PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Beatles truly changed everything once they came onto the scene, and they continue to strike awe in people today. Musically, socially and emotionally, they left a massive mark on society — and on Peter Jackson.
“If somebody had said to me, ‘You know what, you’re going to get to work with The Beatles, you’re going to get to make this film, you just got to grow up a bit and get some long trousers, and it’s going to take a few years.’ I mean, I wouldn’t have believed that at all,” he said.
Jackson’s latest project, “The Beatles: Get Back” on Disney Plus, takes a look at the Fab Four and the story behind one of their most iconic albums.
The hours-long miniseries gives fans a fly-on-the-wall experience into the 1969 studio, where the four artists have just three weeks to write and rehearse an album, then perform it live for a TV special.
Viewers are taken on a journey, witnessing some of their iconic songs evolve from the earliest stages of development. The songs culminated in their 1970 album, “Let It Be.”
KYW Newsradio special contributor Larry Kane — who has his own history with The Beatles and provided 1968 footage for the prologue of “The Beatles: Get Back” — sat down with the renowned filmmaker to talk about the series and his love of all things Beatles.
“I feel I know them,” Jackson said of piecing together the hours of archived film. “I know them better than I ever before.”
The footage doesn’t show a smooth creative writing process — in fact, it shows things going wrong, Jackson said.
“It shows disagreements,” he said. “I don't want people to think that it’s vanilla. … If everything had gone smoothly, it would be not so interesting, and you wouldn’t get to learn who these four guys are.”
Many, many people have written books or produced tapes on who those “four guys” were, Jackson noted, but the uncensored footage reveals another dimension.
“The pictures tell you everything because you can see the look in their eyes, the way that they interact with each other in a nonverbal way. That’s a massive, massive addition to the story,” he explained.
In this episode of KYW In Depth, Jackson tells Kane what he learned about each artist, the intricacies of their personalities, and all things Beatlemania.
“After 50 years, the Beatles are back to cheer us up again,” he enthused. “Kind of unbelievable, really.”
Listen to the podcast in the player below.