Get Back Part 3

Mannnn, I don’t know where to start. We watched Part 3 last night but I was so overwhelmed by the end that I couldn’t sit down and knock out a post like a did with the other two parts. It’s been so long since I’ve felt this way: giddy at the thought of Brand New Beatles Content and literally unable to think about anything else. I’m sad that it’s already over, but really hope that Peter Jackson eventually ends up releasing an even longer version, which sounds very possible.

Part 3 thoughts:

  • The first 10 minutes are so joyous it’s almost unreal. George helping Ringo with “Octopus’s Garden” and everyone else gathering around and joining in is just SO WHOLESOME. And then Heather (Linda’s daughter) shows up and they just start jamming and letting her play along and it’s wonderful.
  • Also, Heather observing Yoko’s *ahem* vocal stylings and then doing a spot-on impression while the Beatles jammed was a real kick. I loved John’s incredulous “Yoko!”
  • George coming in with “Old Brown Shoe” and Ringo, Paul, and Billy proceeding to rock out with it was great. The look on George’s face when he realizes his mates are enjoying playing his song…made me so happy.
  • Wow, I wish November 27 me could go back and tell November 26 me how much more George Martin content was yet to come!! GM playing the shaker on “Dig It”…GM troubleshooting the PA setup (“I’ll fix ya lads, I’ll fix ya” ūü•į )…GM helping them come up with the track list for the album. What a treat.

Sidebar: I know this is super uninteresting to most people, but I have a theory on George Martin’s presence in these sessions. When I hear demos and outtakes from the other albums, I always think of him as the man in the box‚ÄĒI know he would come down and work with the band, and play piano and other bits on their songs, but he always seemed like more of a schoolteacher presence, keeping the Beatles in line and calmly directing their chaos into focused recordings. That’s why it’s super cool to see him just chilling with the Beatles in the studio while Glyn Johns focuses on recording and mixing. Without his name attached to the album, it seems like he’s able to let loose a little and just hang out (obviously while still helping a lot with the equipment and production). I just think it’s neat to see him spending so much time with them and, having had so much history with them already, knowing best how to help when they need it.

The king has spoken.
  • I’m not gonna talk about Allen Klein. In fact, we’re not gonna talk about Allen Klein at all.
A Rocky appearance!
  • There’s a part where Paul leaves for an appointment and John runs rehearsal, and it’s really cool to see him saddle up and get serious about practicing, where in the first two parts he was much more passive/disinterested. I liked hearing him sing Paul’s parts for “I’ve Got A Feeling” and giving more time to George’s song. You get a glimpse of what it was probably like in early days when John was the undisputed leader of the band.
  • I would pay to listen to 8 hours of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” jams, holy buckets.
  • I can’t lie, even though George will always be my fave and I think a lot of his pissy attitude was justified, it must be said that he was a big buzzkill during most of the Let It Be sessions. There were several parts where the band was close to agreeing on a show venue or some other decision only for George to shut it down or make some passive aggressive comment about it being a dumb idea. :(
  • But, George seems very self-aware and generally in better spirits in Part 3. It was cool to hear him talking to John about wanting to make his own album. John and Yoko were so supportive!
  • When Ringo spoke up that he wanted to play on the roof, they should’ve just called it then and there. Ringo has an opinion on it?? DO IT, BOYS!

Rooftop concert day:

  • I didn’t know there were so many cameras! I also lol’ed at George Martin immediately spotting the “hidden” camera in the reception area.
  • The way Peter Jackson used the multiple camera angles was really neat. I feel like that’s the best thing he could’ve done, knowing that each camera had something worth seeing. Rather than cut back and forth between them all, why not just show three at once? (I think the Woodstock documentary did this too, maybe he was influenced by that.)
  • Shout-out to everyone in the Beatles’ extended circle who tried to distract and/or delay the cops when they showed up. Debbie at the front desk pretending like she didn’t know what was going on, and Mal buying time by saying he’d go up and cut the PA (but not doing it?)‚ÄĒboth were clutch. Unsung heroes.
  • When film crew on the street started doing impromptu interviews with the people who had gathered around, they were asking the same questions reporters would ask in 1964 (“Who’s your favorite Beatle?” “Do you buy their records?”), but obviously the fans had grown up just like the Beatles. They weren’t screaming and ogling, they were just like “Yeah, I think what they’re doing is pretty cool.” I also really liked this gentleman’s comments.
  • Poor Paul wanted to get arrested so bad. He kept talking about it in the earlier parts, and then when he sees the cops show up on the roof he’s positively giddy. Too bad the cops just stood in the back looking grumpy instead of doing anything.
  • And POOR MAL was put in an impossible situation; you could tell he was trying everything in his power to stall before being forced to unplug George and John’s amps.
  • I couldn’t suss out whether George was annoyed or actually enjoyed playing on the roof. But I enjoyed the Defiant Teenager Energy from him when he flipped his amp back on to keep playing. He knew the cops weren’t actually going to do anything, lol.
When the annoying cops tell you to turn down your guitar on the rooftop
  • I LOVED the footage of the band and crew and wives listening to the live recordings in the control room afterward. Mo’s energy is infectious!
  • I felt a bit like Peter Jackson rushed the ending by not giving us full takes of the slow jams (“Let It Be”, “The Long and Winding Road”, “Two of Us”) on Day 22, but I guess that’s because those already exist on the original film? It certainly wasn’t because he was worried about the dang thing being too long. Maybe they’ll make it into the extended Director’s Cut, who knows.
  • I did really love the “Let It Be” outtakes at the very end, and the little banter before “Two of Us” that melts my heart every time.

Would I recommend Get Back to non-Beatles fans? Part of me is convinced that Part 3 could be an accessible way to get to know them, and if you like that, then bring out the additional hours of footage. But I also know it’s not for everyone. Peter Jackson made this film for the fans, obviously. Sometimes even I got tired of hearing them start yet another take of “Get Back.” But seeing everything come together and all the happy joyous bits in between was more than I ever could have asked for. I still can’t quite believe we have this much footage of the Beatles working together in the studio, and in such incredible quality (sorry for not mentioning it until just now, but one million kudos to Peter Jackson and his team for restoring the film and audio!!!). It truly is a gift.


The Complete Get Back Drinking Game (revisions probable)

Take a drink when:

  • Someone plays a song that ends up on a solo album
  • The camera does a closeup of Mal Evans smiling ūü§ď
  • John is late
  • Yoko starts a new hobby
  • Paul’s beard is mentioned
  • The anvil makes an appearance
  • Someone makes fun of Glyn Johns
  • A Beatle drinks tea or eats toast
  • Ringo plays that drum fill
  • “And now, your host for this evening…”
  • George Martin fixes a problem
  • Glyn Johns looks like a fashionista
  • The Beatles play a version of a song that ends up on the final Let It Be album
  • Someone on the street thinks the rooftop concert is annoying

Take two drinks when:

  • Someone gets electrocuted
  • George and Paul have a row
  • Paul does parkour
  • Ringo introduces a Starkey original
  • Yoko sings

Chug it:

  • George leaves the band
  • Paul calls Glyn Johns a f*ckface
  • “Thanks, Mo.”

Get Back Part I

This day…….

I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.

I half-jokingly told some people that I would live tweet my Get Back-watching experience, but of course I’m too chicken to broadcast all my rambling Beatlethoughts to Twitter. So here in the safety of my own echo chamber, I’ll throw all the tweet-sized thoughts that ran through my head (and occasionally out of my mouth) while watching the first part of the series with my husband, cat, and a bottle of wine.

  • I wasn’t expecting the rapid-fire history at the very beginning, but it was pretty nicely done. (And I’ll never complain about seeing Beatles footage in high quality.) Also, it conveniently provided context for quips later on: “Who’s that little old man?” “You could go back to Manila,” etc. etc.
  • Framing this as a literal day-by-day documentary worked better than I thought it would. In the Anthology book‚ÄĒwhich I definitely pulled out to cross-reference‚ÄĒJohn talks about the band being like a 9 to 5 job at that point, and it does kind of seem like that. But it’s cool to see how much the new songs progress day by day.
  • Watching the Beatles rehearsing “All Things Must Pass” was magical. And John misreading “wind” as “mind” and then George keeping it for when he eventually recorded the song…I was just a PUDDLE of feels.
  • “We’ve been grumpy for the past 18 months” – Ringo, 1969 (also: all of us, 2021)
  • MLH trying so hard to get the Beatles to do a show in Libya was a bit painful. I can’t imagine them doing that at all…but it would’ve been pretty wild if they’d pulled it off.
heavy Live at Pompeii vibes
  • It was hilarious how adamantly George didn’t want to travel by boat to a venue (“expensive and insane,” in his words).
  • Watching “Get Back” materialize out of nothing really was something to behold. So was Ringo and George’s reaction.
  • The sheer AMOUNT of music these guys blasted through in the first week of filming alone…is that normal? Like, there’s just an endless well of Lennon/McCartney songs to pull from, not to mention all the covers they run through, plus stuff that would end up on future albums…and then George and Ringo occasionally just walk in like, “Here’s a song I wrote last night”…it’s all very impressive to me, as a person who used to spend 6+ months learning 3 pieces of pre-arranged music.
  • Also, I know this is probably just normal band stuff, and of course the Beatles would refer back to their own catalog, but I still found it fascinating which songs they’d pull out of past albums and just start playing. “Every Little Thing”? I’m SO pleased George thought that was a nice song!!
  • LOL at Dick James trying to talk music biz with the guys and their extreme disinterest every time.
  • What do we think Yoko and Linda were talking about??
  • This version of “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” is hott.
  • The “No Pakistanis” version of “Get Back”, even though it’s satire could easily get the Beatles cancelled in modern times. For that reason, I’m pretty glad they went a different direction with it.
  • Honestly, I can relate to Paul’s work ethic. I get that everyone felt he was being bossy, but at the same time, if Paul wasn’t there to steer them in some direction, I’m pretty sure the album (and film) would’ve just dissolved into nothing. And I’m so glad it became something.
  • It’s easy to see John’s antics as comedic relief, but I guess what it really was was a general sense of apathy…and heroin abuse. He didn’t really want to be there but his go-to way of handling it was just being a goof. They showed a lot less of the antics in the original Let It Be film, which always led me to believe he was just completely over the Beatles at this point in their career. It’s nice to see it wasn’t always like that, though.
  • Watching George trying to speak up while Paul and John just keep talking to each other about how a song should go…that sucks. Plus, George came in with some straight up bangers and I feel like he got a lukewarm reception to all of them.
  • Also George prefacing all of his songs with “It’s really short/easy,” “It’s ok if you don’t want it” – TAKE MORE CREDIT JOJ YOU DESERVE IT!!
  • That ^ Twitter account btw is VERY VERY GOOD.
  • Ringo just really stays out of the drama, good for him.
  • The violent jamming to Yoko’s screaming (and Paul swinging from the scaffolding) after George leaves was…unexpected.
  • How exciting to have a reason for a new drinking game! I’ll be adding to this as the next 2 parts get released…

Take a drink when:

  • Someone plays a song that ends up on a solo album
  • The camera does a closeup of Mal Evans smiling ūü§ď
  • John is late
  • Yoko starts a new hobby
  • Paul’s beard is mentioned

Take two drinks when:

  • Someone gets electrocuted
  • Ringo introduces a Starkey original
  • George and Paul have a row

Chug it:

  • George leaves the band

#Thankful for the long weekend / giddy for part 2,

n.

Eight Days A Week: A Drinking Game

Sooooo,¬†I’ve watched¬†Eight Days A Week twice in the past 24 hours¬†and have a lot to say about the film itself, but while I put that together, here’s a drinking game.

10550-john-george-ringo

One drink whenever:

  • A¬†photo is subtly “enhanced”¬†with moving cigarette smoke
  • Modern-day Ringo is seen wearing a peace sign
  • George waves awkwardly
  • The Beatles perform in a different country
  • Brian Epstein looks fabulous
  • Someone describes something as¬†“mahhvelous,” “fab,” or¬†“a laff”
  • There’s a cheesy¬†reference to¬†the¬†Beatles’ haircuts
  • Georgestache
  • Paulbeard
  • A girl¬†faints (it was going to be whenever a girl screams, or cries, but that is literally the entire film)

Two drinks:

  • For any¬†B&W footage that is obviously/painfully¬†colorized
  • Jimmie Nicol¬†appears
  • Paul admits to being high during the filming of Help!

Chug:

  • George Martin is directly referred to as a god
  • John apologizes
  • “GOOD OL FREDA!”

Disclaimer: It’s possibly more fun to come¬†up with these than¬†to¬†actually play them¬†(see also:¬†TOS 1,¬†TOS 2, and Pete Townshend’s autobiography). Really, all I’m trying to get you to do is watch the film.

TOS: End of Series Reflections

So, after a post-Thanksgiving mini-marathon (and 6 months of prior watching), we’ve finally reached the end of The Original Series. It was a great stretch too: the last few episodes include Spock playing the piano, Spock playing the lute with a bunch of space hippies, Abraham Lincoln beaming aboard, and a villain that looks like a pile of lasagna. Classic TOS.

While part of me is super pumped for the 70s/80s movies (KHAAAAAAAN!) and The Next Generation, the other part is sad that I’ll never again be able to watch a TOS episode for the first time and marvel at its campiness or wonder if Kirk will make out with yet another girl (it’s pretty much guaranteed). Despite the silliness, there are certain episodes that really stuck with me, and thanks to Netflix I can pretty much watch them anytime I want, so I guess I can’t be too upset.

Some overall favorite episodes from Seasons 2-3:
Amok Time. Involves a pretty epic Kirk/Spock fight scene on the Planet Vulcan, enough said.
Elaan of Troyius. Klingons, dilithium crystals, knife-throwing, makeout sessions, and SO MUCH SASS (yes, I just retweeted myself in a blog post).
Assignment: Earth. They introduced some cool new characters in this one, but it’s unfortunately the only time we ever see them.
I, Mudd. The crew members of the Enterprise are surprisingly good at acting, at least when it comes to outsmarting androids.
The Trouble With Tribbles. I mean, come on.
For the World Is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky. Just so much Bones love in this episode.

Speaking of Bones love, I had the video below saved in my YouTube playlist, and after watching it again recently, realized how much more subtle (and awesome) the writing was in the first season. I feel like by the 2nd and 3rd seasons, the characters had all become a little exaggerated, especially Bones (i.e. The Grumpy Doctor Who Will Argue With Spock At Any Chance). But in the first season, the writers seem to have been more interested in character development/background, which is totes obvi in these little interactions between Kirk and McCoy. Ahhh I love it.

(Shirtless Kirk and random spinning cube are just added bonuses:)

To end with, a few more additions to the TOS Drinking Game…

One drink:
-Someone is wearing something that could be a winter drumline uniform
-The crew beams down to a planet that is supposedly uninhabited (but is inhabited by several life forms which happen to be villains)
-Bones is extremely grumpy
-There is a countdown (“how much time do we have before collision?” “precisely 8 minutes 37 seconds”)
-Kirk wears the green v-neck
-Something hits the Enterprise and everyone on the bridge falls over
-Bones & Spock argue
-Kirk is amused by Bones & Spock arguing
-“He’s dead, Jim”

Two drinks:
-Scotty saves the ship
-Spock falls in love
-Kirk punches/kicks/chops someone without warning

Chug:
-The series ends :(

Stay tuned for the movie marathoning. It’s going to be awesome.

No time for blogging, must watch ALL the Star Trek!

Soooo, in case you were wondering how our Star Trek marathon was going (or wondering why I haven’t been blogging lately)…

We just finished Season 1 of The Original Series, roughly 30 hours of pure nerdiness. I can safely say that my obsession has not waned a bit, fueled by the Star Trek fandom of Tumblr and the anticipation of visiting this exhibit at the LA Fair.

Also, I have YouTube to thank for providing ridiculous videos like this:

Star Trek + Ke$ha = party on the USS Enterprise!

Yes, we’re on our way to becoming full-fledged Trekkies. If anyone cares to join us, I’ll leave you with the following supplements…

Favorite Episodes So Far (i.e. The Most Ridiculous Episodes of Season One):
The Naked Time, in which Sulu runs around the ship shirtless, trying to duel people
Shore Leave, in which everyone hallucinates and McCoy is a cheeky bugger
Space Seed, in which Khan appears (a good episode to start with)
This Side of Paradise, in which Spock hangs from a tree giggling and everyone acts high and Kirk gets frustrated
The City on the Edge of Forever, in which McCoy goes insane and Kirk & Spock wear jeans

Favorite Characters So Far
It started out as Spock but I have to say, I think Leonard “Bones” McCoy wins the Best Character Award (if not that, at least the Sassiest Character Award). His interactions with Kirk and Spock are just gold. Also for the record, we’re one episode into Season 2 and I can easily see Chekov becoming one of my faves. Dat accent!

Yes, that’s McCoy drinking a mint julep.

I also started thinking of a Star Trek Drinking Game, which can easily be played while watching any episode from TOS. For example,

One drink whenever…
-Captain Kirk’s shirt is ripped
-Spock raises one eyebrow
-Spock finds something “fascinating
-McCoy says he’s a doctor, not a ____
-Kirk snogs a girl
-Spock sees Kirk snogging a girl
-Communication with the ship is lost
-Close-ups of at least 3 faces in a row
-Phasers don’t work
-Kirk tells someone to explain something
-McCoy and Spock argue

Two drinks whenever…
-Captain Kirk’s entire chest is visible
-Spock raises both eyebrows
-A redshirt dies
-McCoy saves the day

Chug…
-Warp Speed 8
-Whenever there are 2 Captain Kirks
-Spock cries

I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this as we continue with Season 2. However, I do hope to have some other entries up and not disappear for another month. Wish me luck!

Amazing Journey, indeed

Last week I finished Pete Townshend’s autobiography “Who I Am,” which was a long and entertaining read. While I was reading the book, I kept thinking how much great material there was for a Pete-themed drinking game (ironic, given a lot of the subject matter). For example,

Take a drink:
*Every time you come across the words “auto-destruction”, “Impressionism”, or “visaging”
*Any time Pete goes on a tangent about his childhood
*Whenever Roger wants to get The Who back together and Pete isn’t interested
*For every groupie that John has
*Whenever Keith does something ridiculous (“While I made progress with my search for meaning, Keith was causing havoc with a birthday cake, a car, a swimming pool, a lamp and a young fan’s bloody head”)
*Whenever Pete cheats on his wife but he has such nice things to say about the girl he cheated on her with that somehow it seems ok
*Every time you turn the page during the “Acknowledgements” section

Take two drinks:
*Every time Pete drinks Remy Martin
*Every time Pete “quits drinking”
*Any time you think for a second that you understand Lifehouse
*Any time Pete agrees to do something, then backs out, then agrees again

In all seriousness though, this was a great read. I’ve always wanted to get a glimpse into Pete’s head, since he’s such an unconventional rockstar, and this was probably the closest I’ll ever get.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the Coda:

Play to the gods, or Рif you prefer Рto a small basket full of stuffed toys, or sing into the mouth of a hot-water bottle, or turn the knobs on a chest of drawers and pretend to be 20,000 leagues under the sea.  

It’s all the same thing. If in doubt, just play.