"Paul's tragedy of losing Linda is hitting him in waves. One minute
he can cope, and the next he can't. He's devastated. Paul is determined
to make sure Linda's legacy will be lasting."
- Paul's MPL spokesman Geoff Baker
George visits the Mayo Clinic in America, one of the top five cancer treatment centres in the world. There he meets Doctor Richard Lavelle, a friend of his for many years. George is thoroughly checked and is told that there is no recurrence of cancer. He is asked to return in the first week of May.
Sean Lennon finishes work on his debut album. Produced by his girlfriend Yuka Honda, the album is called Photosynthesis and is scheduled for an April release.
Rhino Home Video in America announces plans to issue, on home video, John and Yoko's complete 1972 week-long appearance as co-hosts on The Mike Douglas Show (see entries for February 14 - February 18, 1972).
OK! Magazine, in the UK, reveals that, during 1997, Paul earned £15 million, while George and Ringo earned a more modest £8 million each.
Sunday January 4
The ITV network in the UK broadcasts the 58-minute documentary The Story Of Abbey Road, a programme looking at the conception and history of the world famous recording studio. Besides interviews with such pop luminaries as Paul, George Martin, Pink Floyd and The Shadows, the show also features The Beatles' former drummer, Pete Best, returning to the studios for the first time in 34 years.
Tuesday January 6
Paul's album Flaming Pie is among the nominations for "The Best Album of 1997" at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony in America. Paul faces stiff competition from Bob Dylan's Time Out Of Mind (which eventually wins) and Radiohead's OK Computer.
At the A&M Studios in Los Angeles, work resumes on Ringo's Vertical Man album when the mixing is started on the track 'Mindfield'. (Work on the track continues until Thursday January 8.)
Wednesday January 7
It is reported in The Times newspaper that two bronze busts, worth £50,000, have been stolen from George's garden at his home in Henley. The thieves evaded security cameras after climbing a 10-foot wall and cutting the figures of two monks from their stone plinths.
Thursday January 8 (until Saturday January 10)
Just as the mixing on 'Mindfield' is concluded, work begins on the mixing of 'The King Of Broken Hearts', which features George's guitar work recorded at his home in Henley.
Sunday January 11 & Monday January 12
The track 'Drift Away' is mixed at the A&M Studios in Los Angeles.
Friday January 16
Postponed from December 16 last year, BBC2, in the UK, finally transmits the Yoko Ono O Zone special. During the 20-minute programme, used as further promotions for the album Lennon Legend and subtitied The Ballad Of John And Yoko, Yoko discusses a wide range of subjects including the break-up of The Beatles and John's songwriting. Yoko uses this opportunity to hit back at Paul over various allegations made in his biography Many Years From Now. Over his claim that he was the leader of The Beatles, Yoko says: "I know Paul thinks he was leading, or something like that. The way John led the band was very high level, on some kind of magical level. Not on a daily level like Paul said. 'Oh, but I was the one who told them all to come and do it. I made the phone calls.' John didn't make the phone calls. John was not on that level of a leader. He was on a level of a spiritual leader. He was the visionary and that's why The Beatles happened."
Yoko also responds to Paul's claim in the book that he was the instigator in reconciling John and Yoko in January of 1975. "Let him say whatever he wants to say. I feel that he has to say all of those things. But if he wants to get credit about it, why not? That's fine. I know it wasn't true. I know that he didn't come back because Paul said a few words or something like that. He's put in a position of being Salieri to Mozart. And it's sad." (Yoko is referring to Antonio Salieri, a contemporary to Mozart, described as a "competent but uninspired composer". He is portrayed in the film Amadeus as being jealous of Mozart's genius and plotting to kill him.) Yoko goes on: "Because John passed away, people naturally have this strong sentiment towards him. Paul is always just encouraging people, not given the same compliment that they give John now. And naturally, they do that because he passed away. It's a high price to pay for Paul to be in the same position as John."
Saturday January 17
At the A&M Studios in Los Angeles, the saxophone player Joel Peskin records his tracks for the song 'Puppet'.
Monday January 19
Carl Perkins dies after a series of strokes aged 65 in a Nashville Hospital. He had been fighting throat and tonsil cancer for most of this decade. Following news of his death, Geoff Baker, on behalf of Paul, releases this statement: "Paul is saddened to hear of Carl's death. They were close friends and had the greatest respect for each other." George attends his funeral, held in America at the Lambuth University in Jackson on January 23, where he briefly performs, as a tribute, the Perkins' song 'Your True Love'. Paul sent a video message to be played at the service in which he expresses his affection and respect for Carl. Jerry Lee Lewis is also present at the funeral.
Friday January 23
At the A&M Studios in Los Angeles, the track 'Puppet' is completed when the final mixing takes place this evening.
Saturday January 24
Channel 4 broadcasts the 80-minute programme Music For The Millennium; a show based on the HMV/Channel 4 poll. (See following entry for Beatles-related placings.)
Sunday January 25
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is voted the "greatest album of all time" in the Music Of The Millennium survey, conducted by the HMV music stores and Channel 4. From the 36,000 people aged between 19 and 45 who contributed to the survey, Revolver made number three, The Beatles (aka the White Album) made number 10, Abbey Road reached number 12 and Rubber Soul is placed at number 39. John's 1971 album Imagine is placed at number 81. HMV spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo says: "We were amazed by the response, but not surprised to see The Beatles came out on top." When Paul is told of the results, he comments: "The time of Sgt. Pepper was a very productive period for me. Before it came out, the newspapers were saying 'The Beatles are finished. They've dried up.' But we thought, 'Ha, wait until you hear this!' "
Thursday January 29
With the Vertical Man album now technically completed, Ringo holds a "listening party" to play the album to selected friends between 8 and 10pm at the A&M Studios. Visitors include Jeff Lynne, Timothy B. Schmidt, Peter Frampton, Gary Brooker, Geoff Emerick, The Roundheads and, of course, Mark Hudson, as well as Ringo and Barbara.
Q magazine publishes the results of its reader's poll of the Greatest LPs Of All Time. Rubber Soul is placed at number 40, The Beatles (aka the White Album) is at number 17, Abbey Road is at number 12, Sgt. Pepper's is at number seven and Revolver is placed at number two. At the top is Radiohead's OK Computer. The Beatles also feature in the magazine's poll of the Official Worst Album Title Of All Time, with Rubber Soul, Paul's Tripping The Live Fantastic and Ringo's Rotogravure all on the chart.
Paul pays £45,000 to have his famous Violin Hofner bass guitar worked on, in order for it to be insured to the value of £2 million. This £45,000 bill includes the hiring of a chartered jet to fly the bass, housed in a custom-made samsonite case, to New York, where a long-standing tuning problem is corrected. His insurers insisted the legendary bass guitar had to be tuned correctly to meet the requirements of their policy.
During the early part of this month, the German manufacturers of the Volkswagen Beetle, the world's best-selling car, approach The Beatles to help re-promote it. VW board member Klaus Kocks announces: "The Beetle was a cult car and The Beatles also had cult status, which fits well into the concept." VW spokesperson Martina Rudy reveals that they are seeking permission from The Beatles to use a song in a television commercial and that 'Drive My Car', is the most obvious choice. Another alternative is to use the image of the Volkswagen car as featured on the Abbey Road sleeve. Reports suggest that Volkswagen have originally offered $5 million to Apple, while sources close to The Beatles reveal that the figure they had in mind is nearer $50 million! Either way, if it goes ahead, industry experts predict the deal will be "one of the most lucrative in advertising history!" (The UK re-launch of the car takes place in 1999.)
In America, Ringo completes his new album Vertical Man. Produced by the Los Angeles-based Mark Hudson, best known for his work with Aerosmith, and his own band the Hudson Brothers, the album features musical contribution from Paul, George, George Martin, Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith), Alanis Morissette, Tom Petty and, from The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson. The final mixing of the album has been handled by the long-time Beatles associate Geoff Emerick. (For the full list of tracks recorded during the sessions, see entry for June 16,1998.) The title Vertical Man had come from a book of quotations that Ringo's stepdaughter Francesca had won at school. While flipping through the book one day, Ringo notices the line: "Let's hear it for the vertical man, there's always so much praise for the horizontal one."
Sunday February 1
It is revealed that Pauline Sutcliffe, the sister of original fifth Beatle Stuart, has found in her archives some old Beatles' song lyrics written by Stuart and John back in 1960 and 1961. She reveals that she has given them to British band Oasis to record. Some of the lyrics read: "Everybody is getting ready, Everybody is going steady, Everybody but me. I stay home on Friday night, Go to bed at eight, On Saturday night I'm all alone, 'Cos I don't have a date."
Monday February 16
Yoko, in a pre-taped 39-minute interview with Sir Jeremy Isaacs carried out in New York, appears in the UK on the BBC2 late-night programme Face To Face.
Tuesday February 17 (until Thursday February 19)
Mark Hudson and Geoff Emerick fly to New York City where the Vertical Man album is mastered, under their supervision, by the engineer Greg Calbi at Masterdisk. (Emerick will finally return to England on Saturday February 21 - three months after leaving England.) During their visit to New York, Hudson and Bruce Grakal visit the Mercury Records chief Danny Goldberg who is ecstatic about the album and, on April 1, announces that Mercury will be releasing Vertical Man on June 16.
Doctors discover that Linda's cancer has spread to her liver. This month, she gives an interview to O.K.! magazine, where she speaks of her relationship with Paul: "We're just like boyfriend and girlfriend again!"
The proposed release this month of the short animated MPL film Tropic Island Hum fails to materialise. (The first public airing of the clip was during the 1997 MPL documentary Paul McCartney In The World Tonight, where production work on the featurette was seen being carried out.)
The Beatles and Volkswagen discussion rages on. Proposed titles now submitted for the forthcoming VW TV ads include 'Day Tripper', 'Magical Mystery Tour' or 'The Long And Winding Road'. The final decision rests with Michael Jackson, the co-owner of the Northern Songs catalogue, who is reported to have accepted a $10 million offer for the use of a song. George is most annoyed when he hears of this development, saying: "Unless we do something about it, every Beatles' song is going to end up advertising bras and pork pies!"
In London, a secret BBC document is leaked out, revealing that "The Beatles might reunite for the launch of the Millennium Dome". When asked about this rumour, Paul's MPL spokesman Geoff Baker immediately dismisses the story, saying: "It's outrageous that the BBC are using The Beatles' name for this document. I can't believe that this is the best that they can come up with! There's nothing they'd like more than to play together, but they can't - because John's dead!"
An edited 90-minute home video version of The Concert For Montserrat, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday September 15 last year (see entry) is released in the UK.
The National Trust places an advert for a custodian for 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool, in The Big Issue. Starting salary is £9,760 per annum.
Sunday March 1
In the States, Paul contributes a brief video message of himself singing 'Calico Skies' to the American ABC TV special Christopher Reeve - A Celebration Of Hope, a tribute to the Superman actor Reeves who remains paralysed after a terrible horse riding injury.
Wednesday March 4
The film documentary Everest, featuring George's music on the soundtrack (see entry for April) premieres at Boston's Museum of Science. (The film goes into American general cinema release on March 6.)
Wednesday March 11
Paul and Linda visit Paris where they sit hand-in-hand cheering on their fashion designer daughter Stella at a second showcase of her new Chloe fashion creations. Reporters naturally ask Linda how she is feeling: "Right now, I'm feeling great. I'm feeling fit and well and looking forward to having lunch together as a family before we go back to London." An emotional Stella proudly announces: "I'm so happy mum and dad could make it today. Families are what it's all about." Stella tells friends the show tonight is "dedicated to my mum".
In London, Ringo and Barbara visit Hyde Park where they assist in launching a £32 million Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal, a cancer fund specialising in help for nurses and assisting with medical research. For his pictures, Ringo poses with an umbrella in front of a large Help! display, made entirely from yellow daffodils. Ringo and Barbara also request that people buy a golden daffodil instead of a National Lottery ticket.
Monday March 16
After long speculation, George Martin officially retires, and to honour his achievements he throws a party this evening at his AIR Studios in London. Among his guests are Ringo and Barbara, Cilla Black and Rolf Harris. (Sky News is there to capture live the guests arriving for the party.) Also today, Echo Records in the UK release the album George Martin - In My Life.
Thursday March 19
Linda, with her daughter Mary, is photographed with the six-man vegetarian cycling team which she sponsors to the tune of £100,000. All the members of the team sport a shirt bearing the Linda McCartney On Tour logo.
March (end of the month)
At her home in Sussex, Linda poses for a series of six pictures, taken by her daughter Mary, intended for her new cookery publication entitled Linda McCartney On Tour. She is seen with their famous old English sheepdogs and, among others, astride her North American Appaloosa Stallion Blankit. During this period, doctors inform Linda that her cancer has now spread to her liver.
The scheduled release this month of Ringo's album Vertical Man fails to materialise when Guardian, the EMI-affiliated label who is set to distribute the album, collapses.
The restoration of Paul's old house in Forthlin Road in Liverpool, costing £47,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding, is finished and the specially chosen curator will be moving in any day now. Liverpool City Council announces that the house will eventually be open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday.
During the first week, Paul, Linda and children leave England for a holiday in America.
At the IMAX cinema in London's Trocadero, a wide-screen, high-screen, high-definition film called Everest, a documentary look at an attempt to climb the world's highest mountain, is currently being screened and features on the soundtrack orchestral versions of George's 'All Things Must Pass', 'Life Itself', 'This Is Love', 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)' and 'Here Comes The Sun' (alongside the Live In Japan 1991 concert version). This low-key film is screened without any advance "Harrison connection" promotions. Asked why this is so, a spokesperson for the Trocadero replies: "We've been asked not to publicise it." (For the record, the film Everest was premiered on March 4 and released across America on March 6, issued in Australia on March 19 and in Switzerland on March 20. Shortly after its London premiere, the film will open in Holland on April 23, Sweden on April 24 and in Belgium on May 20.)
Sean Lennon gives an interview for the New Yorker magazine, during which he suggests that "Anybody who thinks that Mark Chapman was just some crazy guy who killed my dad for his own personal interests is insane or very naive or hasn't thought about it very clearly." Controversially, he adds, "It was in the best interests of the United States to have my dad killed. Definitely! And that worked against them because, once he died, his powers grew. They didn't get what they wanted."
Sunday April 12
BBC1 in the UK broadcasts the 51-minute programme In My Life, a documentary on the making of George Martin's final album, featuring musical contributions by Goldie Hawn, Robin Williams and Jim Carey among others.
Monday April 13 & Tuesday April 14
In Los Angeles, Ringo begins a round of press sessions to promote his new album Vertical Man. Also on the Tuesday, at Ringo's home in Beverly Hills, Ringo meets up again with the photographer Henry Diltz, who shoots the centrefold picture which will appear in the Vertical Man CD package.
Wednesday April 15
During their Arizona holiday, Paul and Linda go horse riding together. As things turn out, it will be for the very last time.
Friday April 17
At 5:04am (West Coast American Time), Linda McCartney, aged 56, dies from cancer in Paul's arms at their ranch home, north east of Tucson in Arizona. The news of her death is kept secret until Sunday while the location is withheld until Wednesday. Shortly after her death, Paul arranges to have her cremated and will bring her ashes back to England. Linda had bravely fought breast cancer for over two years.
Saturday April 18
While Linda's tragic death remains a secret, a pre-recorded segment featuring Paul performing a unique version of 'Yesterday' merged with The Goons' 'The Ying Tong Song' is transmitted tonight on BBC2, in the UK, as part of an evening of programmes dedicated to his good friend Spike Milligan. The night is suitably titled Spike Night.
Sunday April 19
Paul and his family arrive back in Britain and return to their farmhouse near Rye in Sussex. He immediately scatters Linda's ashes over the farm in what a close friend to the family describes as, "a quiet family occasion" involving Paul and his grieving children, Heather, Mary, Stella and James. The friend adds: "It was very moving - exactly what Linda would have wanted." Following this, Paul begins informing close friends of Linda's death, including Ringo and the comedy writer and fellow animal rights campaigner Carla Lane. Their call lasts for 45 minutes. Through his spokesman Geoff Baker, Paul tells the media of Linda's death and decides to say that she passed away on holiday in Santa Barbara, California.
At 7:44pm, Sky News, in Europe, break the news first that Linda died in California on Friday. A grief-stricken Paul also asks "anyone wishing to pay tribute to Linda should give to cancer research or animal welfare. Or the tribute that Linda would have liked best 'Go Veggie!' "
Geoff Baker speaks with great affection of Linda when he says today: "For us, her friends, the brightest light has left our lives, but she has left us a shining inspiration." He adds: "The blessing was that the end came quickly, she didn't suffer." Naturally, as news of her death begins to spread, reporters converge on the farmhouse where Paul is staying, where they face a man standing guard. "They are naturally very distressed and need some time on their own. They would like their privacy respected," he announces.
Meanwhile, the film director David Puttnam, a close friend of the McCartneys', fights back tears as he breaks news of her death at an awards ceremony in London.
Monday April 20
Ringo and Barbara pay tribute to Linda by issuing, from their Monaco home, the following statement: "Both Barbara and I would like to say how sorry we are. We were privileged to have known her - her positive courage through her illness was truly inspiring. We send all our love to Paul, Heather, Mary, Stella and James. It was a blessing that she was in our lives - Ringo & Barbara."
Geoff Baker announces: "Paul's tragedy of losing Linda is hitting him in waves. One minute he can cope, and the next he can't. He's devastated." He also tells of Paul's plans to issue a mini-album, comprising six unissued Linda McCartney recordings, two of which were recorded just prior to leaving for America for the last time. "Paul is determined to make sure Linda's legacy will be lasting," Baker adds. Meanwhile, the comedy writer Carla Lane reveals that Paul's son James is helping him cope with the heartbreak of losing Linda by sharing his bed. "Paul is being very brave and very positive. But Paul said that the whole family was terrified of him sleeping on his own after Linda died, so Jamie bunked in with him," Carla says. "That's just the way the family are, they are very close. Paul told me 'We will never get over this - but let's get through it.' Paul is being so very brave, at the end of the conversation he was comforting me!"
Later tonight, Linda's brother John Eastman and sisters Laura and Louise join Paul and his family in Sussex to offer their condolences. Meanwhile in New York, mourners for Linda leave bouquets of flowers on the memorial to John Lennon in Central Park.
Tuesday April 21
Early this morning, Paul pens a 564-word tribute to Linda at his Sussex farmhouse.
Wednesday April 22
It publicly emerges that Linda McCartney had died on Friday at their ranch in Arizona and not during their holiday in Santa Barbara, California, as the world was originally led to believe.
Thursday April 23
Due to the American release today of the Columbia records film soundtrack album Armageddon, which features four tracks by Aerosmith, the Columbia label asks Ringo and Mercury Records to remove Steven Tyler's lead vocal on the track 'Drift Away'. Columbia fear, that with Tyier also appearing on Ringo's album, his appearance will constitute a competition.
Friday April 24
At the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London, Julian Lennon makes a live guest appearance on the Channel 4 programme TFI Friday, hosted, as always, by Chris Evans. During the show Julian performs his new single 'Day After Day'.
At the start of the month, George returns for the second time to the Mayo Clinic in America where he is given a clean bill of health. Following a tip-off, journalists catch sight of him leaving the hospital and spark new fears about his health. Within days, stations in America, including MTV and VH-1, are reporting his new cancer scare, saying that he is now suffering from "advanced lung cancer"!
Paul performs a sterling rendition of the Noel Coward song 'A Room With A View', included on the EMI album Twentieth Century Blues, released as a tribute to the late composer, writer and actor. The album is released to raise money for the Red-Hot Aids Charitable Trust. (Paul recorded the song during early March.)
Saturday May 2
At the A&M Studios in Los Angeles, additional final mastering of the Vertical Man album takes place. (The sessions will continue until Wednesday May 6.) In London, in Abbey Road Studio Two, Ringo, Mark and Scott Gordon, with the assistance of an ISDN telephone line connected to Tom Petty and the engineer Eric Greedy at the Village Recorders Studio in Los Angeles, record Petty's new vocal for the track 'Drift Away'. As Ringo points out: "It's nice when you're in my position to have friends like that, who will help you out whenever you need."
Sunday May 3
BBC1 in the UK repeats the 1992 BBC2 Arena documentary entitled Behind The Scenes, as by way of a tribute to Linda.
Monday May 4
The first single from Julian Lennon's new album Photograph Smile is released in the UK, comprising 'Day After Day', backed with 'Don't Let Me Know'.
Tuesday May 5
The case The Beatles vs. Lingasong Music opens in the High Courts of London in front of Mr. Justice Neuberger. In court is Edward "Kingsize" Taylor, who was responsible for taping The Beatles' concert back on December 31, 1962, at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. In evidence today he tells the court that "John Lennon gave me verbal permission to tape The Beatles' performance". Nicholas Merrimen, representing Lingasong Music, the company attempting to re-issue The Beatles' 1962 Star Club tapes, tells the court: "Mr. Taylor said he asked John Lennon and that Lennon said it was OK -as long as he got the ale in!" The case is adjourned until tomorrow when George will give evidence for the plaintiffs.
Wednesday May 6
As expected, George turns up at the High Court in London. Sporting a short hair cut and wearing a grey suit, he tells reporters on his way to the courts: "I drew the short straw and was the one who had to go to court for Apple." (Ringo submitted written evidence while Paul is excused following Linda's death.) Following a brief skirmish with a photographer, George enters the packed courthouse and offers a fascinating insight into The Beatles' Hamburg years. Firstly, he is asked about Lingasong's claim that John Lennon was the leader of The Beatles and that no further permission to record them live was needed from other members of the group.
"We had a democratic thing going between us" George insists. "Everyone had to agree with everything that was done, whether it was a concert in Liverpool or to go to Hamburg." He then went on to emphasise that The Beatles' partnership was very much based on equals, telling the court how John turned to him for musical advice. "I taught John the guitar," George announced. "He had a little guitar with three strings tuned like a banjo. I had to show him all the chords. When I first met him I was very young, but so was he. He was 17 and I was maybe 14 or 15. But, by the time we were in Hamburg, I'd grown up a lot, and I could certainly hold my own against him. He was the loudest, the noisiest and the oldest. He could be wrong about something but try and win the argument just by being loud."
Turning his attention to Taylor's claim that he had The Beatles' permission to record the show that night, George states: "I have no recollection of that particular night, but I am quite certain that, to my mind, there was never any recording equipment there at all. Maybe he had it in the cupboard. Whatever he says, we didn't see it. We didn't ask him to do it, we never heard them, we never had anything to do with them - and that's the story."
Asked about what else he remembers about the Star Club, George says: "It was a really rough place, and the waiters used to let off tear-gas to get rid of the sailors if a fight started. I kept well out of it. But there were also some quite nice people who went to the club. They weren't all gangsters and transvestites - there was teenagers and art students. But by 2am on Saturday, it was hell!"
George is asked about their relationship with Teddy Taylor. "He was a leader of another group," George replies, adding: "In those days, everyone was friendly, but we only saw one another if they happened to play the same club at the same time. K we weren't, we didn't see him from one month to the next. He wasn't a friend we hung around with." George then remarked: "Even if John had given Taylor his permission to tape The Beatles' performance, that does not make it legal for the tape to be turned into an album. One drunken person recording another bunch of drunks does not constitute a business deal. It just did not happen. It certainly didn't take place in my company or my lifetime. Neither Paul nor Ringo heard it either. The only person who allegedly heard anything about it is the one who is dead; who can't actually come here and say it's a load of rubbish."
George continued: "If we had been sitting around the table and Ted Taylor was saying, 'Hey Lads, I am going to record you and I'll make this live record that will come back to haunt you for the rest of your lives', and John was saying, 'Great, you can do if, then I would have said, You are not recording me'. We had a record contract, and we were on a roll. The last thing we needed was one little bedroom recording to come out. The Star Club recording was the crummiest recording ever made in our name!
"There was no organised recording. It was a wild affair. We were just a whole bunch of drunken musicians grabbing guitars, and if Teddy Taylor just happened to have a tape recorder and decided to plug it in and tape us, that still doesn't constitute the right to put out a record. It's not whether he bought a pint of beer for John; it's whether people are allowed to make a recording without permission. I could go out tonight and tape Mick Jagger - but it doesn't mean I could go and sell it. The bottom line is that John didn't give permission, and even if he had, he couldn't have given it for us all. We were a democratic band."
George is also asked about various other aspects of the Beatles early career, including the sacking of The Beatles' original drummer Pete Best. "He was a loner who didn't fit in with the other Beatles, Ringo Starr was the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle."
To end his testimony, George reveals that he "maintains a healthy distance from the past. Unlike The Beatles' experts who wallow in Beatles trivia, I spend a lot of time getting the junk out of my mind through meditation, so I don't know or remember - I don't want to know or remember - every detail, because it is trivial pursuit."
The case was adjourned.
George's arrival, as well as departure from the courts, is featured heavily on the BBC as well as on Sky News in Europe.
Thursday May 7
George's impressive court appearance yesterday is reflected heavily in the national newspapers, with headlines ranging from: "We Were A Bunch Of Drunk Musicians Grabbing Guitars" (the Sun) To "Beatles Want Bootleg Record Banned" (the Daily Telegraph).
Sean Lennon plays his first solo concert in Britain and indeed one of his first solo concerts anywhere in the world tonight, when he performs at the cramped Camden Falcon rock 'n' roll pub in North London.
Friday May 8
Today in the High Court, following a day of deliberations, Mr Justice Neuberger passes judgement in favour of The Beatles' in their court battle against Lingasong Music, who are therefore immediately barred from re-issuing the 1962 Star Club, Hamburg tapes. He also demands that the tapes be given to The Beatles' solicitor and all The Beatles' legal and court costs be paid by Lingasong Music Ltd. Lingasong, who are also liable to pay the Beatles money for damages, also agree to withdraw from sale all unsold copies of the Star Club CD. Mr Justice Neuberger summed up his judgement by concluding: "George's evidence is convincing while Edward (Teddy) Taylor's comments to the court had been confused and inconsistent."
Sunday May 10
Ringo attempts to shoot a promotional video for the song 'La De Da' at New York's Shea Stadium, in between the innings of the New York Mets' baseball game, but unfortunately, due to heavy rain, he changes his plans and instead takes to the New York streets where, along with the teen sensations Hanson, and various passers-by, which include his daughter Lee, he films a video sitting on a bench holding an umbrella in the pouring rain. (The video, when edited, includes footage of Ringo and his band performing the song in the studio as well as footage of Paul singing the chorus, shot at his studio home in Sussex on Monday September 29, 1997 - see entry.) The first clips of this video appear on MTV Europe on May 19 and in America on Entertainment Tonight on May 25.
Tuesday May 12
Ringo and his band, The Roundheads, perform a VH-1 Storytellers warm-up show at the Bottom Line Club in New York City. The show marks the first time that Ringo had performed 'Don't Pass Me By' and 'Octopus's Garden' in public. Back at The Village Recorders Studio in LA, Greg Calbi is remastering the new version of 'Drift Away', featuring Tom Petty's vocal.
Wednesday May 13
Ringo and his band record their edition of the VH-1 Storytellers show at the Bottom Line Club in New York, before a specially invited audience which includes the teen group Hanson. For the 45-minute programme (first transmitted in America on June 28 and in Europe on November 8), the group performs: 'With A Little Help From My Friends' (snippet), 'Back Off Boogaloo', 'Don't Pass Me By' (his first ever solo performance, featuring an introduction on the piano played by Ringo), 'It Don't Come Easy', 'Octopus's Garden', 'La De Da', 'The King Of Broken Hearts' and 'Love Me Do'.
Thursday May 14
In the States, Mercury Records distribute the EPK (Electronic Video Press Kit) for Ringo's album Vertical Man.
Monday May 18
The American showbiz programme Entertainment Tonight broadcasts an interview with both Paul and Ringo, recorded during the recent Vertical Man recording sessions at Paul's home studios in Sussex. (The feature was originally scheduled for May 14 but was cancelled due to a rearranged tribute programme on the death of Frank Sinatra.)
Sean Lennon's album Into The Sun (previously titled Photosynthesis when finished in January of this year) is released on the Beastie Boys Grand Royal label. The release clashes with a new offering from Julian Lennon, his fifth album entitled Photograph Smile, appearing on the Music From Another Room label, a company formed by Julian and his co-producer Bob Rose.
Tuesday May 19
Rhino Home Video in America releases a five-video box set comprising John and Yoko's five-show appearance as co-hosts of The Mike Douglas Show, transmitted daily between Monday February 14 and Friday February 18. (For a full index of the shows, see relevant 1972 entries.) Accompanying the set is a hardbound, 48-page, specially numbered book, featuring a visual record of the five shows, captured by resident TV photographer Michael Leshnov. "John and Yoko were on the right track, just way ahead of their time," comments Mike Douglas in 1998.
Wednesday May 20
Ringo videotapes an appearance on the programme Live With Regis & Kathie Lee, where, following an interview, he joins his group to perform 'La De Da' to close the show. (The show is transmitted on July 3.)
Thursday May 21
Ringo and his band record an appearance on the, normally live, ABC TV show The View. (The programme is broadcast on June 17.) During the show, Ringo performs the songs 'La De Da', 'Photograph' and With A Little Help From My Friends'.
Friday May 22
Ringo and Barbara are seen at the annual Cannes Film Festival in the South of France. (They had actually flown into France the previous evening, and had spent the evening at Elton John's hotel.) Today Ringo attends the auction in aid of Elizabeth Taylor's AIDS charity, held in the Moulin De Mougins restaurant, where, during the afternoon, he jumps on stage to join Elton John and actress Sharon Stone, when a millionaire in the audience pledges £60,000 if the trio will perform the song 'Great Balls Of Fire'. With excitement at fever pitch, and with Ringo still perched behind his drums, another well-off member of the gathering offers £90,000 if the trio will perform 'Twist And Shout', which they duly oblige. Thankfully television cameras, including Sky News, are there to capture this historic one-off performance and broadcast brief highlights as part of their daily Cannes Film Festival roundup of events.
Sunday May 31
To promote his forthcoming short visit to Europe, Ringo is interviewed in Germany for the WDR programme Gute Nacht Gottschaulk. To accompany the interview, a live All Starr band clip of them performing 'It Don't Come Easy' is also transmitted.
An exhibition of Linda's pictures runs in New York, in tandem with a show currently on display in Switzerland.
Promotional interviews by Ringo for Vertical Man this month appear in the publications New Yorker and USA Today.
Monday June 1
Ringo's single 'La De Da' is released to American radio stations.
Saturday June 6
VH-1 in Europe announces the results of their "Artists Top 100" poll, a survey where a wide selection of top contemporary recording artists choose their all-time favourite recording act. To no one's great surprise. The Beatles come out on top. For The Beatles' chart placing of number one, the station plays the second version of the 1996 video for 'Real Love'.
Monday June 8
At 8:30pm, a 90-minute memorial service for Linda McCartney is held at Saint Martin-In-The-Fields Church, in London's Trafalgar Square. Paul arrives in his grey Mercedes with Heather, Mary, Stella and James. Ringo comes with Barbara while George, attempting anonymity in his green anorak and trying to keep dry from the heavy rain, arrives with his wife Olivia and their son Dhani. The order of service is as follows:
MUSIC: 'Mull Of Kintyre' - played by piper John McGeachy, Pipe Major of the Campbeltown Pipe Band who performed on the original Wings single.
WELCOME: By the Rev. Clare Herbert.
HYMN: All Things Bright And Beautiful (choir and congregation).
ADDRESS: By Ken Townsend (former head of Abbey Road Studios).
THE BRODSKY QUARTET PERFORMS SONGS WRITTEN BY SIR PAUL FOR LINDA
'The Lovely Linda' (from the album McCartney) 'You Gave Me The Answer' (from Venus And Mars) 'Maybe I'm Amazed' 'Warm And Beautiful' (from Wings At The Speed Of Sound)
READING: Joanna Lumley reads Death Is Nothing At All by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918), Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Students of the Liverpool Institute of The Performing Arts sing 'Blackbird' (from the LP The Beatles - known as the White Album) and the gospel song 'His Eye Is On The Sparrow'.
ADDRESS: Brian Clarke (friend of Linda and the architectural artist with whom she recently collaborated on a revival of stained-glass photography).
THE BRODSKY QUARTET PERFORM SONGS WRITTEN BY SIR PAUL FOR LINDA
'Golden Earth Girl' (from the album Off The Ground) 'Dear Boy' (from Ram) 'Calico Skies' (from Flaming Pie) 'My Love'
READING: David Bailey reads 'Lyric' by Spike Milligan. ADDRESS: By Carla Lane.
HYMN: 'Let It Be' (choir and congregation) ADDRESS: By Pete Townshend.
Students from LIPA and the choir of St. Martin-In-The-Fields perform 'Celebration' from Sir Paul McCartney's Standing Stone.
PRAYER ADDRESS: By Sir Paul McCartney.
SONG: 'Linda', a song by Jack Lawrence written for Linda when she was a child. Sir Paul made the song into a 45rpm single recording, on which he sang, as a surprise gift for Linda's 45th birthday.
During his address, Paul describes Linda as: "One of the kindest people who made you feel good to be yourself. I'm privileged to have been her lover for 30 years. Except for one enforced absence, we never spent a single night apart."
To the astonishment of the congregation Paul broke off his address to lead two Shetland ponies, called Schoo and Tinsel, which he had given Linda as a Christmas present, up the aisle of the church. "She'd have loved this," said Paul, before continuing: "She was the toughest of women who didn't give a damn what other people thought. She was unique and the world is a better place for having known her. Her message of love will live on in our hearts forever. I love you Linda."
Celebrities who attended the service include Spike Milligan, Joanna Lumley, George Martin, Elton John, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Neil Tennant (of The Pet Shop Boys), Tracy Ullman, David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd), Billy Joel and Michael Parkinson.
The service is covered in the UK by Sky News, BBC, ITN, Channel 4 and Channel 5 as well as appearing on numerous television stations around the world. Witnessing the arrival of these celebrities and various friends of the McCartneys are over 4,000 fans and animal rights protesters who had congregated in the streets around Trafalgar Square.
Wednesday June 10
The 45-minute Vertical Man American radio special is syndicated across America.
Monday June 15
In the States, on the eve of the American release of his new album, Ringo appears live on the top-rated NBC TV chat show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Also joining him on the show is the actress Marilu Henner and Willie Barcena.
Tuesday June 16
Ringo's first album in six years, Vertical Man, is released today in America. The thirteen tracks which appear on the release include 'One', 'What In The ... World' (featuring Sir Paul on bass), 'Mindfield', 'King Of The Broken Hearts' (George on slide guitar and production by Sir George Martin), 'Love Me Do' (Ringo re-records The Beatles first single from 1962), 'Vertical Man', 'Drift Away', 'I Was Walkin' ', 'La De Da' (Paul on backing vocals), 'Without Understanding', 'I'll Be Fine Anywhere' (George on guitar), 'Puppet' and 'I'm Yours'.
The album's producer Geoff Emerick describes it as: "Ringo's Sgt. Pepper. He's got 13 number ones on it."
Four additional tracks ('Sometimes', 'Mr. Doubleitup', 'Everyday' and 'Good News') were recorded and will appear on various up-coming single B-sides, including the American retail chain Best Buy who issues a sampler single of three of these songs if you pre-order the album. This very limited CD is only issued at twenty copies per store. The UK release of Vertical Man takes place on August 3, brought forward from its original date of August 10.
Wednesday June 17
In what turns out to be a very busy day promoting his new album, Ringo appears three times on the American media. Namely, live (for 45 minutes) on the Howard Stem radio show, The View (pre-taped on May 21) and in a pre-recorded 44-minute interview on CNN's Larry King Live. This is in addition to an AOL (American On Line) Internet interview this evening between 7 and 9pm. In this he answers questions about the VH-1 Storytellers programme, working with the teen group Hanson, being a grandfather and George's recent cancer scare. "I had lunch with him... he was fine," Ringo replies. He ends the two-hour session by saying (or rather writing): "I love you all. Peace, love and bananas ... good night."
Thursday June 18
VH-1 in Europe celebrate Paul's 56th birthday by declaring the station Paul McCartney Day with repeat screenings of the 1997 Town Hall Meeting, Ten Of The Best, Paul McCartney's Greatest Hits plus a revised repeat of the 1997 VH-1 To 1 interview at Abbey Road Studios.
Friday June 19
Sean Lennon makes his debut on CBS TV's Late Show With David Letterman from the historic Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.
Monday June 22
The American memorial service for Linda McCartney takes place at the Riverside Church on Riverside Drive in New York. Among those in attendance are Chrissie Hynde, Paul Simon, Twiggy and Neil Young. During the service. Twiggy reads a poem by William Cooper, which includes the poignant line "heaven is reflected in her face". The Harlem Boys Choir sing 'Blackbird' and 'His Eye Is On The Sparrow', and The Lorma Mar string quartet performs 'The Lovely Linda' and 'My Love'. Just as at the London service two weeks ago, the congregation sings 'Let It Be'. The church, situated on Manhattan's Upper West Side, is filled with 45,000 flowers and eight blown-up colour pictures of Linda. Paul tells the congregation: "It's a very sad time for us all, but she wouldn't want it to be sad, but to count our blessings, as there are so many of them. We have four gorgeous kids and she lives on in all of them, and through them she's here. I was so lucky to be the one she chose. She was a friend, a beautiful friend to so many people. You know I love her and you all love her too - that's why we're here tonight."
Sadly, much of the publicity surrounding the service dwells on the fact that Paul did not invite Yoko and her son Sean to the ceremony, although they sent a bouquet of flowers. A spokesman for John's widow remarks: "She was saddened by it." (Reports on the service are featured on numerous American news bulletins, including, among others, Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight.) A spokesman for Paul announces: "It was something that had been in the back of Paul's mind for a while, because of Lin' coming from New York. There were a lot of people over there who couldn't get to the first one."
Thursday June 25
Sean Lennon plays only his second English concert when he appears, supporting Money Mark, at the Astoria in West London. The show is a 7pm start.
Friday June 26
Almost a year to the day since Paul appeared on the show, Ringo becomes the second Beatle to appear on Channel 4's tea-time show TFI Friday, transmitted live (between 6:01 and 6:59pm, repeated later this evening between 11:36pm and 12:33am) from the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London. Ringo appears in a brief interview only but promises to perform live on the show when it returns in September, a promise he fails to keep. The segment ends just as with Paul a year ago, with Ringo joining the host Chris Evans on a speedboat for a ride down the River Thames to visit their (fictional) "Beatle Cave". The programme itself ends with the back of someone who is supposed to be George, emphasised by a sitar which just happens to be propped against the wall.
Saturday June 27
The real life George, meanwhile, is to be found sitting at home in Henley watching the Eurosport World Cup coverage of Italy beating Norway 1-0 (he was cheering on Norway), when a reporter from the News Of The World visits his mansion. The interview is published the following day.
Sunday June 28
A two-page feature "Beatle George: My Fight To Beat Cancer" appears in today's News Of The World, in which he talks about his cancer ordeal and announces that he's making a new album. When reporter Dennis Rice asks him if the events of the last year might be reflected in his new songs, George replies: "Maybe I'll record a track called 'Radiation Therapy' ". (Further reports on George's cancer scares appear in the Sun and the Daily Star the following day.)
Monday June 29
George issues a further statement about his cancer scare, saying: "The cancerous lump (which was removed from his throat) is entirely down to smoking. This is more of a warning than anything else."
In the UK, Ringo causes controversy when, during an interview published this month in The Big Issue, he claims that: "All drugs should be legalised!" Also this month, Ringo continues with further UK Vertical Man promotional interviews but requests that all journalists wishing to meet him must not "smoke, drink alcohol, or eat onions or garlic for at least one hour before the session". In reply to these requests, a reporter for the Evening Standard remarks: "He has yet to make his position clear on salami!"
Friday July 3
Ringo's appearance on Live With Regis & Kathie Lee (actually recorded on May 20) is transmitted in America. Appearing with Ringo is Joshua Jackson and Andrew Keegan.
Saturday July 4
A clip from Ringo's 'La De Da' video is premiered across the UK on the ITV Chart Show.
Sunday July 5
Julian Lennon appears at the star-studded Prince's Trust Concert at London's Hyde Park, alongside artists such as Tom Jones and All Saints.
Wednesday July 8
Further promotions for Vertical Man take place in America when a brief pre-recorded interview with Ringo by Denis Michaels is included in today's edition of the CNN programme Showbiz Today. (The programme is also screened throughout Europe via cable and satellite.)
Thursday July 9
George is in the audience tonight during Ravi Shankar's annual concert at the Barbican Centre in London.
Sunday July 12
VH-1 in Europe broadcasts a short, pre-recorded, interview with Ringo promoting Vertical Man on the programme Talk Music. (The programme is repeated the following day, as well as on Thursday July 16.)
Wednesday July 15
In the UK, rumours abound that Paul, George, Ringo as well as George Martin will be attending a bash celebrating Liverpool music, held in the dining rooms of the House of Commons in London, an event organised by Peter Kilfoyle, the Liverpudlian cabinet office minister.
At the BBC TV Centre in London, Ringo appears live on the BBC1 show National Lottery Live, where he starts the lottery balls rolling and then, to close the show, he and his band mime a version of 'La De Da'.
Monday July 20
At the BBC TV Centre, Wood Lane, London, Julian Lennon appears as a guest on the late night BBC2 talk show Ruby, hosted by the American comedienne Ruby Wax.
Tuesday July 21
Paul's former Liverpool home at 20 Forthlin Road, is finally unveiled to the nation's media. The ITV breakfast show GMTV gets the first glimpse of the results in a live broadcast from the property this morning. In keeping with The Beatles' flavour, the programme also features a pre-recorded interview with Ringo, who again promotes his album Vertical Man. (The unveiling of Paul's former home also features heavily on the BBC, ITN and Channels 4 and 5 news bulletins throughout the day.) The house will be open to the public on Wednesday July 29, staying open from Wednesday to Saturday every week until October 31. The curator of this historic showpiece museum is the 50-year-old Beatles fanatic John Halliday.
Wednesday July 22
BBC2 in the UK screen the programme The Birthplace Of The Beatles, a fascinating 25-minute programme which focuses on the history of the renovation, by the National Trust, of Paul's former home in Liverpool.
Saturday July 25
Ringo makes a live appearance on the BBC Radio 2 programme The Steve Wright Show, transmitted from the BBC studios adjacent to Portland Place, London.
Monday July 27
All of Ringo's recent promotional activities in the UK seem to have been in vain when Mercury Records announce that they will not, after all, release his single 'La De Da'.
Tuesday July 28
In America, the 135-minute PMI home video Ringo & His 4th All-Starr Band from Pine Knob Michigan, recorded at the venue on May 30, 1997, is released on home video.
Thursday July 30
It is announced that The Beatles' 1964 big screen debut A Hard Day's Night is to be re-released to cinemas next year to celebrate its 35th anniversary. This newly restored print will include footage never seen before and a soundtrack that has been digitally re-recorded. Walter Shenson, the film's producer, says: "It will be a hit with new fans when it is shown in the UK next year."
After a long-standing dispute, it's revealed that Paul has secretly paid Uly Evans, the widow of Beatles' roadie Mal, £100,000 for the handwritten lyrics to 'With A little Help From My Friends'.
Sunday August 2
In the UK, Paul appears on the front page of the People newspaper in a story about his plea to save monkeys.
Monday August 3 & Tuesday August 4
Ringo appears as a guest on the American E! Network TV programme The Howard Stern Show. (Part two is aired on the station the following day, August 4.)
In England, George appears completely unannounced on the BBC Radio 2 programme hosted by Paul Jones, the former lead singer of Manfred Mann. During his brief appearance, George displays an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of blues recordings.
Wednesday August 5
In his first major interview since Linda's death in April, Paul announces that he will continue with Linda's animal rights crusades. He speaks to two publications, Viva Life and Animal Times, run by animal campaigners: "Animal rights is too good an idea for the next century to be suppressed. I think it's time we got nice." He then touched upon his wife Linda, admitting that he is still "mourning her loss".
Ringo & His Fourth All-Starr Band
1998 Summer Tour
Friday August 7 - Saturday September 5
Ringo and his fourth All-Starr Band, featuring the same line-up of musicians who made up the 1997 tour, perform concerts at:
The Helsingin Jaahalli, Helsinki, Finland (Friday August 7)
Festival, Zurich, Switzerland (Saturday August 8)
Skanderborg, Festivale, Skanderborg in Denmark (Sunday August 9)
Freilichtbuehne, Killesburg, Stuttgart in Germany (Wednesday August 12)
Theatreplatz, Chemnitz, Germany (Thursday August 13)
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (Saturday August 15 - concert cancelled, allegedly over a disagreement with the promoter)
Marktrock Festival, Leuven, Belgium (Sunday August 16)
Expo, Lisbon, Portugal (Tuesday August 18)
The Point, Dublin, Ireland (Thursday August 20)
The Shepherds Bush Empire, London (Friday August 21. A planned second concert on Saturday August 22 fails to materialise.)
Moscow Sports Complex, Moscow, Russia (Tuesday August 25)
Jubilee Complex, St. Petersburg, Russia (Wednesday August 26)
Sporting Club, Monte Carlo (Friday August 28, Saturday August 29 and Sunday August 30)
Gruga Halle, Essen, Germany (Tuesday September 1)
Stadtpark, Hamburg, Germany (Wednesday September 2)
Museumshof, Bonn, Germany (Thursday September 3)
Wintershall '98 Rock Extravaganza, Kent (Saturday September 5)
Their standard set for each concert is as follows: 'It Don't Come Easy', 'Act Naturally', 'Whiskey Train' (Gary Brooker), 'Show Me The Way' (Peter Frampton), 'Sunshine Of Your Love' (Jack Bruce), 'Love Me Do', 'I'm The Greatest', 'La De Da', 'All Right Now' (Simon Kirke), 'Boys', 'Do You Do' (Peter Frampton), 'White Room' (Jack Bruce), 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' (Gary Brooker), 'Yellow Submarine' and 'With A Little Help From My Friends'.
Saturday August 15
The German news channel N-TV transmits a pre-recorded interview with Ringo to talk about the recent and forthcoming German All-Starr Band concerts. The feature also includes a live clip of 'It Don't Come Easy' taped at Theatreplatz Chemnitz on Thursday August 13.
Wednesday August 19
Ringo is spotted in Chelsea, London, buying a pair of army trousers. The Sun newspaper runs a story telling how the current all-girl hit group All Saints snubbed Ringo who wanted to meet them during their current London rehearsals.
Friday August 21
Backstage at tonight's concert at The Shepherds Bush Empire in London, Ringo gives an interview for the Australian Channel 9 programme Today Show, an item transmitted on Thursday July 27.
Tuesday August 25
Ringo's live concert appearance at the Moscow Sports Complex tonight marks the first live appearance by any of The Beatles in Russia.
Saturday September 5
Tonight's concert in Wintershall, Kent, is part of the Wintershall '98 open-air rock extravaganza, which is billed as a secret low-key "black collar and tie" concert in aid of a Lung Cancer Charity. Joining Ringo and the All-Starrs tonight are Rory Bremner, Roger Taylor (of Queen) and Bob Geldof, who sings a version of John's 'Working Class Hero'. Also joining Ringo tonight during their abbreviated set is Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford.
Sunday September 6
Ringo and his band fly back to America.
Monday September 7
Ringo and his band appear on the annual American televised Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.
Saturday August 8
In the UK, in his first major interview since Linda's death, Paul talks to the Express newspaper.
Sunday August 23
Paul appears again in a Sunday newspaper. In today's edition of the News Of The World, he hits out at the pig farmers.
In London, Julian makes a pre-recorded appearance on the VH-1 morning show The Sunday Brunch.
Monday August 24
The Sun newspaper publishes, on its front page, a world exclusive under the headline: "I'm Lennon's Lost Sister", naming 53-year-old Ingrid Pedersen as John Lennon's long lost sister. An emotional Ingrid, given up for adoption as a baby by John's mother Julia, tells the Sun: "I'm just so sorry John is not here anymore. I'd have loved nothing more than to hug him and say, 'Hi bruv, gissa kiss!' " The newspaper requests John's other sisters, Julia and Jacqui, to contact them.
Tuesday August 25
The Sun continues its coverage of John's lost sister Ingrid by publishing a story about her visit to well-known Beatle tourist spots in Liverpool, such as Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. Ingrid also speaks about her sadness in discovering her mother's grave unmarked and overgrown. "The mother of John Lennon deserves better than this! I'm disgusted," she tells the paper. Meanwhile another of John's half-sisters Julia, aged 51, contacts the Sun and says: "I can't wait to meet Ingrid. It has been a very emotional day. You can imagine my feelings." John's first wife Cynthia also contacts the paper from her home in France. "John was obsessed with finding his long-lost sister Ingrid. He was convinced he would find her. Maybe if he'd lived he would have done," Cynthia says, concluding: "It's a miracle she's turned up now."
Thursday August 27
There's bad news for Ringo when his album Vertical Man crashes out of the UK charts after selling just 2,000 copies since its release. (Its highest chart position was only number 85, just one week after its release.) A source close to Ringo announces: "He is obviously more than a little disappointed with the sales. Ringo put a lot of time and effort into the album and there was an array of talent on it too. But clearly this wasn't enough. It seems the public just didn't like it and it shows that not everything connected to the fab four is going to be popular and profitable."
Meanwhile, the Sun reveals that a denim jacket, worn by John on the night he was thrown out of the Troubadour club in Los Angeles on Tuesday March 12, 1974 (see entry and picture section), has a reserve price of £14,000 at a London auction.
Friday August 28
Four days after the appearance of John's lost sister; a trainee reporter from BBC Radio Merseyside meets an unnamed German art student who claims that she is John's illegitimate daughter. This dubious 32-year-old who wears round glasses and sports a floppy Beatles mop-top haircut, produces a birth certificate which bears the name of her father as John Lennon. She tells the reporter: "I was born in Hamburg in 1965, having been fathered by Lennon in January or February of that year, while his wife Cynthia was skiing in the Alps." John's Uncle Charlie Lennon, who breaks the story, says: "When she leaves here she will say 'Give us a kiss Uncle Charlie' - I'm her Uncle Charlie, no messing." The Beatles' first manager Allan Williams, when told of this story says: "Her claims are rubbish. Lennon was in Switzerland when she was conceived." Meanwhile, Steve of The Beatles Shop in Mathews Street, Liverpool, storms: "The woman is not welcome in the shop and she knows it. As far as anyone who has anything to do with The Beatles in Liverpool is concerned, this woman is persona non grata!"
Saturday August 29
Back in Hamburg, Germany, the mysterious woman who claimed yesterday to be the illegitimate daughter of John, is named as Kristina Hagel. She tells a News Of The World reporter that she was conceived as a result of a one-night stand between John and her mother Marion in an Alpine hotel room 33 years ago. Again she produces a birth certificate which names John as her father. A few hours later the News Of The World investigators obtain another copy of the birth certificate from the same register in Hamburg. This certificate makes no mention of John being her natural father, naming instead "worker Karl August Egon Hagel".
Tuesday September 1 (until Saturday September 5)
John's erotic lithographs briefly go on display for the first time in almost 30 years at London's Gallery 27 in Cork Street. A spokesman for the exhibition remarks: "I do not foresee any problems with the police this time around. Things have changed quite a lot in 30 years!"
Thursday September 3
In the States, at a press conference in Los Angeles, California, Capitol Records announces the release of the forthcoming 4-CD box set entitled John Lennon Anthology. They announce that the set is scheduled for worldwide release on November 3.
Sunday September 6
The Sunday Mail newspaper publishes the results of the poll "The All Time Top 1,000 Albums", from the book of the same name, which is published tomorrow. The Beatles are placed at number one with Revolver, number two with Sgt. Pepper's, number three with The Beatles (the White Album), number five with Abbey Road and, at number 20 with Rubber Soul. The poll is based on the views of 200,000 people aged between nine and 62 on both sides of the Atlantic. (A further report on the poll appears in tomorrow's edition of the Daily Mail.)
Wednesday September 9
The culmination of the traditional MPL promoted Buddy Holly Week takes the form of a National Rock 'N' Roll Dance Championship concert at The Empire in Leicester Square, London. Paul is in attendance but declines to take part in the end of show finale.
Thursday September 10
VH-1 Europe hosts a press launch for their upcoming 20-part series Ed Sullivan Rock 'n' Roll Classics, at the Atlantic Bar & Grill, in Glasshouse Street, London. (The Beatles feature in three of the compilation shows, which is due to begin transmission on Friday October 9.) This ends a 21-month attempt by the station to screen this classic series.
Friday September 11
Yoko issues a press release announcing her feelings about the upcoming 4-CD John Lennon Anthology box set.
Saturday September 12
In the UK, the Daily Mail newspaper publishes the results of its "Top Ten Voices" poll, conducted from the opinions of 175 top recording stars and performers. John is placed at number four while Paul appears at number 13. Aretha Franklin is voted number one.
While Paul's former home in Forthlin Road, Liverpool has been renovated at great expense with National Lottery money, a report in today's edition of The Look (free with the Mirror newspaper), features a report on Ringo's former home in Admiral Grove in The Dingle, Liverpool and George's former childhood dwelling in Upton Grove, Speke, in Liverpool. The occupant of the latter property, Edna Kermode, who took over residence in 1962, remarks: "I didn't know George Harrison used to live here until I moved in. We've turned the house inside out because it was a mess! The wallpaper was hanging off all over the place and I don't think the Harrisons had much idea on how to decorate."
Sunday September 13
Julian appears in a pre-recorded interview on the VH-1 Europe programme Talk Music.
Wednesday September 16
The first of a special two-day Sotheby's sale takes place at the Hard Rock Cafe in London. The highlight is Paul's notebook featuring his original draft lyrics to the 1968 song 'Hey Jude'. The book, which also contains the lyrics to 'All You Need Is Love', is bought for £115,000 by the Hollyoaks actress Davina Murphy's father for her 22nd birthday. Other Beatles-related items on offer include Ringo's original customised 1965 Mini-Cooper S. (The second day of the sale takes place at the normal Sotheby's premises when the wardrobe of Geri Halliwell, formerly Ginger Spice, is put up for auction.)
Friday September 18
The third episode of the current series of BBC2's Rock Family Trees focuses on the rise of The Mersey Sound, featuring Gerry And The Pacemakers, The Big Three, The Merseybeats, The Searchers and, of course, briefly The Beatles.
Saturday September 19
Today's edition of the Sun newspaper features, on its front page, an exclusive story, revealing that Mel B (Sporty) and Victoria (Posh) of the Spice Girls have turned vegetarian as a tribute to Linda McCartney. They tell how they had contacted Paul's office in London and asked for advice on giving up meat and were sent a selection of Linda's cookbooks, including Home Cooking and Linda's Kitchen. A source close to the girls said Paul was "chuffed" the girls had taken his advice and sent all four of The Spice Girls a copy of Linda's new book On Tour. The Sun also reveals that Paul is teaming up with Pretenders' star Chrissie Hynde in organising a star-studded world tour as a tribute to Linda. They will call upon other acts, including George and Ringo, who support veggie causes. Other artists, including Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, R.E.M. and Blur, are rumoured to be joining the shows, likely to be called The On Tour Shows. A source close to Paul says: "Chrissie was close friends with Linda and the tour was her idea. Paul thinks its a great idea and knows it could raise a lot of money for groups Linda supported. It will keep her memory alive and is just what she would have wanted. George and Ringo are keen but it is likely to be part of some sort of supergroup. The money-making potential for Linda's favourite charities is huge."
Monday September 21
The hype surrounding the release of the John Lennon Anthology continues today in America, as Capitol Records announce the full listing of the tracks to be featured on the four CDs.
In the UK, The Fireman, Paul's secret project with the producer Youth, releases the album entitled Rushes, on Hydra records through EMI. The press release to accompany the album reads: "The Fireman brings bison for trancing in the streets. The Fireman understands darsh walls and emerdeen sky. Do you? The Fireman knows a lemon's peal. And the power of the equinox." The track listing for Rushes is: 'Watercolour Guitars', 'Paloverde', 'Auraveda', 'Fluid', 'Appletree Cinnabar Amber', 'Bison', '7am', 'Fluid', 'Bison' (extended).
Wednesday September 23
A pre-taped interview with Paul is broadcast on the station BBC Radio Merseyside.
Thursday September 24
On what would have been Linda's 57th birthday, Paul releases the Linda McCartney cookbook On Tour.
Saturday September 26
At the small 12th Century parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Peasmarsh, East Sussex, Paul attends the wedding of his 27-year-old daughter Mary to television producer Alistair Donald, her partner of three years. Mary's sisters Stella, who designed her wedding dress, and Heather are bridesmaids. In attendance are 100 close friends, who had arrived in a coach. Following the private 40-minute ceremony, Paul chauffeurs the couple away from the church in a vintage Rolls Royce and ignores pleas to speak to the waiting reporters.
Sunday September 27
The News Of The World publishes a story about Ringo's gardener Kenny Hockley who has been caught selling drugs from a greenhouse in the grounds of Ringo's £2 million mansion.
The ITV network screens the documentary Clive James Meets The Super Models, which features Paul, Linda, Ringo and Barbara backstage at Stella McCartney's Paris fashion show on October 15, 1997 (see entry for more on that event).
Wednesday September 30
George sues the publishers Random House over an alleged libel in their book All Dressed Up: The Sixties And The Counter Culture, written by Jonathan Green. George is seeking £100,000 in damages over an allegation that he accepted sexual favours in exchange for a donation to charity. (See entry for Tuesday January 12, 1999.)
Capitol Records in America preview the forthcoming John Lennon Anthology by releasing as part of a special Internet website, four full-length tracks off the album, namely 'I'm Losing You', 'Oh My Love', "Watching The Wheels' and 'Sean's In The Sky'. The site also displays the Anthology artwork to accompany the release and gives a full track listing of the four CDs.
Friday October 2
Paul attends a promotional party for his new Fireman album Rushes at EMI's Abbey Road Studios Studio Two. Dressed in a yellow rain hat, a black balaclava, sunglasses and headphones, he appears behind a record deck spinning discs and playing keyboards in front of a large psychedelic backdrop complete with a couch, candles and coloured lights. The get-together also forms a part of a special Fireman webcast Internet show, in which Paul appears in person, answering questions and playing snatches of the new album. Fans are requested to send e-mail questions to The Fireman, which are answered by the girl from the Rushes cover (who this time remains clothed) who sits next to a silent Paul on the couch. This strange spectacle is notable for the bizarre answers that fans receive during the show. One fan asks: "What inspired you to do this album?" The answer: "Night skies, flowing streams and whipped cream fire extinguishers." Another asks: "How did The Fireman get his name?" The reply: "The Fireman is no nickname -simply a warm place in the head!" Eventually fans start asking equally strange questions, such as: "How is your belly for spots?" The response: "The Fireman's belly is clear and facing towards a bright future."
Anyone unsure that the figure beneath the heavy disguise is actually Paul is left in no doubt when, at the end of the sitting, he blows his cover by giving his familiar thumbs up gesture, before thanking everyone for taking part. The broadcast ends with a note, which reads: "The Fireman Loves You".
Saturday October 3
BBC Radio Two broadcasts a special 40th anniversary tribute to the programme Saturday Club. Included in the broadcast is a Beatles performance of 'Twist And Shout', originally transmitted on August 24, 1963.
Monday October 5
With a month still to go before its official release, the American web site Hollywood & Vine previews, on its pages, four tracks to be released on the CD box set John Lennon Anthology, scheduled for issue on November 3.
Friday October 9
In America, to coincide with what would have been John's 58th birthday, VH-1, at 6:30pm, broadcasts the world premiere video featuring an alternative take of his song 'Working Class Hero' as featured on the John Lennon Anthology box set. Also today, John's birthday celebrations continue when Yoko, alongside the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, dedicates a tree in honour of him in the Strawberry Fields area of Central Park in New York. During the ceremony, the Mayor presents Yoko with the Freedom of the City award, which was awarded posthumously to John in 1984, but was never officially presented.
Saturday October 10
In Germany, Ringo and his band appear on the ZDF German TV variety show Wetten Dass, where they mime a performance of 'La De Da'. Ringo also takes part in a game show where a young Beatles fan is challenged to name Beatles song titles from only the briefest snatch of the song's lyrics.
Sunday October 11
The E! Network in America transmits a two-hour special entitled John Lennon - His Final Days.
Monday October 12
Today's 43rd Woman Of The Year lunch, at the Savoy Hotel in London, is in honour of Linda, who is honoured with an empty chair. Paul sends to every guest present a floral tribute and a message that reads: "Linda would have been chuffed at this honour", jokingly adding, "It is a shame that us blokes can't go." A spokesman for the event remarks to reporters: "Linda could have been a lady of leisure, but she pursued her own career and ideals. She was very much in the spirit of what we are celebrating."
Wednesday October 14
At a highly acclaimed fashion show in Paris, Stella McCartney dedicates her new range of spring clothes to her late mother Linda. She says: "This collection is dedicated to my mum... She was everything. Also, to my dad, brother and sisters, who have kept me strong. Everything. Always, Stella." She makes the dedication in the form of a statement after she receives a standing ovation for the collection which, fashion experts say, "capture the soft and feminine feel". Backstage at the event, Stella talks about her mother, Linda. "She was incredible. Everyone who met her for even ten minutes thought the same. She was strong, motherly, normal, warm. She had all the right values. People thought the animals thing was just her sympathising with a cute beagle, but it was much more intelligent than that. I'll never meet anyone like her - I just hope I have some of her qualities."
Asked about his daughter's collection, Paul remarks: "I am very proud of her because she is a serious English designer more than holding her own at the heart of Paris fashion. It is beautiful, just beautiful. It's a credit to the family. Here we are seeing real clothes for real women to look really good in." Members of the audience, at the old Paris Stock Exchange, dub the exhibition the "Yes tonight, Josephine" look. The Beatles' track 'Hey Jude' is used as background music for part of the show. The audience, which includes Mick Hucknell, of Simply Red, and Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys, are also treated to highly amusing outtakes of President Clinton protesting that he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky.
Back in London at the BBC Maida Vale studios, a 30th anniversary party is held for the release of The Beatles' film Yellow Submarine. Organised by TVC London, the production company which produced the animation, and Hieronimus and Co. Inc., who are currently putting together a book on the film for release next year, the party plays host to a number of celebrities and actors involved with film. Among them are Eric Segal, the film's scriptwriter. Lance Percival, the voice of "old Fred" among others, and John Clive, the cartoon voice of John.
Monday October 19
Mercury Records release, simultaneously around the world, Ringo's album VH-1 Storytellers. The track listing is: 'With A Little Help From My Friends', 'I Was Walkin' ', 'Don't Pass Me By', 'Back Off Boogaloo', 'King Of Broken Hearts', 'Octopus's Garden', 'Photograph', 'La De Da', 'What In The World', 'Love Me Do', 'With A Little Help From My Friends' (reprise).
Also today, Paul releases to the press a set of previously unpublished pictures of Linda, taken by Paul, dated 1969. These wonderful shots are seen on Sky News this evening and reproduced in the Mirror newspaper the following day.
Tuesday October 20
At the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York this afternoon, Ringo tapes another appearance on the CBS TV show Late Night With David Letterman where, besides a brief interview, he performs 'Back Off Boogaloo'. (Viewers in Europe have a chance to see the show when it is transmitted on The Paramount Comedy Channel the following evening.) Following this, at 7pm, Ringo is to be found signing copies of his Storytellers and Vertical Man albums at the Tower Records store based at 66th and Broadway in New York. The first 250 in the queue are given a special Tower Records wristband so that they can return later to meet Ringo. Unfortunately, many of the waiting fans do not get to meet him, as the former Beatle stays at the venue for just one hour, restricting fans to just two signatures.
Wednesday October 21
Ringo makes another appearance on the American ABC TV show Live With Regis & Kathie Lee, where again Ringo and his band perform 'Back Off Boogaloo'.
Friday October 23
A pre-recorded interview with Paul, carried out by Des Lynam at Abbey Road in London, is broadcast in the UK on BBC Radio 2 between 5:07 and 7:00pm.
At the Grosvenor House Hotel in London this evening, George Martin is presented with an Outstanding Achievement award at the annual Music Industry Trusts' Dinner. Commenting on the award and the dinner held in his honour, Sir George replies: "This is probably the most important thing that's happened to me. I think it a bit over the top and I don't think I deserve it, but to be honoured by this kind of thing by your peers in the music industry, for me, this is a very moving occasion." Tributes to George pour in from musicians all over the world, including Paul, George and Ringo, who all sent video messages, along with the Prime Minister Tony Blair. Paul's message reads: "Congratulations on getting the man of the year, man of the minute, the man of the hour, the man for me. Thanks for everything you've done for us all. We love you."
Saturday October 24
In the UK, the BBC2 weekly archive programme TOTP2 screens, for the first time on British television, the MPL animated promotional film clip for Linda's Wide Prairie.
The German TV station RTL Super broadcasts (between 8:15pm and 00:05am European time) a Beatles Night of programming, with screenings of Hi-Hi-Hilife (Help!), Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! (A Hard Day's Night) and the recent George Martin documentary In My Life.
Monday October 26
Parolophone/EMI releases, simultaneously around the world, Linda's album Wide Prairie, containing 13 Linda McCartney tracks, many of which are previously unreleased and span 20 years of her recorded material. Paul explains the background to the album: "A couple of years ago, a fan wrote to Linda saying she had enjoyed 'Seaside Woman' and asked if there were any more tracks of hers available. That letter made us decide to gather all the music she had recorded through the years and put it on one album."
To coincide with its release, a pre-taped interview with Paul, his first since Linda's death, is released to various TV stations where he talks about cancer. The only UK TV station to screen clip's from this is the ITN News at 5:40 and 10:00pm. Meanwhile, it is reported that in some Tower Records stores around America, copies of the very last Club Sandwich, issue number 86, are given away free when you buy the Wide Prairie album.
Wednesday October 28
In the UK, The Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road comes under scrutiny in the first programme of the new BBC Radio Two series Classic Albums, transmitted this evening between 10:02 and 10:30pm.
Friday October 30
The proposed White Album - 30th Anniversary radio programme is cancelled. Producers put this down to a lack of interest from American radio stations. They claim that out of the 177 enquiries for the three-hour programme, only two stations wished to carry the show (see entry for November 1).
The Fireman Internet website repeats (at 11pm) the exclusive interview with the Fireman, previously aired on Friday October 2 (see entry). For those who missed it again, the show is repeated on November 20 at 11pm.
During the first week of the month, on a sound stage in San Francisco, Dean Carr directs a promotional film to accompany John's 'I'm Losing You', a track to be included on the upcoming John Lennon Anthology box set. The video features cleverly cut footage of John and his animated drawings intercut with footage of the musicians who originally played on the track back in 1980, namely Rick Nelson, Ben. E. Carlos and Tony Levin. Tony Levin: "Amazingly we all remembered our parts on the songs. The video shoot was fun and professional."
It is announced that the publishers Little Brown have purchased, for the sum of £75,000, the rights to Danny Fields' biography of Linda McCartney. Fields had acted as a spokesman for the McCartneys after her death, and the book has received full co-operation from Paul.
Sunday November 1
The newspaper USA Weekend publish an exclusive, lengthy, interview with Paul conducted by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, a fellow animal-rights campaigner and close friend to the McCartneys. Paul touchingly describes Linda's final days and admits that he had to seek out professional advice to overcome his grief. "I got a counsellor because I knew that I would need some help," he recalls. "He was great, particularly in helping me get rid of my guilt. Whenever anyone you care about dies, you wish you'd been perfect all the time you were with them. That made me feel very guilty after Linda died. The guilt's a real bugger. But then I thought, hang on a minute. We were just human. That was the beautiful thing about our marriage. We were just a boyfriend and girlfriend having babies." Paul goes on to reveal that he did not let on to Linda that the treatment she was having was not going to work, and that the end was near. "I knew a week or so before she died. I was the only one who knew. One of the doctors said she ought to be told, but I didn't want to tell her because I didn't think she'd want to know."
Paul is also asked about Yoko not being invited to attend Linda's New York memorial service. He explains: "We decided to stay true to Linda's spirit and only invite her nearest and dearest friends. Seeing as Yoko wasn't one of those, we didn't invite her. People who were maybe doing it out of duty weren't asked. Everyone who went remarked that there were so many friends there and it was such a warm atmosphere. Everyone who spoke, spoke from the heart, genuinely. Linda would have hated anything else."
The scheduled first broadcasts in America of a 30th anniversary tribute programme to The Beatles' 1968 White Album fails to show. The proposed 150-minute show was due to contain, over six segments, tracks like 'Birthday' (featuring alternative vocals), 'Don't Pass Me By' (unedited version), 'Revolution' (basic tracks of rock version), and various demo recordings, including 'Back In The USSR', 'Sour Milk Sea', 'Blackbird', 'I'm So Tired', 'Piggies', 'What's The New Mary Jane' and an excerpt from the legendary unreleased 27-minute version of 'Helter Skelter'. The show was due to be rounded off with clips from Kenny Everett's 1968 interviews with The Beatles, other archive interviews with John, Paul, George, Ringo and George Martin, and a selection of White Album songs covered by other artists, namely 'Back In The USSR' by Billy Joel, 'Blackbird' by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and 'Helter Skelter' by U2.
Monday November 2
To preview the release of the John Lennon Anthology box set tomorrow, the 100-minute Anthology radio special is syndicated to selected American radio stations today.
Yoko: "John was a complicated man. One part of him was a hugely popular artist who loved to sell records and have hits. Meanwhile, what he was doing in private was fantastic - much more raw and unpolished. When I listen to these tracks, it's as if John is standing in the room with me."
Tuesday November 3
The 4-CD box set John Lennon Anthology, featuring 100 previously unreleased tracks, is released simultaneously around the world. (In the UK, the set had actually been on sale the previous day, Monday November 2. In Japan, the release will not take place until Friday November 6.)
"I hope you enjoy the box. This is the John that I knew, not the John that you knew through the press, the records and the films. I am saying to you, here's my John. I wish to share my knowledge of him with you. It was an incredible honour for me to have been with him." - Yoko's introduction to the John Lennon Anthology.
The four discs are individually titled Ascot, New York City, The Lost Weekend and Dakota. Also released today by EMI is a 21-track single CD "best of" Anthology highlights compilation album entitled Wonsaponatime. The release features the following tracks: 'I'm Losing You', 'Working Class Hero', 'God', 'How Do You Sleep?', 'Imagine', 'Baby, Please Don't Go', 'Oh My Love', 'God Save Us', 'I Found Out', 'Woman Is The Nigger Of The World' (live), 'A Kiss Is Just A Kiss', 'Be-Bop-A-Lula', 'Rip It Up'/'Ready Teddy', 'What You Got', 'Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out', 'I Don't Wanna Face It', 'Real Love', 'Only You', 'Grow Old With Me', 'Sean's In The Sky', 'Serve Yourself'.
To coincide with the John Lennon Anthology releases, David Bowie announces plans to produce an album of John Lennon songs performed by an all-star cast. According to Bowie, this will be released on John's 60th birthday, October 9, 2000.
Wednesday November 4
In the UK, Yoko gives an exclusive interview about Linda to the newspaper the Liverpool Echo, where she dismisses the fact that she and Paul's late wife disliked each other. "People always portrayed us as enemies," Yoko is quoted as saying, "like boxers on opposite sides of the ring. But it was never like that. In latter life, especially, we became friends. We had an understanding of each other. We both married Beatles and we knew what that was like." Yoko also remarks about Linda's death. "It was a great loss," she admits. "She was a very passionate woman about things she believed in. I was shocked by the news of Linda's death. I am a woman who has lost my husband. I think about John every day, and talking about him is one of my last links with him."
During the interview, Yoko recalls when she first married John. "It's funny," she says, "when I first married him, I resented the fact that everything was about John. I was an established artist myself and I had my own career. I fought so hard to keep my own identity, not just to become part of John Lennon. But then John died, and that changed everything. He was taken away from me and that was a terrible shock. Of course it still hurts!"
Thursday November 5
Another exclusive interview with Yoko is published in today's edition of the Sun.
Friday November 6
Another exclusive in the Sun features Paul, in the first of a two-part interview, talking about Linda. On the question of possibly playing some vegetarian benefit concerts next year, he replies: "I don't know whether I can go up there again thinking about Linda. I'm just going to have to play it by ear. If I can manage it, then I will. But I've said that if I can't do it, she'll just have to forgive me." (Part two of the feature, published on Saturday November 7, includes Paul giving a track-by-track guide to Linda's album Wide Prairie.)
Saturday November 7
VH-1 in Europe, as part of their Legends Weekend, repeats the 1992 Bob Dylan Columbia Records tribute concert featuring George (see entry for October 16, 1992.) The two days of screenings also include a repeat broadcast of Paul's 1997 appearance on the VH-1 programme Ten Of The Best.
Sunday November 8
Ringo and The Roundheads' Storytellers show, recorded at the Bottom Line Club in New York on Wednesday May 13, receives its European premiere on VH-1 this evening, between 7:00 and 7:56pm.
Also today, the News Of The World reports that: "George stands to make a fortune by selling the car he was sitting in when he proposed to his first wife Patti Boyd. The E-Type Jaguar car, which cost £2,300 when purchased new back in 1964, has his name on the log book and now boasts, experts believe, a six-figure price tag."
Monday November 9
Linda's track 'Wide Prairie' is released as a single in the UK. (The American release takes place the following day.)
Tuesday November 10
It's announced in America that both Paul and George Martin will be inducted into the annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, on March 15, 1999. Among the other inductees to be honoured that night will be Dusty Springfield, Billy Joel, Curtis Mayfield and Bruce Springsteen.
Thursday November 12
The documentary programme In My Life, focusing on the George Martin album of the same name, is transmitted in America on the Bravo station. (Repeat broadcasts take place on December 1 and December 18. The UK premiere had taken place earlier this year on BBC1 on Sunday April 12.)
Saturday November 14
Paul's Liverpool Oratorio is performed this evening at Alte Oper Frankfurt, Grober Saal, 20 Uhr Frankfurt, in Germany.
Sunday November 15
The details of Linda's will are published. She leaves £183 million, most of it to her four children, various animal charities and towards research into breast cancer.
Tuesday November 17
Secret unconfirmed reports leaked today reveal that a planned Sgt. Pepper's concert is due to take place in London next May, starring Elton John, Oasis, Chrissie Hynde, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, among others. The event never happens.
Another report reveals that a privately recorded concert tape of The Beatles live at the Bournemouth Gaumont in 1963, is to be auctioned at Christie's next month. (See entry for Thursday December 10.)
Wednesday November 18
The American TV news programme Extra features: " ... an interview with the sibling John Lennon searched for but never found. Hear the tragic story of lies and the secret promise that forever kept her apart from her legendary brother."
Thursday November 19
A repeat screening of Ringo's VH-1 Storytellers performance is broadcast in America.
Friday November 20
Today's edition of the American magazine Entertainment Weekly reports that a newly-re-mastered six-track audio version of The Beatles' 1968 film Yellow Submarine will get a limited cinema release next summer. Reports also reveal that both Paul and George have given their thumbs-up to this new print. To tie-in with the film's re-issue, a number of Yellow Submarine collectible products are also expected to be released.
Sunday November 22
Excerpts from the American John Lennon Anthology EPK (Electronic video press kit) are transmitted during tonight's edition of the VH-1 music programme Talk Music. (The show is repeated on the station on Monday November 23, and Thursday November 26.) The EPK includes a fascinating scene where Yoko is seen returning to the 105 Bank Street apartment in Greenwich Village where John and Yoko first took up residence on Saturday October 16, 1971 (see entry).
Tuesday November 24
Apple and EMI release an official 30th anniversary version of the The Beatles (White Album) from 1968, complete with miniaturised versions of the original poster and glossy pictures. Contrary to reports, this special release does not feature a re-mastered version of the album. There is a print run of 500,000 individually numbered copies, with 200,000 of these going to the States. In its first week of sales in the UK, the album sells 2,500 copies and enters the album charts at number 106. Sir George Martin is quoted as saying about this release: "It's a marketing thing, isn't it? It's all part of their ways of earning money. Unfortunately, the music business is in such a state that reissues and recompilations are the main way that people earn money nowadays, because new music doesn't earn much. It's a sad state of our musical life, I'm afraid."
Sir George also takes time, on the Wall Of Sound Internet website, to recall how the White Album came about: "They (The Beatles) presented me with 33 songs which they wanted to record at once - literally. Paul said, 'Well, you've got another studio, if George has something going in one studio, I can go in another.' I was running from one studio to another, doing a kind of executive producer role, and it was quite hectic. I actually protested to them that we shouldn't rush all these songs into print, we should be more selective and just record the good ones. But they would have none of that. They wanted to record everything, because they all wanted to be in there. I learned later that they also tried to exhaust their recording contract, which was couched in terms of number of song titles, not years."
Asked what he thinks of the White Album, thirty years later: "It's a good album, not one of my favourites, but it was a good album. It didn't have any real blockbusters on it, but it had some good songs. I think Abbey Road was better."
Wednesday November 25
An interview with Paul, carried out by Edna Gundersen, is published in the newspaper USA Today.
Sunday November 29
The News Of The World reveals that Paul is going to be a grandfather, as his daughter Mary is currently five months pregnant. As a tribute to her mother, Mary reveals that, if it's a girl, she will call the child Linda. A friend of the McCartneys remarks: "Mary was already starting to show at the wedding (in September), but no one said anything ..." Meanwhile, Paul has been quoted as saying: "It will be one of the proudest moments of my life."
The One 2 One telephone commercial, which features DJ and TFI Friday host Chris Evans revealing that he would like to have a "one to one" with John Lennon, begins transmissions across UK and terrestrial television stations. (Filming of the clip, which includes cleverly edited sequences featuring archive John clips, was recorded in October. Acting as a double to John in the short advert is the look-a-like Gary Gibson, who will appear personally on Evans' Channel 4 show TFI Friday shortly after.)
Paul teams up with the Mirror newspaper and a group of East Sussex musicians to record the song called 'Little Children', a track written by Peter Kirkley and recorded at Paul's home studio. Proceeds from the single, which is available at the Virgin megastores, will benefit the Brazilian street children.
Meanwhile, Paul takes Gary Zimet, of the US record shop Moments In Time, to court. Zimet had been trying to sell to Paul, on behalf of another collector, his original handwritten lyrics to 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' for $550,000. But Paul claims that these lyrics were actually stolen from his home in late 1967 or early 1968. Zimet counterclaims that his friend had, in fact, purchased the lyrics from The Beatles' biographer Hunter Davies. Paul insists that Zimet disclose the name of the person who has the lyrics sheet and immediately puts a restraining order to prevent him from selling it. Zimet complies with Paul's demand.
In Archway, North London, Ringo and Barbara make an appearance at the disabled children's project called PALACE (Play And Learn And Creative Education) to help launch a joint appeal for volunteers with the cerebal palsy charity SCOPE.
The top UK dance act The Prodigy are prevented, by Apple Corps, from using a Beatles sample on a new recording. The group's Liam Howlett had originally used two verses and a chorus from the 1967 track 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' on his latest record The Dirtwater Sessions - Volume 1, but Apple had other ideas. A spokesman for Howlett says: "Liam did mix the album and one of the records that he used was 'Sgt. Pepper's', by The Beatles. It sounded great in there and we were going to include it on the commercial release of the record, but Apple would not grant us permission to license the track. Apparently, Paul didn't have any problems with it - it's simply that Apple never lets Beatles tracks appear on anything other than Beatles albums." A spokesman for Paul remarks on this matter: "Paul really liked the song, thinking it was fab. He likes The Prodigy, but it wasn't his decision, it was Apple's." (Liam Howlett will replace The Beatles' recording with snippets from Jane's Addiction's 1991 hit 'Been Caught Stealing'.)
Tuesday December 1
In the States, Yoko recreates her and John's 1969 Peace campaign by putting up banners in New York's Times Square, which read "War Is Over! If You Want It... Happy Christmas From John And Yoko." Joined at the unveiling by world representatives, Yoko says of the display: "This is a billboard event John and I did 29 years ago, in Christmas of 1969. At the time it created good vibrations around the world and gave people strength. The message is 'we can do it', and it's still valid. If one billion people in the world would think peace - we're gonna get it. You may think, 'Well, how are we going to get one billion people to think?' Isn't this something we should leave to the politicians who have the power to do these things? Well, politicians cannot do anything without your support. We are the power. Visualise the domino effect and just start thinking positive, that we are all together in this. For the holiday season, I wanted this to be a gift to you from John and I. Stand in front of the billboard. Take photos of yourself, your friends and family. Send them out so the message will circulate. Above all, have fun." (For those wishing to see the "War Is Over" billboard and the live events from Times Square, a digital video camera broadcasts the happenings live on an Internet webpage.)
Wednesday December 2
In New York, George is seen at a concert by Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi of the Sixties group Traffic. During their show they perform the track 'You Got A Hold On Me', a song that is introduced by Jim Capaldi as having been written for George's next solo album. He introduces the song by announcing: "This is something special for someone in the audience tonight. I want him to hear it live so I can get his reaction. He is one of the greatest influences of my life. This one is for you, George."
Sunday December 6
In the UK, the News Of The World newspaper publishes a story headlined: "Macca Everton Sensation", in which, apparently, "Sir Paul McCartney is the key to a sensational £60 million Everton takeover. The former Beatle," the report reads, "will be asked tomorrow to help rescue the struggling Mersey giants. The dramatic plea will come from Macca's old school pal Bill Kenwright, who is desperate to bring the glory days back to Goodison ..." A source close to Paul is reported as saying: "He will buy the football club for his dad. Jim would be so proud of his boy - coming from nothing to owning Everton FC. Paul could easily afford to buy the club. Peter Johnstone's fortune is Paul's loose change, but this is not about money." (Johnstone is Everton's current chairman.) On Monday December 7, it is revealed that Paul has turned down the chance of taking over the club.
Tuesday December 8
At 9pm this evening, VH-1 in America premieres the special edition of the Legends series, which focuses on the life of John. The show, which is repeated on the station on December 9 at 8pm, December 10 at 12:00 noon, and December 12 at 11pm, includes interviews with Yoko and George Martin.
Thursday December 10
At today's Christie's auction in South Kensington, South London, a Beatles' live concert performance tape is put up for sale and eventually raises £25,300. The 25-minute reel-to-reel tape, recorded by the chief technician at the Gaumont Theatre in Bournemouth on August 21, 1963, to check the group's sound quality, historically includes the first-ever public performance of 'She Loves You'. Because The Beatles did not impress him, he put the tape in his workroom at home and subsequently forgot all about it. That was until his daughter, 52-year-old Irene Draper, a keen Beatles fan who saw the group every night they performed in her hometown, persuaded him to find it. Hearing this tape again, 35 years later, Irene remarks: "I nearly went through the roof when I heard it again after all these years. The sound quality is wonderful. It brought memories of those wonderful, exciting days flooding back. I knew it was really hot stuff and that we should do something with it." (Note: the tape contains the following songs: 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Thank You Girl', 'Chains', 'From Me To You', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Baby It's You', 'Boys', 'She Loves You', introduced by John as "a new song for us, released on Friday. Buy your copy ... please", and 'Twist And Shout'.)
Also on offer at the sale is a series of lots from the personal collection of Nicola Hale who, as a 4-year-old, travelled with her mother Pam and grandmother Amy Smedley on The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour bus in 1967. Included in the lots is her own copy of the Magical Mystery Tour EP featuring the inscription "Paul McCartney loves Nicola (True)!"
Saturday December 12
An exhibition of Beatles photographs taken by Harry Benson is put on display at the Govinda Gallery, based at 1227 34th Street NW, in Washington DC. (The event will run until January 23, 1999.) Also today, VH-1 in Europe screens, for the first time on the station, the 1979 Dick Clark made-for-TV film The Birth Of The Beatles.
While in the UK, the BBC2 archive show TOTP2 screens, for the first time on UK TV, the promotional film clip to accompany John's 1980 recording of 'I'm Losing You', a version of the track released for the first time on the 4-CD box set John Lennon: Anthology.
Monday December 14
At approximately 8:15am Eastern time, the John Lennon Anthology 4-CD box set is previewed on the ABC TV breakfast show Good Morning America.
Thursday December 17
Paul's only public performance in 1998 takes place on the Internet, when he presents the one-hour world exclusive programme entitled The McCartney Wide Prairie Show, which features Paul "on line to the world" taking questions from his fans. During the broadcast, Paul tells how Linda and he made her solo album, shows his favourite pictures of her, cooks his speciality from her cookbook, and previews exclusive video clips. Paul's spokesman Geoff Baker remarks on the project: "Paul is not exactly an Internet buff, but he is very excited, and a bit nervous. He chose the format over several TV offers because he wants to go directly to the fans without the use of an interviewer." (Note: the transmissions take place at 11am in Los Angeles, 2pm in New York, 7pm in London and at 10pm in Moscow.)
Friday December 18
In the UK, Ringo and Barbara appear in a pre-taped sequence for the Carlton ITV festive show A Capital Christmas, transmitted this evening across the London and South East regions of ITV only.
Sunday December 20
VH-1 in Europe repeats the Ringo Starr & The Roundheads edition of the VH-1 series Storytellers.
In the UK pop singles chart, the four-piece Spice Girls equal The Beatles' 33-year-old record by having their third consecutive Christmas number one single with the track 'Goodbye'.
Monday December 21
To coincide with the run-up to the screening of the BBC2 two-part Arena profile of The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, the UK newspaper the Express publishes today the first of a two-part serialisation on him. (Part two is printed the following day.)
In the States, Yoko joins in on the live Internet webcasts by giving a SonicNet chat at 8pm this evening.
Friday December 25
BBC2, as part of their big festive programming, transmits (between 9:06 and 10:21pm) the first of a two-part Arena profile on The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein. Part two is aired on the station the following day, Boxing Day. The show includes an exclusive interview with Paul carried out in New York in November 1997.
Monday December 28
After a delay of 29 years, the star dedicated to The Beatles is placed on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, in Los Angeles, California. The organisers announce that this is done as a "festive present to Beatles fans".
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