Fans may have heard about the fateful moment where George Harrison had left The Beatles for a few days in 1969. But, despite the fact that Harrison’s walk was captured on film by Let it be Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, almost no one has seen the footage – until now. The Beatles: Back Part 1, the first part of a three-part corpus from Peter Jackson currently streaming on Disney+, ending with what could be one of the Fab Four’s most dramatic moments.
This scene appears at the end of Season 1, during the Beatles’ seventh day rehearsal at Twickenham. The band is under incredible pressure to write a new album, record and rehearse for a live show in just 22 days, and the tension is mounting. The band is rehearsing their new song, “Get Back,” and Paul McCartney is giving Harrison some direction.
“If you’re a vampire, it’s gone [John Lennon’s] McCartney told Harrison. Harrison said nothing, and McCartney turned to work with Lennon to write some of the lyrics. (McCartney also snapped at Lennon: “Can you pause the game for a minute, John? I’m trying to talk to you about this arrangement.) Several minutes passed — or it seemed, at least to Jackson’s. edit — and McCartney suggests lunch.
Harrison stood up and said, with a forced casualty, “Well, I think I’m leaving the band now.”
“When?” Lennon asked.
“Now,” replied Harrison.
We then cut in to Harrison talking to Mal Evans, the Beatles’ road manager. “Get a replacement. Write to NME and get a few.”
“I will ask George [Martin] to see about paying the rest,” Evans replied.
“He shouldn’t have bothered about it. You know, that’s why we have Apple, so we fix that ourselves. ”
Someone shouted cut and the video froze. The text on the screen announced that as he left the studio that day, Harrison said to the other Beatles, “See you around the clubs.” His diary that day read, “Wake up, go to Twickenham, practice until lunchtime – leave the Beatles – go home.”
What follows is perhaps even more intriguing than Harrison’s exit — Ringo Star, Lennon, and McCartney return to the set and, at first, resume rehearsals as if nothing had happened. But this quickly turned into nonsense. McCartney screams without dexterity in the mic, Starr whines on his drum kit, and then Yoko Ono takes to the mic, to perform some of her infamous avant-garde screams. Soon after, McCartney literally swung from the scaffolding, while Lennon and Ono danced in the room. It’s completely chaotic.
Was it a moment of catalytic release, of accumulated tension? Is it smiling in the face of crisis instead of crying? Or just the boys getting a day off in Harrison’s absence? Hard to say.
Final, Let it be director Michael Lindsay-Hogg suggested that perhaps they say that Harrison is sick if he doesn’t return to the live show as planned.
“I mean, if he leaves, he leaves,” Lennon said.
“But what is consensus?” Lindsay-Hogg shoots. “Do you want to continue with the program and the work?”
“If he doesn’t come back on Tuesday, we will [Eric] Clapton,” Lennon replied.
The last moment of The Beatles: Back Season one was a note, via on-screen text, that the Beatles met with George on Sunday to try to find a compromise — and the meeting didn’t go well.
Despite the fact that it happened more than 50 years ago, it is something of a vandal. Apparently, Harrison was back in the band, recording both Let it be and Abbey Road, and played the band’s last concert on the rooftop. But there’s a difference between hearing that Harrison briefly left the band and actually seeing how it went downhill.
Even fans lucky enough to see the 1970 documentary before it was taken off the shelves – never released on DVD or video on demand – have never seen the film before, because because Lindsay-Hogg was asked to cut the rights out of Harrison’s films. In a recent interview with Decider, Peter Jackson said, “[Lindsay-Hogg] couldn’t put it in, but he filmed it. I mean, amazingly, he actually had the camera on the moment George got up and said, ‘I’m leaving the group.’ So we had that in our movie. Fifty years later, the Beatles don’t care about that stuff anymore, and they want it to be honest. “
https://decider.com/2021/11/25/george-quit-the-beatles-get-back-ending/ ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ captures the incredible moment when George quits