Only 3 days to go until the rooftop, people!!!
A Quick Note: I’m glad that unlike most rock docs, there’s not an assembly line of current musicians bloviating how much The Beatles meant to them, like we give a damn about their humblebragging as they gush unabashedly. I get it - they're big fans themselves, and if you're doing a documentary and can get Dave Grohl to show up and gush, you do it. But one of the (many) great things about this movie is they don’t do this.
Very sweet of George to help Ringo write Octopus’s Garden. Especially considering how quickly John wanted to swap him out for Eric Clapton – like on Extras when Andy’s agent was ready to bring in Barry from Eastenders to replace Andy! 🤣🤣🤣🤣
While this is going on John walks in wearing all white, and Yoko wearing all black. Is this virtue-signaling - maybe they were setting up Yoko to break up the band, but just never got around to it? Fucking Lennon, lazy as ever.
I kinda get annoyed whenever John or Paul call Ringo “Richie”, but then I guess that’s the official name the two of them sign his weekly paychecks with, so 🤷
Paul walks in with one of Linda’s kids, Heather, who somehow did NOT get blamed for breaking up The Beatles. Interesting...curious...mildly amusing, even...
Pretty cute how she and John are playing along with each other, pretending to play with/eat tigers or some shit that heroically serves to further delay the world from having to hear Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions if only for a few moments, so thanks for that, Heather.
“You don’t eat a tiger with black spots.”
Okay this kid won’t shut the fuck up.
TFW you don’t check on what other people are wearing before you show up at the office…
Much has been made of the supposed Lennon joke about Paul being a better drummer than Ringo, “The best drummer in rock? Ringo wasn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles”…is Ringo now gonna hafta hear the inevitable “Ringo’s not even the best drummer wearing a calico burlap sack vest with paisley flower sleeves” jokes now? Damn.
Paul’s bitching about Ringo playing the drums too heavily as they run through Let it Be. How great would it be if Ringo blamed this little b*tch Heather who’s decided to bang around on his drum kit, quickly leading to a fight that tears Paul & Linda apart forever? Paul would never go on to become a vegetarian, John wouldn't get shot a decade later, George might not have the money to help Monty Python produce Life of Brian, and Ringo is the drummer. History really can turn on a dime, can't it?
Now Yoko’s singing. Into a live mic.
Her look galvanizes all mankind as good as any speech Churchill ever gave, and certainly was unrivaled throughout history until maybe - MAYBE! - Neil Armstrong a few months later.
As Stephen Banks BRILLIANTLY sang HERE:
"Yoko's driving me crazy, she's screaming in the hall
Yoko's driving me batty, with her crazy caterwaul
She can't sing, I thought she could
It may be art but it's not good
And you know what I think, as I sit here having a drink?
Dammit all, I miss Paul"
Is it really 50 years later and I’ve never heard a “JOKE-oh no” crack about Yoko Ono? What’s next, me going another fifty years without a triplets foursome in the sack (their mom filming, obvs)?
While I may go for some cheap laughs, again, I'm not blaming Yoko for anything, as I wrote during the first episode.
Julian Lennon must love watching how much fun John has interacting with Linda’s kid since when he was 6 years old he was locked away in the dungeon of one of John’s mansions, building a tool shed in his mind one piece of wood at a time so he didn’t go insane. Nice.
The way they’re rocking through Dig It right now tells me they should’ve worked it up into a real song for the album.
Now see, this is exactly what I don’t need, 10 minutes of vamping through the old 50’s hits they played in Hamburg.
Oh shit it’s worse, now Paul is teaching them The Long and Winding Road. Yikes.
I like how they're making up for John being such a crappy bass player by saying “fuck it, let’s give him a bass with 6 strings instead of just 4, maybe that’ll give him a better chance to hit the right bit from time to time.”
UPDATE: It doesn’t.
Again, I’m confused whenever I see George Martin hovering around the studio. I’d read a million books saying he told them fuck off, that he wasn’t gonna be around for their Let it Be nonsense, but he seems to be there plenty. But then again I’d always read they were at each other’s throats throughout the recordings and that doesn’t seem to be the case either. What’s next - women can orgasm through intercourse? Is there nothing left to believe anymore?
For someone with some famously amazing ears Glyn Johns has some buggy fucking eyes.
Oh good more romping thru old 50’s hits DAFUCK PETER JACKSON NOTHING ELSE IN THE GODDAM 60 HOURS OF FOOTAGE TO PICK FROM??!??!?!
George reminds John about some piece of songwriting advice John gave him 10 years ago that he now tries to apply to his own songwriting; apparently none of this precious advice included "maybe don't bring in the guy who's going to steal your wife to play on the goddam White Album?".
After trying to get through The Long and Winding Road they’re all bitching about the sound in the room, to which I’d respectfully suggest that maybe the shitty sound in the room is The Long and Winding Road?
The whole band is running through Oh! Darling. John on the song: “I always thought I could have sung it better. It was more my style than his. But he wrote it, so what the hell, he was going to sing it. If he had any sense, he would have let me sing it.” IMHO Lennon was a great singer, but as well know it had only been a few years since Paul had out-LittleRichard-ed Little Richard.
John gleefully announces Yoko’s divorce being finalized. In response Paul plays a new song, George prays to Vishnu, and Ringo is the drummer.
The band has left for the night now and the crew is goofing around pretending to play their instruments. This is pretty pathetic to watch.
George Martin makes fun of them for claiming to only want to lay down a song once and be done with it but instead playing it over and over; Paul makes fun of George Martin for going on to hire Homer Simpson as the safety inspector of a nuclear power plant. Even stevens, I guess.
Paul on the virtue of relentless work: “It’s together until you think you can do it better”. Thanks Paul, now nobody’s ever gonna attempt to have sex again. Awesome.
Wow, George is introducing them to what will become the amazing Something.
I’ve read a million books telling the story of George ambling through Something, unable to complete the song's second line, which begins "Attracts me ..." To serve as a temporary filler, Lennon suggested "like a cauliflower", which Harrison then altered to "like a pomegranate".
To now witness this moment as it really happened is just one of the amazing moments this film delivers for Beatles fanatics.
First Paul singing “Scrambled eggs” to the tune of Yesterday as he was writing it, now George with cauliflower & pomegranate? WTF is it with these people and food while they think of lyrics to their songs? They each weigh about 95 goddam pounds!
Oh oh now they’re doing I’ve Got a Feeling after Paul has left the room STOP IT GUYS HE’S GONNA COME BACK IN ANY MINUTE AND YOU’RE GONNA BE IN TROUBLE OH GOD GUYS PLEASE STOP!!!! PAUL'S GONNA FUCK YOU UP MAN, FUCK YOU GOOD:
George just asked Billy Preston how you tune an electric piano and I must admit, my mind is blown.
We are now witnessing the moment John mentions Allen Klein for the first time, telling George how amazing and incredible he is. Which is unfortunate since the one person who really broke up The Beatles in the end was, ta-DA! Allen fucking Klein.
Over the course of 23 years John said maybe 2 nice things about Paul McCartney, yet he can’t stop blathering on and on about how great Allen fucking Klein is.
I HAVE GOT TO GET ME SOME OF THAT ICONIC 60’S GREEN CARPET!!!
If you weren’t already 100% sure you could beat the hell out of George Harrison you should know that he just asked for someone to bring him some Size 8 slip-on shoes to try out, so.
Now they’re gawking at some newfangled electronics gadget John got after seeing it on tv and quite frankly I do not find George Harrison asking if it’s Japanese all that funny while being in the same room as Yoko. Dammit George, 2022 bro! Get woke!
Now 57 minutes into the third episode, I’m pretty sure I’ve just heard Billy Preston utter his first words, dicking around with this new gadget and saying “this is too much, man”. How funny would it be if he suddenly looked at the camera and said, "you know what'd REALLY be too much, man? A fat orange cat that hates Mondays and loves to eat some goddam lasagna!"?
"Emperor Nicholas II, they'd like to see you downstairs now, please...yes, bring the family..."
NO BEATLES DON’T DO IT DON'T DO IT BEATLES!
It's no coincidence that in that very moment, George trips over a mic stand. Grrr.
Glyn Johns, bless his bug-eyed heart, gently tries to warn John that Allen fucking Klein is history’s greatest monster. John is completely oblivious to Johns’ subtle hints such as “he’s very strange isn’t he?”, “Perhaps he doesn’t speak to you the same way he does other people because of who you are”, "I think he's about to invent the car alarm". Fucking hell.
If John Lennon had listened to Glyn Johns right now about Allen fucking Klein it could’ve saved not only The Beatles, but his own life. If The Beatles were still together in 1980 would Mark David Chapman have had a chance at killing him? Glyn Johns should go down in history as a goddam hero. Instead, he’ll forever be known as this guy:
Paul’s once again lecturing John about how the band needs to work harder and harder doing different things, doing more than simply recording albums. Here’s John:
This is Lennon's patented "by all mean Xmastime, explain to me some more why you don't need to wear a condom" look.
I’ve noticed both Paul and George are really good at bitching to the other band members about stuff without any of them calling them on it. “I dunno, maybe we should kill four more and get the entire week in January off…” Lots of sympathetic head-nodding without any “wtf are you talking about, asshole?”
George “of course I don’t want to go onto the roof” is the most George-being-George moment since the first episode’s “bitching that he hadn’t wanted to go to Manila in the first place is about the most George thing George could possibly have said at that moment" moment.
George is talking to John about doing a solo album. I’m not really sure what John really thinks about it but is George Harrison the first person to ever say “I’m gonna just do ME for a bit”? History really is being made here, people! #TheRealHousewivesofTheBeatles
Now they’re working up John’s I Want You (She’s So Heavy), which 1) would later end up on Abbey Road 2) is a terrible song 3) but sounds better in this more energetic, together & rocking version 4) to reiterate, is unlistenable to me on Abbey Road.
THURSDAY! ROOFTOP CONCERT DAY! IT’S HERE!
Now that the concert has actually started, there’s not much to really say here other than Peter Jackson’s direction is fantastic, balancing perfectly between the band on the roof and the people in the streets below; it perfectly tells the story of those 45-ish minutes of history. Some people loved the racket and the scene, some didn’t. Then the cops coming in, baffled and relentlessly polite, along with the heroics of the receptionist putting them off by pretending she had no idea who or what was making all the noise on the roof, is beyond comedic genius and couldn’t have been scripted better. All I’ll say here in the end is that after all the hours we’ve now spent with them, trying the new songs and fretting about the very existence of the band itself, the moment Paul McCartney walks through the door and onto the roof is a moment of triumph that literally made me whoop with joy. And still does.
You can read about those poor bastard cops HERE.
John’s line at the end of the show, “I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition” has been passed down thru the years rather famously to any Beatles fan. But it’s Paul’s moment at the end that hits me the hardest, him beaming after nailing the show and saying “thanks, Mo!” to Ringo’s wife, who had been a fan all the way back in their Cavern Days and was now furiously cheering them on with every note atop the roof. A beautiful moment.
Watching the four of them excitedly sit in the control room afterwards, listening to what they’d just done, is yet another moment of sheer magic I feel lucky to be able to watch.
This whole documentary is nothing short of a gift to all of us. Yes, particularly to Beatles fans, but to everybody. To terribly paraphrase another incredible British songwriter from the era we may all be living, but moments like these are what we’re all living for. I look forward to revisiting this movie time and time again over the next few decades.
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