10 Heartbreaking Things You Didn't Know About The Beatles' Final Performance 

By Sarah Norman | May 31, 2023

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source: Hulu

On January 30, 1969, about three months after the release of the White Album, the Beatles climbed onto the roof of Apple Records to play a set of nine songs in under and hour. The performance was captured for the film Let It Be, but shortly after the performance John Lennon and Paul McCartney parted ways forever, and the band was no more. The performance wasn’t meant to be on the band’s roof; prior to walking up there with a camera crew the band tried to gin up a show -- their first since 1966 -- but when that failed to come to fruition the rooftop show was a means to an end. 

The Band Was Working On A Return To The Stage Before Ending It All

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source: boise state public radio

In January 1969, the band was freezing in London’s Twickenham Studio. They plunked at their instruments, they worked out new material, but didn't accomplish anything. The Beatles hadn’t played a full set in front of an audience since their final American tour in 1966. Paul McCartney wanted the band to make a big splash at a venue called The Roundhouse, a small rock club that would bring the group back to their roots. He wanted to shake things up. But the rest of the band just wasn’t excited about this new, McCartney-led direction.

During rehearsals for the performance, McCartney had boundless energy, but none of the other guys seemed to care. A frustrated Paul lectured everyone, which didn’t sit well with the group. He said:

I don’t see why any of you, if you’re not interested, got yourselves into this. What’s it for? It can’t be for the money. Why are you here? I’m here because I want to do a show, but I don’t see an awful lot of support. There’s only two choices: We’re gonna do it or we’re not gonna do it, and I want a decision. Because I’m not interested in spending my days farting around here, while everyone makes up their mind whether they want to do it or not.