"I woke up and didn't have a job anymore!
Oh Jesus! No band. What do I do?
I've got to work out something for myself now."
"Big bastards, that's what The Beatles were.
You have to be a bastard to make it, that's a fact,
and The Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth!"
Wednesday April 1
Ringo becomes the last Beatle to play at a Beatles recording session at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London when, working with Phil Spector in studio one, he overdubs his drum parts on the tracks 'Across The Universe', 'The Long And Winding Road' and 'I Me Mine'.
John and Yoko issue a hoax press release announcing that: "They have both entered the London clinic for a dual sex-change operation." In truth, the couple enrol themselves in a four-week course of Primal Therapy with the American psychologist Dr. Arthur Janov at his private London hospital at 20 Devonshire Place. At John's invitation Janov met John and Yoko at the Lennon's Tittenhurst Park mansion in Ascot the previous day. John was greatly impressed by Janov's book The Primal Scream - Primal Therapy: The Cure Of Neurosis, which had been sent to him in an unsolicited package in the middle of March. The Lennons decide to attend treatment in his clinic because their Ascot mansion is full of builders who are currently renovating the place. Meanwhile, the John Lennon Lithographs, seized by police at the London Arts Gallery in New Bond Street on January 16, are produced at Marlborough Street Magistrates' Court where they are compared to similar works by Picasso. Mr David Napley, defending Mr Eugene Shuster, a director of London Arts Incorporated who ran the exhibition, hands over a set of John's lithographs to the court and says: "I hope the officer will not mark them because, no doubt, by the end of the case they will be worth more than £550!" When Mr Napley said that the prints appear to depict the marriage and honeymoon of John Lennon and his wife, Inspector Cliff of Scotland Yard replies: "Only if they were described and introduced that way!"
Thursday April 2
Phil Spector's final task on the Let It Be album is to mix the tracks into stereo and edit those recordings on which Ringo overdubbed his drum tracks yesterday.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, Paul states: "We all have to ask each other's permission before any of us does anything without the other three. My own record (McCartney) nearly didn't come out because Klein and some of the others thought it would be too near to the date of the next Beatles album ... I had to get George, who's a director of Apple, to authorise its release for me. We're all talking about peace and love but really, we're not feeling peaceful at all."
Sunday April 5
Ringo appears live on the BBC Radio One programme Scene And Heard broadcast between 3:01 and 3:59pm where he is interviewed by the host Johnny Moran.
Monday April 6
Allen Klein arrives in London to conclude the business deals for the United Artists film Let It Be.
Thursday April 9
The Beatles' Apple organisation denies that Paul McCartney has left the group. Mrs Mavis Smith, Derek Taylor's assistant and head of Apple's public relations office, states, "This is just not true. Although it is true that there are no plans at the moment for more Beatles recordings, this is quite normal. Next month, their new LP will be issued. It has already been recorded so, consequently, as there is already material available, there are no plans for more recordings. I hope that The Beatles will get together for another recording session after the summer." Mavis reveals that Paul has not been seen at Apple's HQ in Saville Row since before Christmas, but adds, "He communicates by telephone and, as he has got recording studios at his home, it is not necessary for him to come in. Paul will issue a statement today with the release of his new album, but any critical statements do not mean a real break-up of the group!"
Meanwhile, aware of the contents of the interview enclosed within advance copies of his McCartney album due for release tomorrow, Paul phones John at Janov's clinic to inform him of its release but shies away from telling John he is leaving The Beatles. As John recalls, "Paul said to me, 'I'm now doing what you and Yoko were doing last year. I understand what you were doing', all that shit. So I said to him, 'Good luck to yer.' " The first that John hears of Paul's split from the group is when news breaks in the media the following morning.
The Daily Mirror newspaper receives an advance copy of Paul's statement and uses this to form the basis of tomorrow's world-shattering front-page story.
Friday April 10
The Daily Mirror's front-page story is headlined: Paul Is Quitting The Beatles.
Paul publicly announces the break-up of The Beatles and says that the band will never work together again. His announcement takes the form of a printed "self-interview" sent out to the national press, various broadcasting organisations and included within advance promotional copies of his McCartney album. In it, he explains why he has broken with The Beatles, claiming it is down to "Business and musical differences, but most of all, because I have a better time with my family." He adds, "I do not know whether the break will be temporary or permanent" and in conclusion states, "I do not foresee a time when the Lennon & McCartney partnership will be active again in songwriting."
Later, Paul admits that he didn't really consider this "self-interview" to be an official announcement of The Beatles split; instead he claims that he simply filled in the answers to questions that had been prepared by the Apple assistant Peter Brown. Apple's press officer Derek Taylor announces from his Saville Row office: "They do not want to split up, but the present rift seems to be part of their growing up... at the moment they seem to cramp each other's styles. Paul has called a halt to The Beatles' activities. They could be dormant for years." He also explains Klein's business relationship with Paul: "It is no secret that Klein and Paul have never hit it off. Paul has been into this building just twice since Klein came here. He opposed the appointment of Klein and wanted to make his father-in-law John Eastman, a New York lawyer, manager."
Fans distressed by the news of the split begin to converge outside the offices at 3 Saville Row. Among those present are the Apple Scruffs, a small group of girls who, for years, have been regularly hanging around the Apple offices and Abbey Road studios just to get a brief meeting with a Beatle. A reporter asks Carol Bedford, a member of the Scruffs, "Will anyone ever replace The Beatles for you?" She replies, "No! It's just one Beatles group. That's it! We don't want there to be another. We grew up with them. When they started, they were younger when we were younger, and all through the years we've just developed!"
A news team from CBS in America has arrived and proclaims on its evening news broadcasts, "The small gathering in Saville Row is only the beginning. The event is so momentous that historians may, one day, view it as a landmark in the decline of the British Empire... The Beatles are breaking up!"
Meanwhile, as news of Paul's split from the group spreads like wildfire round the world's media, top-level business meetings involving the various factions of The Beatles, are being held in the Apple offices. Asked about Paul's now obvious dislike of him, Klein remarks to journalists, "It's never pleasant when someone appears not to like you!"
George is also to be found in Saville Row, away from the bedlam, being interviewed for the religious programme Fact Or Fantasy? subtitled Prayer And Meditation. This filmed appearance will be first transmitted on BBCI on Sunday April 26 and then repeated the following day. He ends the day alone in his Saville Row office watching an early version of The Long And Winding Road, the official history of The Beatles' career. A close friend of George remarks, "George doesn't want to talk about it (the split). He just wants to be left alone."
John, still with Arthur Janov, is preparing more lithographic artwork displays. When asked about Paul's departure, he says enigmatically, "You can say I said jokingly, he didn't quit, he was fired."
Ringo, staying aloof, remarks, "This is all news to me."
Paul, Linda, Heather and Mary leave their home in Cavendish Avenue for Scotland. A close friend of the family tells reporters outside the house: "He's not giving any interviews at the moment. In fact, fans and other people have been making his life a bit of a misery lately by picketing his pad. I wish they'd leave him alone to live his life now."
Saturday April 11
"I woke up and didn't have a job anymore! Oh Jesus! No band. What do I do? I've got to work out something for myself now." - Paul
Respected Times columnist William Mann writes on Paul's decision to leave The Beatles. "If The Beatles were just another pop group there would be no cause for alarm in Paul McCartney's suggestion, announced yesterday, that he may never work with them again. The others would simply find another bass guitarist and lead singer and go on roughly as before. But The Beatles' image, and influence on pop culture in the last ten years has depended on four distinctive personalities working well together." Mann concludes: "They would not be the same without Paul."
As The Beatles single 'Let It Be' reaches number one in the American charts, John and Yoko, even though they are in London, partake in the two-month Fluxus Group Arts Festival in New York. Subtitled Fluxfest, the event takes place at the Greenwich Village store in Canal Street owned by the Fluxus member Joe Jones, the founder of the Tone Deaf Music Company. The first week of the festival, which runs until April 17, features Do-It-Yourself By John And Yoko. Also on display is Two Eggs By John Lennon.
Meanwhile m England, Paul's first duty after leaving The Beatles is to purchase the film rights to the cartoon character Rupert The Bear. The transaction is handled by his new company, McCartney Productions Ltd (originally Adagrove Limited, formed on February 12,1969).
Friday April 17
The album McCartney is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on April 20.) The track listing is: side one: 'The Lovely Linda', 'That Would Be Something', "Valentine Day', 'Every Night', medley: 'Hot As Sun - Glasses - Suicide', 'Junk', 'Man We Was Lonely'; side two: 'Oo You', 'Momma Miss America', 'Teddy Boy', 'Singalong Junk', 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and 'Kreen-Akrore'. (Recordings begin in December 1969, utilising several locations which include Paul's home, EMI's Abbey Road Studio 2 and at Morgan Studios in Willesden, London.)
Sir Lew Grade, the head of Associated Television (ATV), the company which in 1969 acquired the publishing rights to The Beatles' songs, describes Paul's album as "absolutely brilliant".
George is asked about the album: " 'That Would Be Something' and 'Maybe I'm Amazed' I think are great and everything else I think is fair, you know. It's quite good, but a little disappointing, but maybe I shouldn't be disappointed, it's best not to expect anything, then everything's a bonus. I think those two tracks are very good and the others just don't do anything for me. The arrangements for 'Teddy Boy' and 'Junk', with a little bit more arrangement could have sounded better. Me, Ringo and John, not only do we see each other, but we see so many musicians and other bands, maybe Paul does too. But I just get the impression that he doesn't. That he's so isolated from it, he's out on a limb. The only person he's got to tell him if the song's good or bad is Linda. In the Beatle days, if someone came in with a song that had a corny line and some of the others got a bit embarrassed by it, we'd say it!"
Today, in the American Rolling Stone magazine, John announces: "I'm telling you what's going on. It's John, George and Ringo as individuals. We're not even communicating with or making plans about Paul. We're just reacting to everything he does. It's a simple fact that he couldn't have his own way, so he's causing chaos ... Paul was the same with Brian (Epstein), at the beginning. He used to sulk and God knows what. It's always been the same, only now it's bigger because we're all bigger."
Saturday April 18
Arthur Janov suggests to John that he should pay a visit to his first wife Cynthia and their son Julian. But the family get-together is halted when Cynthia's housekeeper informs the party that, "Yoko has just called and is threatening to commit suicide unless John returns home immediately!" Meanwhile in America, Fluxfest continues, where this week, until the 24, John and Yoko offer two New York bus tickets to the show Tickets By John And Yoko.
Today's Melody Maker prints an article entitled "Paul -The Truth", in which they describe his decision to leave The Beatles as "possibly the non-event of the year". Alongside it is Richard Williams' review of McCartney. He describes it as containing... "the best and worst of an extraordinary talent... 'Maybe I'm Amazed' would have been a classic had it been included on say, Abbey Road... 'Man We Was Lonely' is sheer banality. If it had been sung by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, I (and you) would've sneered and turned it off. It's the worst example of his music-hall side."
Sunday April 19
In an unprecedented move for a pop-promotional film, the London area of ITV, London Weekend Television, screen in its own 6:00-6:04pm slot, Paul's promotional clip for 'Maybe I'm Amazed', produced by the film director David Putnam. It features a montage of still photographs of Paul, Linda, and her daughter Heather. A further screening occurs in America, on CBS Television's The Ed Sullivan Show, between 8:00 and 9:00 EST.
Tuesday April 21 & Wednesday April 22
London's Evening Standard newspaper publishes a two-part interview with Paul, where he goes to great lengths to explain his problems with the Phil Spector arrangement of 'The Long And Winding Road': "A few weeks ago I was sent a re-mixed version of my song 'The Long And Winding Road' with harps, horns, an orchestra and women's choir added. No one had asked me what I thought. I couldn't believe it. I would never have female voices on a Beatles record ... anyway, I've sent a letter asking for some of the things to be altered, but I haven't received an answer yet."
Thursday April 23
Taking advantage of his recently acquired brief US visitor's visa, George, along with Patti and Derek Taylor, depart from London's Heathrow Airport en route to New York where George starts work on producing Billy Preston's Apple album Encouraging Words and spends time checking out Apple's new New York offices at 1700 Broadway.
Apple Corps in London release the following press statement: "The film Let It Be will, in Britain, be simultaneously premiered in both London and Liverpool on May 20, and, under the distribution agreement with United Artists, the film will open in New York on May 13 and will be shown in 100 cities all over the world! Let It Be is described by United Artists as a 'Bioscopic Experience'."
Friday April 24
Ringo's album Sentimental Journey is released in America and within two weeks will sell over half a million copies. (The album was released in the UK on March 27.)
Saturday April 25
The Fluxfest festival continues with the exhibition of Measure By John And Yoko, in which the vital statistics of the viewing public are the centre of attraction. Further Fluxfest fun and games take place between May 2 & 8, with an exhibition called Blue Room By John And Yoko, which features Three Spoons By John Lennon and Needle By John Lennon. Between May 9 & 15 Fluxfest features Weight And Water By John And Yoko, which involves the flooding of the Canal Street exhibition room. Between May 16 & 22 the festival features Capsule By John And Yoko, and between May 23 & 29 Portrait OfJohn Lennon As A Young Cloud, where the exhibition room is filled with 100 drawers, 99 of which are empty. The other contains John's smile. Between May 30 & June 5 it focuses on a collection of New York ticket machines, which are presented as The Store By John And Yoko, and during the final week, June 6-12, patrons are tested on what they have learnt over the previous nine weeks, in a piece entitled Exam By John And Yoko.
Monday April 27
In a dramatic London High Court ruling, summonses against the London Art Gallery of Bond Street, and its director Eugene Schuster, over John's Bag One lithographs, are dismissed and ruled not to be obscene by Marlborough Street magistrates' court. Mr Schuster, who was forced to make two journeys from America for the case, says after the hearing, "We shall try to get the prints on view again tomorrow morning. We shall hang the prints in the gallery as soon as we get them back. They are still in police custody. Mr Lennon, who is working in London now on his second set of prints, will be immediately told about the case." Schuster adds, "The first set of John's prints are on view in America. I think they have already sold out in New York."
Tuesday April 28
During his visit to the Apple offices at 1700 Broadway, George gives an interview to the WPLJ Radio reporter Howard Smith.
Wednesday April 29
Following twenty-eight straight days of shouting, screaming, sketching and eating 28 different colours of ice cream, John and Yoko's therapy sessions with Arthur Janov at his London offices are concluded. He recommends that the Lennons fly out to Los Angeles and resume their treatment at his Primal Institute clinic in California.
George and Derek meet Bob Dylan at his MacDougal Street townhouse in Greenwich Village, New York.
Thursday April 30
John and Yoko depart from London's Heathrow Airport en route to Janov's Primal Institute in Los Angeles. They will stay in California for four months at a rented accommodation in Bel Air.
Paul appears on the front page of Rolling Stone magazine in America. Inside is an in-depth interview with the former Beatle, carried out by Jann Wenner. The issue also features a report on George acquiring his Friar Park mansion.
George, meanwhile, joins Bob Dylan for an informal jam session in Dylan's MacDougal Street townhouse. They perform the tracks "When Everybody Comes To Town' and 'I'd Have You Anytime', which are recorded by Dylan on his home recording equipment. (Columbia acetates cut from the tape of this session are later sold by the auctioneers Galston & Co. and subsequently find their way, in the late Seventies, on to various bootleg records incorrectly dated as May 1.) George and Derek are invited by Bob to attend his recording sessions tomorrow.
Mr. Richard Dunn of the Linguaphone Group reveals that John has recently taken out an audiocassette course on "How to speak Japanese".
Friday May 1
In Studio B at the Columbia Recording Studios in New York City, George joins Bob Dylan in a recording session for his album New Morning, George picks up a guitar and jams with Bob, Charlie E. Daniels (on bass), RUSS Kunkel (drums) and Bob Johnston (piano), who also serves as producer, on the following tracks: 'Sign On The Window', 'If Not For You', 'Time Passes Slowly', 'Working On The Guru', Went To See The Gypsies', 'Song To Woody', 'Mama, You've Been On My Mind', 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright', a cover of The Beatles' 'Yesterday', 'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues', 'Da Doo Ron Ron', 'One Too Many Mornings', 'Ghost Riders In The Sky', 'Cupid', 'All I Have To Do Is Dream', 'Gates Of Eden', 'I Threw It All Away', 'I Don't Believe In You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)', 'Matchbox', 'Your True Love', 'Las Vegas Blues', 'Fishin' Blues', 'Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance', 'Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35', 'It Ain't Me Babe' and 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time'. Some of the songs, in true Get Back sessions style, are only 17 seconds in duration. The recordings, which include overdub sessions, take place between 2:30-5:50pm, 6:30-9:30pm and 10:30pm-l:30am on the morning of May 2. (Note: A take of 'If Not for You' with George on slide guitar is released in 1991 on Dylan's The Bootleg Series Volume 1-3 (Rare and Unreleased) 1961-1991. (In order not to upset Apple, George's appearance at this session is not logged in the CBS recording contracts.)
Saturday May 2
Melody Maker's Mailbag section publishes a letter under the headline: "Who Does Paul McCartney Think He Is?" It reads: "Who does Paul McCartney think he is? We don't see anything of him for a year, and then out he pops from his mysterious hermit like existence, advertising his new record in a publicity-crazed manner. Does he really think we'll believe that he played all the instruments? Let's face it, Mailbag, we're not suckers. It's obvious George Martin had a lot to do with it. In fact if you listen carefully to the end of the third track played backwards, you can almost hear him whistling." The letter is signed Paul McCartney.
Tuesday May 5
George and Derek Taylor return home to England.
Friday May 8
The album Let It Be is released in the UK as a deluxe box set, which also contains the book Get Back, a wonderful photographic record of the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions. The album will be re-released in the UK on November 6 in a regular sleeve and without the book. (A standard version of the Let It Be album, this time in a gatefold sleeve, is released in America on May 18.)
Saturday May 9
At the annual Cannes Film Festival in the South of France, Ringo and Maureen are guests of honour at the screening of Woodstock, the big-screen film record of the outdoor festival held in upstate New York in August 1969. Clips of their visit are featured in a report on the festival, included in the bi-weekly London Weekend Television arts show Aquarius, transmitted across the ITV network on Friday May 22 between 11:01 and 11:44pm.
Richard Williams ends his in-depth Melody Maker review of the Let It Be album by writing: "The Beatles are dead - Long live The Beatles."
Monday May 11
In America, the single 'The Long And Winding Road'/'For You Blue' is released. The single will sell 1,200,000 copies within two days.
Wednesday May 13
Contrary to the original intentions of both Apple and United Artists, the New York premiere of the film Let It Be does not take place today. The date for the film's release has now been set for Thursday May 28.
Thursday May 14
In America, Rolling Stone magazine publishes a report on John and George's brief US visas, stating that, although they can now enter America, they do so on the condition that they must leave the country within a short space of time, usually 30 days.
Friday May 15
Reports in America announce that Paul's solo album McCartney has sold over 1,000,000 copies in its first four weeks of release.
Monday May 18
At 10:30am, two days before the UK premiere, Let It Be receives its first ever public screening, for the benefit of the press and close friends, at the London Pavilion in Piccadilly Circus. When asked about the film, George later admits that the film does not bear well with him. "There are scenes in it like the roof top concert that was good, but most of it makes me so aggravated... I can't watch it, 'cos it was a particularly bad experience that we were having at that time and it's bad enough having it, let alone having it filmed and recorded so you've got to watch it for the rest of your life. I don't like it!"
Wednesday May 20
The Let It Be film opens today in Britain with special simultaneous Gala North-South premiere events. In the South, crowds surge upon the London Pavilion where guests include Spike Milligan, Mary Hopkin, Julie Felix, Sir Joseph Lockwood, Richard Lester, Simon Dee, Julie Edge and Lulu. Not to mention fifty dancing members of the Hare Krishna group and various members of The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac pop groups. Most noticeable in the crowd are women no longer involved with The Beatles, John's ex-wife Cynthia Lennon and, two years after her split from Paul, the actress Jane Asher. Before entering the cinema, Spike is playfully pictured by the press, alongside the police, trying to hold back the large excited crowds. At the conclusion of its first week at the 1,004-seat cinema, where Let It Be was screened a total of 41 times, the film nets approximately £6,229. Brian Millwood, on behalf of UA, announces: "We're happy with the start made by the film. It's by no means the biggest take for the house, but it's nevertheless good." Let It Be will run at the London Pavilion for five weeks until Tuesday June 23, when it is replaced by the Mick Jagger film Ned Kelly. Meanwhile in Liverpool, the northern premiere takes place with a comparatively quiet, invitation only, event at the Gaumont in Camden Street, London Road. (The screenings at both cinemas commence at 8:45pm.) Let It Be will eventually go on to be released in 100 major cities around the world.
Thursday May 21
The day after the official northern premiere, Tom Hutchinson of the Liverpool Daily Post scathingly reviews Let It Be. He describes the film as: "An occasion for sadness." He continues by writing: "Watching this 81-minute long U-certificated account of The Beatles making their latest LP, I felt that I was sitting at the deathbed of one of the greatest group talents ever to escape from the trivial treadmill of so much pop music." He concludes: "So, I regret the passing of an institution: as I regret that this film should be judged as the most suitable hearse for that institution." Even so, Let It Be opens to the general public today at the Gaumont in Liverpool where, alongside Yellow Submarine, it can be seen three times a day, at 2:45pm, 5:55pm and 9:05pm.
Friday May 22
Workmen renovating John and Yoko's eighteenth century Georgian mansion in Ascot call out the bomb disposal squad when they discover an unexploded incendiary shell. The Lennons had purchased the estate from a football pools magnate for £150,000 during May 1969.
Saturday May 23
BBC Radio One in the UK transmits a 44-minute reflective programme on The Beatles. Suitably called Let It Be, the show (transmitted between 5:00 and 5:44pm) features the Scene And Heard presenter Johnny Moran talking individually (using pre-recorded tapes) to all four Beatles about their futures with particular reference to the possibilities of them ever working together again. Paul is asked about the Let It Be film: "It's like a documentary, it's like a film say of a painter who comes in and sets up a canvas, puts one brush mark on, then eventually you see him finish the painting. It's all that he goes through to finish the painting. Well, with us, someone walks in, 'Twang, G and C, this is how the song goes' and eventually you see us finish the record. It's the stages, it's a good film though, it's interesting."
George too gives his personal feeling on the movie: "The Beatles' film is just pure documentary of us slogging and working on the album really. We were thinking of how to do a TV show, but really, it was much easier just to make it into a film. It's very informative, but it's not really nice for me, I can't stand seeing it, but for other people who don't know really what we're about, who like to go in and see our warts, it's very good. You can see us talk, you can hear us playing, you can hear us coughing, it's the complete opposite to the clinical approach we normally have, you know. Studio recordings, you know, the balance and everything is just right, the silence in-between tracks, well, this is not really like that. There's a nice song of Paul's, which is one of those that probably hundreds of people will record. Somebody's gonna have a hit with it. It's called 'The Long And Winding Road', it's one of those ballad, standard sort of things."
Ringo, in the briefest of the interviews, talks about John as his "soul brother", his wife Maureen, his future in acting and his album Sentimental Journey.
To conclude the show, John is asked: "Are The Beatles going to record again?" He replies: "I've no idea if The Beatles will work together again, or not. I never really have. It was always open. If somebody didn't feel like it... that's it! It could be a rebirth or death. We'll see what it is. It'll probably be a rebirth."
'My Bonnie', 'The Ballad Of John & Yoko', 'Act Naturally', 'Instant Karma', 'Govinda', 'Sentimental Journey' and a selection of tracks from the Let It Be album accompany the interviews on the show. Significantly, the original unreleased version of 'Dig It' is also played on the programme.
Reports from America indicate that the Let It Be album has advance orders of 3,700,000 (worth $25,900,00), the largest initial sale in the history of the American record industry. Although Let It Be reaches number one in the UK album charts today, reviews of the album are not good. New Musical Express describes it today as "a cardboard tombstone" and a "sad and tatty end to a musical fusion".
Paul's first solo album McCartney reaches number one in the American album charts.
Tuesday May 26 (until early November)
At the EMI Abbey Road Studios in London, George, working with Phil Spector, begins recording tracks for his three-album set All Things Must Pass. The sessions, which feature Ringo on drums, produce the following: 'My Sweet Lord', 'Isn't It A Pity' (two versions), 'I'd Have You Anytime', 'Wah-Wah', 'What Is Life', 'If Not For You', 'Behind That Locked Door', 'Let It Down', 'Run Of The Mill', 'Beware Of Darkness', 'Apple Scruffs', 'Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)', 'Awaiting On You All', 'All Things Must Pass', 'I Dig Love', 'Art Of Dying', 'Hear Me Lord' and Apple Jam, a bonus album that features 'Out Of The Blue', 'It's Johnny's Birthday', 'Plug Me In', 'I Remember Jeep' and 'Thanks For The Pepperoni'. At one point during the recordings, the musicians break into a brief version of Cliff Richard's 1968 chart-topper 'Congratulations', thus earning a royalty claim for its songwriters Bill Martin and Phil Coulter. George also records demo versions of 'Everybody, Nobody', 'Window, Window', 'Beautiful Girl' (a version later to appear on his 1976 album Thirty Three And A Third), 'Tell Me What Has Happened To You', 'Nowhere To Go', 'Cosmic Empire', 'Mother Divine', 'I Don't Want To Do If, a track he will not release until 1985 as part of the film soundtrack to Porky's Revenge, 'Gopala Krishna', 'Going Down To Golders Green', 'I Live For You' and several versions of 'Dehra Dun', a track written in India in 1968 which was not publicly unveiled by George until the 1995 Anthology TV series. George and Pete Drake also record a snippet of Paul Simon's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and The Beatles' 'Get Back'. (Recordings on the album shift to EMI's Trident Studios in London in early June and will continue right through until early November. Producer Alan Parsons is called in by George to briefly assist with the production.)
Thursday May 28
With no grand premiere and all of sixteen days after it was originally scheduled, Let It Be (rated G for general audiences) finally opens in America as a United Artists Premiere Showcase with simultaneous screenings in various New York cinemas. These include venues in Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Westchester and the Victoria Walter Reade Theaters. Supporting The Beatles' film, is a short featurette entitled What Is Happening To Our Oceans? subtitled Crisis On The Coast, narrated by Arthur Godfrey. (Incidentally, Let It Be was originally scheduled for release in America during February; to be launched with a special New York premiere screening, an event which John, on more than one occasion, said he would be attending.)
Friday May 29
Following its opening yesterday, Let It Be is unfavourably reviewed in the New York Times, "The documentary is none too artfully made ... somebody must have grabbed a camera fast, for it jerkily hovers over The Beatles' playing and informal chatting." In conclusion, the paper writes: "The most intriguing figure of the film is Yoko Ono, Lennon's Japanese-bom wife. Except for one playful twirl with him, Mrs. Lennon remains at her husband's side, expressionless and silent, her eyes never leaving him..."
At Twickenham film studios in London, Richard Lester pays a visit to the film library to re-acquaint himself with the 'out-takes' from the films A Hard Day's Night and Help! To his dismay, he discovers that all the footage not included in the original films has been "junked" under the studio's policy of keeping the 'out-takes' for "five years after the completion of the original film".
Thursday June 4
Apple band Badfinger travel to Hawaii to appear at the Capitol Records convention. Following this, they immediately fly to Italy for concerts in Rome.
Monday June 8
As part of their primal therapy treatment, Arthur Janov instructs John to go to see The Beatles' film Let It Be, This he does, where besides Yoko, he joins Jann Wenner, the editor of Rolling Stone magazine, and his wife Jane for an afternoon screening of the film in an otherwise empty San Francisco theatre.
Thursday June 11
John and Yoko announce to the Californian press today that they intend to make New York their home.
Saturday June 13
In America, the single 'The Long And Winding Road' and the album Let It Be both reach number one on the same day. In the bottom end of the charts, the compilation album of early Polydor tracks recorded in Germany entitled The Beatles Featuring Tony Sheridan-In The Beginning (Circa 1960) makes number 117.
Monday June 15
Paul's father-in-law Lee Eastman drafts a letter to Allen Klein in New York, insisting that The Beatles be officially dissolved immediately. Klein does not reply.
Friday June 19
The George produced Doris Troy album Ain't That Cute is released by Apple. Both George and Ringo feature on some of the tracks.
Saturday June 20
Mavis Smith, Derek Taylor's assistant for the last eighteen months, officially resigns from the Apple press office.
Saturday June 27
Beatles fans begin scouring round London record stores when it's announced in the music press that a good quality stereo album, released by IFP Records, entitled Get Back To Toronto, is to be found in certain music shops. The bootleg record contains alternative recordings from the 1969 Get Back sessions, including the unreleased tracks 'Teddy Boy' and 'The Walk', as well as Christmas and peace messages from John and Yoko.
Sunday June 28
"The Beatles... rehearsing... recording... rapping... relaxing... philosophising... creating. The Beatles live in a new motion picture. Ten new songs. An intimate experience with The Beatles. A new motion picture... The Beatles ... Let It Be." (The original cinema trailer-June 1970.)
The Beatles' final film Let It Be goes on release in the UK at selected Odeon and other important theatres. (For its release, the original 16mm colour film is blown up to 35mm.) Supporting Let It Be is the 1968 animated fantasy Yellow Submarine.
Monday June 29
Ringo leaves London Airport for Nashville to begin recording tracks for a new album and to negotiate a deal for a 12-part American TV series due to be transmitted at the end of the year. (The series never materialises.)
Tuesday June 30 & Wednesday July 1
At the Music City Recorders studio in Nashville, Tennessee, Ringo begins recording tracks for his album Beaucoups Of Blues. The two-day sessions produce the following songs: 'Beaucoups Of Blues', 'Love Don't Last Long', 'Fastest Growing Headache In The West', 'Without Her', Woman Of The Night', 'I'd Be Talking All The Night', '$15 Draw', 'Wine, Women And Loud Happy Songs', 'I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way', 'Loser's Lounge', 'Waiting' and 'Silent Homecoming'. Ringo also records the track 'Early 1970', as well as 'Coochy-Coochy', which originally featured a running time of approximately 28 minutes. This song later appears in America only, on a single with the title track 'Beaucoups of Blues'. For the recordings, Ringo uses twenty-one of Nashville's top country musicians under the production guidance of Pete Drake. Scotty Moore, Elvis' first guitarist and early manager, engineers the sessions. Ringo returns home to Britain on July 2 clutching the studio master tapes.
Ringo recalls the recording of the album: "I was trying to get it together over here in Britain, which is really silly. I was trying to fly in 12 guys from Nashville and all that rubbish and suddenly I was playing on George's album and Pete Drake was there and I was talking to him about it and he said, 'Look here son, why don't you come over to Nashville? - I'll get it together in a week', and I said, 'Come on ... you can't get an album together in a week, it's impossible!' He said, 'But Dylan's only took two days!' I said, 'OK, you go back and fix it up and I'll fly out a few days later'. We did the album in two nights. I did a few other tracks that we didn't put out. I was only there three days recording. I'd learn five songs in the morning and I'd go and record five songs that night. It was really good!"
(Note: Acetates of alternative versions of some of the released tracks and some of the songs that Ringo referred to as we "didn't put out" are sold at a Sotheby's auction in London during August 1992. Entitled Ringo In Nashville, the two 12-inch discs feature Apple custom recording labels and boast an alternative running order of tracks than featured on the released version, many of which contain additional sounds and various count-ins.)
John's treatment with Janov continues. He also begins recording several demos of songs that will later appear on the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, With no reply from Allen Klein to Lee Eastman's letter on June 15, Paul decides to write to John in LA, asking him about dissolving The Beatles. He replies: "I will only consider it when George and Ringo have had their say."
Friday July 3
The three-day Peace and Poetry Festival, planned for today, tomorrow and Sunday at Mosport Park in Toronto, Canada, announced by John and Yoko at their press conference at Ontario's New Science Center on December 17,1969, fails to materialise.
Saturday July 4 & Sunday July 5
George aborts work on All Things Must Pass and returns home to Liverpool to see his ailing mother Louise. Meanwhile, on a happier note today George's song 'Something' wins an Ivor Novello award for 'The Best Song Musically and Lyrically of the Year'.
Tuesday July 7
In Liverpool, George's mother Louise Harrison, dies of cancer.
Friday July 10
BBC Radio One's only female disc-jockey Anne Nightingale arrives at Apple's headquarters in Saville Row to conduct interviews for an article. Her shocking report on the decline of The Beatles' empire appears in The Sketch newspaper on Monday July 13. The article is suitably titled, "Apple Coming Apart At The Core."
Sunday July 26
Today, at the Primal Institute in Los Angeles, John records several demos of the track 'God', which significantly feature the lyric "I don't believe in Beatles".
During a break from the All Things Must Pass sessions at Abbey Road, Ringo and George record a special unreleased song for John, celebrating his 30th birthday on October 9. Also, according to the Apple Scruffs, George is annoyed to discover that one of the American Beatles fan clubs has started to advertise trips to England to see the grave of his late mother. He immediately takes action to close the fan club down.
At the end of the month, feeling cleansed and invigorated, John and Yoko leave the Primal Institute and head for New York.
Saturday August 1
John's first wife Cynthia marries the Italian hotelier Roberto Bassanini at Kensington register office in London. Julian, her son with John, serves as the page boy. The show business world is represented only by Twiggy and Justin de Villeneuve.
Tuesday August 4
Apple's press office in London closes down, with the two remaining employees being fired. From now on Apple Corps Ltd's only task is to collect the ever-flourishing Beatle royalties and deal with the numerous unfinished Beatles problems.
Saturday August 15
Melody Maker prints the results of a question and answer session between reporter Chris Charlesworth and Apple spokesman Peter Brown at Saville Row.
MM: "Is there any recorded (Beatles) material still unreleased?"
Apple: "No. Even if there were it would never be issued. The group are always very conscious of keeping up with the current tastes."
MM: "Are there plans for a (Beatles) recording session in the future?"
Apple: "There are no plans at all."
MM: "Are there any plans for any kind of performances whatsoever?"
Apple: "None at all. There are no plans for any shows or tours."
MM: "Have The Beatles finished as a group?"
Apple: "That is a question I cannot answer..."
Saturday August 29
Melody Maker publishes a letter from Paul in response to the question and answer story two weeks ago: "Dear Mailbag, In order to put out of its misery the limping dog of a news story which has been dragging itself across your pages for the past year, my answer to the question, 'Will The Beatles get together again?'... is no."
During the middle of the month, the legendary Sixties record producer Mickie Most arranges to fly to Paul's Scottish farmhouse to discuss with him a possible film part. Mickie hopes to persuade Paul to appear as the poet Lee Simons in The Second Coming Of Suzanne. Michael Barry, the son of the actor Gene Barry, writes the script. Mickie remarks: "Paul's a hard guy to contact, but Apple are trying to get him for me. The chances are if he likes the script, he'll do it Paul once told me that every film script offered to The Beatles was another Help! and that he wanted to do something different. This film is different."
Tuesday September 1
Twenty-year-old Brett Solaries appears in court charged with being found unlawfully in the grounds of Paul's home in Cavendish Avenue, in St. John's Wood, London. He is remanded in custody until September 8 by Marylebone magistrates. Solaries, of no fixed address, protests at the remand, pleading: "I am a member of a religious sect known as The Iskow."
Monday September 14
In Las Vegas, the American Vice President Spiro Agnew publicly attacks The Beatles over references to drug taking in some of their lyrics. For example, Spiro recites two lines from "With A Little Help From My Friends' ("I get by with a littie help from my friends, I get high with a little help from my friends..."). "It's a catchy tune," he remarks, "but until it was pointed out to me, I never realised that the 'friends' were assorted drugs!"
Meanwhile in Sweden, the film Let It Be goes on general release.
Saturday September 19
George, alongside Ravi Shankar, makes a rare public appearance at the Festival Of Arts Of India concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London. George is there to promote the festival, which includes Indian music and dancing by a dozen performers. The show later moves on to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds and is organised by Birenda Shankar, Ravi's nephew.
Tuesday September 22
Contrary to popular belief, John and Yoko do not appear with Arthur Janov today on the ABC TV talk show The Dick Cavett Show. The Lennons' first appearance on the show actually takes place on September 8,1971 (see entry).
Thursday September 24
John and Yoko, after five months out of the country, arrive back in Britain at Heathrow Airport and travel immediately to their Ascot mansion to prepare for recording sessions due to start on Saturday at Abbey Road. He is now 28 lbs heavier than when he left England last April. When asked about this, John put this down to "eating 28 different colours of ice-cream" during his course of treatment with Janov.
Friday September 25
Ringo's album Beaucoups Of Blues is released in the UK. (The American release takes place on September 28.)
Saturday September 26
At the Abbey Road Studios, working with Phil Spector, John begins committing to tape proper studio recordings of the demos he recorded while undergoing his primal therapy treatment in Los Angeles. The songs are: 'Mother', 'Hold On (John)', 'I Found Out', Working Class Hero', 'Isolation', 'Remember', 'Love', 'Well Well Well', 'Look At Me', 'God' and 'My Mummy's Dead'. The tracks will form the basis of his album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Joining John and Yoko at the session are Ringo on drums and Klaus Voorman on bass. In between takes, the group finds time to jam tracks such as 'When A Boy Meets A Girl', 'That's All Right (Mama)', 'Glad All Over', 'Honey Don't', 'Don't Be Cruel', 'Hound Dog' and 'Matchbox'. (The sessions will conclude on the morning of October 27, with the final three days spent mixing the album with Spector.) This period of recording also produces the album Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band. This features the tracks: 'Why', Why Not', 'Greenfield Morning I Pushed An Empty Baby Carriage All Over The City', 'Touch Me' and 'Paper Shoes'. (The track 'AOS' which also appears on the album, was recorded by Yoko back in February 1968.) Also recorded are: 'Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)' (released on Yoko's 1971 Fly album) and 'Between The Takes' (unreleased until it appears as a bonus track on the Ryko Fly CD issue in 1998). During early October, Abbey Road is the setting for both the recording of this album and the mixing of George's All Things Must Pass. (See entry for October 9.)
Paul, Linda and family depart from England on board the luxury liner SS France, en route to New York. They return to England just before Christmas.
At 214 Oxford Circus in London, George Martin's new £400,000 recording studio AIR (Associated Independent Recording) Studios opens for business. One of the first to take advantage of its modem day equipment is Ringo, who re-mixes some private recordings.
Apple opens an account at the Lasky's electrical store in Tottenham Court Road, London. George has so far spent thousands on hi-fi equipment, usually comprising set-ups as presents for close friends. The shop's proprietor remarks: "He usually rings me at lunchtime and asks me to make up a £200 system and, usually at tea-time, someone calls in with the money."
Thursday October 1
At the BBC Television Theatre in Shepherd's Bush, London, Ringo records his second solo appearance for Cilla Black on her BBC1 Saturday night variety show, Cilla. For his slot, he sings a duet with the host, and the 30-piece BBC orchestra, a live version of 'Act Naturally'. With an ex-Beatle present, Cilia also takes the opportunity to perform two Beatle covers, 'Don't Pass Me By', with the actor Richard Harris and the resident orchestra, and 'Back In The USSR', again with the orchestra, but this time she is accompanied by the ten-piece resident dance group The Breakaways. The 44-minute programme, which also features Stanley Holloway and John Clive, who was responsible for the voice of John in the film Yellow Submarine, is transmitted for the first time on BBC1 on February 13,1971 between 7:41 and 8:24pm. For his services, Ringo is paid the handsome sum of £750. A short clip of his appearance on the show is repeated in the children's TV request show Ask Aspel on BBC1 on February 19,1971, hosted by the television personality Michael Aspel. (This edition of Cilla, which does not survive in the BBC archives, has long been incorrectly listed as being originally transmitted on April 24.) As usual, the theme tune for the programme, and indeed her entire BBC series, is Paul's 1968 composition 'Step Inside Love'.
Monday October 5
Ringo's single 'Beaucoups Of Blues'/'Coochy-Coochy' is released in America.
Thursday October 9
On John's 30th birthday, he takes a break from his recordings to join George and Ringo in an adjacent Abbey Road Studio where they present him with their special recording of 'It's Johnny's Birthday'.
Tuesday October 13
Paul's Shetland wool jumper fetches $95 (approximately £39) at a New York auction. The item is among a collection of rock memorabilia sold at the Fillmore Theater. proceeds from the sale are being used to finance peace campaigns during next month's American elections.
Thursday October 15
Apple denies a rumour that George and Ringo have been working with The Bee Gees on their first album since their reformation. Meanwhile, George, along with Phil Spector, begins the final mixing of the album All Things Must Pass in a studio near Marylebone Station on the same street immortalised at the start of The Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day's Night. During this two week period, they are joined by Mal Evans and 'Magic' Alex Mardas.
Friday October 23
George announces to the press that his next release will be the single 'My Sweet Lord'.
Saturday October 24
George takes a break from mixing his album by visiting London's Lyceum to watch the band The Incredible Stone Ground. He is accompanied by a French underground musician who plays in the group Slow Death. Meanwhile, it is reported that George still donates £5,000 a year to the charity fund Release.
Monday October 26
Three days after announcing its release, George changes his mind and announces that 'My Sweet Lord' will not, after all, be issued. He says, "I don't want the single to detract from the impact of the All Things Must Pass triple album."
Tuesday October 27
With the sessions for John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band now concluded at Abbey Road, John and Yoko board a plane to New York for the first time as a couple. During their visit they arrange to meet Jonas Mekas and some old friends, do some publicity on Primal Scream, begin work on two new films. Up Your Legs Forever and Fly and also to promote their new albums. (They will not return to England until Thursday December 24.)
Wednesday October 28
While in America, John is sought by the defence as a witness at the Sharon Tate murder trial in Los Angeles. They wish to ask him whether or not a song could have inspired Charles Manson to violence. Manson believes that The Beatles, in their 1968 recording 'Helter Skelter', predicted a race war.
George and Patti arrive in New York where, along with Phil Spector, work concludes on the album All Things Must Pass. (The master tapes have been brought from England by George personally on his flight.) Also joining George on his visit is Pete Bennett, The Beatles' record promotions manager.
While George and Patti are in the city, they visit the group Badfinger backstage in their dressing room at the Ungano's Club. He asks the group if he can introduce them on stage, to which they agree. George also records their performance on a portable tape recorder and plays the results back to them in their dressing room following the show.
The 1966 film The Family Way, featuring soundtrack music written by Paul, is re-released to selected cinemas in the UK alongside the comedy film Till Death Us Do Part, starring Warren Mitchell and Dandy Nichols. Paul, meanwhile, is to be found in New York starting work on his second solo album. During this time, George phones him and arranges to meet up. Rumours begin to circulate in the American music press that Paul is to tour with the Sixties pop group The Rascals, a rumour that Paul quickly denies.
Friday November 6
An exhibition of Yoko's work, entitled Happening And Fluxus, takes place at the Kolnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, West Germany. The show runs until January 6, 1971.
Wednesday November 11
Ringo and Maureen's daughter Lee Parkin is born at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Hammersmith, London.
Sunday November 15
Through his solicitors, Paul files the lawsuit against John, George, Ringo and Apple in the High Courts of London to dissolve 'The Beatles'.
Monday November 23
George's single 'My Sweet Lord'/'Isn't It A Pity' is released in America. (The UK release does not take place until January 15,1971.)
Thursday November 26
At Abbey Road studios, the four-track tapes from John and Yoko's Lyceum Ballroom, London performance on Monday December 15,1969, are prepared by engineers and immediately dispatched to the Lennons in New York. John, though, will not begin the final mixes of the tapes until the sessions at the Record Plant in New York which run during the first three weeks of January 1972. The recordings (which contain: 'Cold Turkey' and 'Don't Worry Kyoko') will ultimately appear on side three of the Sometime In New York City double album, released on June 12,1972 in America and on September 15, 1972 in the UK.
Friday November 27
George's All Things Must Pass triple album is released in the US. (The UK release takes place on November 30.)
At the start of the month, Paul and George's planned social meeting in New York takes place, but the meeting does not go well. This merely furthers Paul's desire to dissolve The Beatles' partnership.
Tuesday December 8
Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine conducts a remarkably candid interview with John in his rented New York Greenwich Village apartment. Among his many controversial remarks, he describes his former group as:"Big bastards, that's what The Beatles were. You have to be a bastard to make it, that's a fact and The Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth!"
On George's album All Things Must Pass: "I think it's all right, you know. Personally, at home I wouldn't play that kind of music; I don't want to hurt George's feelings; I don't know what to say about it."
On Paul's McCartney album: "I thought Paul's was rubbish! I think he'll make a better one when he's frightened into it."
On Ringo's Beaucoups Of Blues: "I think it's a good record. I wouldn't buy it, you know. I was glad and I didn't feel as embarrassed as I did about his first record."
On the break-up of The Beatles, implying that he was the first to leave: "We were discussing something in the office with Paul, and Paul said something or other about The Beatles doing something and I kept saying, 'No, no, no' to everything he said. So it came to a point where I had to say something, of course, and Paul said, "What do you mean?' I said, 'I mean the group is over. I'm leaving.'
"I don't know whether Paul said, 'Don't tell anybody', but he was darned pleased that I wasn't going to. He said, 'Oh, that means nothing really happened if you're not going to say anything.' It's like he knew really that this was the final thing; and six months later he comes out with whatever."
The lengthy interviews will feature over two parts of Rolling Stone magazine on January 21 and February 4,1971. The entire interview will later be reprinted in the form of the book Lennon Remembers. John later criticises Wenner for publishing the interview in book form without his consent.
Thursday December 10
In England, tonight's edition of Top Of The Pops (show number 355, hosted by Tony Blackburn and transmitted on BBC1 between 7:05 and 7:44pm), features in its album slot, George's All Things Must Pass. Set to BBC film, showing seal lions at play, the two minute two second sequence includes excerpts from 'Let It Down' (11 seconds), 'Art Of Dying' (18 seconds), 'I Remember Jeep' (25 seconds), Wah-Wah' (35 seconds) and 'Plug Me In' (33 seconds).
Friday December 11
John's album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is released simultaneously in the US and UK (featuring Ringo on drums). Yoko's matching album Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band is also released today in the US and the UK and features John prominently on guitar. (The album is co-produced by both John and Yoko.) John's use of the word "fucking" on his song 'Working Class Hero' causes much hysteria in the music press. A spokesman for Apple defends John's controversial lyric by remarking: "We don't think it will effect sales or the dealers' options to stock the records. I don't think there will be a problem with it." But a spokesman for EMI takes a different attitude: "This matter is under discussion with The Beatles' management. There will be a definitive statement next week and some action may be taken." When Melody Maker writer Michael Watts hears the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album, he remarks: "The album is not going to convert anyone who does not already like Lennon's musical approach. Melodically there is nothing earth-shattering but then, Lennon has never set out to become another Cole Porter."
Sunday December 13
From his Greenwich Village apartment, John gives an interview to Howard Smith of the American radio station WABC.
Monday December 14
In New York, on a seventh-floor sound stage on West 61st Street, John and Yoko begin filming their latest adventure in cinema verite, a new movie entitled Up Your Legs Forever. Lacking work permits, the Lennons are obliged to merely observe the proceedings behind a screened off enclosure, while the seemingly endless parade of male and female volunteers stand on a podium with their bare bottoms faced towards a colour 16mm film camera. In charge of the filming is Dan Richter, the man responsible for the choreography of the ape sequences at the start of the 1968 Stanley Kubrick space epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Richter plays the part of the lead ape in the film and is memorably seen throwing the animal bone into the air, which then symbolically turns into the image of a spaceship. This fact greatly impresses John, as 2001 was one of his all-time favourite films. Another of the people assisting John and Yoko with the filming is May Pang, an employee of Klein's who is based at his ABKCO offices in Broadway, New York. For the filming of Up Your Legs Forever, the actors, for a fee of just one-dollar, are required to stand motionless while the camera pans up their bare legs from the toes to the hips. When John and Yoko announce that they are happy with the results, the volunteer signs a release permitting his or her name to be used for publicity and advertising in connection with the exploitation of the film. John also takes a Polaroid instamatic record of the proceedings for his photo album. Among them is Larry Rivers, the press agent for Jim Rivers, Pete Bennett, The Beatles' record promotions man, Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner and even Don (D.A.) Pennebaker, the director of the film of the Monterey pop festival, who supplied the movie camera. Filming continues tomorrow, Tuesday December 15.
Wednesday December 16
Filming of Up Your Legs Forever is concluded in New York with almost 300 bare bottoms having been committed to both film and snapshots. Recent additions include the actor George Segal and even, after much persuasion, The Beatles' manager Allen Klein. A reporter asks John: "Haven't you seen enough of these (bottoms) yet?" To which he replies, "No, but I'm getting cured." The journalist asks again: "What are you going to do next, John?" He thinks for a moment and then says: "I dunno ... there must be something else." (The film Up Your Legs Forever, featuring an original running time of 80 minutes, will receive its premiere as part of the London Art Spectrum festival, which runs between August 11 and 13, 1971.) With filming of the first film completed, John and Yoko concentrate on Fly, their second film production.
Thursday December 17
Back in England, Lucille Iremonger, the writer and Member of Parliament for Ilford North, admits that she has recently received through the mail from John and Yoko, a copy of the Primal Scream book by Dr. Arthur Janov. They had sent it to her after John had read Lucille's latest book The Fiery Chariot.
Friday December 18
The Beatles Christmas Album (UK title From Then To You) is released officially to paid-up members of The Beatles fan club. The disc features the seven Beatles Christmas flexi-disc records, released to its members between 1963 and 1969. Because the original studio master tapes for the album had been mislaid, the record was compiled from the original flexis owned by the fan club secretary Freda Kelly.
Saturday December 19 & Sunday December 20
"Let a fly walk on a woman's body from toe to head and then fly out of the window." - Yoko
In a top floor loft in a derelict building on the Bowery in New York, again working with Dan Richter and Steve Gebhardt, John and Yoko conduct auditions for their film Fly. Actresses are requested to lie motionless while a fly crawls over their naked body. Eventually, a young lady by the name of Virginia Lust is chosen for the lead role. Incidentally, the camera tests for each model are preserved on 16mm film by the Lennons and excerpts of these are scheduled to appear in the original version of the 1988 film Imagine: John Lennon. They do not make the finished version. Filming of Fly is scheduled to begin on Monday.
Monday December 21 & Tuesday December 22
In the loft of the Bowery, the two-day filming of Fly gets underway but, as one might imagine, they soon run into the problem of how to keep the fly on the naked woman and stop it from flying away. Dan comes up with a solution where the flies should be gassed with carbon dioxide. This way, when the fly wakes up, it will remain long enough on the body for John and Yoko to get the shot they require. As expected, the supply of flies for the film runs out, so six college students are sent out with fly nets to neighbouring Greenwich Village kitchens to obtain a fresh supply. After two long days, ending in the early hours of the morning, shooting is finished and John and Yoko prepare to head back to England.
Due to the amount of people involved in trying to catch the flies for the film, John remarks: "The credits will almost be as long as the film!" Incidentally, the original running time to Fly (film no. 13) is 50 minutes, but will be trimmed down to 25 minutes for its limited screenings. The first public screening of Fly will take place at the Filmmaker's Fortnight Festival in Cannes, France on May 15,1971.
Thursday December 24
In order to avoid any problems with overstaying their welcome in America, John and Yoko return to England to celebrate Christmas at home, arriving back this evening at London's Heathrow Airport.
Friday December 25
Ringo's friend, the already established art designer Robin Cruikshank, presents to Maureen as a Christmas present a few mercury filled perspex dishes. This Yuletide gift will plant the seed of an idea that will eventually manifest itself in the shape of their design company Ringo O'Robin Ltd.
Saturday December 26
George's single 'My Sweet Lord' reaches number one in America.
Melody Maker reports that The Beatles are searching for a new bass player to replace Paul, with Klaus Voorman on a short list of three candidates.
Sunday December 27
George and Patti are among the guests present at the London wedding of Tony Ashton, of the pop group Ashton, Gardner and Dyke.
Monday December 28
John's single 'Mother'/'Why' (by Yoko) is released in America.
The Beatles' 1964 big screen debut A Hard Day's Night receives its British television premiere on BBC1 today between 4:05 and 5:29pm. John watches the film at home in Ascot and is inspired to write 'I'm The Greatest'.
At the end of the month at John's Ascot home studios (December 28 and 29), he records the first demos of the tracks 'I'm The Greatest' (a reflective song about his life which also expresses how pleased he is with what he and Yoko have achieved at the end of his first year away from The Beatles) and 'Make Love Not War', later re-recorded as 'Mind Games' in 1973.
Paul gives a phone interview from America to Alexis Korner on BBC Radio One in which he discusses the tragic death of Jimi Hendrix.
For the individual members of The Beatles, the year ends on a very low point, with Paul filing a suit against John Ono Lennon of Ascot, Berkshire, George Harrison of Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire, Richard Starkey of Highgate, London, and Apple Corps of Saville Row in London, in London's High Court, seeking an end to The Beatles & Company. The writ, issued in the Chancery Division, seeks: "A declaration that the partnership business carried on by the plaintiff and the defendants under the name of The Beatles & Co., and constituted by a deed of partnership dated 19 April 1967 and made between the parties hereto, ought to be dissolved and that accordingly the same be dissolved." Paul's suit also requests that a receiver for Apple be appointed until the case is settled, and that Allen Klein is formally charged with the mismanagement of the Apple funds. Both George and Ringo decline to comment on Paul's action. To all intents and purposes, Paul had decided that the group was finished. He remarks: "For me, I want to get out of the contract. I think the group is finished. We've split and everything that we've ever earned should now be split. They don't agree. They think it should continue exactly as planned. But if the three of them want to, they could sit down today and write a little bit of paper saying I'll be released... that's all I want!"
(Note: A reading of the draft balance sheet up to today's date, reveals that the total credit of the four individual Beatles, excluding the Apple company, stands at £738,000. Of that sum, it is calculated that £678,000 is still owing in income tax.)
Ringo meanwhile gets away from this bombshell by Paul by holding a New Year's Eve party at Ronnie Scott's Club in London. He joins in on an all-star "jam" session which features Charlie Watts (sharing drums with Ringo), Eric Clapton, Bobby Keys (on sax), Klaus Voorman, Maurice Gibb (both sharing bass) and Georgie Fame (organ). The gathering all drink champagne until the early hours of 1971.
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