Beatles Rooftop Finale

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History on 30th January


First Lifeboat launched

First Newsnight

Beatles Rooftop Finale

Mayfair, London The 30th of January 1969 AD

Animosity within the Beatles had been growing for some time; the breakup was nigh. The film Let it Be was made in part to try to avoid the end, but instead merely recorded it. For about three quarters of an hour on a chilly January afternoon the band managed to play a concert – of sorts – on the roof of Apple HQ in Savile Row. Lucky passers-by and people in the upper floors of nearby buildings got to see the Beatles – and keyboard player Billy Preston - for free, without the mindless screaming that had driven the Fab Four away from touring.
They only managed to play five songs, repeating Get Back to get it right: the others were I Dig a Pony; Don’t Let Me Down; One after 909; and I’ve Got a Feeling. Then the police arrived to end the gig: it is hard to imagine there were many complaints about noise, but that was one reason cited; the other being possible traffic problems. As heard on the eventual album, John Lennon joked: “I hope we passed the audition” as things wound up. They definitely did. The most innovative and influential band in history bowed out with another creative master-stroke.

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