Police attempted to end the Beatles’ rooftop concert on January 30, 1969, over public order concerns, during what was to be the group’s last public performance. Now another behind-the-scenes drama has emerged with the revelation that Paul McCartney then used his spell to stop a cop from arresting their highway manager and confidant, Mal Evans.
Kenneth Womack, one of the world’s leading Beatles scholars, told Observer: “It turns out that Mal was arrested that day but only managed to get out of it when Paul went into RP mode and changed his mind to Copper after the show. ”
It’s among the behind-the-scenes revelations of Evans’ unpublished diaries, manuscripts and photographs to which Womack had unprecedented access for a major biography.
For decades, the mystery surrounding its treasure trove of never-before-seen material has left Beatles fans and music historians alike yearning to get a glimpse into the life and times of this devoted friend of the band’s inner circle.
Evans himself had written his memoirs, entitled Living the Beatles Legend, which he planned to submit for publication in the mid-1970s, with written permission from The Beatles. But he died before he could do it. Evans was killed in 1976, at the age of 40, in a tragic shootout by Los Angeles police.
Now his children, Gary and Julie, have made his documents available to Womack, who said: “Since Mal’s death the world of The Beatles has always been in turmoil about his journals and manuscripts. For the first time, they will be published.
Material reveals what really happened at the rooftop concert, which is the highlight of Peter Jackson’s new film To recover docuseries.
Womack added that Evans, along with his assistant Kevin Harrington, had created the makeshift rooftop scene at The Beatles Apple Corps HQ in Savile Row: “The police are demanding that she turn down the volume or stop the concert. They tell Mal they plan to stop The Beatles. At this point, Mal turns off George Harrison’s amplifier. Of course, George is very unhappy with this and barks at Mal. Like Jackson To recover documentaries, The Beatles performed a short, stilted version of Get Back, and then the gig was essentially over.
Of the police threat to arrest The Beatles, Evans writes in his diary: just as they were about to create a new issue. Then George put on a good ear. I turned the amp back on. They played that last number and are done.
He added: “On going up to the roof, they arrested me, one of the policemen put me in his book. Paul, being the public relations man he is, apologized to the police and got me out of the woods.
Womack said Beatles fans will be amazed by the diaries and other documents: “Being there for almost every minute of all their sessions, having wrestled with them on these world tours, Mal understood they were creating a legacy. musical which was something extraordinarily special. The Beatles, in turn, appreciated his loyalty.
Womack is Professor of English and Popular Music at Monmouth University, New Jersey, and author or editor of 40 books, including Cambridge’s companion to the Beatles and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four. Yet even he found a lot that he didn’t know. Reading the newspapers, he was “overcome with emotion”.
“Bad shows them in their unattended moments,” he said. “You have to be a genius to write A Day in the Life [considered one of the best Lennon-McCartney collaborations], but they are real people. It’s a real story with ups and downs and fantastic moments of success and heartbreaking moments.
Womack’s biography of Evans will be released in 2023, followed by a fully illustrated offering from the family archives in 2024.