On January 30, 1969, the Beatles held their last official performance on the rooftop of Apple Records in London until the concert was interrupted and brought to a halt by the police. Later, this concert became known as their fourth film, “Let it Be”.
According to George Harrison, “We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.”
Before the police raided the studios and rooftop, the Fab Four (with Billy Preston on organ) performed for 42 minutes, laying down tracks for “Get Back”, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “I’ve Got a Feeling”, “Dig a Pony”, along with a few other obscure songs not written by the Beatles. Can you image what it would have been like to catch a free concert while you’re walking down the street?
One of the engineers who helped record the event reported that “there were people hanging off balconies and out of every office window all around. The police were knocking on the door – George Martin went white! We really wanted to stop the traffic, we wanted to blast out the entire West End.”
They did just that; it’s a shame the police couldn’t just Let it Be.
Here’s a look at the boys singing “Get Back”.