Ever since The Beatles broke up, there have been rumors of their feud. Some fans blame John Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, since their relationship coincided with the end of the band. Others blame Paul McCartney, including McCartney himself after all these years. The Beatles: Get Back shows there was no feud to speak of. Director Peter Jackson culled all the footage filmed for the documentary Let It Be, and made a brand new miniseries that sets the record straight.
Jackson spoke about The Beatles: Get Back at a Zoom press conference on Nov. 16. He explained how he found no signs of anger between The Beatles band members in over 50 hours of footage. The Beatles: Get Back is now playing on Disney+.
Neither John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison or Ringo Starr say a nasty word to each other in ‘The Beatles: Get Back’
Jackson said he was already a Beatles fan and heard all the rumors of the friction during the Let It Be recording sessions. He braced himself to uncover the feud, but found quite the opposite while making The Beatles: Get Back. Besides the 50-60 hours of footage, there was even more audio tape of the sessions.
“In the entire length of the audio, 150 hours, no single Beatle says an angry word to any other Beatle,” Jackson said. “There’s not a single moment where any of them are angry, truly angry. Their friendship just ultimately just comes through.”
Paul McCartney’s attitude in ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ has been taken out of contest
A lot of the Let It Be album was McCartney’s idea. Jackson acknowledged that McCartney puts a little more pressure on the band than others, but Jackson said The Beatles: Get Back shows that in context.
You have sections of Paul being the bossy one and all that. He is, to some degree, if you want to call him bossy, but, I mean, I’m a director, and so I hope no one calls me bossy, because I only do what falls to me. So, come, guys. Come on, meet me. We got time. This is not really being bossy, it’s just being-being responsible. And Paul’s the responsible one. He’s the one who’s carrying the stress of this. Everything that the Beatles do has got to be fantastic. You know, they have a standard and Paul’s very much aware of that. So he doesn’t want this to be another Magical Mystery Tour.
John Lennon and George Harrison surprised Peter Jackson
Jackson said Lennon had a reputation for being outspoken after The Beatles. During Let It Be, Jackson was surprised to see Lennon mellow out.
“I was very surprised by John Lennon,” Jackson said. “I’ll tell you why. If you think about the ’60s version of John Lennon and your Hard Day’s Night, we got the press conferences. We got, obviously, the singing and stuff. That gives you a sense of John Lennon. Then the ’70s, we’ve got John Lennon as the activist, sort of angry, ‘Gimme Some Truth’, the studio time with Phil Spector, quite short-tempered, I guess you’d call him, so he’s rather got a tension.That’s not the John in our footage. In this footage, he’s funny, relaxed, wonderfully patient, really friendly, just never raises his voice once. Not one angry word from John, which I would never have expected.”
Harrison pushed back some, but Jackson said it was clearly not hostile.
“Now, obviously, there’s the famous Let It Be thing with George saying, ‘I’ll play anything you like, or I won’t play at all,’” Jackson said. “But he’s not shouting. He’s not swearing at Paul. He’s just a little bit peeved.”
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