Jackie Lomax and The Beatles Rooftop Concert, 40 Years Later
by Joel Anderson
Mar. 2009: Jackie Lomax was Apples first signed artist, close friend and associate of The Beatles and part of the British Invasion as singer/bassist for The Undertakers. The world has never seen a phenomena like the popularity of The Beatles and Jackie was on the inside of the British Invasion when groups like - The Kinks, the Who, the Small Faces, The Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, and Gerry and the Pacemakers were just coming out of the UK. This year Cavern tours is hosting Beatles Week revisiting the 40th anniversary of the Beatles famous “good-bye” concert on the Rooftop of Apple Records in London. Jackie Lomax will be a guest host and musician for the tour and will be leaving for Great Britain in August. Recording, playing, composing Jackie is a living Rock n’ Roll legend. He’s Liverpool Slim.
INTERVIEW - Jackie Lomax
Joel: So you’'l be headed to England in a few months...
Lomax: ...this was a stroke of luck. It's Cavern Tours that does Beatles week. They organize all kinds of festivals in and around the area; it's very good... it's exciting.
Joel: It's associated with The Beatles Rooftop Concert, last live concert for them, January 30, 1969. Where were you when The Beatles Rooftop Concert was happening?
Lomax: Yeah, I was right there on the rooftop… well I was there (at Apple Records) because at that time… I was signed with Apple Records…. I was recording with George Harrison. I think it was a good-bye, and it had feeling too, they played with spirit. They played with Billie Preston which added something to their sound. They were good… they were a GOOD live band. Yeah it's the fortieth anniversary of The Beatles on the Rooftop Concert. I'm playing Liverpool's Carling Theatre on the 28th of August, which is the culminating concert of Beatles week. I don’t know with whom, yet, or how; we’ll see.
Joel: Was there something happened at the rooftop show, where Paul McCartney sung... ‘hey Jackie’ ?
Lomax: He was singing Get Back. I do think that he was there playing bass on Sour Milk Sea and at the end of Sour Milk Sea, I started singing Get Back, why don't you get back to where you once belonged.... And I do think there's a trace of that that... comes into Get Back, to where you once belonged...
Joel: Who else was on the roof, as you recall?
Lomax: Anyone really who was hanging around. There weren’'t more than 20 people on the roof. I was standing over by the chimney.... It's on a DVD isn't it?
Joel: So what happened when the police crashed The Rooftop Concert?
Lomax: Well, it paralyzed the whole area which was a business area; there were people hanging out of windows of these office buildings all around so, therefore productivity went to zero…....so the businesses were all going crazy saying "what's going on…there nobody's working" so somebody called the cops, but they came up against a brick wall, in the form of Mal Evans.
Joel: He'd been a bouncer at The Cavern, originally and was, at that time, road manager, assistant and friend of The Beatles?
Lomax: He was a great guy. I saw what went down; there were two cops came, the young cop went up to the roof, the sergeant stayed in the lobby. Mal was standing at the doorway. I was behind Mal. The guy says 'you've got to turn it off, you've got to turn it off.’' Mal says 'look, the lads are playing, and you’'re not gettin' on the roof. When they're finished you can go on the roof, but you ain't going anywhere.' He was covering the whole doorway, you can't get past him, no - way. So, the young cop got all red in the face and ran down 4 flights to tell the sergeant that this guy wouldn’t let him on the roof. So then the sergeant came up, and starts yelling at Mal… and Mal is saying the same thing very calmly, 'I will let you on the roof when they’re finished playing'.... and they didn't get on the roof until The Beatles said, 'Thank you very much, and I hope we’ve passed the audition,’'and then they turned off the amps and the cops came on the roof. Nothing really happened; that was the end of their performance…...... they were saying goodbye to Apple and everyone really….