Beatles’ Movie Director Risked Deportation for Film’s Ending
The police officer who ended the Beatles’ 1969 rooftop concert said there would have “been a problem” if he’d known the immigration status of the director who was filming the moment.
American-born Michael Lindsay-Hogg, whose movie Let It Be was released in 1970, expected cops to break up the show on the roof of the Apple Corps building in Savile Row, London, on Jan. 30 the previous year. He’d prepared for their arrival by installing a two-way mirror in the foyer in order to follow proceedings, and he instructed some of the camera operators on the roof to focus on the officers. But as he admitted last year, he had personal concerns at the time: “As an American who didn’t really have a work permit, I was afraid of being deported.”
In a new interview marking the release of Peter Jackson’s Get Back, a three-part documentary utilizing Lindsay-Hogg’s original footage, retired police officer Ray Shayler said he didn't know about the filmmaker’s legal issue. “That would actually have been a problem, as we were quite hot on that sort of thing in those days,” Shayler told the Daily Mail. “I had a diplomat who ended up being sent back to his home in Bulgaria, so Mr. Lindsay-Hogg, working without the proper permit, would have been sent straight back on the first plane to his own country. He had a lucky escape.”
Shayler also recalled being seen on the classic U.K. TV show Top of the Pops after the Beatles released “Get Back” as a single. “Because the Beatles weren’t performing it live in the studio, they had to show video of the concert, so there were me and my colleagues on Top of the Pops for weeks,” he said, adding that he’d later been told by an Apple Corps insider that his arrival had been planned for. “Certain cameramen were detailed to film us. I suppose we were unpaid extras.”