This intimate, riveting book invites us to travel back in time to January 1969, the beginning of The Beatles’ last year as a band. The BEATLES (‘The White Album’) is still at number one in the charts, but the ever-prolific foursome regroup in London for a new project, initially titled Get Back.
Over 21 days, first at Twickenham Film Studios and then at their own brand-new Apple Studios, with cameras and tape recorders documenting every day’s work, the band rehearse a huge number of songs, new and old, in preparation for what proves to be their final concert, which famously takes place on the rooftop of their own Apple Corps office building, bringing central London to a halt.
Legend now has it that these sessions were a grim time for a band falling apart, but, as acclaimed novelist Hanif Kureishi writes in his introduction to THE BEATLES: GET BACK, “In fact this was a productive time for them, when they created some of their best work. And it is here that we have the privilege of witnessing their early drafts, the mistakes, the drift and digressions, the boredom, the excitement, joyous jamming and sudden breakthroughs that led to the work we now know and admire.”
These sessions, which generated the Let It Be album and film released in May 1970, represent the only time in The Beatles’ career that they were filmed at such length while in the studio creating music. Simultaneously, they were exclusively photographed and their conversations recorded.
THE BEATLES: GET BACK is the band’s own definitive book documenting those sessions. It brings together enthralling transcripts of their candid conversations, edited by leading music writer John Harris, with hundreds of extraordinary images, most of them unpublished. The majority of the photographs are by two photographers who had special access to their sessions—Ethan A. Russell and Linda Eastman (who married Paul McCartney two months later).
Peter Jackson’s documentary film will reexamine the sessions using over 55 hours of unreleased original 16-millimetre footage filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969, now restored, and 120 hours of mostly unheard audio recordings. This sumptuous book also features many unseen high-resolution film frames from the same restored footage.
THE BEATLES GET BACK AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER, HERE: