The Beatles: A new documentary tells the story of the band’s last live performance on a rooftop in London | Ents & Arts News

The Beatles’ latest live performance, on the rooftop of Savel Row 3, is a legendary moment in music history and an event from Disney’s new Peter Jackson three-part documentary charts.

Based on about 56 hours of film that were hidden for 50 years inside Apple vaults, the series also offers an in-depth look at the recording sessions for their album Let It Be.

After I thought about where they were going to perform some of the pieces for the first time, the band was joking about getting caught. “We have to do the show in a place where we’re not allowed to do it, and we are forcibly evicted,” says Paul McCartney in the stills.

Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison in the Peter Jackson documentary The Beatles: Get Back.  Pic: Apple Corps Ltd
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Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison in the Peter Jackson documentary The Beatles: Get Back. Pic: Apple Corps Ltd

But, a young policeman who was there that day told Sky News that the rooftop party didn’t stop because no one “knew what to do”.

Ken Wharf was 21 years old at the time. He was in a frenzy when he got a call from the “Angry Old Sergeant” asking if he could hear a “horrible noise”.

“We walked down Regent Street and suddenly it was clear that I could kind of hear Get Back streaming over the rooftops of Soho.”

When he arrived at Savile Row, there was a festive atmosphere on the street.

Ken Wharf was a 21-year-old police officer when the Beatles sang on the roof of a London building
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Ken Wharf was a 21-year-old police officer when the Beatles performed on a rooftop in London

Mr. Wharf said, “I remember thinking I needed a piece of this business, so I literally went to third and went up the ladder. I remember… Ringo Starr in that kind of mandarin coat and I think that was the best thing that would ever happen to me in Police Service.

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon in The Beatles: Get Back documentary.  Pic: Apple Corps Ltd
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The documentary features hours of unseen footage kept in Apple’s vaults. Pic: Apple Corps Ltd

“None of us really knew what to do…because there was no problem, there was no offense, at worst it was noise but it was fun noise.”

While the band may have expressed a desire to be dragged by the police, Mr. Wharf says he and his colleagues were too busy enjoying the best seats in the house.

“I think one or two of my colleagues, you know, had to take a stand, but most of us, we were more interested in getting a better point of view and listening!

Peter Jackson, director/producer of the documentary The Beatles: Get Back.  Pic: SNPA / Ross Sitford
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Peter Jackson produced and directed the documentary. Pic: SNPA / Ross Sitford

“It was the last concert the Beatles ever performed, of all the things I’ve done in my career, I have to say that’s the one thing I remember the most because it was just such a great occasion.”

In the legends of the Beatles, it is inferred that the Let It Be recording sessions were sporadic and unpleasant.

However, new footage shows that he was nowhere near as miserable as we thought the band could be seen laughing and enjoying making music.

Sky News spoke to one of the band’s sound engineers, Dave Harris, who was also there that day after helping them record the album.


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“They were very good and talented,” he says. “Harmony, you know, all the Harmonies were great.”

Mr. Harris believes that the only real conflict stems from the boys’ frustration with the enrollment process.

“They weren’t very happy with the fact that the studio was not completed and working properly… It was a shame because they deserved better.”

The documentary is an insight and one that finally allows every Beatle fan to have the ending they’ve always wanted – four young friends who might be ready to go their separate ways but aren’t at each other’s throat but laugh and enjoy making music together.

Get Back is now available on Disney+.

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