The Beatles 12/17/21

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Let It Be film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg is among one of the many fans of Peter Jackson‘s nearly eight-hour Disney+ docu-series, The Beatles: Get Back.

Having shot all the footage over 50 years ago, Lindsay-Hogg admitted to Variety, his interest was piqued as to how it all held up, explaining, “I was very interested to see how Peter put Get Back together. It’s like mine was a short story and his was a full-length novel. They each have different qualities, but I feel both can exist together. Peter has been very supportive of that and offered us the same equipment he pioneered in making his movie. The original (Director of Photography), Tony Richmond, and I have been working on the print, and it’s much lighter and doesn’t have the problems with the image being cut off for showing on TV.”

As may have seen throughout the Get Back footage, the Beatles were not on the precipice of splitting during the Let It Be sessions. But as Michael Lindsay-Hogg explains, having the movie released as the band broke up tainted history towards the project: “People are still living on confused memories of what was happening back then. Let It Be is not a breakup movie. We finished it long before things blew up. It’s a joyous movie when they were happy, performing on a rooftop. It’s f***ing great.”

He went on to reveal that back in the day, the Beatles were pretty much happy with his original edit of 1970’s Let It Be movie: “The only complaints I got was it was a little too long and (Apple executive) Peter Brown told me he got three calls that there was ‘too much John (Lennon) and Yoko (Ono).'”

Regarding the band’s infamous Apple Rooftop concert on January 30th, 1969, which served as the culmination to Let It Be, Michael Lindsay-Hogg remembered: “Paul (McCartney) was the one who pushed hardest to play. He knew we needed to do something special at that point. He knew the only thing that could keep the Beatles together was playing to an audience, keeping that relationship going. So, at this point, it was two against one, then out of the silence comes the voice of John Lennon. ‘F*** it. . . let’s do it.’ And that was the deciding vote. They went on to the roof and into history, and that was the last time they ever played together like that.”

We caught up with Michael Lindsay-Hogg and asked him about his main memories about filming the Beatles’ final live performance in the open air: [“Being on the roof was great and we knew however it ended up being edited and everything — we knew it was a one-off. We knew there was no going back for ‘take two.’ It was a singular event. We didn’t know they were going to break up — they didn’t know they were going to break up. But, as a singular event. . . All of us, we pulled it off. So that would be my memory of it.”] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC: . . . memory of it)

TL; DR

  • Let It Be director Michael Lindsay-Hogg maintains the Beatles‘ movie is far from the “breakup” movie it’s been branded over the decades, telling Variety: “Let It Be is not a breakup movie.  We finished it long before things blew up. It’s a joyous movie when they were happy, performing on a rooftop.”

SIDE NOTES

  • The success of the Peter Jackson‘s nearly eight-hour The Beatles: Get Back documentary on Disney+ still lingers with the band’s 1970 Let It Be album sitting on top of the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart for the first time.
  • Upon its original release, Let It Be hit Number One on the Billboard 200, topping the chart on June 13th, 1970 and ending Paul McCartney‘s three-week run on top of the charts with his solo debut, McCartneyLet It Be went on to hold the top spot for a solid month until the soundtrack to Woodstock displaced it.
  • The Rock Albums & Top Tracks chart was introduced in the March 21st, 1981 issue of Billboard — well over a decade after the Beatles split.