The BEATLES – ” Don’t Let Me Down ” Abbey Road Rooftop 30th January 1969 47 years ago today

Posted: January 30, 2016 in MUSIC
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47 Years Ago: The Beatles End An Era With Final Rooftop Concert | Society Of Rock Videos

January 30th 1969 Marks The Event’s 47th Anniversary

The Beatles Rooftop Concert took place on January 30th, 1969, at infamous Abbey Road Studios, George Harrison was several weeks shy of his 26th birthday on February 25th. The rooftop concert was performed at the end of January 1969 at Apple Studios, Saville Row, London. Abbey Road Studios, located in the fashionable London district of St. John’s Wood is where the Beatles recorded most of their albums, as well as the final one, “Abbey Road”. It is here where the iconic album cover pictures the Beatles crossing the street outside o the studio.

It’s hard to believe that it’s 47 years since The Beatles said goodbye with their final – albeit explosive – public appearance, perched on top of the Apple headquarters in London.

On this day in 30th January 1969 The Beatles delivered what was to be their final public performance; they’d planned on doing a live show during their Get Back sessions but it wasn’t until days before the actual event took place that the idea of performing on the roof of Apple headquarters really came together.

Written by John Lennon as an expression of his love for Yoko Ono, the song is heartfelt and passionate. As John told Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, “When it gets down to it, when you’re drowning, you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just scream.”

During filming on the roof of Apple, two days after the recording of the track, the band played ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ right after doing two versions of ‘Get Back’ and it led straight into ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. Michael Lindsay-Hogg was once again directing a Beatles’ shoot. He and Paul met regularly at the tail end of 1968, while Hogg was directing The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, to discuss the filming of The Beatles’ session in January. By the time that fateful Thursday came around, the penultimate day of January would be the last time The Beatles ever played together in front of any kind of audience.

This is not the version of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ heard on the single but the version from the Let It Be… Naked album – a composite of both versions that were performed on the roof of Apple in Savile Row

Late Beatle George Harrison explained in the liner notes for The Beatles’ Anthology,

“We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.

With a 5-song set list that included “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” The Beatles did a total of 9 takes live from the rooftop before London’s Metropolitan Police Service was dispatched to break up the concert, citing “noise complaints” from tenants on the same block.

The concert effectively signaled the end of an era for both the band and their fans; despite Abbey Road’s release in September of that year the band had unofficially disbanded, never to reunite as a 4-piece again. While there’s a slight note of sadness to The Beatles’ final public appearance, there’s a note of something electric, too. In a way, they left us the same way they found us; in absolute chaos and unable to make heads or tails of our emotions and somehow, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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