One of the cops who shut down The Beatles’ rooftop concert said he has no regrets cutting the now-classic concert short.
The concert in its entirety is the culmination of the new documentary The Beatles: Get Back, which premiered over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend on Disney+. In an interview with the U.K’s Daily Mail, Ray Shayler, who was a 25-year-old constable at the time, recalled the day in vivid detail.
Originally, a rookie constable was called to the scene at 3 Savile Row, but Shayler said, “He looked a bit worried about it and, to be fair, a young lad on his own with not much experience would have had rings run around him by those sorts of people…So because I’d been at the job for three years and had more experience, I offered to go with him.”
Shayler said that he and his colleague were posted at a station about 150 yards away from the concert and could hear it happening from the station and only walked to the Apple Corps building once they received a number of noise complaint calls. Initially, they weren’t allowed in the Apple building, but once they explained they received noise complaints, the cops were allowed in.
The Beatles and their personnel didn’t give the cops any trouble once they arrived with Shayler noting, “I asked how long it was going on for. [Beatles road manager Mal Evans] said, ‘One more record’, so I said, ‘You might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb. Get on with that one and then it stops.’ It was a discussion; it never got heated.”
As for whether Shayler was star-struck by the moment, he said, “I wouldn’t say I was a fan – I didn’t like The Beatles much when they went a bit Hare Krishna, but we had a few Beatles records and LPs at home; I liked their music. 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.'”
He added, “Actually, someone asked me how I felt being the man who stopped The Beatles’ concert. 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.”
One person who couldn’t believe the day he had was Shayler’s wife, Wendy. She was a big Beatles fan, and Shayler said she was “really envious” when he got home after his shift to recounted his day.