A Little Happier: Even as a Member of the Beatles, It’s Possible to Feel Left Out and Bad at Your Job

Recently, I watched Get Back, the absolutely terrific 2021 documentary series about the Beatles. The documentary shows footage of the 21 days the band spent making their 1970 album Let It Be.

I was so interested in the documentary that I went to the library and checked out the book The Beatles Anthology (Amazon), which is an extraordinary history of the band that’s full of interviews, personal stories, photos, and memorabilia.

I was very struck by this story told by drummer Ringo Starr. In it, he mentions his band-mates, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, and also Yoko Ono.

While we were recording the “White” album we ended up being more of a band again, and that’s what I always love. I love being in a band. Of course, I must have moments of turmoil, because I left the group for a while that summer.

I left because I felt two things: I felt I wasn’t playing great, and I also felt that the other three were really happy and I was an outsider. I went to see John, who had been living in my apartment in Montagu Square with Yoko since he moved out of Kenwood. I said, “I’m leaving the group because I’m not playing well and I feel unloved and out of it, and you three are really close.” And John said, “I thought it was you three!”

So then I went over to Paul’s and knocked on his door. I said the same thing: “I’m leaving the band. I feel you three guys are really close and I’m out of it.” And Paul said, “I thought it was you three!”

I didn’t even bother going to George then. I said, “I’m going on holiday.”

This story really jumped out at me because it’s a good reminder that, when I’m feeling left out of a group, or when I’m feeling discouraged or unappreciated, I can remind myself—well, I feel this way, but it’s probably true that other people are feeling that way, too.

From the outside, it can look like people are feeling happy, comfortable, and loved, but that’s not always how they feel on the inside.

Even in a group as tight-knit as the Beatles, the four band members didn’t know what each other were thinking and feeling. And even being a member of a superstar band like the Beatles wasn’t enough to save a person from worries about being bad at their job and feeling left out.

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