The Beatles set out to make a documentary film of themselves writing songs for their next album - a return to their rock and roll roots. (This was largely inspired by the emergence of The Band, whose straight-
forward, down-home recording style was increasingly influential at the time.)
With a working title of "Get Back" rehearsals began at Twickenham studios on January 2, 1969, but the project quickly ran into trouble. George Harrison walked out after eight days complaining of continual criticism from Paul McCartney, but returned a week later. Yoko's presence was considered disruptive. While initial plans included filming on an ocean liner, eventually the shoot was limited to the controlled atmosphere of the studio.
At the time, there were plans to turn the roof at No 3 Saville Row, Apple headquarters, into a tranquil roof garden, and Ringo Starr and the film's director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, went up to take a look. It seemed perfect for an idea they had to break the film out of the confines of the studio environment.
The Beatles last ever public concert took place around mid-day on Thursday, January 30, and lasted 42 minutes. It may well have gone on longer had it not been for the complaints of their neighbor, Stanley Davis, who was quoted as saying "I want this bloody noise stopped. It's an absolute disgrace". He called the police and the concert was stopped.
For the complete concert click here.