Beatles Record Last TV Appearance Together
On September 4 1968 The Beatles recorded a version of Hey Jude on film, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in a studio in Twickenham . The clip was used with separately recorded introductions for David Frost’s Frost on Sunday (which aired on September 8) and The Cliff Richard Show, and was later used in the USA.
The film makes you realise how much fun they were, messing about behind David Frost , and what a charismatic band The Beatles were live. It’s sad that for the majority of their concerts once fame had kicked in audiences heard next to nothing of their music, drowned out by hysterical screaming. Only the vocals were truly live, including backing na-na-nas in the coda by a disparate bunch of fans and passers-by gathered to surround the Fab Four: someone’s mum, a geeky kid in jacket and tie, a Sikh, some bloke with a tambourine, a couple of West Indian guys, and several very Carnaby Street girls in mini-dresses among many others. Paul McCartney ’s vocal is astounding, demonstrating his range of tones from melancholy ballad to rasping rock and roll, and how easily he could move between them.
These were to be the last TV recordings made by the band: for two weeks previously Ringo Starr had been absent, and had stated that he had left the Beatles. Soon the split would be real, though not before their rooftop finale in Savile Row on January 30 the following year. Frost’s jokey introduction called the band: “The best tea-room orchestra in the world.” They may have been the best rock band in the world, ever.
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