The Beatles Rooftop Concert - Jan. 30, 1969
I bought my first "bootleg" when I was about 15. There was always a wall of them at the CD Warehouse, and I'd often see them among the used CD's at Vintage Vinyl. Bootlegs seemed to the best thing going, as they were stuffed with live shows, b-sides, demos... the sorts of things that we often dig up online now without a second thought. There was, however, a problem. Each was often in the neighborhood of $30, which kept them out of my youthful reach. Fortunately, I started trading tapes shortly thereafter and learned that many "liberated" bootlegs were available for just the price of a Maxell XLII tape and postage. Later I moved on to CDR's, and we all know how the Internet has since transformed the sharing of music.
One liberated bootleg that I recently reacquired is one of the most famous ever produced -- a recording of The Beatles' final public performance paired with outtakes from the Get Back/Let It Be sessions. Many of you probably already have it, but hopefully a few of you don't. The rooftop concert took place on the afternoon of January 30, 1969, on the roof of the Apple Building on Savile Row in London. The band was in the studio to record what would eventually (after much drama) become Let It Be and had the bright idea to play a show on the roof of a five-story building in January. More power to 'em, I guess. A soundboard recording of the "show" was made, and resulted in the material here. The performance was filmed as well, with segments later released in the Let It Be film. I wouldn't argue that this material is anything approaching polished, but it's a cool peek into the exploits of perhaps the greatest rock band ever. There's more to say about this show, these sessions, and their significance, but you can read that on the sites linked below. FYI, here's the material on the bootleg:
January 30, 1969
Rooftop at Apple, London, England
Get Back (rehearsal), Get Back, Don't Let Me Down, I've Got a Feeling, One After 909, Dig a Pony, I've Got a Feeling, Don't Let Me Down, Get Back (with cops)
The Walk, Oh! Darling, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Lotta Lovin' > Across the Universe, Gone Gone Gone, Because I Know You Love Me So, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window, Medley, Stand By Me, Hare Krishna Mantra, Two of Us
Much to the dismay of some sleazy bootlegger, you can download the entire bootleg here as a .zip archive (LINK REMOVED). If you'd like to sample the quality first, here are a couple tracks:
The Beatles - Don't Let Me Down (1-30-1969) (LINK REMOVED)
The Beatles - Two of Us (Let It Be outtake) (LINK REMOVED)
For whatever reason, the last two tracks listed on the bootleg's back cover are not included on this version. Much more information on the original bootleg can be found here. More information and pictures from the rooftop show are here and here.