It was fifty years ago today. The Beatles got on a rooftop to play.
Dateline London. January 30, 1969. The Beatles were closer to the end of their legendary run than the beginning. They had stopped playing live concerts three years earlier. The band was sick of the traveling. They were sick of trying to play over the intense screaming from their audiences.
In the three years since their previous show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, The Beatles worked on studio albums. They did some of their best work, including The White Album and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
But now the band wanted to play live without doing traditional concert. They wanted to show that they were more than just a studio band. George Harrison talked about how to do this:
“We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea. 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.”
The band also had some new tunes to preview. They set up on the roof of Apple headquarters and it started with this:
It continued for forty-two minutes until the police broke up the show. Among the other songs were "I've Got A Feeling" and "One After 909." It was the final live performance for The Beatles.
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary, bands throughout the world put on their own rooftop concerts. Shows took place in Austin, Miami, Tulsa, New York City and many other locations.
In their final live performance, The Beatles asked "Don't Let Me Down." The Beatles rarely did that.
And yes John, you certainly did pass the audition.
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