Today we look back at the final live performance by the Beatles.
In 1969, the four-piece British pop band performed for the last time at an impromptu concert.
Those who were fortunate to ever see the Beatles live, whether at Sydney Stadium, Centennial Hall in Adelaide, or Brisbane and Melbourne’s Festival Halls, will recall being hardly able to hear the band due to the excessive screaming of fans. This was not the case at the final performance, with many onlookers getting clear and uninterrupted performances of the band’s original songs.
Confused spectators, many of whom were on their lunch break, began to congregate in the streets and surrounding rooftops as news of the impromptu London performance spread.
While most responded positively to the concert, the Metropolitan Police Service grew concerned about noise and traffic issues. Employees within the building of the performance initially refused to let police inside but reconsidered when threatened with arrests.
The Beatles continued to play for several more minutes, even as police stormed the roof. Singer Paul McCartney decided to improvise the lyrics of his song ‘Get Back’ to reflect the situation, saying “You’ve been playing on the roofs again, and you know your Momma doesn’t like it, she’s gonna have you arrested!”
The concert came to an end with the conclusion of “Get Back”, and John Lennon’s famous statement, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition”.
Lennon was known for his off-the-cuff remarks, which in concert were either comically intuitive, insightful, or inspired.
The Beatles played “Get Back”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “I’ve Got a Feeling”, “One After 909″and “Dig a Pony”. This was considered as a strange move as at the time, as only a couple of the songs had charted.
The band were later criticised for never returning to Australia to play again, and we’re sure many Beatles fans here in Australia would have given all of their money to witness them play just one more time.
Yes, the Beatles left a massive hole both the music industry and in the hearts of many fans, when they disbanded later in 1969. With a variety of musicians, actors, TV shows and movies referencing the performance, it’s clear that they left a lasting impression upon many segments of Western society.
What was your favourite Beatles song? Did you see the final performance? Do you have a friend or family member that did? Tell us in the comments below.