Creativity: Get Back (To Basics)

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Social media has been on fire since Disney + released The Beatles: Get Back.

For the first time, we are privileged to watch The Beatles create their last album in the studio. Director Peter Jackson has done a remarkable job editing over 150 intimate hours of previously unseen video and audio into an eight-hour documentary broken into three parts.

Get Back is a tumultuous ride revealing the joys and conflicts of The Beatles shortly before their breakup in 1970. Get Back is a clinic on the creative process of these four artistic geniuses.

There are numerous takeaways for ensemble radio and podcast shows.

Collaboration and working as a team transcend conflicts and ego outbreaks. When The Beatles authentically and creatively collaborated, their mutual affection and respect is evident.

In one segment, George Harrison took the time to listen to one of Ringo’s song ideas and then helped him develop it.

  • If you are the host, take the time to listen to ideas from everyone on your team from peripheral players, producers, phone screeners, and interns.

Prime the pump
As a way of stoking their creative juices, The Beatles often launch into impromptu renditions of favorite artists’ songs before working on their own songs for the album. These spontaneous jams create laughter, unity, and focus.
What unites you as a team before starting your show or planning sessions? Here are some thought starters:

  • Listen to a past perfectly executed segment to fire up the team.
  • Play a short, fun improv game to loosen everyone up creatively.
  • Listen or watch a funny bit from a favorite comedian.

Playful and childlike
The Beatles were playful and in the moment, having fun like kids. In one scene they take turns singing On Our Way Back Home with their teeth clinched!

  • Brian Phelps (Mark & Brian) once aptly said, “The way to remain creative is to look at the world through the eyes of a 9-year-old.”

Take a planning tip from The Beatles. The London rooftop concert was a notable example of planned spontaneity. Days of planning went into the performance.

  • As Mark Twain said, “It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”

Listen to your show
The Beatles put themselves in the place of the audience by sitting back, listening, and singing along to their finished songs.

  • We recommend talent listen to segments of their show weekly and discuss what worked well and what could have worked better.

Melody first, then tie in the lyrics
The Beatles were all about melody, then they worked the lyrics around the melody. How does that relate to a show?

  • What you say is not as important as how you say it. Tone and presentation are everything.

When The Beatles got stuck or veered off track, George Martin would reign them in, get them focused, make suggestions, and remind them of deadlines. They were constantly honing, tweaking, and editing lyrics and melodies.

  • The essence of coaching is to unlock the creative potential of talent by asking questions and making suggestions. George Martin and Paul McCartney would soften their recommendations with words like, “it’s a bit…too fast, or “could we try it once this way?”
  • Continue to ask, “What else” can we do to make this segment or bit better, give it more impact?”

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

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