A Long Rewinding Road – 10 Highlights From The Beatles: Get Back Documentary

Ringo's travel plans, George's sartorial choices, cups of tea - and more!

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Following John Robinson’s definitive review of The Beatles: Get Back, here’s a deeper dive into 10 key moments from Peter Jackson’s new Fabs documentary.

1
Pressure of time, explained

Q: Why are the Beatles doing all this, whatever it is, in such a hurry?
A: Because Ringo starts making The Magic Christian at Twickenham at the end of the month, and film producer Denis O’Dell will need both a) the studio and b) Ringo back by then.

2
Ringo won’t go abroad

Whatever the TV special involves, it won’t involve going abroad – Ringo won’t travel. “So us and Jimmy Nichol will be going…” says Paul darkly, referencing the one-time drummer stand-in.

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3
Macca pulls “Get Back” out of the air at Twickenham

Just walloping away at his bass, singing to himself. George yawns a bit while he does it, because you imagine he sees this sort of thing a lot.

4
Tea and toast

It’s not all drugs, you know. The Beatles of 1969 are fuelled by a substantial supply of tea and toast. Mal Evans and Kevin Harrington are officially equipment/tour managers but they spend a lot of time putting the kettle on.

5
George’s clothes

George is jaw-droppingly well-turned out. McCartney might be on the form of his life, but he (once best dressed Fab, 1965-8) is now apparelled like a man on his way to worm a horse.

6
George plays “Mama You Been On My Mind”

The others make out that this is a bit old hat, but his take on Dylan’s loveliest tune at Twickenham points the way to the tender, acoustic 1970s.

7
Maureen Starkey loves the Beatles

Ringo met his wife “Mo” at the Cavern, and being married to a Beatle hasn’t dimmed her enthusiasm. Foot tapping, head nodding, rooftop or studio playback, she’s bang into the Beatles. Fair point, madam.

8
Unstarry behaviour

At one point a tray of orange squashes is brought over. At another, they get a beer. But that’s about it: no moaning about the cold or anything. They just get on with it.

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9
Apple receptionist Debbie Wellum

Keeps coppers and other slightly cross rooftop concert-affected persons at bay by disassociating herself from the situation completely: “I think it’s for a film”… “I don’t know anything about that…” Never apologise, never explain.

10
Rooftop debrief

The series doesn’t only show you the band live, it shows you them afterwards, listening back to it all. They’re quite happy, really – if keen to understand what “disturbing the peace” really means, legally.

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