Thursday, May 19, 2005

Up On The Roof, Beatle Battles

Been watching some of my Beatle dvd's lately...


The boys, after a month of rehearsing, decide to take it to the roof in the dramatic finale to Let It Be. In a month that saw George quit the band, Peter Sellers stop by for some Acapulco Gold, and several hundred hours of music recorded on tape, the band brings the bustling London business distict to a halt as they put on an impromptu concert for the masses below. Highlights include, angry businessmen proclaiming it's an "imposition" to disrupt the workday, giddy secretaries squealing with joy, and confused policemen scratching their heads. Classic mischief. And easily one of the finest acts of defiance by a rock 'n roll band caught on tape. If Alice Cooper had actually torn the chicken apart on stage in Toronto, he could've claimed the title.


George quits the band in disgust. As they sit around discussing their options, Eric Clapton is mentioned as a possible replacement. The same day, Peter Sellers drops in for a spell.

The following is a transcript from footage which was not used in the released film. Text within double parenthesis "(( ))" indicate dialogue that is indeciferable.

Scene: Peter Sellers visiting the Beatles on the set of thier LET IT BE film, at Apple Studios.
CLOSE UP on PETER SELLERS as he enters the studio. A boom microphone drops within inches of his head, almost hitting him. Sellers doesn't seem to notice.

(Someone offscreen): ((...the only way I can keep my balance with 'em)).
SELLERS: (agreeing) Uh-hum.
JOHN: (offscreen) ((???))
Sellers leans in to shake John's hand and CAMERA pulls back to show us the rest of the room.
JOHN is standing, shaking Sellers hand.
PAUL, RINGO, YOKO, DEREK TAYLOR ((and others)), are seated in a semi-circle, on couches and in chairs, in the studio.
The casual setting is only disturbed by the bustling of the filmcrew around them, and the long, intrusive fishpole of the boom microphone that hangs above their heads and follows the conversation...
JOHN: Peter.
Everyone in the room greets Sellers.
JOHN and SELLERS begin to speak at the same time, stepping over each others words.
JOHN: You know for a long time I've been---
SELLERS: I'm really, really---
JOHN: Remember when I gave you that grass in Picadilly?
The room laughs.
SELLERS: I do, man. It really stoned me out of my mind. Really, I---
JOHN: I was just---
SELLERS: ---Acapulco Gold, wasn't it?
JOHN: Exactly.
SELLERS: That was really fantastic.
(someone offscreen, not a Beatle): We can't get it.
JOHN: That's just---
SELLERS: I'm not holding any... right now... (pats the pockets of his pants). I'm sorry.
JOHN: No, uh, actually, I've given up, you know?
SELLERS: (laughing) Oh, really?
JOHN: (direct to camera) As stated by Hunter, damn you, in The Beatles' actual life story.
(Big laugh offscreen)
SELLERS: Well, I'm sorry about that fellows, but I, you know, if I had known I was gonna see you, then of course, I would've had some on me...
PAUL: Yeah.
SELLERS: ...'cause I know how you love it.
PAUL: Yeah. Yeah.
(giggling, laughter)
SELLERS: ...and, uh...
JOHN: Dig.
SELLERS: Sure. Alright, dig.
PAUL: Gotcha, Pete.
SELLERS: Got it.
SELLERS: ...and, uh...
PAUL: Can ya dig it?
SELLERS: Oh, yes. God, I can dig it.
(someone offscreen): You wanna make the scene to the gent's lavatory?
SELLERS: That's a groove.
(everyone laughs)
Sellers starts to exit, backing out of the room, shaking hands as he leaves.
SELLERS: Well, guys... see ya.
JOHN: Bye, bye.
PAUL: Too much, Pete.
RINGO: Way out! (points to the studio exit)
PAUL: Way out.
(someone offscreen): Exit.
Everyone watches as Sellers exits.
(Someone offscreen): It's that way.
(everyone laughs)
JOHN: (shouting to Sellers) Just don't leave the needles lyin' around, you know! We've got a bad reputation now...
(everyone laughs)
JOHN: ...with John gettin' busted and that.
(no one laughs)
JOHN: (to the group) I know what it's like for show-biz people. They're under a great strain and they need a little relaxation.
YOKO: (agreeing) Uh-hum.
PAUL: Yes. So we ((?something about the cameras?))---
JOHN: That's why---
RINGO: That's why he's going to bed.
YOKO: They need some---
JOHN: It's a choice between that and exercise, you know and uh... drugs win hand down. I say, "hand down".
YOKO: Uh-hmm. But shooting is exercise.
JOHN: Shooting is exercise, oh yeah. Especially for the birds.


During rehearsals for 'Two Of Us', George & Paul go at it as the cameras roll.
PAUL: It's like, complicated now, so, if we can get it simpler, and then complicated where it needs complications.
GEORGE: Its not complicated...I mean, I'll play just the chords if you like...
PAUL: No, come on, you're always getting annoyed when I say that...I'm trying to help, but I always hear myself annoying you.
GEORGE: You're not annoying me
PAUL: But you know what I mean...I'm not trying to get at you. I really am just trying to say, 'Look lads, as a band, shall we try it like this?
GEORGE: Its funny, though, how it only occurs when we...
PAUL: Its like 'shall we play guitar all through Hey Jude?'...'Well, I don't think we should'
GEORGE: OK, well, I don't mind. I'll play whatever you want me to play, or I won't play at all, if you don't want me to play. You know, what ever it is that will please you, I'll do it.

OUCH! That's gotta hurt.

If I have a request, I'll post a small mpg of the Sellers encounter.

iPod Song of the day: Love & Mercy from Brian Wilsons' first solo album


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