“Don’t Let Me Down” – The Beatles
(Performed as part of the rooftop concert on 30 January 1969)
I go back and forth about wanting to explain why I’ve picked some of this music, or if I should just let the music stand for itself. However, as I’ve been doing this, sometimes I’ve really wanted to add an ‘explanation’ and refrained, and this has happened often enough I figure now that if I want to say something, I’ll say it, consistency or no consistency. *L*
The Beatles’ rooftop concert strikes me as an incredibly unique moment. Imagine, if you will, January in London. I wouldn’t think that this day was bitterly cold, but it certainly was cold enough that some of the people up there are wearing heavy coats. It is grey, and grey in the way January tends to be, the reflection of the sky to the snow layered in grime, a barren grey, a grey that takes grip after all the revelry of December has faded away. This is the day that the Beatles will go upstairs to the top of 3 Savile Row in downtown London. And for a short time, there is a reason for those outdoors to pause in their rushing from one grey building to another, avoiding the weather, and that is to try to figure out what in the world is going on with this music being played. Mind you, we have video from atop the roof, but I don’t believe that anybody below could have actually seen the Beatles.
However, this is the building that house the Beatles’ Apple Corp., and so it had to be the Beatles, the Beatles breaking up the interminable grey of a random January day. How long would they play? How long could they, with the police being dispatched to the address because of the ruckus? Did this mean that the band which hadn’t toured in three years would be out again on tour?
By the end of the year, the Beatles would be essentially disbanded, but the people didn’t know that then. Maybe it was due, in part, to the influence of Billy Preston’s presence, but it seems that despite the acrimony which had already be surfacing within the band, that once they got into the music to play, they really, really enjoyed it.
The Beatles. A moment. An all-too-brief moment breaking up a grey January day. Still, all these years later, the magic of this moment can still be perceived.