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About the Event

30th January 1969. The final performance of The Beatles on the roof of the Apple building. Spectators on their lunch break looked up confused but soon a crowd gathered and the Fab Four played on before being shut down by the police. Marking the end of an era for many fans, the band had split by Autumn that year. 50 years since that infamous performance, Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn (The Beatles: All These Years) and mega-fan Alan Johnson (In My Life: A Music Memoir) talk to music journalist and writer David Hepworth (Nothing Is Real, A Fabulous Creation) about the enduring appeal of the most famous rock band in the world and ask why we’re still so fascinated by them today.

About the Authors

Mark Lewisohn is the acknowledged world authority on the Beatles. Before embarking on The Beatles: All These Years his books included the bestselling and influential The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions and The Complete Beatles Chronicle. He was a consultant and researcher on all aspects—TV, DVDs, CDs and book—of the Beatles own Anthology and has been involved in numerous additional projects for them. Married with two children, he lives in England.

Alan Johnson was born in May 1950. Having left school aged 15 and failed in his attempts to become a rock star, he joined the Post Office as a postman and became a local official of the Union Of Post Office Workers rising through the ranks to eventually become the Union’s youngest ever General Secretary in 1992. Five years later he became the Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle, a position he held through five general elections before standing down when the 2017 election was called. He served in the Blair and Brown governments as Work and Pensions Secretary, Trade and Industry Secretary, Education Secretary, Health Secretary and Home Secretary.

Alan Johnson’s first book, This Boy, won the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize in 2013. His second, Please Mister Postman, won the National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year in 2014. His third, The Long and Winding Road, was published in 2016 and won the Parliamentary Book Award for Best Memoir.

David Hepworth has been writing, broadcasting and speaking about music and media since the seventies. He was involved in the launch and editing of magazines such as Smash Hits, Q, Mojo and The Word, among many others. He was one of the presenters of the BBC rock music programme The Old Grey Whistle Test and one of the anchors of the corporation’s coverage of Live Aid in 1985. He has won the Editor of the Year and Writer of the Year awards from the Professional Publishers Association and the Mark Boxer award from the British Society of Magazine Editors. He lives in London, dividing his time between writing for a variety of newspaper and magazines, speaking at events, broadcasting work, podcasting at and blogging at He says Chuck Berry’s ‘You Never Can Tell’ is the best record ever made. ‘This is not an opinion,’ he says. ‘It’s a matter of fact.’