More from year 1968
January - February 1969
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On September 14, 1968, Paul McCartney announced to music magazine Melody Maker that The Beatles “will be doing a live TV show later in the year“
On this day, according to Barry Miles in “The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years“, Apple booked the Royal Albert Hall for several days in December, in preparation for a possible live performance by The Beatles, alongside other Apple artists like Mary Hopkin and Jackie Lomax.
The New Musical Express reported this news in its October 5, 1968 edition.
The NME understands that via their Apple Company, The Beatles have booked the Royal Albert Hall, London, for a live concert in December.
There are reports that other Apple artists – possibly Mary Hopkin – will also take part.
If finalised, the London date will be the Beatles’ first performing public appearance in Britain since the NME concert at Wembley on May 1, 1966.
Recently Paul McCartney has been quoted as saying he would like to perform on stage again, following the reaction to the in-person TV appearance of the Beatles singing “Hey Jude“.
No confirmation of the concert was available from Apple as the NME went to press this week, however.From New Musical Express, October 5, 1968
This idea to use the Royal Albert Hall would be called off on October 12, 1968, in various press articles.
In its October edition, The Beatles Monthly book also made an article about this project:
After performing “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” in front of videocolour cameras at Twickenham film studios, the Beatles are keen on the idea of filming or videotaping a full-length television show.
Unlike “Magical Mystery Tour” – which used pre-recorded singing and playing which they put on tape in the recording studio beforehand the type of TV show the boys have in mind would involve the filming of actual
live performances given in front of an invited audience. As with the “Hey Jude” videotapes, there could be plenty of audience participation.
In other words the aim would be to present on television what might amount to a Beatles concert—but instead of the audience being limited to several thousand at a single theatre or stadium the TV programme could be made available for screening throughout the world.
Comments Beatles’ Press Representative Tony Barrow: “It is true that this new line of thinking proves once more that the fellows are not against the idea of giving stage performances as such. It doesn’t mean they areFrom The Beatles Monthly Book, October 1968, N°63
going to start touring again but 1 can see them playing somewhere like the Royal Albert Hall and other major venues where they can install really good sound systems“.
Music magazines would give various updates on this “live TV show” project between September 1968 and early 1969. The project would morph a few times and would lead to the “Get Back / Let It Be” sessions in January 1969, the Beatles’ last live performance on the rooftop of the Apple building, and the release of the “Let It Be” film in 1970.
Timeline of events:
- September 14, 1968 – Paul McCartney said to Melody Maker that The Beatles “will be doing a live TV show later in the year“
- September 26, 1968 – Apple booked the Royal Albert Hall for several days in December, in preparation for a possible live performance by The Beatles, alongside other Apple artists like Mary Hopkin and Jackie Lomax.
- October 12, 1968 – New Musical Express and Melody Maker reported that the plan to use the Royal Albert Hall was no more and that London’s Chalk Farm Roundhouse was now the likely venue for a Beatles live TV special.
- November 6, 1968 – Apple announced that the Beatles had booked the London Roundhouse to play three successive nights (a run-through, a dress rehearsal and a final show), between December 14 and 21, 1968.
- December 1968 – The live show was postponed to January 18, 1969, with a rehearsal and a run-through possibly on January 16 and 17. The Roundhouse was not considered anymore and the venue was still undecided. More rumours came through : that the show could be held in Liverpool, that American singer Andy Williams could join.
- January 2, 1969 – The “Get Back / Let It Be” sessions started at Twickenham Film Studios.
- January and early February 1969 – Throughout January and early February 1969, the musical press mentioned the “Get Back” sessions, the upcoming live performance and an associated TV documentary. But at the end of January, it became clear that the plans for a live performance in front of an audience were called off.
Last updated on October 2, 2021
"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."
We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!