Ringo Starr was relieved to report that the upcoming documentary about the Beatles’ final recording sessions will illustrate the “fun” they had at the time – because he was unhappy that the 1970 version concentrated too much on the bad side of things.
Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back is set to arrive in August, assembled principally from dozens of hours of footage shot at the time but not used in Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s Let It Be, which came out 51 years ago.
“I didn’t feel any joy in the original documentary,” Starr said in a press conference to promote his new EP, Zoom In. “It was all focused on one moment which went down between two of the lads,” he noted, referring to the falling out between Paul McCartney and George Harrison. He added that the celebrated unannounced rooftop concert “was also only about seven to eight minutes long [in Let It Be]. With Peter’s [movie] it’s 43 minutes long! It’s about the music and a lot of joy.”
The drummer continued: “I had several talks with Peter about how I felt. I thought it was miserable. I said, ‘There was lots of laughter, I was there, we were laughing, we were having fun. We were playing and doing what we do.’ So Peter kept coming to L.A. with his iPad and he’d show me sections … he showed us laughing and having fun as a band. … There was a lot of joy in making those records, those tracks, so I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the whole thing. Even if you saw that little trailer that came out late last year, it’s full of fun.”
Starr expressed similar emotions in a recent appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. “I used to moan because the original documentary was very narrow, built around a moment,” he said. “There was no joy in it. …There was a little bit of tension – no one can take that away – but to use that moment and not use these 56 hours of unused film. … It’s how it was. … Even though we had arguments, like any family, we loved each other, you know, and it shows in the [new] film.”
You can watch that interview below.