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"It's more exciting for me to talk about my records than Beatles'
records, 'cos we've been talking about them for twenty years."

- Ringo


To escape from the morgue-like surroundings at the Dakota, Yoko packs Sean off to Palm Beach with his nanny. Yoko is now free to resume work on 'Walking On Thin Ice' with Jack Douglas at the Hit Factory. Meanwhile, John's famous psychedelically painted 1956 Bentley S1, previously donated to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, is sold to an Arizona garage owner for $50,000.

Due to his life as a tax exile in Monte Carlo, Ringo is only entitled to live six months a year in his rented house in Los Angeles.

Sunday January 4

In England, the TV presentation of highlights from the Kampuchea concerts of December 26-29, 1979, entitled Rock For Kampuchea, is transmitted on certain regions of the ITV network and includes footage of Paul and Wings December 29 performance (see entry).

Monday January 5

Liverpool City Councillors are told that in the two and a half years since the campaign to raise £40,000 to pay for a commemorative statue to The Beatles in Liverpool was started, no more than £300 has been banked.

Saturday January 10

John's music continues to fill the UK singles charts with 'Imagine' reaching number one. (This version of the single was first released on October 24, 1975, in the UK and has never been deleted.) 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)' is at number two while 'Give Peace A Chance' reaches number 33.

Monday January 12

John's single 'Woman', backed with 'Beautiful Boys', performed by Yoko, is released in America. (The UK release takes place on January 16.) To coincide with its release, an interview with Yoko is published in the American People magazine. The piece, written by the Playboy reporter David Sheff, is entitled "Yoko - How She Is Holding Up", and features the sub-heading, "The eulogies ended, Yoko Ono faces the pain of life without John."

Wednesday January 14 (until Friday January 16)

With a deep sense of sadness hanging over his head, Ringo reappears at the Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles to conclude the sessions for his Can't Fight Lightning album where he is again joined by Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones. Recordings resume on Tuesday January 20.

Thursday January 15

A political party in San Paulo, Brazil, revokes plans for a square to be renamed John Lennon Square.

Friday January 16

Yoko dispatches Fred Seaman off to England to deliver a copy of the 'Woman' promotional film to the BBC for transmission on the next edition of BBC1's Top Of The Pops. The clip, version one, is broadcast once only on Thursday January 22, on BBC1 between 7:25 and 8:04pm and is immediately brought back to Yoko in New York. Accompanying Seaman on his journey to England are copies of John's personal diaries between 1976 and 1980 to be presented, in accordance with John's will, to Julian.

Sunday January 18

BBC Radio One begins broadcasting (between 4:00 and 5:00pm) the five-part radio series called The Lennon Tapes, centring around John's interview with Andy Peebles on December 6 last year. The book to accompany the series, also titled The Lennon Tapes, featuring a transcript of the interviews, is published by the BBC on February 6. On the same day, January 18, the Sunday Times newspaper publishes a special "Open Letter From Yoko Ono".

Tuesday January 20

In the States, Yoko prepares for distribution today a second version of the 'Woman' promotional film, intended for a special one-off American TV screening.

The final period of recordings (which continues until Thursday February 12) for the album Can't Fight Lightning sees Ringo complete the songs 'Dead Giveaway', 'Wake Up', 'Brandy', 'You Belong To Me' and 'Wrack My Brian'.

Wednesday January 28

Meanwhile, in preparation for the upcoming Montserrat recording sessions with George Martin, Paul comes out of seclusion by arranging to have his musical equipment flown by Jumbo jet to Antigua.

Sunday February 1

Paul reappears in public when he is seen arriving at George Martin's AIR Studios, on the island of Montserrat, to begin recording. The tracks he records on Montserrat will released on the albums Tug Of War and Pipes Of Peace.

Monday February 2 (until Tuesday March 3)

Paul's Montserrat recording sessions begin, with George Martin as producer. These early sessions, on which Paul works with the English drummer Dave Mattacks, produce the following tracks: 'Somebody Who Cares', 'The Pound Is Sinking', 'Hey Hey' and further work on the track 'Rainclouds'.

Friday February 6

In the UK, BBC Books publish The Lennon Tapes, the transcript of John's conversation with Andy Peebles from December 6 last year.

Sunday February 8

In Montserrat, the highly respected bass guitarist Stanley Clarke arrives from Philadelphia to join Paul at the sessions.

Monday February 9

A day of jamming takes place in Montserrat with Paul, Clarke and, on drums, Steve Gadd. (Paul's previous drummer Dave Mattacks had by now returned to England.)

Friday February 13

At the Compass Point Studios in Los Angeles, California, the final mixes of Can't Fight Lightning take place, with ten out of the fifteen recorded tracks being selected to appear on the album.

Sunday February 15

Ringo and Barbara arrive from Los Angeles to join Paul and George Martin at the Montserrat studios to assist with the recordings. Joining Ringo on his flight is his favourite drum kit which he had used during the recent Can't Fight Lightning sessions.

Monday February 16 & Tuesday February 17

Recording sessions take place for the track 'Take It Away', featuring Ringo on his favourite drums.

Wednesday February 18

Taking a break from recordings, Paul, Linda and the family are seen relaxing by a pool at their rented house in the West Indies.

Thursday February 19

With his sessions now concluded, Ringo, along with Barbara, flies back to Los Angeles.

Friday February 20

An old friend of The Beatles, Carl Perkins, joins Paul and George Martin on the island.

In England, to cash in on John's death, the album Hear The Beatles Tell All is released. (The album was originally released in America on September 14, 1964.)

In the UK, Yoko releases the single 'Walking On Thin Ice', the track John had been working on the night he died. The B-side, 'It Happened', originally recorded back in 1973 during the sessions for Feeling The Space, opens with dialogue between John and Yoko recorded on November 26, 1980, during the Central Park filming of the ABC 20/20 news programme and later used in the 'Woman' promotional film clip. Also today, at her Dakota apartment, Yoko gives her first interview since John's death to Chrissy Smith, a BBC New York producer, a selection of which is exclusively transmitted on the BBC Radio 4 programme The World This Weekend on Sunday February 22.

Saturday February 21 (until Wednesday February 25)

Paul and Carl Perkins begin recording the track 'Get It', plus the unreleased song 'My Old Friend', as well as several other tracks, which include 'Honey Don't', 'Boppin' The Blues', 'Lend Me Your Comb', 'When The Saints Go Marching In', 'Cut Across Shorty' and 'Red Sails In The Sunset'.

George is seen at his local Friar Park garage, filling up his car with his usual £20 worth of petrol.

Thursday February 26

Stevie Wonder attends the sessions where, along with Paul, they record their co-written track 'What's That You're Doing?'

Friday February 27 & Saturday February 28

Paul and Stevie spend time recording different versions of 'Ebony And Ivory'. (The sessions conclude in the early hours of March 1.)

In America, on February 27, John's will, dated November 12, 1979, is published, revealing that he has left £2,522,317 gross. Experts predict that this figure represents only a fraction of John's true fortune, with conservative estimates putting it at over £125 million, a sum currently growing at £100,000 a day from worldwide record royalties alone. In selected cinemas across Indianapolis (from Friday February 27 until Sunday March 1), the Wings concert film Rockshow is playing in a special Miramax Films presentation which, amazingly enough, features The Beatles' 1970 film Let It Be as the support.

In a New York court, on February 27, damages of $587,000 (£267,000) are awarded against George in the plagiarism trial over 'My Sweet Lord' resembling 'He's So Fine'.

At the New York Metro Convention in Secaucus, New Jersey, the seventh annual Beatlefest convention takes place. (The event runs until Sunday March 1.)


In London, rumours circulate in the music industry that a ten-track 1961 Cavern Club performance by The Beatles has been discovered. Within weeks, the supposedly "legendary" tape is revealed to be the January 1, 1962, Decca Records audition tape.

Tuesday March 3

The sessions in Montserrat completed, Paul and Linda return to England and head for George Martin's AIR Studios in Oxford Street, London for additional recording. During a break from these sessions Paul plays bass for two hours in an adjacent AIR studio with The Michael Schenker Group, having been invited to do so by their drummer Cozy Powell.

Friday March 13

The EP The Elton John Band Featuring John Lennon And The Muscle Shoals Horns, featuring live recordings from the November 28, 1974, concert at Madison Square Garden, is released as a 12" single in the UK. Meanwhile, John's single 'Watching The Wheels'/'Yes, I'm Your Angel', performed by Yoko, is released in America. (The UK release takes place on March 27.)

Monday March 16

In England, George and Olivia spend the first of three nights at the Birmingham Metropole & Warwick NEC Hotel. On their departure on Thursday March 19, they pay a bill of £165.33.

Saturday March 21

George, Olivia and Dhani depart from London's Heathrow Airport at 11:20am en route to Copenhagen, arriving at 14:05pm. They will return to London the following day, on Sunday March 22, arriving in England at 10:20am UK time.

Tuesday March 24

In Chicago, Ringo holds a press conference to launch his forthcoming film, the United Artists comedy Caveman.

Sunday March 29

Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral holds a memorial service to John. Local Conservative politicians boycott the event in protest.

Monday March 30

The all-star album Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea, featuring Paul and Wings live on December 29, 1979, is released in America. (The UK release takes place on April 3.)

In the UK, Elm Tree Books publish Shout - The True Story Of The Beatles, the result of three years of research by journalist Philip Norman. Promoted as a definitive biography of the group and serialised in the Sunday Times, Paul is not pleased with the book, and is quick to point out why: "What the book says about me being the great manipulator, simply isn't true! Nothing happened in The Beatles unless everyone wanted it to happen. But when there was a decision to be made, somebody had to say it out loud, and that usually turned out to be my job. I accepted it." Paul will later refer to the book as "Shite".

George heads off to Rome with Olivia and Dhani, staying for one night at the Ergife Palace Hotel. They return to England the following day.

Tuesday March 31

In America, Ringo and Barbara make their first television appearance since John's death in a pre-recorded 13-minute feature on the ABC TV show The Barbara Walters Special. During the show Ringo is seen in the recording studio teaching Barbara how to play the guitar, and announcing that they will marry this year. Ringo becomes emotional when Barbara Walters asks him about John's death, and he requests that the tape be turned off until he composes himself for the interview to continue. (Incidentally, during this programme, there is a discrepancy over the date as to when Ringo claims that he last saw John. On this show, he said it was on Saturday November 15, but in the Stop And Smell The Roses CD booklet, he claims it was Wednesday November 26, 1980.)


Ringo has a disagreement with CBS Records, who distribute Portrait Records in America, and leaves the label. The Can't Fight Lightning album is subsequently abandoned and Ringo begins looking for another label. (Eventually he signs for RCA in Britain and Broadwalk in America, whereupon the album will become titled Stop And Smell The Roses.)

In New York at the Hit Factory studios, working with Phil Spector, Yoko completes the recording of the album Seasons Of Glass. To coincide with the release, Yoko renames the Lenono Music publishing company Ono Music.

George officially becomes a paid-up member of CND, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Also this month, at Jimmy Page's SOL Studio in Cookham, Berkshire, George, along with Page on guitar, assists Fleetwood Mac's drummer Mick Fleetwood recording his solo album.

BBC Radio One DJ Mike Read plays a bootleg single of The Beatles 1962 performance of 'How Do You Do It?' at EMI's Abbey Road Studios on his breakfast show. To do so, he has obtained special permission from EMI.

Wednesday April 1

In America, at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Ringo's former partner Nancy Andrews files a lawsuit against the former Beatle, claiming damages of $5 million and rights to half of the assets they bought while they were together.

Wednesday April 8

At 8:30pm, the European Charity premiere of the Wings concert film Rockshow takes place at London's Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road, in the presence of the Earl and Countess of Snowdon. The event, in aid of the Snowdon Award scheme for physically handicapped children, is attended by a host of star celebrities including Mike Oldfield, Gary Glitter, Steve Strange, Steve Harley, Eric Stewart, Phil Lynott, Kenny Jones, Billy Connolly, Paul Gambaccini and Victor Spinetti. As a prelude to the main attraction, the audience is treated to a screening of the short animated film Seaside Woman. At the end of the evening, following the successful screenings, Paul and Linda invite their guests backstage for a celebration party.

Thursday April 9

In New York, at 6pm, at the Rivoli Theater, at Broadway and 49th Street, Ringo and Barbara's film Caveman receives a special press screening. During the first two weeks of the film's screenings in America, patrons receive a special Daily Caveman newspaper, which is dated 'Thursday, One Zillion Years B.C.'

Friday April 10

The world premiere of Caveman takes place in New York at the Rivoli Theater. Asked about the film, Ringo replies: "I'm a very visual person, so for me, Caveman is a great piece. It's more than dialogue, and it's far more creative to me to transmit those feelings." (The film opens in London on July 23.)

Thursday April 16

In America, two unauthorised Beatles' albums, Dawn Of The Silver Beatles and Lightning Strikes Twice, containing recordings from The Beatles' Decca Records audition on January 1, 1962, are released through mail-order.

In honour of John, Ed Koch, the mayor of New York, signs a city ordinance renaming a designated area of Central Park Strawberry Fields.

Monday April 27

At 3:45pm, Joseph Jevans marries Ringo and Barbara Bach at the Marylebone Registry Office in London, the couple having arrived at the registry office in a London taxi cab. Barbara's dress was specially created by the Emmanuel's design team in London, who are currently hard at work designing the dress for the future Princess Diana's wedding to Prince Charles in July. Mr Jevans was the same registrar who conducted the marriage of Paul and Linda in the same room back on March 12, 1969. Besides the McCartneys and some of their children, those attending include George and Olivia, Neil Aspinall, Derek Taylor, Harry Nilsson, Ray Cooper and Ringo's mother and stepfather (Elsie and Harry). Following the service, the couples pose for official wedding photographer Terry O'Neil, who had flown in especially from New York for the occasion. The 70 guests then attend a reception at the Mayfair club Rags, where an all-star jam session takes place, featuring George on guitar, Paul and Nilsson alternating on piano and Ringo sharing teaspoon percussion with Ray Cooper. For their wedding rings, Ringo had two fragments of glass from the shattered windscreen from their May 19, 1980 car crash set into two star-shaped gold rings as a reminder of their good fortune. At the reception, the former Beatles and their partners pose for a group photo, the first time three of The Beatles have been photographed together since August 22, 1969. As a souvenir of the day, Ringo and Barbara give each of their guests a solid silver star.

In New York, Yoko is asked if she and Sean had been invited. "No," she replies. "My way of taking it now is that, because of what happened to me, they (Ringo and Barbara) felt intimidated about inviting me, because it was really not the right time to encounter people being happy. But it would have been nice to have been told about it!"

Also today, it is announced that Wings have split up. Denny Laine counters the announcement by revealing it was he who left the group. Denny, who is currently rehearsing his new band at the Rock City Studios at Shepperton, says: "I wanted to go back on the road, but Paul is a studio person."

Reporter: "Reports suggest that he, at times, is a difficult man to get on with. Did you ever find that?"

Denny: "Well ... I've had my moments!"

A report on his departure, as well as an exclusive interview with Denny is featured on ATV's ATV Today. Following his departure, George Martin naturally suggests to Paul that the albums resulting from the Montserrat sessions earlier this year, are credited to Paul McCartney and not Wings.


Ringo talks about his marriage on the Robert Klein radio show in America.

Sunday May 3

In England, an interview with Yoko is published in The Times newspaper.

Thursday May 7

Ringo and Barbara appear live by satellite from Los Angeles on the ABC TV breakfast show Good Morning America, where they are interviewed by the host David Hartman. John's death naturally comes into the conversation.

Back in England George receives an invitation in the mail to appear on the Scotti Brothers Legends Within The UK programme, an English version of the American Portraits Of A Legend tribute series. George declines the offer. On May 18, his secretary writes back informing them that: "George is giving no interviews at present."

Monday May 11

George's tribute to John, the single 'All Those Years Ago'/'Writing's On The Wall' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on May 15.) Using the basic track recorded by George and Ringo during the Friar Park session between November 19 and 25 last year, George removed Ringo's vocals and recorded his own specially rewritten lyrics. To complete the song, Paul and Linda visit Friar Park to record backing vocals. The worldwide exclusive first airing of the track is played on BBC Radio One in the UK. To accompany the release a promotional film, never transmitted in the UK, comprising a dazzling array of archive Beatle footage is compiled.

In America, Ringo and Barbara appear on the breakfast show AM Los Angeles.

Wednesday May 20

Ringo and Barbara appear on the US TV programme PM Magazine.

Friday May 22

On John's behalf, Yoko accepts a Handel Medallion, New York's highest medal of honour. Receiving the award, she tearfully states: "This city meant a lot to him. This was our town, and it still is."

Sunday May 31

George and Olivia decline an invitation to the wedding of the American DJ Dave Herman at Drea Beach in the gardens of Billy Acres in Newton, Connecticut. Instead, the Harrisons send a bouquet of flowers.

June (onwards)

At his private studios in Scotland, Paul records additional songs that will be released on the albums Tug Of War and Pipes Of Peace. The tracks include: 'Dress Me Up As A Robber', 'Tug Of War', 'Ballroom Dancing', 'Be What You See', 'Wanderlust', 'Here Today', 'I'll Give You A Ring' (originally started back in 1974), 'The Man', 'Average Person', 'Keep Under Cover', 'Sweetest Little Show' and the instrumental 'Ode To A Koala Bear'. During these sessions, Paul is joined by Michael Jackson where they record 'Say Say Say', a track co-written with Jackson.

Monday June 1

George's album Somewhere In England is released in America. (The UK release takes place on June 5.) The issue reaches number 11 in the US and number 13 in the UK album charts.

Saturday June 6

John's new single '(Just Like) Starting Over'/'Woman' is released in America.

Monday June 8

In America, Yoko releases Seasons Of Glass, her first solo album since 1974. Controversy surrounds the front cover, which depicts John's shattered bloodstained glasses sitting in the window of their Dakota apartment and a track on the album, 'No No No', which begins with the sound of gunshots. (The album is released in the UK on June 12.)

EMI in the UK reissue all The Beatles' original studio albums (with the exception of Abbey Road and the White Album) in mono. These monaural versions of the albums were deleted back in 1979.

Wednesday June 10

In England, the 31-minute MPL programme Back To The Egg, containing the eight Wings promotional videos from the album of the same name (taped two years ago, on April 3 and between June 4 and 13, 1979 - see relevant entries), receives its UK TV premiere this evening on BBC1 between 7:45 and 8:16pm.

Friday June 12

The Wings single 'Silly Love Songs'/ 'Cook Of The House' is re-released in America.

Monday June 15

Parlophone release the eight-album box set entitled The John Lennon Boxed Set, which comprises John's officially released albums from Live Peace In Toronto (in 1969) to Shaved Fish (in 1975).

Yoko and her former company Lenono Music face a plagiarism charge over the Double Fantasy track 'Yes, I'm Your Angel'. Rival publishers cite the similarity between this and the 1928 track 'Makin' Whoopee', originally recorded by Eddie Cantor.

Thursday June 18

In England, Paul's 39th birthday is celebrated with a 50-minute feature during Simon Bates' BBC Radio One show.

Monday June 22

In New York, amidst scenes of high security, Mark Chapman pleads guilty to the second degree murder of John. He will be sentenced on August 25.


Jack Douglas files a lawsuit claiming that he has received no royalties for his production work on the album Double Fantasy. In turn, Yoko countersues, claiming fraud and misrepresentation.

The Handmade film Time Bandits opens in London and includes George's recording of 'Dream Away' which plays over the closing credits and is later remixed and released on his 1982 album Gone Troppo. A planned six-track EP containing 'Dream Away' and excerpts from the film's soundtrack is scrapped on the insistence of both Handmade and George.

Friday July 3

In the UK, Bob Dylan releases the single 'Heart Of Mine' which features Ringo playing the tom-toms.

Saturday July 4

'All Those Years Ago' reaches number 13 in the UK and number two in the US album charts.

Thursday July 9

During tonight's 900th edition of BBC TV's long running Top Of The Pops series, short excerpts from The Beatles' 1963 BBC TV show It's The Beatles are repeated.

Saturday July 18

To celebrate his first chart success for a number of years, George pays the final balance of £149 on a pair of silk pyjamas at the shop After Dark, based at 64 Pimlico Road, London.

Sunday July 19

George is seen chatting with some American Beatles fans outside his home at Friar Park.

Tuesday July 21

Radio Luxembourg celebrates The Beatles by designating the entire evening's broadcasts to their music.

Thursday July 23

Ringo's latest film Caveman opens at the Studio cinema in Oxford Street, London. The film is not well received by the critics. The Guardian newspaper's reviewer writes: "Worth about half an hour of anybody's time ... unfortunately, it runs 97 minutes!"

Friday July 24

George's single 'Teardrops'/'Save The World' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on July 31.)


In America, the Magnetic Video Company release, on behalf of United Artists, the home video of The Beatles' 1970 film Let It Be.

Paul's Old English sheep dog Martha, immortalised on The Beatles' 1968 White Album track 'Martha My Dear', dies at Paul's Scottish farmhouse, aged 15. Paul, along with Linda and his family spends most of the month on Long Island in East Hampton, New York, with his in-laws. Paul tells the waiting reporters outside the house they are currently staying: "I'm out here putting my feet up and relaxing, trying to pretend that I am just a normal person." (Incidentally, Yoko is currently staying in a hotel less than a mile away, also in East Hampton.) This month's Italian magazine Ciao 2001 features a report on Paul's recent recordings with Stevie Wonder.

Yoko attends the opening of the Peking Opera at the Lincoln Center in New York. It is her first public appearance since John's death last December.

At Earl's Court in London, George is seen in the audience, alongside Eric Clapton, watching a concert performance by Bob Dylan.

Friday August 7 (until Sunday August 16)

In America, The Beatles' newsreel compilation film This Is The Week That Beatlemania Was, is given a limited ten-day cinema release across America.

Tuesday August 11

Paul and Linda send a postcard from New York to their MPL staff in Soho Square, London.

Wednesday August 19

In New York, Yoko writes a letter to friends and possible benefactors about an area of Central Park, which has been honoured to John.

"It will be known as Strawberry Fields," she writes. "It happens to be where John and I took our last walk together. John would have been very proud that this was given to him, an island named after his song, rather than a statue or a monument. When we first met over ten years ago, we planted an acorn in England as a symbol of our love. We then sent acorns to all the heads of state around the world inviting them to do the same. So in the name of John and Yoko and the spirit of love and sharing, I would like once again to invite all countries of the world this time to offer plants, rocks, and/or stones of their nations for Strawberry Fields."

Monday August 24

Ringo and Barbara return to England via London's Heathrow Airport.

Tuesday August 25

George pays an initial deposit of £700 to the Clark Stone Originals firm in Herefordshire for a small replica model of his Friar Park mansion.

In America, John Lennon's murderer, Mark David Chapman, receives a 20-years-to-life sentence, to be served ironically in Attica State prison.

Wednesday August 26

From the Seasons Of Glass album, Yoko releases as an American single, the track 'No No No'.

Saturday August 29

In Liverpool, between 10am and 12 midnight, the first Annual Mersey Beatle Extravaganza takes place at the Adelphi Hotel in lime Street. Originally this Beatles convention was due to take place at the Royal Court Theatre but was switched at the last minute due to a flood. An estimated 1,500 fans are treated to guest appearances by Philip Norman, the author of Shout!, the actor Victor Spinetti, and Brian Southall, the publicity executive for EMI Records, who reveals that "EMI has a recording of a song called 'Leave My Kitten Alone', featuring a vocal by John Lennon and recorded in 1963 (sic) which we consider good enough to release as one side of a new Beatles single." He goes on to add: "Apart from the Christmas disc tapes, EMI has no other completed issuable material." When he takes questions from the audience, he is asked: "Where then are all the other unreleased tracks?" Brian replies: "It would seem that when a song had been recorded, one or another of The Beatles would take the tapes home, strictly against EMI's wishes, and would only return material they themselves wanted released."

At Sotheby's annual rock and pop memorabilia auction in London, Cynthia Powell Lennon Twist sells, for a record price of £8,800, a Christmas card drawn personally by John.


Cynthia Lennon, as she now calls herself, visits New York to promote her 15 caricatures at the crumbling, almost derelict. Tower Gallery in Southampton. Before the opening other first show, she receives a good-luck telegram from Yoko. During Cynthia's stay in the city, she makes promotional appearances on shows such as ABC TV's Good Morning America.

Paul wins a High Court ban on the sale of the 1958 Quarrymen recording of 'That'll Be The Day', put up for auction by original Quarrymen member John 'Duff' Lowe. This month, along with Linda, he travels to New York where he visits Yoko and Sean at the Dakota. The McCartneys reciprocate by inviting her to stay at their Scottish farmhouse.

The Los Angeles Herald reports that Yoko has been in her office every morning at 6:30am writing a book on her life with John.

At Carnegie Hall in New York, Frank Sinatra performs the George Harrison song 'Something', dedicating it to "Mr. Lennon and Mr. McCartney". Fans in the audience are in an uproar; not knowing that this has been a staple diet of Frank's great stage act for over a decade.

Thursday September 3

In Mathew Street, Liverpool, a giant glass fibre statue of John, entitled Working Class Hero, is put on display. The piece, created by 44-year-old sculptor Alan Curran, is part of a £12,000 appeal, this being the cost of having it cast and preserved in bronze.

Wednesday September 16 (until Friday September 18)

In England, working with Keith MacMillan's Keef & Co. company, Ringo begins three days taping promotional video clips for 'Stop And Smell The Roses' and 'Wrack My Brain'. On the first day at Egham Aerodrome in Surrey (without any rehearsal), Ringo and 59 members of the Wickford Youth Band and Majorettes, tape the clip for 'Stop And Smell The Roses', recreating a mock traffic jam in France caused by the band and majorettes marching. The children, some as young as seven, were given special permission by their schools to appear in the five-hour shoot. Some of the extras, who are wearing striped jerseys and berets, were the children's parents. Ringo, dressed as a traffic cop, appears walking alongside the ranks and majorettes singing his song and, during breaks in the taping, he gives drum lessons to some of the children. For the second day's taping, production moves to Tittenhurst Park where Ringo concludes the scenes for 'Stop And Smell The Roses', as well as the opening shots for the clip to accompany 'Wrack My Brain', in which Ringo is seen getting out of, and subsequently jumping back into, his bed at the end of the clip. On Friday, interior scenes for 'Wrack My Brain' are shot at Keef & Co.'s south west London studios, with Ringo appearing in a horror dungeon with a whole host of creatures, including Dracula and a mummy. Barbara appears dressed in a straitjacket, which upsets many American broadcasters.

Saturday September 19

The promotional video for Ringo's 'Stop And Smell The Roses' is prepared in preparation for television distribution. Some of the scenes, taped at his Tittenhurst Park mansion in Ascot, show Barbara in a cameo appearance hitting Ringo over the head with a bottle. Ringo is criticised over the scene in which Barbara is tied up in a straitjacket, but he is having none of it. Asked about the clip, Ringo replies: "It was the only way to keep her still. We took that home ... what fun at night folks!"

Sunday September 27

An interview with Paul is published in the Sunday People newspaper, where he is asked if he would object if his children went into showbiz, "No, but I wouldn't push them," he replies.

Wednesday September 30

Yoko releases a second single from Seasons Of Glass, this time the song 'Goodbye Sadness'. (The promotional video for this track receives its world premiere on the NBC TV show Saturday Night Live.)


During the month, George and Olivia fly to Hawaii, taking up residence at the Maui plantations to help their good friend Dr. Zion Yo celebrate the opening of his rejuvenation centre. "If I lived here I'd be in twice a week," George tells reporters covering the opening. Later, in conversation over dinner, George explains to Zion who The Harlem Globetrotters are. (The Globetrotters, of course, are the long running showbiz American basketball team.) Following the visit, George flies on to Los Angeles to attend the premiere of Handmade's Time Bandits, a charity event to raise money for needy children. He then returns to London.

Eleven years down the line Neil Aspinall, in London, is still working on The Beatles' history documentary film The Long And Winding Road. It is now revealed that should Neil finally complete the editing, the chances of it seeing the light of day is pretty slim because he has been unable to get release permission from the three Beatles. Hearing this, A Hard Day's Night film producer Walter Shenson remarks: "It is criminal that The Beatles won't allow this footage to be released to the public!"

Paul announces plans to build a £250,000 home on his 150-acre farm in Rye, Sussex.

The Beatles' former drummer Pete Best is a guest on an American ABC TV "where are they are now?" variety show, entitled Whatever Became of ...

Tuesday October 7

In Los Angeles, a pre-recorded interview with Yoko is broadcast on Jim Ladd's radio show, with part two being transmitted one week later on Tuesday October 13.

Friday October 9

In Los Angeles, on what would have been John's 41st birthday, a seven-foot bronze statue of him by the 27-year-old American sculptor Brett Livingstone-Strong, is unveiled outside City Hall. The three-ton piece, costing $75,000, had taken Brett three months to create. After its unveiling, fans begin laying flowers at the plinth of the statue. To coincide with this event, Yoko announces today as International World Peace Day.

Monday October 12

In the UK, Thorn-EMI home video release, on VHS and BETA systems, the tape of Paul's MPL film Rockshow. This home video version omits six tracks that appeared during the cinema screenings earlier this year. The tracks to suffer from the cut are: 'Call Me Back Again', 'Lady Madonna', 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Picasso's Last Words - Richard Corey' (medley), 'Blackbird' and 'My Love'.

Friday October 16

In Los Angeles, Ringo shoots promotional pictures to accompany the album Stop And Smell The Roses.

To promote the release of the new Handmade film Time Bandits, George appears, by satellite from London, on the ABC TV breakfast show Good Morning America where he is interviewed by the host David Hartman. It is his first major US TV interview since he appeared on The Dick Cavett Show back on Tuesday November 23, 1971 (see entry). Part two of George's appearance on Good Morning America is transmitted on Tuesday October 20.

Sunday October 25 (until Saturday October 31)

Still in the States, with the first anniversary of John's death just six weeks away, a week-long campaign begins to promote an "end to handgun violence". The event, which is sponsored by John's friend Harry Nilsson, is staged across the country and takes the form of public service announcements, including one by Ringo, post mailings and 250 major fundraising events.

Monday October 26

Ringo begins a month-long series of interviews and appearances to promote his new record. Today, he appears on the US KLOS Los Angeles radio show Rockline, premiering his Stop And Smell The Roses album and taking phone calls from listeners.

Tuesday October 27

Over three years since his last album, Ringo's Stop And Smell The Roses is finally released in America, featuring a limited edition "scratch & sniff" sleeve, so that buyers can actually "smell the roses". For the album, Paul writes and produces the tracks 'Private Property' and 'Attention' and features on bass, piano, vocals and percussion. He also plays on the track 'Sure To Fall', which he also produces. George writes and produces 'Wrack My Brain', on which he plays guitar and performs backing vocals. He also produces the track 'You Belong To Me', on which he also contributes lead guitar. (The album is released in the UK on November 20.) To coincide with the US release today, Ringo, just a week after George, appears on the ABC TV breakfast show Good Morning America.

Also today in America, a single is taken off the album, coupling 'Wrack My Brain' with 'Drumming Is My Madness'. (The UK release for the single takes place on November 13.) The sessions for Stop And Smell The Roses started back on Friday July 11, 1980, when the record was originally titled Can't Fight Lightning. Unfortunately, Stop And Smell The Roses will not fare well Stateside, where it will be voted as "the worst record of 1981".

Today's edition of The Sun newspaper features an exclusive interview with Yoko carried out by Barbara Graustark, in which she reveals: "We are still a duet. John is doing what he can upstairs. I do what I can down here."

Looking at her room full of John's mementos, Yoko remarks: "I don't intend to spend the rest of my life alone, but could I bring another man into all this?"

Wednesday October 28

In Liverpool, a biographical play about John Lennon written by Bob Eaton, titled simply Lennon, opens at the Everyman Theatre.

Friday October 30

A promotional interview by Ringo for the Stop And Smell The Roses album takes place today on Kevin O'Connell's WBEN Buffalo radio programme.


As the first anniversary of John's death approaches, a spate of new single couplings appears in America. This time, 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)' is paired with 'Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)'. Meanwhile, from the seclusion of his cell in Attica State prison, Mark Chapman drafts a letter to Yoko informing her that he intends writing a book about his shooting of John. He also asks her to support the project on the condition that he hands over to her all the proceeds for charity.

At the start of the month, Paul, Linda and their family visit New York, where he spends time recording in the studio with Michael Jackson. The McCartneys will return to England on November 10.

This month, in America, the publishers Simon & Schuster release in paperback form George's 1980 book I Me Mine, this time at a more reasonable price of $12.95.

Before Ringo commences additional promotional work for the album Stop And Smell The Roses, he and his wife Barbara take a belated honeymoon in Rome.

Tuesday November 3

An interview with Ringo plugging his new album is published in the LA Times.

Wednesday November 4

George's single 'All Those Years Ago'/'Teardrops' is released in America.

John's single 'Watching The Wheels'/'Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)' is also released in America.

An interview with Ringo, again promoting his latest album, is published in the Indianapolis News.

Thursday November 5

In London, The Times newspaper reports that John is to be the subject of a forthcoming book by Elvis Presley biographer Albert Goldman. The report reveals that two American publishers. Morrow and Avon, are expected to pay $1 million for the book.

Friday November 6

The Handmade film Time Bandits premieres in most US cities.

Wednesday November 11

In America, CBS TV's Entertainment Tonight show reveals that Yoko is writing a book on widowhood and has, allegedly, been offered $5 million as an advance from a London publisher.

Thursday November 12

In the UK, Yoko pops up again when the Daily Mirror prints the story: "Yoko And A Man Like John" in which she is pictured strolling arm in arm through Central Park with Sam Havadtoy, a man who strikingly resembles John in likeness. The report adds, "Rumours say Sam and Yoko will marry soon."

Thursday November 19

Ringo guests on the CBS TV show Entertainment Tonight, where he is asked: "Is it a burden being a former Beatle?"

"It's never really a burden. That's the wrong word," he replies. "It used to get in the way sometimes, and still every interview you do people like to ask you about them. There's no madness out there like it used to be. I was a Beatle, I'm still Ringo Starr and I'm doing my own records now. It's more exciting for me to talk about my records than Beatles records, 'cos we've been talking about them for twenty years!"

John is posthumously awarded with an ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Award, but Yoko and Sean are unable to attend the ceremony personally. Instead, they send a video message of thanks, which requires six re-takes, in which Sean, quite clearly, cannot comprehend why he has to say "thank you" to a piece of paper which Yoko is reading.

Following a secret meeting in New York, Paul offers £21 million for the full control of Northern Songs, the publishing company which owns the prestigious and lucrative Lennon & McCartney song catalogue. Owner Lou Grade insists that he will only sell The Beatles' songs as part of ATV Music and not as a separate entity. Paul maintains: "I'm only interested in The Beatles' tunes!" Asked about the situation, Yoko reveals that she has never been approached and insists that she "does not have an interest in the songs!"

Saturday November 21

Two days after the meeting, now joined by Yoko, Paul announces that he is to sue Lord Grade's ATV Music Corporation for alleged breach of trust, following the failure, two days earlier, of Paul's attempt to buy back the rights to all The Beatles' hits.

Sunday November 22

In England, an interview with Ringo, carried out by Gordon Blair to promote his latest album, is published in today's Sunday Mirror.

Tuesday November 24

Ringo appears live in an 11-minute interview on the Merv Griffin Show. Immediately afterwards Ringo and Barbara fly back to England to celebrate Christmas in Ascot.

Wednesday November 25

A pre-recorded interview with Ringo and Barbara is transmitted in America on the NBC Tomorrow show. During the show, Ringo remarks to the show's host Tom Synder: "I am the best rock and roll drummer in the land ... I am!"

Friday November 27

In Liverpool, a Wimpey Homes housing estate featuring street names such as John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Hamson Close and Ringo Starr Close is opened by Michael Heseltine, the Minister for the Environment, and councillor Derek Hatton. Three blocks are also added, Epstein Mews, Apple Court and Cavern Court.


George, Olivia and Dhani spend their Christmas vacation as virtually the only occupants of Hamilton Island in Australia. They spend their days cruising the barrier reef on a chartered boat. In January 1982, during their two-month break, George consents to a rare interview for Good Morning Australia, who ask him: "How would you describe yourself in 1982?"

He replies: "As a middle-aged ex-pop star, peace seeker, gardener, ex-celeb ... until now again!"

The five-part interview is not transmitted until Monday April 19, to Friday April 23, 1982, due to a stipulation from George that it could only be shown once he and his family had left the island and returned home to Friar Park. On his first day in the country, George gets stopped for speeding in his rented car, as he recalls: "The policeman asked me for my driver's licence, so I opened the back of the car to get it. The cop did a double take when he saw the name, 'George Hamson from London'. He said, studying the English licence, 'You're with The Rolling Stones aren't you?' " Meanwhile this month, the New York Post and the Chicago Tribune newspapers reveal that George has started recording his new album and that John's eldest son Julian is playing drums on a couple of tracks.

Ringo appears in a Christmas message on America's Top Ten with Casey Kasem, then, once back in England, becomes part owner of a cable TV company in Liverpool. With his time spent in England rapidly increasing, practically ending his six-year life as a tax exile in Monte Carlo, a reporter asks Ringo if he has returned to England because of death threats in America, to which Ringo replies: "That is utter rot!" (Ringo and Barbara wait until his Startling Studios recording complex is completely finished and the house renovated before moving in full time, during October 1982.)

Dave Clark, the former drummer with the sixties group The Dave Clark Five, acquires from the estates of Associated-Rediffusion the full copyright to the classic Sixties pop show Ready Steady Go! He announces that he intends to release highlights from the series worldwide on home video cassette. (The Beatles naturally figure in these plans.)

Wednesday December 2

Immediately on returning to England, Ringo gives a promotional interview for Stop And Smell The Roses to Capital Radio in London. (Excerpts of the interview are repeated on a Capital Radio John Lennon tribute programme, broadcast on December 8.)

Sunday December 6

An interview with Yoko and Sean is published in today's New York Daily News, where she discusses John's unreleased music and announces: "I do have plans to go through John's music."

Monday December 7

Today's Liverpool Echo publishes an exclusive interview with John's Aunt Mimi in a piece entitled "My Boy John - I Just Want To Put The Record Straight". On the recently opened Lennon play at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre, she remarks: "They invited me to the first night. I wouldn't go. I'm glad I didn't. Friends of mine in Liverpool have been and seen it and have come away shocked. Much of how they portray John to be is completely the opposite of what he was!"

Meanwhile, on almost the first anniversary of John's tragic death, a street in Madrid, Spain, is renamed John Lennon Boulevard. Walls on the street feature a large mural inspired by The Beatles' film Yellow Submarine.

In America, People magazine features Ringo in conversation with Tom Snyder, host of the NBC TV Tomorrow Show.

Parlophone EMI in the UK release the 13-disc Beatles EP Collection box set, which includes an all-new bonus disc entitled She's A Woman. This contains 'This Boy', 'Baby, You're A Rich Man', 'The Inner Light' and the title track, featuring a previously unreleased count-in by Paul, all presented as four rare stereo Beatles recordings. (In fact, due to a mix-up at the mastering stage of the EP, a mono recording of 'This Boy' was accidentally used instead of the planned stereo version.)

Back in Liverpool, it is announced that the original Cavern Club site in Mathew Street may be excavated and a shop and office built above it, with a reconstruction of the original club as a centrepiece. The £7 million project will shortly go before the Liverpool City Council for planning approval. David Beachouse, the architect of the scheme, optimistically says: "I believe some of the structure of the original Cavern Club will be exposed when the site is excavated."

Tuesday December 8

As a Japanese sign of mourning on the first anniversary of John's death, Yoko cuts off 30 inches of her hair and spends the day in seclusion at Cold Spring Harbor. In France, a pre-recorded interview with Yoko concerning the first anniversary is transmitted on the French television station A2.

In England, John's Aunt Mimi Smith gives her first television interview about John to the Southern ITV programme Day By Day.

EMI in the UK announce that, in this first year since John's death, a staggering 75 million Beatles records have been sold worldwide.

In Liverpool, an open-air concert and a late night vigil for John takes place at St. George's Hall. At the 400-seat Everyman Theatre in the city, the entire evening's takings from the play Lennon are given to a charity of Yoko's choice.

Saturday December 12

Over ten years since John and Yoko appeared on the programme, Ringo and Barbara make a guest appearance on the BBC1 late-night chat show Parkinson (transmitted between 10:41 and 11:39pm), hosted by Michael Parkinson and recorded in Studio B at the BBC Television Centre in London. Ringo talks about working at the Butlins holiday camp, filming the "path by the water" scene in A Hard Days Night when he had a hangover, working with the film 'greats' such as Peter Sellers and Mae West, and writing songs for The Beatles.

"I used to write all these songs and I used to think 'Wow! I've written another song!' Then, I'd go along where we'd be making another album, or something, and I'd say, 'I've written this song'. I would play them the song I had written and they would all be on the floor laughing, because I had usually re-written another song, usually a Jerry Lee-Lewis B-side."

Parkinson: "When The Beatles were recording you submitted a song? You all did? You all submitted songs when you were making an album?"

Ringo: "Well, it was pretty difficult in the beginning, because, even from the start, Lennon and McCartney were good writers."

Parkinson: "Not bad! Did you feel that was a bit daunting for you?"

Ringo: "To say the least. It's like Emily Bronte. I don't even know what that means! It was a bit heavy, you know. 'Well, I've got this lads'. And they'd say, 'Well, we've got this (singing) 'Yesterday'. So I'd say, 'Okay. We'll do yours!' "

To close the show, he and Barbara join Tim Rice, Jimmy Tarbuck and Michael Parkinson in an impromptu performance of the track 'Singing The Blues', with Ringo briefly playing drums. (Incidentally, 'Wrack My Brain' today reaches number 38 in the American charts.)

Also today, an interview with Ringo plugging the Stop And Smell The Roses album appears in the New Musical Express.

Thursday December 17

Another interview with Ringo to promote his new album is published, this time in the American newspaper The Daily Report.

Tuesday December 22

At the Sotheby's Rock & Pop auction in London, over £80,000 is spent on Beatles-related items, including £8,000 on a line drawing by John of himself.

Wednesday December 23

It is reported that Yoko is to finance a centre aimed at improving research and preventive health care for children in Liverpool.

Thursday December 31

Before celebrating the New Year, an ever business conscious Paul is seen briefly at his MPL offices in Soho Square, London.

Further bad news for Ringo's Stop And Smell The Roses album when the HMV Record Store in London announce that, during the traditionally extremely busy month of December, just thirty copies of the album were sold throughout the entire run-up to Christmas.

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