I love studying everything in art and creativity.
I love writing and talking about cultural events that teach us about creativity and competence.
And I love dissecting how much I need to learn to achieve peak performance.
It was almost 6 years ago when I found the video. I watched it 100x.
And I took notes.
The video is now blocked on copyright grounds, but I’m glad I got to watch it because I discovered so much about creating.
The video is the very last concert ever performed by the Beatles in London.
It was spur of the moment. They were in recording session for the album “Let It Be.” And they went to the roof, brought their instruments and performed on the spot. It was the dead of winter. January 1969.
It was on the fly. People climbed their fire escapes, hung out of windows in office buildings, crowded the streets, all just to hear the music.
The Beatles had become more famous than they could’ve ever imagined.
But at this point in time, the band was essentially dead.
They hated paul for suing. They hated john for leaving, and george for quitting.
All the older bands I love didn’t last that long. “Maybe it’s inevitable.” (See I was doing this podcast on the fly with Steve Cohen, my podcast producer, who’s also been a guest on the show.) “We’ve seen it in ‘Behind the Music,’ he said.
He quoted the old saying from Richard Ben Cramer, “What kind of ego does it take to run for president?”
Maybe the same goes for musicians. What kind of ego does it take to get up there on stage and be a band?
Very few bands survive a full life. All of my favorite older bands are dead. Look at Led Zeppelin. Their peak was maybe five years. Then Robert Plant went off on his own. Jimmy Page went off on his own.
Now, there are exceptions. The Rolling Stones are still going strong. But even The Rolling Stones kind of hate each other. Keith Richards trashed Mick Jagger in his book. Charlie Watts seemed distant from the other band members.
Maybe there’s a rule about creation. Maybe you only get one sunrise and sunset.
But nonetheless the Beatles were competent creators. Not just with music. But with legacy, too.
What I did on this episode of the podcast was totally on the fly. It wasn’t planned. And my audience might hate me for it. Or they might love what we did and want more.
After the concert—the last Beatles concert ever— John Lennon, said, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition.”
This episode is my turn to audition.
Links and Resources
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Phil Spector – the producer of the album Let It Be
Behind the Music
The Rolling Stones
Richard Ben Cramer
Curious Mind by Brian Grazer
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – a documentary directed by Ron Howard
Eye Contact by Brian Grazer
In Conversation: Quincy Jones
The Comedy Store
Spielberg on HBO
Break In – Ice T’s first appearance
Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan
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