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Beatles get back, Dave Grohl's influences, ariana grande

Bono, Dave Grohl, Ariana Grande

Director Peter Jackson’s new 468-minute Beatles documentary “Get Back” is a landmark achievement. It’s an in-depth, warts-and-all glimpse into the creative process of four of the most important musicians and cultural figures of the past 100 years.

The crazy thing is that’s not even an overstatement. Watching the Beatles pull tunes from the ether and then work them into some of the most enduring songs in the history of popular music is revelatory.

Like when Paul McCartney strums his way into writing “Get Back.”


Some have criticized the film for being too long, questioning the number of times one must hear “I’ve Got a Feeling,” but they’ve completely missed the point. “Get Back” is entertaining, but it’s not entertainment. It’s a Rosetta Stone for anyone who wants to decode the process of the masters. It’s an instruction manual for taking notes, rhythm and words and breathing life into them so they move bodies, hearts and minds.

Jackson’s brilliance is that he gets out of the way and presents the narrative as a race against the clock. The Beatles have a short period of time to write, record and, possibly, perform an album. Can they make it or will simmering resentments prevent them from reaching their goal?

Jackson also does the film a major service by keeping the opinions of others out. Lesser directors might have been tempted to interview other musicians to get their opinions on the historic footage.

Most importantly, the movie doesn’t have one minute of Dave Grohl explaining how the Beatles influenced Nirvana or Foo Fighters. Grohl is the undisputed king of the League of Extraordinary Rock 'n' Roll Know-it-Alls who lives to share his opinion on other musical artists in documentaries and on award shows.

Over the years, Grohl has fallen into self-parody for the number of times he’s claimed that an artist he’s discussing in a documentary or handing an award to has influenced either Nirvana or Foo Fighters.

Another way to ruin a rock 'n' roll documentary is by having an appearance by one of the other members of the League of Extraordinary Rock 'n' Roll Know-it-Alls such as Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Lars Ulrich, Questlove or John Legend.

These folks can always be counted on to give a self-important speech about an artist or band and find a way to make it about themselves.

Noel Gallagher of Oasis could also be a part of this group, but he’s usually pretty funny and self-deprecating in interviews so he gets a pass.

Appearances by the League of Extraordinary Rock 'n' Roll Know-it-Alls at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame are especially egregious because, at one point, they were all renegades, now they give speeches at an establishment for the anti-establishment.

Jesse Hawken, the host of the Junk Filter podcast, had some fun at the expense of these blowhardy rock stars with a thread that showed just how bad it could have gone if Jackson let modern musicians comment on the Beatles’ greatness.









Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

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