The Beatles Rooftop Concert



When somebody says “Savile Row” most people think of tailors making one-off suits but on 30th January 1969 people The Beatles appeared on the roof at number 3 (Apple’s headquarters) and performed a surprise 42-minute set. Here I am on the pavement below.


I had got it in my mind that they did about 20 songs but they only did five. Perhaps they were nervous or ill-prepared as they had to re-start the first three songs. The songs played were:-


Get Back (three takes)

Don't Let Me Down" (two takes)

I've Got a Feeling (two takes)

One After 909

Dig a Pony


They had been thinking of an impromptu roof-top performance and had considered appearing on the roof of The Palladium. However there was a lot of equipment to move and permissions to obtain so they decided to do it at the office of their record company.


At about noon many nearby pedestrians were out getting something to eat so it must have been some surprise to look up and see where music was emanating from. News spread and people began gathering on the roofs of nearby buildings. All was not fine though. The Metropolitan Police Service called at the Apple office to “ask them to turn the music down” and the Apple employees initially wouldn’t not let them in the door. The police ascended to the roof and The Beatles played for a few more minutes.


Unfortunately this concert marked the end of an era for The Fab Four and they only did one more album (Abbey Road). People think Yoko Ono split up The Beatles but the lads had outgrown each other and split themselves up. Hunter Davies’s unflinching biography about The Beatles is the most accurate one I’ve read.