… in 1969, The Beatles gave their last public performance.
I recall when growing up, you were either a Beatles or a Stones fan. A young and shallow teen, I picked the Beatles, for Mick Jagger just didn’t do it for me. Now with my love of the blues, I can see it really should have been the Stones, but that’s youth for you. I still love many a Beatles song – be they penned by Lennon, McCartney or Harrison.
Something I’d always assumed was an off-the-cuff moment, was – of course – planned. As reported by Rolling Stone, the performance formed part of a documentary which witnessed the band’s disintegration but was intended to be a live performance harking back to their rock roots. The potential venues discussed were myriad and exotic, but eventually ended up being the roof of their 5-storey Apple building.
Recorded by Michael Lindsay-Hogg for the Let It Be documentary, it very nearly didn’t happen. After all the preparations, the band were getting cold feet until – typically – as reported by Lindsay-Hogg “John said, ‘Oh, fuck it — let’s do it.’”
Lennon & Starr wore their wives’ coats in an attempt to ward off the cold and the crew had to wrap tights (pantyhose for US readers) around the microphones for the same reason.
It was also the day when …
- in 1982, the first computer virus was released
- in 1972, British troops killed 13 unarmed protesters on what became “Bloody Sunday”
- in 1933, when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany
- in 1948, when aviation pioneer Orville Wright died
- in 1951, when English singer-songwriter, producer & actor Phil Collins was born
- in 1941, when Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States was born
- in 1937, when English actress & political activist Vanessa Redgrave was born
- in 1882 when Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd President of the United States was born
But I’d rather remember The Beatles performing up there on that rooftop … wouldn’t you?
What are your musical memories from childhood? Were you in the Beatles or Stones camp? Or was it a different band entirely?
© Debra Carey, 2019