The Beatles almost broke up while making their last album ‘Let It Be’

Songwriting was on the wall for the Beatles long before they were officially named.

In fact, the Fab Four split nearly halfway through the production of their last album, 1970, “Let It Be,” in January 1969.

“Then there were two,” Paul McCartney said when he and Ringo Starr only appeared in the studio in “The Beatles: Get Back,” a three-part documentary series that premieres Thursday on Disney+, which tracks the “Let It Be” industry.

With tensions already running high on a tight two-week deadline to write and record an entire album before Starr began filming “The Magic Christian,” George Harrison had creative differences with McCartney while John Lennon was increasingly attached to present-day Yoko Ono. In extensive and intimate detail, “The Beatles: Get Back” captures a group on the verge of the biggest breakup of the band in pop history over the nearly eight hours of footage originally filmed by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg for the 1970 documentary “Let It Be.” . ”

“Get Back” reveals that “Let It Be” was intended to bring the Beatles back to the masses.
Linda McCartney

Now, in what seems like a polished, enlarged version of Beatles superhero fans, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson takes you inside the “Let It Be” industry — and the breakup of the Beatles — virtually in real time. It’s a slow fade, but it’s inevitable.

“Get Back” – which takes its name from the closing track of “Let It Be” and which was supposed to be the album’s title – was intended to bring the Beatles back in front of audiences after they decided to stop performing live at the end of 1966. Thus, after The charmingly complex studio of albums like 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club,” this was the band making music live again.

But while the documentaries show them they’re working on songs like “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I Have Fee,” “The Two of Us” and “One After 909” — which Lennon revealed he wrote when he was about 15 — the tension is palpable from the start.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono was always by John Lennon’s side while making the movie “Let It Be”.

After getting more creative input into the 1969 movie “Yellow Submarine,” Harrison is no longer convinced to take a back seat to McCartney and Lennon—the Beatles want him to have a more collaborative vision. “It should be the place if I write a song, I feel as if I wrote it. And vice versa.

Meanwhile, McCartney — as “the ship’s captain” — is frustrated at having to play the role of task manager: “I’m afraid to be the boss, and I’ve had a few years, for example,” he says. “And I didn’t get any support or anything. So I just say, ‘Hell, well, f–k it.'”

At one point, McCartney reprimanded Lennon for not learning the lyrics to “Two of Us.” “You have to remember the words,” he says. “Yes, I have it here,” Lennon replied, pointing to his word paper. “Well, teach them,” McCartney says, casting an inaccurate shadow.

Paul McCartney
The film The Beatles: Get Back depicts Paul McCartney’s frustration with his bandmates while making the movie “Let It Be.

McCartney and Lennon haven’t written much together since Ono came into the picture, and Maca says he misses “that thing together.” But he knows exactly where the Beatles stand in Lennon’s life now: “If it’s about pushing Yoko and the Beatles, it’s Yoko.”

However, while Ono has been so attached to Lennon during sessions that you can see her picking the lint off his shirt, McCartney doesn’t seem to be upset with her: “She’s cool. She’s really okay. They just want to be near each other. I just think it’s ridiculous of me or anyone trying to tell him, “No, you can’t.”

Besides, McCartney had more friction with Harrison, who also found him controlling. “I’m trying to help, you know,” McCartney told Harrison. “But I always hear myself bothering you, and I’m trying to [help]. “

George Harrison and John Lennon
George Harrison and John Lennon clashed with Paul McCartney during the making of “Let It Be”.

Apparently unhappy, Harrison replied, “I’ll play, you know, whatever you want me to play, or I won’t play at all if you don’t want me to play. Whatever pleases you, I will. But I don’t think you really know what it is.” this person “.

Tensions keep rising until Harrison finally hits her. “I think I’m leaving the band now,” he says. “Get a replacement.” Then he tells his bandmates, “See you around the clubs.”

Without a lead guitarist, the Beatles contemplate their future. “If he doesn’t come back by Tuesday, we will be back [Eric] Clapton,” Lennon tells Beatles producer George Martin.

But Harrison returned, under the circumstances that the Beatles moved Sessions from Twickenham Studios to their Apple Studio in London and to use Billy Preston as a keyboard player. The documentary series ends with a 40-minute performance by the Beatles on the rooftop of Apple Studio.

the Beatles
The Beatles performed in 1969 on the roof of the Apple Studio building, where they recorded some of “Let It Be.”
Getty Images

It would be unsurprising – given the tensions on display – their last live performance as a band.

But the Beatles put “Let It Be” aside and continued with “Abbey Road” which was released in September 1969. However, Lennon informed his bandmates that he was jumping ship prior to the release of this album. McCartney, Harrison, and Starr would go on to finish “Let It Be” — including cutting the title track — themselves. But by the time the album was released in May 1970, the Beatles had officially announced their breakup.

“Get Back” reveals that as much as he tried to fight it, McCartney definitely saw the split. “We cannot continue this matter indefinitely,” he once said in his resignation. “It looks like we are, but we can’t.”


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