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Beatles - Get Back new book

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jack, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maplewood
    I think Can't Buy Me Love (outside the Lewisohn book) is the best Beatles book.

    Just reread it again after 10 years, great insight and great writing, especially the part on Beatlemania
     
  2. Muddy

    Muddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I feel your pain.
     
  3. Fivebyfive

    Fivebyfive Forum Resident

    Location:
    East coast, US
    John Harris, who edited the Get Back book, made this 15 minute film that's on The Guardian about the making of Let it Be. He got some terrific new footage of Twickenham, inside the 0ld Apple building today (it's now an Abercrombie & Fitch store) and up on the roof, too. It's really marvelous.

    Here's a link to the movie:
    The Beatles, Get Back and London: on the trail of a timeless story – video
     
  4. Fivebyfive

    Fivebyfive Forum Resident

    Location:
    East coast, US
    I really like the Can't Buy Me Love book, too. I have a lot of Beatles books and I think Jonathan Gould, might be the only Beatles author (that I've ever read) who manages to write about the band without sounding like he has a favorite Beatle.
     
    tages, joy stinson, Keith V and 4 others like this.
  5. beatlesblogger

    beatlesblogger Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    This great! Thanks for sharing. :agree:
     
  6. SJB

    SJB Beloved Parasitic Nuisance

    Location:
    Maryland
    I've only been to Britain once, and while I was in London I was sure to visit 3 Savile Row and 3 Abbey Road (and, yes, I was photographed on the zebra crossing). I didn't get inside any of the buildings but there was still a sort of sense of pilgrimage.
     
  7. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dunstable, MA
    I only managed to make it to Abbey Road Studios but I completely agree.
     
  8. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dunstable, MA
    It really strikes me reading this book again that personality wise, the Beatles as they are presented to us here are much closer to the John, Paul, George and Richie that we meet in Lewisohn's Tune In than anywhere else.

    I'm not suggesting that they were really different people during Beatlemania, but rather that we have been shown an idealized perception of them for a very long time...

    It almost seems like by reaching into the past deliberately during this project, the preceeding 10 years may have not as well have happened for them, or perhaps felt like it due to how fast paced they were and how much pressure was put on them to present as a unit.
     
  9. MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt

    MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt Just spinning on my axis

    Location:
    London
    I must check that out, thanks for the recommendation. I've read a lot of Beatles books too, and have never really been satisfied with any of them. Totally agree with you that somehow, they all have a favourite Beatle - it's usually John - and it's always really obvious.
     
    tages and Fivebyfive like this.
  10. MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt

    MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt Just spinning on my axis

    Location:
    London
    I made it to Abbey Road last weekend for the 90th anniversary lecture. Got some interesting gear pics. It was incredible to be there, and a highly informative lecture.
     
  11. MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt

    MaybeI'mMrsVandebilt Just spinning on my axis

    Location:
    London
    It is interesting how different authors present the Beatles. And who got closest to the truth? We'll never know. Doggett is the worst for me for just being plain miserable and glum, and terribly biased. My favourite is probably Hunter Davies. I thought he was quite balanced really, especially considering he had to try and appease people like Aunt Mimi! Apple to the Core authors were entertaining but did present them as a type of Fagin's boys (from Oliver Twist), a gang of sorts - fiercely loyal but just as likely to turn on each other. Probably more than a grain of truth in that! I'm sure you're right that fans were presented with an idealised version of them during Beatlemania. Isn't that what John was so conflicted about?
     
    joy stinson and batdude98 like this.
  12. Fivebyfive

    Fivebyfive Forum Resident

    Location:
    East coast, US
    The other thing that's good about Gould's book is that he places the music in the social context of the times -- not just in the UK but in the US, too. The book's title is Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America, and it does justice to the full picture. Some reviewer described it as "a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism," and I would agree.

    Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head sort of does all three but it's light on the biography and heavy on the music theory. And of course RITH is a song-by-song analysis with a couple of long essays while Gould's is a narrative.
     
  13. Mike M

    Mike M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maplewood
    Two great books.
     
  14. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    I’ve commented on Gould’s book elsewhere with much of the same things about it you’re pointing out. One of my favorite approaches is how he really humanizes The Beatles and almost makes it seem that under the right circumstances, almost any one of “us” could have been “the boys who became The Beatles”. So brilliantly put; this is one if my top three or four Beatle books.
     
  15. hEARt PhoniX

    hEARt PhoniX living musical polyamory

    Location:
    Südharz, Germany
  16. Fabrice Outside

    Fabrice Outside Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    just landing on this thread...are there variations depending on which Get Back book you buy ?
    I mean , are the US / UK edition just the same ?

    I'm considering buying either an english speaking edition or the french one, so if anyone picked up on differences ( paper quality ? ) , I'm interested.
    thanx in advance
     
  17. not yonder

    not yonder Forum Resident

    (Here's a post about the book and the film that it was suggested was reposted here:)


    I've been comparing the content of the Disney programme Part One with the content of the Get Back book that came out recently.

    I'm sure I read a quote on here somewhere about John Harris, the book's editor, saying the book was about twice as extensive as the film. Maybe that's true if you compare it with the original version of the film meant for cinemas, but if you compare it to the Disney programme, it looks like the book is much shallower. Here's some day by day comparisons:

    January 2nd

    The one thing I wish had been in the film is the first run through of All Things Must Pass, which is covered in the book. But overall the film has much more content. One thing I noticed is the difference in the order of conversations in the two media - so that while the whole thing is chronological day by day, there appears to be shuffling going on within one day's developments, though it's hard to tell whether the book or the film is diverging from the true sequence of events. Could be both.

    January 3rd

    I wish the film had Ringo introducing his 'Picasso' song that the book mentions, but apart from that, as with day 1, it's the film that covers much more. There are long passages of key dialogue in the film that were edited out of the book:

    a) George saying the White Album was the only album so far he's really 'got involved in'
    b) George talking about the differences between him and Eric Clapton - saying Eric's 'good at improvising and keeping it going'.
    c) George talking about Billy Preston's role in Ray Charles' live performances.

    All the above are key context for later events and it's hard to understand how they could have been edited out of a book of that price.

    January 6th (Monday)

    This is the day of Paul and George's 'annoying you' spat - but the book skips over huge parts of the relevant dialogue. It also leaves out key discussion about Magic Alex - how he first got involved with the band, and how George Martin has reservations about his reliability.

    But there is something huge on this day that the book has and the film doesn't - Yoko's numerous contributions to the debate about what kind of concert they should end with. She puts forward a variety of creative ideas such as performing 'in front of 20,000 empty chairs' and saying the audience should be like 'The Invisible Nameless Everybody In The World'. None of this is covered in the film - in fact, there is almost zero Yoko content in the whole of part 1. Why? You can hear her after George leaves with her trademark vocals as the band freaks out instrumentally, but as for dialogue - zilch. Is it really plausible that Yoko just sat there for the first seven days making no contribution to the discussions at all? As the book shows us, it's not.

    January 7th

    There's a good bit in the book where George is talking about Paul, Jane and Cynthia looking like they're 'in agony' in photos from India - I'd have liked to have seen that in the film. By contrast, there is a nice section of discussion about possibilities for the concert in the film that the book doesn't cover - the part where it's suggested John performs a Jesus-like miracle at an orphanage and helps a child regain the ability to walk.

    January 8th

    The book has the section where they suggest Let It Be is recorded by Aretha Franklin - I'd like to have seen that in the film. Once again, though, the film's content is much more extensive. There is one section with Michael Lindsay Hogg saying to John 'Paul and you are not getting on as well as you did. This might make it better, whatever the wound is'. Once again, you're left thinking 'How can this have been edited out of the book?' That might be the only reference to Paul and John's relationship in the whole of the first seven days' filming.

    January 9th

    I'd have liked to have seen the discussion about John buying 'Lloyd George's old house' in the film (it's in the book), but yet again it's the film that covers the day's events in much more detail. The book mentions most of the tracks they attempt, but the whole 'Let It Be' section on this day is, for some reason, not mentioned at all. This is the day when Paul demonstrates his astonishingly wide range of musical talent (as mentioned in the post above) , and it's obvious why the book can't convey this in the same way, but still, you're left again with the feeling that the book has way too little dialogue for the bucks dished out.


    Overall, it's inevitable that two different versions of the sessions will have different editorial priorities, but in terms of length, it looks like Peter Jackson has got it about right with the film. I hope this analysis is helpful for anyone still not sure whether to buy the book or not. Just a word of balance - overall I don't regret buying the book. The photos are half the story of course, but I think John Harris (who's a wonderful writer) should have found a way to include far more of the dialogue.
     
  18. 5th-beatle

    5th-beatle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Get Back book has arrived from the UK!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    As someone who literally spent years transcribing this dialog in great detail, I think John Harris did a pretty remarkable job, considering the fact that he had a lot less time. The one misattributed dialog bit that bothered me ever so slightly was John's (I'm quoting from memory) "This is the first chance we've had to play for you dummies in a long time", which was mock stage patter for the intended show. The book attributes it to Ringo, who's the last member of the group who would make such a statement, even jokingly. It's so clearly a John thing to say. :)
     
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  20. Punman

    Punman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calgary
    NOT YONDER - I appreciate that you did a comparison between the book and the documentary. I watched the film once and then read the book the week following for the first time. The book was well put together and of good quality, but now that I have access to the documentary, I am not sure how much I will refer to the book.
     
  21. hEARt PhoniX

    hEARt PhoniX living musical polyamory

    Location:
    Südharz, Germany
    Taking into account that Jackson extended the movie even more than it already was just shortly before submitting it shows how independent both projects really were / turned out to be.
    There will always be instances of "I would have selected other bits", but it sure is worthwhile to analyze and compare.
     
    Floater likes this.
  22. Kahunasunset

    Kahunasunset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ireland
    I asked this question in the big "Get Back" thread a few moments ago (it's already got lost), so I'll try here.
    The last photo in the book, with a beardless Paul, does anyone know what session that's from?
     
  23. MerseyBeatle

    MerseyBeatle Martha my dear (1995-2012)

    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    You’ll want to read this thread. It’s still a mystery what they’re working on. Perhaps, ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’.
    Beatles February 1969 Mystery Session
     
    Hep Alien likes this.
  24. Kahunasunset

    Kahunasunset Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ireland
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  25. Stan94

    Stan94 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Paris, France
    Notice on the Get Back book flyer the price in US $ ? Makes me wonder how much British this book is (it was printed in Italy I think, at least the copy I have).
     

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