Beatles on the Roof

January 30, 1969 – The Beatles last live concert was in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, on August 29, 1966.  Exhausted by Beatlemania, they retreated to the studio where some say their best work was about to begin.  After wrapping up the White Album in October 1968, the Fab Four returned to the studio on January 2, 1969.  The plan was to eventually film a live concert which would be broadcast over television and release a new album.  Without a definite plan, it was decided to start rehearsals and a film crew and sound crew joined the band at Twickenham Film Studios, London.

Time had taken its toll on these young lads from Liverpool and tensions were running high.  On the 6th, McCartney and Harrison exchange heated words.  On the 10th, Harrison announces he was leaving the band and storms out.  On the 15th, Harrison returns, and they collectively decided to abandon the concept of a concert and reassemble at  Apple Studios to continue recording intending to produce a feature film.  They resume on the 21st, and Harrison invites Billy Preston to sit in and play keyboards.  Having someone new join them apparently rekindled the old feelings of cooperation and collaboration, and for the next 10 days they work peacefully together.  Ideas are kicked around for an ending to the film, and on the 30th, the Beatles and Billy Preston retreat to the rooftop of Apple Studios for an unannounced 45 minute live concert.  It would be the last time they were seen playing publicly.  Throughout the rest of the year they continued to unravel and they wrap-up Abbey Road in August.  After much post production haggling, Let It Be album is released on May 8th and the film premiered in New York City on May 13, 1970.  It was their final work.


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Filed under 1960s, Movies, Music

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