Sunday, 25 January 2009

“I Hope We Passed the Audition”

For Beatles aficionados there’s a programme tonight on Radio 2 at 10.30pm, I Hope We Passed the Audion which is introduced by Charlene Spiteri (ex Texas). It tells the story of the Beatles final, live and impromptu concert forty years ago from the rooftops of the Apple recording studios in London.

Around lunchtime on January 30, 1969, a din erupted in the sky above London’s staid garment district. Gray-suited businessmen, their expressions ranging from amused curiosity to disgust, gathered alongside miniskirted teenagers to stare up at the roof of the Georgian building at 3 Savile Row. As camera crews swirled around, whispered conjecture solidified into confirmed fact: The Beatles, who hadn’t performed live since August 1966, were playing an unannounced concert on their office roof.

Crowds gathered on scaffolding, behind windows, and on neighbouring rooftops to watch the four men who had revolutionized pop culture play again. But what only the pessimistic among them could have guessed—what the Beatles themselves could not yet even decide for sure—was that this was to be their last public performance ever.

Christine Gibson, American Heritage Magazine

John Lennon's final words that day provided the group's epitaph:

“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.”