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Graham S

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  1. And now I’m leafing through the coffee table book. Paul “Even a Tunisian amphitheatre can be boring. I don’t dig underestimating what’s here. You should get really close up, like right into one of John’s eyes. Can you do that?” Michael “I just thought of going to Africa because we colonised it.”
  2. I’ve completed leg 2 of the Gorf King trilogy and watched Let It Be tonight. The first half is pretty miserable. It looks and sounds terrible and without context it’s like nothing is happening. Once the songs are worked up though it gets loads better. I much prefer Two of Us Let It Be and Long and Winding Road at the heart of the movie instead of an end credits afterthought, especially when I now read them as all being about Paul and John. And the rooftop concert is great. It works really well the way they’ve edited the police footage to tell the story somewhat differently than it really played out, and the crowd scenes are good too. The best bit is in the break of I’ve Got a Feeling when Paul and the guitars are squealing and it cuts to a middle aged redhead in horn rims shaking her head bewildered saying “I just can’t seem to make sense!”
  3. Yeah, I've got to the end of that book now and it doesn't leave you with a nice feeling. But then I'm not sure what I'd expect from a book that simply recounts 50 years of court cases and negative stories in the press. Maybe best to just print the legend and presume that reality sits somewhere in between the two.
  4. I would say that when it covers the Get Back sessions, it gives you a different, more relentlessly negative impression than the film did. I choose to take from this that even when bad things happen, there can still be a lot of fun and joy and love in between.
  5. Around the time of the rooftop concert, John wants Allen Klein (featured briefly in the film) to manage Apple / The Beatles affairs. Paul wants his father in law to do it. They can't agree, and for the first time there's a 3 vs 1 split isolating Paul which is the beginning of the end. The two sides have an adversarial relationship that gets worse. Allen Klein basically takes over, cleans house at Apple, fires loads of people, and it's only when he tries to fire Neil Aspinall that the Beatles intervene. There is also a lot of wrangling around the publishing side of things with a battle for control with other companies for Northern Songs (Dick James features in the film) and Paul goes behind John's back to buy shares but ultimately they lose out to Lew Grade, the impresario. They also miss out on the chance to control Brian Epstein's company, and the big share of the Beatles income that they are owed. EMI stop paying royalties until it's resolved. They do manage to record Abbey Road, my favourite Beatles album. John secretly leaves the group. Paul loses control of Let It Be. The other Beatles get Phil Spector in to ruin The Long and Winding Road against his wishes. The Beatles try to fuck around with the release of Paul's solo album. Paul releases a bitchy Q&A and breaks up the Beatles publicly, and is pilloried by press and fans for the next decade. Paul sues the Beatles to dissolve their partnership in the High Court and prevails. All the Beatles fall out with each other at one time or another, and a lot of the book is the soap opera of that feuding and public slaggings. A lot of it is pretty horrible. George is initially the most successful Beatle as a solo artist and runs a proto-Live Aid. Paul's solo efforts get slagged off and he becomes depressed, but eventually family life and music turn things around. John goes to NY, does drugs, gets political, gets into primal scream therapy, is in a bit of a state. Ringo is a bit lost, sells quite a few records, eventually alcohol takes a toll. The business issues seem endless. All of them are continually asked about re-unions but it never happens. I've not finished the book yet. Ultimately one Beatle is murdered by a crazed fan, another one is almost murdered by a crazed fan and dies not too long after. Orson Welles said, "If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story".
  6. We've been robbed of many things by John's murder, which was a tragedy and a great loss, but on the other hand I'm glad he's not on Twitter.
  7. As a desperately sad coda to the film, reading this for what happened next to a soundtrack of Phil Spector’s Long and Winding Road / Too Many People / How Do You Sleep? Spoilers: no happy ending so far.
  8. In that 4 hour podcast Jackson was saying there isn’t a theatrical version. Basically he came to realise that you couldn’t tell a story in that time, you’d only get 5 minutes per day. The film they showed at premieres and things was his 10 minute pitch video he used to get funding for the project, one day of rehearsals / recording as is in the film, and the whole rooftop concert. But although people enjoyed it he didn’t think it was worth seeing, they just had to quickly put something together based on what they’d made for the tv show. You didn’t really have any context as to what was going on. It was possible but not planned that there would be an even longer version, as he thought he could find a couple more hours of good material. But Disney weren’t very interested in an extended directors cut blu ray, they didn’t think there was a business case for them, so Jackson smuggled a longer running time into the agreed 3*2 hour shows.
  9. Salman Rushdie was there. https://salmanrushdie.substack.com/p/passing-by-the-concert-on-the-roof
  10. There's one bit where a Beatle says something mean to George (basically putting him in his place) and I was shocked. Billy had an interesting wiki page. Religion, drug addiction, childhood sexual abuse, closeted homosexuality, arrested for sexually assaulting a 16 year old Mexican boy, arrested for burning down his own house in an insurance scam.
  11. I'm 2h20 into this Jackson interview. The audio tapes were famously stolen by an Apple employee in the early 70s, heavily bootlegged and recovered in Amsterdam in a sting operation in 2003. But there were 10 hours of Nagra tapes that were never found, and nor have they made it to any bootlegs. Jackson realised that for cutting the film, Michael would have a black and white film with audio made of the rushes, and asked Apple for all of them, and so managed to recover 3 of the 10 hours of missing audio for the first time. The 7 missing hours must have been from days that Michael had already decided wouldn't make the finished film.
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