George/Paul dust-up during the Get Back sessions

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Joel1963, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Joel1963

    Joel1963 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I was just listening yesterday to the rehearsals of Two of Us on Jan. 10, 1969, which led to the George and Paul row. I think Paul McCartney was right to tell George Harrison how to play the song, as what he was playing to accompany the song was abrasive and inappropriate.
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  2. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    It was a filmed rehearsal. Paul could have been more tactful
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  3. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    "Tactful" and "Paul McCartney" don't belong in the same sentence, as I'm sure more than a few former McCartney bandmates and employees could probably tell you. This is the same guy who dismissively told George about eight months earlier when recording "Hey Jude", "No, George, you come in on the second chorus, maybe..." And it was Paul bringing up that session during those "Two Of Us" rehearsals that really set George off. The most telling thing George says during that little tete-a-tete is when Paul says, "I always seem to be annoying you..." and George responds "You don't annoy me anymore," as if to say, "It's too late, Paul, we're past that point now."

    People make a big deal out of that little argument between George and Paul but I bet a lot heavier talk went on when the cameras/microphones were turned off. I've been involved in more heated discussions in some of my own bands that little Paul/George dust up:laugh:...yet that's the fight that not only was captured on film but used in the final cut of Let It Be as well. Unintentionally a large part of that film's legacy, other than the rooftop concert footage.
  4. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    FWIW, the "Two Of Us" argument was on January 6 and then on the 10th George quit.
    notesfrom, theMess and aphexj like this.
  5. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Can you say, 'passive-aggressive'?
    PDK likes this.
  6. noahjld

    noahjld Witchfinder General/ Das Boz Boz

    Harrison should have chinned McCartney.
  7. ampmods

    ampmods Forum Resident

    Boston, MA, USA
    Picture yourself as George Harrison in 1969... you've been in the Beatle game your entire adult life and yet your contributions are third in line to your older peers. You can't win and at this point you aren't sure you even want to play. You certainly aren't very enthusiastic about the new project that you are forced to participate in. The last year was a bit of a nightmare for you with much of your material being rejected, the company you've started begrudgingly is a money pit and chaotic and you have other interests outside of the group. Your one time idol has largely checked out and never shown much interest in your material anyway. The one person who has supported your musical efforts more than the others also treats you like a junior employee. You are sick of all of it and are ready to do your own thing. But maybe you also aren't completely confident that you can do it outside the group.

    Picture yourself as Paul McCartney in 1969... you've been in the Beatle game your entire adult life and you've been considered one of the greatest of all time for most of that period. All you do is win. But it can't last forever and you know it. You have to work hard to keep it going... not just for you... but for the whole enterprise... not just for the group but now your company and your legacy. Your partner who once had ambitions greater than yours isn't all that interested anymore. The group that was once a 4 headed monster that seemed impervious to any outside forces is maybe at the peak of their creative and commercial success... but it's up to you to carry that weight alone and you know it. You still believe in the group and set up a situation where you think everyone will shine. But then you are disappointed when the reality isn't close to your vision. You feel the others pulling away and you resent being looked at like the headmaster. But you have to keep a brave face and push on. And you've been told again and again you are a genius and you can do it all. And you actually believe it.

    One cared too much. The other cared too little. The whole thing was basically over and it took those sessions for them to actually realize it.
  8. savemenow

    savemenow Forum Resident

    SE Pa
    If it were MY song, I would tell other musicians/bandmates how I want the song to sound. Have you ever heard Dylan's directives to his band/musicians? If you (George in this case) can't handle that...well? As my Polish grandfather use to say..."tough shiski"
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  9. Joel1963

    Joel1963 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The disc I heard is dated Jan. 10 and the unsuccessful tryouts of Two Of Us are on there, although the argument is not. The next sequence of the disc is post-George walking out.
    Ringmaster_D likes this.
  10. ZEP77

    ZEP77 Houston/Pontiac '77 Video. Where are you?

    I say one too many people in the studio.
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  11. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    Oradell NJ
    Filming all the rehearsals on a sound stage was probably not a great idea; they should have had a few days with the cameras off in a more comfortable environment so they could get the arguments about arrangements out of the way. I know they wanted to show the start of the live show from the ground up but the Twickenham material is really dreary.
  12. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    It doesn’t make sense to me why they didn’t film and rehearse and write and arrange in a studio like Abbey Road, Trident, Apple, etc and then move to the soundstage to record “live versions” of the songs. Watching the film, it is like they did it all backwards. Look at how much friendlier it all was by the time they listened to George’s demands and recorded at Savile Row.
  13. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs.

    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Harrison supposedly also had a heated argument with Lennon right around that time, which certainly did not help. I dont think that was filmed or recorded. Was that before or after this famous exchange with Macca?
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  14. major_works

    major_works This is my Custom Title

    Ramsey, NJ, USA
    I was 11 years old when LIB came out, and had been a Beatles nut since Ed Sullivan (and before, even, hearing them on the radio). I can remember my utter dismay and shock on seeing that moment in the film. Wow... the boys don't get along very well, do they? Having been brought up on the happy-go-lucky AHDN and Help! Beatles, it was quite an eye-opener for my naive young self. Of course, I had no clue what was going on with them in real life, nor could I fathom the intricacies of the relationships and dynamics within a working creative unit with other humans, all of whom had ginormous egos.
  15. kozy814

    kozy814 Forum Resident

    I've always had the sense that too much was made of this moment. It was rehearsal on an open soundstage at Twinkenham Studio. Cold/dank, with cameras and crew filming the band slogging thru half-finished songs. A real warts-and-all-fest as John was saying at the time. I can't imagine the best of brothers loving this scenario. The Beatles were trying to re-find a groove. They all had HUGE egos. They all had BIG pocketbooks. They each in their own way were tired and needed a beatle-break. Instead they forged on and it slid off the rails, with a bunch of name-calling and petulant behavior from each Beatle. Take the cameras out of this entire enterprise and it goes in a totally different direction. Just my opinion, but had they kept the dirty laundry in the hamper, they could have had a big dust-up and taken a nice long holiday with their trouble-makin' women and came back to work in 1970. As it turned out they took the whole breakup thing to extremes and let the egos call the shots.
  16. HaileyMcComet

    HaileyMcComet Forum Resident

    Hong Kong, China
    As band fights go, that one was very tame.
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  17. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    I think it was days after. The same day that George quit if I remember correctly.

    I agree. The first few times I saw it I wasn't even aware it was a fight.
  18. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    You folks should look into getting the 2 disc version of the Let It Be DVD. A lot more stuff on there that they did not want you to see.

    pm me if interested....
    BDC, jdrueke, goer and 2 others like this.
  19. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    I'd say you more or less nailed it:righton:
    On the first or second day of the sessions George actually said he thought they'd at least have a few days without being filmed and the others agreed, but Michael Lindsay Hogg (whom The Beatles really didn't like) and his crew showed up everyday just the same, it's as though The Beatles were afraid to tell them to f--k off:laugh:
    That friendly atmosphere at Savile Row was basically a direct result of George's actions and ultimatums, including adding Billy Preston as a temporary Fifth Beatle.
    Harrison's spat with Lennon -more than a spat, this time two Beatles nearly did come to physical blows, according to some sources (including Lennon) came a couple days later on January 9. To this day nobody is exactly sure what they were fighting about but most likely it was either about Yoko, John's drug use, his lack of involvement in the project or all of the above.It was George's argument with Lennon that compelled him to leave the band on January 10.
    Hell, the fight my band had after we won the high school battle of the bands contest in grade 11 was worse than that:laugh:
  20. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    You should see me telling my band members how to play and sing my songs :)
  21. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Los Angeles, CA
    eh.. speaking as someone who was in a band for 10 years, the guy who wrote the song had the final say. There were times when I thought my ideas were brilliant but if the song-writer didn't want it in the song, out it went. In this case I'm with McCartney.

    George brought in Eric Clapton and Billy Preston to perform on released Beatles songs without much, if any, push-back from the others. It's a wonder Lennon didn't take this as an opportunity to insist that Yoko contribute a significant performance on a Beatles track, such as replacing the lead guitar in "Come Together" with a yodel solo.
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  22. One who ate George's digestive biscuits. How was he supposed to digest after that?
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  23. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    If you are in a band working out new original music to record, and there is someone who never fights with you about the arrangements, then you are in a band with someone who doesn't care about the quality of the end product and is just there for the cash/fame/groupies.
  24. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    That's part of the reason why I'm not in a band at the moment:laugh: There's a little McCartney in all of us musicians, let's put it that way:righton:
  25. YpsiGypsy

    YpsiGypsy Forum Resident

    Michigan, USA
    Harrison a songwriting peer to Lennon & McCartney? No, not even close.
    When he picked up the sitar and his guitar playing went down hill I'm sorry but he did himself in.
    Of course that is just my humble opinion, I wasn't there but I have heard the records.

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