50 Years Ago:
The Beatles Play Their Final Live Performance
.On January 30th, 1969, The Beatles played a
lunchtime concert on the roof of the Apple building
at 3 Savile Row in London. It would end up being
the final time they performed live, and was taped
for the film Let It Be.
The reasons for their impending breakup were plentiful: the 1967 death of manager Brian Epstein; the striking musical development of George Harrison, who had been only a junior partner during the Beatles’ early years; the inevitable maturation of the quartet, whose interests outside of the band ranged from the personal to the professional; and, of course, the drug use and egos, both spiraling out of control.
But their final live performance was unexpected and joyful as everyone gathered on top of Apple Records’ rooftop in stodgy downtown London on a frigid January day — especially considering what had been going on inside the Beatles camp over the past month. A documentary crew commissioned to film the group at work on a back-to-basics album project instead found the band disintegrating in front of the cameras.
The uncomfortable situation of being filmed during what was supposed to be a return to music-making didn’t help matters. Over the previous 12 months, the Beatles had released a self-titled double album that couldn’t have been more of a misnomer. ‘The Beatles’ rarely featured all four members in the same room at the same time, and when it did, they were simply backing up the principal songwriter, not truly collaborating. In a way, the high-concept and high-pressure follow-up project hastened the group’s split.
The album and film, which were to be called ‘Get Back,’ would eventually emerge with a far more somber, and far more telling, title: ‘Let It Be.’ By the time the album finally reached the public in May 1970, the tapes had been sitting in Apple’s vault for months after the original mixes (by engineer Glyn Johns) were rejected. Meanwhile, John Lennon had moved on, releasing the solo single ‘Instant Karma,’ which Phil Spector mixed. Lennon ended up handing Spector the stack of abandoned 1969 Beatles tapes, which the producer then reshaped through the prism of his Wall of Sound.
L’Ultima Esibizione Dal Vivo Dei Beatles
La celebre esibizione dei Beatles
sul tetto della Apple,
‘Don’t Let Me Down’ è una delle canzoni
cantate dal gruppo , tratta dall’album
“Let It Be”, è anche il titolo di questo film
documentario che mette in scena l’ultimo
concerto tenuto dai Beatles poco dopo
il mezzogiorno del 30 gennaio 1969
sul tetto del loro quartiere generale, la
Apple Records, al numero 3 di Savile
Row, a Londra.