If you’ve never seen that five disc documentary about The Beatles from 1995, The Beatles Anthology, I can’t recommend it enough. It tells the story of the greatest band ever so perfectly that it almost makes you think it’s made up. Their story is such a metaphor for youth and the sixties and the loss of innocence that comes with age that one comes to the conclusion that the Beatles were in fact literary devices.
But the end of the documentary always kills me. After spending ten hours watching the four lads from Liverpool catching STDs in Hamburg and running from screaming girls and experimenting with LSD and getting freaked out by Peter Fonda and travelling to India you see the three Beatles who were still alive in the nineties sitting on the grass of one of their estates reminiscing about the past. But then all of a sudden George says, “Well, I’ve got to get going” and Ringo says he’s got something to do and Paul also pretends he’s got some other pressing engagement. That moment captured on film still depresses me years after I last saw it.
Come on guys, you’re the Beatles. Who else do you have to be with that understands you better? Shouldn’t you guys be hanging out until the break of dawn laughing about who the walrus was and bitching about Yoko Ono? Perhaps like an art history professor who sees similarities between Etruscan friezes and the lyrics of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer I’m reading too much into this snippet of film. But if these three guys who shared so much and created such lasting works together can’t stand each other’s companies, what hope is there for the rest of us?