NEW YORK (November 13, 2018) — On January 30, 1969, the Beatles stepped onto the roof of their London headquarters to perform in public for the very last time.
Ken Mansfield, then-U.S. manager of the band’s Apple Records and their personal liaison between the UK and USA, was there - on the roof with them for those 42 memorable minutes. The man in the white coat…
This November 13th, to coincide with the 50 anniversary of the final concert, Mansfield will publish a new book: The Roof: The Beatles’ Final Concert, a touching and comprehensive look back on one of rock ’n’ roll’s most significant events.
“There were only a few of us who witnessed the concert on the roof up-close that day, each leaving that place with deep, life-long impressions that no biographer or researcher can understand or portray in distant words,” writes Mansfield. “My intent is for you to experience the depth of those feelings through my eyes.”
Someone asked Mansfield how he could write an entire book about one short event, a happening that lasted less than an hour. However, the book is about much more than one event. Mansfield had the privilege of becoming part of Apple’s creative evolution and can uniquely share the sequence of events leading to that historic moment in January of 1969. This story is an intimate account of an exhilarating time that took place in the world and more specifically, in the world of music, from 1968 to 1970.
Mansfield began working with the Beatles in August of 1965 during their second American tour. There’s no explanation for why he became a continued part of the Beatles’ lives other than he just hit it off with the “lads.” They started out as formal business associates, but in a short time they also became friends.
By 1968, Mansfield was notified by Apple president Ron Kass that he and the “lads” wanted him to become the US manager of Apple Records. So, Mansfield ended up working with the Beatles and their new business venture, Apple, at 3 Savile Row in the upscale, ritzy and historical Mayfair district in London. The day he was invited into the Let It Be sessions at Apple was second only to the concert on the roof when it came to experiencing rock ‘n’ roll history in the making.
By Let It Be, Mansfield had become familiar with the quirky, endearing persona of each Beatle as well as the other players closely tied to members of the band – Yoko, Linda, Billy Preston, aka the ‘fifth Beatle’ etc. He had experienced almost each member quitting the band ‘for good’ at some point or another. But they always seemed to find their way back to each other.
As the Let It Be recordings were wrapping up, the Beatles had one last dance in them, and it happened in one of the most unlikely places of all. But that was classic Beatles - unexpected, unbelievable, and unlike any other band. They presented their biggest show in front of their smallest audience. Instead of blowing the roof off with their performance, they saved the best for last by playing on a roof with the wind blowing their goodbye kiss to the world.
At this point in The Roof, Mansfield’s story becomes legendary. How did it even happen? What happened up there? Who was there? And, what happened when everyone came down from the roof? Mansfield shares all of the amazing, unbelievable details of every minute. Almost a decade of togetherness wrapped up in forty-two minutes.
The Roof releases on November 13, 2018 from Post Hill Press/distributed by Simon & Schuster.
About the Author
Ken Mansfield has experienced a life that most people can only dream about. He was in the heart and heat of the music industry when it was young and vibrant—back in the magical 1960s when creativity and passion made the music. A simple young man from the Indian reservation lands in northern Idaho, Ken was propelled into the center of a Rock ‘n’ Roll whirlwind when as a Capitol Records executive, the Beatles asked him to be the US manager of their Apple Records label as well as acting as their personal liaison between the UK and the US. When the Beatles breakup seemed inevitable, he moved on to become a vice president at MGM Records and the president of Barnaby Records, a CBS label owned by Andy Williams. Ken later set up his own company, Hometown Productions Inc., where he produced famous artists of that era, such as Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Don Ho, David Cassidy, The Imperials, Claudine Longet, Nick Gilder, The Flying Burrito Bros, and more. Ken is the author of six other books, including the top selling The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay (Broadman and Holman) and The White Book (Thomas Nelson). Other titles include, Between Wyomings (Thomas Nelson), Stumbling on Open Ground (Thomas Nelson), Rock and a Heart Place (Broadstreet), and Philco (Post Hill Press).