Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pop History Moment: The Beatles' Rooftop Concert

On this day in 1969 The Beatles held their final concert, on the roof of Apple Records at 3 Savile Row in central London; the event was filmed for their documentary Let It Be, which would record their eventual break-up. Opening with Get Back, the first part of the film also includes Don't Let Me Down, which were played three and two times respectively.

Despite having drifted apart emotionally and artistically, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr managed to 'come together' one last time (with Billy Preston on electric piano) to perform the impromptu gig, the second part of which features I've Got a Feeling and One After 909.

Their final stadium gig - in August 1966 at San Francisco's Candlestick Park - had come at a time when John Lennon had mistakenly told the truth to the American press, bemoaning the fact that the Beatles had become 'more popular than Jesus now', at which point the good Christians of that country reacted by going into a frenzy of forgiveness, burning albums and memorabilia in bonfires coast to coast.

By the third part of this video Metropolitan Police have begun gathering, as have an equal number of fans and tutters in Savile Row below. There was just enough time for Dig a Pony, followed by a reprise of Get Back, before the cops pulled the plug. (They also played a brief version of the British national anthem, God Save the Queen and a brief rehearsal of I Want You (She's So Heavy) while second engineer Alan Parsons was changing tapes. These performances were omitted from the film.) Lennon's closing salvo was: 'I'd like to say 'thank you' on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition!' By the time the album Let It Be was released in May 1970, the band was no more...

Homage was paid to the Fab Four's Rooftop Concert by another fab four, namely U2, who recorded the video to Where the Streets Have No Name on the rooftop of the Republic Liquor Store at East 7th Street and South Main Street in Los Angeles in March 1987.
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Andy said...

Ohh Beatles always my favorite music... Amazing have no words to say about this blog... Keeping blogging dude.
Cafe Tacuba Concerts

michael sean morris said...

Thanks for the encouraging words; glad you enjoy it. I'm not going anywhere... Believe me, when you write this much you can't!