On This Day – January 30, 1969: The Beatles gave their final public performance

On this day, January 30, 1969 …

The Beatles gave their final public performance on Apple Records’ rooftop in London. In 42 minutes, the band, which was joined by guest keyboardist Billy Preston, did nine takes of five songs — “Get Back,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909” and “Dig A Pony” — before the police pulled the plug.

The concert happened while the band was recording what would become their album Let It Be. It was released May 8, 1970, almost a month after the band’s breakup. 

Footage from the concert was used in the 1970 documentary Let It Be. In 2021, the entire performance was shown in the Disney+ documentary The Beatles: Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson.

The nearly eight-hour docuseries, which was co-produced by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon and George Harrison’s widows, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, used footage from the original 1970 documentary. The series went on to win five Emmys, including Best Limited Documentary Series.

In January 2022 the full rooftop concert was released to streaming services as a standalone album, Get Back- The Rooftop Performance.

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