Beatles policeman has no regrets about shutting down gig

The Beatles' last gig was shut down credit:Bang Showbiz
The Beatles' last gig was shut down credit:Bang Showbiz

A former police officer who shut down The Beatles' last ever gig has no regrets about doing so.

Ray Dagg was just 19 years old when he was called to address noise complaints from the roof of the group's Apple Records headquarters in London in January 1969, and when he arrived, he found John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr performing a selection of their greatest hits along with American keyboard player Billy Preston and warned them to stop or face arrest, and he's just thankful he's earned a place in rock history.

He told the Sunday Times newspaper: “Well, at that time, I didn’t know that they would never play together again. At least there’s something on a film somewhere that will forever show that PC Ray Dagg shut down the Beatles.

“If that’s my lasting image of life, if that’s what people remember me for, that’s not bad. Thousands, millions of people don’t get remembered at all.”

Video footage of the incident - which has resurfaced in Sir Peter Jackson's new documentary series 'Get Back' - showed the then London Metropolitan Police Constable telling the group's road manager Mal Evans: "I’m not going to be difficult about this. All right, so you’ve got to record but this isn’t necessary is it?

"We’ve had 30 complaints at West End Central within minutes. It’s got to go down, otherwise there will be some arrests. I’m not threatening you, I’m telling you what’s going to happen.”

But Ray, now 72, insisted his threat to arrest the 'Hey Jude' hitmakers and their manager was a "bluff".

He said: "Obstruction of police in the execution of their duty and highway obstruction are powers of arrest by the police but they are not applicable on private premises.

“The gamble was that they didn’t know that. Probably because I was so young and stupid I was running a bluff on it.”

However, he also admitted that if the group hadn't stopped playing, he would have gone through with the arrests.

He said “I think now, at 72 years of age, I can say I wouldn’t. At 19, I was pretty gung-ho and I think I probably might have, and taken the flak afterwards for wrongful arrest.

“But it would have stopped it, that’s the main thing. I’d have been praised for stopping it but then b******** for using the wrong powers of arrest.”