Watch Paul McCartney Craft Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ in Two Minutes
As people continue streaming, binging and generally absorbing every moment from the recently released The Beatles: Get Back, one moment in particular has caught many fans’ attention: when Paul McCartney seemingly crafted “Get Back” in just a couple of minutes.
Like most of The Beatles: Get Back - and the original 1970 documentary Let It Be - the creation of “Get Back” is presented as a fly-on-the-wall moment. The cameras catch McCartney strumming away at his bass, seemingly searching for inspiration. Ringo Starr and George Harrison look on as their bandmate works to create a song.
McCartney sings along to his chords, but doesn’t appear to use real words. Instead, it’s simply vowel sounds and rhythmic phrasing, basically gibberish designed as a placeholder where lyrics could potentially go.
The songwriting legend continues chugging along on his bass, occasionally changing the chord and pace. After 30 seconds, a fledgling idea starts to form. A minute in, the clearer vision begins taking shape. By the 90-second mark, McCartney’s Beatles bandmates begin to pick up on what he’s doing. Starr claps along with a percussive concept, while Harrison strums some guitar ideas. Two minutes in, “Get Back” is truly a song, bearing a strong resemblance to the version that would eventually become a chart-topping hit in 1969.
Whether the song came together exactly this quickly is up for debate. The documentary is edited, and even though director Peter Jackson added more than six hours of footage to what had been Let It Be, there was still plenty of material left on the cutting-room floor.
Regardless, it’s clear that McCartney shaped “Get Back” quickly, with the film’s footage capturing a significant portion of the song’s creation. The genius on display has continued wowing viewers since The Beatles: Get Back was released last week, with the clip of McCartney creating the tune quickly becoming popular on social media.
You can watch the scene below.