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Do you think George really wanted to do the anthology documentary?
17 December 2013
10.32am
trcanberra
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The more I watch the segments (and try not to cringe), the more I feel he really enjoys it when they are playing.  I get the same vibe when they are on the rooftop in Let it Be.  I think Paul was maybe right when he said a tour would have done wonders, even an anonymous one, shame they were too far past it by then.

17 December 2013
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SatanHimself
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I'm of the mind that George felt the Beatles were the albatross around his neck, and although he didn't want involvement in the Anthology he probably realized that it was a responsibility he had, as well as an opportunity to assert his role in the public sphere.

That's just my opinion though.

E is for 'Ergent'.
17 December 2013
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DrBeatle
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trcanberra said
The more I watch the segments (and try not to cringe), the more I feel he really enjoys it when they are playing.  I get the same vibe when they are on the rooftop in Let it Be.  I think Paul was maybe right when he said a tour would have done wonders, even an anonymous one, shame they were too far past it by then.

Agree. Clearly George wasn't too upset about touring, as he went on the road with Delaney and Bonnie in late '69, staged the big tour of his own in '74, and had planned to tour again in the late 70s before abandoning the whole thing. John did have stage fright, which he was only able to "overcome" in the late 60s/early 70s with drugs. I suspect he probably had more a reason to resist a tour than George, plus touring = rehearsing beforehand, which was probably too much like work for John (he was the first to admit he didn't exactly have laser-like focus and work ethic).

 

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17 December 2013
3.37pm
parlance
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SatanHimself said
I'm of the mind that George felt the Beatles were the albatross around his neck, and although he didn't want involvement in the Anthology he probably realized that it was a responsibility he had, as well as an opportunity to assert his role in the public sphere.

That's just my opinion though.

I tend to agree.

parlance

 

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17 December 2013
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DrBeatle
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SatanHimself said
I'm of the mind that George felt the Beatles were the albatross around his neck, and although he didn't want involvement in the Anthology he probably realized that it was a responsibility he had, as well as an opportunity to assert his role in the public sphere.

That's just my opinion though.

Well, that and the fact that he desperately needed the money...

 

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17 December 2013
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mccartneyalarm
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When did John develop stage fright? Just curious. I never knew that. Did he always have it? Thanks.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

17 December 2013
6.19pm
acmac
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LongHairedLady said
Just saw this gif on tumblr and thought it was very fitting:

He just looks so done.  

I tend to agree (though Bewareofchairs may be right in saying it could simply be George's "stone-face"). I also tend to agree with the person who said, earlier in the thread, that in many Anthology clips George just looks like he wants to get away -- and not from Ringo, heh. But the thing is, sometimes Paul is just kinda manic and annoying (especially between '87 and '97 for some reason, and especially in front of cameras). Everyone who knows and loves him is undoubtedly aware of this, and they all probably react to it with varying degrees of tolerance. To me it seems likely that George, who had a more still and settled élan vital, if you will, would particularly find that aspect of Paul annoying. But then I think we all have loved ones who occasionally annoy us to bits (I certainly do). Just as I know that sometimes I'm the one annoying my loved ones to bits (I can get manic, too). Doesn't keep any of us from also loving each other to bits.

Bottom line: if George always felt like running from the room when Paul was around, there is just no earthly reason why he would have regularly asked Paul 'round for dinner (especially throughout the '90s), or why he would have asked Paul to secretly be in his "When We Was Fab" video, or written that crazy letter about how they should all run for political office together, or asked/allowed Paul to help him so intimately during his last months of life -- not to mention the fact that Olivia invited Paul to be one of, what, like six guests at the private memorial for George at Friar Park. Olivia is fond of Paul, Dhani is fond of Paul, Dhani and Paul's kids are fond of each other, and Paul is fond back at them all, too. I just can't see any of that happening if it was All Tension, All the Time between Paul and George.

 

17 December 2013
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DrBeatle
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mccartneyalarm said
When did John develop stage fright? Just curious. I never knew that. Did he always have it? Thanks.

I've read in a few places where he mentioned that after the Beatles stopped touring, he developed stage fright. He just about shit himself before the Toronto gig in '69 and it wasn't just the H.

 

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17 December 2013
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acmac
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trcanberra said
The more I watch the segments (and try not to cringe), the more I feel he really enjoys it when they are playing.  I get the same vibe when they are on the rooftop in Let it Be.  I think Paul was maybe right when he said a tour would have done wonders, even an anonymous one, shame they were too far past it by then.

Yes. And it's also a shame that John was so opposed to it (for the various reasons DrBeatle mentioned), because I saw someone suggest a very interesting idea on another board that I think might have some merit: by championing the "Get Back" idea (a return to their roots, simpler songs, one-take recordings) and the idea of performing live, Paul may have been trying to offer John a recreation of their early years, pre-Paul's dominance in the studio, when John was the undisputed leader of the band. Perhaps few people will agree with me that Paul could be that generous, but I think he could. And the more I hear of the "Get Back" sessions recordings, the more it becomes clear to me that Paul was very aware of how and why John and George were displeased with him, and I think he was genuinely trying to figure out ways to fix it (though he may have been doing a poor job of it). While pitching the live performance idea on one occasion, Paul actually says "I'll do whatever you want. I'll sit in a corner with Mal, if you want." Now, do I believe for one tiny second that Paul would have been able to keep that promise? That's a big NOPE. But it shows how desperately he wanted to fix the problems he knew he had helped create.

17 December 2013
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Ron Nasty
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DrBeatle said

mccartneyalarm said
When did John develop stage fright? Just curious. I never knew that. Did he always have it? Thanks.

I've read in a few places where he mentioned that after the Beatles stopped touring, he developed stage fright. He just about shit himself before the Toronto gig in '69 and it wasn't just the H.

I think John's increasing stage fright was partly down to his putting on his glasses. Paul has always commented about how John couldn't see the audience. Once he started wearing his glasses, and he could see the audience, I don't think he ever got over it. You only have to listen to his final stage performance with Elton John, where when introducing I Saw Her Standing There he jokes about needing to get off stage and be sick.

 

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18 December 2013
10.42am
bewareofchairs
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acmac said 

bewareofchairs said

based on what we do know this is how I see Paul's relationship with George compared with John's:

With John, George seemed to insulate his anger and let it build up inside him until John would push him too far and he'd explode. This happened once during the Let It Be sessions and again in 1974. However, the fact that they had those huge arguments allowed John to see how hurt George was which helped them to resolve some of their issues. Most people think George and John fell out after the glasses incident, but in Chris O'Dell's book it's revealed they ended up staying up all night reminiscing about old times. It's true John was able to get away with a lot due to George's hero-worshiping. At the same time though, for all his nasty remarks about George's music, John allowed him to contribute ideas to his songs and of the other three Beatles, he was also the one who gave George the most support in his interest with meditation and chanting. I think those kind of things meant a lot to George and made him feel respected.

The trouble with him and Paul is that they're too "nice" and would both rather walk around an issue and be passive aggressive than actually confront it, so those negative feelings just sort of lingered for several decades until they were forced to deal with them in front of a camera. According to George's interview in Guitar World in 1991 (or was it '92?) at some point Paul did apologise, but if what George said in the Anthology was really new information to him and there was still tension there while they were filming, they must not have gotten to the heart of the problem.

Great points about George's relationships with John and Paul. Totally agree about both George and Paul being passive-aggressive. The famous "fight" between them in Let It Be could be a primer on passive-aggressive conflict (non)resolution, lol.

I wish we knew specifically which part of Anthology Paul asked George about. Was it something that even made it into the final cut? I'm very curious. Paul must've had a general understanding of how George felt, but I'm sure there were some specifics that surprised him. Likewise there are probably some things that would have surprised George, if Paul had been similarly open about what he had been going through.

I also agree (with bells on) that George would have been very hurt by Paul prioritizing John over him, especially during the Yoko-And-Heroin period, when George knew Paul didn't like the situation any more than he did, but Paul wouldn't stand in solidarity with him because he was too afraid of losing John forever. Of course, it's easy to understand Paul's reasons here; he was pretty messed up emotionally at the time anyway, and his relationship with John (which was essentially a marriage -- certainly the most important relationship of his life, pre-Linda) was teetering on the brink. But it still would have been a tremendous let-down for George to be basically thrown under the bus because We Mustn't Upset John, who was really the one behaving badly (and doing a masterful job of making everyone else pay for his bad behavior, turning on each other instead of on him).

I remember being surprised recently by two pieces of info that suggest George was apparently still quite close to Paul, emotionally: someone here commented (on that other John-Paul-George triangle topic) that it was Paul George would call late at night for long conversations about how bad things were during the Get Back sessions; and I recently learned that Paul was the first Beatle George told about his mother's cancer diagnosis (I have no source on this, but the info came from an extremely trustworthy commenter from another board). If that is true, it would have made Paul's failure to stand up for him (that's what big brothers are supposed to do, right?) even more painful.

Apologies for such a late reply!

Thank you, and yes, that Let It Be scene was exactly what I was thinking of, haha. 

What you said is very true. Listening to the Get Back sessions, you can tell how distraught Paul was, and it seemed like he actually felt quite uncomfortable being the sole leader of the band. I think at times George was so clouded by his own problems he misread Paul's intentions and couldn't see what a rough time he was going through.

It's such a shame because between the two of them, Paul and George could've potentially saved the band. Paul with his idea to play live again, and George with his suggestion that they take a break, record solo albums and then come back to being Beatles. For all his grievances, at that point George didn't seem like he really wanted The Beatles to break-up. He just wanted to get his songs out there. It's comforting to know they talked a lot on the phone though. I always wished George had been able to see that moment where Paul finally put his foot down - telling John that George was right about the way they had treated him and then making that lovely little speech about how much he cared about them and wanted things to go back to the way they were before: "In period and in fact, I want you all for whatever you are." Even if everything still went to hell, I like to think George would've appreciated the sentiment and remembered it.

I'm glad you brought up him telling Paul about his mother's cancer because I remember reading that on a forum as well, but it's been so long since I've seen it mentioned I was beginning to wonder if I imagined it. A user on livejournal pointed out a very sweet moment in the Anthology when George remembers how to play a song Paul began to write when he was a teenager and didn't finish, and I loved when Paul talked abou them bonding over gardening in an interview from the late 80's. Olivia and Dhani also seem particularly close with Paul's family which says a lot (Olivia even specifically defended Paul when she was being her usual badass self and having a go at Geoffrey Giuliano in the 90's).

19 December 2013
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acmac
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No worries about the "late reply"; you're such a pleasure to converse with that I'm happy to wait. :)

bewareofchairs said 

Listening to the Get Back sessions, you can tell how distraught Paul was, and it seemed like he actually felt quite uncomfortable being the sole leader of the band. I think at times George was so clouded by his own problems he misread Paul's intentions and couldn't see what a rough time he was going through.

It's such a shame because between the two of them, Paul and George could've potentially saved the band. Paul with his idea to play live again, and George with his suggestion that they take a break, record solo albums and then come back to being Beatles. For all his grievances, at that point George didn't seem like he really wanted The Beatles to break-up.

I agree that Paul felt uncomfortable and pressured in that role, and desperately wanted John to reengage in their partnership and help him lead. And absolutely; I think both George and Paul were very preoccupied by their own worries, somewhat blind to what the other was going through, and that their relationship suffered accordingly.

As for Paul and George joining forces to save the band: I'd never thought of it that way, and I think you make an excellent point. And yes, I was surprised recently to discover several pieces of evidence that strongly suggest that 1969 George did NOT want the Beatles to dissolve (there's the "flower/garden" analogy postcard, the "it would be selfish if we never got together again" quote, and... a couple other things I'm forgetting). It is sad to think of what might have been. Of course, there still would have been the Allen Klein debacle, but it seems Paul was tentatively willing to put up with some involvement with Klein, if it meant keeping the band going. It wasn't until John said he was out for good that Paul took up a categorical "HELL NO" attitude toward Klein.

(Olivia even specifically defended Paul when she was being her usual badass self and having a go at Geoffrey Giuliano in the 90's)

Haha, don't you just love that? Olivia defends George in the letter, too, but spends almost as much ink rubbishing Guiliano's criticisms of Paul. Olivia is super badass yet totally classy. I'm a fan. :)

In fact, I'm going to post the letter:

The sight of Geoffrey Giuliano's face is enough to make anyone a recluse. My husband once made the remark: 'That guy knows more about my life than I do'. Mr. Giuliano missed the joke and used it to endorse his book. To rate himself as the world's greatest rock 'n' roller biographer (a laughable title in the first place) is nothing but delusion. He has only ever been in the vicinity of my husband for about 10 minutes and considers himself an expert. He parades as a spiritual person while condemning the famous, yet without them his achievements in this life wouldn't rate one line in any newspaper. To judge Paul McCartney as 'vacuous and shallow' after all Paul has written and offered to the world is surely the judgement of an arrogant mind, especially as Giuliano's own recognition is not because he is creative, but because, like a starving dog, he scavenges from his heroes, picking up bits of gristle and sinew along the way, repackaging them for consumption by a gullible public. His life is a 'curse' to himself and perhaps his admitted 300 acid trips by the age of 19 have something to do with it. I'm sick of this guy.

Olivia Harrison (Mrs. George)

Henley-on-Thames

ETA: Other sweet little moments between P and G during the maelstrom of LIB: When George is all amused and cheeky with his "Nice beard, man. I think it suits you," making Paul laugh. And then he says Paul's shoes are cool and Paul's all, "Oh, you can have them. I've got another pair at home." And despite the received wisdom that Paul never paid attention to George's songs, there's a moment where George is playing the tune to "Something," and Paul recognizes it from the White Album sessions and asks if they're going to record it for the LIB album. George says he's not sure because he's still working on the lyrics. (That's not to say that Paul was never dismissive of George, because he definitely could be; but I still thought it was nice and a little surprising to hear.)

 

25 December 2013
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Billy Rhythm
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I don't know, I think that this whole notion that George had to be coaxed into doing the 'Anthology' against his will, or that he only did it for the money is a pile of rubbish, to be honest.  While George may have projected at times that The Beatles were some sort of closed chapter in history, I think that he relished the opportunity to reacquaint himself with being Beatle George again, just compare the seriousness of literally all his post-Beatles interviews before seeing the stone walls of Friar Park crumble before your eyes when he gets to be a Beatle again, here's two good examples:

 

First, here's a great video of George watching old Beatles footage that he obviously hadn't seen (or allowed himself to see) for quite some time:

 

 

 

Then, watch him light right up as he's reunited with his old chum Ringo during this Aspel & Co. Interview from 1988 and even comments on the so-called "feud" between him and Paul:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ksE1D5Hhdc

 

Ask Olivia Harrison if George missed The Beatles (Larry King did) and see what she says, Paul & George loved each other like brothers, which also means that they've been known to tango from time to time, George eventually came to terms with being a Beatle after the dust settled and learned to accept his fate rather than hide from it as he did for many years, George loved The Beatles which meant he loved Paul as well...:-)

 

 

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C.R.A.
8 February 2014
9.17pm
tulane
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"Jeff Lynne said it was a great day and everybody was in good spirits, and one of George's gardeners commented that when Paul and Ringo were there for the documentary they all got along very well."

Maybe so but lets face it, there is a lot of PR involved in these things.  George's gardener was not going to say "George was really pissed off - he hates Paul's guts" was he?  Nor was Jeff Lynne.

I read somewhere that George said that he hoped people would turn his crappy demos into hits after he had died, which is a clear dig at the "new" Beatles songs Free As A Bird and Real Love.

George seemed to be philosophically opposed to nostalgia.  He used to go on about how all that exists is the present, past is gone, future may not be, be here now etc.  This aversion to nostalgia would be another reason I believe why George would be reluctant to do something like the anthology.

Also, in an interview in the 1980s on Youtube, George was told by the interviewer that Paul had recently expressed an interest in writing some songs with George and George says he would like to do so but sarcastically notes that it has only taken Paul 30 years to show an interest in writing with George.  I think this calls into question the theory that Paul is the great team player.  John admits he felt like telling George to piss off when George asked him for help with Taxman, but to his credit, John helped George nonetheless, eventhough he didn't feel like doing so (which is understandable given the massive pressure - they were still touring at the time too remember).  However, George says in the interview that him and Paul have never written anything together, so I would have to question this perception that Paul was the teamplayer.

What would John have made of the Anthology if he had lived?  Would he have agreed to take part?  John wasn't the type to beat around the bush or mince his words.  I suspect he would have denounced it as a money making exercise, which it was ultimately.  I reckon he may have taken part for financial reasons like George but he would have openly shown his disdain for the project and would have criticised Paul for attempting to rewrite history and sanitise what went on.

A previous poster stated that there are now credible sources that work on the song "now or then" was brought to a halt due to a fight in the studio.  What are these credible sources please?  I'm not saying I don't believe you (I find it very believable), it's just that I have never heard this story before and would like to find out more if possible.

I find it ironic that George should veto Now and Then and Carnival Of Light, given that, when they were together, it was always George whose songs would be vetoed.

9 February 2014
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billybob1973
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No, but he knew it was wise to do it from a monetary and legacy point of view. I think he was dreading working with Paul. But on a personal level they were ok.

23 June 2014
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Jeff20
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Someone mentioned earlier in this thread that George snapped at someone towards the end.  I doubt the story, but if it was while he was in treatment, it's possible.  I went through cancer treatment last year and it does change you.  He could have caught him on a bad day, when he was feeling pretty horrible.

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trcanberra
24 June 2014
10.28pm
bewareofchairs
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LongHairedLady said
Just saw this gif on tumblr and thought it was very fitting:

He just looks so done.  

I was watching the Real Love video again recently, and this gif is actually kind of deceptive because a second later he looked like this:

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25 June 2014
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Bongo
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I bet he could have used the money.  Did you see the size of his estate????? a-hard-days-night-george-10

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26 June 2014
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thisbirdhasflown
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He know it's a good monetary decision to make. But really he doesn't want to go for it. it's just too painful.

thisbirdhasflown

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27 June 2014
1.58am
C.R.A.
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The term 'brothers' ... gets a lot of usage in this thread.  If you're a guy and you have brothers... well, I can certainly relate.  I have a couple.  And we're constantly in each other's nose about something or other.  Always finding a fault or getting pissed off at what one said or what the other did.  Behind it all, it would be crushing if something were to happen to one of them.

Paul and George, only 8 months (not 9, Sir Paul) difference in age, fast friends because of their interest in music, spending time at each others house and hitchhiking across the country together, long before McCartney met that Lennon boy...  They would wind up living together under arduous and sometimes extreme circumstances, with insane  pressures.  Stressed, when their peers were allowed to blissfully bloom into their adult years.  And all the while, searching for an identity that didn't constantly include references to them as a group.  Isolated as they were, who could they blame for failing to gain an individual identity, outside of each other?

Yeah.  Brothers.  It's easy to understand why vast differences in their respective personalities resulted in things dragging on for years and the readily apparent animosity whenever they were in the same room.  But when the one died, the other was indeed crushed.  Believe it.

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