The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a file on John, having been alerted to his "subversive" nature by the furore surrounding the nude sleeve for Two Virgins.
During an interview with the magazine Nova, Yoko coined the memorable phrase, "Woman is the nigger of the world", subsequently turned into a song by John.
George returned to London from New York.
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios.
Under pressure from Paul to return to live performance, the other Beatles had reluctantly agreed to make an appearance before a live audience, which would be filmed and released as a one-hour television show. However, it proved impossible to agree upon a venue: The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm was booked and cancelled, the idea of a Roman amphitheatre in Tunisia, filmed at dawn, empty of people, and slowly filling up with all races and creeds for the concert, was given serious consideration before Ringo vetoed it on the grounds that he wouldn't like the food.
Since they all agreed on the idea of the television film, Apple Films producer Denis O'Dell proposed that they begin rehearsing and suggested that they film the rehearsals for inclusion in the proposed film. He had Twickenham Film Studios booked from February 3 for use on Ringo's Magic Christian film, and he proposed they use the time until then to film on the sound stage in full 16mm. It was a disaster. They were still exhausted from the marathon The Beatles sessions. Paul bossed George around; George was moody and resentful. John would not even go to the bathroom without Yoko at his side and for her part Yoko made sure she was in every shot. The tension was palpable, and it was all being caught on film.
The Beatles were scheduled to arrive every morning at 10am, a target they only achieved on the first day of shooting. Thereafter, Paul and Ringo endeavoured to keep to the schedule; John and George simply ignored it, and arrived at Twickenham when they felt like it.
"It's like hard work to do it," George complained during an early Twickenham session. "I don't want to work, really. It's a drag to get your guitar at eight in the morning, when you're not ready for it."
On the first day of the filming, the group swapped fragments of their new songs. John unveiled 'Don't Let Me Down' and 'Dig A Pony'; George introduced 'All Things Must Pass' and 'Let It Down'. Eventually they worked on two Lennon songs, 'Don't Let Me Down' and 'Everybody Had A Hard Year', which Paul swiftly incorporated into his own song, 'I've Got A Feeling'.
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios. After Paul had played them 'Let It Be' for the first time, and Ringo had demonstrated his own songs-in-progress, The Beatles worked on George's 'All Things Must Pass' and their own oldie 'One After 909'. "Are we going to do any oldies on the show?", George asked the others. "It would be nice, and it would get over that initial thing of us hitting them with all new stuff."
Police in New Jersey, US, impounded 30,000 copies of John and Yoko's Two Virgins album on the grounds that the cover was pornographic.
John: "We were both a bit embarrassed when we peeled off for the picture - so I took it myself with a delayed action shutter. The picture was to prove that we are not a couple of demented freaks, that we are not deformed in any way and that our minds are healthy. If we can make society accept these kind of things without offence, without sniggering, then we shall be achieving our purpose. There has got to be law and order, but that doesn't mean we should suffer bad, out of date laws. If laws weren't changed they would still be jumping on queers and putting them away. So there is a case for us all to put society right -and that is basically why there is unrest all over the world; because revolution must come."
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios. The Beatles arrived late and unenthusiastic, but some work done on 'Don't Let Me Down' and 'Two Of Us'. John, strung out on
heroin, was mostly silent and withdrawn, leaving Yoko to do most of the talking. George made his lack of excitement over the entire project plain: "I think we should forget the whole idea of the show." As the discussion about the proposed live concert progressed, Yoko suggested that The Beatles should perform to a conceptual audience in an empty auditorium, while director Michael Lindsay-Hogg waxed lyrical about the idea of a concert in front of thousands of torch-lit Arabs.
As the session declined, Paul and George bickered over minor details in the songs. "I always hear myself trying to annoy you," Paul said apologetically. "You're not annoying me," George replied coldly, "you don't annoy me anymore." The argument slipped into the conflict glimpsed in the final Let It Be film, as George snapped: "I'll play what you want me to play. I won't play at all if you don't want me to. Whatever it is that will please you, I'll do it."
The Apple press office announced that George would shortly begin collaborating with Derek Taylor on a musical inspired by daily life inside the Apple building.
Derek Taylor: "George has already written an outline and some of the music. I'm in charge of ideas and lyrics. We started last Wednesday after Mike Connor, who is in charge of Apple offices in Los Angeles, suggested we got together on a musical."
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios. Poor rehearsals of 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' and John's 'Across The Universe', during which John forgot his own words. In an argument between George and Paul, George suggested that The Beatles should break up. "I don't want to do any of my songs on the show," he admitted, "because they'll turn out shitty, they'll come out like a compromise." Finally, Paul lost his cool: "I don't see why any of you, if you're not interested, get yourselves into this. Why are you here?" George closed the argument with a threat of a separation: "Maybe we should get a divorce".
That evening, George wrote 'I Me Mine', inspired by the pettiness and selfishness that he felt were afflicting The Beatles.
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios. The main feature of this day was an argument between John and George, with John putting down George's songwriting. "I don't care if you don't want it on your show," George snarled after he'd played them 'I Me Mine' for the first time.
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios. Jam session on 'Suzy's Parlour', after Paul had introduced 'Her Majesty' and 'Another Day' to the sessions. George also arrived with a new song, 'For You Blue'.
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios.
George's feeling that Paul was treating him as an inferior, combined with the tension he felt at always having Yoko present, reached breaking point. After a fierce argument with John, criticising him for contributing nothing to the sessions and showing no interest in the project, George walked off the set from the studio canteen telling the others he'd "see them round the clubs", and drove to Liverpool to see his parents. George thus became the second Beatle to leave the group.
The Beatles finished their lunch. On return to the studio, Yoko took up position on George's blue cushion and finally got the remaining Beatles to back her on an extended "wailing" session. "If George doesn't come back by Monday or Tuesday," John noted at one point, "we'll have to get Eric Clapton to play with us. If George leaves, do we want to carry on The Beatles? I do. We should just get other members and carry on."
Ringo: "George had to leave because he thought Paul was dominating him. Well, he was."
George: "I didn't care if it was The Beatles. I was getting out."
The Wonderwall film opened at the Cinecenta cinema. George was the only Beatle in attendance.
The Beatles met at Ringo's house to try to iron out their difficulties but the feud between John and George remained intractable.
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios. Paul and Ringo were the only Beatles to attend and spent the session discussing what to do about John's decision to let Yoko do all his talking for him. John made a brief appearance in the late afternoon, but no work was done.
Paul sent Derek Taylor a curt but graphic postcard to his home, bearing the message:
"Up yer". The card was Taylor's reward for attempting to heal the rift within The Beatles.
The album Yellow Submarine was released in the US as Apple (Capitol) SW 385 (stereo only). Side A: 'Yellow Submarine', 'Only A Northern Song', 'All Together Now', 'Hey Bulldog', 'It's All Too Much', 'All You Need Is Love'; Side B: Seven soundtrack instrumental cuts by The George Martin Orchestra.
The decision to base a cartoon film on a fictionalised version of the 1967 Beatles, named after one of their best-loved songs and featuring characters loosely taken from several others, brought to an end a stand-off which had been threatening to become embarrassing. Ever since they'd completed Help! in the summer of 1965, The Beatles had owed United Artists another film. Initially, they'd swallowed their lack of enthusiasm for another comic romp, and considered various scripts submitted in late 1965 and early 1966. A year after that, Brian Epstein was still promising the outside world that the movie would shortly begin production - though no final script or concept was ever agreed.
One of Epstein's last important deals before his death was his agreement to assist with the making of Yellow Submarine, which would require little or no active involvement from The Beatles, bar the submission of several new songs. The group did not even have to supply the voices for their cartoon selves, actors taking over that role, and creating a minor press 'scandal' in the process. As it turned out, The Beatles were so delighted by the finished cartoon - having expected crassness and been shown something close to art - that they agreed to appear in a final real-life scene, giving their public approval to the movie.
Until then, however, their contribution had been minimal. Until the film company's schedule demanded final delivery of the songs, they'd mentally set aside any rejects from 1967 sessions for the movie. The balance of power in the group dictated that two of the four rejects were George Harrison compositions - one of them the most striking piece of psychedelia The Beatles ever recorded.
These four new songs were originally planned for release as an EP. This was considered unsuitable for the American market, however, and so an album was concocted, combining the new items with two old songs from the soundtrack, plus twenty minutes of George Martin's incidental music. The group presumably decided against an LP made up of all their film songs because it would have repeated too many of the numbers from the Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour albums.
Unchanged from its appearance on Revolver, the title song from the Yellow Submarine cartoon was one of two songs making its second appearance on a Beatles record.
ONLY A NORTHERN SONG
"A joke relating to Liverpool, the Holy City in the North of England," is how George Harrison described this song - bizarrely never issued in 'true'stereo. The joke, incidentally, refers to Northern Songs, the company who published compositions by Lennon, McCartney and (in 1967, at least) Harrison. The lyrical non sequiturs and lugubrious musical backing made this one of the more unusual Beatles recordings, even by 1967 standards.
ALL TOGETHER NOW
Written with the film very much in mind, McCartney's singalong ditty became a children's favourite, completed in just over five hours of studio work. It's hard to imagine a song this slight being considered for any of the other Beatles albums.
"I went to see The Beatles' recording, and I said to John, 'Why do you always use that beat all the time, the same beat, why don't you do something more complex?' " Yoko Ono's question mightn't have been the most tactful way of greeting her first sight of her husband-to-be at work. On this occasion, in fact, simplicity was bliss. Gathered in the studio to shoot a promo film for the 'Lady Madonna' single, The Beatles made use of the opportunity to complete their obligations to the film company. Like 'I Am The Walrus', 'Hey Bulldog' defied detailed lyrical analysis, but its wonderfully chaotic production and raw Lennon vocal made it a minor classic. The Beatles enjoyed it, too, as a listen to the fade-out makes clear.
IT'S ALL TOO MUCH
This song, said composer George Harrison, was "written in a childlike manner from realisations that appeared during and after some LSD experiences and which were later confirmed in meditation." It was also a wonderfully inventive piece of psychedelia, a spirit-of-'67 freak-out that won fresh acclaim from a later wave of acid-rock adventurers in the late Seventies and early Nineties. Discordant, off-beat and effortlessly brilliant, the song was (alongside 'Taxman') Harrison's finest piece of Western rock music to date. Sadly, it was edited before release, losing one verse in its reduction from eight minutes to six.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
The mix of this song included on the Yellow Submarine album was marginally different from the original hit single.
The remaining tracks by George Martin were: 'Pepperland', 'Sea Of Time & Sea Of Holes', 'Sea Of Monsters', 'March Of The Meanies' and 'Pepperland Laid Waste', together with 'Yellow Submarine In Pepperland' which was an orchestral revamp of the film's title song. These attractive instrumental numbers had no connection with The Beatles. Their presence on the CD makes Yellow Submarine the least inspiring of The Beatles' albums for all but the determined completist.
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios. John showed up but complained that he had been up all night on drugs and wasn't feeling well. They played 'Madman' and 'Watching Rainbows', watched for part of the session by actor Peter Sellers.
Filming Get Back at Twickenham Studios. George returned from Liverpool, and during a five-hour meeting, made up his difficulties with John. He told the others that he would leave the group unless the idea of a live performance was dropped. He was prepared, however, to be filmed making an album, but for that he suggested they use their own state-of-the-art 72-track recording studio that "Magic" Alex was supposed to be building for them at Savile Row.
Apple announced that The Beatles' live show at the Roundhouse, scheduled for the 18th, had been postponed. They also confirmed that a Beatles EP would be released shortly, including the 'new' songs from the Yellow Submarine album alongside the previously unreleased Lennon song, 'Across The Universe'.
The album Yellow Submarine was released in the UK as Apple (Parlophone) PMC 7070 (mono) and PCS 7070 (stereo) with the same tracks as the US release.
In an off-the-record remark on the stairs at Apple, John told the editor of Disc And Music Echo, Ray Coleman, "Apple is losing money every week ... if it carries on like this, all of us will be broke in the next six months." Coleman printed the quote, causing consternation among Apple's bankers and The Beatles' tax advisers.
Part of George's terms for returning to the group was to cancel plans for a live concert, and end the filming at Twickenham. The Get Back film project was switched to Apple's new basement recording studios at 3 Savile Row where John's guru, "Magic" Alex, had supposedly built them a 72-track recording facility.
Unfortunately, Alex did not have the slightest idea how a recording studio actually worked and had not even provided a conduit connecting the studio with the control room so microphone leads and instruments could be connected to the desk. Confronted with an unusable studio, The Beatles called on George Martin to rescue them. He borrowed a pair of four-track machines from EMI, the leads were trailed in through the control room door, and two days later The Beatles began work.
George: "Alex's recording studio was the biggest disaster of all time. He was walking around with a white coat on like some sort of chemist, but he didn't have a clue what he was doing. The whole thing was a disaster, and it had to be ripped out."
Ringo was interviewed by David Wigg for the BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard. In 1976 Wigg released all of his BBC interviews with The Beatles on a double album, The Beatles Tapes. Legal moves by The Beatles failed to prevent its release.
George Martin and Glyn Johns continued to work on turning the Apple recording studio into a workable environment for The Beatles' session the next day.
Get Back sessions. With cameras and tapes rolling, The Beatles began work on the album and film which would have broken up any normal group. On the first day they ran through 'All I Want Is You' (later called 'Dig A Pony'), 'I've Got A Feeling', 'Don't Let Me Down', 'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window' and a few cover versions including The Drifters' 'Save The Last Dance For Me' and Canned Heat's 'Going Up The Country'. To musical accompaniment, Paul also recited a critical article on The Beatles from the Daily Sketch newspaper: "The awful tension of being locked in each other's arms snapped last night at TV rehearsal. Drugs, divorce and a slipping image played desperately on their minds ... They will probably never be the same again."
Billy Preston, a friend of The Beatles since Hamburg days, was visiting Apple and was recruited by George to play on The Beatles' sessions and in the film in order to help ease the tension between the four of them. By the end of the session, John was asking Preston: "Why don't you be on the album?"
Get Back sessions. Work on Paul's 'Get Back'.
Get Back sessions. Work on Paul's 'On Our Way Home' (later called 'Two Of Us'), 'Teddy Boy', 'Maggie May', John's 'Dig It', 'Dig A Pony' and 'I've Got A Feeling'. The session began with a group discussion about how great a role Billy Preston should play in the sessions. John and George pushed for him to be included as a full member of The Beatles; "I'd like a fifth Beatle," John said. "It's bad enough with four!" Paul replied.
After the session was completed and The Beatles had left, Glyn Johns prepared a rough tape of the songs they'd been working on.
Get Back sessions. Glyn Johns played the group the tape he'd prepared of their work to date, which persuaded all The Beatles that despite the fact they weren't satisfied with anything they'd recorded to date, it was still worth continuing with the sessions. After jamming on the Everly Brothers' 'Bye Bye Love' they worked on Paul's 'Let It Be' and 'George's Blues' (later retitled Tor You Blue').
David Wigg's interview with Ringo was broadcast by BBC Radio 1's Scene And Heard.
Get Back sessions. Work on 'Dig If was followed by a long rock'n'roll jam to loosen themselves up: 'Shake Rattle And Roll', 'Kansas City', 'Miss Ann', 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy', 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'You Really Got A Hold On Me' and 'Tracks Of My Tears'. Then they were ready to work on Paul's 'Long And Winding Road' and a song of George's which eventually appeared as 'Isn't It A Pity' on his All Things Must Pass triple album.
With the filmed live concert cancelled, the director of the film side of the project, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, realised that he might have months of filming ahead of him, judging by how long it took The Beatles to record an album. At a meeting in the board room at Apple, he proposed that they give a live concert, but all they would have to do was walk up one flight of stairs to the roof of their own building. Even this met with resistance, with George reluctant and Ringo determined not to do it. This time John and Paul combined persuaded the others, albeit only minutes before the actual event.
Get Back sessions. Work on 'Get Back', 'Oh! Darling', 'I've Got A Feeling' and a jammed version of Jimmy McCracklin's 'The Walk'. John's 'Sweet Loretta Fart she thought she was a cleaner...' parody of 'Get Back' was also recorded during this session. John received a phone call at the studio, telling him that Yoko's divorce from Tony Cox was about to be finalised.
Lennon Books Limited changed its name to Lennon Productions Limited.
Get Back sessions. The Beatles recorded both sides of their next single, 'Get Back' and 'Don't Let Me Down', as well as working on a remake of 'Love Me Do', 'The One After 909', 'Dig A Pony', 'I've Got A Feeling' and 'Teddy Boy'.
Derek Taylor gave Allen Klein John's telephone number and John and Yoko met with Klein in the Harlequin suite of the Dorchester Hotel, London. They were very impressed with him, and John decided on the spot to make him his personal adviser. There and then he wrote to Sir Joseph Lockwood, the chairman of EMI: "Dear Sir Joe: From now on Allen Klein handles all my stuff."
ENTER ALLEN KLEIN
Allen Klein had a meeting with all four Beades. Acting on the advice of John Eastman, Linda's brother, they had been about to buy NEMS for £1m, which EMI was prepared to lend them as an advance against royalties. (NEMS was entitled to take 25% of their record royalties for a further nine years even though Brian Epstein's management contract had expired, something that Epstein slipped into his renewal contract with EMI that The Beatles had not read or noticed.) Klein pointed out that royalties were subject to a high rate of tax, and they would have to earn £2 million to repay the debt. He said that until he had a chance to examine John's financial situation he wouldn't recommend buying NEMS. George and Ringo asked him to examine theirs too. Paul left the meeting.
Get Back sessions. Work on versions of 'Teddy Boy', 'The One After 909', 'I Want You', Buddy Holly's 'Not Fade Away', 'Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues' as well as the old Hamburg and Cavern days standard, 'Besame Mucho'. Despite Paul's last-minute attempt to persuade the other Beatles to agree to a live show in front of an audience at the Saville Theatre, the foursome settled on the Apple rooftop the following morning. "I think it would be daft not to play tomorrow," John finally asserted, "even if it is a grand dress rehearsal." Even George was persuaded: "Let's get it done."
THE ROOFTOP CONCERT
Mal and Neil set up the instruments, as of old, and The Beatles, with Billy Preston, took up position on the flat roof of their Savile Row headquarters. Traffic was brought to a halt as the lunchtime crowds gathered on the pavement below and all the windows and roofs nearby quickly filled with West End office workers, getting a privileged view of the last ever Beatles live concert. The police tried to put a stop to it, but the combined Apple door security, and reluctance on the part of the police to actually pull the plug on such an extraordinary scene, meant that they played for 42 minutes.
They began with a rehearsal of 'Get Back', 'Don't Let Me Down', 'I've Got A Feeling', 'The One After 909', 'Dig A Pony' (for this, an assistant had to kneel in front of John holding the words on a clipboard), 'God Save The Queen', 'I've Got A Feeling' (again), 'Don't Let Me Down' (again) and 'Get Back' (again). This final version of 'Get Back' was interrupted by the police and Paul ad-libbed, "You've been playing on the roofs again and you know your momma doesn't like it, she's gonna have you arrested!" At the end of the song, Maureen Starkey burst into loud applause and cheers, causing Paul to return to the microphone and acknowledge her, "Thanks, Mo!"
John ended the set, and The Beatles' live career, with the words "I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition."
The last day of filming the Get Back sessions. Several of Paul's songs ('The Long And Winding Road', 'Let It Be' and 'Two Of Us') were unsuitable for the rooftop concert because they featured a piano or acoustic guitar. These were filmed at this session. A version of 'Lady Madonna' was also recorded. With the project in the can, The Beatles now put it on the shelf, where it would stay for more than a year.
EMI got their tape recorders back and workmen moved in to tear out "Magic" Alex's non-functioning studio.
The divorce of Yoko and her husband Anthony Cox in the Virgin Islands was ratified and Yoko was granted custody of their child Kyoko, even though Cox had essentially been the one who brought her up. Cox objected to the settlement terms which were obtained by the powerful lawyers that John's money provided, and continued to look after Kyoko. John and Yoko were both now free to remarry.
Ringo began an intense filming schedule at Twickenham Film Studios, playing support to Peter Sellers in Joe McGrath's The Magic Christian, based on the book by Terry Southern (as Candy also was). Filming went on from Monday to Friday for 13 weeks and Ringo was at the studio most days.
The Beatles, Allen Klein and John Eastman held a meeting. Allen Klein was appointed as The Beatles' business manager, charged with examining their finances and finding a way to stop NEMS from bleeding them of a quarter of their income.
As a compromise to Paul, Eastman and Eastman, Linda's father and brother, were appointed as Apple's General Council, to keep an eye on Allen Klein's activities.
The album Goodbye by Cream (featuring George Harrison on 'Badge') was released in the US as Atco SD 7001.
George entered University College Hospital, London, for treatment of a throat condition.
In a press report of the news that Klein had joined Apple as a financial adviser, John was quoted as saying: "We know him through Mick Jagger and we trust him - as much as we trust any businessman." In fact Jagger had been lukewarm about the idea, having had very bad experiences with Klein himself. He sent Paul a personal note warning him against using Klein, but when summoned to the board room of Apple, and faced by all four Beatles, he caved in to Lennon's obvious enthusiasm for Klein and simply said, "He's all right, if you like that kind ofthing." Klein was to get control of the copyrights of all of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' early songs.
George's tonsils were removed at University College Hospital.
George wrote to Derek Taylor from his hospital bed: "You have to be 'IN' to know how good it is 'OUT'. It is O.K. even in here today, so it must be absolutely beautiful at Apple or in the street. I smoked 2 cigs yesterday (naughty) - but could easily manage a joint sometime. (Not hash or tobacco - must be the grass, man.) I believe Krishna took a lot of the load off me, because it was only the day of the operation that I felt like cutting out. Yesterday was too much: Saturday was DEATH."
Abbey Road. John and Yoko did a mixing session of some of their experimental tapes.
Paul was made sole director of a new off-the-shelf company, Adagrose Limited, which was later renamed McCartney Productions Limited.
Mary Hopkin's first album, Postcard, produced by Paul, with a sleeve designed by Paul and photographed by Linda, was launched by Apple at a party held in the restaurant on the top of the Post Office Tower in Bloomsbury. Jimi Hendrix and Donovan were among the guests, and Paul and Linda stayed until the end to show support for their new act.
John Eastman wrote to Clive Epstein, who was now running NEMS after his brother's death: "As you know, Mr Allen Klein is doing an audit of The Beatles affairs vis-a-vis NEMS and Nemperor Holdings Ltd. When this has been completed I suggest we meet to discuss the results of Mr Klein's audit as well as the propriety of the negotiations surrounding the nine-year agreement between EMI, The Beatles and NEMS."
Clive Epstein replied to John Eastman: "Before any meeting takes place, please be good enough to let me know precisely what you mean by the phrase 'the propriety of the negotiations surrounding the nine-year agreement between EMI, The Beatles and NEMS'." George, his tonsils successfully removed, left University College Hospital.
Leonard Richenberg of Triumph Investment Trust, a city merchant bank, acquired a 70 per cent stake in NEMS and Nemperor Holdings. The Beatles were horrified at the idea of merchant bankers collecting their income for them and wrote a letter to EMI, signed by all four Beatles, saying: "We hereby irrevocably instruct you to pay Henry Ansbacher & Co. all royalties payable by you directly or indirectly to Beatles and Co. or Apple Corps." (Henry Ansbacher & Co was their merchant banker and considered OK.) EMI didn't know what to do so they froze the money - £1.3m in royalties - and put it into the nearest branch of Lloyds Bank.
The album James Taylor by James Taylor (produced by Peter Asher and featuring Paul McCartney's bass playing on 'Carolina In My Mind') was released in the US as Apple SKAO 3352.
Ringo was served a writ to quit the premises by Bryman Estates, landlords of 34 Montagu Square, for breaking the terms of his lease by allowing John and Yoko to use drugs there.
Ringo attended the UK premiere of Candy at the Odeon Cinema, Kensington, London.
The album Postcard by Mary Hopkin, produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the UK as Apple SAPCOR 5.
The single 'Rosetta' by The Fourmost, produced by Paul McCartney, was released as CBS 4041.
Trident Studios, Soho. Further work done on John's 'I Want You' (with Billy Preston).
Trident Studios, Soho. John mixed 'I Want You'.
Soon after this session, John and Paul requested that engineer Glyn Johns, who'd been present throughout the January sessions at Twickenham and Apple, should attempt to compile and sequence a viable album from the unsorted pile of master tapes. Johns subsequently revealed that the task "absolutely petrified" him.
It was announced that The Triumph Investment group of companies had gained control of NEMS Enterprises.
Abbey Road. George, working by himself, cut three demo tapes of his latest songs: 'Old Brown Shoe', 'Something' and 'All Things Must Pass'. The recordings were mixed and he was able to take home acetates after a good day's work.
Allen Klein held a series of business meetings at Apple to determine The Beatles' response to the Triumph Investments takeover of NEMS.
The album Goodbye by Cream (featuring George Harrison on 'Badge') was released in the UK as Polydor 583053.
The eviction action against Ringo by Bryman Estates was settled out of court, allowing Ringo to sell his leasehold on 34 Montagu Square.
The Apple press office announced that The Beatles now owned the film rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy trilogy, The Lord Of The Rings, and that plans were underway for that to become the long-overdue third Beatles movie.
Dick James and Charles Silver sold their shares in Northern Songs to Lew Grade's ATV, who then announced that they wanted to buy a controlling interest.
Paul produced both sides of Mary Hopkin's new single, 'Goodbye' and 'Sparrow', at Morgan Studios in Willesden.
Ringo began work on The Magic Christian, at Twickenham Film Studios.
John and Yoko made an unscheduled appearance, together with John Tchikai and John Stevens, at an evening of avant-garde jazz and experimental music at Lady Mitchell Hall, Cambridge University. They performed a single improvised piece, subsequently titled 'Cambridge 1969'.
Paul did more work on Mary Hopkin's new single at Morgan Studios.
The album Post Card by Mary Hopkin, produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the US as Apple ST 3351 with the fourth track of side two ('Someone To Watch Over Me' on the UK release) replaced by her number one hit, 'Those Were The Days'.
Princess Margaret met Ringo when she visited the set of The Magic Christian at Twickenham Film Studios to see her friend Peter Sellers. Paul and Linda were also there.
George was interviewed by David Wigg for the BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard.
Part of George's interview with David Wigg was broadcast on BBC Radio 1's Scene And Heard.
Engineer Glyn Johns began a four-day series of mixing sessions, attempting to salvage The Beatles' Get Back album.
Paul produced Jackie Lomax singing 'Thumbin' A Ride', a Lieber and Stoller Coasters B-side that he found in his record collection. Paul played drums, George played guitar and Billy Preston played keyboards.
Paul and Linda were married at Marylebone Register Office, with his brother Michael and roadie Mal Evans as witnesses. Afterwards they went to St John's Wood Church where their marriage was blessed by the Rev. Noel Perry-Gore. There was a luncheon reception afterwards at the Ritz Hotel given by Rory McKeown. Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon were there and Patti's sister Paula tried to hand Margaret a joint in full view of everyone.
None of the other Beatles attended the wedding, though George and Patti went to the reception. They arrived very late because the notorious Sergeant Pilcher chose Paul's wedding day to raid George's house for drugs, bringing a large piece of hashish with them (in case they didn't find anything) which they "found" on the floor. George commented, "I'm a tidy person. I keep my socks in the sock drawer and my hash in the hash box. It's not mine." They were taken to Esher Police Station and formally charged with possession of cannabis resin. Pilcher was later found guilty in the police corruption trials of the early Seventies.
After the reception Paul returned to the studio to continue work on 'Thumbin' A Ride'.
Abbey Road. John and Yoko recorded 'Peace Song'.
Ringo shot a grouse-hunting scene on Chobham Common, Surrey, for The Magic Christian.
US promoter Sid Bernstein arrived in London, anxious to persuade The Beatles to perform four shows in the US, at a price of one million dollars per concert. The Beatles gently rejected his offer without agreeing to a meeting.
Paul and Linda with Heather, Linda's daughter by a previous marriage, flew to New York to spend three weeks with her family.
John and Yoko flew to Paris, intending to get married. They booked into the Plaza Athenee but were unable to get married in France because they had not been in residence long enough.
The single 'Badge' by Cream, written by George Harrison and Eric Clapton, was released in the US as Atco 6668.
The single 'Carolina In My Mind' by James Taylor, with Paul McCartney on bass, was released in the US as Apple 1805.
Ringo and Spike Milligan shot the traffic warden scene outside the Star and Garter, in Putney, for The Magic Christian.
George and Patti made an initial court appearance on their charges of cannabis possession, and were remanded on bail.
John and Yoko, still in Paris, had tried to get married on the cross-channel ferry but were refused permission to board The Dragon at Southampton because of "inconsistencies in their passports". Peter Brown at Apple found that they could get married on the British-governed island of Gibraltar. John, Yoko, Peter Brown and official photographer David Nutter flew to Gibraltar by private jet. They arrived at 8.30am and were at the British Consulate when it opened at 9am. There, registrar Cecil Wheeler married them with Peter Brown and David Nutter as their witnesses. They remained in Gibraltar for just 70 minutes before flying straight back to Paris and their luxury suite.
John: "We chose Gibraltar because it is quiet, British and friendly. We tried everywhere else first. I set out to get married on the car ferry and we would have arrived in France married, but they wouldn't do it. We were no more successful with cruise ships. We tried embassies, but three weeks' residence in Germany or two weeks' in France were required."
Allen Klein was appointed business manager of Apple. His first task was to sort out the mess caused by Dick James selling his Northern Songs shares without first offering them to The Beatles. Klein told the Daily Telegraph that under a three year contract he would receive 20 per cent of all the money collected by Apple but no money from existing recording contracts. He would, however, receive 20 per cent of any increase he negotiated on those contracts. He began firing the staff.
The album Is This What You Want? by Jackie Lomax, produced by George Harrison, was released in the UK as Apple SAPCOR 6.
Ringo flew to New York for a few days' location shooting on The Magic Christian.
John and Yoko had lunch with Salvador Dali in Paris.
Ringo told US reporters that The Beatles would never appear together in public again. Ringo: "People really have tried to typecast us. They think we are still little moptops,
and we are not. I don't want to play in public again. I don't miss being a Beatle anymore.
You can't get those days back. It's no good living in the past."
John and Yoko flew to Amsterdam to begin a seven-day peace bed-in in room 902 of the Hilton Hotel.
John: "We're staying in bed for a week, to register our protest against all the suffering and violence in the world. Can you think of a better way to spend seven days? It's the best idea we've had." They were ridiculed by the world's media but by reporting the event at all, the press was passing on a message about the need for peace, so John and Yoko felt satisfied.
John was in bed for peace when he read in the newspaper that Dick James, the man they had made into a multi-millionaire, had sold his shares in Northern Songs to ATV without first offering them to The Beatles. John was furious: "I won't sell. They are my shares and my songs and I want to keep a bit of the end product. I don't have to ring Paul. I know damn well he feels the same as I do."
The single 'Goodbye' (Lennon & McCartney)/'Sparrow' by Mary Hopkin, produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the UK as Apple 10.
The last day of John and Yoko's seven-day bed-in. John and Yoko then flew to Vienna where they held a press conference from inside a white bag at the Hotel Sacher. It received worldwide coverage which a normal press conference would not, despite the fact that no one was sure it really was them. They were in Vienna for the world television premiere of Rape, which they produced.
George and Patti were found guilty of possession of cannabis at Esher and Walton Magistrates' Court and were fined £250 each with ten guineas' costs each. George: "I hope the police will leave us alone now."
John and Yoko sent out "Acorns For Peace": every world leader was sent an acorn and asked to plant it for peace. The idea was John and Yoko's but Apple had to do the work. It took the staff of the press office weeks to find enough acorns, as it was the wrong season, and they finished up digging holes in the London parks trying to find where the squirrels had hidden them. An offer of acorns at £1 each was turned down. Months later some of the boxes had still not been addressed and sent out, as promoting 'Get Back' and Mary Hopkin's new single took precedence.
John: "Yoko and I plan to send one of these envelopes containing two acorns to the head of state of every country in the world. We want them to plant them for peace."
Yoko: "If they want us to, we would go to the countries and plant them ourselves."
John: "Peace can't wait. I think this will be the most positive move for peace yet. It would be much better than all that phoney smiling and shaking hands you see in the papers."
Ringo and Laurence Harvey filmed a Hamlet striptease scene at the Theatre Royal, in Stratford, East London, for The Magic Christian.
John and Yoko returned to London and gave a press conference at Heathrow. Later they appeared live on Thames Television's Today programme where they attempted to explain "Bagism" to Eamonn Andrews.
The Daily Express reported John as saying: "I am back to work, recording with The Beatles -1 need the money... I'm scratching the deck, to my way of thinking. Right now, in cash, I have about £50,000."
John, Yoko and Paul, together with Allen Klein, visited The Beatles' merchant bankers, Henry Ansbacher and Company, to plot a strategy to try and get back Northern Songs for themselves. Their adviser was Mr Bruce Ormrod. It looked an evenly matched fight with ATV and The Beatles controlling about the same number of shares: ATV had acquired 1,604,750 shares from Silver and James, and already held 137,000, giving them nearly 35 per cent of the company. The Beatles between them controlled 29.7 per cent:
Paul had the most at 751,000, John had 644,000 and held another 50,000 on trust and Ringo had 40,000. George had sold his but Patti had 1,000. Apple controlled another 30,000 through Subafilms. "Monopoly with real money," John called it. "Businessmen play the game the way we play music, and it's something to see." The Northern Songs saga prompted Paul to write You Never Give Me Your Money'.
John and Yoko appeared on The Eamonn Andrews Show live from the Cafe Royal in Regent Street, where they tried to get Andrews to climb into a white bag with them. Fellow guests Jack Benny and Yehudi Menuhin were not amused.
George was interviewed by Sue McGregor for the lunchtime BBC Radio 1 programme World At One in which he discussed Ravi Shankar.
The single 'Badge' by Cream, written by George Harrison and Eric Clapton, was released in the UK as Polydor 2058 285.
The Financial Times reported: "It appears that Dick James, managing director of Northern Songs, has failed to persuade Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney to accept the £9 million bid for Northern from ATV."
The 'Get Back' single is premiered by Radio 1 DJs Alan Freeman and John Peel.
Disappointed by the way that 'Get Back' sounded on the radio the previous day, Paul oversaw a remix session on the song at Olympic Studios in London.
The single 'Goodbye' (Lennon & McCartney) /'Sparrow' by Mary Hopkin, produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the US as Apple 1806.
Ringo filmed a boat race scene at Barclays Bank Rowing Club on the Thames Embankment for The Magic Christian.
The Beatles rejected ATV's offer of £9 million for their shares in Northern Songs and announced that they were considering a counter bid (though where they would have obtained the £9.5 million required in real cash is hard to imagine). Lew Grade told the Daily Telegraph: "We have 35 per cent of the shares and will not let go of that for anything." The publicity caused market speculators to get in on the act and soon a powerful syndicate of holders of Northern Songs shares was formed known as The Consortium. Between them they had 14 per cent of the shares, enough to swing the outcome, and they met in secret to discuss their strategy.
The single 'Get Back'/'Don't Let Me Down' by The Beatles, with Billy Preston, was released in the UK as Apple (Parlophone) R 5777.
Paul penned the copy for the press advertisements: " 'Get Back' is The Beatles' new single. It's the first Beatles record which is as live as live can be, in this electronic age. There's no electronic whatchamacallit. 'Get Back' is a pure spring-time rock number. On the other side there's an equally live number called 'Don't Let Me Down'.
"Paul's got this to say about 'Get Back'... 'We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air ... we started to write words there and then ... when we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to roller-coast by.'
"P.S. John adds, it's John playing the fab live guitar solo. And now John on 'Don't Let Me Down': John says don't let me down about 'Don't Let Me Down'.
"In 'Get Back' and 'Don't Let Me Down', you'll find The Beatles, as nature intended."
Shortly before his death, John Lennon revealed his long-felt suspicion that this song had been triggered by Paul McCartney's feelings towards Yoko. In fact, as he knew very well, 'Get Back' began life as an ironic comment on British politics. Under its original title of 'No Pakistanis', it satirised the racist views of those who saw Commonwealth immigrants as an invasion force, swamping British culture. Trouble was, the irony was likely to be lost on anyone who wasn't pre-warned, and McCartney regretfully dropped the original lyrics. (His decision was proved right nearly 20 years later when the Sun newspaper got hold of a tape of 'No Pakistanis', and accused The Beatles of racism. Irony is just too complicated for some people.)
In its new form, 'Get Back' was a tight, attractive rocker with lyrics that meant nothing but sounded good - a combination Paul tried to repeat, with rather less success, on Wings' singles like 'Helen Wheels' and 'Junior's Farm'. It featured a rare guitar showcase for John Lennon, who commented wryly: "When Paul was feeling kindly he would give me a solo, and I played the solo on that." Though 'Get Back' was performed on the Apple rooftop on January 30, 1969, the single version was taped in the studio a couple of days earlier, issued as a single in April (after emergency last-minute remixes) and then chopped down for inclusion on the Let It Be LP in 1970.
DON'T LET ME DOWN
On the same day as 'Get Back', The Beatles recorded this gloriously spontaneous Lennon love song. For a brief moment, Lennon and McCartney were in perfect Synchronisation, both of them keen to escape from the studio trickery and multi-overdubbing of recent Beatles albums. McCartney soon returned to over-production, on Abbey Road, but Lennon adopted the 'live-in-the-studio' approach as his watchword for the next couple ofyears.
John and Yoko had a meeting at Ansbachers in the City to work out the complicated financing necessary for The Beatles' counter bid for Northern Songs.
The second part of George's interview with David Wigg was broadcast on BBC Radio 1's Scene And Heard.
John and Yoko arrived at Paul's house in Cavendish Avenue so that Paul could go over 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko' with John. Despite their business problems, the Lennon and McCartney songwriting partnership was always held in very high regard by both partners, and was a major source of income for both of them. Once the song was complete, they went over to nearby Abbey Road and recorded it, without the aid of the other Beatles (George was abroad and Ringo was filming). Paul played drums, bass, piano and percussion. John did lead vocals and lead guitar.
More meetings at Ansbachers. At one point Mr Ormrod had persuaded a number of City institutions who owned Northern Songs shares to go in with The Beatles in a deal that would have given The Beatles control but, with the papers all drawn up and waiting for John, Paul, George and Ringo's signature, John announced, "I'm not going to be fucked around by men in suits sitting on their fat arses in the City." The City businessmen decided that they would be better off siding with ATV.
Abbey Road. The group recorded George's 'Old Brown Shoe' and began work on his 'Something'.
BBC TV screened a special promo film for 'Get Back' on Top Of The Pops.
Abbey Road. George's 'Old Brown Shoe' completed and further work done on 'I Want You'.
The Beatles, advised by Henry Ansbacher, surprised the City by saying they were bidding for control of Northern Songs only, which caused Northern's share price to drop. Lew Grade announced that he was not considering raising his bid.
The press found out more details of The Beatles' offer and reported that it was being mounted by three Beatles companies: Apple Corps, Subafilms and John and Paul's Maclen (Music).
There was a massive row at Ansbacher's because Paul, on Eastman's advice, refused to commit his shares in Northern Songs as part of the collateral required for the loan from Ansbacher's to finance The Beatles' bid. Their offer amounted to £2.1 million of which Ansbacher was lending them about £1.2 million against collateral. John and Paul together could just about manage it, but Paul refused to put up his shares. John's shares in Northern Songs were worth about £1.1 million, Maclen Music was worth just over half a million and Subafilms - which owned rights to A Hard Day's Night, Help! and Yellow Submarine - was worth about £350,000. Allen Klein had to put in all his shares in MGM: 45,000 shares worth about £650,000. The Beatles were now in a position to finance their bid. Abbey Road. Work done on 'I Want You' and 'Oh! Darling'.
John and Yoko formed Bag Productions Limited. The company's affairs were managed by Lennon's assistant, Anthony Fawcett, who later wrote a book about his time with the Lennons. In the City, the Consortium declared its hand and staged a blocking operation.
In a short formal ceremony on the roof of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row, John changed his middle name from Winston to Ono by deed poll before Commissioner of Oaths Bueno de Mesquita. John: "Yoko changed her name for me, I've changed mine for her. One for both, both for each other. She has a ring, I have a ring. It gives us nine 'O's between us, which is good luck. Ten would not be good luck." Unfortunately for John, he technically became John Winston Ono Lennon (ten '0's) as one can never fully revoke a name given at birth.
Abbey Road. John and Yoko taped the heartbeats used on The Wedding Album.
Paul denied a rumour started by an American DJ that he was dead: "I'm as fit as a fiddle," he told Life reporters.
In a deal hammered out between Klein and Richenberg, NEMS surrendered its claim to 25 per cent of The Beatles royalties for the next nine years. Instead Triumph received £750,000 cash, 25 per cent of the royalties already frozen by EMI (over £300,000). Triumph received £50,000 for the 23 per cent that NEMS held in The Beatles' film company Subafilms and received 5 per cent of the gross record royalties from 1972 until 1976. This had been a sticking point but in the end Richenberg was satisfied because he knew that Klein would next turn his attention on EMI and obtain a substantial royalty rate increase. The Beatles also received an option on the 4.5 per cent of Northern Songs shares owned by NEMS, useful in the forthcoming battle for Northern Songs, and received 266,000 shares in Triumph in exchange for The Beatles' 10 per cent share in NEMS. Everyone was satisfied with the outcome.
On this same day, The Beatles offered 42s 6d per share for the 20 per cent of Northern Songs shares they needed to gain control. This would have cost them £2,100,000. They also said they would extend their contracts with Northern Songs for a further two years and would add other valuable assets to the company if they gained control. They added that they "would not be happy to continue, let alone renew, their existing contracts with Northern under the aegis of ATV".
BBCl's Top Of The Pops showed a clip of The Beatles singing 'Get Back' on the roof of the Apple building.
John and Yoko attended a showing of their film Rape at the Montreux Television Festival in Switzerland.
Abbey Road. Paul added a lead vocal to 'Oh! Darling' and work began on Ringo's 'Octopus's Garden'. Dr Richard Asher, Jane Asher's father, was found dead in his Wimpole Street home.
Abbey Road. John and Yoko made another recording of their heartbeats for use on The Wedding Album.
Abbey Road. Ringo added his lead vocal to 'Octopus's Garden'.
Abbey Road. New guitar added to 'Let It Be' and the rest of the session spent adding vocals and overdubs to 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)'.
The Beatles paid for quarter-page ads in four national newspapers, promising to extend their songwriting services to Northern Songs and saying they would not interfere in its management.
Abbey Road. A mixing session for 'Oh! Darling' and John and Yoko's heartbeat track 'John And Yoko'.
Abbey Road. The Beatles worked on George's 'Something'.
John and Yoko were interviewed earlier by Michael Wale at BBC's Lime Grove Studios for the BBC1 television arts programme How Late It Is, discussing their film Rape. It was broadcast that evening.
ATV claimed that they had support from shareholders holding 45 per cent of the Northern Songs shares and extended their offer until May 15.
John and Yoko bought a new home, a Georgian mansion in 72 acres of land called "Tittenhurst Park" in Sunninghill in Berkshire, once owned by the tycoon Peter Cadbury. It cost £145,000.
John and Yoko, Paul and Linda, joined Ringo and Maureen at Les Ambassadeurs club in London for a party hosted by Ringo and Peter Sellers to celebrate the completion of the UK filming of The Magic Christian. Other guests included Richard Harris, Sean Connery, Stanley Baker, Spike Milligan, George Peppard, Roger Moore and Christopher Lee.
Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes, London. New bass and guitar added to 'Something'.
The single 'Get Back'/'Don't Let Me Down' by The Beatles with Billy Preston was released in the US as Apple (Capitol) 2490.
John applied for his visitor's visa to the US, withdrawn after his recent drugs conviction, to be reinstated.
Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes, London. Work began on 'You Never Give Me Your Money', Paul's response to the financial problems at Apple.
Olympic Studios. The session was spent mixing and listening to playbacks. Earlier, the group met with EMI chief Sir Joseph Lockwood.
John: "A lot of the tracks will be like 'Get Back' and a lot of that we did in one-take kind of things. We've done about 12 tracks, some of them still to be mixed, and Paul and I are working on a kind of montage that we might do as one piece on one side. We've got two weeks to finish the whole thing, so we're really working at it."
John and Yoko were interviewed by David Wigg for the BBC Radio One programme Scene and Heard.
As part of Klein's draconian restructuring of Apple, he sacked Alistair Taylor, the general manager of Apple who had previously been Brian Epstein's personal assistant and who witnessed The Beatles first contract with Epstein. Taylor: "It was a hell bf a blow." Paul: "It is not possible to be nice about giving someone the sack."
John, George and Ringo signed a management contract with Allen Klein, in effect making him their manager. Paul held out.
Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes, London. The Beatles had a very stormy meeting in which Paul continued to hold out against the other three who wanted Allen Klein to manage them for a 20 per cent cut of their earnings. Paul thought 15 per cent would be sufficient ("We're a big act. He'll take 15 per cent"). When Paul refused to sign the relevant documents until he had consulted his lawyer, the others stormed out of the studio, cancelling the planned recording session.
Allen Klein's ABKCO Industries (Alien and Betty Klein Corporation) was duly appointed business manager of The Beatles' companies but Paul all along refused to sign the contract and remained opposed to Klein's involvement in Apple or The Beatles, preferring his own in-laws, The Eastmans. This dispute marked the effective end of The Beatles as a four-man force, despite the fact that they continued to work and record together for a further three months.
Paul stayed behind in the studio and after a long talk with Steve Miller, recorded 'My Dark Hour' with him, on which Paul played drums, bass and did backing vocals. He was credited on the record as "Paul Ramon".
BBC1's Top Of The Pops showed a clip of The Beatles singing 'Get Back' on the roof of the Apple building.
Zapple, Apple Records' new experimental and avant-garde label, was launched with the release of two experimental Beatles solo albums.
The album Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, written and produced by John and Yoko, was released in the UK as Zapple 01. Side One: 'Cambridge 1969 ('Song For John', 'Cambridge', 'Lets Go On Flying', 'Snow Is Falling All The Time', 'Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow')'; Side Two: 'No Bed For Beatle John', 'Baby's Heartbeat', 'Two Minutes Silence', 'Radio Play'.
The album Electronic Sound, performed and produced by George Harrison was released in the UK as Zapple 02. Side One: 'Under The Mersey Wall'; Side Two: 'No Time Or Space'.
The single 'I Fall Inside Your Eyes' by Jackie Lomax, produced by George Harrison, was released in the UK as Apple 11. (Side A, produced by Jackie Lomax and Mal Evans, featured Ringo on drums.)
John and Yoko's interview with David Wigg was transmitted by BBC Radio1's Scene And Heard programme.
George assisted at the session as former Cream bassist Jack Bruce recorded 'Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Tune'.
Paul was interviewed by Roy Corlett for BBC Radio Merseyside's Light And Local programme at his father's house, "Rembrandt", in Heswell, Cheshire.
BBCl's Top Of The Pops showed a clip of The Beatles singing 'Get Back' on the roof of the Apple building.
Ringo and Maureen, Peter Sellers and his wife, director Joe McGrath and producer Denis O'Dell and their wives were given a free trip to New York on the newly launched Queen Elizabeth II by Commonwealth United, the backers of The Magic Christian, as a reward for bringing in the film on time and under budget.
John and Yoko intended to travel with them but were prevented by the US immigration authorities, who refused to grant John a visitor's visa because of his November 28,1968 drug conviction.
Paul and Linda flew to Corfu for a holiday, having revealed that Linda was expecting a child later in the year.
BBC Radio Merseyside's Light And Local programme transmitted their interview with Paul.
The second part of John and Yoko's interview with David Wigg was broadcast by BBC Radio 1's Scene And Heard programme.
The album Is This What You Want? by Jackie Lomax and produced by George Harrison (except for the third track, 'New Day', with Ringo on drums, which was produced by Jackie Lomax and Mal Evans and replaced the third track, 'How Can You Say Goodbye', on the UK version) was released in the US as Apple ST 3354. All the tracks except the third were the same as the UK release.
LOSING NORTHERN SONGS
Lew Grade's ATV gained control of Northern Songs Limited after a long and bitter battle. John had become disillusioned by the terms of the deal worked out by Ormrod and the Consortium in which the new board would have three representatives from each side with David Platz as the MD. John said he didn't see why The Beatles should bother to take over a company and then be told that they couldn't do what they liked with it. He said that he would rather let Grade have it than be dictated to like this. The company would not have been theirs to play with, of course, since all they were buying was control, and other shareholders were nervous that Klein might finish up running it. The Consortium sided with ATV who got the majority they needed a mere 15 minutes before The Beatles' offer expired. ATV now controlled virtually all of John and Paul's songs, and all future songs until 1973. The Beatles finished up owing Ansbacher's £5,000 for their services.
John and George had a meeting at Ansbacher's.
Ringo, Maureen, Peter Sellers and company arrived in New York then flew to the Bahamas for a two-week holiday to celebrate the end of filming.
Hey Jude won the 1968 Ivor Novello Award for top selling British song, while John and Paul also received a special award to mark the popularity of Tool On The Hill'.
BBC1's Top Of The Pops showed a clip of The Beatles singing 'Get Back' on the roof of the Apple building.
It was announced that Dick James would continue as MD of Northern Songs and Charles Silver would remain chairman of the board. The Beatles were invited to nominate a board member but declined.
John and Yoko flew from London to the Bahamas to hold another bed-in for peace at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel. His choice of the Bahamas was not because Ringo was there, or the pleasant weather, but because it was just off the coast of the US and therefore the American press would be able to cover the event.
John and Yoko found that the Bahamas were further from the US than they thought, and that 86 degrees Fahrenheit was not the ideal temperature in which to spend a week in bed. They flew instead to Toronto. They were held at the airport for two and a half hours by the immigration authorities but were eventually allowed to enter the country where they spent the night in a Toronto motel.
The album Unfinished Music No.2: Life With The Lions performed, written and produced by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, was released in the US as Zapple ST 3357 with the same tracks as the UK release.
The album Electronic Sound, performed and produced by George Harrison was released in the US as Zapple ST 3358 with the same tracks as the UK release.
John and Yoko flew from Toronto to Montreal where they began an eight-day bed-in for peace in room 1742 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, handily located for the New York press corps.
Glyn Johns assembled a working version of the Get Back LP for the approval of The Beatles.
John: "We got an acetate each and we called each other and said, 'What do you think? Oh, let it out.' We were going to let it out in really shitty condition. I didn't care. I thought it was good to let it out and show people what had happened to us. 'This is where we're at now, we can't get it together, we don't play together anymore, leave us alone.' But that didn't happen."
John and Yoko were interviewed by phone over the air by radio station KSAN in San Francisco. They urged peace protestors in the city's People's Park to shun the use of violence.
Among their listeners were members of the psychedelic band Quicksilver Messenger Service, who immediately wrote to the Lennons: "The advice you gave was right on! Violence really does beget violence. It seems as though the issues of the Berkeley Campus over the years have helped make San Francisco the free place it is. But the way the People's Park issue is being handled is not too cool. I know your advice will save a lot of broken bones."
The single 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko'/'Old Brown Shoe' was released in the UK as Apple (Parlophone) R 5786.
THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO
"Standing in the dock at Southampton/Trying to get to Holland or France . . ." Songs should be like newspapers, John Lennon said in 1970, and 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko' was just that - a report from the front-line in the battle between, on the one side, the keen-to-be-married Lennons, and on the other, the forces of law and order who didn't want convicted drugs offenders staging bed-ins in their capital cities, thank you very much.
'Instant' was John Lennon's approach to art in 1969 and 1970: his dream was to write a song in the morning, record it that afternoon, mix it at night and have it in the shops by the end of the week. He finally achieved that aim with his own 'Instant Karma!' early in 1970; but 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko' ran it close, being recorded and fully mixed in less than nine hours.
Such was the haste with which the session was arranged that only Paul McCartney was able to meet the call. He played drums to John's acoustic guitar for the basic track, and the two Beatles then overdubbed two lead guitar parts (John), piano (Paul), bass (Paul), percussion (Paul and John) and finally their vocals. The first Beatles song to be mixed solely in stereo - the birth of a new era - also brought another era to an end. Though it was far from the last time Lennon and McCartney worked together in the studio, it was their last major artistic collaboration.
OLD BROWN SHOE
Even when John Lennon was available to play on a Harrison song, an increasingly infrequent event by 1969, his instrumental contribution wasn't used in the final mix - his rhythm guitar losing its place to George's Hammond organ part. Otherwise, George's rocker was a four-man effort, thrown together with seemingly haphazard enthusiasm to create a suitable off-the-cuff flipside for 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko'. Harrison even allowed himself one of his loudest guitar solos on record as a rare moment of self-indulgence.
Apple head of A&R, Peter Asher, resigned. He told the press: "When I joined Apple the idea was that it would be different from the other companies in the record business. Its policy was to help people and be generous. It didn't mean actually I had a tremendous amount of freedom; I was always in danger of one Beatle saying : 'Yes, that's a great idea, go ahead,' and then another coming in and saying he didn't know anything about it. But it did mean that it was a nice company to work for. Now that's all changed. There's a new concentrative policy from what I can see and it's lost a great deal of its original feeling."
John and Yoko's bed-in continued. John, Yoko and a roomful of visitors, including members of the Radha Krishna Temple, Allen Ginsberg, Phil Spector, Abbie Hoffman, rock writer Paul Williams, comedian Tommy Smothers and Timothy Leary, recorded the peace anthem 'Give Peace A Chance'.
George and Patti flew to Sardinia for a holiday.
The single 'A New Day'/'Thumbin' A Ride' by Jackie Lomax with Ringo on drums on side A, and side B produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the US as Apple 1807.
The last day of John and Yoko's bed-in ended in the afternoon when John and Yoko went to Ottawa for a university conference on peace. In the evening they flew back to London - a journey interrupted in Frankfurt, where the German immigration authorities briefly refused to allow the Lennons to change planes on their soil.
The single 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko'/'Old Brown Shoe' was released in the US as Apple (Capitol) 2531. Many radio stations refused to air 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko', complaining that its lyrics were "blasphemous".
John and Yoko pre-recorded an appearance for the US edition of The David Frost Show recorded with a studio audience at InterTel Studios, Wembley.
John: "We got a really fantastic movie out of making our next LP. It really is incredible - just the sweat and strain of four guys making an album. It's being pared down to about four hours. It could make a major movie."
Around this time, John announced that Yoko was again pregnant, and that regardless of its sex, the child would be named Amsterdam, in honour of the couple's recent bed-in.
The single 'My Dark Hour' by The Steve Miller Band with Paul McCartney (as Paul Ramon) on bass guitar, drums and backing vocals, was released in the US as Capitol 2520.
Paul and Linda returned from their holiday in Corfu.
Kenneth Tynan's musical play Oh! Calcutta! opened at the Eden Theater in New York. One of its scenes, a masturbation fantasy entitled 'Four In Hand', was credited in the programme as being based on an idea by John.
John and Yoko were interviewed about their peace campaign on Radio Luxembourg.
George and Patti returned from their holiday in Sardinia.
Ringo shot a scene near the National Film Theatre on the South Bank in which paper money was thrown into a huge tank full of slaughterhouse offal and manure.
Ringo and Maureen flew to the south of France for a holiday.
The single 'That's The Way God Planned It'/'What About You?' by Billy Preston and produced by George Harrison was released in the UK as Apple 12.
John, Yoko, Kyoko and John's son Julian began a motoring holiday in Scotland.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Paul added a new lead vocal to 'You Never Give Me Your Money'.
John and Yoko were involved in a car crash in Golspie, in the north of Scotland, when John let the car go out of control. They were taken to the Lawson Memorial Hospital where John had 17 stitches in a facial wound, Yoko 14 stitches and Kyoko four. John's son Julian was suffering from shock and they were all detained in hospital.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Paul recorded the 'Her Majesty' fragment which was to end Abbey Road. When George and Ringo arrived they all worked on 'Golden Slumbers'/'Carry That Weight'.
Cynthia Lennon arrived in Scotland to tell John what she thought of him and to take Julian back to London.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. More work done on 'Golden Slumbers'/'Carry That Weight'.
With John and Yoko still in hospital, Ringo and Maureen substituted for them at the launch party for The Plastic Ono Band's 'Give Peace A Chance' single at the Chelsea Town Hall, London.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. More work on 'Golden Slumbers'/'Carry That Weight'.
The single 'Give Peace A Chance' (Lennon & McCartney)/'Remember Love' (Yoko Ono) by The Plastic Ono Band and produced by John and Yoko was released in the UK as Apple 13.
John sent Apple's Derek Taylor a mock begging letter from his hospital bed, signed "Jack McCripple (ex-seamen) ".
Paul joined the crowd of more than 250,000 spectators watching The Rolling Stones' free concert in London's Hyde Park. Despite persistent rumours before the event, none of The Beatles joined The Stones on stage.
John and Yoko chartered a helicopter to transfer them to a private jet for the flight back to London. The helicopter left from the lawn of the Lawson Memorial Hospital with the staff waving goodbye. The smashed car was crushed into a cube and exhibited on the lawn of Tittenhurst Park.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. The three Beatles, John at home recovering from his car crash, worked on 'Here Comes The Sun'.
The single 'That's The Way God Planned It'/'How About You?' by Billy Preston and produced by George Harrison was released in the US as Apple 1808.
The single 'Give Peace A Chance'(Lennon & McCartney)/'Remember Love' (Ono) was released in the US as Apple 1809.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. More work on 'Here Comes The Sun'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. John arrived back in the studio and worked on Paul's 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'. Yoko, more seriously injured than John, accompanied him as usual. A double bed was delivered to the studio by Harrods and Yoko lay in it, a microphone suspended above her mouth in case she wanted to add her thoughts.
The first acetate copies of the Get Back album were sent out to potential reviewers in the UK.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Overdubs added to 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'.
John and Yoke's appearance on The David Frost Show, recorded on June 14th, was broadcast on US TV.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. More overdubs added to 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' (Ringo played anvil), and work done on 'Something' and You Never Give Me Your Money'.
Paul supervised a recording session with Mary Hopkin at Apple Studios. Sessions continued intermittently between Paul's Beatles commitments over the next two weeks.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. The vocals and chimes were overdubbed and added to 'You Never Give Me Your Money'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. More work on 'Here Comes The Sun' and 'Something'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Paul added his lead vocal to 'Oh! Darling' followed by all The Beatles working on Ringo's 'Octopus's Garden'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Paul had another try at the lead vocal to 'Oh! Darling' followed by Ringo's vocal on 'Octopus's Garden.'
The single 'My Dark Hour' by The Steve Miller Band, with Paul McCartney as Paul Ramon, was released in the UK as Capitol CL 15604.
The EP Wall's Ice Cream with 'Little Yellow Pills' by Jackie Lomax, produced by George Harrison, and 'Happiness Runs (Pebble And The Man)' by Mary Hopkin, produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the UK as Apple CT I, as an Apple special business promotion.
The single 'Penina' by Carlos Mendes, written by Paul, was released in Portugal as Parlophone QMSP 16459.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Work began on John's 'Come Together'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Paul had another try at the vocal on 'Oh! Darling' then the group worked on John's 'Come Together'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Rehearsals and recording of 'The End'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. First Paul cut a demo of 'Come And Get If for Apple band, the Iveys, soon to change their name to Badfinger. Then The Beatles recorded 'Sun King'/'Mean Mister Mustard'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. More work on 'Sun King'/'Mean Mr. Mustard' and 'Sun King'. Then they began work on John's 'Polythene Pam' and Paul's 'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window', recording them as one continuous number.
George gave a short radio interview to promote a forthcoming peace march in Hyde Park.
To the disappointment of the organisers, George failed to join Patti at the head of the Hyde Park peace march.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. More work on 'Polythene Pam'/'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Guitar was added to 'Come Together' and work done on 'Sun King'/'Mean Mr. Mustard'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. An overdub day working on 'Come Together', 'Polythene Pam'/'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window', 'You Never Give Me Your Money' and 'Golden Slumbers'/'Carry That Weight'. After this they worked on a trial order for the medley, and Paul rejected 'Her Majesty' from the set, asking the tape operator John Kurlander to edit it out and throw it away. EMI threw away nothing so he attached it to the end of the master tape on a long piece of leader tape. When an acetate was cut, the long gap, followed by 'Her Majesty' remained and Paul liked it that way, so it stayed.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. 'You Never Give Me Your Money' was completed and overdubs added to 'Golden Slumbers'/'Carry That Weight'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Work began on John's ballad 'Because'.
Ringo and Maureen, accompanied by Mal and Lil Evans, attended a concert at the London Palladium by country singer Hank Snow. After the show, Snow was photographed with Ringo backstage.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. The three part harmonies on 'Because' were recorded.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Paul put the loop tapes for the crossfade from 'You Never Give Me Your Money' to 'Sun King' onto four-track. 'Because' was completed by George playing the Moog synthesiser and vocals were added to 'The End'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. George added guitar to 'Here Comes The Sun' and Paul added synthesiser to 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Work on 'The End'. First vocals were added then a guitar track with Paul, George and John trading solos.
THE ABBEY ROAD SLEEVE
At 11.35am, with a policeman holding up the traffic, photographer lain Macmillan climbed up a stepladder in the middle of Abbey Road and shot the now famous photograph of The Beatles walking across the zebra crossing near the recording studio. It was a hot day so Paul was not wearing shoes. The cover had been Paul's idea - he drew a sketch of how he wanted the photograph to look - and when the transparencies were developed, he was the one who chose which shot to use.
Abbey Road sessions: After lunch, in the studio, new drums and bass were added to 'The End', work was done on 'I Want You' and Paul added lead guitar to 'Oh! Darling'.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Further work on 'I Want You', to which 'She's So Heavy' was added. More work was done on 'Oh! Darling' and 'Here Comes The Sun'. John and Yoko moved into their new mansion at Tittenhurst Park, Ascot.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Mixing session.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Mixing session.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Editing work done on the medley. John was interviewed at the studio by Kenny Everett for his BBC Radio 1 show Everett Is Here.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Orchestral overdubs were added to 'Golden Slumbers'/'Carry That Weight', 'The End', 'Something' and 'Here Comes The Sun'.
Paul produced Mary Hopkin's rendition of 'Que Sera Sera' as a possible future single.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Paul added piano to 'The End.'
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. 'Here Comes The Sun' and 'Something' were completed.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. John's 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' was completed, with its abrupt ending, made by literally cutting the tape. After this The Beatles listened to the tracks in the proposed running order for the album. This was the last time that all four Beatles were together in Abbey Road.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. A mixing and editing session.
Apple Corps' first annual general meeting was held at 3 Savile Row with all four Beatles in attendance.
Adagrose Ltd. changed its name to McCartney Productions Limited.
The Beatles posed together for a photo session in the grounds of Tittenhurst Park. It was the last ever Beatles photo shoot, and their last appearance together at any Beatles event.
The single 'Hare Krishna Mantra'/'Prayer To The Spiritual Masters' by Radha Krishna Temple, produced by George Harrison, was released in the US as Apple 1810.
The album That's The Way God Planned It by Billy Preston and produced by George Harrison was released in the UK as Apple SAPCOR 9.
Abbey Road. Abbey Road sessions. Final editing on tracks for the medley.
George and Mal Evans drove to Portsmouth to meet Bob Dylan, who had arrived in the UK for his headlining appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival.
As part of the deal struck on April 24, The Beatles sold Triumph their shares in NEMS Enterprises Limited.
Paul and Linda's daughter Mary was born at Avenue Clinic, London.
George and several bus loads of journalists attended the Apple press launch of the Radha Krishna Temple's first recording 'Hare Krishna Mantra', in the gardens of a large country house in Sydenham, south London. Indian food was served but no alcohol.
After this event, the Harrisons drove back to Portsmouth, and then caught the ferry to the Isle of Wight, to spend more time with Bob Dylan and his family.
The single 'Hare Krishna Mantra'/'Prayer To The Spiritual Masters' by Radha Krishna Temple and produced by George Harrison was released in the UK as Apple 15.
The album Songs For A Tailor by Jack Bruce and featuring George Harrison (as L'Angelo Misterioso) on track one, 'Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Time' was released in the UK as Polydor 583-058.
Ringo and Maureen, John and Yoko travelled to the Isle of Wight for the next day's Dylan concert.
All The Beatles, except Paul, saw Bob Dylan & The Band headline at the Isle of Wight outdoor festival.
After the Isle of Wight festival, Bob Dylan returned to Tittenhurst Park with John and Yoko but refused to join in a recording session.
John and George resigned as directors of Hayling Supermarkets Limited.
Ringo was taken to the Middlesex Hospital, central London, suffering from an intestinal complaint and kept in for observation.
The album That's The Way God Planned It by Billy Preston and produced by George Harrison was released in the US as Apple ST 3359 with the same tracks as the UK release.
The Institute of Contemporary Arts held an evening of John and Yoko's avant-garde films, including the premiere of Self Portrait (an entertaining study of John's penis in the process of becoming erect). Also screened were Rape John And Yoko's Honeymoon, Two Virgins, Smile and Folding. John and Yoko sent a couple to sit in a white bag on stage beneath the screen throughout the screening, thought by many people to be the Lennons themselves. The event was billed thus: "John and Yoko's evening of film events will end towards midnight. It will happen once. It will be what they want it to be."
Around this time, John and Yoko produced another film, Apotheosis, capturing the ascent of a helium-filled balloon. A follow-up, logically entitled Apotheosis 2, was filmed later in the year.
John visited Abbey Road to remove the master tape of The Beatles' 'What's The New Mary Jane', with the intention of releasing it as a solo single.
Later that day, during a meeting at Apple, John informed Allen Klein that he was quitting The Beatles.
Rock promoter John Brower telephoned John and Yoko to invite them to attend the Toronto Rock'n'Roll Revival concert the next day to hear Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis, offering eight first-class tickets for them and six friends. John immediately agreed provided he and his band could play live. The astonished promoter accepted at once and, since John had no band - The Beatles had not played live in three years - he had to form one quick. He summoned together Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and session drummer Alan White. Mal Evans was informed that he was handling the gear. Brower dealt with visas and immigration, still unable to believe that he had attracted a Beatle to his festival.
PLASTIC ONO BAND LIVE IN TORONTO
John woke up and wanted to back out of the Toronto concert but Clapton said he was keen to play. John just made the plane and during the flight he made a half-hearted attempt to rehearse a few songs with The Plastic Ono Band, as he dubbed them. Meanwhile the Canadian radio stations were going wild and there were several hundred fans waiting at the airport, reminiscent of the old days.
They hastily rehearsed a few songs and before going on stage at the Varsity Stadium of Toronto University, John was so nervous he threw up. The Plastic Ono Band stuck to classics: 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'Money', 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy', 'Yer Blues', 'Cold Turkey' and 'Give Peace A Chance'.
John: "The ridiculous thing was that I didn't know any of the lyrics. When we did 'Money' and 'Dizzy' I just made up the words as I went along. The band was bashing it out like hell behind me. Yoko came up on stage with us, but she wasn't going to do her bit until we'd done our five songs. Then after 'Money' there was a stop, and I turned to Eric and said 'What's next?' He just shrugged, so I screamed 'C'mon!' and started into something else. We did 'Yer Blues' because I've done that with Eric before. It blew our minds. Meanwhile Yoko had whipped offstage to get some lyrics out of her white bag. Then we went into 'Give Peace A Chance' which was just unbelievable. I was making up the words as we went along. I didn't have a clue."
Backstage, John met several of his 1950s rock heroes, including Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent, who clung drunkenly to his arm, saying: "Remember the old days, John?"
Maclen (Music) Limited instigated legal proceedings against Northern Songs Limited requesting a re-audit of royalty statements from February 11,1965 onwards. This was an area that Klein specialised in, and nearly always came up trumps.
The single 'Que Sera Sera'/'Fields Of St Etienne' by Mary Hopkin and produced by Paul McCartney was released in France as Apple 16.
Paul was interviewed by David Wigg for the BBC Radio 1 Scene And Heard programme.
BBC2's Late Night Line-Up previewed the entire Abbey Road album. Lew Grade's ATV bought sufficient shares in Northern Songs from the Consortium to give it just under 50 per cent. The Beatles had lost control of their publishing but Klein and Grade got on extremely well and got together to work out a new deal to bring The Beatles back into the Northern Songs stable. ATV would buy all their Northern Songs shares in exchange for stock and cash - so they would have stock in ATV, which controlled their songs. They would re-sign as songwriters until 1976. Maclen would be sold back to John and Paul and Apple would get the lucrative sub-publishing rights for the US. It was a very good deal but because The Eastmans would have nothing to do with Klein, it too fell through.
Allen Klein negotiated a tough new contract for The Beatles with EMI/Capitol giving them an increased royalty rate. Though their contract was not due to expire until 1976, the group had virtually fulfilled the minimum provision of five long-playing records and five singles and so Klein was in a strong bargaining position.
Their previous deal with Capitol was already very good: 17.5 per cent of wholesale in the US, but Klein managed to get them 25 per cent. Paul gave credit where it was due and signed the contract along with Ringo and John. George was in Cheshire visiting his sick mother but he returned a few days later and added his signature.
At the meeting John and Yoko made Klein the business manager of their company, Bag Productions.
John also used the meeting to finally tell the other Beatles that he was leaving the group:
John: "I said to Paul, 'I'm leaving.' I knew on the flight over to Toronto or before we went to Toronto: I told Alien I was leaving, I told Eric Clapton and Klaus that I was leaving then, but that I would probably like to use them as a group. I hadn't decided how to do it - to have a permanent new group or what - then later on, I thought fuck, I'm not going to get stuck with another set of people, whoever they are.
"I announced it to myself and the people around me on the way to Toronto a few days before. And on the plane - Klein came with me - I told Alien, 'It's all over.' When I got back, there were a few meetings, and Alien said well, cool it, cool it, there was a lot to do, business-wise you know, and it would not have been suitable at the time.
"Then we were discussing something in the office with Paul, and Paul said something or other about The Beatles doing something, and I kept saying, 'No, no, no,' to everything he said. So it came to a point where I had to say something, of course, and Paul said, 'What do you mean?'
"I said, 'I mean the group is over, I'm leaving.' Alien was saying don't tell. He didn't want me to tell Paul even. So I said, 'Ifs out.' I couldn't stop it, it came out. Paul and Alien both said that they were glad that I wasn't going to announce it, that I wasn't going to make an event out of it. I don't know whether Paul said don't tell anybody, but he was darned pleased that I wasn't going to. He said, 'Oh, that means nothing's really happened if you're not going to say anything.'
"So that's what happened. So, like anybody when you say divorce, their face goes all sorts of colours. Ifs like he knew really that this was the final thing;
and six months later he comes out with whatever. I was a fool not to do it, not to do what Paul did, which was use it to sell a record."
Kenny Everett's BBC Radio 1 show Everett Is Here broadcast the first part of its interview with John.
The first part of David Wigg's interview with Paul for the BBC Radio 1 Scene And Heard programme was broadcast.
The single 'Badge' by Cream and written by George Harrison and Eric Clapton was reissued in the UK (Polydor 2058-285).
Abbey Road. John and Yoko supervised stereo mixes of their Toronto concert for release: 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'Money (That's What I Want)', 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy', Yer Blues', 'Cold Turkey', 'Give Peace A Chance', 'Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)' and 'John, John (Let's Hope For Peace)'.
John and Yoko attended a lunch time press reception at Apple Studios for the launch of Trash's new single 'Golden Slumbers', a Lennon & McCartney song taken trom Abbey Road.
Afterwards John and Yoko, with The Plastic Ono Band John on guitar and vocals, Yoko on whatever, Eric Clapton on guitar, Klaus Voormann on bass and Ringo on drums) returned to Abbey Road where they recorded 'Cold Turkey'. John had originally offered the song to The Beatles, but Paul had turned it down.
The album Abbey Road was released in the UK as Apple (Parlophone) PCS 7088 (stereo only). Side A: 'Come Together', 'Something', 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer', 'Oh! Darling', 'Octopus's Garden', 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)'; Side B: 'Here Comes The Sun', 'Because', 'You Never Give Me Your Money', 'Sun King'/'Mean Mr. Mustard', 'Polythene Pam'/'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window', 'Golden Slumbers'/'Carry That Weight', 'The End', 'Her Majesty'.
Radio Luxembourg broadcast an interview with Ringo by Kid Jensen, talking about Abbey Road.
The Beatles finished work on The White Album in October 1968. It was released in November, followed in January 1969 by the Yellow Submarine soundtrack LP. That month. The Beatles also recorded what eventually became the Let It Be LP. And three weeks after the end of the basic sessions for that record, the group began work on another new album.
Within the space of a year, then. The Beatles recorded or released around 60 new songs. So you'd expect the last of these albums to suffer in the songwriting stakes. Abbey Road may have its throwaways, especially in the lengthy medley on the original second side of the LP, but many fans regard it as the best album The Beatles ever made. It's also their best selling album.
That isn't a view that John Lennon would have backed, though. He regarded the album as contrived, a deliberate repair-job on The Beatles* image after the disastrous Let It Be sessions. Producer George Martin had a more balanced view of Abbey Road: "That whole album was a compromise. One side was a whole series of titles which John preferred and the other side was a programme Paul and I preferred. I had been trying to get them to think in symphonic terms and think of the entire shape of the album and getting some form to it -symphonic things like bringing songs back in counterpoint to other songs, actually shaped things. And I think if we had gone on making records, that was the way I would have done it. But we were already breaking up. Abbey Road was the death knell."
Martin's admission that he sided with Paul's concept for the record rather than John's is a tacit admission that the trio's working relationship had become irretrievably fragile. Lennon's response was virtually to withdraw from the sessions. Abbey Road is very much a McCartney album, with strong cameos from George Harrison: Lennon's material either sat uneasily alongside the rest of the songs, or else was little more than hackwork.
And yet: The Beatles never played or sang together more brilliantly than they did on Abbey Road. In particular, the much-maligned Side Two medley -assembled from a collection of vignettes - is instrumentally tighter than anything they'd cut since Revolver. And never had The Beades' harmony vocals been more inventive, or stunningly precise, than on this record. Countless times on the album there are moments of pure beauty, proof that art can sometimes force its way to the surface almost against the wishes of its creators.
During the Lennons' Toronto bed-in in May 1969, one visitor to their humble hotel room was Timothy Leary, LSD guru and would-be liberator of the world's collective mind. Leary had decided to run for Congress, or the Senate, or anywhere that would have him, and had decided on a campaign slogan: 'Come together'. Knowing Lennon to have been a keen user of his favourite drug, Leary commissioned John to write a song ofthat title, which his followers could sing on the campaign trail.
Lennon did as he was asked, and came up with a banal ditty along the lines of "Come together and join the party". Then Leary went to jail. Lennon reckoned his obligations had now expired, and used the "come together" idea for himself. Instead of a political anthem, 'Come Together' became a celebration of marital sex, with verses that free-associated Chuck Berry style. (In fact, Lennon borrowed a little too blatantly from Berry's 'You Can't Catch Me', sparking a legal dispute that was still affecting his career six years later.)
In the studio, Lennon prefaced the song with a whispered refrain of "shoot" - which gained an unwelcome dose of irony 11 years later. The Beatles' version never quite caught fire, however, and Lennon remained fonder of the live remake he taped in 1972 at Madison Square Garden.
What Frank Sinatra called "the greatest love song ever written", and he'd sung a few in his time, began life in 1968, when George Harrison listened to a track on one of the first batch of Apple Records LPs. The track in question was James Taylor's 'Something In The Way She Moves', and Harrison soon built a song around the phrase - little realising that it would become his best-known and most lucrative composition.
After recording a solo demo of 'Something' in February 1969, Harrison brought it to the Abbey Road sessions in April. An initial attempt to cut the backing track was rejected; so the band, plus Billy Preston, regrouped early in May. At that point, the track lasted nearly eight minutes, ending in a rather low-key instrumental jam which was subsequently edited out of the mix. Sporadically over the next two months, Harrison added to the basic track, the final session featuring overdubs from 21 string players.
As he did later with 'My Sweet Lord' and 'All Things Must Pass', George had already given one of his best songs away to a friend by the time he recorded it himself. The recipient this time was Joe Cocker, though luckily for The Beatles his version appeared only after theirs. The Beatles' rendition, meanwhile, went on to become the first UK single pulled from one of their previously released albums, plus Harrison's first Beatles A-side.
The song reached a wider currency via Sinatra's regular performances. Tailoring the lyric to his own needs, Ol' Blue Eyes rewrote part of the middle section: "You stick around, Jack, she might show". Amused by this bastardisation of his work, George retained Sinatra's phrasing when he performed the song live in the early Nineties.
MAXWELL'S SILVER HAMMER
To judge from the general level of enthusiasm on display when the song is performed in the Let It Be movie, no one had much time for 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' apart from its composer, Paul McCartney. A novelty song about a serial killer, it was distinguished by its blatant commercial appeal, and for its subtle use of a prototype Moog synthesiser by Paul.
To his dying day, John Lennon resented the fact that Paul McCartney didn't ask him to sing the throat-shredding lead vocal on this Fifties-styled rocker. At session aftersession, in fact, McCartney would arrive early to attempt a take before his voice lost its flexibility. Eventually he nailed it, completing a performance that later inspired a 'tribute' of sorts, in the shape of 10cc's 'Oh Donna'.
As seen in the Let It Be movie, Ringo Starr arrived at the Apple Studios one day with the idea for a song. George Harrison turned it into one, rewriting the chord sequence, and suggesting ways in which the melody could be improved. With no egos at stake when a Ringo song was on the menu, The Beatles lent themselves wholeheartedly to the playful spirit of the song. Ringo revived memories of 'Yellow Submarine' with some suitably aquatic sound effects.
I WANT YOU (SHE'S SO HEAVY)
The first of the Abbey Road songs to be started was one of the last to be finished - and also the only Lennon composition on the album that sounded as if it came from the heart. Deliberately unpoetic, it was a simple cry of love for Yoko Ono, with a bluesy verse (based around the rhythm of the mid-Sixties Mel Torme hit, 'Coming Home Baby') locked to a relentless, multi-overdub guitar riff, concocted by Lennon and Harrison.
Besides the relentless plod of the guitar battalions, the closing minutes of the track resounded to the hiss and moan of the Moog synthesiser, adding an unearthly menace to what began as a simple song of love and lust.
HERE COMES THE SUN
Faced with a day of business meetings at Apple, George Harrison repaired to Eric Clapton's garden, where he wrote this beautiful song around some simple variations on a D-chord. Another instant classic to set alongside 'Something', it revealed Harrison as the dark horse of the group, rapidly rivalling his more prestigious bandmates. Once again, some delicate Moog touches enhanced the final mix.
Though John Lennon later nailed this track as "a terrible arrangement", most fans regard it as one of the highlights of Abbey Road - both for the beauty of its lyrics (a pantheistic vision that was closer to romantic poetry than acid-inspired fantasy) and for the stunning three-part harmonies of Harrison, Lennon and McCartney. Lennon wrote the song around a piano riff he found when he asked Yoko to play Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata' -backwards.
YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY
"Abbey Road was really unfinished songs all stuck together," complained John Lennon in 1980. "Everybody praises the album so much, but none of the songs had anything to do with each other, no thread at all, only the fact that we stuck them together. "
That's true, but it ignores the fact that the medley - which began with this song, and climaxed some fifteen minutes later with 'The End' - was great pop music, with a cascade of hooks, mini-choruses and themes interlocking to produce a tapestry of melody and sound.
'You Never Give Me Your Money' is the strongest of the medley songs. It began life as an ironic comment on The Beatles' business disputes, and achieved the same oblique lyrical significance as McCartney's best songs on Pepper. Within four minutes, it moves through five distinct sections without once appearing contrived.
'Sun King' revamped the guitar picking technique Lennon had used on 'Julia' the previous year, matched with the vocal harmonies of 'Because', The song was a complete throwaway -most of the lyrics were mock-Spanish gobbledegook - but it sounded wonderful.
MEAN MR. MUSTARD
Originally up for consideration for The White Album, 'Mean Mr. Mustard' was a Lennon fantasy which he'd based around a newspaper story about a notorious miser. Though it has an entirely different feel to 'Sun King', the two songs were recorded together as one musical piece, under the working title of'Here Comes The Sun-King'.
Demonstrating that the medley was planned from the start, 'Polythene Pam' and 'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window' were also recorded as one. 'Polythene Pam', showing off John Lennon's best Scouser accent, was based loosely around a character he'd met in a near-orgy the previous year. It led seamlessly into . . .
SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW
Like its companion piece, 'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window' was loosely autobiographical - the spur this time being an attempted robbery at Paul McCartney's house, in which a fan had climbed in through aforesaid window in search of first-hand souvenirs. And like 'Something', a cover of this song ended up on Joe Cocker's second album, part of The Beatles' thank-you for Cocker's remarkable interpretation of "With A Little Help From My Friends'.
Thomas Dekker's 17th century lullaby took musical shape in Paul McCartney's hand, with one of those melodies that was entirely original but sounded on first hearing as if you'd known it your entire life. Once again, the song was recorded from the start as part of a medley with...
CARRY THAT WEIGHT
Another McCartney composition, this reprised some of the lyrical and musical themes of 'You Never Give Me Your Money', and featured mass vocals from McCartney, Harrison and Starr. Lennon missed the sessions for this song, being otherwise detained in a Scottish hospital after a car crash.
'Carry That Weight' sounds as if it had been taped at the same time as 'The End', but the latter was actually inserted over the fade-out of 'Carry That Weight' as an entirely separate recording. It features two lines of vocals, the second of which became something of a valediction to The Beatles: "And in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take". There was Ringo's one and only drum solo on record, and a lengthy guitar section which featured interplay between Harrison, Lennon and McCartney. An orchestra was added to the final seconds of the song - all part of the extravaganza which provided a fitting finale to The Beatles' longest and most carefully structured suite of songs.
It wasn't quite 'The End', though. At the close of a tape carrying a rough mix of the second side of the album, engineer John Kurlander inserted a brief 20-second ditty which had originally been meant to appear between 'Mean Mr. Mustard' and 'Polythene Pam', until Paul McCartney decided he wanted it removed. When another engineer, Malcolm Dames, cut an acetate of the side, he assumed 'Her Majesty' was meant to be the final track. Paul liked the surprise element of including the song on the album - even though it began with the final chord of 'Mean Mr Mustard', while its own final chord was missing, hidden beneath the opening flurry of 'Polythene Pam'. Just as the chaos of 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) ' brought The Beatles' singles career to a tongue-in-cheek close, 'Her Majesty' prevented anyone from claiming that the group's lengthy Abbey Road medley was a sign of pomposity.
Kenny Everett's BBC Radio 1 show Everett Is Here broadcast the second part of its interview with John. An interview with John by Kid Jensen was broadcast on Radio Luxembourg.
Trident Studios, Soho. The Plastic Ono Band, with the same line-up as on September 25, re-cut 'Cold Turkey'.
The second part of David Wigg's interview with Paul for the BBC Radio 1 Scene And Heard programme was broadcast.
Abbey Road. John supervised the mixing of 'Cold Turkey'.
The album Abbey Road was released in the US as Apple (Capitol) SO 383 (stereo only), with the same tracks as the UK release.
The release of the album coincided with a US media frenzy inspired by the rumour that Paul had died in 1966, and had since been replaced by a lookalike imposter, one 'William Campbell'. The more vehemently Apple denied the story, the more it was believed by gullible fans. The net result was to ensure that Abbey Road sold more quickly than any album since the height of Beatlemania in 1964.
John watched on TV as demonstrators at the Vietnam Moratorium Day in New York chanted his song 'Give Peace A Chance' - the first time the song had been co-opted as a peace anthem.
Lansdowne Studios, London. A studio version of Yoko's 'Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)' was recorded by The Plastic Ono Band as the B-side of 'Cold Turkey'.
Abbey Road. Overdubs put on The Plastic Ono Band's 'Cold Turkey'.
The single 'Something'/'Come Together' was released in the US as Apple (Capitol) 2654.
The album Songs For A Tailor by Jack Bruce, featuring George Harrison as L'Angelo Misterioso on 'Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Time', was released in the US as ATCO SD-306.
George recorded an interview with David Wigg at Apple for the BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard.
Yoko was taken to King's College Hospital, London, on John's 29th birthday, for emergency blood transfusions when it seemed she might lose another baby. John stayed at her bedside throughout. She and John had not long gone through a cold turkey withdrawal from heroin addiction.
After four days in hospital, with John still at her side, Yoko miscarried her expected baby.
The first part of David Wigg's interview with George for the BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard was broadcast.
Paul and Linda, Ringo and Maureen attended the opening night of Mary Hopkin's cabaret season at the Savoy Hotel, London.
Ringo and Maureen flew from London to Los Angeles.
John and Yoko set out on a brief Mediterranean cruise with "Magic" Alex Mardas, to reinforce their decision to quit heroin, and to allow Yoko to recuperate after her miscarriage.
The single 'Everything's All Right' by Billy Preston and produced by George Harrison was released in the UK as Apple 19.
The second part of David Wigg's interview with George for the BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard was broadcast.
John and Yoko returned to London after their cruise.
Abbey Road. John and Yoko did a new mix of the tapes of the Toronto Plastic Ono Band concert.
The single 'Cold Turkey' (Lennon)/'Mummy's Only Looking For A Hand In The Snow' (Ono) by The Plastic Ono Band and produced by John and Yoko was released in the US as Apple 1813.
The album Wedding Album by John Ono Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon, written and produced by John and Yoko, was released in the US as Apple SMAX 3361. Side One:
John And Yoko; Side Two: Amsterdam.
George attended a Ravi Shankar concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
John was interviewed by David Wigg for the BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard.
Paul and Linda went to Paul's farm in Scotland.
Ringo and Maureen returned home to London from LA.
Paul was interviewed on his Scottish farm by BBC journalist Chris Drake who had travelled to Scotland, determined to put an end to the absurd "Paul is dead" rumours coming from the States.
The single 'Everything's All Right' by Billy Preston and produced by George Harrison was released in the US as Apple 1814.
The single 'Cold Turkey' (Lennon)/'Mummy's Only Looking For A Hand In The Snow' (Ono) by The Plastic Ono Band and produced by John and Yoko was released in the UK as Apple 1001.
John's interview with David Wigg for the BBC Radio 1 programme Scene And Heard was broadcast.
Part of Chris Drake's interview with Paul was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend.
Abbey Road. Ringo began work on Sentimental Journey which, discounting John and Yoko's experimental work, made him the first Beatle to produce a solo album. Ringo and a 17-piece orchestra recorded 'Night And Day'.
Part of Chris Drake's interview with Paul was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's The World At One.
Another extract from Chris Drake's interview with Paul was broadcast on BBC Radio 2's Late Night Extra.
Contractors began work installing a recording studio at Tittenhurst Park for John and Yoko.
The single 'Something'/'Come Together' was released in the UK as Apple (Parlophone) R 5814.
George was reported to have recorded with Eric Clapton, Ric Grech and Denny Laine at Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes, London.
Journalist and documentary film-maker Tony Palmer was commissioned by John and Yoko to write their authorised biography but given only six days to do it. He knocked out 75,000 words and met the deadline, only to be told that they had changed their mind and no longer wanted the book.
Early in the month, John and Yoko took a Mediterranean cruise with "Magic" Alex, intending to free themselves completely from heroin use - the probable cause of Yoko's miscarriages.
The ICA screened another evening of John and Yoko's experimental films. The couple did not attend.
Abbey Road. Ringo's Sentimental Journey sessions. Ringo recorded Lena Home's 'Stormy Weather' with an 18-piece orchestra. It was not included on the final album.
Abbey Road. Ringo's Sentimental Journey sessions. Orchestral tracks were recorded for 'Stardust'. (Paul was credited on the sleeve for the arrangement.)
The album Wedding Album by John Ono Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon, written and produced by John and Yoko, was released in the UK as Apple SAPCOR 11 with the same tracks as the US release.
A third programme of John and Yoko's short films was presented at the ICA, once again in their absence.
Back in 1966, John bought Dorinish, an uninhabited island off the coast of county Mayo, Ireland, which he only visited once, on a week-long acid trip. Now he offered free use of it to hippies wishing to establish a commune.
Abbey Road. Ringo's Sentimental Journey sessions. Ringo added his vocal to 'Stardust' and began work on 'Dream'.
Melody Maker journalist Richard Williams mistakenly reviewed all four sides of the advance pressing he had been sent of John and Yoko's latest experimental offering, The Wedding Album. In fact it was a double album and the other two sides consisted of studio EQ test tones. Richard found the infinitesimal variances in pitch of sides two and four interesting.
John returned his MBE to the Queen. It was delivered by his chauffeur in the morning. He attached the following note:
I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria - Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against 'Cold Turkey' slipping down the charts.
John was interviewed by David Bellan from BBC Radio 4. As with the original award of The Beatles' MBEs in 1965, his decision to send back his medal evoked a storm of protest from his fellow award-holders.
Abbey Road. John and Yoko supervised the remix of 'What's The New Mary Jane' and 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)' for release as a Plastic Ono Band single because it seemed that The Beatles were not going to release them.
John's interview with David Bellan was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Abbey Road. Ringo's Sentimental Journey sessions. Ringo recorded 'Blue Turning Grey Over You'.
Apple announced the December 5 release of 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) ' by The Plastic Ono Band. It was quickly withdrawn, possibly because it was one of Paul's favourite Beatles tracks and he wanted it out under their name. It finally appeared as the B-side of 'Let It Be' in March 1970.
Ringo was filmed in various London locations talking with Tony Bilbow for a full-length BBC2 documentary on him for an edition of Late Night Line-Up to be broadcast on the day of the world premiere of Ringo's new film, The Magic Christian.
John and Yoko, moved by the persecution of gypsies, offered to buy a 32-foot caravan for use as a school for gypsy children at an unofficial site in Caddington, Bedfordshire.
The 77th and last issue of The Beatles Book monthly magazine was published. Publisher Sean O'Mahony had decided to fold the magazine because it was obvious that there was little likelihood of The Beatles resuming an active musical career. He used the occasion of his final editorial to lambast the group for the way in which they had encouraged drug experimentation among young people. (The Beatles Book was revived in May 1976 and passed issue 250 in 1997.)
George and Patti, Ringo and Maureen went to the first night of the Delaney & Bonnie & Friends tour which opened at the Royal Albert Hall, London. George enjoyed the show so much that he decided to join the tour and played two sets each night with them, standing unobtrusively at the back of the stage.
John was interviewed by anthropologist Desmond Morris, best known for his BBC Children's Television programme Zoo Time, for a programme called Man Of The Decade. ATV had asked Alistair Cooke, Mary McCarthy and Morris to choose the Man of the Decade. Cooke chose JFK, McCarthy chose Ho Chi Minh and Morris went for John. The 20-minute section devoted to John also used archive footage, chosen by John.
The same day, BBC1 began filming John and Yoko - including him being filmed by ATV - for their own The World of John and Yoko documentary for the 24 Hours series, presented by David Dimbleby.
George joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on stage at the Colston Hall, Bristol.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber asked John if he would play the role of Christ in the new musical they had written called Jesus Christ, Superstar.
BBC1 filmed John and Yoko for The World of John and Yoko.
John was interviewed by American journalist Gloria Emerson. They argued furiously when she questioned his sincerity. BBC Radio 2 broadcast a heavily censored version of the result two weeks later.
George joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on stage at the Town Hall, Birmingham.
Abbey Road. Ringo's Sentimental Journey sessions. Ringo and a 17-piece orchestra completed 'Blue Turning Grey Over You'.
Abbey Road. John and Yoko, Mal Evans, Eddie Klein, Anthony Fawcett, Geoff Emerick and many others recorded two experimental tapes. The first was a track on which everyone laughed uproariously and shouted out things which was later given a percussion and chanting backing track. In the second all the participants approached the microphone and whispered a message. John and Yoko announced that this would be the fourth in the series Two Virgins, Life With The Lions and The Wedding Album but it was never released. BBC1 filmed the entire thing for The World of John and Yoko.
George joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on stage at City Hall, Sheffield.
BBC1 filmed John and Yoko for The World of John and Yoko in the snow-covered Suffolk countryside, where they were filming their second balloon movie, Apotheosis 2. John and Yoko, and the BBC 24 Hours film crew spent the night at The Bull in Long Melford, Suffolk.
George joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on the stage at the City Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
The single 'Come And Get It' by Badfinger, written and produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the US as Apple 1815.
The three stars of The Magic Christian - Ringo, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan -appeared together on Frost On Saturday to plug the film. The programme was taped earlier that day at the London Weekend Television studios in Wembley.
The BBC1 crew finished their filming for The World of John and Yoko with some footage of John and Yoko in their hotel room at The Bull in Long Melford.
George joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on stage at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool.
John and Yoko appeared on BBC1's religious programme The Question Why, in a debate chaired by Malcolm Muggeridge. It was broadcast live from the BBC's Lime Grove Studios.
George joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on the stage at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon, for the final night of their tour. Both sets were recorded and released in May 1970 as the live album Delaney & Bonnie On Tour With Eric Clapton.
Abbey Road. A new vocal track for Ringo's 'Octopus's Garden' was recorded so that he could mime it on George Martin's With A Little Help From My Friends television show without the Musicians' Union knowing.
John and Yoko announced through Apple that they intended to make a film about James Hanratty who was hanged for murder. It was described as a gesture of support for Hanratty's parents' campaign to prove their son's innocence. Apple said that the Lennons' film would reveal new evidence to prove his innocence. John: "We spent many hours with the parents. They convinced us that there was a miscarriage of justice without a shadow of a doubt." (The film, called Hanratty, financed by John and Yoko, was shown only once, in London.)
Ringo and Maureen, accompanied by John and Yoko, attended the royal world premiere of The Magic Christian at the Odeon Cinema, Kensington, London. John and Yoko startled the queues outside by slowly marching past them carrying a banner proclaiming "Britain Murdered Hanratty".
BBC2's arts programme, Late Night Line-Up - this edition just called Line-Up -broadcast their full-length documentary on Ringo.
George appeared with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends for all three nights of their residence at the Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark.
George appeared with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends for their second night at the Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark.
George appeared with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends for the final night at the Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark.
The album The Plastic Ono Band - Live Peace In Toronto by The Plastic Ono Band, produced by John and Yoko, was released in the UK as Apple CORE 2001. Side One: 'Introduction Of The Band', 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'Money (That's What I Want)', 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy', 'Yer Blues', 'Cold Turkey', 'Give Peace A Chance'; Side Two: 'Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)', John, John (Let's Hope For Peace)'.
The album The Plastic Ono Band - Live Peace In Toronto by The Plastic Ono Band was released in the US as Apple SW 3362 with the same tracks as the UK release.
The album No One's Gonna Change Our World by various artists with the first track 'Across The Universe' by The Beatles was released in the UK as EMI Star Line SRS 5013.
Ringo taped his contribution to George Martin's With A Little Help From My Friends spectacular, alongside The Hollies, Dudley Moore, Lulu, Spike Milligan and the 40-piece George Martin Orchestra at the Talk Of The Town near Leicester Square.
A white bag, labelled "A Silent Protest For James Hanratty" containing two wriggling occupants - possibly John and Yoko but more likely not - was delivered to Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London where Hanratty's father called for a public enquiry into his son's murder conviction. Later that day a petition was handed in at 10 Downing Street.
Ringo taped a two-minute appeal on behalf of the British Wireless for the Blind Fund, to be broadcast by the BBC on Christmas Day.
John and Yoko's Plastic Ono Supergroup played at the Peace For Christmas concert at the Lyceum Ballroom, Covent Garden, London, in aid of UNICEF. The musicians only had time for one brief rehearsal, in the afternoon before the show. George Harrison was among the musicians in the hastily assembled group: the first time he and John had appeared together in concert since August 1966. The other members of the line-up were Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie, Alan White, Bobby Keyes, Keith Moon, Klaus Voormann, Jim Gordon and Billy Preston. They performed extended versions of 'Cold Turkey' and 'Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)'. The entire show was recorded and part of their set was released on John and Yoko's 1972 double album Sometime in New York City.
John: "I thought it was fantastic. I was really into it. We play 1984 music. The Plastic Ono Band plays the unexpected - it could be 'Blue Suede Shoes' or it could be Beethoven's Ninth. With Plastic Ono, anything goes."
Alan White: "The crowd must have been absolutely flabbergasted, because there were 15 or 18 people on stage, with two drummers. We just jammed this one riff that developed and developed, and then came to a climax. It was amazing."
Alan Smith (New Musical Express): "This same piece of music kept going for a marathon 40 minutes or more, and I'm still not sure why. Without wishing to be offensive, the physical result was that it gave me one of the worst headaches I've suffered."
The BBC 24 Hours documentary The World of John and Yoko was transmitted.
Huge posters and billboards were erected in 11 cities across the world proclaiming "War Is Over! If You Want It. Happy Christmas from John and Yoko." In some countries the message was translated into the native language.
John and Yoko flew to Toronto, Canada, for their third visit this year. They stayed on Ronnie Hawkins' ranch, where they telephoned radio stations all over the world, giving them a peace message to broadcast. Hawkins got stuck with the phone bill.
In Toronto, John and Yoko announced plans for a three-day Peace Festival, to be held there from July 3-5 1970. John also began the onerous task of signing all 3,000 copies of Bag One, his set of erotic lithographs.
The fan club album, The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record, was released.
CBS TV (Columbia Broadcasting Corporation) filmed a conversation between John and Marshall McLuhan, author of The Medium Is The Message, at his office in the University of Toronto.
John was interviewed live on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) programme Weekend by Lloyd Robertson.
At a press conference at the Chateau Champlain Hotel in Montreal, John said: "We think this was a positive decade, not a depressing one. This is just the beginning. What we've got to do is keep hope alive, because without it we'll sink."
John and Yoko had a 51-minute meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, in Ottawa. Trudeau had earlier said: "I don't know about acorns, but if he's around, I'd like to meet him. He's a good poet." Afterwards John said: "We spent about 50 minutes together, which was longer than he had spent with any head of state. If all politicians were like Trudeau there would be world peace."
John and Yoko arrived back in England where they headed for Rochester Cathedral, Kent, to join a sit-in and fast calling for peace and to spotlight world poverty.
BBC1's Top Of The Pops '69 showed a clip of The Beatles singing 'Get Back' on the roof of the Apple building, the first time it had been televised in Britain in colour.
Ringo appeared in a BBC Radio 1 charity appeal on behalf of the British Wireless for the Blind Fund.
John and Yoko flew to the small village of Alborg in Denmark where they spent the New year with Yoko's previous husband, Anthony Cox, his new wife Melinda, and Kyoko, his daughter by Yoko.
At a press conference they performed a Danish folk song called 'Kristelighed' and pledged to donate all their further record royalties to the peace movement (something which was later discreetly forgotten).
ATV broadcast Man of the Decade, the last 20 minutes of which were devoted to John Lennon, including an interview filmed at Tittenhurst Park.
George and Patti, Paul and Linda were among the guests at Ringo and Maureen's New Year's party in Highgate, London.
John and Yoko issued a statement, announcing that 1970 was now Year 1 AP (After Peace): "We believe that the last decade was the end of the old machine crumbling to pieces. And we think we can get it together, with your help. We have great hopes for the new year."
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