Come As You Are: Let It Be

Posted by Miss Ess, July 10, 2007 09:26pm | Post a Comment
I'm watching the film Let It Be right now.

The Beatles look....exhausted.

Paul's singing "Let It Be" at the piano and he just looks like he's about to keel over. They look so worn out, so at the end of their ropes.

Paul seems like the only one who was even trying to give the cameras a little "entertainment"...if you count heavy eye contact as that. (When it comes to The Beatles I have to say I am entertained by pretty much anything.) He's irrepressibly a showman. It's so interesting to watch. They are phoning it in, practically asleep while playing, and yet their music and songs are still transformational. Even though the magic between them personally had faded their raw talent never faded.

I haven't watched this since I was a kid. When I was growing up I somehow found the one video store within a 20 mile radius of my home that had a copy. I would go about once a year and rent it ... until one year it was mysteriously gone.

The rooftop concert is, of course, my favorite part of the movie. One time when I went to London I found the Apple building. I stood on the concrete outside the door and tried to imagine what it was like that freezing day in January when everyone's regular old workday was interrupted by the sounds of the one and only Beatles filling their ears. How phenomenal! This is where that rawness really shows itself. I think it's beautiful and painful to watch; it's like observing a tiny happy moment within any necessary but sad breakup that's been a long time coming. I remember standing there on Savile Row, turning around to find the exact direction they had been facing when they performed by the view of the church spire and buildings.....yes, I am coo coo.

Ringo's red patent leather-y coat during the rooftop concert is easily the brightest thing in a sort of overall dismal movie.

I'd still rather watch this than Magical Mystery Tour though, despite all that movie's psychedelic insanity! I think Let It Be's super interesting. I think I would rather watch them not try at all than try waaaaay too hard, know what I mean? I can enjoy some melancholy, thank you.

It's interesting that Paul's live set these days includes "The Long And Winding Road," "Let It Be," "Get Back" and "I've Got A Feeling," (He performed all those songs at Amoeba in June!) cause one would assume these are maybe not the times he is most nostalgic for, but hey, the songs are great. And I guess obviously easier to adapt to live performance than some of the other stuff they created over the years! 

For years I searched for a bootleg of the rooftop performance....I remember on my first trip to New York City ever, in St. Mark's Square, of course, I finally came up lucky! I was 19 years old, and at last it was in my hands! I went back to college feeling like the coolest gal in school.....when I was really the biggest hermit!

"Don't Let Me Down" is pretty much my favorite Beatles song ever.  It encapsulates my favorite things about the band: lyrics, melody, harmony, heaviness, honesty, and even (on the record anyway) a bitty hidden inside joke. I adore watching John perform it on the roof. Finally, there's some abandon and life from him for a relieving but brief bit of the film. I think he and Yoko were on heroin during this time, which helps to explain their near-catatonic state. 

Things are so tense, it doesn't look good for our heroes throughout the film. 

But isn't it the best, though, to think that, despite all that, Abbey Road

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Paul Mccartney (62), Savile Row (1), Let It Be (4), Beatles (103)