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Footage of the Beatles's Last Show, on Its 45th Anniversary

On January 30, 1969, London lunch-goers were treated to an unexpected Beatles concert. That remarkable event was made all the more memorable by this -- it was the band's last show together.

The 42-minute set took place on the roof of 3 Savile Row, the five-story headquarters of the Beatles's record company Apple. As pedestrians and neighbors figured out what was happening, word spread. Soon, crowds filled the street and nearby rooftops.

Metropolitan Police eventually made their way up the building to shut down the show. After nine takes of five songs, the Beatles wrapped the impromptu performance with Paul McCartney improvising the lyrics of "Get Back" to reflect the situation, singing, "you've been playing on the roofs again, and you know your Momma doesn't like it, she's gonna have you arrested!"

The whole scene, from the roof to the street, was captured by a camera crew for the 1970 documentary, Let It Be. The Beatles officially separated the following year.

Here's a clip:

Keywords: London, Music

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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