Thirty years ago Saturday, the Beatles lugged a bunch of their instruments and
Billy Preston onto the roof of Apple Studios for their last public performance.
Immortalized in the movie Let It Be, footage of the Fab Four performing four songs
(three of which they repeated to get the sound right) was spliced together with
clips of the band painfully working on what became the album of the same name.
A few weeks ago, knowing this anniversary was coming up, Ultrasound’s Jim
Boggia “an absolute Beatles freak” called up some friends and suggested
that they get together on a roof somewhere to commemorate the Beatles’ final
gig. He enlisted bandmate Roger Cox as Ringo Starr, former Hooter Eric Bazilian
as George Harrison, Scott Bricklin as Paul McCartney and Mike Frank as Billy Preston. (Boggia assumed the role of John Lennon.)
“Up until a couple days ago, we didn’t even have a roof to do this on,” Boggia said from atop HMV Records, where they wound up performing the afternoon of January 30. (They got the clearance to do so from L&I at the last hour.) “It had to be today,” Boggia said. “It had to be historically accurate, down to the false start on ‘I Dig a Pony.’”
Exactly like the Beatles’ last hurrah, the makeshift group kicked out lively renditions of ‘Get Back,’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down,’ ‘I’ve Got a Feeling’ and ‘I Dig a Pony.’
“It was a lot more fun than Live Aid,” said Bazilian, who added that he spent several hours on the phone with Boggia the night before to get the songs right. But unlike that cold, fateful day in London when the Beatles hung it up, this time the cops showed up, stopped, looked around and just kept on moving.
- Collin Keefe