One Year Ago, the Beatles Performed Their Last Concert Together as a Band

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By: ScreenGawk Staff | Published: Feb 04, 2024

The end of January always marks a sentimental time for Beatles fans around the world. 

The Beatles pose together in 1965. From left to right: musicians George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr

Source: Bettman/Getty Images

Jan 30, 2024, marks 55 years since the last time the band members played together in concert.

The Founding of the Beatles in Liverpool

When John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, and George Harrison decided to form the Beatles rock band in 1960, they likely had no idea just how huge they would become. 

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Aerial photograph of the British city of Liverpool

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In less than five years, the British group was selling out stadiums, and their records sat at numbers one through five on America’s Top 40 chart.

Beatles Decide to Stop Touring

Fans were left stunned after The Beatles announced they would no longer be touring in 1966.

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Fans pictured with their hands in the air at a music concert

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According to the members, they were unhappy with the screaming crowds at their events, which often canceled out the sound of their music.  

The Beatles Last Ever Gig

When The Beatles performed together on Jan. 30, 1969, no fan could have imagined it would be the last time they would ever see them together.

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The Beatles pictured during a performance in Kansas City

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Original members Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr climbed atop the Apple Corps building in London for what would become their last-ever concert.

“Let It Be”

The performance lasted for around 40 minutes before being stopped by police. The concert was supposed to be included in the 1970 documentary, “Let It Be.”

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Hundreds of fans gather in an arena to enjoy a music concert

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However, footage of the entire concert would not be released until Peter Jackson’s documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” aired in 2021.

Performing at the Great Pyramids

At the time, the band members had considered other venues for the iconic performance.

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A photograph of the Giza Plateau in Egypt, where the three major pyramids of Giza are found

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Included in the list of possible venues were the Great Pyramids of Giza, according to Huff Post.

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Easier Than Anywhere Else

Speaking about the decision to play atop Apple’s Savile Row records, George Harrison claimed they chose the location as it was easy and exciting.

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The Beatles pose for a photograph as they stand on the roof of the Palace Court Hotel in Bournemouth

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“We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea because it was much simpler than going anywhere else,” he said.

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Never Before Accomplished

Harrison explained that no one had ever played a concert in a place like that, which made it feel unique to the band.

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Beatles photographed during their last live public concert on the rooftop of the Apple Organization building

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“Also, nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study,” he said

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Police Disrupt the End of an Era

In both the “Let It Be” and “Get Back” documentaries, it’s evident the concert was well received by fans who gathered in droves to watch the performance. 

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A security guard stands at the entrance of a building

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Had the police of the era known it would be the last time The Beatles ever performed together, they may have been more reluctant to let the performance roll out in peace.

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Social Media Tribute

In a tweet posted to The Beatles’ X page, they paid tribute to the iconic performance.

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A woman dressed in a pink sweater checks her social media pages using her smartphone

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“Today, in 1969, The Beatles performed their legendary rooftop concert on the roof of the Apple Corps building in London. They played for the city for 42 minutes before being stopped by the police. It was John, Paul, George, and Ringo’s final public performance as The Beatles,” they wrote.

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Tensions Growing Between the Band

Tensions had become overwhelming among the band’s members by 1969. Many of the disputes stemmed from which individual would manage the band’s finances.

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A group of men are pictured in an argument in a room within their home

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Eventually, Lennon broke the hearts of fans around the world after announcing he would be leaving the band on September 20, 1969.

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Paul McCartney Files for Dissolution

Just over one year after Lennon left the band, McCartney filed for the dissolution of the band’s contractual partnership. 

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A lawyer in a blue suit looks over paperwork before adding his signature

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It was eventually formalized four years later, after considerable legal difficulties, when Lennon signed the paperwork in December 1974. 

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