Gillmor Gang: Get Back

Today we sat on the deck with our daughter Ella and her boyfriend Nick. Knowing of my fascination with all things Beatles, Nick gave me a Japanese 45 of “Get Back” flipped with “Don’t Let Me Down.” His gift coincided with a five minute cut of material from a newly authorized production of a new version of “Get Back,” the film. A short history follows.

In the waning days of the Beatles’ partnership, the band decided to return to a more slimmed down production style, minus overdubs and plus a live feel. After original sessions in Twickenham Studios, the group decamped to the basement of their Apple headquarters and a hastily rebuilt studio courtesy of their usual producer, George Martin and loaned equipment from EMI Studios.

In the years since “Sgt. Pepper,” Beatles records had begun to retreat from their highly produced studio experiments. The recording of the most recent double album, “The Beatles” (commonly known as the “White Album”) included many loose, unfocused jam sessions, driving a wedge between the group and their producer that fostered a two-week holiday where Martin turned the production over to his assistant.

Multiple takes also exacerbated growing tensions between the band members, as hundreds of attempts to perfect Paul McCartney songs like “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” drove Lennon further into his heroin experiments with Yoko Ono. Bickering drove Ringo Starr to quit for two weeks before being lured back with flowers draping his drum kit; George Harrison invited Eric Clapton in to a session in (Read more...)