Ringo Starr’s Codename During ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ Was ‘Russia’ — George Harrison’s Was ‘France’

The Beatles’ Get Back concert was one of the last live performances with an audience — they needed to pick the best location. After some disagreements regarding the venue, Ringo Starr and George Harrison earned “code names” from crew members.

Disney+ released unseen footage of George Harrison and Ringo Starr ‘The Beatles: Get Back’

George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr of the Beatles play Exeter's ABC Cinema
George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr of the Beatles play Exeter’s ABC Cinema | Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images

The Beatles: Get Back, released on Disney+, gave viewers a peek at John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Harrison, and Ringo Starr as they rehearsed for a pivotal live performance that led to Abbey Road and Let It Be

This was the group’s rooftop concert at London’s Savile Row. With only a few weeks to write and rehearse new songs, the band faced plenty of challenges. Although the group decided they wanted a live audience for their concert, they struggled to pick a location.

Ringo Starr earned his ‘Russia’ codename, while George Harrison became ‘France’

The group went back and forth regarding venues. They could potentially host fans in their rehearsal space, with Lennon suggesting clear plastic bleachers. They could also perform in an amphitheater in Sabratha, Africa, as noted by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. 

At this point, the collaborators revealed code names for the Beatles, some of which were inspired by other countries. 

“One of Russia’s points was that he wanted an English audience,” Michael said, to which Lennon said, “oh, Russia! That would be great.”

“No, no, no, that’s Ringo’s code name. He’s Russia,” the creator clarified. McCartney suggested that if they go abroad to perform, they should hire a boat to bring their local fans with them. That could include a performance on the “bloody boat.”

“Wait, here’s France coming in here now,” Michael said as Harrison was about to speak. Harrison quickly retorted, “France? I can’t go to France!”

“No, no, no. That’s your code name,” Michael noted. If Lennon and McCartney were awarded a codename, it was not revealed during this episode of the Disney+ documentary series.

The Beatles performed their ‘Get Back’ concert in London

With the scheduled performance date quickly approaching, the artists had to decide together, with all four members of The Beatles involved in choosing the performance space. Lennon advocated for going abroad, while Harrison was against the idea.

“Every time we’ve done an album, we’ve said, ‘Why are we stuck in EMI? We could be doing it in LA! We could be in France,’” Lennon mentioned. “And every time we do it, and here we are again, building another bloody castle around us, and this time we [should] do it there.”

Of course, The Beatles decided against a performance abroad. The group eventually chose a rooftop performance, showcasing recently created tracks “Get Back,” “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909,” and “Dig a Pony.” The Beatles: Get Back is available exclusively on Disney’s streaming platform, Disney+.

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