Beatles on the brink: how Peter Jackson pieced together the Fab Four’s last days

By John Harris

On paper, the idea looked brilliant. In the opening weeks of January 1969, the Beatles were working up new songs for a televised concert, and being filmed as they did so. Where the event would take place was unclear – but as rehearsals at Twickenham film studios went on, one of their associates came up with the idea of travelling to Libya, where they would perform in the remains of a famous amphitheatre, part of an ancient Roman city called Sabratha. As the plan was discussed amid set designs and maps one Wednesday afternoon, a new element was added: why not invite a few hundred fans to join them on a specially chartered ocean liner?

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