The Current

Great Music Lives Here ®
Listener-Supported Music
Donate Now
The Morning Show - With Jill Riley

Thoughts I had while watching 468 minutes of 'The Beatles: Get Back'

Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison in 'The Beatles: Get Back.'
Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison in 'The Beatles: Get Back.' Photo courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd.
  Play Now [10:43]

by Jay Gabler

December 03, 2021

Both Yoko and I are thinking, “Only for the literal Beatles will I sit through two weeks of this.”

Look at all these cozy sweaters! It’s like the Beatles aren’t from Liverpool, but Stars Hollow.

I might have guessed the Beatles would be jealous of the Beach Boys’ recording equipment, but I didn’t see Benjamin Britten also making that list.

Jamming on Dylan covers! Local angle!

All in all, they’re being very chill about realizing they got in over their heads with this whole new-album-in-two-weeks premise. If this was Fleetwood Mac, we’d be watching the veins pop out of Lindsey Buckingham’s forehead minute by minute.

In 2021, it would be impossible to keep everybody off their phones. Especially Ringo.

“It’s discipline we lack!” Paul’s channeling Charlie Brown trying to direct a Christmas pageant.

Was this White Orc in the book?

God bless Michael Lindsay-Hogg for invoking Stanley Kubrick with respect to this TV concert they’re putting together in two weeks’ time.

I wouldn’t have thought Ringo’s nickname would be “Ring.” I don’t know why, but I just wouldn’t have thought it.

Who brought the daffodils?

Was scanning your own fanzine the ‘60s equivalent of reading the comments?

The Beatles drama was all just so casual. “If he leaves, he leaves!"

They spend like three hours talking about doing the show on a boat or in a Libyan amphitheater, then Ringo offhandedly makes the actually excellent suggestion that they do the show at the Cavern Club and everyone shrugs it off. No wonder he was the first one to quit.

They’re right, the beard really is a good look on Paul.

I hadn’t realized the Beatles were such cigar guys.


“What are…what are we discussing at this moment?” I feel you, Peter Sellers.

Before my next Zoom, I’m just going to gaze at this picture of George Harrison’s house repeating to myself, “This meeting is going to be positive and constructive. This meeting is going to be positive. And constructive.”

“I hope it doesn’t come out about me beating up Maharishi.” My first literal LOL of the series.

When they actually start recording, you’re reminded that they saved most of the best songs for Abbey Road.

The breath of fresh air Billy Preston brings makes you wonder why there wasn’t actually a fifth Beatle. (Later: John had the same thought!)

The first mention of Allen Klein is aptly ominous.

There’s exactly as much eating of toast and drinking of tea in this footage as I expected…and I expected a lot.

If that anvil could talk…well, I guess it would just tell us about exactly what we’re watching.

Even the Beatles had British teeth.

Alan Parsons! I interviewed him!

My grandpa totally had those lowball glasses with bubble bottoms.

“Bloody Mary, come to me.” Well played, Ringo.

Of course the Cute One is the world’s best stepdad.

No wonder John Lennon was itching to do an oldies album.

Okay, this kid’s getting bored.

“Plodding, a little bit.” True, Paul, I have had that thought about “The Long and Winding Road.”

The neat freak in me is absolutely obsessed with George Martin coming in and cleaning everything up.

Their joy in this little electronic pencil organ is so pure.

Shout-out to Glyn Johns low-key trying to sound the alarm about Klein.

Might it be okay to just…make a Beatles album? Yeah, John, you might be on to something there.

The olds: confused to the very end.

These spectators are so chill! “The Beatles, innt it?”

They were just waiting for that “bit of an imposition” guy.

Of course the cops chew on those straps that rest on their chins all day. That’s got to give you some intense acne.

I don’t believe this classic stalling-the-cops move actually worked.

“Nobody thought there’d be this many!” Give Jimmy Clarke an Oscar.

“A pretty girl is like a melody.” I always thought Stephin Merritt wrote that! It was an Irving Berlin reference. Thanks for the history lesson, John.

These cops standing awkwardly around on the roof, not sure what exactly to do, totally remind me of being an RA.

ROFL at Ringo resting his hand on Paul and Linda’s.

Of course Paul is diligent about making sure there’s a clap in frame.

After all of that, it did turn out to be a perfect last show.