But Disney has apparently scrubbed the web of excerpts from the series, unfortunate for people like me who want to use them to celebrate the work.
I did find this one officially posted snippet of the band working on George Harrison’s ‘Something.’ In just a minute and a half, it captures a lot of the spirit and creativity that makes the whole project such a fascinating and rewarding watch.
Jackson culled through 150 hours of footage of the band rehearsing and recording for 21 days in 1969, preparing for a new album and a return to the stage after not performing live for several years. The sessions were filmed for a documentary called Let It Be that was released in 1970 to much derision and has been out of circulation since the early 80s.
While this series has dramatic stakes (including George Harrison temporarily quitting the band, and the ongoing discussion over where to stage the concert), its primary pleasures come from watching the band’s creative process as they casually create some of the greatest music ever made.
Often the camera will focus on a mundane discussion while in the background one of The Beatles (usually Paul) is working through a piano or guitar bit that will eventually morph into a classic song. We also see lengthy jam sessions where the band works through those songs as they take shape, often singing nonsense lyrics to fill in space while piecing together the music.
Watching Get Back, I found myself wishing I could see similar footage of all my favorite artists. As a non-musician, the creative process is a mystery to me, and getting this access and insight into the work of the greatest band ever was a revelation.