When the world’s greatest pop band played their final public concert in January 1969, there were no tickets or posted printed. When John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr emerged at lunchtime from the headquarters of their own company, Apple, five storeys above London’s Savile Row, only a select group of people know what the hell was happening.
The rooftop concert was the final public performance of The Beatles. On 30 January 1969, the band, with keyboardist Billy Preston, surprised a central London office and fashion district with an impromptu concert from the roof of the headquarters of the band’s multimedia corporation Apple Corps at 3 Savile Row. In a 42-minute set, the Beatles played nine takes of five songs before the Metropolitan Police asked them to reduce the volume. Footage from the performance was used in the 1970 documentary film Let It Be.
The rooftop concert was one of the Beatles’ most spontaneous acts. The Beatles on the Roof studies the rooftop concert in penetrating detail, uncovering new truths and debunking old myths about the event. Nobody knew it yet- not even the band- but this was the last time they would play live to the public.
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About the Author:
Since 1997, Tony Barrell has contributed regular features to The Sunday Times on pop music, modern art and popular culture. Topics have included The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios, the longest songs ever recorder, the history of tribute bands, the worlds strangest concert venues and the exercise music used by celebrities.
Tony has also interviewed and profiled many music stars, such as Ronnie Wood, Jimmy Page, Shirley Manson, Joan Baez, Alison Goldfrapp, Celine Dion and MIke Oldfield.