As you probably know, Peter Jackson — known mostly for directing the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy — released a new documentary series featuring The Beatles called GET BACK. He combed through over 60 hours of footage of the band’s writing and rehearsal sessions for the Let It Be sessions that had been stored and forgotten about.
While the three-part series dispels long-rumored myths about the relationships in the band and why they broke up, the best part of watching these sessions is being able to observe how they worked and created together and individually. Get Back is a masterclass in creativity.
These four guys had distinct differences in how they approached writing but when they came together they perfectly complimented the others in the band, supporting when support was needed, contributing ideas to help realize the potential of a song, collaborating more directly when things weren’t quite coming together. There was also a lot of encouragement.
At one point George is muddling his way through the masterpiece that would become the song Something. He’s insecure about not having the right lyrics, unsure what to sing. John tells him to sing any words, offering the concept of not holding one’s self to a standard of perfection during the process of creating. I am paraphrasing but Lennon basically says, “sing any words and eventually the right ones will come”.
One master encourages another to let go, get out of your way, embrace the messiness of the process by just doing the work. He doesn’t judge it. He isn’t there to nurture the insecurity, instead offering a nonchalant bit of “you got this” to his mate.
There is another moment that has gotten a great deal of attention because it is jaw-dropping to witness. Paul McCartney picks up his bass, sits across from Ringo and George who are taking a break, and just starts playing. He has no idea, no lyrics, no song, just starts hitting the bass and finding a rhythm until, just seconds later, he hits on the chords and melody that become the song Get Back. It is born right before our eyes in mere moments, illustrating once again lessons in creativity — be playful, let it unfold, get out of your way, it will come. Wow, what an unbelievable moment.
Get Back has many moments filled with lessons on how to be a creative person. It is an astonishing exercise in showing up, doing the work, improvising, having fun, collaborating, getting out of your own way, removing the filters that constrain you, while taking it all seriously enough to respect the results that comes at the end of it all.
The most remarkable thing is that The Beatles broke up before any of them reached the age of 30, leaving behind a legacy that remains unmatched. All of them went on to create many more beautiful songs but watching them display their vast knowledge of how to be creative, while still in their twenties, is a marvel.
If you are a creative person or admire those who are, this documentary is beautiful. Watch GET BACK, you won’t regret it. And if your organization is looking to unleash your own creativity, consider hiring us to present this workshop about creativity.
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