The Beatles' historic final concert held on rooftop 50 years ago

Director Peter Jackson is working on a new film that will include never-released footage of the "Let It Be" sessions and The Beatles' historic rooftop performance 50 years ago. It would be the last time the band that changed everything played a concert in public. That's if you could call the 42-minute session including nine takes of five Beatles tunes a "concert," and the roof of their Apple Records headquarters "public."

By then, it had been more than two years since The Beatles' last live show in San Francisco, and their feelings toward each other had grown as raw as the January weather when they hit the roof.

"There was a lot of tension. I was told they almost didn't go through the door to the roof," said Ken Mansfield, who oversaw the U.S. for Apple. "But when they started playing it was the old Beatles."

Ringo Starr and John Lennon wore their wives' coats to warm them from the cold. The crew pulled stockings over the microphones as wind buffers.

Five stories down, fans couldn't see who was playing. But they could hear a group that sounded as tight as ever, creating a traffic nightmare that sent the London police to the roof to pull the plug.

Fifteen months later, Paul McCartney would quit the band. No longer the lads from Liverpool, they were now grown up men with grown up issues. Funny how much had changed in seven years and how quickly the next 50 have passed.

  • Jim Axelrod
    Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.