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Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Apr 19, 2000
I don't know that I would blame Disney for the absence of Let It Be. The Beatles themselves (well, Paul and Ringo) both said LIB would be issued alongside Get Back when the time came. Peter Jackson even talked about a longer cut of the GB movie, so maybe if that happens, LIB would be included. It's unfortunate it was left out, but of course the blu-ray that was issued had no extras at all, and at this point, that's all LIB is to Paul and Ringo -- an extra.

"Let It Be" has been discussed as "coming soon!!!" for decades.

Back then "Let It Be... Naked" hit, we were told the movie would come out on DVD.

Etc etc etc.


Senior HTF Member
May 3, 2008
Real Name
Part 2:

-Not at all surprising that the concert caused a lot of people to stop what they were doing (in the streets below) and listen - this obviously included employees at some of the local businesses. It was clear that a lot of people were happy that they were hearing the Beatles playing live - for free.
I doubt many knew just *who* they were listening to as Apple Corp. Studios had just recently opened (about 3 miles from the EMI Abbey Road studio - where they normally recorded), few knew it was The Beatles' primary recording studio, and they were playing all new music. Considering the times in which this occurred I'd say people were more amused that someone was playing loud rock music in the middle of the day in an area that was generally reserved and quiet. At least until word began to spread about just who was responsible.
However, it was also not surprising that the authorities responded to numerous noise complaints from some residents/businesses in the area. And, because of this they ultimately ended up getting the concert shut down. I was surprised at how polite the authorities were about all of this. I suspect a lot of this was because the concert was being put on by The Beatles, who were not only hugely popular at the time - but were probably also considered a UK "national treasure". Also, given that they knew the whole thing was being filmed - the authorities had to be careful how they handled this - LOL.
The police didn't know it was being filmed - at least at first when they entered the building as the lobby camera was hidden behind a 2-way mirror and you'd only see cameras once you arrived on the rooftop. Watching Jackson's edit of the footage, it appears the police were properly going through channels rather than taking a brute force approach and took some time "convincing" the reception people to let them go up. It *is* quite possible that once they found out who was causing the ruckus they backed off just a bit as they appear to have been rather laid back the entire time. They certainly didn't play into Paul's desire to perform "in a place we're not allowed to do it ... like we should trespass, go in, set up and then get moved ... Getting forcibly ejected, still trying to play your numbers, and the police lifting you."
-Being a huge fan of the late Peter Sellers & most of his films, it was amusing seeing him make a short "cameo" in the doc. - though he didn't say much.

-Though the band obviously put out a lot of amazing, iconic albums - I'm glad they broke up when they did. Re: what we saw in this doc., I got the strong impression that they were beginning to go their separate ways at that point. And, I don't know that the quality of their work would have been as good (as it had been previously) if they had continued as a band for even 5 more years. However, I guess we'll never know.
They absolutely were starting to go their separate ways when the Get Back project was recorded, as evidenced by Harrison quitting for a few days during the production due to tensions within the group. Earlier, following the group's 1966 US tour, Harrison, who hated the effects of "Beatlemania" on concerts, had announced he was quitting but was persuaded to stay on the assurance that there would be no more tours. Ringo had quit for 2 weeks during production of the "White Album" (that's Paul playing drums on "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Dear Prudence" - not Ringo).

The "Let it Be" album was recorded in January 1969, though not released for over a year, with work on "Abbey Road" beginning on February 22nd. On July 4th, 1969, Lennon released his first solo recording, the single "Give Peace a Chance" (McCartney shared writing credits due to contractual reasons though had zero input). On September 7th, while Starr was hospitalized (for an intestinal complaint), Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison met to discuss the follow up album to "Abbey Road" but it all came to naught with Lennon privately announcing his departure from the group on September 20th, just 6 days before the release of "Abbey Road," reportedly due to Paul's negative reaction to Lennon suggesting he, McCartney, and Harrison get 4 songs *each* on future albums and ending the fallacy of the Lennon/McCartney songwriting partnership. Lennon's announcement caused Paul to go into seclusion which provided more fodder for the "Paul is Dead" rumor.

Lennon had already formed "Plastic Ono Band," in mid 1969, and released several singles throughout 1969 and 1970. The formal announcement of Lennon leaving The Beatles was held back until after McCartney announced *he* was "taking a break" from the group on April 10th, 1970, just 7 days before the release of *his* first solo album "McCartney" and less than a month before the release of "Let it Be" on May 8th, 1970. Even though Lennon left the group first, McCartney gets all the "hate" (well... kind of shared it with Yoko) for breaking up The Beatles as he made his announcement, quite publicly, just days before the release of "Let it Be," against the wishes of Apple Corp. and the other 3 band members, who wanted to delay the announcement *and* solo album so as to not negatively impact sales of "Let it Be." Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" recordings were looked upon as a kind of side project at that time as his "divorce" from the group wasn't yet public.

Here are some of the singles and demos recorded and/or released during and after the Abbey Road sessions and before the release of Let it Be, demonstrating just how good their next album might have been:

Cold Turkey - a rejected proposed single from The Beatles
You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) - an old Beatles song, dating from 1967 that'd not seen release.
What's the New Mary Jane - originally recorded for The White Album and rejected.
Instant Karma - January 1970
Jealous Guy - originally a "White Album" demo called "Child of Nature" that would be worked on for "Let it Be" and finally get new lyrics and name for Lennon's "Imagine" album.
Give Peace a Chance

McCartney (all from his first album):
Maybe I'm Amazed
That Would Be Something
Teddy Boy
Every Night
Junk - a rejected "White Album" demo

George Harrison (all from his first album but written much earlier):
Isn't it a Pity - rejected demo for Revolver
All Things Must Pass - rejected demo for Abbey Road
My Sweet Lord - mostly written in late 1969 while a guest artist on tour with Delaney & Bonnie"

When you look at the individual output of the band's members in the next half dozen or so years you see an incredible amount of talent. And the evidence is that they *all* generally produced better material by feeding off each other with "average" songs becoming "classics" and lesser material being dropped entirely. Of course we may not have gotten lots of that solo material, especially things like Harrison's "All Things Must Pass," McCartney & Wings "Band on the Run," and Lennon's "Imagine" albums.
-I have never seen the Beatles 80-minute documentary Let it Be (1970). I've heard about it over the years, but it's never been available on home video since the VHS/Laser Disk days. Apparently, plans were in place to release this to DVD/Blu back in 2018, but due to the making of "Get Back" those plans were shelved. Since "Let it Be" is not available in any easy-to-watch format at this point - and also since the footage from the film is probably all/mostly included in "Get Back".... I'm passing on trying to find a way to watch this. I.e., even if you were to find this streaming somewhere, it sounds like the picture/sound quality would be average - at best.
It's an interesting watch and was easily available on youtube before Jackson's documentary came out. It's still out there in a few places but not as easy to find these days.


Sep 2, 2019
Real Name
Finally put aside the time to watch all 8 hours. It's a pretty dense and intense binge, that will mainly appeal to true fans of the band.

As a Beatles fan, the first couple of hours is a difficult watch. The bitterness, verging on despair, isn't easy to take. It culminates, of course, with George Harrison quitting the band. The real blame is on whoever decided to plop the group in the middle of a dark, dank film stage in England in the middle of winter. Even worse, the “project” is so ill-defined that it's no wonder it seemed doomed from the start. Making matters worse, an artificial deadline is put on the production because Ringo is set to begin filming a movie (MAGIC CHRISTIAN). That project was shot at the same studio - hence the deal for “free” use of the sound-stage.

The headline of Peter Jackson's documentary could have been: Billy Preston Saved The Beatles (well, for another 6 months or so). Preston's arrival as a session musician puts the quartet on their best behavior. That, combined with a move to a real recording studio, brought Harrison back in the fold, and, at the very least, the basics of what would become the Let It Be album, were recorded. The grand finale the project was looking for ended up being the legendary rooftop concert above their Apple offices. For his part, Preston seems like the happiest guy on earth - and, why not? For a few weeks he was literally the 5th Beatle!

To Jackson's credit, he doesn't sugarcoat the depiction of the Fab Four. McCartney is shown to be the sometime overbearing unelected leader. Harrison has the excuse of being shunted aside by Lennon-McCartney, but also shows his prickly side. He also displays his lack of self-confidence and even says they should hire Eric Clapton to do some of the difficult licks - C'mon! You're the lead guitarist of the biggest band in the world! Grow a pair! Ringo seems ambivalent half the time. When Harrison calls after he quit the band temporarily, Lennon and McCartney immediately leap to take the call, while Ring o is content to just sit and chat with guests. To be fair, Ringo is stuck behind a large sound baffle for much of the Doc - the power of his playing only comes to the fore during the rooftop concert. As for Lennon, he's largely checked out, content to just hang with Yoko.

And yet, when the band is cooking, everything is forgotten. The sessions not only yielded some all-time great Beatles cuts, but also laid the foundation for the superb Abbey Road album (not to mention the beginnings of several solo recordings by the individual members). The rooftop concert is still a kick all these decades later. Still, one wishes that Jackson included a bonus episode where the concert is presented uninterrupted by the cutaways to interviews on the street, the police barging in etc..

For a true Beatles fan, 8 hours isn't too long. Heck, they supposedly shot 50 hours of material - bring it on! Still, one wishes Jackson had stuck to his original plan and edited it down to a tight 2 to 3 hour formal documentary. One is glad this 8 hour cut exists, but, it should have been an alternate supplemental edition, not the only version*.

*there was a brief Imax release of just the rooftop concert section)


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