Early in episode #1 of Peter Jackson‘s epic-length Get Back doc (Disney+, 11.25), we see the Beatles starting to settle into rehearsals at Twickenham Studios.

After initial hellos and small talk, a rough version of John Lennon‘s “Don’t Let Me Down” is being fiddled and fumbled with and sung partly off-key.

The camera soon captures a creepy looking Hare Krishna guy sitting against a nearby wall — shaved head, dour expression, staring at the boys with dead eyes. One look and you’re thinking “Jesus, is that Charles Manson‘s younger brother? Is he on meds?” Hare Krishna guys have always creeped me out.

Anyway the first laugh arrives a few seconds later when Lennon quips “who’s that little old man?” — his first line in A Hard Day’s Night. George explains that the grim-faced baldie is a friend. His name is Shyamsunder Das,

This is why I’ve always loved Lennon. His irreverence is so sparkling and tireless. “Who’s that little old man?” is his way of saying “who’s that somber-faced wanker with the Indian clothing and cheap sneakers?

Second impression: All through it Yoko Ono just sits there next to John, doing nothing, a black hole…doesn’t she understand that during a rehearsal you have to either be playing and singing and contributing in some way or else you’re just sucking up energy?

Third impression: 20 minutes into episode #1 and it feels fascinating, intimate, chill. And at the same time very out-takey, very fly-on-the-wall, very this-and-that. Definitely a lack of narrative tension, and yet it’s an agreeable hang…enjoying it, settling in, interesting vibes, lots of cigarette smoking (George!). Paul smokes a cigar.