Don’t Forget the Water

I was listening to a hockey podcast this morning. It was three hockey writers shootin’ the breeze. They veered off topic and started talking about the pros and cons of real vs fake christmas trees.

Shit, thought I, I forgot to water the christmas tree yesterday.

The downside of putting up a real tree right after Thanksgiving is you have to be extra careful about maintenance. If you want to have a green tree on christmas morning then you better keep it watered. Otherwise Santa will be putting presents under some dead, ugly, brown thing with needles all over the floor.

I’ve also listened to a couple of amateur musician podcasts today and the topic of discussion in each one is the Get Back documentary. They all agree with me. Despite being 800 hours long, that movie is absolutely magnificent. It’s just an utter delight. Where else do you get to see the creative process where Paul McCartney literally wills the song Get Back into existence? That song didn’t exist at all until Paul sat there, strumming on his bass, forcing it out of his head. It’s just magic. It was genius at work. Literally.

One little item that I didn’t really catch had to do with Paul. For huge swaths of the movie the band is playing like shit. There’s so much noodling and farting around, whether it be all of them together, or just one or two, or whatever. The question was posed… in all of that mountain of playing… do you ever hear Paul play a bad note? I need to watch the whole thing again, but right now I can’t recall anything. So not only was he pulling super classic music out of his ass, over and over again, he is also playing so well he seems incapable of doing anything that doesn’t sound right. Hell, he’s even playing his Rickenbacker bass at one point and one of the strings pops out of the nut and lays against another string, and he’s still playing great. How is that possible?

Okay. Back to work. I had a deadline moved up on me and the pile of stuff I thought I had two days to do suddenly has to be done today. Enough of my yakkin’, let’s boogie!

Get Back Episode Three

As usual, no spoilers.

Episode three is worth it just for the rooftop. My personal favorite part is Paul playing step dad to Heather, and John teasing her about cats.

I loved every second of the entire three part series. I’ve been in almost all of those situations. Bands writing songs and having conflicts over who should play what and how, including wanting to let your band mates play your songs how they want but also wanting them to just do what you tell them. Also, bands falling apart because they are unable to set goals. Also, bands under deadline pressure who waste huge amounts of time goofing off.

The Beatles were just like all of the rest of us, and Paul was a step father. Can you say, relatable? I would watch the whole 7-8 hour thing again, over and over.

Also, I got a goofy kick every time someone called Ringo, Ritchie or Rich. Not sure why, I just loved it. Every time.

Get Back

I’ve seen The Beatles Let it Be movie. I’ve listened to the Twickenham bootleg. I’ve listened to the 30 Days bootleg. There is nothing in the new documentary that is a surprise to me.

Having said that, the new Get Back documentary is utterly riveting. We watched the second episode today and oh my god it was fascinating. I could not stop myself from smiling all the way through.

It demonstrates that when you carve away the fame and the fandom and the hype, they were just a band. Just like every basement or bar band. They had all of the same conflicts and problems that literally all of us have had. Seeing that on the screen was absolutely amazing.

No spoilers, of course, but the conversation between John and Paul in the Twickenham cafeteria when they didn’t know they were being recorded was just incredible. I mean, I have had that conversation with band mates before!!! Granted for me the stakes were reduced by about 99.99999999%, but I seriously have been there myself.

Outside of all of the political stuff, the second episode also demonstrates that they were just a killer live band. In the first episode they are aimless and distracted and playing pretty poorly. In the second episode they have a direction and a purpose and they are firing on all cylinders and they are starting to sound great.

The running time for the first two episodes is about 5.5 hours combined. Episode three is out tomorrow and I can’t wait to watch it.

The Next Day

Hey Rob and Jen, what are you having for lunch on this festive day after Thanksgiving?

Left overs, babie. Left overs.

Also, episode two of the new Beatles documentary. I find watching the Get Back rehearsal footage amazing, purely from a gear perspective. George playing Lucy the Les Paul. John playing the Epiphone Casino. Both of them playing through silver face Twins. Then there’s Paul playing that shitty Hofner through that frigging amazing Bassman stack. Drooool, babie. Drool.