"Get Back", the book and documentary that shed new light on the end of the Beatles

Conversations by Paul, John, George and Ringo, recorded in the studio in 1969 and then decrypted, can be found in the book The Beatles: Get Back, which is released in France on Thursday.

An autumn in Beatles colors. Get Back, a book taken from the conversations of the Fab Four in the studio in early 1969, was released this Thursday as a scout for an event documentary by Peter Jackson, scheduled for the end of November. And to complete it all, a birthday box of Let It Be, planned for the 50 years of the disc last year but shifted by the health crisis, appears this Friday.

Get Back, this is the original name of the project for which the Beatles returned to the studio in London in January 1969 (the last real year of the group’s existence). But the tapes of this album are put away in the closet. These sessions will then provide ammunition for Abbey Road and, above all, the tracks reworked by producer Phil Spector (known for his famous sound barrier) will give Let It Be, final album released (with a song entitled Get Back).

And the working sessions for the aborted album Get Back, entirely recorded and filmed in the optics at the time of a documentary film, now provide exceptional material on the history of the legendary group.

“All kinds of myths”

The conversations of Paul, John, George and Ringo decrypted from the audio tapes first give The Beatles: Get Back, appeared simultaneously in several languages ​​on Tuesday, including in English by Callaway editions.

“There are really things that we did not suspect the existence, it is a treasure for enthusiasts”, illuminates Michka Assayas, renowned rock critic who provided the French translation, which is released Thursday by Seghers editions.

“I was the first to subscribe to all kinds of myths like ‘Paul and John hated each other, didn’t communicate too much, the aborted album went very badly.’ But when you see the conversations being transcribed, you hear a big complicity between the two, it works godly, songs fuse, like jokes “, continues the author of a dictionary-reference of rock.

So far, the available images of this time, in the film Let It Be, yet showed raw nerves in the studio. “We staged a shouting match in Let It Be, but shouts like that exist in all the groups in the studio, it struck people because nobody had seen them shouting before “, nuance Michka Assayas.

“It was said that the group was dying at the time, that the outcome was fatal: not at all, it worked well in early 1969,” he insists.

Until then, the general public attributed the paternity of the separation to Paul McCartney, who had only made things official in a press release in April 1970. But in a recently released excerpt, taken from an upcoming interview on the BBC on October 23, we hear “Macca” say: “I did not cause the separation. He was our Johnny (Lennon)”.

“We just have to ask Clapton”

“Lennon sidelined the group in the middle of 1969”, abounds Michka Assayas. However, all is not rosy at the start of the year.

“Right in the middle of the sessions, George is gone: he doesn’t want to be the patronizing little brother anymore (by Paul and John). The band turns and Ringo says, ‘If we’re playing three, you have to play harder when even ‘and John said provocatively’: ‘We just have to ask Clapton to come’, we feel that everything is possible in fact, ”the exegete still confides.

But Harrison returns. And Michka Assayas does not want to retain that this episode: “What I perceived, it is the constant disconnade, they are like a bunch of kids who laugh, it is not at all gloomy”.

Peter Jackson, director of the saga of Lord of the Rings, also emphasizes the joy of living in the studio to announce its upcoming documentary series. “I have not seen the film, but I was told that there are many other things compared to the book,” says Michka Assayas.

The Beatles: Get Back, so it is also the title of this documentary event – more than six hours of restored unpublished images, divided into three episodes – which will be broadcast for three days on the Disney + streaming platform, on November 25, 26 and 27. More than half a century after their separation, the history of the Beatles continues to be written.

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