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Do you think George really wanted to do the anthology documentary?
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16 November 2013
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robert
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George is extremely uncomfortable in these takes and I think there's a multitude of reasons - many of which have already been mentioned. But I will add one more reason/opinion. And I say this without necessarily being a major 'Paul fan' at all - nonetheless I offer the following:

Anthology is a story that has an ending - 4 guys who were united broke up in large part due to a business issue (as the immediate catalyst - lots of other issues as well for sure).

In the break up two were firmly united (John and George), one went with the other two (Ringo) and one stood his ground and opposed the other 3 (Paul).

The story ends and Paul was right. Klein was a thief. Apple was getting bilked.  The partnership was dissolved, they each go their own way, Paul's in-laws made him a boat load of money and Paul's solo career (in terms of financial success) dwarfs the other three. And the whole world knows it.

I think for George reviewing the Beatles history is a looking at story with a conclusion - and for him not a good one. It only magnifies Paul's position and diminishes George's. Also remember that from Pepper on pretty much every Beatles project (other than the White Album) was a Paul project.

So a trip down memory lane always ends up in the same place. George's melancholy temperment makes such memories always end bad. Because they Beatles break up was so bitter and so splintering the last year 69-70 dominate the story and so the end point is that Paul was right - about almost all of it - right down to Abbey Road album (heck he even re-did Let It Be).

And please note - I am not talking about music quality, musicianship, song writing, social causes, or anything but the business and the direction of the band.

History is written by the victors and in this case it was Paul. And so for George to have to come to the charitable hand of Paul McCartney is about as distasteful a thing he could do. Add to that no John to keep Paul in check and you get the awkward footage you get.

My 2 cents and over priced at that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 November 2013
2.29pm
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DrBeatle
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bewareofchairs said

Atlas said
What came over to me was Paul walking on egg-shells round George, very aware he should not be seen as trying to dominate, or appear as 'dominating'……But be seen instead to be giving George the respect that he has always complained he never got within the Beatles.

At the same time Paul doesn't want to lose the credit he's due, or lose authority he always had musically over George and was the reality of the working relationship between them.

Complicated!

For me George comes across as being over defensive and ill at ease. It's as though he's anticipating situations that will illustrate to the world at large, (not least his Wilbury mates) how he suffered all those years as a 'sidekick'……. and is itching for an opportunity to stand up for himself.

Complicated...

You can see both of their points of view.

 

There was definite tension there, and I agree it was painful to watch sometimes, but I honestly think people read too much into it. When you only see the edited footage it's difficult to tell because it can makes things seem much worse than they actually were. The "fight" between Paul and George in Let It Be, for example, isn't nearly as bad when you hear the full tape.

Something you also have to keep in mind is how being in that situation, particularly in Abbey Road with George Martin, probably brought back a lot of unpleasant memories for George which he had spent years trying to forget. It's easier to be positive when you were at the top of the hierarchy. I know Paul tried, but even then (and now) he still continued to be patronising towards George. After everything he'd been through with his solo career and all the projects he collaborated on with other artists, I imagine it was difficult for him to be around Paul in that environment. No matter what, George was always just his little mate. That said, I do sympathise with Paul as well.

True, but there are also credible reports that George got into a big shouting match with Paul and Ringo in the studio, which is one of the reasons Now and Then was never completed.

 

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16 November 2013
2.31pm
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DrBeatle
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robert said
George is extremely uncomfortable in these takes and I think there's a multitude of reasons - many of which have already been mentioned. But I will add one more reason/opinion. And I say this without necessarily being a major 'Paul fan' at all - nonetheless I offer the following:

Anthology is a story that has an ending - 4 guys who were united broke up in large part due to a business issue (as the immediate catalyst - lots of other issues as well for sure).

In the break up two were firmly united (John and George), one went with the other two (Ringo) and one stood his ground and opposed the other 3 (Paul).

The story ends and Paul was right. Klein was a thief. Apple was getting bilked.  The partnership was dissolved, they each go their own way, Paul's in-laws made him a boat load of money and Paul's solo career (in terms of financial success) dwarfs the other three. And the whole world knows it.

I think for George reviewing the Beatles history is a looking at story with a conclusion - and for him not a good one. It only magnifies Paul's position and diminishes George's. Also remember that from Pepper on pretty much every Beatles project (other than the White Album) was a Paul project.

So a trip down memory lane always ends up in the same place. George's melancholy temperment makes such memories always end bad. Because they Beatles break up was so bitter and so splintering the last year 69-70 dominate the story and so the end point is that Paul was right - about almost all of it - right down to Abbey Road album (heck he even re-did Let It Be).

And please note - I am not talking about music quality, musicianship, song writing, social causes, or anything but the business and the direction of the band.

History is written by the victors and in this case it was Paul. And so for George to have to come to the charitable hand of Paul McCartney is about as distasteful a thing he could do. Add to that no John to keep Paul in check and you get the awkward footage you get.

My 2 cents and over priced at that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great points!

 

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17 November 2013
9.11pm
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bewareofchairs
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DrBeatle said

bewareofchairs said

Atlas said
What came over to me was Paul walking on egg-shells round George, very aware he should not be seen as trying to dominate, or appear as 'dominating'……But be seen instead to be giving George the respect that he has always complained he never got within the Beatles.

At the same time Paul doesn't want to lose the credit he's due, or lose authority he always had musically over George and was the reality of the working relationship between them.

Complicated!

For me George comes across as being over defensive and ill at ease. It's as though he's anticipating situations that will illustrate to the world at large, (not least his Wilbury mates) how he suffered all those years as a 'sidekick'……. and is itching for an opportunity to stand up for himself.

Complicated...

You can see both of their points of view.

 

There was definite tension there, and I agree it was painful to watch sometimes, but I honestly think people read too much into it. When you only see the edited footage it's difficult to tell because it can makes things seem much worse than they actually were. The "fight" between Paul and George in Let It Be, for example, isn't nearly as bad when you hear the full tape.

Something you also have to keep in mind is how being in that situation, particularly in Abbey Road with George Martin, probably brought back a lot of unpleasant memories for George which he had spent years trying to forget. It's easier to be positive when you were at the top of the hierarchy. I know Paul tried, but even then (and now) he still continued to be patronising towards George. After everything he'd been through with his solo career and all the projects he collaborated on with other artists, I imagine it was difficult for him to be around Paul in that environment. No matter what, George was always just his little mate. That said, I do sympathise with Paul as well.

True, but there are also credible reports that George got into a big shouting match with Paul and Ringo in the studio, which is one of the reasons Now and Then was never completed.

  

I'm not saying they didn't fight, just that in the grand scheme of things it probably wasn't as big of a deal as it's been made out to be - like a typical fight between siblings who know they love each other deep down and make up a couple hours later.

EDIT: This is an interesting quote posted on the wonderful amoralto tumblr: 

DAVIS: So the Anthology has built some bridges between Paul and George?
SMEATON: Paul is very protective of George. He knows now what went on, how George was hurt at the end of it, and how George went on to prove that he was a great musician and songwriter. I think Paul respects that a lot more. George says in the programme that when he wanted to bring in his songs, it was very difficult for him to present them when they already had Lennon-McCartney songs there. John and Paul had written all their early songs before they even had a record deal, whereas George was trying to write his first songs in the studio. It was a bit embarrassing for him when he knew they already had all these great songs. Even George Martin says that he didn’t give George Harrison a chance.

On one occasion, Paul and George sat in the editing suite with Ringo looking at the last programme. George was on the screen talking about the split, and Paul turned to George sitting next to him and said, “I didn’t know you felt like that. Is that really how you felt?” George said, “Of course it was.” And Paul said he didn’t know that. They’d never actually confronted each other about it.

— Bob Smeaton (Anthology series director), interview w/ Andy Davis for Record Collector: Inside the Beatle’s Anthology. (1995)

18 November 2013
5.01pm
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DrBeatle
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trcanberra said

meanmistermustard said
I don't think George wanted their help, he would rather have been a moderate success of his own than piggyback on the Beatles name which would have happened if John or Paul had gotten involved. If anything he wanted to lose the connection to his ex-band that was always attached whether he liked it or not.

Wonderwall was all George's idea & concept with no other Beatles involved.

I suspect there is something in this.  There is a Lennon interview where he says George approached him to help him finish a song.  John said he had to bite his tongue trying not to tell him to bugger off because he only worked with Paul.  I suspect George picked up on the vibes so maybe didn't ask again.

 

That song was Taxman and yes, John admitted as much that he wanted to tell George to fuck off but he sucked it up and helped him anyway. John was also almost ALWAYS "coincidentally" absent from the studio when it was time to record George's songs, especially '67-'69, whereas Paul always helped out and did extra duty on instruments, vocals, and arguably turned in some of his best performances (see "Something," etc) yet to his dying day, George idolized John and would shit all over Paul. Complicated guy!

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18 November 2013
8.51pm
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parlance
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trcanberra said

parlance said

DrBeatle said
 yet to his dying day, George idolized John and would shit all over Paul. Complicated guy!

Why do you keep saying "to his dying day" when they clearly had made amends?

parlance

 

I read somewhere that Paul felt he was still not on the best of terms with George when he died and was a bit sad about it.  Can't recall which book it was sorry.

 

I'm skeptical of these claims since Paul said in that Larry King interview that the last time he and George talked, they held hands and had what sounded like an intimate conversation of dear friends. And there's the fact that George spent his last days in a house Paul was renting. I can't see George agreeing to that if they weren't getting along, especially as he had plenty of friends in Los Angeles who probably would have offered their homes.

I suspect people who claim George never forgave Paul just want to keep the drama going. Makes for a more interesting tale than reconciliation, I suppose, particularly if you don't care for Paul. Edit: After reading MMM's response, I figured I should add that's not directed at either DrBeatle or trcanberra.

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18 November 2013
9.34pm
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bewareofchairs
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DrBeatle said

trcanberra said

meanmistermustard said
I don't think George wanted their help, he would rather have been a moderate success of his own than piggyback on the Beatles name which would have happened if John or Paul had gotten involved. If anything he wanted to lose the connection to his ex-band that was always attached whether he liked it or not.

Wonderwall was all George's idea & concept with no other Beatles involved.

I suspect there is something in this.  There is a Lennon interview where he says George approached him to help him finish a song.  John said he had to bite his tongue trying not to tell him to bugger off because he only worked with Paul.  I suspect George picked up on the vibes so maybe didn't ask again.

 

That song was Taxman and yes, John admitted as much that he wanted to tell George to fuck off but he sucked it up and helped him anyway. John was also almost ALWAYS "coincidentally" absent from the studio when it was time to record George's songs, especially '67-'69, whereas Paul always helped out and did extra duty on instruments, vocals, and arguably turned in some of his best performances (see "Something," etc) yet to his dying day, George idolized John and would shit all over Paul. Complicated guy!

That attitude of John's always annoyed me, tbh, because George was always happy to help him with his songs, and he benefited a great deal from it. George appreciated Paul's help and has said as much. In fact he was probably on better terms with Paul throughout the 70's than he was with John. I think his reluctance to publicly criticise John was more to do with John being likely to turn on him if he felt offended. You only need to look at how he reacted to George's book, and Yoko not being allowed to perform at the Concert for Bangladesh to see why George might've felt he had to walk on egg shells. Paul, on the other hand, was like family and the fact George felt comfortable enough to say whatever he wanted about him is I think in a way a testament to how strong he felt their relationship was.

19 November 2013
5.53pm
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DrBeatle
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bewareofchairs said

DrBeatle said

trcanberra said

meanmistermustard said
I don't think George wanted their help, he would rather have been a moderate success of his own than piggyback on the Beatles name which would have happened if John or Paul had gotten involved. If anything he wanted to lose the connection to his ex-band that was always attached whether he liked it or not.

Wonderwall was all George's idea & concept with no other Beatles involved.

I suspect there is something in this.  There is a Lennon interview where he says George approached him to help him finish a song.  John said he had to bite his tongue trying not to tell him to bugger off because he only worked with Paul.  I suspect George picked up on the vibes so maybe didn't ask again.

 

That song was Taxman and yes, John admitted as much that he wanted to tell George to fuck off but he sucked it up and helped him anyway. John was also almost ALWAYS "coincidentally" absent from the studio when it was time to record George's songs, especially '67-'69, whereas Paul always helped out and did extra duty on instruments, vocals, and arguably turned in some of his best performances (see "Something," etc) yet to his dying day, George idolized John and would shit all over Paul. Complicated guy!

That attitude of John's always annoyed me, tbh, because George was always happy to help him with his songs, and he benefited a great deal from it. George appreciated Paul's help and has said as much. In fact he was probably on better terms with Paul throughout the 70's than he was with John. I think his reluctance to publicly criticise John was more to do with John being likely to turn on him if he felt offended. You only need to look at how he reacted to George's book, and Yoko not being allowed to perform at the Concert for Bangladesh to see why George might've felt he had to walk on egg shells. Paul, on the other hand, was like family and the fact George felt comfortable enough to say whatever he wanted about him is I think in a way a testament to how strong he felt their relationship was.

EXACTLY! It's been widely and factually shown over the years, too, that George was nasty to Yoko from day 1 and he never softened his stance on her, whereas Paul even got them back together in the mid-70s, to his own detriment (John had planned on writing and recording with him and Wings for the V&M album before Paul got him back with Yoko, who promptly put the kibosh on that!). Don't forget that Paul, in addition to letting George use his house for his dying days, also paid a large part of George's treatments in that last year. I know that George deep down did love Paul like a brother...hell, all FOUR of them felt that way about each other. It was just some of the lingering resentment that George had a hard time over the course of his post-Fabs life.

I'm currently reading and will subsequently review the new George bio, "Behind the Locked Door," and I'm interested to see what it has regarding this very complex relationship between Paul and George.

 

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