Unabridged notes from watching "Get Back" Parts 1-3

Ringer's thoughts, observations and insights while watching all three parts of "Get Back"

Unabridged notes from watching "Get Back" Parts 1-3

Get Back Part 1


  • Amazing quality - how’d Peter do it?

  • Look like, at least at first, they are genuinely having fun. At least Paul specifically

  • Yoko is there but hasn’t said anything yet. My perception of her was that she was basically inserting herself as a 5th beatle

  • George rocking that Les Paul. Never pictured him as  les paul guy

  • “You have to remember the words too” - paul to john

  • Paul has been the leader so far, and he knows it, but he doesn’t necessarily like it. He told George he felt like he was annoying him.

  • They were also aware of the filming. I wonder how much that affected what happened? Did it prolong it cuz they were afraid to blow up on camera or did it add extra stress because they couldn’t speak their mind

  • “Whatever it is that will please you, I’ll do it. But I don't think you really know what that one is.” - George to Paul

  • Had the same issues as everyone else. Lots of similarities I’ve had when practicing. I like to push through and get it right. That isn’t always right.

  • “We might Michael, that’s quite true” - Paul to George and Michael about getting echo and new mics when Micahel says “we might be able to pick up the candid dialogue better”

  • 1:03 - the very beginnings of Get Back

  • You can hear the falsetto and the drive of the rhythm but doesn’t quite yet sound like the song we know. It’s cool to see the giant block of grantiate before it's chipped away at.

  • Don’t have the stops at the end of the verse - bam bam! They just chug right through

  • 1:07 generating ideas of the show

  • Paul suggested trespassing and getting caught - that would have been cool

  • A hospital. Not like really sick kids but like broken legs. Where none of them can walk until the last number. John walks up to  little girl (he cracks a smile)

  • Paul is very passionate. He cares a lot. I can see how it would drive people away but I relate to how he feels here.

  • Referred to Brian Epstein as Mr. Epstein. They identified that as turning point of the band. He provided discipline they lacked.

  • 1:15 Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

  • Mal Evans hitting the hammer on the piece of iron - looks like a kid having so much fun

  • Wide shots of the band during play time, we’re just stock footage. Noticed it twice cuz you could see Ringo just sitting there not moving his arms while music was playing. 1:19

  • Do you think Paul and Ringo will watch this?

  • 1:22 day 7 - interesting to hear them talk about non-music things. George, Ringo, Michael talking about a sci-fi show, Out of the Unknown. Michael looks 16, smoking cigars. This led to I, Me, Mine.

  • Considered Sabratha amphitheater - that could have been cool

  • Or taking the audience on  boat and doing it there - rock and roll cruise

  • Airport, house of parliament,

  • After day 8 they just leave. No entourage. Just head out the door. Paul was late for day 1 stuck on public transit

  • Sweet moment 1:46 between Linda McCartney and Michael Lindsey-Hogg

  • Michael “I adore Ringo.”
    Linda: “ Yeah, he’s just great.”
    Michael “Yeah, but also very good in the heart too, I think”
    Linda: “I feel the most relaxed around Ring”
    Michael: “Me too”

  • John “I’ve decided to wear continuity clothes. We’ll have moss growing under the arms”
    George “Well, when its cut together, you’ll just look normal and we’ll look as if we’ve been changing every half hour” 1:51

  • I had no idea Get Back was initially a condemnation of white supremacy, or started that way. “Get back to where you once belonged” - huge anti-immigration movement in england at the time (good thing we got that out of our system)

  • Funny moment at ~1:55 Paul and john are doing this sort of punk breakdown of Get Back and paul starts singing “commonwealth” and john screeches in this high voices “Yesh” and makes paul crack while he’s playing

  • It's kind of weird how attached John and Yoko are but she really isn’t in the way at all

  • How loud is it there? The mixing is done well for the documentary but they’re fully plugged in and ringo is playing drums

  • But they never struck me as “loud” players

  • She came in through the bathroom window

  • Really cool to see the chemistry between Paul and john. The way the glance back and forth at each other and play off each other

  • I’m glad they waste a lot of time fucking around - i know its not wasting b/c sometimes thats part of the process but in the moment it can feel like you’re wasting time fucking around

  • 2:40:45 Paul “my mic is a little too loud” john “leave the group then if you don’t like it” said in a joking manner

  • So cool seeing the band trying to get the chords down for let it be and hashing out some of the structure

  • The only time i saw yoko talk was to linda

  • 2:22 is the first time we see tension - paul kinda snaps at john for fuckin around when he’s trying to show him a progression

  • George: “I think I'll be leaving the band now.” when? “Now”

  • I can see why George would dip. He seemed to be more serious and everyone else was fucking around a bit

  • Kind of weird? That they have a ton of energy and just kind of keep plowing through. Do you think they knew George would come back or did they not care?


Get Back Part 2


  • Paul jokes about “it's gonna be an incredible comical thing like in 50 years time, the beatles broke up cuz yoko sat on an amp”

  • We certainly are still talking about it

  • “And then there were two” paul said reflectively; and for different reasons it's the same 2 today

  • Paul to John “you have always been boss” and i have always been sort of secondary boss ~15min.

  • Interesting to get some insight on how they thought of themselves in the band

  • Very much understood george was frustrated creatively

  • So cool watching them hash out lyrics for get back ~17:00

  • “The great thing about a piano is like there it all is, there's all the music ever. That’s it. All that’s ever been written is all there.” 21:00

  • The piano jam between paul and ringo was awesome (i bought a piano the other day) 2130

  • They're like kids having fun

  • Weird moment at 29:30 where yoko is sitting perpendicular to john and then gets up and says something and moves her chair directly next to his and creates an awkward line rather than a circle of people

  • 30 Peter Sellers is absolutely lost on the bit

  • And promptly bounces. Hahaha

  • John had everybody rollin

  • Kinda glossed over the magic Alex part w/ getting apple studio set up. I thought i remember hearing that was a pretty big cluster fuck? Is that the one where he had a monitor for each track?

  • Funny how the fans have matured over the years. Those two girls were so casual watching John walk in

  • Apple studio looks so much better. More comfortable even as a viewer

  • I love how they take themselves in the papers so lightly. Loved the jam while paul read the paper 1:03

  • So much sitting down

  • So cool once they finally got into recording. Starting w/ dig a pony. And they caught the famous intro that john does on camera (where doris gets her oats!) amazing! And it was just a throw away joke too

  • It’s weird that Yoko is in the studio with them. Not doing or saying anything but she’s there. I’m curious if it had any subconscious effects. Nobody seems to be showing it but I'd imagine you’d still pick up the energy?

  • Studio is very cluttered too. I always picture pristine studios w/ only the instruments, all business. They look like they’re living in that room. For people so obsessed w/ sound you’d think they’d want to eliminate any possible error.

  • I had no clue Billy Preston just popped in and neither of them had anything planned and he just started jamming with them. Imagine if that never happened?

  • “You’re giving us a lift Bill” - 1:30

  • I’m captivated during the sessions w/ billy preston. Fantastic stuff. Next level.

  • Sometimes you gotta be weird. 1:37 jam w/ yoko just screaming, paul on drums

  • 1:40 “just a reminder to remind you of maxwell's silver hammer all the time” - paul. It was even a joke to them

  • John and his “and now your host for the evening, the rolling stones” bit over and over haha

  • Interesting watching them hash out “get back” and how much arranging they did in the studio vs having a well thought out song done to record ~1:48ish

  • George says Ricken-backer. Just like Tom Petty. Long been debated backer or bacher

  • So much smoking. It’d be great if cigs weren’t bad for you.

  • John was partial to Don’t let me down and I dig a pony. Cool insight 1:58

  • “I mean, I’d just like him (Billy Preston) in our band, actually. I’d like a fifth beatle” John 1:59:44 as george nods in agreement

  • It’s impressive how many songs they know. All the different jams they do by different artists. I appreciate peter jackson’s choice to show the name and author of every song, beatles or not

  • 2:24 on our way home jam w/ indian accents is hilarious

  • Paul’s face just lights up when he is told about the rooftop idea

  • It’s too bad the beatles got burned out from playing live shows from the shitty experiences they had in their early days


Get Back Part 3


  • All of them can play piano and I think that goes a long way for why they are so talented. They all have a fundamental understanding of music and contribute different ideas b/c they all understand but see it different (george and ringo writing octopus’ garden

  • Later, 23:00 minutes george is on piano and says “its great, because i wouldn’t be able to do that on the guitar”

  • Cute moment w/ Linda’s daughter and the band. She’s not phased by the band at all. But they all take time with her and let her do her thing. Paul’s got some father instincts and I bet that got a lot of people going

  • 14:00 on long and winding road Paul says “there wouldn’t be much drumming, would there?” and there’s a quick cut to ringo with his arms behind his head and eyes closed. Nice choice.

  • Writing music is such a slog. But i love it. This is the shit I love (discussing long and winding road elements)

  • “It doesn’t particularly matter about Ringo hearing the piano, does it?” George (in earnest about setting up sound)
    John: No, we don’t bother about him. We never take any notice.

  • 40:30 the culmination. The album take of Get back. Wish they’d show the whole thing.

  • The way Billy is hanging out he is essentially a band member at this point

  • 48:40 talking about using placeholder lyrics “attracts me like a pomegranate”

  • Do it till it comes to you

  • Of course billy nails the little handheld keyboard

  • Woulda been cool if the wine pour woulda been picked up in the don’t let me down take 1:00

  • 1:07 convo between Paul and John was the first time I really started to sense some resentment. Paul really wants to make this show happen and seems frustrated by the lack of push from the band, the fact that they don’t feel ready about where they are at with each song

  • Didn’t know paul had a brother

  • Funny he was miming on the closed piano while the band was rehearsing

  • 1:16 George floats the idea of doing an album on his own, cuz he wants to hear what his songs are like and encourages everyone else to do their own stuff

  • “Fuck all that. I’m just gonna do me for a bit”

  • I can’t believe how much goofing around they do while jamming. Like singing without moving their mouths. Fucking gold.

  • Crazy how the door to the studio is just open

  • Looks chilly. That’s never easy to play in

  • Imagine being on the street when they start playing. How wild.

  • This would be the first time anybody ever heard these songs

  • I wonder how loud it actually was

  • Man there is nothing like performing live

  • You can really hear how tight Ringo is on the drums

  • Lol at the suit complaining about it interrupting business

  • This stuff with the police is great.

  • That poor kid got stuck on Beatles duty. He clearly hates it.

  • Looked into it. His name is Ray Dagg and he was 19 at the time.

  • Gave an interview for the first time ever about after the release of the documentary. “It was just work, and it’s blown up into all this,” said Ray Dagg, now 72.
    His threat to arrest the band and their manager was a “bluff,” he told the outlet, adding he doesn’t regret his role in rock history. 

  • "Well, at that time, I didn’t know that they would never play together again,” Dagg said. “At least there’s something on a film somewhere that will forever show that PC Ray Dagg shut down the Beatles. Said he never owned a beatles record, was more of a simon and garfunkel guy.

  • Cool to see much older people showing their support

  • Perception would tell you that everyone over the age of 40 hated them and thought they were a bunch of punks but many expressed their support for the band

  • Paul’s smile and “woo” when he sees the cops. But notice how they don’t stop them in the middle of the song? They know who they’re fucking with

  • The sergeant is very polite, I guess?

  • Oh man these guys just keep rolling. I can’t believe it. Paul just keeps going. George turns his fucking amp back on! So rock and roll, let's go.

  • Debbie at reception is fucking rockstar deflecting everybody like a champ