The Beatles’ 1969 Rooftop Concert

Beatles Rooftop Concert

On January 30, 1969, the Beatles went to the rooftop of Apple headquarters for their first live performance in more than two years. The impromptu show continued for 42 minutes until the band was shut down by the police.

The Rooftop Performance

The performance was in some ways a last gasp of a group that was coming apart. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were trying to get back to their roots with some help from keyboardist Billy Preston.

Of course, the performance did not save the band.  But it gave the world one more glimpse at the genius that was The Beatles. And they rocked.

The rooftop concert was part of The Beatles’ work on a project that was entitled Get Back at the time. The album would ultimately be entitled Let It Be, as would the film that included 21 minutes of the performance.

Currently, the full performance is not available for embedding, but below is the Beatles performing “Don’t Let Me Down” on the roof.

Release of Let It Be

The Beatles released the album from the sessions, Let It Be, in May 1970.  The release came soon after the band had broken up.

Let It Be was the final studio album released by The Beatles. However, they recorded their album Abbey Road after Let It Be.  But they released Let it Be earlier, releasing it in September (U.K.) and October (U.S.) 1969.

For more on the concert, check out Rolling Stone’s 15 Things You Didn’t Know about the performance.

Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Beatles: “Blackpool Night Out” Live Performance

    Beatles Help On August 3, 1965, the Beatles released the album Help! in the United Kingdom, releasing it ten days later in the United States on August 13.  During this time in their careers, the Fab Four were reducing their promotional appearances. So they only appeared on only one U.K. television show to promote the new album, Blackpool Night Out.

    ABC TV made Blackpool Night Out, filming the show at the ABC Theatre in Blackpool, a summer seaside resort city with other connections to John Lennon.  The live broadcast with the Beatles ran from 9.10 pm to 10.05 pm.

    The Beatles performed several songs on the Sunday, August 1, 1965 show.  They started with “I Feel Fine,” “I’m Down,” “Act Naturally,” and “Ticket To Ride.”

    Next, Paul McCartney sang “Yesterday” by himself in the song’s first performance on British television.  The band returned, with Lennon carrying flowers and joking, “Thank you Ringo, that was wonderful.”  The band closed with “Help!” Below you may hear the audio of part of the 1965 show.

    Although some thought the video of the show was lost, a video of the show popped up on YouTube recently. Unfortunately, they had to take it down for copyright issues.

    The album Anthology 2 (1996) included fours songs from this performance, “I Feel Fine,” “Ticket To Ride,” “Yesterday,” and “Help!”

    What is your favorite Beatles TV appearance? Leave your two cents in the comments.

  • The Beatles’ 1969 Rooftop Concert
  • New Beatles ‘A Day in the Life’ Video
  • Hear the Beatles Sing Without Music on “Abbey Road” Medley
  • Behind the Scenes With the Beatles on the Set of “Help!”
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    )

    Paul McCartney Joins Springsteen for “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”

    SNL Springsteen
    After it was announced that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band would appear on NBC’s Saturday Night Live during the week of Christmas, it was a safe bet to predict that the band would be busting out its Christmas classic “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” But who would have known that they would be joined onstage by Paul McCartney?

    After performing “Meet Me in the City” and “The Ties That Bind” earlier in the evening to promote the new box-set release of The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, Springsteen and the E Street Band appeared at the end of the show for the goodbyes from the show’s hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Then, the whole cast danced while Springsteen sang “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” capturing the joy of what Christmas music should be, with a little help from Paul McCartney.

    Although McCartney stays in the background on the singing, it is great to see two rock legends on stage together having fun. Check it out.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Dustin Hoffman’s Connection to McCartney’s “Picasso’s Last Words”

    Picasso's Last Words One of the wonderful songs on the classic 1973 album Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings is “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me).” Having heard the song many times, I was not too surprised to learn that the song was based on Picasso’s actual last words. But I was amazed to discover that Dustin Hoffman gave McCartney the topic of the song and encouraged the songwriter to write a song about the painter’s last words.

    In the video below, both McCartney explain how “Picasso’s Last Words” arose out of Hoffman’s curiosity about the song-writing process. During a dinner party held by Paul and Linda McCartney in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Hoffman asked McCartney how he wrote songs. Then, Hoffman asked McCartney to write a song.

    As the two men discussed topics, Hoffman remembered reading about painter Pablo Picasso’s last words in a recent Time magazine. The April 23, 1973 issue featured an article entitled “Pablo Picasso’s Last Days and Final Journey,” wherein it was reported that Picasso had said to his friends, “Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink anymore.” Then, Picasso went to bed and died in his sleep.

    Hoffman, remembering the story, asked McCartney to base a song on those words. And McCartney came up with an excellent song. Below, both Hoffman and McCartney explain how “Picasso’s Last Words” was created.

    Below is a video of McCartney and Wings performing “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me),” with lead vocals from both McCartney and Denny Laine, before the group follows up with the song “Richard Cory.”

    And that is the story behind the song. For more on “Picasso’s Last Words,” check out the Beatles Bible.

    Leave your two cents in the comments. Photo of Pablo Picasso (1904, Paris) by Ricard Canals i Llambí via public domain.

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    New Beatles ‘A Day in the Life’ Video

    Day in a Life Video

    The 2000 release of number one songs by the Beatles, The Beatles’ 1, is getting a new updated release in a couple of different forms with music videos and the group’s short films. Among the video content, the new Beatles 1+ package includes the Beatles’ original video for “A Day in the Life” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).

    The video for “A Day in the Life” shows the playful side of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. The video footage of them hanging out with friends like the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards also includes shots of an orchestra during the 1967 recording sessions. Check out the video for “A Day in the Life.”

    The 1+ package hits stores on November 6.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

  • Hear the Beatles Sing Without Music on “Abbey Road” Medley
  • The Beatles’ 1969 Rooftop Concert
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  • The Beatles’ “Black Album” from “Boyhood”
  • All I’ve Got Is a Photograph
  • Behind the Scenes With the Beatles on the Set of “Help!”
  • (Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)