Policeman told to shut down The Beatles’ rooftop concert remembers: “It was a discussion”

Walt Disney Studios

The climax of Peter Jackson‘s new Disney+ documentary Get Back is the Beatles‘ legendary concert on the rooftop of Apple Records, which turned out to be the final time they ever played together.  Now, the policeman who was sent to shut down the concert that January day in 1969 is looking back.

25-year-old constable Ray Shayler was working in London’s West End Central police station, about 150 yards away from the Beatles’ building on Savile Row, when the call came in about a disturbance. An inexperienced colleague was told to go find out what was going on, so Shayler offered to come along and help, as he tells the Daily Mail.

When they arrived, Shayler says, it was “an interesting moment” discovering that it was The Beatles making that racket. “I wouldn’t say I was a fan…but…I liked their music,” Shayler remembers. “But when I got on the roof, I had a job to do and I thought, ‘Well, we’ve got to try and stop this.’”

“I asked how long it was going on for. He said, ‘One more record,'” Shayler recalls of his conversation with Beatles road manager Mal Evans.

“So I said…’Get on with that one and then it stops,’” he adds. “It was a discussion; it never got heated.” 

The concert ended, and Shayler recalls that Paul McCartney was “apologetic,” while Ringo Starr joked, ‘Don’t put the handcuffs on me!’”

“I didn’t even put pen to paper to record it,” Shayler says of the incident.

“Someone asked me how I felt being the man who stopped The Beatles’ concert,” he says. “But I wouldn’t say that was true. I didn’t stop The Beatles – I merely suggested it would be a good idea if they didn’t carry on.”

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