OUT TODAY: THE BEATLES’ ‘GET BACK’ BOOK

Out today (October 12th) is The Beatles: Get Back. The book has author credit going to the Beatles, with John Harris serving as the book’s editor; Ethan Russell and the late-Linda McCartney as photographers; Hanif Kureishi penning the introduction; and director Peter Jackson — who is directing the upcoming Beatles doc on the 1969 rehearsals and sessions — supplying the book’s foreword. The massive tome, which coincides with Jackson’s film utilizing outtakes from Let It Be, weighs in at 4.6 pounds.

According to the Amazon description of the book:

The Beatles: Get Back tells the story of those sessions through transcripts of the band’s candid conversations. Drawing on over 120 hours of sound recordings, leading music writer John Harris edits the richly captivating text to give us a fly-on-the-wall experience of being there in the studios.

These sessions come vividly to life through hundreds of unpublished, extraordinary images by two photographers who had special access to their sessions — Ethan A. Russell and Linda Eastman (who married Paul McCartney two months later). Also included are many unseen high-resolution film-frames, selected from the 55 hours of restored footage from which Peter Jackson’s documentary is also drawn.

Legendary photographer, Ethan Russell, renowned for his shots of the “Fab Four,” the Rolling Stones, and the Who, spoke about shooting the band to The Los Angeles Daily News, (Beatles right-hand man) Neil (Aspinall) had said, ‘You can come for one day.’ And I said, ‘I won’t do less than three days.’ I don’t know why these things come out of my mouth. After that, I was showing the photographs to Derek Taylor, the press agent, in (Apple executive) Peter Brown‘s office. I was projecting the pictures against the wall, and they looked good — it was a hell of a location for photographs, and I used it well, taking big wide shots.”

Russlel went on to remember, “Suddenly Paul McCartney walks in and then John (Lennon) with Yoko (Ono) and then George Harrison. After they saw the photos they hired me for a longer period of time. Then somebody said, ‘We should do a book’ and I went for the balance of the filming.” Ethan Russell’s shots were featured in a book that accompanied the Let It Be album everywhere but the U.S.

In the spring of 1970, shortly before the release of the Let It Be album and film, George Harrison shed light on what fans could expect from the project: “The Beatles film is just pure documentary of us working on the album. It was very informative. It’s not really nice for me; I can’t stand seein’ it — but for other people, who don’t know what we’re really about, who like to go in and see our warts, then it’s very good.”

During a recent chat with Connie Martinson, Let It Be director Michael Lindsey-Hogg spoke about the highlights of his original film: “The movie ends, of course, with the famous roof concert, which is the last time the Beatles ever played to any kind of public. We didn’t know at the time it was going to be the last time — but it was. So, it really was. . . We did get the farewell performance. But, as I’ve been looking at it recently when we’ve been working on the re-release; the movie has a real poignancy to it now. And so, you look at these young men — full of talent, having conquered the world — losing their first love for each other.”

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