Last week, The Late Show host Stephen Colbert chatted with Peter Jackson about his new documentary, The Beatles: Get Back. On last night’s episode of the show, Colbert aired more of the conversation, in which Jackson talks about a moment from the documentary that he believes shows how The Beatles could have avoided breaking up.
Colbert asked Jackson about how the band reacted to the documentary and if they learned anything from it, and Jackson responded with a story about George Harrison and John Lennon:
“There’s actually a moment where Paul McCartney leaves the room… it’s lunch time, Ringo and Paul leave the room, and John and George are left there. George very nervously says to John, ‘John, I’ve got all these songs I’ve written, I got 20 songs I’ve written. My normal quota being two songs per album…,’ that The Beatles let George do. He says, ‘It will take me ten years to get these songs out, so I’m thinking I might just like to do an album on my own, just get my songs out of the way.’
And John says, ‘You mean all by yourself?’ He said, ‘Yeah, it would be great to do an album with all my songs, I could hear what that’s like.’ And John says, ‘Yeah, that would be great, that’s fantastic.’ He says, ‘We’ll still do the Beatles thing.’ And John says, ‘Yeah yeah, it can be George does a solo album then the Beatles do an album.'”
Jackson continued, “So that to me was a picture of how The Beatles could have survived going forward: Do their solo work and still come together every now and again to do The Beatles. Now Paul didn’t hear that conversation in 1969 and he didn’t know that even happened. He sees the film and I ask him, ‘What do you think about that conversation that you would have seen for the first time where George and John talk about the solo album? That sort of paints a picture of how The Beatles could have carried on in the future.’ You know what Paul said to me? He said, ‘I wish I knew they said that at the time.'”
Watch the new Jackson interview clips above and below.