Friday, December 10, 2021

Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ long but worth it

                                                    Photo courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd.
     Sometimes you write something, and later realize it missed the crux of what you wanted to say. What I wanted to say was that I always took the Beatles for granted—they were a given like air. The "Get Back" documentary gave me a new appreciation for their artistry. Maybe that's implied.

     “I want to watch that again,” my wife said, surprising me. We had just sat through the three-part, seven-hour-and-48-minute “The Beatles: Get Back,” a Disney+ documentary on the January 1969 recording sessions that led to the group’s last album. We see the Fab Four trying to knock together new songs while planning a concert to give the TV special that they think they’re filming a big finish.
     But where should they perform? On a ship? At some ancient amphitheater in North Africa?
     Amazing that a show can be that long and slow-moving — almost nothing happens in the way of dramatic development; George Harrison gets in a snit; there’s that concert to plan — yet also so compelling. My wife and I hurried to the TV after dinner to watch the second and third episodes, as if it were some kind of cliffhanger.
     As the musical glacier formed before us, flake by flake, one question kept tugging my sleeve: What does Terri Hemmert think of this?
     You know Aunt Terri, the beloved radio disc jockey whose soothing voice has been a fixture on WXRT-FM (93.1) for almost half a century. For nearly two decades, Hemmert has hosted Breakfast with the Beatles on Sunday mornings and been dubbed “Chicago’s #1 Beatles Fan.”
     I tracked Hemmert down in her car. To my surprise, she hasn’t finished watching “Get Back.” Too busy.
     “I’ve seen all but the last two hours,” she said. “I’m going to see the last part Saturday. I don’t even have a TV.”
     Is this not a big deal for you?
     “I’ve been waiting for it,” she said. “Anticipating it for a long time.”
     And the verdict is?

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  1. So worth it! I found part 1 to be somewhat depressing because of the discord between them. But the other parts showed more of the joy and fun of the collaborative process. And to watch songs you’ve known forever as they evolve from nothing is amazing. My favorite moment was when the roof venue was suggested to Paul.

  2. I wasn't much interested in the Beatles when they first hit our shores, although I enjoyed "Yesterday" just as I ate up "Bonjour Tristesse"-- forever the philistine, I guess. The movie does seem to be worth it, however. Thanks for the recommendation.


  3. Not that anybody would care about my opinion, but I have found little wit in popular music lyrics since the Beatles. Some of their stuff will endure.


    1. After I got older, and more into into jazzy rock, I preferred a side dish of snark with my wit...thus, Steely Dan. They serve up snark like Mother used to make.


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