Beatles, Last Public Performance

po_Beatles-LastAlthough Let It Be was the Beatles’ final album release, it was largely recorded before Abbey Road. The project’s impetus came from an idea Martin attributes to McCartney, who suggested they “record an album of new material and rehearse it, then perform it before a live audience for the very first time—on record and on film.”

It was a time when relations between The Beatles were at their lowest”. Lennon described the largely impromptu sessions as “hell … the most miserable … on Earth”, and Harrison, “the low of all-time”. Irritated by both McCartney and Lennon, Harrison walked out for five days. Upon returning, he threatened to leave the band unless they “abandoned all talk of live performance” and instead focus on finishing a new album, initially titled Get Back, using songs recorded for the TV special. He also demanded they cease work at Twickenham and relocate to the newly finished Apple Studios. The other band members agreed, and the idea came about to salvage the footage shot for the TV production for use in a feature film.

At the conclusion of the rehearsals, the band could not agree on a location to film a concert, rejecting several ideas, including a boat at sea, a lunatic asylum, the Tunisian desert, and the Colosseum. Ultimately, what would be their final live performance was filmed on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row, London, on January 30, 1969.

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