"The Beatles are close to reuniting for the first time in ten years
to give a concert in aid of the Vietnamese boat people."
- The Washington Post
January (Into February)
In London, Wings resume work on Back To The Egg at Replica Studios, where work commences on various versions of 'Goodnight Tonight' and 'Daytime Nightime Suffering'. (Further work on the album takes place in March - see entry.)
Wednesday January 31
George and Olivia, with their friend Gary Wright, fly out from London's Heathrow Airport en route to Rio to watch the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Outside the Dakota building, John and Yoko meet the photographer Paul Goresh for the first time.
In between appearances on the radio, and having accidents on his tractor, George goes house hunting on the island of Mustique.
Thursday February 8
George and Olivia fly back (via Paris) to London's Heathrow Airport, where he prepares for various upcoming radio appearances to promote his new single and album.
Friday February 9
At BBC Broadcasting House, in Portland Place, London, George appears live with Michael Jackson on the BBC Radio One programme Roundtable, hosted by David "Kid" Jensen, where they act as judges on this weeks new single releases. The former Beatle also reveals during the interview that he has brought back with him on the flight "a big bag of Brazilian albums". (The show is transmitted on the station between 6:31 and 8:00pm.)
Wednesday February 14
The album George Harrison is released in America. (The UK release takes place on February 16.) George's single 'Blow Away'/'Soft Hearted Hana' is also released today in America.
Thursday February 15
George is interviewed by Peter Clements of the BBC Wolverhampton based studio Beacon Radio.
Friday February 16
George's single 'Blow Away'/'Soft Touch' is released in the UK. George recalls the inspiration behind the A-side: "I wrote 'Blow Away' on a miserable day, it was pouring with rain, and we were having a few leaks in the roof. To tell you the truth, I was a bit embarrassed by it! It was catchy and I was embarrassed to play it to anybody, it was too obvious."
Monday February 19
Outside the London Polytechnic, disc jockey Nicky Horne briefly interviews George getting out of his sports car. Home asks about the recently released film of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. "Have you seen it yet?" asks Horne.
"No, no," George replies. "I'm not going to see it. Everybody tells me it's awful!"
"Well," replies Horne diplomatically, "a lot of people have said it's awful. The thing is, how much control, if any, did you have over it?"
"We didn't have any control," George exclaims. "I mean, there's been a lot of Beatles things, you know, like John, Paul, Bert, Ringo, Ted ... And Ringo, and Sgt. Pepper, and all kinds of things like that, because the Fab Four were split and all over the world, then it was pretty easy to go and do things like that. All they needed was the songs, and ATV Music owned most of the songs, so it was pretty easy to do that. But, I don't really think they're supposed to do that and, in fact, we've just got together a group of people to go and sue them all!"
The three-minute feature is transmitted this evening in the latest edition of Nicky Horne's Music Scene, included within the regional news programme Thames At Six, transmitted in the London area of ITV region only (between 6:00 and 6:34pm). Shortly after this interview George is involved in an accident driving his tractor on his Friar Park estate. While tending his vast farmland, the brakes of his tractor fail and George is thrown from the vehicle, whereupon the back wheels drive over his foot. George is immediately rushed to Reading hospital where X-rays reveal that he is bruised but not badly injured. Even so, he uses a walking stick on his upcoming promotional trip to the States. As a tongue-in-cheek gesture, George arrives at Heathrow Airport for his departure in a wheelchair.
In America Fred Seaman starts work as an assistant for John and Yoko.
Wednesday February 21
In America, WEA prepare for television distribution the promotional video for 'Blow Away'. The first UK TV screening occurs on March 6 (see entry).
Friday February 23
As a further promotional activity, George makes another live appearance with Nicky Horne on his Capital Radio programme Your Mother Wouldn't Like It (transmitted between 9:00 and 11:00pm).
Tuesday February 27
At the Dakota, without any great ceremony, John finally shaves off his thick heavy beard.
Recordings for Back To The Egg return to Abbey Road Studio Two where vocals are added to the tracks 'Winter Rose' - 'Love Awake'. Further work during these sessions involves synthesiser overdubs being recorded on the tracks 'Getting Closer' and 'Love Awake'. (Further Back To The Egg sessions take place on April 1 - see entry.)
At a little record shop in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, a couple of miles away from the Dakota building, Fred Seaman arranges a standing order for "one copy of every bootleg Beatles and Lennon album that should ever come into the shop, to be put to one side, awaiting collection". On a regular basis, over the next 21 months, Seaman will return to the shop, hand over whatever money is owing, no questions asked, and collect whatever the owner has received. Once back at the Dakota, John will lovingly store the albums without opening the sealed sleeves. (As a result, John will soon boast one of the largest Beatles bootleg album collections in the world.)
Tuesday March 6
George's video for 'Blow Away' is screened on the children's music programme Pop Gospel, transmitted across the ITV network between 4:21 and 4:44pm.
Thursday March 15
The Wings single 'Goodnight Tonight'/'Daytime Nightime Suffering' is released in America on the Columbia label, to which Paul had just signed, thereby becoming the highest paid recording artist in the industry, with an advance of two million dollars per album against a 22 per cent royalty. (The UK release takes place on March 23.)
Friday March 16
In America, the 90-minute MPL documentary film Wings Over The World (originally titled Paul McCartney Sings His Greatest Hits), which features highlights from the Wings 1975/1976 World Tour, receives its premiere on American TV. (The first UK TV screening occurs on BBC2 on April 8 between 8:10 and 9:24pm, with a repeat screening on BBC1 on December 24, between 2:40 and 3:53pm.)
Monday March 26
Paul's first 12" extended mix release occurs with the issue of Wings 'Goodnight Tonight'/'Daytime Nightime Suffering' in America. (The UK release takes place on April 3.)
Sunday April 1
The pre-recorded NBC Radio show An Afternoon With Paul McCartney, featuring Paul in conversation with Paul Gambaccini, is broadcast in America. While this is being transmitted, Paul is joined by The Black Dyke Mills Band at Abbey Road, Studio Two where they record their parts for the track 'Winter Rose'. Paul, of course, having worked with the band back in 1969 when he produced their Apple single 'Thingamebob'/'Yellow Submarine'.
Meanwhile in the States, John hires a small yacht for a cruise around Palm Beach in Florida. Accompanying them are Yoko's nieces Reiko, Akiko and Tokato as well as Julian, Sean, Fred's wife Helen Seaman and the 12-year-old daughter of their Palm Beach real estate agent. At the end of the month, Julian returns home to England. (This is the last time he will see his father.)
Tuesday April 3
On the stage of the Hammersmith Palais in London, working again with Keith McMillan's company Keef & Co., Wings video-tape promotional clips for their next single 'Goodnight Tonight'. During this all-day session, which began at 5:30am with the setting up of intricate stage lighting, five different versions are shot. Shooting finally starts at 4pm, but Paul chooses only three of the versions taped today when the clips are edited and prepared for distribution on April 7. (Only versions B and C are ultimately screened, with version D remaining unseen to this day.) For the clips, Paul, Linda and Wings appear dressed in their modem day clothes as well as in the style of the Forties, with greased-back hair and all. With clever editing, version B features the "roll back" technique, which involves cutting the video footage of the band in regular clothes with everything in the same position as when they were in costume. Version C features the same footage, but without the edits back into modem day clothes. In the UK, the clip appears on BBC1's Top Of The Pops and on the Thames/ITV network programme The Kenny Everett Video Show, one week later, on Monday April 9 (between 7:01 and 7:28pm), where the video is shown in its entirety.
Wednesday April 4
At 12:30pm, a preview screening of the 73-minute MPL film documentary Wings Over The World takes place at the Bijou Theatre at 113 Wardour Street, London W1.
Friday April 6
The promotional film clip of George performing 'Blow Away' is broadcast in today's edition of Midnight Special on American TV.
Friday April 20
George's single 'Love Comes To Everyone'/'Soft Hearted Hana' is released in the UK where it fails to chart.
Friday April 27
In America, Allen Klein is found guilty on charges of tax evasion and is sentenced to serve two months, out of a two-year sentence, in prison.
Saturday April 28
During his stay in Monte Carlo, Ringo again becomes seriously ill with peritonitis, an illness he suffered as a child. He is transferred to the Princess Grace Hospital in Monte Carlo where he undergoes life-threatening internal surgery for an intestinal blockage. During the operation several feet of intestines are removed from his body.
Friday May 4
EMI release the compilation album Monument To British Rock, which features George's 1971 track 'My Sweet Lord'.
Sunday May 6
Capital Radio this morning broadcasts a Beatles feature which includes separate interviews with both George Harrison and The Beatles' producer George Martin.
Friday May 11
George's single 'Love Comes To Everyone'/'Soft Touch' is released in America. To coincide with its release, George gives another interview to London based Capital Radio.
The Beatles' compilation Hey Jude (also known as The Beatles Again) is released in the UK. (The album was originally released in America on February 26, 1970.)
Monday May 14
At the annual film festival in Cannes, in the South of France, The Who's "rockumentary" The Kids Are Alright, featuring cameo appearances by Ringo, filmed around the middle of August 1977, receives its worldwide premiere screening.
Saturday May 19
At his Hurtwood Edge home in Surrey, Eric Clapton throws a party for 200 guests to celebrate his marriage to George's first wife, the former Patti Boyd. (The couple married in Tucson, Arizona, on March 27.) At the end of the evening, Paul, George and Ringo, as well as the other celebrities present, including Mick Jagger, Denny Laine, Ginger Baker and Lonnie Donegan, join Eric for an impromptu concert on a stage set up in a large marquee tent in his grounds. They run through various old rock'n'roll hits and even some Beatles' covers. Friends and family take souvenir pictures of the event, although none have appeared in print.
'Goodnight Tonight' reaches number five in both the US and UK singles charts.
Thursday May 24
The Wings' album Back To The Egg is released in America. (The UK release takes place on June 8.)
At 12:15pm, George and Olivia fly out (economy class) from Heathrow to Nice Airport, arriving at 3:05pm.
Saturday May 26
George, who had just arrived in Monte Carlo, meets Ringo at the Monaco Grand Prix. A roving camera team from ABC America's Wide World Of Sport interviews them along with racing driver Jackie Stewart.
Sunday May 27
The New York Times publish, on page 20E a "Love Letter From John And Yoko To People Who Ask Us What, When And Why". The full-page letter of explanation includes the following:
"The past 10 years we noticed everything we wished came true in its own time, good or bad, one way or another. We kept telling each other that one of these days we would have to get organised and wish for the good things. Then our baby arrived! We were overjoyed and at the same time felt very responsible. Now our wishes would also effect him. We felt it was time for us to stop discussing and do something about our wishing process: the spring cleaning of our minds! It was a lot of work. We kept finding things in those old closets in our minds that we hadn't realised were still there, things we wished we hadn't found. As we did our cleaning, we also started to notice many things wrong in our house: there was a shelf which would never have been there in the first place, a painting we grew to dislike, and there were two dingy rooms, which became light and breezy when we broke the walls between them. We started to love the plants, which one of us originally thought were robbing the air from us! We enjoy the drum beat of the city which used to annoy us..."
It continues: "Many people are sending us vibes every day in letters, telegrams, taps on the gate, or just flowers and nice thoughts! We thank them all and appreciate them for respecting our quiet space, which we need. Thank you for all the love you send us. We feel it every day. We love you, too. We know you're concerned about us. That is nice. That's why you want to know what we are doing. That's why everybody is asking us, 'What, When And Why.' We understand. This is what we've been doing. We hope that you have the same quiet space in your mind to make your own wishes come true.
"If you think of us next time, remember our silence is a silence of love and not indifference. Remember, we are writing in the sky instead of on paper - this is our song. Lift your eyes and look up in the sky. There's our message. Lift your eyes again and look around you, and you will see that you are walking in the sky, which extends to the ground. We are all a part of the sky, more so than of the ground. Remember, we love you."
John Lennon & Yoko Ono, May 27, 1979, New York City
P.S. We noticed that three angels were looking over our shoulders when we wrote this!
(The letter is copyrighted Sprit Music '79.)
This first public announcement in years from one of the world's most famous couples naturally features prominently in news reports around the globe.
Monday May 28
Before returning home to England, George persuades Stewart to appear in his promotional film for 'Faster'. Stewart is filmed chauffeuring George around the Monaco racetrack while he sings the song in the back of the car. George and Olivia, after their four-day stay, head back to England, departing from Nice Airport at 6:35pm, and landing at Heathrow's Terminal 2 at 7:25pm. (Vegetarian meals are served to the couple on the flight.) Ringo, meanwhile, travels to New York to meet John at the Dakota.
Tuesday May 29
Ringo drops in to meet John at his Dakota apartment. The event is captured with a Polaroid snapshot taken by Fred Seaman.
Thursday May 31
In England, Paul enlists Keith MacMillan, Phil Davey and Hugh Scott-Symonds to carry out the production for the promotional clips to accompany the Back To The Egg album. (The final choice of seven songs to be taped was actually down to MacMillan, Paul having furnished him with an early tape of the album the previous week.) Shooting is scheduled to begin the following Monday June 4.
Friday June 1
The Wings single 'Old Siam Sir'/'Spin It On' is released in the UK.
Monday June 4 & Tuesday June 5
As planned, shooting commences on the promotional clips to accompany the seven tracks taken off the album Back To The Egg. The first taping occurs in a small hall at Lympne Castle in Kent, where shooting takes place for 'Old Siam Sir'. (This location is familiar to Wings as tracks for the album were recorded there.) On June 5 production shifts to a small private aircraft hangar, about a mile from the castle, where Wings tape 'Spin It On' and 'Getting Closer'. In the best tradition of utilising the best of what's on offer, the crew move outside the hangar to shoot, in the nearby field, Denny's track 'Again And Again'. Shooting continues late into the night with additional hangar scenes for 'Getting Closer' and exterior driving scenes, seen briefly at the very start of the clip.
Tuesday June 5
Wings' single 'Getting Closer'/'Spin It On' is released in America.
Wednesday June 6
Taping continues at Lympne Castle where shooting commences, with specially added snow, on the track 'Winter Rose' - 'Love Awake'.
Friday June 8
While Ringo is getting ready to appear on the American NBC TV show Midnight Special, backing Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood on drums for the track 'Buried Alive', Wings are driving the forty miles from Lympne Castle in Kent to Camber Sands, to continue with more work on the Back To The Egg promotional clips. Under the spotlight today is the track 'Baby's Request'. In preparation for the launch of the Back To The Egg album, Wings return to London the following day.
Monday June 11
At Abbey Road Studio Two, Wings hold a 12:30pm press launch for their new album Back To The Egg. An avalanche of press and TV reporters are treated to the bizarre spectacle of the world famous studio being turned into a giant frying pan (accomplished by blacking out the studio walls with black curtains), with fried eggs sitting within. (These are actually tables with parasols that had been painted to resemble the yolks of an egg.) At these tables a host of guests, including the DJ Kenny Everett, hear Wings' latest offering plus the first ever screening (albeit 15-minutes only) of the MPL Rockestra film, recorded on October 3 last year (see entry). The Keef & Co. film crew, who shot the Rockestra film, are present and are presented with a specially engraved egg-cup and spoon by Paul and Linda. Clips from the afternoon gathering are featured in a two-minute report on this evening's ITN News At 5:45 (transmitted across the ITV network between 5:45 and 6:00pm), where the reporter John Suchet is informed by Paul that "I intend taking Wings back out on tour towards the end of the year".
Wednesday June 13
Work on the Back To The Egg promotional films are concluded today when, at Keef & Co.'s London studios, Wings tape a version of 'Arrow Through Me'. Also taped today are additional scenes for 'Getting Closer', where Wings are seen behind the wheel of their van at the very start of the promotional clip.
Friday June 15
Paul's promotional interview for Back To The Egg is broadcast by Capital Radio in London.
Saturday June 30
Paul gives another interview to promote Back To The Egg tonight, this time on Radio Luxembourg.
July (throughout month)
During extensive solo recording sessions at his private studios in Scotland, working as both engineer and producer, and using such abstract methods as a drum kit balanced in the toilet, Paul records the tracks 'Wonderful Christmastime' and 'Coming Up', during sessions that will form the basis of his 1980 album McCartney II. The rest of the home-based recordings will feature the following songs: 'Temporary Secretary', 'Waterfalls' (originally titled 'I Need Love'), 'Nobody Knows', 'On The Way', 'Summer's Days Song', 'Bogey Music', 'Darkroom', 'One Of These Days', 'Check My Machine' and 'Secret Friend' as well as the instrumentais 'Front Parlour' and 'Frozen Jap'. ("Most of the numbers were, in fact, made up as I went along, except for 'Waterfalls', which was a song before I went in to record it," says Paul in May 1980.)
Paul originally plans the album as a double featuring a total running time of approximately 80 minutes. Among the tracks cut are 'All You Horseriders' (later to appear on the soundtrack of the MPL film documentary Blankit's First Show, first transmitted in England on BBC2 on July 12, 1986), 'Blue Swat', 'Mr. H. Atom', 'You Know I'll Get You Baby' and 'Bogey Wobble'. The tracks 'Check My Machine' (featuring a running time of 5' 44") and 'Secret Friend' (10' 20") both officially appear as McCartney B-sides.
Saturday July 14
In England, George is present at the Silverstone Grand Prix where he is interviewed for ITV's World Of Sport programme. George also takes part in a celebrity race on the track but stalls his car at the start of the race, an event captured by television cameras. Shortly afterwards, this time at the Donington Park racetrack, George is seen driving Stirling Moss's car.
Saturday July 28
'Getting Closer' reaches number 28 in the US singles chart.
Monday July 30
George's single 'Faster'/'Your Love Is Forever' is released in the UK. (The record also becomes available as a limited edition picture disc, the first such release from any of the ex-Beatles.) The single is released to raise money for the Gunnar Nilsson cancer fund. Nilsson was a Swedish racing driver who had died of the disease.
A further promotional interview by Paul for Back To The Egg is broadcast tonight on Radio Luxembourg.
John and Yoko again visit Karuizawa in Japan for their summer holiday, returning home four weeks later partly by train. This will be their last holiday in Japan as a family.
The McCartney song 'Did We Meet Somewhere Before', rejected for the Warren Beatty film Heaven Can Wait, is featured in the Warner Brothers film Rock 'N' Roll High School, starring The Ramones.
Friday August 10
The UK release takes place of the Suzy And The Red Stripes single 'Seaside Woman'/'B Side To Seaside'. (The single was originally released in America on May 31, 1977.) The single does not chart.
Wednesday August 1
George, Olivia and Dhani take a holiday in Athens, returning to England on Friday August 17.
Tuesday August 14
The Wings' single 'Arrow Through Me'/'Old Siam Sir' is released in America.
Thursday August 16
The Wings' single 'Getting Closer'/'Baby's Request' is released in the UK.
Saturday August 18
George's promotional film for 'Faster' is screened, most suitably, during the ITV network Saturday afternoon sports programme World Of Sport, hosted by Dickie Davies.
Monday September 3
Live from Superdance in America, Ringo appears as a special guest on the Annual TV fundraising spectacular The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, where he joins Bill Wyman, Todd Rundgren, Doug Kershaw and Kiki Dee. Ringo is seen taking pledges over the phone and then joins in on drums for an all-star jam, where they perform the songs 'Money'/'Twist And Shout' and 'Jumpin' Jack Flash'. The promo film clip of Wings' 'Getting Closer' is also screened during the broadcast.
With The Beatles' legal action against the producers of Beatlemania, hinted at by George back on February 19, now gathering momentum, George is forced to fly out to the States for various Apple business meetings. He will return to Heathrow Airport from New York's Kennedy Airport on September 5.
Tuesday September 4
Still in the States, Ringo gives a radio interview to the DJ Dave Herman.
Wednesday September 5
In New York, at his Dakota apartment, John begins recording a scathing verbal memoir of his life on his small portable machine. This includes his earliest childhood memories, his reaction to witnessing his mother Julia performing oral sex on "Twitchy" Dykins and considerable criticism of fellow musicians, including Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan, whom he labels "company men".
Thursday September 13
Just a week after a previous flight, George is again obliged to fly to New York, for legal reasons. His 48-hour visit concludes when he returns home to England at 9pm on September 15. (The flights, which serve vegetarian meals, cost £1,027.50.)
Friday September 14
Back in England, Paul is to be found performing live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London as part of the grand finale of the fourth annual Buddy Holly Week celebration. The 8pm concert, which features amongst others Jerry Allison, Don Everly and Sonny Curtis, is captured on videotape by Paul's MPL Communications company and will form a major part of the short TV documentary, transmitted in America on MTV under the title of The Music Lives On, on September 8,1984. Paul is seen performing 'It's So Easy' and 'Bo Diddley', while Denny is seen singing 'Raining In My Heart' with Don Everly of The Everly Brothers. Guests in the audience include former Monkee Micky Dolenz, Superman actor Christopher Reeve, DJ Alan Freeman, David Frost, former member of The Faces Ronnie Lane, former 10cc drummer Kevin Godley plus Paul's old friend, the actor Victor Spinetti.
Friday September 21
In America, the United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim asks The Beatles to reunite to aid the Vietnamese boat people. (Again, the offer is declined.) Meanwhile, an optimistic report, on the same lines, appears today in the Washington Post. This reveals that: "The Beatles are close to reuniting for the first time in ten years to give a concert in aid of the Vietnamese boat people. Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have agreed to give the New York concert under the auspices of the United Nations and John Lennon is considering the idea."
Thursday September 27
The Beatles get together, not to perform, but to sue the organisers of the Beatlemania stage show. Lawyers representing Apple in New York reveal that The Beatles are seeking, in Los Angeles, $60 million (around £27 million) in actual and punitive damages against the organisers and promoters cashing in on the stage show in London later this year. The Beatles are also seeking to close down the six Beatlemania shows that are at present running in various parts of America and to halt attempts to package a Beatlemania television show. In reply to this action, Steve Leber, of Leber-Krebs Inc., the man responsible for the shows, says: "My company bought the rights to perform all the old Beatle songs for the show." He adds, "The Beatles are making more money from the show from royalties than I am!"
On a most sombre note, the former Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch is found dead from a drug overdose in London. He was only 26 years of age.
Monday October 8
The soundtrack album of Monty Python's Life Of Brian, featuring the track 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life', which is mixed by George and Phil MacDonald is released in America today. (The UK release takes place on November 9.)
Tuesday October 9
John and Yoko hold a party for Sean's fourth birthday at Le Roy's Tavern On The Green restaurant in New York. Also present are Sean's young friends and their respective parents who also live at the Dakota. John and Yoko give them all a present and arrange for them to be entertained by a magician and a clown. Today, John also turns 39 years of age.
Meanwhile back in England, acting on a request on October 5 from the Clerk of the Justices, in Witham, Essex, George's secretary Cherrie Cowell sends them George's driving licence following his recent ban from driving.
Friday October 12
The album The Beatles Rarities is released in the UK, eleven months after EMI announced that the album will only be available within the expensive EMI Beatles Collection album box set.
Saturday October 13
'Arrow Through Me' reaches number 29 in the US singles chart.
Monday October 15
In New York, John and Yoko contribute $1,000 to a fund that purchases bullet-proof vests for New York City police officers.
At Friar Park, in response to a request on October 1, George's secretary Cherrie sends to the Reverend Fraser Smith in Nottingham a signed Christmas card for display in their annual Christmas Carol service.
Thursday October 18
Even though they are facing a law suit from the real "Beatles", the "Multi-Media Musical Experience" Beatlemania opens at the Astoria Theatre in London's Charing Cross Road, as planned. John is played by Michael Palaikis and Peter McGann, while Paul is portrayed by Tony Kishman and Peter Santora. In the role of George are Jimmy Poe and Peter Santora and playing the part of Ringo are Louis Colucci and Bobby Taylor.
Saturday October 20
Just five weeks after his last visit, George again returns to New York. He will return to England just 24 hours later on October 21.
Wednesday October 24
At a party at the Les Ambassadors Club in Hamilton Place, London, Paul is awarded a rhodium-plated disc by the Guinness Book Of Records, recognising his record-breaking achievements in song writing and record sales and named the Most Honoured Man In Music. (The Rhodium disc is made of a metal much shinier than Platinum and twice as expensive. Paul's disc is actually worth an incredible £345 an ounce! Amazingly enough, the Guinness Book people were going to present to Paul a special disc made from Osmium, one of the world's densest metals. That was until they realised, just in time, that it was highly poisonous!) Paul collects the less-harmful award from Norman St. John Stevas, the Minister for the Arts. He is now included in the Guinness Book of Records book as the most successful composer and recording artist of all time, his awards including 43 million sellers, 60 gold records and more total worldwide record sales than any other artist. Also being honoured at the club today is the boxing champion John Conteh, the racing driver David Purley, the lyricist Tim Rice and George Schmidt, a man fluent in 31 different languages. Exclusively available today, within the new 1980 Guinness Book Of Records publication, is a special "Paul McCartney Bookmark", limited to only 200 copies. (A special feature on the ceremony is transmitted live today on BBC Radio One.) Immediately following the ceremony, Paul is interviewed at the hotel by Geraldo Rivera for the American TV programme 20/20 Action News on ABC TV.
Tuesday October 30
At Friar Park, in a session that will periodically last a full year (until October 30, 1980), George records a vast selection of the songs that will appear on the album Somewhere In England. These tracks include 'Baltimore Oriole', 'Hong Kong Blues', 'Unconsciousness Rules', 'Save The World', 'Life Itself' and 'Writing's On The Wall'. The songs 'Sat Singing' (recorded during March of 1980), 'Lay His Head' and 'Tears Of The World' (both recorded during April of 1980), and 'Flying Hour' (recorded back in March of 1978) are rejected by Warner Brothers when presented by George for its original release on November 2, 1980. They demand that these four tracks be replaced before the album is released. (Bootleggers move swiftly to release this original version of the album, although the four rejected songs are eventually released officially.)
Wednesday October 31
John ventures out of his Dakota apartment to take Sean to see a production of Peter Pan on Broadway.
Thursday November 1
In America, Geraldo Rivera again interviews Paul and Linda for the ABC TV programme 20/20. (The interview is simultaneously transmitted on the radio station WPLJ.)
Saturday November 3
The Beatles album Rarities reaches number 71 in the UK charts.
Monday November 5
Ringo again visits John at the Dakota where they celebrate fireworks night. During the visit, John gives him a demo of the song 'Life Begins At 40', a track he wants Ringo to record for his next album.
The music press reveals that Wings are to perform an 18-date UK tour during November and December.
Monday November 12
In New York, John writes out his will, which is subsequently filed at the Manhattan surrogate court. On his death, half of his $30 million estate will go to "my beloved wife" and the remainder will go into a trust fund for Sean set up by both John and Yoko.
Friday November 16
Paul's single 'Wonderful Christmastime'/'Rudolph The Red Nosed Reggae' is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on November 20.) On the release, Paul tells the story of the mystery violinist who plays on the B-side. Apparently, while Paul was rehearsing the song (back in June of 1975), a violin was delivered to the studio and he decided he would like the instrument to appear on the track. Paul asks the delivery man if he would play it, to which he agrees. Even though the man is paid a session fee, no one bothers to take his name and, following his departure, he becomes filed as "unknown". An appeal for the "mystery fiddler" is put out by Paul during Wings' appearance on TISWAS, transmitted on Saturday December 1 (see entry). On the day of its release, Wings commandeer the Fountain public house in Ashurst, West Sussex, to shoot a promotional clip for the A-side of their new single. The festivities are later intercut with brief scenes from their upcoming UK tour.
Broadcasts of the clip are plenty, most notably, Tiswas (on December 1), ATV Today (December 12) and BBC1's Top Of The Pops (December 27).
Wings UK Tour
November 23 - December 17
Wings begin a 19-date tour of the UK. Their repertoire consists largely of the following: 'Got To Get You Into My Life', 'Getting Closer', 'Every Night', 'Again And Again', 'I've Had Enough', 'No Words For My Love', 'Cook Of The House', 'Old Siam Sir', 'Maybe I'm Amazed', 'The Fool On The Hill', 'Let It Be', 'Hot As Sun', 'Spin It On', 'Twenty Flight Rock', 'Go Now', 'Arrow Through Me', 'Wonderful Christmastime', 'Coming Up', 'Goodnight Tonight', 'Yesterday', 'Mull Of Kintyre' and 'Band On The Run'. Supporting the group on the tour is the acoustic guitarist/comedian Earl Okin.
The tour visits:
Liverpool Royal Court Theatre (Friday November 23 until Monday November 26)
The Apollo m Ardwick, Manchester (Wednesday November 28 and Thursday November 29)
Southampton Gaumont (Saturday December 1)
Brighton New Conference Centre (Sunday December 2)
Lewisham Odeon Theatre, London (Monday December 3)
The Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London (Wednesday December 5)
Empire Pool, Wembley (Friday December 7 until Monday December 10)
Birmingham Odeon (Wednesday December 12)
Newcastle City Hall (Friday December 14)
Edinburgh Odeon, Scotland (Saturday December 15)
Glasgow Apollo, Scotland (Sunday December 16 and Monday December 17)
Friday November 23
To fulfil a promise, the opening night of the tour is at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool. The 5pm concert is a free warm-up show for the benefit of a specially invited 1,500 audience which include handicapped children and the 600 student employees of the Liverpool Institute, Paul's old school. Prior to this evening's concert, the school's art teacher and pupils from the sixth form present him with a large illustration. Then, to celebrate the show and the opening of the tour, Paul and Linda hold a party at the venue for close family and friends. A profile, by Tony Wilkinson, on Paul's return to his home city is included in an 18-minute feature on BBC1's Nationwide programme. This includes most of the events in Liverpool, interviews with the band, clips of Wings rehearsing 'Again And Again' from the afternoon rehearsal plus 'Got To Get You Into My Life' and 'Yesterday' from the concert itself. (A 38-second clip of 'Yesterday' reappears during Paul's January, 1982, Abbey Road interview with Sue Lawley for BBC1's Nationwide programme.) A further report on Paul's return to Liverpool is broadcast on this evening's News At Ten, transmitted across the ITV network between 10:00 and 10:29pm.
Tuesday November 27
Wings take an afternoon boat ride on the Royal Iris. The Liverpool Echo newspaper is at hand to capture the event.
Wednesday November 28
Just prior to going on stage at the Ardwick in Manchester, Wings consent to two UK interviews. The first is for the Saturday morning children's show TISWAS, on which they are interviewed by Sally James, and they then take part in a short comedy sketch, joining Chris Tarrant and John Gorman (formerly of The Scaffold) in a brief performance of the TISWAS Christmas single 'The Bucket Of Water Song'. Paul also takes time to appeal for the "mystery fiddler" who appears on the track 'Rudolph The Red Nosed Reggae' (see entry for Friday November 16). This four-minute feature is transmitted the following Saturday December 1, across certain ITV network regions, between 10:30 and 12:28pm. Wings' second interview is for the midlands regional news programme ATV Today, where they are briefly interviewed by a young Anne Diamond, later to face Paul on the ITV breakfast channel TV AM during the Eighties. This 90-second interview with the group is retained back from transmission until December 12, in order to neatly coincide with the group's appearance in Birmingham. The promotional film for 'Wonderful Christmastime' features in both TV appearances.
Wednesday December 5
Just prior to going on stage at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, London, Paul and Linda are interviewed via satellite by Tom Snyder for inclusion in the NBC TV programme, the Tomorrow Show. (The 45-minute interview will be transmitted on Channel 4, WNBC TV on December 20 between 1:00 and 2:00pm ET.)
Friday December 7
During the opening night at the Empire Pool in Wembley, Wings add to their repertoire the songs 'Cook Of The House' and 'Baby Face'.
Friday December 14
This morning, Wings are interviewed backstage at Newcastle's City Hall by Tyne-Tees Television for the children's programme Saturday Shake Up. Clips from 'Old Siam Sir', 'Goodnight Tonight' and 'Wonderful Christmastime' also feature in the 24-minute programme, which is subtitled Flying With Wings, and transmitted, only in the Tyne-Tees region of the ITV Network, on Saturday December 22 between 11:46am and 12:19pm.
Saturday December 15
During the performance of 'Spin It On' at the Edinburgh Odeon, Wmgs suffer a power cut. To keep the audience entertained while technicians rectify the problem, Denny performs some acrobatic tricks and treats everyone to a "Max Wall" funny walk. The brass section join in the fun by coming down to the front of the stage and performing 'When The Saints Go Marching In', while Linda leads an audience sing-a-long to accompany them. After a six-minute break, the electricity is back and the concert resumes.
Monday December 17
The performance of 'Coming Up' tonight at the Glasgow Apollo, is recorded and released officially in 1980 as part of the 'Coming Up' (studio version) single. Also, on this the final night of the tour, Wings later don kilts to be joined on stage by The Campbeltown Pipes Band.
Friday November 23
ABC TV in America premieres the Dick Clark made-for-TV production of The Birth Of The Beatles. The film, which features The Beatles' former drummer Pete Best in the role of technical advisor, tells the story of the group from their days in Liverpool to when they first arrived in America, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. Aside from claims that the film told them nothing new, fans are in uproar over the number of mistakes that appear in the feature-length film. As one Beatles fan remarks: "After the first ten minutes, I gave up counting the errors!"
Wednesday November 28
Ringo's Los Angeles home in the Hollywood Hills, rented from close friend Harry Nilsson, is destroyed by fire which causes £67,000 worth of damage. He loses several of his most prized Beatles mementoes, many of which are stored inside the house. Television news crews film the fragic sight of Ringo watching helplessly as the fire rages out of control.
November - December
The 31-minute Wings TV special Back To The Egg (videotaped between June 4 and 13), comprising (in order) the promotional clips for 'Getting Closer', 'Baby's Request', 'Old Siam Sir', 'Winter Rose' - 'Love Awake', 'Spin It On', 'Again And Again', 'Arrow Through Me' and 'Goodnight Tonight', is syndicated across various television stations in America. (The UK TV premiere of the show will not take place until BBC1 screen the show during the evening of June 10,1981, between 7:45 and 8:16pm.)
Paul and Linda donate $10,000 to the New York Times Neediest Fund, a charity set up to help the poor at Christmas.
Ringo, until recently linked romantically with 20-year-old Stephanie La Motta, an ex of Donny Osmond, returns to Britain to celebrate Christmas. Joining him on the flight home is singer Lynsey De Paul, with whom Ringo will also be linked romantically. All this changes when he meets an actress on the set of his new film, which is due to begin filming in Mexico City on February 18, 1980.
Thursday December 6
BBC TV announces that this year's festive programming will be called "A Beatles Christmas", and that they will show six Beatles movies over the holiday period, including Shea Stadium and Magical Mystery Tour, both un-screened since the Sixties. Specially created TV trailers soon begin to appear on both BBC1 and 2.
George, meanwhile, is to be found with Olivia, attending the Springfield Boys Club Christmas show in Big Hill, Harrow, in north west London.
Friday December 21
Following much hype, "The Beatles At Christmas" season gets underway tonight on BBC2 with the much-awaited re-screening of Magical Mystery Tour, transmitted between 6:11 and 6:59pm. (This is its third television showing and its first broadcast on UK TV since the BBC2 colour screening on January 5, 1968.)
Meanwhile in Scotland, a pre-recorded interview with Paul is transmitted on Clyde Radio.
Saturday December 22
The BBC2 "Beatles At Christmas" season continues with Help! transmitted between 6:35 and 7:59pm. (This is its fifth British TV screening.)
Sunday December 23
The BBC2/Beatles season rolls on with The Beatles At Shea Stadium, a documentary of their August 15, 1965 concert at the venue, transmitted between 5:31 and 6:19pm. (This is its first British TV screening since the BBC1 broadcast on Saturday August 27, 1966.)
Monday December 24
The European version of Yellow Submarine is transmitted (between 5:40 and 6:59pm) as the fourth film in the BBC2 "Beatles At Christmas" season. Earlier in the day, and this time on BBC1, the documentary Wings Over The World receives its second, and final UK TV transmission, between 2:40 and 3:53pm.
Tuesday December 25
With millions tuning into the James Bond film Goldfinger, ITV's big Christmas Day movie, dedicated Beatles fans tune instead into BBC2 to watch the fifth TV screening of A Hard Days Night (between 3:00 and 4:24pm), the penultimate film in "The Beatles At Christmas" season.
As a Christmas present, Paul, at a cost of £40,000, purchases for Linda a ranch set in 80 acres in Arizona. Linda had fallen in love with the place during a stay there in the Sixties.
Wednesday December 26
Back in England, the BBC2 Beatles season concludes with the 1970 film Let It Be. (Transmitted today between 5:51 and 7:09pm. It is the third UK TV screening.)
Saturday December 29
Amid wild press hysteria that The Beatles are to play together again on stage this evening, Wings perform live as part of a special benefit performance at London's Hammersmith Odeon on the final night of the four Concerts for Kampuchea, which had begun on December 26. Proceeds go directly towards the emergency relief work of the United Nations agencies for the civilians in Kampuchea. These shows had come about as a direct result of personal contact last autumn between Paul and the United Nations' Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim.
Playing a reduced set, Wings drop from their repertoire 'Wonderful Christmastime' and again add 'Cook Of The House', and later appear as part of the "supergroup" Rockestra, when they are joined by eleven guest musicians, including Billy Bremner and Dave Edmunds (from Rockpile), James Honeyman-Scott (The Pretenders), Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Ronnie Lane (ex- Small Faces and The Faces), Bruce Thomas (The Attractions), Gary Brooker (Procol Harum), and Kenny Jones and Pete Townshend (The Who), of whom Paul remarks, "The only sod who wouldn't wear a silver suit!" This was largely because Townshend was totally pissed! He had mistakenly thought that when Paul said there was an "8 o'clock rehearsal", he meant 8 o'clock in the morning. When Pete arrived at the venue at this early time, he was told by security guards to "come back later!" This he did, having spent the time in-between drinking with Ronnie Lane.
The Rockestra perform 'Lucille', 'Let It Be' and the 'Rockestra Theme'. These songs, as well as the Wings performances of 'Got To Get You Into My Life', 'Every Night' and 'Coming Up', also appear on the album Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea, released in America on March 30, 1981, and in the UK on April 3, 1981, as well as in the Keef & Co. TV presentation, featuring highlights from the four concerts, which are edited into a programme called Rock for Kampuchea and transmitted in the UK on ITV on January 4, 1981. Also appearing tonight on the bill with Wings are Billy Connolly, Elvis Costello and Rockpile with Dave Edmunds. This concert will turn out to be Wings' final live performance.
It has long been rumoured that the other Beatles, including John, were sitting in the audience this evening. Tim Smith, a long time Beatles fan, present at the venue tonight, dismisses the story, as he recalls: "On the night of the concert, touts were outside the venue commanding and getting £40 a ticket, because everyone was buzzing with the rumour that The Beatles were going to reform. I was sick to my stomach knowing that The Beatles might be playing and, because I didn't have a ticket, I was going to be standing on the pavement outside the theatre. Anyway, I was standing by the stage door talking to the people I was with, watching the touts get their huge prices for the tickets, when the side door opened and a little dark-haired guy stepped out and started swearing about the touts. I recognised this man as Jake Riviera, Dave Edmunds and Elvis Costello's manager. I told him that I was a big fan of Dave Edmunds and he pulled two tickets from his pocket and said, 'There you go, mate. Go on in.' Resisting the temptation to go and sell them for £80, my mate and I went into the bar, which was full of celebrities. I noticed the singer Lulu, who was wearing a leather cat suit, leaning up against the bar. Also leaning against the bar was Pete Townshend, who was almost legless. He couldn't stand up and was using the bar as a means of support. My mate and I attempted to take pints of beer out of the bar but we bumped into the Police, who were in a humorous mood. I got talking to a Policewoman and while I was chatting to her, I got jogged and accidentally tipped my pint glass of beer all over her shoes. As she thankfully dismissed the situation, I asked her: 'Are The Beatles going to play tonight?' 'I can categorically state,' she replied while mopping the beer from her brand new black leather boots, 'they are not!' 'How do you know that?' I asked, slightly disappointed. 'Because, before we (the police) came out,' she explained, 'we were briefed on what to do and who to expect. All the celebrities here tonight are on this list,' she said and produced the list from her top pocket. This was proof that none of the other Beatles were here tonight. She also told me that if Lennon were here, his name would have been printed in big bold black letters. The celebrities listed were, more or less, those who appeared on stage."
Thus, another long-time Beatles rumour, that "John was seen in the audience watching the show", bites the dust. The nearest the audience got to John this evening was the toy robot, which crawled across the front of the stage during Wings' performance. Noticing it, Paul shouted: "No! It's not John Lennon!"
Monday December 31
John, meanwhile, is to be found in New York where he and Yoko dissolve their various companies, which include Bag Productions Ltd. and Joko Films Ltd. Later this evening, to celebrate New Year's Eve, John and Elliot Mintz hold their first (and last) Club Dakota meeting at their New York apartment. Dressed in black tie and tails, they request their guests to "join in on an evening of polite entertainment". The only person to receive an invitation is Yoko Ono.
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