Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Michael Lindsay-Hogg on The Beatles, "Let It Be"

While the subject of The Beatles' breakup is fresh in our minds, it makes sense to have a look at two excerpts from Michael Lindsay-Hogg's recently published memoir, Luck and Circumstance. As the director of the Let It Be documentary, Lindsay-Hogg had an insider's view of The Beatles in turmoil. Like only a few others, he was able to breath the air of some of their worst days. In the passages below, he comments on the fractious band dynamic that unfolded before him.

From excerpt #1:
And there was no idea that any of us could agree on, to do with the TV special. Ringo wanted to do it at the Cavern, the little club in Liverpool where Brian Epstein had first seen them. John and Yoko didn't really care where we did it but did seem up for some sort of adventure, or maybe they just wanted to get out of the cold barn at Twickenham. George didn't seem to want to do it at all. Paul was the one who kept pushing for us to make a plan. His character is resolute, and I think in his heart Paul felt if he couldn't get them to agree as a group to do something as a group that they might fall apart, and, because of his nature, that was the last thing he wanted.

From excerpt #2:
His (George) position was a difficult one. He didn't want them to perform in public again; it had all gotten too crazy. I saw one of their final public appearances at a theater in London. The screaming was so loud, the balcony shaking, that they couldn't hear themselves play and had abandoned the show after a song or two. George just wanted to make an album and felt his position within the group wasn't as valued as his talent should demand. He'd been the youngest, fifteen, when Paul was sixteen and John seventeen, and, the story was, he'd carry the guitar cases as the other two strode ahead, discussing their great plans. And also, probably, he wasn't happy with the traditional album shake- out, artistically or financially. If there were twelve tracks, say, nine would probably be Len/Mac, another with Ringo, and two by George. And George knew he was soon to stake his claim to be his own man, a unique musician, passionate, tender, and ironic.

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