Almanac Music (Review): Thank you Mr. Jackson







I became besotted with The Beatles around the end of 1965 when I saw vision of the four mop-tops on our tiny black and white HMV television in our lounge room in Shepparton in country Victoria. I wanted to play the guitar like John, Paul and George so Mum and Dad bought me a ukulele that Christmas. I’ve lived with a guitar ever since.


Dad would buy the early Beatle LPs on reel to reel tape and when we finally purchased a stereo record player, I systematically bought every vinyl Beatle album with my meagre pocket money. By about 1973 I had every Beatle LP including a rare bootleg album from the Hamburg days.


I loved them all, but Revolver, Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road were my favourites. I saw all the Beatle movies, never bought into the Paul Is Dead fiasco, was sad and dismayed when they broke up in 1970 and shed a tear when John Lennon was slain in front of the Dakota building New York in 1980. It was one of those “where were you” moments.


I recently hosted a Beatles 160 to 1 countdown on a community radio station in Sydney where I rated every Beatle song across their studio albums. I rated A Day in the Life as my number one. It was a very difficult task indeed. One of my all-time favourite Beatle tracks is ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ as it was the first inclination of the transition from four chord ditties to psychedelia – Sgt Pepper was coming!


You can imagine my excitement and anticipation when it was declared that renowned film director Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fame was to trawl through 180 hours of vision taken during the Let It Be recording sessions to direct and produce a three-part documentary totalling nearly 10 hours. It took four years for the final product to be released on Disney Plus on November 25, 2021.


Get Back by Peter Jackson takes us on an extraordinary journey of musical genius, undeniable chemistry both positive and negative, pain-staking hard work, satirical and slapstick humour, sadness and the inevitable individual talents that were about to flourish into solo careers.


The remastering of the original footage is exquisite and looks as if it was filmed yesterday such is the clarity. Jackson takes the viewer into the studio to the point where you feel as if you’re sitting in on the sessions taking it all in and being a part of history. The audio complemented by subtitles ensures you don’t miss any part of the absorbing dialogue between the band and associates. There were even hidden microphones in a pot plant when John and Paul meet in a cafeteria for a “heart-to-heart” over the plight of George Harrison, and other musings.


The construction of songs is simply fascinating. Some 50 years later we all know the lyrics to these timeless classics and to witness them unfold before our eyes and ears is truly mesmerising stuff.


Given the period the doco covers, the demise of The Beatles is imminent in this brilliant documentary which climaxes with the full 45 minute footage of the famous rooftop concert (the last time they played to a live audience) and features interviews with members of the public from the street below and the comical police response.


Get Back takes you on an amazing journey (It’s almost an historic event) and is a must-see whether you’re a Beatles fan or not. It will surely be released as a special edition DVD/Blueray box set with additional bonus extras-please!


Get Back is still screening on Disney Plus and it is worth the subscription just to see this masterpiece.


In the meantime, I’m returning to Part 1 to experience it all over again!


Thank you Mr Jackson.



Read more from Richard Griffiths HERE






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  1. Thanks RG and what a wonderful moment in Shep to have your mind blown away by easily the best band rocknroll ever blew guts into.

    Can we get a copy of your Beatles 160-1 countdown? I’d love to read or listen to it.

    Get Back is beyond brilliant. And I’ve only watched Part 1. How frickin tense is that room, at times! Thank your own god/s that Lennon had Yoko with him because he is barely hanging there even with her support.

    Plenty of laughs including while singing, “nothing’s gonna change my world” John pipes up with “I wish it fucking would”.


  2. Likewise I have only got through part 1 so far, but what an eye-opener.

    Footage of McCartney fiddling around with a riff and creating ‘Get Back’ out of nowhere is gold, as it is when he is tooling around on the piano with the opening chords to ‘Let it Be’.

    Unfortunately a clearly ‘chemically-impacted’ Lennon cannot match his writing partner’s creative output.

    Then Harrison comes in one morning with the song, I Me Mine, he wrote the night before after watching a waltz program on the BBC. The passive-aggressive interplay between Harrison and McCartney is painful yet enthralling.

    Poor old Ringo just has to sit there while all the shenanigans are going on around him.

    Yoko has copped more than her fair share of flak over the years but for mine the original director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, is the most grating on-screen presence. For christ’s sake man! Shut up about Libya!!!

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