There were other songs performed on the rooftop that day.
While 21 minutes of the concert made it into the final Let It Be film, the actual performance was twice as long. During the 42-minute set, the Beatles played “One After 909,” two complete versions each of “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Dig a Pony” and “I’ve Got a Feeling,” and three versions of “Get Back” — plus various incomplete takes, including a line from the Irish folk song “Danny Boy.”
In addition to these, the band tossed off snippets of several songs that didn’t make the cut for Let It Be. These include a few bars of “I Want You,” later released on Abbey Road, and lines from the Irving Berlin chestnut “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody.” The most complete of these off-the-cuff performances is an instrumental version of “God Save the Queen,” played while engineer Alan Parsons changed tape reels. These were little more than jokes, and were never seriously considered for any official release.
The police weren’t as bad as they’ve been made out to be.
Beatles lore portrays the London Metropolitan Police as the prototypical blue meanies who forcibly halted one of the greatest musical moments of the 1960s. To a certain extent, this is true. But the bobbies actually cut the band some slack — and did them a serious solid.
The West End Central Police Station is located at 27 Savile Row — mere feet from Apple headquarters. The authorities obviously must have heard the loud rock music wafting down the street. Windows rattled, floors shook, and horns blared from the resulting traffic jams. If they wanted to, the police could have walked over and shut things down before the first song was over. Instead, they let the concert continue for 42 minutes. It was only when the noise complaints began to flood in from stuffy local businesses that they felt compelled to act.
Even then, they gave the Beatles and Co. ample warning to get rid of certain illicit substances that might have been on the scene. “Before the raid, someone called from the Savile Row police station saying, ‘You’ve got 10 minutes.'” recalled one Apple employee. “So we knew they were coming and everyone was ready for it. … When the police raided the building, there was a whole chorus of toilets being flushed.” Crisis averted.
The set list may have ended up being longer.
Because the concert was cut short by the police, fans have spent decades theorizing what other songs — if any — the Beatles might have performed had they continued. Some eagle-eyed rock scholars have noticed equipment in the background of the Apple roof set that went unused, including an extra keyboard, a lap-steel guitar and what appears to be an acoustic-guitar microphone positioned by McCartney. Were folky songs like “Two of Us” originally in the mix? Was McCartney going to try out some of his piano-based ballads like “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road”? Could Lennon have used the lap-steel guitar as he did on “For You Blue,” giving Harrison his first (and only) solo vocal of the day?