The Beatles Who Sing on the Roof: The band's last live concert

One could only envy The Beatles' exit from the music scene: the band played a spectacular rooftop concert, made a movie, and won an Oscar. More than 50 years later, here's a look back at one of the strangest concerts in history.

Why The Beatles Last Concert Was On The Roof: The Story Of The Event And The Recording Of "Let It Be»

More than half a century gone since a landmark event in rock and roll history. On January 30, 1969, an unusual concert of the Liverpool Four took place. No one knew at the time that on the roof of a London high-rise located at 3 Savile Row, The Beatles in last times perform in front of an audience all together.

The idea for this show came from the band spontaneouslyThe Beatles had been thinking for a long time about getting together to play a concert. The band members had long nurtured the idea of getting together to play a concert, and the decision to play on the roof of their headquarters seemed like a great option for The Beatles. They started playing during the lunchSo soon a huge crowd gathered on neighboring rooftops and streets. Everyone wanted to hear the Beatles play.

1The Beatles in 1969.
The Beatles in 1969

How was it

Let It Be Album Cover
"Let It Be" album cover

The musicians were preparing present the new album "Let It Be". The documentary about the recording of the record was supposed to end with a grand concert performance by the band.

The final shots were going to be shot in the Palladium and Roundhous halls in London, or in Egypt, with the pyramids in the background, or in the middle of the Sahara desert sands.

Film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg generally slept and saw the musicians singing on stage Ancient Roman The amphitheater, and the spectator seats are gradually filling up with a stream of people. He even "looked out" for a suitable surviving structure in Tunisia.

However, the Beatles, who were always at odds at the time, had no time for Michael's grandiose schemes. The very appearance of the album dragged out. Harrison, for example, stopped coming to rehearsals altogether.

On January 22, The Beatles finally moved into their own Apple Records studio building, purchased six months earlier. This had a lot to do with the fact that Harrison tempered his ambitions somewhat and returned to a normal work schedule. That's when someone had the idea to record the final concert on the studio rooftop without delay, while the fragile truce is still somewhat intact.

In addition to the crowd outside, the musicians on the roof were surrounded by a crowd of Apple employees and friends
In addition to the crowd outside, the musicians on the roof were surrounded by a crowd of Apple employees and friends

On this Semi-spontaneous At the concert, for the first time in the history of the band's performances, the Beatles were not seated in the way the fans were used to. Lennon stood in the center. To his right was Harrison.

Billy Preston, previously invited by George Martin to record "Let It Be," was at the keyboards for this concert. The producer had high hopes that the new face would somewhat смягчит the growing conflict in the band. Preston positioned himself with his instrument between McCartney and Starr.

London's winters may not look like the polar winters, but on the day of this unusual concert it was ColdI was not sure what to do, especially not on the roof that was not protected from the wind. Ringo's wife, Maureen, wore a red raincoat, and Yoko Ono dressed Lennon in her own fur coat.

John jumped up and down on the makeshift stage several times, making sure the structure was sturdy. Then it turned out that the ultra-sensitive studio microphones had a lot of "noise" due to wind gusts. Somebody suggested putting some lady's tights. Alan Parsons, the sound engineer, was sent to the store. The same one who would record "Dark Side Of The Moon" for Pink Floyd just three years later.

Alan Parsons
Alan Parsons

Parsons recalled:

"When I went to the counter and asked for three pairs of women's tights, no matter what size, they looked at me very suspiciously, trying to figure out whether I looked more like a bank robber or a transvestite."

Speech started with "Get Back." Then there was "Don't Let Me Down", "I've Got a Feeling", "The One After 909". The concert continued with the very fresh "Dig A Pony. Lennon did not remember the lyrics by heart, so the assistant, kneeling down, held an open album of lyrics in front of John. Between songs, Lennon kept complaining that his fingers were quite stiffened.

Listeners at the bottom of the roof
Listeners at the bottom of the roof

And below and on the roofs of neighboring houses gathered crowd listeners. There was a traffic jam on the street. The cameramen filming the crowd showed the majority of the crowd ecstatic. But there were also those who were pissed off. This was especially true for the drivers of jammed cars and residents of the surrounding buildings.

The sound was really loud. Music that made the windows rattle was also heard in the nearby police station. However, the policemen were in no hurry to stop the event. The concert continued 42 minutes. And this despite the fact that the station phones were ringing off the hook with angry residents of Savile Row and the surrounding streets.

Police officers arriving at the concert
Police officers arriving at the concert

The cops are more couldn't to pretend that nothing supernatural was going on, and were about to send a patrol to stop the "outrage. But ten minutes before the patrol arrived, the studio received a call from the station, warning them that the "cops" were coming.

An act of true Gentleman's. After all, many of those present on the studio roof were in possession of illegal substances. One of the witnesses to the event recalled:

"We had time to get ready, and for those ten minutes there was a friendly Choir cisterns.

The Beatles on the Roof
The Beatles on the Roof

When, after negotiating with the arriving patrolmen, the musicians began to remove their guitars, Ringo Starr's wife applauded. McCartney, already about to descend, returned and said into the microphone:

"Thank you, Moe."

And Lennon dotted the historic performance with words:

"I want to thank everyone on behalf of the band. I hope we auditioned."

This ironic statement was a reference to the beginnings of the band, when the musicians unsuccessfully tried to conquer critics at numerous auditions.

These words are on the album "Let It Be" as well. And it just so happens that they are closed a whole cycle in world rock history called The Beatles.

Let it be

One year after the concert out Let it Be. The documentary tells how The Beatles recorded the album of the same name as the film. The film consists of footage from the band's rehearsals and video footage shot during the recording of the songs.

All four musicians took part in the filming of "Let it Be," despite the band's controversy in 1969. Also in the recording of the album and in the filming of participated Billy Preston, the same keyboardist who played with the Beatles on the roof.

At the time of release, the ensemble had already broken up, so none of the Beatles came to the premiere. In spite of this, the film was very successful, the fans of the band very high appreciated this work. Later the painting even удостоилась "Oscar" for best soundtrack.


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