Monday, February 7, 2022

We're on Our Way Home

Anyone who watched the Get Back docuseries undoubtedly struggles to return to a life void of the Fab Four.  We lack that vivid color in our world right now.  The miracle that Peter Jackson accomplished in this film should be registered with the Vatican.  The clarity of the boys on screen and the seamless continuity of the conversations and story-line placed them smack dab in the middle of our here and now. Instead of us going back, he brought them to us, which made the difference of being a pleasant film to a timely, new, much needed experience.   I think we should all count this as one of our 3 wishes granted by our genie.  How often did you long for some intimate moment with those 4, at some point in your life and we finally got it!  Get Back is nothing short of magic.

Meat and Tater Soup - Speaking of magic. I was immediately inspired to jump in the kitchen and create this soup after watching the film.

This film was crafted so perfectly that it's easier to say what wasn't your favorite moment than trying to make a list as many did.   It's natural that we go back and realize or remember what the Beatles meant to us, how they are woven into our collective fabric, how they were key at times in our lives, part of our past.  And all of those stories are important and meaningful but the real wonderment is how they affect us again here, now.  Experiencing them in 2022, feels like sighting a UFO hovering over Central Park, in brilliant scope and clarity.  Besides wanting to claim them and pin them on our personal past, what do they teach us now?

Jackson shows us complicated love relationships, the struggles when it's tough and the elation when it is working.  As they each prepare to move on to the unknown, we see them doing their best, which at times isn't always great.  We relate, in that we are failing partly during this huge change we are in.  Seeing the Paul McCartney biting his nails, John unwilling to focus, George being snarky and Ringo asleep at the drums, humanizes these icons in a way that can mirror parts of ourselves in society right now.   

They show us how in disagreements, there doesn't need to be a villain.  We see the validity of George struggling with his style of learning songs, whilst Paul can't understand why he doesn't just take his direction to save time.  You can't blame Paul for being a genius but it would be testy to work with two at once, as George bloomed into an amazing songwriter in his own right. But they were willing to talk and be honest, say hard truths to each other, something that is forbidden at the moment.

Bestest Moment? That unbelievable instant the unborn song, Get Back, gets it's wings!  Thank God for Jackson, recovering the creative process at the exact moment of the song's conception.  No doubt that was life changing for many of us.  I can only imagine what thousands of ideas those sparks ignited.  

Watching Ringo, even hungover, silently being overwhelmingly adorable filled a hole in us, I believe.  He's all of us walking around right now with sorrowful eyes, observing unbelievable rants and shifts in thought.  We are all John, acting out because he doesn't want to conform to rules or restrictions, getting fidgety now that everything has gotten so serious and boring.  Also us, Paul, trying desperately to keep it together. Not being able to visualize his dream but nonetheless wanting it so deeply.  Feeling like he's in charge of a ship going nowhere, that's starting to leak.  That's us!  We read every day how one more thing could take us down. Lives that were once full of fun and joy, whittled down to grey, bleak hours of nothingness in this pandemic. We can't give up, but there is little light to see. 

Billy Preston represents hope walking in the door when you've exhausted your own ideas.  I'm convinced his smile could heal cancer.  He fixed Get Back in what looked like minutes of being there.  And George was right, they needed a fifth person. George, the least likely to be secure enough to invite others in, seemed the most enthusiastic for outside contributions as Paul and John looked tentative but they each seemed to feel the deep heal when he arrived.  We need a Billy Preston in our lives right now.  We're exhausted.  Unsure of how to move forward in this new world of viruses and conflict, lack of freedoms and a general feeling of the air being taken out of our tires.  

On that note, how about a little camera time for Mr BP.  I mean he did save the damn day on the film's namesake song.  Seemed like he deserved movie footage on that roof, eh? 

Did these fabulous artists allow us to we see our best and worst selves in them?  Was the real revelation that we are all the Beatles, for better or worse?   

At first I thought Jackson corrected history by showing us the joyful comradery of this time but it doesn't change the fact that they were struggling to stay together and had built up animosity towards each other.  They needed desperately to break free as individuals.  You could see they had outgrown the idea of the Beatles.  Both worlds existed simultaneously, just as they do now.  They were multidimensional, we are multidimensional.  We can't deny that we are all so terribly flawed.   We have to learn to talk to each other again. I'm speaking to you, Neil Young and anyone that feels the first response to anything they disagree with is to shut it down. 

Meat and Tater Soup

  • 4 strips of bacon fried in large heavy bottomed pot
  • Chopped onions, celery, garlic and carrots cooked in the bacon grease
  • Diced potatoes and thyme added, salt and pepper
  • 5 cups of stock added and all fond scraped from bottom of pan
  • In oven, highly season and crumble ground turkey, bake on sheet at 450 for 20 minutes
  • With a masher, smash up the potatoes to desired consistency in the pan, leaving some big chunks,
  • Add the meat
  • Right before serving, take a 1/4 cup of the stock and mix it with 1/2 cup of yogurt and stir in.
Garnish with bacon bits, green onion and sharp cheddar cheese 

Side Notes: 

Yoko - I read folks saying we owe her an apology. I can't agree that her annoyingly close proximity to John the entire recording process, even while quietly reading a magazine, wasn't passive aggression in the 3rd degree.  Whether John wanted her there or not, it was not nothing.  Creating is intimate.  This would be like if you dropped acid in the 70's and one of your 4 friends brought her boyfriend along that didn't partake and sat there next to her  the entire trip. That would be a huge bummer for those tying to connect.   I don't say she broke up what was already busted though.

Ironies - 

When Linda, in maybe her only speaking part, said in the film that Yoko was talking for John at Ringo's house to George and she didn't know if John even felt those things.    

That they spent painstaking time recording dozens of takes of songs to get the live effect and then John ends up giving the record to Phil Spector and he shellacs the whole damn thing with multiple coats. 

Regardless of everything, the music created during this film has a pure life of it's own.

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