Now that The Beatles: Get Back has existed in the cultural imagination for a few months now, everybody is starting to solidify their favourite parts of the docuseries. The full-length rooftop concert is an easy choice, but it’s usually the smaller moments that have translated the most: Paul McCartney composing ‘Get Back’ in about five minutes, Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney sharing a friendly chat, Ringo Starr messing around with Linda’s daughter Heather.
But for my money, it’s George Harrison who always steals the screen. Especially in the first episode, Harrison is overflowing with ideas and enthusiasm, pitching all time great songs like ‘All Things Must Pass’ and ‘Something’. But his bandmates hardly pay attention, and the strain of being othered eventually boils over and Harrison decides to leave the band.
Harrison’s arc is the most fascinating of the series, and the one that has the least in-film closure. Harrison figures out that he doesn’t want to push his better songs, so he offers up nice, but not earth-shattering, material like ‘Old Brown Shoe’ and ‘For You Blue’. During the band’s early rehearsals at Twickenham, Harrison decided to pitch a song that he had only just written the night before.
Inspired by a BBC programme that featured waltz music, Harrison composed ‘I Me Mine’ was also at least partially inspired by the personal discourse within the group and the business woes that followed them at all times. Harrison only has the verses of the song, and mostly just a single verse, but it’s good enough for the band to at least consider taking on.
Whether it’s playful or over the line, John Lennon makes fun of the song when Harrison shows it to him. Saying that The Beatles are a rock and roll band, Lennon suggests dancing girls and hunchbacks be present for the song. Harrison responds in kind: “I don’t care if you don’t want it. I don’t give a fuck”.
It’s not an angry response: Harrison is simply at the end of his rope, frustrated at the indifference to his material when his bandmates, Lennon specifically, have little to offer themselves. Of all the moments that punctuate Harrison’s exasperation during The Beatles: Get Back, it’s not the ‘Two of Us’ argument, or even his actual departure, that speaks volumes. It’s the dismissal of ‘I Me Mine’ that finds Harrison at his most exhausted.
Check out the pitch of ‘I Me Mine’ down below.