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The Beatles Last Performance Rooftop Concert

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

On this day 50 years ago was the Beatles' famous rooftop concert, which wold be the bands final public performance. On January 30, 1969, the band, with keyboardist Billy Preston, surprised a central London office and fashion district with an impromptu concert from the roof of the headquarters of the band's multimedia corporation Apple Corps at 3 Savile Row. In a 42-minute set, the Beatles played nine takes of five songs before the Metropolitan Police asked them to reduce the volume. Footage from the performance was used in the 1970 documentary film Let It Be.

In Preston's recollection, the idea to perform on the Apple Corps rooftop was John Lennon's. Ringo Starr remembered: There was a plan to play live somewhere. We were wondering where we could go – "Oh, the Palladium or the Sahara". But we would have had to take all the stuff, so we decided, "Let's get up on the roof."

The concert came to an end with the conclusion of "Get Back", with Lennon saying, "I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we've passed the audition. Here is "Don't Let Me Down":

The official break up of The Beatles would be on April 10, 1970. There would be much speculation and theories as why The Beatles actually broke up.

Here are some short, candid interview clips from the "Dick Cavett Show" of John Lennon and Yoko Ono on September 11, 1971 and separately, George Harrison on November 23, 1971, offer some telling cues (and humorous in the case of George) as to why the "Fab Four" parted ways:

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