The Beatles Rooftop Concert

50th Anniversary January 30, 1969

The Beatles 
January 30, 1969
Apple Corps Headquarters Rooftop
3 Savile Row, London

The Beatles rooftop concert was conceived as a way to end their current film project. The climax if you will. Ideas were thrown about, how to make this an epic performance. Paul wanted to play on top of the pyramids, George suggested the Taj Mahal, Ringo said "let's play in the bathroom", Billy Preston suggested "Outta Space" and John said "Hey what about Uranus!?"

It took the Apple secretary Mimi Bilgewater, who said "why don't you boys go outside and play." It was like a light bulb went on and everyone went scrambling to the roof. "This is it!" yelled director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. 

The rest is history. They hauled all of their equipment up to the rooftop on January 30, 1969 and made history. Scaffolding planks were placed on the roof to support the weight of the equipment. Two eight-track machines were running in the basement in order to record the sound. Several cameras were used, including those capturing the reaction of onlookers in the street below.

It was a cold day around 12 noon when the band huddled in a vestibule waiting to go on. They had cold feet. Ringo had explosive diarrhea and George wanted to cancel. John said F*ck it! Let's do it! So they borrowed their wives fur coats and headed out onto the roof. 
Little known fact: It was a windy day, so in order to block the sound of the wind, the engineers wrapped the microphones in Yoko's underpants. 

While 21 minutes of the concert made it into the final Let It Be film, the actual performance was twice as long. During the 42-minute set, the Beatles played “One After 909,” two complete versions each of “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Dig a Pony” and “I’ve Got a Feeling,” and three versions of “Get Back” — plus various incomplete takes, including Paul belching the alphabet and a line from the Irish folk song “Danny Boy.”

The music and all the commotion caused quite a stir among the locals. Mary Radloff, who owns the haberdashery next store reportedly said: “I want this bloody noise stopped. It’s an absolute disgrace.” Another neighbor lady yelled "I have children sleeping here, don't you boys know any nice songs!?"

Eventually as traffic snarled, the police arrived and forced the lads to stop playing. Ringo was disappointed that the police did not create more drama. “I always feel let down about the police. When they came up I was playing away and I thought, ‘Oh great! I hope they drag me off.’ We were being filmed and it would have looked really great, kicking the cymbals and everything. Well, they didn’t of course, they just came bumbling in: ‘You’ve got to turn that sound down.’ It could have been fabulous.”

I'd like to say Thank You on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition.
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