’s a good idea.”
It’s so sad they couldn’t have just taken a break and done solo projects.  The Grateful Dead members used to put out solo albums that various bandmates would play on — but they didn’t disband the group.
Ringo album had all four Beatles contributing in 1973.
Paul said after this conversation came to light via Peter Jackson that he wished he knew about this idea back then.
How music history might have been different!

1:17:30 — I Want You – great wild jamming.
* Billy singing his own improvised “I had a dream” riff.  Great!  Joyous.  Cool.  Free-form fun.  Great highlight segment.
Paul on lap steel (the “Hawaiian”).
Billy moves to the Hammond organ — then the Fender Rhodes.
Great high-energy fun jam to climax the in-studio playing before the rooftop show.

1:17:52 — As mentioned above — it’s so bizarre they don’t have guitar stands.  You can see George’s just leaning up against the wall.  (!)

1:19:40 — Two Of Us – funny – with clenched teeth.  🙂

THIS is a FUN band.  Like Brian Epstein said how their sense of humor was part of what attracted him to them.  And it reminds me of what Jerry Garcia’s bandmates shared about him in recent years, that Jerry’s motivation was always, “Will it be fun?” and if the answer was Yes, he’d do it.  🙂

1:21:38 — Looking at the set list and order.  John: “That’s the existing cacophony.”  😅

1:21:42 — John: “Put the ones we know in a hat, then shuffle them out to see which order we do them in.”  🙂

John puts on the fur coat.

Note:  On this day, according to Lewisohn, the band also played Not Fade Away during their workouts.  Geez — sure wish Peter Jackson included that somehow!  They also played a more obscure Buddy Holly song — Mailman Bring Me No More Blues, also not in the film.  We live in hope for the DVD/Blu-Ray extras.  😘

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Something cool about the rooftop concert I wasn’t expecting is that we as viewers now know so many of the characters who are on the roof!  Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Tony Richmond the DP, Mal Evans, Kevin the red-headed roadie, Maureen Starkey, Peter Brown of Apple … there’s a richness of character development that I wasn’t expecting.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg and Tony Richmond do deserve top props for their short timeframe preparation and their camera work.

1:22:55  —  DAY 21  —  ROOFTOP CONCERT  —  Thursday, January 30th

10 cameras total — five on the roof, three on street, one on the roof across the street, one hidden in the lobby.  💖

I assume when the DVD/Blu-Ray is finally released, there will be the option to watch the entire rooftop concert without any street cutaways. 😉

DP Tony Richmond in a later-to-be Johnny Depp hat.  😄

Footage of George Martin & Glyn Johns entering Apple on this climactic day.
Then both seen down in the basement control room.
1:24:25 — Alan Parsons seen loading tape in downstairs studio, and later working on roof.

Debbie Wellum — Apple receptionist
Jimmy Clark — dapper doorman

1:25:22 — Paul (in a 3-piece suit) comes out of the stairwell first, followed by Ringo & Maureen, then Billy.

1:25:59 — Love the fans seen on the roof across the street leaning against a chimney!  Paul waves to them, and they yell, “What’s going on?”  🙂  How fun & cool it must have been to be those guys!!  They’re like me — up on the roof.  🙂

1:26:09 — There’s a quick closeup shot of Paul with the St. James church spire and Big Ben just beyond him. 😉

Peter Jackson's Beatles Get Back documentary rooftop Paul McCartney

1:26:18 — Ringo: “Mal?!  You nailed me down in the wrong place.”

1:26:20 — Chris O’Dell seen sitting in the end seat on the stage left side.

1:26:24 — George arrives on the roof.
1:26:28 — John arrives on roof.

1:26:31 — Chris O’Dell seen again, talking to Maureen in their seats.
Those are chairs from downstairs that they’re sitting on.  I always wondered.

1:26:48 — Alan Parsons on the roof helping set up Ringo’s drums. (orange shirt, suit jacket)  He’s later seen (1:30:50) standing on stage right with the sound/recording crew.

Great cinematic storytelling by Peter Jackson.

1:27:30–1:27:59 — Get Back – 30-second soundcheck / tech test.

1:27:55 — Great shot of the four (and only four!) guests / audience — Yoko, Maureen, Ken Mansfield in the white coat (Apple Records U.S. Manager) and Chris O’Dell.

1)  1:28:25 – 1:31:29 — Get Back for real.  George counts it in (!)  😉  3-minute songs, man!  Wow.
Peter Jackson does split screens!
Then triptychs!!!
1:28:47 — great camera pan of the London skyline — you can see Westminster & Big Ben in the nearby distance, and St. James’s Church spire close by.

view from Beatles rooftop with Big Ben and Westminster Peter Jackson documentary

1:28:55 — Kevin Harrington can be seen rocking out in joy on stage left.  💓

1:29:25 — great split-screen edit — 4 guys waving from a rooftop, and Paul seeming to see them and get a kick out of it — maybe in part because they looked so much like the four bobbies on the wall in last year’s Magical Mystery Tour.

Peter Jackson Beatles Get Back documentary Paul McCartney and fans

1:29:33 — John blows on his fingers mid-song to warm them up!
It looks like Apple’s Peter Brown behind the stairwell window.

Ringo’s crackin . . . and Billy’s wailin. 😉

1:30:58 — There’s a nice shot from behind the band, and you can see Mo (Maureen Starkey) rockin out.  🙂

1:31:10 — Nice capture in upper right of Mal & Kevin groovin in joy.

1:31:22 — The cameraman in the beige trench coat in back of the band with wooden tripod shooting people on other roofs has a 35mm film magazine.

End of the song John is holding his hands together trying to warm up his fingers.

There’s talk about getting more vocals in the monitors.  (there’s always talk about getting more vocals in the monitors!!  😄)

Street commentary.  Funny typical Londoners circa January 1969.  🙂

2)  1:32:25 – 1:35:29 — Get Back – take two — again, three minutes

More wonderful triptychs!  Very cool choices and collages by Peter Jackson.

1:33:27 — the classic man with pipe & hat walking out onto the roof.

1:33:30 — Great closeup of Mo rockin out again.  🥰
Gawd bless ‘er . . . and see below.  😉

Billy’s wailing.  🙂  He loves this song.  😍

More great triptychs by Peter Jackson!

1:34:40 — Tony Richmond, sans hat, seen hastily carrying the 35mm camera from behind the band to in front of them, with the guy in the long beige trench coat trailing.

1:34:57 — Tony laying down on wooden floor in front of John & George with the 35mm.  Then he scooches up right underneath John.

1:35:25 to 1:36:06 — Numerous clear shots of Tony Richmond with the 35mm on his shoulder sitting on floor looking up at John and George.

Yoko is so sadly unresponsive and stoney-faced throughout the entire concert.  😢

Think about the 50 or 100 people (tops) on the various rooftops who were watching.  What an experience for them!  And they’re all just employees of neighboring stores on Savile Row.

It’s kind of amazing there’s such a clear audio recording of the vocals and different instruments, including in these windy conditions.  Gawd bless George Martin, Glyn Johns & company.  💖

Peter Jackson is really into telling and merging the stories of the multiple experiences — from the band, to the crew people, to the spouses, to those on the rooftops, to those on the street.  He’s a natural storyteller. 😉

3)  1:35:47 – 1:39:04 — Don’t Let Me Down – take one – 3:17 long.
Great triptychs!  If this was eligible for an Oscar, this chit would win him and Jabez Olssen Best Editing.  😉
There is a Best Editing category in the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys — so maybe there.
Great sound!
John wailing!

* 1:36:07 — great shot from across the street of the whole “set.”

3 Savile Row from across the street in Peter Jackson Get Back documentary

Funny plays with street-level reactions.
Great band camerawork!
1:37:34 — Tony Richmond seen lying on his back shooting up at George. 

1:38:18 — Cops first show up on the street – 10 minutes after the band started — noise complaints – “disturbing the peace.”

4)  1:39:05 – 1:42:33 — I’ve Got A Feeling — the version deservedly on the album
The band is really getting into a joyous groove.
I disagree with some of Peter Jackson’s choices here with so much focus on things other than the band’s historic performance on the roof.
But great two- and four-camera screen splits!

Paul and the band are really getting into it.  Loosened up — and rockin. 😉

Paul McCartney cute and smiling on Apple rooftop in Beatles final concert

Cops enter Apple lobby.
Hidden camera in lobby is hilarious and brilliant.
They just leave the cops standing in the lobby.  🤣

Receptionist Debbie mentions Derek Taylor — who has been oddly absent from most-all the doc footage!

Great visual storytelling by Peter Jackson.

1:40:58 — the 35mm is now on the shoulder of the beige trench coat cameraman pointed across the street.  It seems to be used mostly to get distance shots.

1:41:22 — Nice (but sadly rare) Billy footage in the 2-shot with him on the right screen.

As soon as the song ends, John holds his fingers together again to warm them up.

1:42:45 — John then George then Ringo walk over and look over the roof edge at the people below.  🙂

The street comments are both hilarious and cool.
1:43:25 — the goofy rosy-cheeked young guy who doesn’t like them because, “Not now.  They’ve changed completely.”  😅

1:43:40 — Bitchy old lady — “It just can’t see that it makes sense.  It woke me up from my sleep and I don’t like it.”  😁
It’s funny — you can see a middle-aged guy in a suit leaning against a wall kind of laughing at her.  🙂

5)  1:43:59 – 1:46:43 — One After 909 — the version that’s on the album — again a 2¾ min song!
GREAT triptychs!
Billy Preston — great contributions!
1:45:13 — George Martin & Peter Brown seen in the roof doorway.

1:45:38 — The super-valuable cameraman who caught such great shots from the top of the structure next to the roof entrance is seen in a brief shot on the left screen.  He’s holding a 35mm.  It’s either the same one we’ve seen on the deck that’s been passed up to him, or after the discussion 5 days earlier, MLH & Tony Richmond brought in a couple higher resolution cameras for the London skyline panorama distance shots.  We never see well enough the camera on the roof across the street to tell what he’s using.

1:45:59 and on & off thru the end of the song — Mo is boppin her head and REALLY into it — just as she would be in the control room playback later.  Maybe she remembers them playing it back in the Cavern days.
She sure seems like the coolest and most fun of the significant others at this point.

She’s also the link — The Cavern regular who just loved their music … and Ringo most of all.
Along with Mal, she’s the only one who was in the Cavern cellar AND the Apple rooftop when the basement lads had grown to be the biggest band in the world.

1:46:10 — Here begins several great shots of the band, the stage, the assembled listeners, and the immediate neighborhood by the cameraman on top of the stairway entrance.
And in the middle, there’s another real nice establishing shot of the building and block from across the street.

Their hands are cold.  John’s holding his fingers together trying to warm them.

1:47:22 — Post song: Mal to the cops in the lobby – “I’m The Beatles’ Road Manager.”  Says he’ll turn off the PA . . . and then doesn’t.  😂
Noodling of Dig A Pony heard in the background.

Poor Debbie in the lobby holds off the cops but never gets to see the show of the band she’s working for.

Johnny Depp-like Tony Richmond doing the clapper. 

6)  1:49:30 ­– 1:53:15 — Dig A Pony — the version on the album.
John counts in the song.
Ginger Kevin holding the lyrics for John.

More great triptychs!

Cop: “Surely something can be done.”  🤣

Mal bullshits cops he’s turned off the PA and is now going down to the studio, and the cops say, “Okay.”  🙂

1:50:15 — John’s absolutely loving this live performance experience!  🙂

1:53:16 — John, post song — “Me hands are getting too cold to play a chord now.”

1:53:25 — The two “Apple Scruffs” – Eileen Kensley & Sue Ahearne – who we met in episode two can be seen standing behind the hood of the silver car.

1:53:53 — Great street comments.  Funny cool chicks.  “They get around don’t they.”  😊
1:54:18 and 1:55:08 — and old man in hat.  Wants his daughter to marry a Beatle “because they’ve got money.”  😆

1:55:17 — Funny cool jam on God Save The Queen  🙂  According to Mark Lewisohn this was the band filling in time as new tape rolls were loaded downstairs.

7)  1:55:45 – 1:59:18 — I’ve Got A Feelingtake two – great 3½ min. version
Street comments about their sons liking the music.
Ringo has never used the music stand he unwrapped and has next to him.  😅
Billy P great again!
Ringo’s kickin ass!

1:57:34 — White coat Ken moves to stand on the side next to Kevin the roadie — and Yoko, Maureen & Chris O’Dell are now sitting side-by-side.  💝
1:57:51 — nice to see photographer Ethan Russell rockin it & directing cinematic traffic on the roof.

1:58:20–58:32 — Six screen split!!  Incredible!!  — the five cameras on the roof, plus the one on the roof across the street.

* 1:58:56–59:10 — beautiful, incredible triptych of Ringo absolutely powering the band!!

* 1:59:12 — the great Ringo final cymbal crash end to the song  😍
Do not miss!  🎁

8)  1:59:40 – 2:02:58 — Don’t Let Me Down — take two — 3:18 – great performance
1:59:37 — Mal ushers the cops onto the roof.
1:59:48 — you can see the legs of the cameraman & somebody else on the higher roof structure where they’re getting those shots from.  😉
1:59:56 — Tony Richmond physically moves a cameraman into place.
2:00:00 — Paul looks back and sees the cops – smiles and lets out a big happy “Wooo!”  😍
2:00:24 — Ringo notices them shortly thereafter.
2:00:42 — John’s the last to notice cuz he’s at the mic singing.
Mal’s holding the cops off.
* John’s rockin!!  🤩

John Lennon pointing on Apple rooftop

Billy’s cookin’ again.  The lads love him.  😉
2:01:37 — doorman Jimmy Clark seen arriving in door on roof
2:01:39 — Senior Sargent cop shows up on the street, then in lobby, then goes up to the roof.
2:02:33 — some actual Billy footage!

9)  2:02:58 – 2:06:00 — George kicks them right into a rocking Get Back — take three


2:03:08 — Mal turns off George’s amp (as per the police)
2:03:21 — then Mal turns off John’s amp
John & George both turn to Mal.  “What?”
*  Ringo, Paul & Billy keep wailing.  *

*  2:03:34 — George turns his amp back on!  😍

Beatles rooftop concert best moment George Harrison turning his amp back on

We always think (correctly) of John being the rebel leader in the band.  But in this moment it’s George.

2:03:40then Mal turns John’s amp back on.

Ringo, Paul & Billy keep playing and don’t lose the song — gawd bless ’em.

It was GEORGE’s act of subversion that makes the grand finale happen.  In that moment he’s the bandleader calling the tune!  He deserves huge props for that.

2:04:25 — funny Monty Pythonesque shot of Sgt Cop in his comical helmet scowling in the back while Paul is singing.  🙂

2:05:17 — cops leave down stairway.

Billy’s WAILING.

Peter Jackson’s choice to includ the final Savile Row guy’s complaint in the middle of this last song is my only real editorial beef with his 7½ hours.

2:06:04 — Paul: “Thanks, Mo,” with a big smile to Ringo’s wife.

I’m a stage performer, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, cuz it’s true — you often perform to one person in the audience.  If you can make them love it, maybe everyone else will, too.  John Fogerty tells the story about CCR’s performance at Woodstock, and how one guy yelled out a line of support, and John says he played the whole show to that one guy.  Well, on the Apple roof, the performers were playing to no one but a film crew and four guests.  THAT’s why Paul thanked her.  At least one person was getting it.  And I know as a performer, that’s all you need.  . . . and how horrible this performance might have been for the performers if there wasn’t one person who was responding.  Unassuming relatively unknown Maureen Starkey deserves the highest praise for the joyous vibe of The Beatles’ last performance.

2:06:06 — John: “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.”

2:06:13 — rooftop performance over.

In this doc the performance runs — 1:28:25 to 2:06:13 — roughly 37 minutes and 50 seconds.

From Paul walking out on the roof until the end of the rooftop footage is 41:30.

9 songs.  5 different.

Get Back — 3 times
Don’t Let Me Down — 2 times
I’ve Got A Feeling — 2 times
One After 909 — 1 time
Dig A Pony — 1 time

The performances that made it onto the Let It Be album:

I’ve Got A Feeling
One After 909
Dig A Pony

Great wrap-up shots.

2:06:47 — MLH: “As soon as you’ve got that covered, that’s a wrap.”

2:06:53 — Cops leave out the Savile Row lobby.

2:07:17 — Band in the downstairs control room talking about the show and listening to playback.
Fantastic post-show debriefing, and jamming other ideas of how to do a rooftop concert even better.  🙂
2:08:00 — Maureen Starkey’s LOVING it!  🙂  and again at 2:09:30.
2:09:09 — John & Yoko closeness shots.
2:09:56 — Ringo puts his hand on Paul & Linda’s.

The band members were clearly at ease with the cameras at this point, and everybody was feeling great, and the film crew were able to capture some pretty special intimacy here that would normally never be seen outside of the handful of those present.  And I mean any band’s intimate moment this.  And this is the freakin Beatles!  … right after they walked offstage from arguably their greatest live performance ever.
This is incredible stuff!  💖

The band want to keep recording, but it takes too long to get their gear back down from the roof and re-set up, so they call it a day.

2:10:50 — Day 22— the last day — Friday, January 31st

“The Apple Studio Performance” — as Lewisohn says the tape boxes are labeled for this day in the basement studio.

2:11:07 — Credits start to roll — set to footage of different song snippets they run through with 2-and-3-screen splits.

2:11:07 — Take This Hammer – a few seconds of the old Leadbelly song
2:11:18 — Two Of Us – snippet
2:11:27 — Friendship­ – the Cole Porter song, with modified, shall we say “Liverpool lyrics”
2:11:39 — Five Feet High and Rising – by Johnny Cash
2:11:47 — Run For Your Life – Beatles song from Rubber Soul

2:12:20 — Two Of Us — staged studio performance (partial) — the recording that’s on the album.
3 screens.

2:13:24 — The Long and Winding Road – several partial takes.

* 2:14:37 — Let It Be – staged studio performance – parts of various takes — eventually includes part of the performance on the album.

They’re having so much fun together.

2:15:45 — John: “I’ll never get Maggie Mae done if we go on like this.”  🤣

2:18:00 — END OF FILM




Some post-doc thoughts . . .

I sorta feel at the moment like this is the greatest movie ever made.

I’ve been seriously studying film for the last 18 months, and there is nothing like this — 7½ hours of prime-time behind-the-scenes footage and storytelling of masters making masterpieces.

I know we’ve had some Mona Lisas — but this is the Sistine Chapel of music documentaries.

This is an historic portrait of the most important collective of artists, probably ever, in any medium.

I love me some Grateful Dead, and Michelangelo blows my mind, and I’m a huge Scorsese fan . . . but none of these people changed the world the way The Beatles did.  And there’s never been anything remotely like this documentary on how this collective created their art.

This is an expansive, detail-rich novel of a movie.  (Not to mention a novel movie  😉)

People today are used to getting their news and art in meme-sized chucks — and suddenly here’s this guy creating a non-fiction Lord of The Rings-like epic.

Or think of it this way —
There’s no 7½-hour behind-the-scenes creation documentary like this about Dylan or Bird or Orson or Picasso or Sinatra or Elvis or Dali or Kerouac or . . . . . no deep-reveal multi-hour intimate entree into any of their processes.

But there now is for The Beatles (no less!)


The part where Glyn Johns tell George Harrison about Jimmy Page forming a new group (Led Zeppelin) is actually from one of the bootleg Nagra tapes and is not in the documentary.  But you can hear it here.


One other observation — they took the weekends off — even in the middle of recording an album — on a tight deadline!

When I’m writing a book, I don’t think, “Oh, it’s Friday night, I’ll knock off for the weekend.”

When people are making a movie, it doesn’t all stop for two days on Friday evening.

It’s just so funny / bizarre that they keep sorta blue collar workingman hours.  😲


The Technology:

The new MAL technology Peter Jackson & company invented while making this is revolutionary — turning single track tapes into multitrack.  Not only is this documentary historic because of its Beatles reveal (and an unmitigated masterpiece of editing) but it’s also gonna be known to history as the film that invented an audio ability to separate tracks.

Also, if you don’t know — Peter Jackson and his co-creator named it MAL — for Mal Evans!  but also cuz it’s M-ultitrack A-rtifical intelligence L-ogistics, and it rhymes with 2001’s famous artificial intelligence machine HAL.  They would say to each other as they were editing a new section, “Let’s give this to Mal.”  🥰  

He said of the audio improvements via the new MAL system, they originally needed around 2,000 closed captioning comments, but after Mal got done with it, they were down to 500.

Then add to that the visual information saturation we see in this digitally remastered footage — making this effectively a different medium than the original documentary.  We can now read words written on notepaper and see what other instruments are lying around in corners.


I love these quotes from the Variety review . . .

““Get Back” isn’t a breakup movie — it’s a miniseries filled with great musical makeup sex.”  😍

“A film project that lets us look in, at leisurely length, on the creative process as well as personalities of genius-superstars who really are Just Like Us.  In 60 years’ worth of pop music movies, that’s something we’ve never really gotten.”

“Seeing Lennon and McCartney invested so thoroughly in each other’s songs here, and Harrison taking great pains to offer brilliant contributions to both despite the feelings expressed earlier, and Starr as the glue-iest glue of all time… there’s little way to compare their complementary humility to anyone else’s, other than to imagine that Tchaikovsky kept coming by Beethoven’s flat because he really wanted to help out with the arrangement to make his songs better.”  😄



If you want to support living artists and this page you can always buy a book!  🥰


If you liked this, you might enjoy this nonfiction Adventure Tale about the original Beat in the Beatles — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac — including tons of references to the band and Lennon.  🙂

Or if you like Adventures in sixties music you’d probably love Holy Cats!  Dream-Catching at Woodstock about sneaking into the 25th anniversary of the ’69 concert and catching Bob Dylan, the Band, Joe Cocker, Traffic, the Allman Brothers & a ton of others — all with a heavy weaving presence of John Lennon.  😍


Or if, like John, you’ve got some political activism and Prankster playfulness surging through your soul you’d prolly love Blissfully Ravaged in Democracy: Adventures in Politics 1980–2020 including some rooftop escapades.  😉

Or here’s the de facto sequel to Get Back — when John Lennon flew to Toronto to perform at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival with the Plastic Ono Band.


by Brian Hassett   —

Or here’s my Facebook page if you wanna join in there —

Tags: ·····················

67 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gubba Topham // Dec 28, 2021 at 12:54 AM

    What a fantastic job you have done. Even just identifying some of the people like Alan Parsons and Pattie Boyd (Harrison).
    Thanks so much for this. Gonna read it all in detail. I’ll follow along in the book, too. This is f’n Epic!

    And I love some of your additional info … like how Mal and Mo are the only two that have been in the picture all the way from the Cavern to the rooftop!

  • 2 Marci Sherell Zabell // Dec 28, 2021 at 2:09 AM

    Thank you Brian for this invaluable piece of work. You have done a service to the world! ❤️

  • 3 Jonathan Skovron // Dec 28, 2021 at 6:57 AM

    You deserve a bloody medal for this!!

  • 4 Linda Madon // Dec 28, 2021 at 7:35 AM

    After watching the trilogy twice, I felt I was still missing a lot of the dialog. I went out and purchased the companion book with transcriptions. That helped a lot. Now I read your epic analysis and have picked up even more that wasn’t even in the transcriptions. Thanks so much for your diligence and insight.

    I love how episode #1 started and ended with George singing In Spite of All the Danger and Isn’t It a Pity.

    Also, I’ve forwarded this to Chris O’Dell who was feeling kind of down because she was erroneously omitted from the credits. Your generosity to her will be greatly appreciated.

  • 5 John McGlinchey // Dec 28, 2021 at 10:31 AM

    You Sir, are a genius and a scholar.

  • 6 Scott Anderson // Dec 28, 2021 at 10:47 AM

    Wow, man — just Wow! Great job!!!

  • 7 Christopher Moore // Dec 28, 2021 at 11:50 AM

    THAT’s what heroes do.

  • 8 Lori Peters // Dec 28, 2021 at 2:26 PM

    This is a wonderful tool! Thanks for taking the time for the task. Much appreciated!! ❤️

  • 9 Tammy Martineau Fiedler // Dec 28, 2021 at 4:52 PM

    Awesome work! Very impressive! You should have written the book! Great job!!!!

  • 10 Al Robinson // Dec 28, 2021 at 6:17 PM

    I like that among the first lines from John & Paul are who’s the old man & he is clean taken from A Hard Days Night. 🙂

  • 11 Brian Humniski // Dec 28, 2021 at 7:13 PM

    This is going to be a valuable crib sheet for viewing number three.

  • 12 Randy Goldner // Dec 28, 2021 at 8:11 PM

    Nice. Very useful. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

  • 13 Kevin E. Draper // Dec 28, 2021 at 11:12 PM

    Wow! What a labor of love! Thank-you!

  • 14 Eric Predoehl // Dec 29, 2021 at 1:36 AM


  • 15 Carrie McCarthy // Dec 29, 2021 at 5:54 AM

    Thanks, Brian!

  • 16 Jacquelyn Bailey Benichov // Dec 29, 2021 at 12:29 PM

    This is extraordinary and very helpful!
    You must have had to use the Disney + rewind/stop/forward feature a lot in the process of writing all of this. Didn’t you find it difficult? ( or is it just me?). I find the feature in Netflix is easier and more precise.

  • 17 Brian // Dec 29, 2021 at 1:41 PM

    Jacquelyn — At first I was doing it as the show was ChromeCast to my TV, but there was a couple second delay when hitting pause — so then I started doing it on my laptop where the pause was instantaneous — plus there’s that helpful “back 10 seconds” button.

    The first draft on the first viewings was purely typing the song titles real quick in a Word doc just so I’d have that.
    Then I’d watch it a second time and add in more stuff.

    Then once I realized what I had, I did the more precise time-coding from the laptop — where I could of course pause it and go look up some obscure song they jammed, or for instance the Tower Ballroom that Paul mentioned once. Don’t miss that link. Boy do I ever wanna go to that place!

  • 18 John Hawkins // Dec 29, 2021 at 5:54 PM

    Fantastic work!

  • 19 Neil Johnston // Dec 29, 2021 at 7:22 PM

    A fabulous project Brian. Thanks for going to so much trouble … AND for sharing it so generously!!

  • 20 Nick Mazzanti // Dec 29, 2021 at 9:44 PM

    That is so cool. Thanks, Brian!

  • 21 Craig Harrison // Dec 29, 2021 at 11:08 PM

    This is awesome! I’d love to drop in footage from the 1970 movie left off of the new documentary, and be able to add those to the viewing experience. I have a version of the movie with upgraded/correct audio dubbed in, but it’s the picture that needs cleaning up, which I presume we’ll see in the official release next year.

  • 22 Brian // Dec 30, 2021 at 1:17 AM

    Yeah, Craig! There’s never been a DVD/Blu-ray release better positioned for a ton of cool extras than this!
    As I say in the piece, I’m sure a DVD option will be to play the rooftop concert with no street cutaways.
    Peter Jackson said in interviews he was conscious of not repeating MLH’s frames as much as he could. But an amalgam of the two could be super-cool.

  • 23 Ringo Salihu // Dec 30, 2021 at 10:34 AM

    Thank you, Brian! This is just so good, and free. Just like the rooftop concert. 🙂

  • 24 Jen Klopp // Dec 30, 2021 at 11:50 AM

    Thank you so much! Still rewatching!
    My 12 year old niece is liking some of it, which is good enough for now!

  • 25 R Alan Hughes // Dec 30, 2021 at 1:06 PM

    Fab! Thanks a lot Brian – fantastically helpful.

  • 26 David Deverell // Dec 30, 2021 at 5:43 PM

    Thanks so much! This is great for those that don’t (and I’m not one of them) want to watch all 8 hours. They can now go directly to “I’ve Got A Feeling” for example, and skip past the preceding sequences.

  • 27 Mark // Dec 30, 2021 at 7:11 PM

    Absolutely stellar write up! Can’t wait to watch this again now!

  • 28 Jane Polhill Hoven // Dec 30, 2021 at 8:34 PM

    This is awesome! Thank you.

  • 29 Carol Peckham Poulos // Dec 31, 2021 at 9:54 AM

    Amazing job! Thanks for doing this and sharing it with the world.

  • 30 Oorlab Dickv // Dec 31, 2021 at 12:09 PM

    Wonderful! Definitely a work of love that will come in handy in the times to come.
    At ” DAY 19 — Tuesday, January 28th — two days before roof concert 48:00 — Something by George ” it could be added:
    “Kevin Harrington tunes an unknown instrument”

  • 31 Brian // Dec 31, 2021 at 2:21 PM

    Thanks, Oorlab! Great idea. And . . . done. 😉

  • 32 Jan Fennick // Jan 1, 2022 at 9:35 PM

    A couple of bits of trivia: John’s fur coat is actually his former mother-in-law’s (Lillian Powell’s). And the “20 year old French Girl” was Charlotte Martin who was also a model, and Clapton’s ex-girlfriend. (She’d later go on to be involved with Jimmy Page and the mother of his daughter Scarlet)

    This is a fantastic source of info and a labour of love. Bravo!

  • 33 Brian // Jan 1, 2022 at 9:51 PM

    Thanks, Jan! What cool background on that coat!
    Not to mention on that girl!
    Huge cool deets!
    Thanks so much for the adds!

  • 34 Charlie Rigg // Jan 1, 2022 at 11:31 PM

    When I first read this, I only skimmed through it. Now that I’ve had a chance to read it more thoroughly and I’m even more awestruck. Thank you.

  • 35 Carter Moody // Jan 2, 2022 at 11:27 AM

    This is fantastic! I especially appreciate your note when John offers Billy Preston the keyboardist position. “John is the leader. No one else in the band could have done that….” It clearly saved the project, and their mood.

  • 36 Wayne Bardell // Jan 2, 2022 at 3:24 PM

    That’s an unbelievable labour of love. Brilliant.

  • 37 Randy Blazak // Jan 3, 2022 at 3:13 AM

    Just rewatched all three episodes with your commentary for each scene. I saw many new things!

    I’d love to get reviews from Heather Eastman McCartney and PC Ray Dagg. They were the unintended stars.

  • 38 Gordon Hastie // Jan 4, 2022 at 9:02 AM

    That was great. 50 years on we were given another Beatles gift courtesy of Peter Jackson and MAL just when we really needed it. I think you’re a bit hard on MLH, however.

  • 39 Tom Stromme // Jan 4, 2022 at 11:19 AM

    Brian: Thank you for compiling so much great background. It’s taken me two days to read this gift for all Beatles fans.

  • 40 Shellie Lynn // Jan 4, 2022 at 3:55 PM

    Still watching it for the first time, experiencing all of the beauty! Finished episode two, onto the third one tonight. Cannot wait to go through it a second time with these notes.

  • 41 Benoit Larose // Jan 4, 2022 at 4:23 PM

    Wonderful ! Thanks for doing this !!

  • 42 Merlin Makinson // Jan 4, 2022 at 10:14 PM

    Jaw dropping is a great way to describe it. It’s really awesome for someone like myself who didn’t have the chance to see these guys as they were. I’m a fan of tech. Peter Jackson should win a Oscar for this one. It’s amazing how 50 plus years later and the Beatles are still “Wowing” the world. When I first saw it I was like “Holy crap this is awesome!” — and of course we get the timeless music. This may very well be the greatest music film ever made.

  • 43 David Price // Jan 5, 2022 at 2:32 PM

    Being a bass player I had to pay particular attention to those bits – George was playing the Bass VI as well on Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.

    Also liked the part where Paul said he preferred the Hofner – not because it sounds better – simply because it’s lighter.

    Also loved the part with Paul with the Rickenbacker saying he doesn’t really know what the knobs do (actual musician vs gearhead…)

  • 44 Sharon Ross // Jan 5, 2022 at 7:29 PM

    I’ve watched twice, might start a third time! Thanks for doing this, Brian!

  • 45 John Lynker // Jan 6, 2022 at 12:44 PM

    Thanks Brian! Your annotations & additional references are great. My 6th viewing (w/ 2 views of Let It Be movie as well). Excellent!

  • 46 Brian // Jan 6, 2022 at 2:18 PM

    Oh, fantastic, John! And how totally cool you watched “Let It Be”! I did as well, both before this became available, and right after. I don’t know about you, but I riffed some notes while watching it, and there was rarely a positive one.

    I don’t like to slam other artists, and my plentiful criticisms of MLH in the “Get Back” annotation are actually quite reigned in. So I’ll just phrase it this way — THANK GAWD a filmmaker with the skill set of Peter Jackson has taken on this project. 😉

  • 47 John Lynker // Jan 6, 2022 at 4:52 PM

    I cut my teeth as a musician on that whole Beatles era – including using my first and middle name as a musician: John Paul (oops.. yeah, don’t do that. Unless you’re really good!).

    So, Get Back is a fulfillment of so much wonder about the interactions as the Beatles fell apart. I have empathy for all of them – and the 2 girls: P2-42:30, Eileen Kensley & Sue Ahearne – they said they want “a show”, yet, I don’t see any footage of them during the roof top concert. Another embedded Beatle mystery!

  • 48 John Lynker // Jan 6, 2022 at 7:54 PM

    Found the girls… Pt3 1:53:25 on the street, in a crowd, behind what looks to be a Austin sedan. They are truly devoted fans!

    While I agree The Beatles are right up there with Bach, Beethoven, Mozart…(I play classical guitar as well as folk and rock), the band YES is my favorite. One common style of both Beatles and Yes (Yes goes overboard) is their music has that extra riffy punch you don’t get in straight rock n roll.. Love a good rock n roll performance but… Like I’ve never seen The Beatles live.. saw McCartney 3 times, Yes 26 times, Stones 4 or 5 times… great musicians all!

  • 49 Brian // Jan 6, 2022 at 10:06 PM

    GREAT spottage finding them on the street! I’m gonna add that to my next revision.

  • 50 Chris Rad // Jan 7, 2022 at 10:07 AM

    So helpful! Thank you.

  • 51 Barrett McHugh // Jan 7, 2022 at 8:01 PM

    I’ll never get that opening riff of Dig A Pony outta my head, and I couldn’t be happier about it!!

  • 52 Ira Brown // Jan 8, 2022 at 12:08 PM

    This is awesome, Brian! I’ve already put it to good use. Thank you for creating this!

  • 53 Nuno Spier van Zwicht // Jan 8, 2022 at 5:11 PM

    This is awesome! Many thanks!

  • 54 Royce McCadular // Jan 8, 2022 at 6:52 PM

    Well done!! Thank you!

  • 55 Jose // Jan 8, 2022 at 7:56 PM

    Is it important to stress that nobody but John could have invited Billy Preston to join the band? Just to show leadership is a weak argument to counterbalance the figure of Paul. In fact the film shows Paul at his best and John as almost absent without leave.

  • 56 Brian // Jan 9, 2022 at 10:14 AM

    Yes, it is an important moment and fact worth pointing out.

    Paul McCartney was not in a position to ask Billy Preston to join the band that John had formed and asked Paul to join — and it was a turning point in the album, the project and the film.

    As Peter Jackson points out, you really see how John resumes leadership when they move to the Apple Studio.

    This was John’s band — and it’s very clear throughout.

    When his guitar player quits, he’s the one who announces how the sudden departure will be handled if George just doesn’t come back (“we’ll get Clapton”). That’s what bandleaders do.

    When John & Paul are having their intense face-to-face on the day before the rooftop concert, the film crew — who’ve been around them for 3 weeks — know it’s John’s face they need to get the shot of — not Paul’s.

    Paul is a musical genius, I luv ‘im, he’s insanely gifted, and comes up with all sorts of great ideas and songs, but he was asked to join John’s band, not the other way around.

    And to say John was “absent without leave” in the making of this album and as seen in this documentary is just willful blindness.

  • 57 Este Gardner // Jan 9, 2022 at 3:40 PM

    Excellent Beatle resource! Thanks so much!

  • 58 Lee Curtis // Jan 10, 2022 at 10:37 AM

    Superb work, Sir.

  • 59 Anthony Petrosino // Jan 10, 2022 at 2:46 PM

    This is great and a wonderful service to many fans. Thank you.

  • 60 Steven Morgan // Jan 10, 2022 at 4:21 PM

    Thanks for this…It’s really great! But aren’t you a little harder on MLH than you need to be?

  • 61 Brian // Jan 10, 2022 at 7:28 PM

    Steven — Hmm. Interesting. Thanks. I just made a note to go thru it again and search for “MLH” and see if I can be more kindly.

    Of the thousands of people who’ve read this in its various appearances around the interwebs, I think it’s a total of three people who’ve mentioned that about MLH.

    I gotta say — I went into the doc having no opinion one way or the other about the guy — much like, say, Glyn Johns or Denis O’Dell.
    After watching it, Glyn really seemed like “one of them,” and Denis seemed like the Beatles’ George Martin of Film.
    I didn’t expect there to be an unmitigated jerk in the inner circle.

    Having rewatched “Let It Be” 3 times in the last 6 months, it’s clearly my least favorite Beatles movie. By contrast, I just watched “Magical Mystery Tour” last night for the first time in probably decades, and loved it. Now that I’ve seen what MLH chose to leave on the cutting room floor, I’m stunned. It was a crime against The Beatles, and a crime of music history.

    On top of that, here’s this pompous cigar-sucking man-child who, among many other things, says to Linda “I’m a bigger fan than you are” (!) and never shuts up about “2,000 Arabs” even after being told at every turn that the people he’s being paid to film don’t want to do that — until he’s finally told by John Lennon to “just sod off!”

    He could have been a guy who made a terrible mistake back on the original film, but you could see how he was actually a great guy and made everyone around him better (a la Billy or Glyn or George Martin) — but instead we meet someone who irritated his subjects in real time, AND got it wrong in the editing room after the fact.

    If he was a total jerk but made a masterpiece, well, okay. Or if he was clearly “one of them” and fit in like Billy Preston, then made some terrible mistakes in the editing room, at least there would be some mitigating consideration.
    But to my eyes, he comes across worse with each successive viewing.

  • 62 Matt Snyder // Jan 11, 2022 at 7:03 PM

    Thanks, most helpful!

  • 63 Will Hodgson // Mar 3, 2022 at 9:39 PM

    Just watched the first 2 hours of the first episode with Ray who is great to watch with. We’re both musicians, we’re both singers, we’re both songwriters, we’re both recording artists, and we’re both bandleaders. We STILL have 45 minutes left to watch in the 1st episode due to all our pausing, rewinding, talking, etc.!

    I’ve made two and a half pages of notes so far…

    Mere words cannot express. At times I felt like I was on acid. There were times when I was not watching a show on my TV, I was there. A few huge belly laughs due to jokes (musical and otherwise). Quite overwhelming. At one point Ray says “This has my complete and total attention and that rarely happens”. I knew what he meant. Hyper awareness.

  • 64 Dave Milner // Apr 17, 2022 at 11:56 AM

    Awesome site.
    How do I locate that beautiful, smart, strawberry blonde gal on the right?

    Episode 3
    1:53:53 — Great street comments. Funny cool chicks. “They get around don’t they.”

  • 65 JillCK // Jan 20, 2024 at 5:05 PM

    Thank you for this great detail. Looking for a quick snippet (back & forth) @ 4 AM…you saved me.

    For the sprinkle of MLH-defenders here: No, just no.

    I take the same issue—just one in 7.5 hrs.!—with all the talking over from the street/lobby cameras as they’re blazing through I’ve Got a Feeling on the roof. Grrr!

    After Paul, Ringo & Co. scope the roof, it’s J&B George pours (generously!) for John, then Paul. Quickly, John flushes two high pink roses in his cheeks, then they’re a bit too looped to get through Let it Be in one piece.

    I think I have a different read when Paul tells Tony R. the roof is ‘too far out’. In context with later comments, when he repeatedly says ‘let’s talk about that later’/work on the songs first, he’s only saying that’s too far out to discuss the roof *now*. He never speaks against it; it’s a matter of first things first. And wanting the band to decide it privately.

  • 66 Yvonne // Feb 18, 2024 at 2:10 PM

    I finally got to watch this while at the same time reading along in this post. What a great experience especially with the extra background info. Anyone who watches it again pay attention to everything john blurts out inbetween takes. And savour the moments where you think ókay, don’t laugh now.”and then you go ” Hold on, i _can_ laugh, i’m not in there i’m watching it at home.” thanks!

  • 67 Bob Royalty // Mar 26, 2024 at 11:52 AM

    Thank you for doing this. It’s very helpful for people like me who’ve watched it several times and use it regularly in classes on the Beatles and Rock and Roll. Well done!

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