It’s All About Hamburg

Mountainscape with a white cloud rising from behind dark storm clouds.

I am surprised to hear the Beatles referencing their Hamburg days so often. I have always felt that it was Malcolm Gladwell that had escalated the importance of this period in his presentation of the 10,000 hour rule. Now I am watching George, John and Paul regularly remembering lessons and sensations from those days. I wonder what Ringo thinks of their nostalgia for a good old days that he doesn’t share.

I hesitated before watching the Get Back documentary. Mostly because I had followed the hype for 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything and thought it was boomer exploitation (an exercise in motivated reasoning where any link to the year was enough: produced earlier but popular 1971, produced in 1971 but popular later, or even just a live version recorded in 1971). Get Back was getting talked about by the same people.

And then a few more people talked about Get Back. And then I hear observations about each Beatle‘s song writing process. And I have ironing to do.

The title tells you nostalgia is going to play a role. But that is a post hoc realization. There’s mention of pasts recent. But it is in the shadow of those still around that the nostalgia is strongest.

At this point in time, after all the commentary that I read, heard or watched, it is hard to remember where the shadows are been cast from. There have been quotes from the actors saying that the period wasn’t as dark as they remembered it. There are quotes from the producers saying the period wasn’t as dark for the Beatles as it is remembered. There is the selection of material.

And there is Hamburg. I was surprised to learn that it is largest non-capital city in the European Union. Pete Best was their drummer then.

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