Well, wrong album…right group.
That’s right. Just over 40 years ago, The Beatles recorded Get Back with a B side of Don’t Let Me Down as part of the new album that would become Let it Be. To commerorate their collaboration with Billy Preston, they headed for the roof of the Apple Building at 3 Savile Row in London to perform a few numbers off the anticipated album. Of course, cameras were rolling in anticipation of a clash with police, however the appropriately civil bobbies would not provide that satisfaction. “Just shut down the noise, please”, after 42 minutes of Beatlemania.
The Beatles hadn’t performed live together since 1965, so I can imagine the startled passersby and rooftop audiences’ glee in the impromptu and one of a kind “concert”. It also marked the beginning of the end for the most prolific band ever. Less than a year after this dramatic rafter jam session, the fab four were individually persuing music down four separate paths.
But for one dreary, London afternoon The Beatles made the world right and exciting. Where is this kind of musicianship and desire to share new music from artist to fan, today? I would love to see/hear John Mayer do a rooftop concert somewhere in Brooklyn…with Eric Clapton…in that Captain’s suit. Ok, I digress…
The Beatles were originals and perhaps it’s just impossible to re-capture their spirit and connection to fans. Only Paul and Ringo are left to tell the tales of the rooftop, now, as John and George are gone, as well as the great Billy Preston, who famously played the organ on Get Back. (He is left of, and behind, Paul.)
40 years. I remember my parents talking in those increments and never being able to comprehend that time span. Now…I see.
In May of ’69, both of these songs would be on the charts, with Get Back at #1.
Don’t Let Me Down
To view the Rooftop Concert in its entirity, click here.