Rap star P. Diddy persuaded rocker Lenny Kravitz to get up on stage at the weekend and entertain patrons of a small Las Vegas nightclub – as a dare. Lenny’s intimate performance to a tiny crowd at the 1Oak was part of a great music tradition, that of the impromptu or “secret” gig. Here’s five of the most famous…

The Beatles’ Rooftop Concert (1969). The final live performance of the Fab Four took place on the roof of their beloved Apple Studios in London, along with keyboard wizz Billy Preston. The footage was used as the climax of their valedictory Let It Be movie,  and the 42-minute gig featured hits such as Get Back, I Want You (She’s So Heavy) and Don’t Let Me Down.


The Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly (1977). Known as SPOTS, these gigs began in August, after punk’s enfant terribles found it increasingly hard to book gigs from shocked promoters and increasingly hard to avoid trouble at the official concerts they managed to secure. Johnny Rotten and the boys thrilled audiences during the SPOTS tour throughout the UK.

Metallica at the Marquee (1990). These gods of metal were used to stadiums packed with fans in their Metallica music t-shirts. However, they also have a mischevious side, as this notable Marquee gig proves. Appearing on stage in support of Metal Church on their Blessing in Disguise Tour, they performed under the name of Vertigo, and were introduced as a new band that had only played a couple of previous gigs.

Lady Gaga (2010). In September 2010, patrons at The Oak Room bar in New York City’s Plaza Hotel got a treat when rising star Lady Gaga unexpectedly took to the stage in her first show since the death of her grandfather.

Stone Roses (2011). Last December, the legendary Manchester band played their first gig for 15 years – a surprise appearance at The Ritz, in their home town, as part of a benefit concert for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. One fan told Twitter that “I am watching Ian Brown and John Squire sharing a stage and LOSING MY MIND!!!”




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