3/22/2016

The Beatles - Rooftop Concert (1969)

The Beatles - Rooftop 1969 Full Concert

This one's a real treat for almost every music fan, no matter how old you are. It's the legendary Beatles Rooftop Concert on January 30th, 1969, their last ever public performance. Basically, they set up on the roof of Apple Corps in London, and played loud music all afternoon. We're talking Apple Corps, the company that The Beatles founded to protect and grow their assets, not the American computer company, by the way.

The Beatles Rooftop Concert was pretty spontaneous performance, according to Ringo Starr. Apparently they wanted to play a live show, but they didn't feel like bringing all their gear somewhere, so they just went up on the roof of their office building. What followed was a performance of five songs in nine takes, the whole thing captured on film and recorded, part of which was used in their Let It Be documentary. This video shows them playing five songs: "Get Back", "Don't Let Me Down", "I've Got A Feeling", "One After 909", and "Get Back" again.

There were also camera crews on the streets asking pedestrians what they thought about the music. Most of them were approving, but the video does show a group of older businessmen who weren't having any of it, saying that The Beatles were "disrupting the business of everybody in the area." While that is true, those people didn't know what they were missing. For them, it was just a random public event, an obstacle in the middle of their daily routine, but I'd bet anybody watching this today would do anything to have been there.

By the end, the crowd in the street has grown very large, and people are climbing onto nearby rooftops to get a view of the band. Eventually, though, the cops make their way into the building and go to the rooftop, presumably to shut the whole thing down. It makes sense because traffic in the street was clearly very obstructed, and this was the middle of London, but it's a real shame they aren't still playing up there right now.


Up next: Wilco - Live at Irving Plaza (February 1997)

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