• Getting To "The Riff Stage"

    From Curtis Eagal@21:1/5 to All on Sun Apr 24 13:00:32 2022
    The "Get Back" documentary focusing on the January 1969 sessions culminating in The Beatles' unannounced rooftop concert brought out a lot of issues that were not evident in the earlier "Let It Be" film. The creativity seems like chaotic playtime, with
    personalities clashing during the process, and some reluctant admission that ego was intruding. While Ringo Starr reassures they might only seem grumpy, there is an exchange about Divorce being brought up at a recent meeting as 'getting close' - John
    Lennon wonders what would become of "The Children," to which Paul McCartney shrugs, offering the name of their music publisher, Dick James.

    The band started the New Year with ambitious plans that involved avoiding extreme production with overdubs for a live performance mode, eventually assisted by Billy Preston on keyboard; some audio-visual presentation would be simultaneously done,
    televised or as a theatrical film. The director feels they need a contrived visual spectacle beyond the band itself, and an amphitheater in Tunisia is proposed, an idea that develops into cruising there with an English-speaking audience - George
    Harrison considered that lunacy, perhaps thinking about more than the expenses. George Martin discusses how even though John and Paul no longer collaborate closely they remain a songwriting team, while George comprised his own team. Harrison would say
    Lennon often forgot work that had been done on his own songs, so he had to recall for him, which made him feel involved; conversely, McCartney would always offer great help, but George complained there would be '59 songs' of Paul's to get through before
    one of his tunes was even given a listen. Relinquishing the songwriting task to Lennon-McCartney in the early days was difficult to overcome once Harrison started seriously trying, getting the tip from Lennon that ideally it should be completed all at

    The lunchtime departure of Harrison, from the project and the group, arrives suddenly with no explosive outburst.

    George leaves suggesting they replace him, obviously feeling devalued, and marginal to the collective effort; initial attempts to have him return fail, while he writes the magnificent "Here Comes The Sun" in his garden, feeling like escaping school (
    Ringo's departure from the White Album sessions was associated with "Octopus's Garden"). Candid audio between John and Paul reveals they never thought of The Beatles as 'the four people,' and they were trying to resolve the stylistic concerns at the
    heart of the rift with George.

    There was a renegade objective, with McCartney suggesting musically storming Parliament, a step too far: anticipating some sort of beating, he was reminded of their experiences in Manila - and Memphis. The filmmakers wanting a stunning exotic locale
    clashed with the desire to stay home, to honor those closest to them. Ultimately the decision to do the rooftop concert was a deliberate attempt to be charged with disturbing the peace - Starr wondered if a better rooftop was nearby, to be told that
    would compound the potential charges with trespassing.

    Some very early Lennon-McCartney material was used to fill out the song quota. Lennon reporting progress described the tunes like a tailor preparing various suits: some 'ready to wear,' others 'made to measure'; John also spoke of getting to 'The Riff
    Stage,' which probably involved devising prominent musical bits, after the song was otherwise finished, with melody, lyrics, structure, harmonies, etc. Harrison spoke about perhaps needing to rework the tune from that stage. Throughout they displayed a
    sort of musical shorthand to convey what rhythms or chords or other elements to alter, allowing the viewer a genuine version of the bogus banter after "If I Fell" in their debut Lester film.

    Starr explains the Twickenham studio was too spacious for their project, preferring the cozier feeling Apple location.

    When the song "Let It Be" is undertaken, McCartney exclaims, "The true meaning of Christmas," which would involve a certain Pregnancy coming to full term about two thousand years ago; Paul's "Mother Mary" offering the title advice in a dream was an
    inspiration. The slow, somewhat broken rhythm of the musical riff element troubled Paul, who described it as 'plodding' - but John reassures him that it was 'mournful,' and therefore effectively appropriate. The stilted instrumental phrasing carried
    within it the emotional awareness of the Passion suffering to come, from which they had already regressed - so even the Nativity was cast with an elegiac tone.


    "What I tell you in the dark,
    Speak in the daylight;
    What is whispered in your ear,
    Proclaim from the rooftop"

    [Matthew 10:27]

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