An Excerpt From The Beatles: Get Back




Enter John and Yoko. Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the director of the film, is present. Paul leads a very early version of ‘Get Back’. The words are mostly unfinished, but the verses and chorus are clearly taking shape. Ringo claps along. Some time later, as the band sit in a circle with their instruments, they discuss ideas for a televised live show that has been suggested as the climax of this project.

Paul: If we cancel the show now we’d still be throwing it away… but that’s the way we tend to do it: get halfway through a thing…

George: … and call it a day.

Paul: That’s where all the money goes.

Michael: But I think that the worst we should have is a documentary. Which is a commercial enterprise. There’s no reason, I think, why we shouldn’t also get a show… Although none of us yet are happy with anything you’ve done in here.

Paul: I am.

Michael: Yeah, I don’t… I don’t agree with you.

Paul: It’s fine. Come on – it’s fine, you know. It’s all right. The thing is, it’s just not as good as it could be yet, but you know, here we are, we’ll do it. We’ll sing songs, you know. I mean, really, what you mean is that you haven’t thought of the great idea yet. The great idea is leave us to it; just don’t do the show.

George: That’s pretty good.

John: If we can’t think of any sort of gimmick, well, we just have… the worst that we have is a documentary of us making an LP, you know. If we don’t get into a show.

Paul: Mmm.

John: Just make an LP.

George: Ever since Mr Epstein passed away…

John: Who passed away?

George: … it’s never been the same.

Paul: No, because nobody’ll take any… you won’t ever say anything. It’s going to be sort of dull. We’ve been very negative since Mr Epstein passed away. I mean, you know, that’s why all of us in turn has been sick of the group, you know, ’cos there’s nothing positive in it. You know, it is a bit of a drag. But the only way for it not to be a bit of a drag is for the four of us to think, should we make it positive?

George: Well…

Paul: Or should we fuck it, you know? There’s only two alternatives in it.

John: I’ve got an incentive. I’ve decided, all the things that we do… the whole point of it is communication.

Paul: Yeah.

John: And to be on TV is communication, ’cos we’ve got a chance to smile at people, like [the global broadcast of] ‘All You Need Is Love’. So that’s my incentive for doing it.

Michael: They both, ‘All You Need Is Love’ and ‘Hey Jude’, did communicate.

Paul: ’Course they did. ’Course they did.

John: Yeah, I just thought, you know, if we need to think of any incentive, the incentive is to communicate.

Michael: I agree.

Paul: There really is no one there now to say, ‘Do that.’ Whereas there always used to be. And we just sort of [think], ‘Oh fucking hell, you know. Keep getting us up at eight?’ But it’s us that has to get us up at eight now, you know. But that’s only growing up. You know, your daddy goes away at a certain point in your life. You stand on your own feet. I mean that’s all we’ve been faced with – Daddy’s gone away now, you know, and we’re on our own at the holiday camp. And, you know, I think we either go home, or we do it.








Credit Information:

Text (transcribed from original Nagra sound recordings): © Apple Films Limited.

Images: Ethan A. Russell / © Apple Corps Limited.

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