Peter Jackson’s epic three-part docuseries Get Back is perhaps the most candid look into the creative process of the Beatles ever. The Disney+ series spotlights the two weeks they gave the supergroup to conceive of and produce a new album. Ironically, this album was their last, Let it Be. Truthfully, a lot of this documentary is just the boys from Liverpool hanging out and rehearsing. Often while Yoko Ono was kicking back doing crossword puzzles.
But one particular moment really captures some very special magic happening, halfway through Part 1. And it’s the literal birth of the band’s all-time classic song, “Get Back.” Yes, the very song that gave this series its name. You can watch the moment play out in real-time in the video down below, which comes to us thanks to YouTube channel Sheller, (via Laughing Squid).
To paraphrase Sophia from Golden Girls, “Picture it. It’s January 7, 1969.” Paul, Ringo, and George are in the studio waiting for John to show up, who’s late again. So Paul starts jamming on his guitar while they all wait. The Beatles famously came up with the music for their songs before the lyrics. So many of their classic songs started out as nonsense words. Or just sounds uttered over instrumentation. The lyrics often came later. And this was exactly the case with Paul McCartney’s “Get Back,” as you can see from the video.
Famously, the band eventually released “Get Back” as a non-album single in April 1969. It was the band’s seventeenth single to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts. This tied them with Elvis Presley for the most number ones. Interestingly, a year later, a different version was the final track on the Beatles’ last album, Let it Be. Thus giving it even more significance. If you were to listen to the band’s complete album discography from start to finish, it would end with this classic song. And now, we can all see how it was born.