Sunday, January 9, 2022

Beatles Get Back 6: January 9

The future Linda McCartney makes her first appearance today, as Paul introduces her to Michael and director of photography Tony Richmond. He moves to the piano and begins playing “Another Day”, two years away from its release as his first solo single. Mal asks if he has anything else, and he starts working on “The Long And Winding Road” while Michael still tries to interest Ringo in the amphitheater in Africa. (Besides being tasked with writing down lyrics, it’s clear Mal is a sounding board for them as well.)
Michael and Linda share their affection for Ringo as he goes to join Paul, who plays “Golden Slumbers” while Linda takes pictures. George arrives, and Paul auditions the unfinished “Carry That Weight” as a possible song for Ringo to sing. At this point there’s a space for a verse that will ultimately go unused. He then moves on to an instrumental the screen identifies as “The Castle Of The King Of Birds” while George takes a turn at Ringo’s drum kit. He’s not bad, either.
There’s an abrupt edit to George busking “For You Blue”, written the night before, while Paul plays piano parts very similar to those on the eventual album version. John appears wearing what he calls “continuity clothes”—basically, the same outfit he had on the day before. George agrees it will look good for the film, but we suspect he’d simply slept in them.
Having been inspired by George’s output, Paul leads rehearsals of “Get Back” in order to develop lyrics for the verses. The screen captions helpfully inform us that England had been experiencing a wave of “anti-immigrant protests” lately as Paul improvises lines about Pakistanis and Puerto Ricans. This leads to a very silly improvisation along the same lines called “Commonwealth”, with goofy voices sung by Paul and interjected by John. George and Ringo offer their usual solid musical support, and Mal can be seen in the background taking notes, just in case; you never know with this crew.
John moves to the piano so they can rehearse “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”, which the film doesn’t tell us had been rehearsed during the previous two days. It’s a bit slow, but Paul enjoys John’s reactive interjections to various lines (“And so I quit the police department…” “Get a job, cop!”) He’s back on guitar for a montage of upbeat jamming, including the impromptu “Suzy Parker”, which was featured in the Let It Be film. A verse of George playing Bob Dylan’s then-unreleased “Mama You Been On Mind” is intercut with shots of John watching and Paul and Linda cuddling. A jokey trad jazz take on “Across The Universe” cuts to another improvised song, “Shakin’ In The Sixties” (“with a book bought by Dick James,” in foreshadowing; further foreshadowing occurs when Paul says it’s getting loud and John says he can “leave the group then if you don’t like it”).
Paul’s back at the piano so they can learn “Let It Be”; John and George are standing for a change, mostly so they can see Paul, and John covers up his struggles at playing the six-string bass by harmonizing badly. Glyn offers astute suggestions for the arrangement, and Linda and Yoko are shown in rapt conversation; perhaps comparing notes on the time each spent living in Scarsdale and attending Sarah Lawrence College?
It actually has been something of a productive day musically. Other sources aver that some of these songs are shown out of order, having been subject to Jackson’s editing, but the band got a lot of playing in for a change. Best of all, they’re not seen being pestered about how to plan The Big Show, which still has a dress rehearsal scheduled in nine days’ time.

1 comment:

  1. I always thought that the 2nd verse of "Get Back" started with "Sweet Loretta Modern". I like my lyric better.