"The Beatles are dead chuffed. They are thrilled by their continued success."
- Apple spokesman
Saturday January 1
George is discharged from hospital and allowed to return home to Friar Park following his horrifying knife ordeal. He leaves Harefield Hospital in Northwest London this evening. He requests that the hospital not release the news until the following day. A spokesman for the hospital says on Sunday January 2: "He's gone home with his family and he is expected to make a full recovery. On Friday we said that George would be unlikely to be fit to leave hospital until Sunday, but he was judged to be well enough after a series of tests. He was discharged last night after an assessment of his fitness. He was delighted to go home." A reporter asks the spokesman whether George had celebrated the dawn of the new Millennium at the stroke of midnight on Friday. The spokesman briefly replies: "Hospitals are rather boring places."
George's first visitor at Friar Park is his good friend the Monty Python star, Eric Idle, who announces: "He's much better." Soon after Eric will tell the National Post in Canada: "He is recovering and it was a monstrous attack. When the trial comes out in England, you'll see how nasty that was, much nastier than reported! For once in life, it wasn't hyped."
Newspaper reports reveal that George is being kept under a 24-hour guard by two ex-SAS men, who are working 12-hour shifts and are being paid £1,000 a day. Shortly after, George will take a vacation in Ireland and then Barbados, staying at a £30,000 a week rented home with his family and his close friend, Joe Brown.
Joe Brown tells the Daily Mail: "I was sitting at home, the phone rang and George asked me to go to Barbados with him. It was totally unexpected, but I was pleased." He adds: "He's had a very nasty experience and he doesn't need all this hassle. The attack was a lot worse than what people realised. George struggled with the man for nearly twenty minutes before help arrived."
An onlooker in Barbados remarks: "George looked a million miles away from the troubled person of three weeks ago. He was clearly happy and relaxed. He is feeling much better and looks every inch like he is on his way to recovery. He is a picture of health and you can no longer see the scar."
George, closely watched by his ex-SAS guards, is seen taking long walks around the gardens of the island and found tucking into a feast of tropical food with his family in the evening.
George's attacker, the 33-year-old Liverpudlian Mike Abram is detained under the Mental Health Act and is due to make his next court appearance on Friday February 11.
Paul and Heather celebrate the first day of the new century having dinner together.
Sunday January 2
George's stabbing forces him to become the focus of attention in a special feature in today's Observer newspaper. The piece, written by Tim Adams, is called The Eccentric One.
Wednesday January 5
Paul donates $2million (£1.25m) to cancer centres in America in memory of his late wife Linda. He gives $lmillion to Arizona Cancer Research to establish a breast cancer research endowment. They will look at ways to treat and prevent cancer without using animals for research. Paul also gives $lmillion to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where Linda received treatment.
Friday January 7
With John's 'Imagine' currently at number seven in the British singles chart, tonight's edition of Top Of The Pops (aired on BBC1 between 7:30 and 8:00pm) broadcasts the famous 1971 Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, clip of the song.
Sunday January 9
George is the subject of this week's Time & Again, MNNBC TV's weekly 43-minute archive news show. Among the clips on offer in this American show is his appearance on the Today show in 1986, Good Morning Australia in 1982 and reports on his recent attack at his home in Henley-on-Thames.
Wednesday January 12
Cristin Kelleher, the 27-year-old woman accused of stalking and breaking into George's home in Hawaii denies raiding his home (see entry for Thursday December 23, 1999). Although she was caught in the house eating one of George's pizzas, she pleads not guilty to theft in a Hawaii courtroom.
Friday January 14
During a vacation in the Providenciales Islands in the Bahamas, Paul and two of his children, James and Stella, decide to pay a short visit to Santiago De Cuba.
Saturday January 15
The digital only channel BBC Choice repeats Paul's recent appearance on Parkinson (see entry for December 2, 1999) as well as the newly re-mixed version of Paul's concert at The Cavern Club on December 14, 1999 (see entry).
Sunday January 16
George and Olivia, on holiday in Ireland, appear on the front page of the Sunday Express, along with a thank you to their many well-wishers. "Olivia and I are overwhelmed by the concern expressed by so many people," he says. "We thank everyone for their prayers and kindness." George and Olivia have been staying at the home of Rolling Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood. (The syndicated picture also appears on television stations like CNN in America and CBS, where it is screened on the CBS Evening News.)
Monday January 17
Paul's series Paul McCartney's Routes Of Rock, first aired on the BBC World Service on Wednesday October 20, 1999, airs for the first time in America. It is broadcast over two successive weeks on Westwood One Network's The Beatle Years series.
The American Music Awards ceremony is held in the States and The Beatles win the "Artists Of The Decades" Sixties category.
Wednesday January 19
A Yellow Submarine reality exhibition opens in Berlin, Germany. The Yellow Submarine Adventure is part of Sony's Music Box theme park, a multi-million dollar music activity centre developed by the company. The amazing ride is a 30-seater Yellow Submarine complete with portholes and a screen that shows high definition excerpts from the film. Travellers are encouraged to sing along with tracks such as 'All You Need Is Love', 'When I'm 64', 'Only A Northern Song' and 'Sgt. Pepper'. It is expected that the ride will appear in Liverpool, at the Dome in Greenwich, London and on the West Coast of America.
Thursday January 20 (until Sunday January 23)
Paul's December 14, 1999 performance at The Cavern Club in Liverpool is broadcast by 140 radio stations across America.
Friday January 21
At midnight (ET/PT), VH-1 in America premieres a new 30-minute documentary about the making of their forthcoming drama Two Of Us, a fictional account of John and Paul's meeting at The Dakota in 1976, and directed by the Let It Be film director, Michael Lindsay Hogg. The exact details were first revealed in the August 1999 edition of this book. (Repeat screenings of the programme occur throughout the following week, except for Thursday and Friday, on the station.)
Thursday January 27
Many newspapers in the UK, including the Mirror, print a previously unpublished picture of John, alongside other youngsters including comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, taken in August 1952 during a school trip to the Isle of Man.
In Holborn, London, Paul joins eight other composers at St. Andrews Church in a press conference and photo opportunity to promote the classical CD Garland For Linda, proceeds from which will benefit the garland appeal, helping cancer research through the healing power of music. (The CD was recorded on Friday October 8,1999, at the All Saints Church in Tooting.) This evening, Paul and his brother Mike attend the performance in the church of Garland For Linda, performed by the Joyful Company of Singers.
Friday January 28
The Canadian music channel Musicmax (at 9:00pm ET) broadcasts a one-off screening of the new version of the September 1999 PETA Awards ceremony, which features Paul's complete six-track performance.
Further newspapers in the UK publish the previously unseen picture of John and the comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, taken on holiday in August 1952. The agent for this picture is the Liverpool Echo newspaper.
Sunday January 30
Ringo appears, sitting behind his drums, in a TV commercial for the brokerage house of Charles Schwab & Co, aired in a very expensive American television slot during live coverage of Superbowl XXXIV. In the 30-second piece, he is seen suggesting a number of investing terms for a rhyme in a band song writing session. The clip reappears in the fourth quarter and again at the end of the game.
Gimme Some Truth, the official documentary on the making of the Imagine album, is aired for the first time on the European channel ARTE. The show is screened three times over the two days (Sunday January 30 and Monday January 31). The UK premiere does not take place until Sunday February 13 (see entry) while the American TV premiere is held back until Monday April 17 when it appears on the Bravo channel.
February (during the month)
Paul and Heather Mills are spotted holidaying together on the paradise Caribbean island of Parrot Cay, a hideaway on the Turks and Calcos Islands. They spend ten days at the resort, where a beachside cottage for two costs £8,000 for a week. A fellow guest at the place remarks: "Paul and Heather seemed very happy in each other's company. Parrot Cay suited them well, it's the perfect place for lovers who can have their privacy assured. It's very secure and paparazzi-proof."
Paul features in this month's Bassist and Guitarist magazines.
This month (and March) Paul features on the front of the HMV Choice magazine. Inside, he discusses his life, Linda, Lennon and his classical music.
The TV Shopping Channel 3-CD box set of Ringo's All-Starr Band live recordings, to be released on the Purple Pyramid label, is delayed again due to production difficulties. Reports now suggest that the release will now either take place in April or June, to coincide with the new All-Starr Band American Tour.
Tuesday February 1
At London's Mermaid Theatre, at the NME Premier Awards, Paul is on hand to collect, on behalf of The Beatles, the award for "The Best Band Ever". Paul: "I'm delighted! It's better than a Brit. Can I just say Thank you, John, George and Ringo, and thank you, God!' " Afterwards, Paul remarks: "I would much rather attend a ceremony with awards voted for by readers. I came here because it was the readers' choice, unlike the Brits, which is chosen by a committee. With these awards, you know what's going on. With the others, you don't know what's happening backstage politically. I was told we had won by a landslide, so that's why I wanted to come here today. The Beatles were a good mix of people. We were the coolest ..." Paul's blast at The Brits comes after they had offered Paul The Greatest Contribution To Music' gong, but when he said he couldn't make it to the event, the organisers decided to give the award to The Spice Girls instead.
Paul's appearance at the NME Awards features on the front page of the paper, dated Saturday February 12.
In the States, VH-1 premiere their 90-minute drama film, Two Of Us, based on a fictional account of John and Paul's meeting at The Dakota in 1976. Jared Harris is in the role of John.
Saturday February 5
Excerpts from Paul's September 18, 1999 PETA Awards Ceremony (see entry) are featured in Pamela Anderson Lee's US TV show VIP. The programme is titled All You Need Is Val. (The Los Angeles transmission takes place on Sunday February 6.)
Sunday February 6
This afternoon, VH-1 in Europe screens again Paul's VH-1 to 1 interview, made primarily to promote his Run Devil Run album last year.
Monday February 7
The album A Garland For Linda is released by EMI Classics.
Saturday February 12
Paul awards his personal assistant a £160,000 leaving gift. The former Beatle begged Shelagh Jones to stay after 16 years loyal service, even wining and dining her in an attempt to make her change her mind. The money ensures that Shelagh will not disclose any details about her time working for Paul. A pal of Paul's remarks: "Paul never wanted her to leave ... They are almost like brother and sister."
Sunday February 13
The UK TV premiere of the documentary Gimme Some Truth, the making of John's Imagine album, takes place on BBC2. But, unfortunately, due to extended live coverage of the Benson & Hedges snooker final, the preceding programme, the screening of the Yoko approved programme, begins one hour and 28 minutes later than scheduled, at 00:58am in the early hours of Monday February 14. (The original start time for the show was 11:30pm.)
Monday February 14
As expected, considering the airing of Gimme Some Truth the previous night, the remastered version of John's 1971 album Imagine is released in the UK. Contrary to previous reports, there are no bonus tracks. Yoko: "Imagine is such an incredibly important album, and I wanted to keep it as close as possible to the original." (The release takes place in America, by Parlophone/EMI Music Canada, the following day, Tuesday February 15.)
Wednesday February 16 (& Thursday February 17)
Planned screenings on VH-1 in America of the re-mixed Yellow Submarine film fail to materialise. Insiders suggest that the non-appearance is down to a disagreement between MGM/UA and Apple. It is an embarrassment for the station, who had been running special Yellow Submarine trailers for the past two weeks. The film is replaced by a made-for-TV film drama on the Jackson family.
Friday February 18
It is announced that the piano John used to write 'Imagine' back in 1971 is to be sold. In the run-up to its auction, on the website eoffer.com on October 9, his 60th birthday, it will be stored in Liverpool's Beatles Story attraction. (See entry for Tuesday October 17, 2000.)
On the same day, reports suggest that Paul has started work on his new studio album at his home studio in Sussex.
This evening, Paul joins his daughter Stella at the London Fashion Week awards, where she is named "Glamorous Designer Of The Year". (The event is covered for a BBC2 special, transmitted the following evening, Saturday February 19. While Paul and Stella's arrival for the event is covered by Sky News.)
EMI in the UK announces that The Beatles' back catalogue CDs are not being re-mastered.
Sunday February 20
The Beach Boys legend, Brian Wilson, denies rumours that he is working on projects with Paul.
Monday February 21
American news reports state that according to secret MI5 files, which are to be made public, John helped fund the IRA. Yoko is quick to deny the claim.
Tuesday February 22
The producers of the new CBS TV film, based on the life of Linda McCartney, begin casting for the roles of Linda and the four Beatles.
Friday February 25
It is announced that Ringo will tour America again this year with his All-Starr band. (See entry for Friday May 12.)
According to a recently published will, filed for probate on Friday March 10, Linda's entire £138 million fortune has been left to Paul. Linda filed the will in the States to avoid the 40% death duties in Britain. The trust cash will pass to her four grown-up children when Paul dies.
Paul and Linda are featured on the front cover of Classical FM magazine.
Also this month, it is announced that Linda's first husband, Joseph Melville See Jnr, believed to be the inspiration behind the first verse of Paul's 'Get Back' in 1969, dies in Tucson, Arizona, from a self-inflicted shotgun wound. According to friends, Linda's death hit him hard and he never fully recovered. He was 62.
Shortly after choosing a suitable cast, filming for the new CBS TV movie on the life of Linda McCartney takes place in Vancouver, Canada. Paul's spokesman, Geoff Baker remarks: "Sir Paul can't comment as he has not seen it or been asked for any input."
In the UK, an instrumental cover version of 'Help!' appears on the soundtrack of television adverts for the Halifax building society.
Thursday March 2
Paul, his daughter Mary and Sean Lennon are seen in the audience of Stella McCartney's Chloe fashion show in Paris, France. Sean remarks: "It's the first time I've ever seen one of her shows. It was great!"
Monday March 6
Paul and Heather arrive in New York for the 15th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony, where, this evening, he inducts the former Apple recording artist, James Taylor. After the event, Paul does not go backstage or pose for pictures. A planned traditional end-of-evening all-star jam session featuring 'Long Tall Sally' fails to materialise because of Paul's non-appearance. (The event is transmitted in America on VH1 from Wednesday March 8.) During his time in New York, Paul attends a recording session with Elvis's legendary guitarist, Scotty Moore and drummer, D.J. Fontana. The trio, calling themselves The Blue Mountain Boys, records 'That's All Right, Mama'. The session is recorded and will appear in a documentary about Memphis' Sun Studios, due to be screened by PBS in America in late 2001.
Thursday March 9
At 1am, at the trendy Hog & Heifers bar in New York, in front of Heather Mills and over 100 drinkers, Paul, wearing a dinner jacket and braces, jumps up on stage and grooves with 28-year-old barmaid Michelle Gascoigne during the song 'Whole Lotta Shaking Going On', which is belting out from the nearby jukebox. As he does so, he waves and blows kisses to Heather.
Michelle: "I told him, 'Mr McCartney, we have a tradition that only women can dance on the bar, but we're willing to break that for one knight.' He seemed to appreciate my play on words but said he couldn't do it. Paul turned down my request at first, but agreed after I said, 'Wait a second. With all due respect Mr. McCartney, you can get up in front of 65,000 at Shea Stadium, but you're afraid to get up here with little ol' me.' He looked at me and said, 'That's it, girl,' and jumped up."
Sunday March 12
George is seen in public - in the pits at the Australian Grand Prix - for the first time since his horrifying knife attack. In an interview with Martin Brundle, ITV's motor racing commentator, he says, "As you can see, I'm fit again. I came very close, but I'm doing OK!" He adds, "I'd like to thank everybody who sent me messages. It was overwhelming and it really helped me to recover."
His appearance coincides with a report in the News Of The World, which exclusively reveals that Paul has been romancing the former model Heather Mills.
Also today, The Beatles' authorised 1968 biographer, Hunter Davies, is a guest speaker at the first London Beatles Day of the new millennium. Aside from an impromptu appearance at a convention in Havana, Cuba, two years ago, this is Hunter's first ever scheduled appearance at a Beatles event, which takes place at its usual venue, the Bonnington Hotel in Southampton Row.
Monday March 13
In London, Paul and Heather have dinner with Ringo and Barbara.
Wednesday March 15
After months of speculation, Paul declares his love for Heather Mills. Naturally, the story features prominently on Sky News this evening and in the UK papers the following day.
Thursday March 16
Paul and Heather are pictured on the front page of the Daily Telegraph, along with a story that reads, "Sir Paul declares his love for model." The MPL released story also takes front-page space in the Daily Star in a story headlined, "He Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!" Inside, Paul confirms, "Yes, we are an item." The story also graces the pages of the Mirror, in a story titled, "My Love: Heather And I Are An Item, Admits Paul." In the Sun, the news appears in a story titled: "I'm In Love With Heather And I Feel Fine. Sir Paul McCartney opens his heart for the first time about his new romance."
Monday March 20
Syndicated news reports suggest further that John had been secretly funding the IRA.
Wednesday March 22
It is reported that Heather Mills has bought a £250,000 seaside home in Hove, East Sussex, a short drive from Paul's Peasmarsh estate.
Friday March 24
It is revealed that more than nine hours of private black & white footage of John and Yoko, circa February 1970, has been uncovered in the States. The amazing videotape, shot by Yoko's ex-husband. Tony Cox, has been sold to a consortium of Beatles fans in America who are planning to issue the footage as a documentary later this year. Cox talks about the tapes: "Several scenes focus on Lennon and Ono's visit to the Black House, a centre run by Michael X, a Trinidadian counterpart of Malcolm X, who was later executed for murder. The couple (John and Yoko) shoot a promotional film for the Black House and then smoke hashish with Michael X." Other scenes in the footage describe Yoko as being stoned, and John snapping at her, "As usual, she doesn't know what we're talking about." In an intimate scene, John is seen perched on the edge of the bed, humming and strumming, trying to pick out a tune that would eventually be the song 'Mind Games' while Yoko is seen tucked up in bed, apparently asleep. In another, they are talking about Yoko's new hairstyle. "It took years off her," John remarks. "She was an old hag before I met her." Other scenes include John discussing whether he should pay for a new lake at his Ascot estate or consider "conning Apple again!" Then, during a tour of London's sights, John gives vulgar names to landmarks such as Nelson's Column and refers to piles of rubbish in the streets as "Prince Philip's mess".
Ray Thomas, a member of the consortium who is believed to have paid $1million (£625,000) for the tapes, remarks: "I have asked Yoko to be executive producer for the planned documentary, but I have had no response. Many of the scenes show her to be a very intelligent, articulate woman ... These films capture John's creative genius in his most intimate surroundings, the couple's behaviour together, interaction with their two children, strong opinions about drugs, politics, communism, music and plans for manipulating critics, reviewers and the general press."
But before any of this footage can be made public, Yoko must sign a release form.
Monday March 27
In the Sun's "Bizarre" entertainment column, Paul exclusively reveals to the editor, Dominic Mohan, "Linda would approve of my love for Heather."
Paul writes a letter to the Daily Telegraph, outlining his solution to the foxhunting debate.
Friday March 31
In Liverpool, Paul's former home at 20 Forthlin Road, opens for its new season of business. Again, the curator is John Halliday. Coincidentally, it is also the day that Liverpool City Council win their battle to have the city named as "The Birthplace Of The Beatles" on road signs. A sign, which reads "Liverpool Welcomes You To The Birthplace Of The Beatles", is unveiled today. John's half-sister, Julia Baird, is present at the ceremony.
April (until March 2001)
An exhibition by the Sgt. Pepper designer, Peter Blake, entitled About Collage is staged at Liverpool's Tate Gallery and features previously unseen artwork by John and Paul. John's work, loaned from a private collection, dates back to his art school days and features portraits of the actresses Julie Christie and Edina Ronay. Paul's piece, entitled The Works, has been created specifically for the show. His work is a cross-shaped object and depicts several images including a holy cow, a husky dog, a murdered figure, a screaming man, an empty hotel corridor and a photograph of a child. Paul also compiles a 20-minute tape of non-musical audio material, some of which was recorded at his Cavern Club gig on December 14, 1999 (see entry) and during his car journey to Liverpool on the day. The sound collage also features previously unheard spoken material from Beatles recording sessions, circa 1964-69. (See entry for Monday August 21.)
It is also announced this month that Columbia Pictures are to produce a film based on John and Yoko's colourful life together. The respected Dana Stevens is scripting the movie, which has received Yoko's blessing.
Paul's company, MPL Communications, issues a lawsuit against My.MP3.com, an online business, which allows users to download, store and manage their CD collections on the Internet. MPL, as well as many other music organisations, including the RIAA, the American music industry organisation, claim the service breaks copyright.
Saturday April 1
An (April Fools) story appears in today's NME, which claims that the Happy Monday's frontman, Shaun Ryder, will take the place of John at a Beatles reunion concert, to be held at this year's Glastonbury Festival. Ryder: "I always fancied being in The Beatles. They were top!"
Sunday April 2
In the UK, the News Of The World reports: "The three surviving Beatles have joined together to write the band's official autobiography." It misleadingly continues, "Sir Paul, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have spent six years working on the book, which is expected to sell 20 million copies worldwide." The news is quickly reported around the world on both TV and radio.
Monday April 10
Paul's girlfriend, Heather Mills makes a brief appearance on the US TV chat show The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Tuesday April 11
Gimme Some Truth, the making of John's Imagine album in 1971 is released on both VHS home video and on DVD, extended by seven minutes. The latter DVD version also features a bonus item, a 16mm filmed record of John and Yoko being interviewed, at Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, for the BBC4 radio show, Woman's Hour, transmitted on Tuesday November 9, 1971.
Wednesday April 12
Among the items on sale at Bonhams rock, pop and royalty-related items auction in London are a wooden spoon signed by John and Yoko in 1969, which sells for £345 and a 1963 roll of Beatles wallpaper, which sells for £210.
Thursday April 13
Gimme Some Truth is transmitted in Brazil on the Fox cable channel.
Saturday April 15
Paul's appearance on Parkinson (see entry for Thursday December 2, 1999) is broadcast in the States as part of a Paul McCartney Night on BBC America, the station available on both digital cable and satellite. Parkinson begins at 8pm EST and repeats at 11pm, sandwiching Paul's November 1999 appearance on Later With Jools Holland, which begins at 9:30pm.
Monday April 17
Gimme Some Truth receives its American TV premiere when it is screened (at 10pm EDT) on the Bravo channel, some two and a half months after its European television premiere on Sunday February 6 on the ARTE channel. Repeat screenings on Bravo take place at lam on Tuesday April 18 and at 7pm and 11pm on Sunday April 30.
Tuesday April 18
The Sun newspaper in the UK publishes the results of its poll yesterday for readers to call in with their nominations for people to be knighted. Self-confessed 37-year-old George Harrison fanatic, Allison Devine, of Wickford, Essex, naturally nominates George, proclaiming: "George has helped put British cinema back on the map and hasn't abandoned Britain like a lot of other stars." Other popular votes for people to be knighted included the famous, but now retired, Test Match cricket umpire, Dickie Bird.
Saturday April 22
In Holland, the Dutch fanzine Beatles Unlimited presents its 21st International Beatles Convention at the Vredenburg Music Centre, in the heart of Utrecht City. Special guests in attendance include Paul's former guitarist, Hamish Stuart, and one of John's sisters, Julia Baird.
Sunday April 23
In the UK, the 75-minute television programme of Paul's Working Classical concert, recorded in Liverpool on Saturday October 16, 1999, is screened on BBC1 between 11:00pm and 12:15am.
Wednesday April 26
The first of a two-part Paul McCartney Story is transmitted on the Satellite 10 FM radio station. (Part two is aired one week later, on Tuesday May 2.)
In London, George Martin unveils a plaque outside HMV's landmark store at 363 Oxford Street. The plaque marks the 79 years of the famous store and its starring role in The Beatles' history, when, in 1962, a 78-rpm demo disc was cut for the group in the store's recording studio. This, of course, led to The Beatles' long-term recording contract with EMI.
Thursday April 27
A photograph of The Beatles performing at the Liverpool Empire that hung on Brian Epstein's office wall, sells for an amazing £16,450 at Christies Rock & Pop sale in London. However, a set of 13 diaries belonging to Brian, starting from 1949, fails to reach its reserve price and the sale is aborted at just £7,500.
Friday April 28 (until Sunday May 14)
A Beatles exhibition is held at the Seibu department store in Tokyo, Japan.
Saturday April 29
BBC1 in the UK screens (between 9:05 and 10:00pm) The Stars Sing The Beatles, a 55-minute programme featuring well-known English stars singing their own versions of The Beatles' classic songs, including the news reader Anna Ford, who delivers 'Here, There And Everywhere'. Engelbert Humperdinck sings 'Penny Lane', referring to how he famously kept the 'Penny Lane'/'Strawberry Fields Forever' single from the top spot in 1967. The Bootleg Beatles close the show.
In Detroit, Yoko Ono dedicates a wish tree to John.
It is revealed that George Martin is bringing his Sgt. Pepper lecture tour to Norway.
Sunday April 30
The New York Post reveals that Paul and Heather want to have children. The story is titled: "Paul McCartney Wants Baby With New Love".
Tuesday May 2
The American scandal paper, the National Enquirer, features an interview with Alfie Karmal, the former husband of Heather Mills, who warns Paul about his former love. He says, "Run for your life, Paul McCartney. Your new love will break your fragile heart, just like she broke mine!" (She had married Karmal back in 1989.)
It is reported around the world that George joined Donovan for a duet in Ireland tonight. This is completely untrue, and when Donovan is told about this apparent performance he remarks: "I haven't seen George for ages. But, I'd love it to happen."
Wednesday May 3
In today's Sun newspaper, Heather Mills remarks: "I just wish I'd met Linda to say what an amazing job she did with her man."
Thursday May 4
In New York, Paul appears at a concert by John Tavener, the classical composer and former Apple recording artist. The event, which is held at the Church of St. Ignatius, is Tavener's first in the States and features Paul narrating a section entitled 'In The Mouth Of Athyr'. Before his appearance, Paul sits in the front row of the theatre, alongside Heather Mills.
Friday May 5
The television recording of Paul's concert at The Cavern Club in Liverpool is aired in the States on DirecTv. The programme does not appear on any network television station in America.
Saturday May 6
Ringo's edition of the VH-1 series Storytellers, recorded on Wednesday May 13, 1998 (see entry), is screened in France via the Canal Jimmy satellite station.
Sunday May 7
The highly acclaimed, award winning two-part BBC documentary on Brian Epstein, first aired on BBC2 on December 25 and 26, 1998, is screened on the Belgium Canvas TV channel as part of the Het Derde Oog (The Third Eye) series.
In the UK, the BBC1 programme, Antiques Roadshow, features the photographer Dezo Hoffman's granddaughter, who brings with her some familiar and rare Beatles pictures (circa 1963/1964) that he had taken. She had obtained them when she picked them up in his studio during a visit. An expert informs her that they are worth a "four figure sum". (Following Dezo's death in the mid-Eighties, Apple bought the copyright to his many Beatles photographs from his widow.)
Friday May 12
At around 11:45am, at the Strawberry Fields children's home in Liverpool, children at the home report a light blue Ford transit van parked near the entrance gates. Shortly after, they notice that the gates were being moved and inform a member of staff, who immediately went to the end of the drive to discover the gates are gone. The thieves had sawn off the distinctive red iron gates, eight feet high and ten feet wide, valued at £5,000, and thrown them into the back of their van before driving off.
Ringe and his Sixth All-Starr Band
Tour Of America
Friday May 12 (until Saturday July 1)
In America, Ringo's All-Starr Band begins its latest, David Fishof-presented, US Tour. A press conference to promote the sixth All-Starr tour had taken place on Monday May 1 at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the scene where The Beatles stayed at the start of their first US visit on Friday February 7, 1964 (see entry below). The musicians joining Ringo on the seven-week tour are Eric Carmen (on keyboards), Dave Edmunds (guitar), Jack Bruce (bass guitar), Simon Kirke (dmms) and Mark Rivera (on sax).
The itinerary of shows usually features, give or take one or two tracks, the following repertoire of songs: 'It Don't Come Easy', 'Act Naturally', 'Hungry Eyes' (Eric Carmen), 'I Hear You Knocking' (Dave Edmunds), 'Sunshine Of Your Love' (Jack Bruce), 'Shooting Star' (Simon Kirke), 'I Wanna Be Your Man', 'Love Me Do' and 'Yellow Submarine'. (Ringo leaves the stage, leaving Eric Carmen to perform 'Boat Against The Wind' and 'Go All The Way', Jack Bruce to play 'Theme From An Imaginary Western' and Dave Edmunds to play an [occasional] instrumental version of 'Lady Madonna'.) Ringo returns to sing 'I'm The Greatest', 'No No Song'/'Roll Out The Barrel' (occasionally) and then 'Back Off Boogaloo'. The rest of the concert follows with 'I Feel Free' (Jack Bruce), 'All Right Now' (Simon Kirke), 'Boys', 'I Knew The Bride' (Dave Edmunds), 'White Room' (Jack Bruce), 'All By Myself' (Eric Carmen), 'Photograph' and 'You're Sixteen' followed by 'With A Little Help From My Friends', performed as an encore.
(Note: Four of the concerts, on Monday June 5, Wednesday June 7, Monday June 19 and Tuesday June 20 are cancelled due to Ringo's bout of bronchitis.) The concerts on this tour, which begin three days earlier than planned, are as follows:
Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey (Friday May 12 & Saturday May 13)
Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York (Monday May 15 - the original first concert on the tour)
Westbury Music Fair, Westbury, New York (Tuesday May 16 & Wednesday May 17)
Mohegan Sun Casino, Connecticut (Friday May 19 & Saturday May 20)
I Center, Salem, New Hampshire (Sunday May 21)
The Beacon Theater, New York City (Tuesday May 23)
State Theater, New Brunswick, New Jersey (Wednesday May 24 - extra date added to tour)
Norva Theater, Norfolk, Virginia (Friday May 26)
Festival, Cleveland, Ohio (Saturday May 27)
The Riverport Amphitheater, St. Louis, Missouri (Sunday May 28 - extra gig added)
Wolf Trap, Washington, DC (Tuesday May 30)
Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville, Tennessee (Wednesday May 31)
Horse Shoe Casino, Robinson, Mississippi (Thursday June 1)
Sunrise Musical Theater, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Saturday June 3)
Chastain Park, Atlanta, Georgia (Sunday June 4)
City Light Amphitheater, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Monday June 5 - gig cancelled)
Casino RAMA, Ontario, Canada (Wednesday June 7 - gig cancelled)
House Of Blues, Chicago, Illinois (Thursday June 8)
Landmark Theater, Syracuse, New York (Saturday June 10)
Pine Knob Theater, Clarkston, Michigan (Sunday June 11 - replacing the gig originally scheduled at Freedom Park, Warren, Michigan)
Winery, Saratoga, California (Wednesday June 14 & Thursday June 15)
Harrahs, Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Friday June 16)
The Joint, Las Vegas, Nevada (Saturday June 17)
The Sun Theater, Anaheim, California (Monday June 19 & Tuesday June 20 - gigs cancelled)
House Of Blues, Los Angeles, California (Thursday June 22 & Friday June 23)
Humphrey's, San Diego, California (Sunday June 25 & Monday June 26)
Red Rock Amphitheater, Denver, Colorado (Wednesday June 28)
State Capitol Grounds, St. Paul, Minnesota (Friday June 30)
Summerfest, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Saturday July 1)
Information prior to the start of the tour:
Monday May 1
Ringo drums up interest in the tour by holding a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York. "We're blessed to be alive," he remarks to reporters, "and that people want to come and see us. I'm still living a dream come true that I've had since I was thirteen years old. The rehearsal part is always the worst. The show is the easiest bit. It's exciting and frustrating and amazing. The format is pretty much the same as the last tours. We do all the hits, and have a lot of fun."
Ringo is then asked if he has spoken to George recently. "I haven't talked to him lately," he reveals. "But I saw him a while ago. He's doing a lot better. There's a lot of healing going on." The only mention of Paul comes when a reporter asks Ringo if he thought that Paul would marry his current girlfriend, Heather Mills. Ringo replies: "I think you should ask him that." The Beatles Anthology book naturally comes into the equation. "It's a very big book," he announces, "not only in size but in subject matter. I am happy with the parts I had seen or contributed. It's going to be a very worthwhile piece, because it's mainly from our lips and not from other people's."
Sunday May 7
At 8pm (EDT), Ringo has an hour-long online chat session, his first of four on the tour, on the website belonging to the real estate corporation Century 21, the sponsors of the concerts. During the session, he is asked to name three people from history with whom he would like to have dinner. Ringo replies by naming eight members of his family, Barbara, Zak, Jason, Lee, Francesca, Gianni, Tatia and Louise. He also reveals that he has five dogs and a cat, he speaks two and a half languages (English, Liverpool and half French), and he has no plans to grow his hair long, because he loves it short. Asked what goes through his mind before a concert, Ringo replies: "Most of me wants to go home. There's 15 seconds of madness there and I have to run on stage. The thoughts are, 'Do I remember the songs? Are they good?' " Further disclosures reveal that he doesn't wish to do both 'Yellow Submarine' and 'Octopus's Garden' during a show because he feels one underwater song is enough, and he takes vitamins and herbs and drinks lots of water. When asked how he would like to be remembered, he replies: "As a damn fine drummer!"
(Note: The second online chat on the tour takes place on Friday June 2.)
During the tour:
Monday May 15
The new Century 21 television commercial, featuring Ringo, airs for the first time this morning in the States on the NBC TV Today show. Ringo is seen as part of Century 21's "Perfect Hookups" campaign, where a couple are seen being shown a new home by their Century 21 representative who offers them some of the various services available through their connections programme. There is a choice of home entertainment including cable television, satellite TV or Ringo Starr! He obliges, pointing to the band behind him, adding, With a little help from my friends'. (The ad will continue to run on both satellite and cable TV after this.)
Friday May 19
At the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, just prior to his show at the Mohegan Sun Casino in nearby Connecticut, Ringo makes another appearance on the CBS TV programme The Late Show With David Letterman, where he is interviewed and performs 'With A Little Help From My Friends'. (A European screening of the show occurs on the Fox TV station in Holland on Sunday May 21 and in the UK on the digital channel ITV2 on Saturday May 20.)
Wednesday May 24 (& Thursday May 25)
A two-part pre-taped interview with Ringo is aired on ABC TV's Good Morning America.
Wednesday May 31
During the concert at the Gaylord Entertainment Center, in Nashville, Tennessee, former Police guitarist Andy Summers joins Jack Bruce for 'Theme For An Imaginary Western'.
Friday June 2
During a break from the tour, Ringo holds his second live online chat this evening. Coming from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the event takes place between 7:30 and 8:30pm.
Wednesday June 14
Ringo's third online chat from this tour takes place in Saratoga, California. The time is 8pm EDT (5pm Pacific) and takes place just before his show at the Winery.
Thursday June 22
During the opening night at the House Of Blues in Los Angeles, California, Micky Dolenz, the former drummer with The Monkees, Spencer Davis, Bruce Gary and George Thorogood join Ringo during the encore for 'With A Little Help From My Friends'. Ringo jokes with Micky that his was "the wrong group!"
Thursday June 29
At 8pm (EDT), on the Century 21 website, Ringo holds his fourth and final online chat from this tour, this time it comes from Denver, Colorado.
Sunday May 14
The Sunday Mirror reports that: "Paul McCartney keeps old clothes in the outbuildings at his farmhouse near Rye, East Sussex," adding that he is apparently worried that otherwise they will be auctioned off as memorabilia. The article lists the ten things he hoards, including his Homer violin bass, his first ever guitar amplifier (an El Pico, bought from the shop Currys), his Sgt. Pepper suit, letters he sent to fans from Hamburg (bought at an auction), handwritten Beatles lyrics ('Hey Jude', 'She's Leaving Home' and 'Getting Better'), the balcony rail on the cover of The Beatles' first LP (Please Please Me - EMI gave it to Paul when they closed their London headquarters), his old school desk from the Liverpool Institute and, among other things, his old socks (a whole box of them).
Monday May 15
Paul, accompanied by Geoff Baker, makes a private appearance, visiting students at the LIPA building in Liverpool and then gives his blessing to a new cancer hospital, The Linda McCartney Centre, which forms part of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Friday May 19
The Daily Star newspaper reports that Heather Mills may take over the operation of the Linda McCartney frozen food business. The report suggests that Paul has allowed Mills to revamp the packaging and test new recipes, especially cheeseless pizzas and lasagne, because of Paul's love for Italian food.
Sunday May 21
The 90-minute CBS TV Network production, The Linda McCartney Story, based on Danny Field's recent biography, is premiered across America and stars the unknown actress Elizabeth Mitchell in the title role and features Gary Bakewell repeating his role as Paul from the 1993 film Backbeat. The noted American actor George Segal appears in the role of Lee Eastman, Linda's father. (See previous entry for July 1999.) Tim Piper plays John, Chris Cound is George and Michael McMurty is Ringo.
Monday May 22
The first pictures of Leo, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie's new baby boy, taken by Mary McCartney, are released to the press.
Thursday May 25
At the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony, held at London's Grosvenor Hotel, Paul receives an Academy Fellowship award by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters (BASC), in honour of his four decades of composing. Following a lengthy standing ovation, Paul says: "I remember coming here the very first time with my mates John, George and Ringo and sitting back there. It was just fantastic to be part of this whole song writing thing. It was always just the greatest award, the greatest thing to get for songwriters and it still is many years later." Paul receives the award from Sir Tim Rice and is on hand to present Travis star, Fran Healy, with one of two gongs for 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me?' a big hit for the group. Healy remarks: "I can't believe I got my award from Paul. It's a dream. I keep pinching myself."
Friday May 26 (until Tuesday May 30)
At LIPA, Paul conducts a master recording class. The producer, Geoff Emerick, assists him.
Saturday May 27
Paul's 1984 film Give My Regards To Broad Street is screened in Holland on the SBS6 TV channel.
May (end of the month)
Paul makes another nostalgic trip to Liverpool where, along with his longtime friend and assistant, John Hammel, he spends hours driving around the city. Firstly, he stops at St. Peter's Church where for around twenty minutes he lingers in the adjacent field where he met John for the first time back in July 1957. The two of them then journey to Woolton swimming baths, where he signs autographs, and then visit Menlove Avenue and Strawberry Fields, where they look at the recently returned gates.
Q magazine reveals that The Beatles' 1966 album Revolver has been chosen, by their readers, as "The Greatest British Album ... Ever!" In the top twenty listings, A Hard Day's Night is placed at number five, the White Album is number seven, Sgt Pepper is number 13 and Abbey Road is at number 17.
Interviews are carried out with various musicians for the Classic Albums television programme dedicated to George's All Things Must Pass. George is, apparently, not too keen to participate in the proceedings.
Friday June 2
Ben Elton's film Maybe Baby, featuring the Buddy Holly title track performed by Paul, is released to the cinemas in the UK. The film had received its London premiere, at the Odeon, Leicester Square, the night before. Paul was not present. The soundtrack album, featuring Paul's title track, is released in the UK on Monday June 5. The song was recorded in the studios at the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, working with the engineer, Geoff Emerick. Jeff Lynne produces the track.
Also on June 2, Cynthia Lennon's home in Normandy, France, is featured in the David Frost BBC1 afternoon "spot the celebrity home" quiz show, Through The Keyhole, transmitted between 3:00 and 3:25pm.
Saturday June 3
Paul and Heather Mills fly out from Heathrow Airport to New York City, where Paul attends a performance of A Garland For Linda, which takes place at the Riverside Church. (Tickets for the event, which cost between $30 for an obstructed view and $100 for the best seats, had been on sale since Wednesday March 1.)
Sunday June 4
The Diary column in the Sunday Mirror reports that, "The three surviving Beatles are set to return to the studio to work on new material for the first time in thirty years! Paul and Ringo have agreed to play on George Harrison's latest solo album." A friend says: "The project is in its early stages so don't expect any material to be released before 2001 at the earliest. It is in the planning phase, the album does not have a title yet."
In the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ringo comments: "I had no idea that George was making an album. I had no idea that Paul might participate. Did Paul say this?" When told that it was a rumour on the Internet, Ringo replies: "Oh, yes, go on. I'm producing it then. I saw both of them last month. They're up to whatever they're up to. If you want to know what they're doing, you've got to talk to them. It's up to them to let you know what they want you to know."
The Mail On Sunday prints a previously unseen picture of Paul, taken at Liverpool Cathedral in 1953. In the snap, he is seen looking glum among a group of ten-year-olds gathered around a replica crown commemorating the Queen's coronation.
The front-page of the Sunday People features a story entitled: "Sex, Lies, Threat To Me & Macca" by Heather Mills. Inside, she is quoted as saying: "It was worse than losing my leg. I sat Paul down and told him, 'Evil liars say that I used to be a hooker.' "
Mary and Stella McCartney meet Ravi Shankar's daughter, Anouska, at the London Tibetan Peace Gardens appeal.
Tuesday June 6
George's attacker, Mike Abram pleads "not guilty" to attempted murder at Oxford Crown Court. The trail is set for Tuesday November 14. The judge rules that George will not have to give evidence in person and can supply information by written statements.
Thursday June 8
It is revealed that Paul is buying a £2.5 million mansion for his new love, Heather. The former Beatle has been spotted weighing up the huge 13th century manor house, Wycliffe Hall, near Barnard Castle, in Co. Durham, just down the road from Heather's childhood home.
Monday June 12
It is announced that Ringo is to retire - after one last assault on the pop charts. He says the reason for his retirement is because he wants to spend more time with his family.
Wednesday June 14
The Daily Star reports: "Ringo's Joy For Paul: Ringo has given the seal of approval to the romance between Paul and Heather." Ringo: "I'm really glad that Paul is living his life and getting on with it."
Thursday June 15
Paul inducts Beach Boy Brian Wilson into the Songwriter's Hall Of Fame at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. He praises Wilson's ability to provoke emotions in listeners. "Thank you, sir, for making me cry," Paul tells Brian. "Thank you for doing that thing you do. You got me any day." Later, Paul joins Ben E. King and James Brown on stage for a jam of 'Stand By Me' and 'Kansas City'.
There is controversy over Paul's Concorde flight from England. Passengers are outraged because Paul had been brought onto the plane before the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. One passenger screams: "It was a total breach of protocol." But a British Air spokesman is quick to diffuse the situation, saying: "VIPs with the greatest security concerns are actually boarded last."
Saturday June 17 (& Sunday June 18)
George is seen again, this time in Montreal for two days at the Canadian Grand Prix. The roving ITV cameras, in the UK, and Globo TV of Brazil, are on hand to cover his appearance.
Sunday June 18
The 235 mile Long And Winding Road Walk from Liverpool to London, in aid of the Linda McCartney Centre begins at The Cavern Club in Mathew Street. Taking part in the walk is Dave Williams, who had suffered from bowel cancer. The walkers support vehicle for the duration of the walk is the original Magical Mystery Tour coach. The contingent will reach Abbey Road Studios on Sunday July 2, when the walking party is greeted by 'Sporty' Spice Girl, Mel C. The appeal will raise £3.8 million for a new cancer centre at the Royal Liverpool hospital.
During Paul and Heather Mills' stay in New York, Paul purchases a floral sun dress at the Cynthia Rowley boutique in East Hampton.
Tuesday June 20
Olivia and Dhani Harrison, along with Mary McCartney, are seen in the audience of Ravi Shankar's concert at the Barbican Centre in London.
Friday June 23
Paul, wearing blue and grey trainers and a charcoal grey suit, acts as a chauffeur at his second cousin, Sally Harris's, wedding in the Wirral, Merseyside, at the Wallasey Town Hall. Sally, who is marrying her boyfriend Kevin Murphy, is the daughter of Paul's Auntie Gin. Paul's brother Mike is the official wedding photographer. Before the ceremony, Paul takes the hired black Jaguar car through an automatic car wash because, he says, "I had never done it before."
Sunday June 25
A planned live appearance by Paul on the final day of the Glastonbury 2000 Festival fails to materialise because he feared for his life. The farmer Michael Eavis, whose land the festival takes place on, reveals: "I met Paul earlier this year and he said he would love to be asked to play Glastonbury, so I invited him. I believe Sir Paul was put off when he saw newspaper reports saying that he might be appearing. I think it scared him. And when you think about the murder of John and the attack on George, I can see it."
George, accompanied by Olivia, his son Dhani and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Beth, the daughter of the Planet Hollywood entrepreneur, is spotted at Goodwood's Festival Of Speed motor racing event.
Tuesday June 27
George attends the second of Ravi Shankar's birthday concerts at the Barbican Centre in London, entering the building by a side door just as the show is about to begin and sitting in the front row. He leaves the concert just prior to the intermission. Also in attendance are Mary and James McCartney, and Olivia and Dhani Harrison.
Thursday June 29 (until Saturday July 22)
An exhibition of Klaus Voorman's work, Paintings From Hamburg Days, goes on display at The John Lennon Gallery, at 31 Mathew Street, Liverpool. The opening day sees a private view, which takes place between 4pm and 8pm.
Friday June 30 (until Friday August 11)
The webcast of Paul's December 14, 1999 concert at The Cavern Club in Liverpool is rebroadcast by MCY.com, the service which webcast it originally. Beginning at noon on the day listed, the transmission will continue for 24 hours until noon the following day. The days of broadcasts are Friday June 30, Saturday July 1, Wednesday July 5, Saturday July 8, Saturday July 15, Thursday July 20, Monday July 24, Friday August 4 and Thursday August 10.
Shortly after the conclusion of his latest tour, Ringo expresses his irritation at The Beatles' classic tunes being used in TV commercials. A friend of the drummer tells the American magazine, the National Enquirer: "Ringo and Paul are upset that serious compositions are being turned into mere jingles. Ringo told me, 'John and Paul wrote some of the greatest songs in the history of recorded music. But, if it's left to the ad men, they'll go down as a couple of jingle writers and The Beatles will be known as hacks. I respect Michael Jackson; I just wish he'd show us some respect and not licence our songs for ads. It's something the band wouldn't do if it were under their control. If The Beatles could vote, they'd vote no!' "
In England, reports suggest that Paul's latest studio album, which he had apparently started recording on Friday, February 18, is finished and ready for final mixing.
Yoko Ono, through her Spirit Foundation, makes a £30,000 donation to Dovecotes Infants school in Liverpool. The donation, inspired by a letter by the school's headmaster Ken Williams, is intended to be used for improving the playground.
Ringo appears in the UK TV listings paper, the TV Times. The interview is titled 'When I Get Older, Losing My Hair'.
Sunday July 2
The day after the conclusion of Ringo's latest American tour, the channel AMC screens (at 10pm EDT) the movie, Hollywood Rocks The Movies - The Early Years (1955 to 1970), which features Ringo's narration and focuses on the history of rock movies at the cinema. The excellent documentary is repeated on the station twice the following day, at 8pm and 11pm (EDT).
Paul and Heather visit Iceland, arriving on a Falcon aeroplane owned by a British millionaire friend. The couple are in the country because Heather is due to attend a conference in Perlan where she is to lecture about her life. Later, the couple are seen at the Cafe Opera. A local musician, Jon Olafsson, hears that Paul is at the venue and decides to see him. Jon notices that the only available table at the restaurant is right next to Paul and Heather. Jon later tells a reporter: "McCartney is a very relaxed person. He is friendly and free from the star syndrome. After Stefan Hilmarsson (Jon's friend) and I had finished our drinks, we started to chat with him. Stefan introduced me as a 'well-respected Icelandic musician'. Paul asked what instrument I played. After I told him that I played piano, he asked me to play the piano at Cafe Opera. I smiled, but declined, and told him that I was too far out for Cafe Opera." Paul and Heather spend their first evening in the country at Hotel Borg.
Reports on their visit to Iceland are featured on RUV, the Icelandic State broadcasting service and Channel 2, the other main TV station in the country.
Monday July 3
Paul and Heather spend their second day in Iceland, by which time they have taken up residency in the honeymoon suite at the Hotel Valholl at Pingvellir, registering in the name of Mr. P. Hutchinson. They will spend the rest of the day whale watching at Keflavik, a small village on the north coast of Iceland. Before they depart from their hotel on Tuesday July 4, they breakfasted on grilled cheese sandwiches and coffee. There is an incident before Paul and Heather leave Perlan involving photographers and journalists who are waiting for the couple. Paul ignores them and heads off in his Toyota Land Cruiser car. The press immediately follow them which angers Paul, who stops his car, gets out and orders one photographer to leave.
Tuesday July 4
Alive appearance by Cynthia Lennon to promote her range of John Lennon drawings is included on the Channel 5 afternoon show Open House, hosted by Gloria Hunniford.
This afternoon, Paul and Heather leave Iceland for London at Reykjavik Airport on the same jet that they had arrived on. As he departs, Paul refuses any chance of a quick interview with the waiting press but is seen speaking to Eirikur Einarsson, a member of The Icelandic Beatles Club. "We have waited for a long time for Paul McCartney to come to our country," she says, optimistically adding: "We want him to play at a Beatles festival this autumn."
Thursday July 6
A pre-taped feature with Ringo and Barbara at London's Battersea Dogs' Home is aired (between 6:59 and 7:28pm) on the BBC1 same titled show this evening.
Friday July 14
It is revealed that Yoko Ono is suing the Tokyo underground for £100,000 for using a picture of John on the back of their tickets. She is claiming that the image is breaking her copyright and is therefore entitled to a royalty.
Stella McCartney appears on the cover of ES Magazine, a free colour supplement available with the Evening Standard newspaper. In the piece, she talks about girls, glamour and her future with Chloe.
Sunday July 16
Lord Woodbine, the local Merseyside concert promoter, dies in a blaze, which swept through his house in Toxteth, Liverpool. Woodbine, real name Harold Phillips, aged 72, was so called because of his love for Woodbine cigarettes. He originally played with the Royal Caribbean Steel Band and occasionally booked The Beatles for his New Colony Club in Liverpool. He also travelled with The Beatles on their first visit to Hamburg in August 1960. His wife, Helen, also dies in the blaze. Geoff Baker, the Apple and MPL spokesman, remarks: "All of the guys (The Beatles) will be shocked to hear this news. It is a great loss."
Monday July 17
This evening, Paul, Heather and a group of friends, have a meal at The Wiz restaurant in Covent Garden, London. At the end of their meal, Paul leads the gathering in an impromptu sing-a-long.
Friday July 21
Paul arrives again at the Liverpool Institute (LIPA), this time wearing a grey suit and dark glasses. He speaks and jokingly kisses several students and presents degrees to 200 of them. Later, Paul, accompanied by Heather Mills, attends a reception at LIPA.
Saturday July 22
The new archive series I Love The 70s begins its run on BBC2 in the UK and, naturally, devotes the first show to the year 1970. A planned longer feature focusing on the break-up of The Beatles, including lengthy interviews with various Beatles-related people including the author of this book, is scrapped because Apple would not allow the BBC to use excerpts from the film Let It Be or The Beatles Anthology series.
Tuesday July 25
In London, Paul and Heather are seen having a meal at the Pizza In The Park restaurant and then enjoying a stroll through nearby Hyde Park, during which he romantically purchases for her a red rose.
Thursday July 27
HBO's Bob Dylan special in America goes ahead but without the rumoured guest appearance by George.
In the States, the alleged track listing for the forthcoming 27-song Beatles hits CD, formerly dubbed as Project X last year, is published in ICE magazine. The line-up is scheduled to feature: 'Love Me Do', 'From Me To You', 'She Loves You', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'A Hard Day's Night', 'I Feel Fine', 'Eight Days A Week', 'Ticket To Ride', 'Help!', Yesterday', 'Day Tripper', 'We Can Work It Out', 'Paperback Writer', 'Yellow Submarine', 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Penny Lane', 'All You Need Is Love', 'Hello, Goodbye', 'Lady Madonna', 'Hey Jude', 'Get Back', 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko', 'Something', 'Come Together', 'Let It Be' and 'The Long And Winding Road'.
ICE magazine remarks: "The premise of the disc is simple, it will contain all The Beatles' single sides that reached number one in either England or the United States, making a total of 27 tracks contained on one 78-minute CD." (Note: George's 'Something' only made number four in the UK and number three in America. Fans are in uproar over the omission of both 'Please Please Me' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.)
The magazine DVD Review announces that the DVD versions of The Beatles Anthology have been delayed until next year.
Mojo magazine reveals that 'In My Life' has been chosen as "The Greatest Song Of All Time". The result comes from a poll taken from votes by some of the world's finest songwriters, including Paul.
Classic Rock magazine reports that George has signed a new recording contract with the Multimedia giant, DreamWorks.
Extreme skateboarder Tony Hawk reveals that he was invited to Friar Park for dinner by George's son, Dhani, but left before Bob Dylan turned up.
In Liverpool, it is announced that Rushworth's music store is to close. The Beatles frequently visited the shop, once the biggest musical instrument store on Merseyside, in the early Sixties.
Friday August 4
Paul pays £450,000 for a tiny one-bedroom house next to his seaside home to stop neighbours moving in. He snaps up the property, in the exclusive East Hampton area of Long Island, New York, at an auction. One estate agent remarks: "Paul must have bought the place for privacy, as the place is only worth about £150,000."
In London, auditions for the role of John Lennon, in the forthcoming NBC made-for-TV docu-drama on the former Beatle, take place at the Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London EC1. The London-based casting director, Beth Charkham, remarks that the most common song performed at the audition is 'Twist And Shout'. The film's executive producer, David Carson, announces: "What we are looking for is an incredible young actor who can sing, play guitar, look like John Lennon and capture the essence of his personality and wicked sense of humour on screen. Needless to say, that is a very tall order, but there is an outstanding pool of young acting talent in the United Kingdom."
Wednesday August 9
The second audition to play the role of John in the forthcoming NBC American TV film takes place at the Elevator Music Studios, 23-27 Cheapside in Liverpool. The auditions, on both days in London and Liverpool, begin at 10am. The title of the film is confirmed as In His Life: The John Lennon Story.
Thursday August 10
VH-1 in Europe features, between 6:00pm and 1:00am, an evening of Paul McCartney programming, including the first European TV screenings of the re-edited Paul McCartney Live At The Cavern Club show and his six song performance at the September 18, 1999 PETA Awards Ceremony (see entry). (Note: although VH-1 had all six songs, they transmit only five, omitting 'Lonesome Town', an action taken due to time restrictions. It is a cut approved by MPL.)
Friday August 11
The Sun reports that Paul has forced his favourite restaurant to change its menu after he found out that ostrich and wild boar were on the menu. Strict vegetarian Paul threatened to boycott Senor Zilli in a protest letter to the owner, top chef Aldo Zilli. He writes: "I enjoyed my last visit to your wonderful restaurant but was surprised to see that you are now offering wild boar and ostrich. I was wondering if there is so much profit in including these on your menu that you feel you could not consider removing them."
Monday August 14
The Mirror newspaper in the UK announces that, despite previous reports to the contrary, Paul's children, especially Mary and James, are not happy with the Heather Mills relationship and worry that it's moving too fast. The Mirror also says the children are now avoiding family gatherings where Mills is in attendance.
Tuesday August 15
Dominic Mohan's "Bizarre" column in the Sun newspaper exclusively reports that: "Beatles Release New Track (And It Sounds Like The Chemical Brothers)". The article reads: "A new Beatles record has been put together by Sir Paul McCartney - 30 years after the group broke up. The psychedelic dub track is the Fab Four as you have never heard them before. Paul tells me: 'It's a new little piece of Beatles. 'Free Now' is an outbreak from my normal stuff - it's a little side dish that is not to be confused with my other work. It's more underground than what you usually hear from me but I like to be free enough to do this sort ofthing.' " The Sun sets up a special phone line so you can hear the 'Free Now' recording.
Sunday August 20
The News Of The World reveals that one of The Beatles has stopped a children's author from penning a book involving the Fab Four. The report goes on to say that Anthony Brown, from St. Nicholas-at-Wade, Kent, had to stop working on the story, which was about a little girl who befriends the group, after the mystery Beatle called publishers to object.
Monday August 21
The five-track album Liverpool Sound Collage, featuring Paul's exclusive sound collages, mixed by The Super Furry Animals, and rare Beatles outtakes, recorded between 1964 and 1969, is released on CD. The tracks accompanied Peter Blake's About Collage exhibition, which is currently showing at the Liverpool Tate Gallery. The full track listing is: 'Plastic Beetle' (Paul McCartney plus The Beatles), 'Peter Blake 2000' (Super Furry Animals plus The Beatles), 'Real Gone Dub Made Manifest In The Vortex Of The Eternal Wheel' (Paul's Fireman collaborator, Youth), 'Made Up' (Paul McCartney plus The Beatles), 'Free Now' (Paul McCartney, The Beatles and The Super Furry Animals). The track 'Free Now' is also issued as a very limited promo of just five copies!
The Daily Mail publishes a story about The Beatles performance at Aldershot's Palais Ballroom in December 1961, which was watched by only eighteen people!
Tuesday August 22
It is announced that Ewan McGregor, the star of the film Trainspotting, has won the role of John in an upcoming movie about John and his love affair with Yoko Ono. The film (not to be confused with the NBC TV Lennon film In His Life) will portray Yoko as a peacemaker who tries to soothe tensions between John and Paul. When told of this film, a spokesman for Paul remarks: "He is watching developments in the movie with cynical interest!"
Thursday August 24 (until Tuesday August 29)
The annual, Cavern City Tours organised, Liverpool Beatles festival again takes place. Titled Let It Be Liverpool, the event features six days of non-stop Beatles-related activity, including the Beatles Convention, which is held, traditionally, in the Adelphi hotel on Sunday August 27, where Klaus Voorman, The Beatles' authorised biographer, Hunter Davies, and the author of this book are guest speakers. Another highlight for many of the thousand fans present, are performances by The Overtures, who (in performances on Sunday and Monday) deliver the Revolver and Let It Be albums and the American band, The Fab Faux, who perform an amazing version of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' to open their concert at The Royal Court on Saturday August 26. Earlier this day, the original Quarry Men give a performance in the grounds of Quarry Bank High School.
Monday August 28
In an interview with Launch.com, drummer Jim Keltner announces that: "George has been pulling tracks out of his vaults and finishing them over the last couple of years. There's a tremendous amount of stuff he hadn't finished, and I put drums on a tremendous amount of that stuff. Some of the songs I played on were absolutely wonderful, brilliant. I can't wait to see what he does with them. I don't know whether he'll have somebody help him produce or what, but I'm sure he'll come out with somebody cool." Keltner also says that it is George who is the least interested in doing a new Traveling Wilbury's album. "I think it really all comes down to George. When I talk to the other guys, Tom, Jeff or Bob, they all sound like they're into it. George wants to sometimes, and other times he gets busy on other things."
The television advert for the Internet company Nortel Networks, which features a cover of 'Come Together' on the soundtrack, continues its run on the ITV network.
At the start of the month, George visits India where he meets up with Ravi Shankar.
The Beatles' Revolver is voted the number one album of all time in the Virgin All Time Top 1,000 Albums publication. Sgt. Pepper is placed at number three, the White Album is at number five, Abbey Road at number eight, A Hard Day's Night is at number 22 and Rubber Soul is placed at number 34.
Sunday September 3
The Sunday Telegraph scoops the world by printing extracts from the long-awaited Beatles Anthology book. The first part is trumpeted by leading television commercials which appear on ITV and Channel 4 up to two days before the first part is printed.
Meanwhile, the Mail On Sunday also publishes extracts from The Beatles Anthology book, also billing their piece as a "World Exclusive", adding the phrase: "The Beatles By The Beatles".
The Sunday Times today publish "The McCartney Interview", in which Paul gives his candid thoughts about "Lennon, Linda, Painting and Poetry".
Monday September 4
Further Beatles Anthology extracts, albeit much shorter, appear in the Sun newspaper today.
Tuesday September 5
Paul arrives at the GQ Man Of The Year awards ceremony in London with a woman on each arm, girlfriend Heather Mills and the wacky artist, Tracey Emin.
The Sun publishes the second part of their two-part Beatles Anthology serialisation.
Wednesday September 6
The Daily Express publishes the second part of their Beatles Anthology serialisation, which looks back at the early years of Beatlemania.
Thursday September 7
The Daily Express publishes the third part of their Beatles Anthology serialisation, focusing today on the making of The Beatles' White album. The paper also publishes an interview with The Beatles' authorised biographer, Hunter Davies, who writes about his two years with the group back in 1967 and 1968.
Friday September 8
The Daily Express concludes their four-part Beatles Anthology series, focusing on the Let It Be record and the famous January 1969 rooftop concert.
Saturday September 9
The Daily Express colour supplement prints a cover story on The Beatles entitled Get Back, asking, "What is their legacy thirty years after their split?"
Sunday September 10
The Observer newspaper prints a story by Cherri Gilham, who reveals that John's first experience of marijuana occurred in March 1964 at a London party where blue movies were shown and group sex took place. According to Ms Gilham, John was drunk and threw up in a bathroom. It had previously been thought that John had his first joint when Bob Dylan visited The Beatles' New York hotel room in August 1964.
The Sunday Telegraph prints the second part of their Beatles Anthology serialisation.
A recorded message by George is played at a benefit concert in honour of the late Indian tabla player, Allaraku, in Los Angeles, California.
Monday September 11
The Guardian newspaper prints "The Monday Interview", featuring Paul in conversation with Simon Hattenstone. During the piece, entitled "After Linda", Paul is quoted as saying: "People say time is a healer, and time heals by erasing. That is a sad fact. When Linda died, all of us in the family expected her to walk in the door, and we don't now."
Paul, meanwhile, is to be found in Geneva, Switzerland, at a United Nations press conference where he calls for a ban on landmines. During the gathering he presents a Nobel Peace Prize to Jody Williams. Accompanying him on the trip is Heather Mills.
Tuesday September 12
A piece on Paul entitled: "My Fear Of Being Branded A Celebrity Painter" is published in The Times newspaper. The article, primarily to promote his new book Paul McCartney: Paintings (see Thursday December 14) also includes his "Fond Memories Of John Lennon".
A story on Paul also appears in today's Sun newspaper. Headlined "Macca: I Still Talk To Linda", Paul reveals that he still talks to his late wife Linda about his romance with Heather Mills, and she is thrilled at his new love. But Linda has told him: "If I was there, you'd be dead meat, sucker!"
Capitol/EMI release the CD The Very Best Of Badfinger (see entry for Sunday November 12).
Wednesday September 13
It is revealed that gold discs presented to The Beatles to celebrate the millionth sale of A Hard Day's Night in 1964, seized by customs men in December 1964, are still held by the Customs and Excise Department. The ten discs, presented to the group by Capitol Records in the States, were confiscated at London's Royal Victoria Docks, having arrived by boat from America. Public Records Office documents reveal that the group failed to pay import duty and that they regularly contacted The Beatles about the discs but no cash was paid. An official memo dated 1967, revealed: "Teenagers already tell me that The Beatles are on the way out. This demands immediate action. When The Beatles craze ends, the items will be valueless." Also found in the haul are ten gold plaques presented to the group.
Reports reveal that Ringo has played drums on a cover of John's 'Power To The People'. The track, featuring Eric Burdon, formerly of The Animals, on vocals and Billy Preston, was recorded for the soundtrack of the forthcoming film Steal This Movie.
Thursday September 14
Little Brown publish the book Paul McCartney: Paintings, which, aside from the 1981 collection of his drawings, entitled Composer And Artist, is the first time that Paul has published a selection of his work. The book is an expanded version of the Siegen exhibition catalogue (see entry for Friday April 30, 1999) and features photos of Paul at work, critical essays and also a long interview with the man himself.
Sunday September 17
The Mail On Sunday newspaper features an interview with Pauline Sutcliffe, Stuart's sister, who claims that, "John Lennon killed my brother", revealing that his death was probably due to John's fight with him.
An interview with Paul is published in the Electronic Telegraph, where he reveals that it was art that helped bring him and Linda together.
Tuesday September 19
NBC TV issues the following press release: "The Search For John Lennon Is Over As Phillip McQuillan Is Cast In Title Role Of NBC 2-Hour Movie In His Life: The John Lennon Story". The release goes on to say: "Phillip McQuillan, a 23-year-old actor/musician from Dublin, Ireland is making his television debut in a very big way, starring in the title role about the formative years of Beatle founder John Lennon. Principle photography will begin on location in Liverpool on September 24. McQuillan was chosen from over 300 Lennon candidates. 'Finding John Lennon proved to be far more difficult than any of us imagined,' says writer/executive producer, Michael O'Hara. 'At one point we despaired that we would never find him. Then we met Phil. He had the edge, the personal charm and charisma as a performer that we were looking for. The fact that he is an excellent guitar player was also a major plus.' Ironically, McQuillan's first public performance was singing Beatles songs at an open fair when he was twelve years old. 'I loved Beatles music,' he says. 'I was particularly influenced by the song 'Revolution'. Being a bit of a rebel myself, John Lennon was always my favourite.' Blair Brown will star in the role of Mimi Smith, the strict aunt who raised John like her own son after Julia went off to raise another family. In addition to McQuillan and Brown, the cast of In His Life: The John Lennon Story is comprised of Welsh actor Daniel McGowan as Paul McCartney, London actor Mark Rice-Oxley as George Harrison, Liverpool native Kristian Ealey as Ringo Starr (and) London actor Jamie Glover as Brian Epstein ..."
Friday September 22
Mick Fleetwood, the founder of Fleetwood Mac, announces that he will be selling, via his new Internet auction site, John's vintage Ferrari and the piano on which John composed 'Imagine' in 1971. (See entry for Tuesday October 17.)
Bookies in the UK place The Beatles at 25/1 for having a Christmas number one in the British singles charts.
Saturday September 23 (& Sunday September 24)
George is apparently seen in the crowds at the American Grand Prix in Indianapolis. During his visit, he very reluctantly gives an interview to the Speedvision channel, and announces he came here, "just for the heck of it".
On the 23rd, an interview with Ravi Shankar talking about George appears in the Toronto Star newspaper. "I saw him about two weeks ago ... Sometimes he comes here and spends a few days. He's not really studying or practising sitar now but he's got much deeper into music itself, listening, understanding and getting a lot of spiritual pleasure out of it. He's very happy and he's done a lot of recordings, and we are all telling him to bring out a record soon."
Sunday September 24
A pre-taped interview with Paul is aired (at midday) on the Capital Gold radio programme UK On Air.
Later this evening, and again on Capital Gold, The Beatles are featured in the Hall Of Fame series, where the group's work between 1965 and 1969 is featured.
In Liverpool, one week later than scheduled, filming begins on In His Life: The John Lennon Story, a "docu-drama" which focuses on his life from his teenage years right through to his appearance, with The Beatles, on The Ed Sullivan Show in the States on February 9, 1964. Based on an original screenplay by Michael O'Hara, it is expected to air on NBC TV in December. O'Hara also serves as the film's executive producer on the project, which is directed by David Carson.
Robert Kellaway of the News Of The World reports that: "The psycho who shot John Lennon plans to tour America singing sick ballads about the murder if he is released. Mark Chapman, who is seeking parole after serving 20 years, brags of his ambition in a documentary being touted around British TV stations. But his wish to tour with a band has enraged the surviving Beatles and their families. A spokesman for Paul McCartney said, 'As far as we are concerned, this man does not exist.' "
Monday September 25
In interviews appearing around the world, John's killer, Mark Chapman, who is up for parole next week, announces that John would want him to be released if he was still alive. On hearing this, Elliot Mintz, a close friend of the Lennons, remarks: "John would have loved to have been here to speak for himself." Chapman also reveals that John's murder was because "my father didn't love me."
Today's edition of the Daily Express announces that George and Ringo played at racing driver Damon Hill's fancy dress 40th birthday party last week, held at his mansion in Hambleton, Surrey. Damon apparently joined them on guitar and Leo Sayer on vocals to play a number of songs recorded by The Who. An observer enthused: "The two former Beatles were brilliant!"
Today's copy of the Guardian newspaper features an extract from the newly updated version of Lennon Remembers, which has just been published by Verso, and contains brand new unpublished text recorded with John during his interview with Rolling Stone's editor and publisher Jann Wenner in December 1970. The text was cut from the original 1972 paperback because of the sensitive subject matter. The interviewer, Wenner, was able to obtain these quotes because he still had the original interview tapes.
Tuesday September 26
It is reported that Paul has made his first ever political campaign contribution by donating £10,000 to the Liberal Democrats, to help its animal welfare campaign, including the ban on fox hunting.
Shooting on the NBC TV film In His Life - The John Lennon Story continues in various locations in Liverpool. Today, at Reynolds Park, the scene is shot when John famously meets Paul back in July 1957.
Wednesday September 27
(Transmitted between 6:00 and 6:44pm), Yoko Ono is the guest host of BBC2's archive show TOTP2, which, by way of celebrating John's 60th birthday, is dedicated entirely to John and his music. (The programme, which includes clips such as 'Instant Karma', from Top Of The Pops, and 'Stand By Me', filmed for The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975, is repeated on BBC2 on Saturday September 30 between 5:09 and 5:53pm.)
Thursday September 28 (until Sunday October 1)
The first UK exhibition, albeit brief, of Paul's work opens at the Arnolfini Gallery, 16 Narrow Quay in Bristol. To celebrate the opening, Paul discusses his work with the renowned stained-glass expert, Brian Clarke, in a unique one-off event. The event kicks off at 7pm, with tickets reasonably priced between £4 and £6. Signed copies of the Paul McCartney: Paintings book are put up for sale in the venue's shop for a most reasonable £30! Surprisingly, some copies, complete with Macca's doodle, are still available the following day. Also, on Friday September 29, an interview with Paul, recorded at the gallery the previous day, is aired on the BBC2 Newsnight programme.
The Arnolfini Art Gallery sold all 120 tickets for Paul's talk very quickly, reports the Bristol Evening Post. Paul's spokesman, Geoff Baker, announces: "Paul has been painting since he was about 40. He held an exhibition of his work last year in Germany (see entry for April 30) and the positive response has prompted him to stage one in Britain. He decided on the Arnolfini because of its reputation within the art world. People in this country had asked him to exhibit before, but they had not seen the paintings. Paul wanted his paintings to merit an exhibition in their own right and not rely on his name."
Friday September 29
In an interview to promote the New York launch of his paintings exhibition on Thursday November 2 (see entry), Paul discusses John's famous Rolling Stone interview from December 1970, recently released and updated in paperback. "It hurt a lot at the time," Paul admits, "but we got back together as friends and he is on record as saying a lot of that slagging off he gave me was really just him crying for help ... He could have been boozed out of his head, as he was during that period, he could have been crazed on this, that or the other substance."
Saturday September 30
Channel 4 in the UK broadcasts a John Lennon night featuring (at 9:00pm), a documentary entitled The Real John Lennon, and (at 10:35pm) Shine On, a celebration of John's music, performed by artists including Ronnie Wood, of The Rolling Stones, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller. To round off the evening (at 11:40pm), the 1988 film Imagine: John Lennon is aired (uncensored) for the first time on Channel 4. The night had been scheduled for Saturday October 7, but was brought forward to rival Yoko's appearance on BBC2's TOTP2 show, aired the previous Wednesday and repeated earlier tonight, at 5:09pm on BBC2.
In America, at 8am, Atlantic area Beatles fans are requested to attend the Phillips Arena Marta station where they will appear as extras in the Cartoon Network's parody of the opening scene from the film A Hard Day's Night. Shooting goes on until 4pm. The Cartoon Network announces that: "There will be screaming. There will be running ..." and invites the extras to "be pampered like all those big Hollywood extras!" Music for the parody is provided by The Lizardmen, an Atlanta based band who also appear on the upcoming McCartney tribute album, Love In Song.
The re-release to American cinemas of the re-mastered version of A Hard Day's Night is cancelled.
In the run-up to the launch of The Beatles Anthology book, Mojo features The Beatles on the cover and inside of this month's magazine.
Sunday October 1
Total Film magazine reveals that Monty Python's Life Of Brian film, produced by George's Handmade Films in 1979, has been voted the funniest ever film. Handmade's film Withnail & I is also voted the third funniest film ever made.
Monday October 2
A profile of Yoko Ono (screened on the Bravo station in America at 10pm ET and 7pm PT), includes the first ever interview with her daughter, Kyoko, who Yoko searched for and finally found.
Tuesday October 3
In New York, at 3:30pm (New York Time), a parole hearing takes place for John's killer, Mark Chapman, who now believes he should be released. Yoko Ono, who had submitted an audio tape, on which she read her letter about the subject to the parole board, announces that she will not try to influence their decision. In today's the Sun newspaper, Dominic Mohan of the "Bizarre" column, urges fans, in a full-page plea, to tell the board, via fax or e-mail, that Chapman must not be released. Thankfully, after a hearing which lasts 50-minutes, Chapman's parole is denied. Yoko, who is in Tokyo at the press preview for the John Lennon Museum, announces: "I respect the parole's decision," she says, "but that's all I can say." At the hearing, Chapman remarks: "I deserve to stay in prison for my crime. I don't even deserve to be here ... What I did was despicable. I don't feel it's up to me to ask to be let out." He is allowed another parole hearing in two years, in October 2002.
Wednesday October 4
The Bloomingdale launch party for The Beatles' Anthology book takes place at their new Beatles shop in the men's store at 59th & Lexington Avenue, New York. The party begins at 11pm and the first copies of the book go on sale at midnight. Special guests include the Master of Ceremonies, Cousin Brucie, the Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium promoter, Sid Bernstein and the DJ Mark Ronson, who plays Beatles tunes for the night. It is expected that there will be a further 23 Beatles shops at Bloomingdale's stores throughout America.
The HMV store in Liverpool mirrors the New York launch by opening at midnight to sell the long-awaited publication. However, the huge anticipated crowd fails to materialise when only one punter is seen in the queue. "The fans on Mersey side have let The Beatles down," he blasts.
Thursday October 5
After a five-year wait, the official Beatles Anthology book finally reaches shops around the world. Paul had told the magazine Publishers Weekly: "We had a good time doing it, and it brought us closer. In truth, we had healed the wounds already when we decided we wanted to do the book." The tome ends with the scribble: "By hook or by crook I'll be last in this book - John Lennon".
Apple, The Beatles' company, insists that magazines around the world cannot review the Anthology book until the October 5 release date has passed.
To coincide with the release of the Anthology book, a Beatles celebration takes place in San Francisco when Willie Brown, the mayor of San Francisco, declares today as Beatles Day. The festivities, which take place at the city's Metreon Center at Fourth and Mission, include a live (12:30pm) performance by the tribute band, The Fab Four. (Further events, featuring further Beatles-related entertainment take place at the venue on Friday, October 6 and Saturday October 7.)
At 8:45pm, the Dutch television station, Nederland 3 transmits, on the show Andere Tijdes, ten minutes worth of the recently recovered footage of The Beatles visit to Holland in June 1964. (The lost film runs in total to approximately 40 minutes.) Still in Holland, the Radio 2 station designates the day, Beatles Day, with a non-stop playing of Beatles-related music.
Friday October 6 (until Monday October 9)
In the States, MJI Broadcasting syndicates a three-hour radio special entitled John Lennon: A 60th Birthday Celebration, which features an exclusive interview with Yoko, new interviews with Paul, George Martin, Steven Tyler, David Crosby, Brian Wilson, Don Henley and Alice Cooper as well as such close Lennon friends as Elliot Mintz and May Pang. The show, hosted by Dennis Elsas, also features 27 timeless Beatles and Lennon tracks and includes the world radio premiere of the previously unreleased Lennon track, called 'Help Me To Help Myself', which appears on the re-issue of the Double Fantasy album.
The Art Of John Lennon exhibition opens at the Royal Oak Museum in Michigan. It will run for three days only, closing on Sunday October 8.
Paul is nominated for one of the BBC's People Awards in the Lifetime Achievement Category. But he fails to win, losing out to Sir Magdi Yacoub, a renowned heart surgeon. The event is covered by BBC1 and is aired on Sunday October 8.
Monday October 9
John's 60th birthday is celebrated by VH-1 in Europe, who designate their evening programmes to the former Beatle and his music. Shows include new interview sequences with Yoko Ono, the 1988 Imagine: John Lennon film and a collection of John's videos compiled into the VH-1 show, Greatest Hits.
Digitally re-mixed versions of John's Plastic Ono Band album (1970) and Double Fantasy (1980) are also released today in the UK. The first, issued with the bonus tracks 'Power To The People' and 'Do The Oz', also contains rare photographs and reproductions of John's handwritten lyrics. The latter now contains the bonus track, 'Walking On Thin Ice', the unreleased 'Help Me To Help Myself' and a brief snippet of dialogue between John and Yoko called 'Central Park Stroll', which Parlophone claims "continues the duality of the original album and unites the two at the end of the LP". Slight problems with legal clearances for the artwork on Double Fantasy do not delay its release. (The two albums are released in America on the following day, Tuesday October 10.)
The world's first John Lennon museum opens at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan, and is divided into nine sections, each devoted to various chapters of his life. Yoko Ono is naturally present at the opening.
A major exhibition of John's work opens at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
Still in the States, a six-hour John Lennon tribute show takes place on the KGSR-FM (107.1) radio station. Beginning at 6pm, in an interview recorded in New York City on Thursday September 7 by the KGSR programme director, Jody Denberg, Yoko talks about the new John Lennon re-issues. The one-piece hour is also released by Capitol Records as a promotional CD and includes six newly re-mixed/re-mastered songs from Imagine, John Lennon Plastic Ono Band and Double Fantasy. The disc is called John Lennon: Spoken Words. The evening continues at 7pm when (until 10pm) KGSR transmits the MJI Broadcasting John Lennon 60th Birthday Celebration programme (see entry for Friday October 6). And then, between 10pm and midnight, there is Austin Celebrates John Lennon, a show transmitted live from the KGSR Music Lounge, where many Austin musicians perform their favourite Lennon songs live on the air. The participants include Stephen Doster, Patty Griffith, Craig Ross, Gurf Morlix, among others.
The UK radio stations, Capital Gold and Harmony FM both devote air-time to John and his music.
In Liverpool, a Civic Ceremony to celebrate John's 60th birthday takes place at Dovedale School. Among those in attendance is John's half-sister, Julia Baird.
In the States, around 200 fans gather around John's star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. At Strawberry Fields in New York's Central Park, fans watch five skywriters circling over Manhattan with the words "Remember Love" written repeatedly in three circles. Today is also Sean Lennon's twenty-fifth birthday.
Tuesday October 10
At the Castelli Animati Animated Film Festival in Venice, Paul unveils Shadow Cycle, an animated film by Oscar Grillo, featuring the music of Linda McCartney. At the unveiling, Paul claims that his late wife worked on the music for the film without telling him. Heather Mills accompanies Paul at the event, and the two are captured by photographers walking, holding hands and kissing during time away from the festival. Oscar Grillo, of course, also worked on the previous Linda McCartney cartoon film Seaside Woman in 1979.
Thursday October 12
John's new Internet website is unveiled at Hollywood & Vine in America. Surfers of the site have a chance to read about the recently re-mastered releases of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Double Fantasy, learn about John's museum in Japan and bid on the piano used by John to write 'Imagine'. (See entry for Tuesday October 17.)
The Art Of John Lennon exhibition opens in Toronto at the Royal Ontario Museum.
In Russia, the Chelyabinsk City Council votes to name a street after John. The former Soviet rock star and long time Beatles fan, Valery Yarushin, was behind the move. The following day, Friday October 13, Paul e-mails his thanks to the people of Chelyabinsk for honouring John this way.
Paul attends his daughter Stella's latest Chloe fashion show in Paris. Also in attendance is the sixties fashion icon, Twiggy and the singer, Lulu.
Tuesday October 17
John's Steinway grand piano, on which he composed 'Imagine' back in 1971, sells for £1.45 million at an auction simultaneously taking place at the Hard Rock Cafe in London's West End and in New York. The buyer is the singer George Michael, who immediately donates it temporarily to The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool. A friend of Michael announces: "He feels this piano is part of Britain's music heritage. He didn't want it to go abroad and is delighted it's going to its spiritual home." The auction is broadcast through the Internet; an event organised by Mick Fleetwood's new Internet auction company. The following day, Wednesday October 18, Michael confirms his purchase, by phone, to the Capital Gold radio station. "I'm dead excited that I bought it," he says, "and I intend to keep it in the country. I'm not sure what to do with it, yet."
Wednesday October 18 (until Sunday January 14, 2001)
An exhibition comprising Yoko Ono's artwork since 1960 debuts at New York's Japan Society Gallery. Entitled Yes Yoko Ono, the exhibit features approximately 150 of Yoko's works and is accompanied by a book of the same name. (At its conclusion, the show will move on to Minneapolis on March 10, 2001 - see entry.)
Walter Shenson, who produced The Beatles' films A Hard Day's Night and Help! and 12 other films, dies in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. He was 81. Shenson, who got his start in show business as a publicist for Paramount Pictures, made most of his films during an 18-year stay in England. He produced A Hard Day's Night in 1964 as Beatlemania swept America and produced Help! with the group the following year. "He had agreed to make a third film that never got off the ground," said his lifelong friend Arthur Wilde, adding that, later in life, Shenson gave talks about his time with the Fab Four. "He loved it, and The Beatles liked him and they all got along well," Wilde said, adding, "He was a wonderful, wonderful guy." Shenson, who was born in San Francisco in 1919 and educated at Stanford University, spent two years in the US Army during World War II. He worked as a publicist on the films From Here To Eternity and The Caine Mutiny before turning to producing. His other films included The Mouse That Roared, which featured Peter Sellers and 1983's Reuben, Reuben, starring Tom Conti. A sister, two sons, and four grandchildren survive Shenson, whose wife, Geraldine, died last year.
Thursday October 19
At 4:45pm GMT (11:45am EST and 8:15am PST), Paul, via Yahoo!, goes live on the Net to chat and take questions from all over the world on art and drawings. Before that, at 4:15pm GMT, a special programme called Artcast is broadcast, which features behind the scenes footage of the preparations for Paul's UK exhibition at Bristol's Arnolfini Gallery, and candid conversations with his friend, the artist Brian Clarke. Clarke was responsible for the cover of Paul's 1989 album Flowers In The Dirt. Paul's interview with Brian was recorded before Paul's art show opening in Bristol on Thursday September 28 (see entry). The exclusive Artcast show also includes Paul's tour of the paintings, explaining his inspirations and technique, and a page-by-page author's review of his book, Paintings. Paul: "For many years, I painted in private and I didn't really talk about it to anyone outside of my family. Now I'm interested in showing my paintings to anyone who is curious about them, partly to learn what people think."
In the evening Paul and Heather attend the Pantene Awards at the Albert Hall in London. During the ceremony he privately talks with 24 Hours, a page on the ITV Teletext station. In the EIGHT-page feature, he discusses his artwork and admits involvement with a choral piece for a college in Oxford.
Friday October 20
Paul attends the VH-1/ Vogue Fashion Awards, held at Madison Square Garden in New York and is on hand to present the "Designer Of The Year" award to his daughter, Stella. Paul is seen wearing a T-shirt that reads "About Flippin' Time", a reference to the shirt she wore when he was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year. Accepting the award, she says, "I'd better thank him ... And I would like to thank my mum. I give this to her." She adds an animal rights plea. "If there is anybody here thinking of buying a fur coat this year, please don't. Don't make animals fashion victims." After the ceremony, Paul joins Keith Richard of The Rolling Stones for a game of pool backstage. Besides coverage on VH-1, the show, including Paul and Stella's segment, also features on the US programme Fashion TV. (Reports appear on TV across America and Europe. Extended European TV coverage of the event begins on VH-1 on Friday November 3, and lasts over the weekend.)
Saturday October 21
Previews to Paul and Heather Mills' appearance on tomorrow night's ITV show Stars In Their Lives appear in some of today's UK tabloids. The Sun and Daily Mail both print stills from the show where they are seen kissing. The latter also features a report by Geoffrey Levy and Alison Boshof who discuss, "with Linda dead less than three years, is talk of marriage still much too premature?" Inside the colour supplement of the Daily Mail there is a report on Tanya Larrigan, who continues to help Paul with his stud farm. The story is titled "Linda - The friend who guards her legacy".
An exhibition of Linda McCartney's photographs open in Pontiac, Michigan.
Sunday October 22
Heather Mills is the star in the ITV programme Stars In Their Lives. During the 35-minute show, which is hosted by Carol Vorderman and transmitted across the ITV Network between 6:50 and 7:25pm, Heather is surprised by the appearance (in part two of the show) of Paul who had secretly rang up the show's producers asking to join in. As anticipated in the previous day's papers, the couple is seen kissing and they announce their love for each other. During the show, he also admits that he fancied her from the first time he saw her at an awards show. "When I saw her at that award show I thought, 'Wow she looks great,' he said. 'A very beautiful, true, fine woman. That was the first impression and then when I heard her speak I was very impressed. So I found out her telephone number - like you do - and rang her up and said we should talk about some charity stuff and I like what you're doing. So we had three or four meetings, all very prim and proper. She came to the office to talk about the charity and I realised I fancied her. I did fancy her from the start but I was playing it cool.' "
A short clip of the promotional video for Heather's 'Voice' single, featuring Paul, is also screened. (The programme was taped in London two weeks ago.)
Monday October 23
The Beatles' 'A Day In The Life' is voted the third most popular song of all time in a phone-in poll on Capital Gold, the UK oldies station.
Friday October 27
In the States, Heather Mills is interviewed on tonight's edition of ABC TVs 20/20. The host, Barbara Walters asks Heather if she has found the love of her life, an obvious referral to Paul. Heather answers, "I hope so."
Saturday October 28
A 90-second excerpt of an audio tape which lay forgotten in an attic for 26 years is broadcast by George Webley on his BBC Three Counties Radio show between 10 and 11am. The 1974 tape, which comprises further evidence of the strained relationship between John and Paul, consists of John and Ringo chatting candidly about Ringo's album Goodnight Vienna. But halfway through the seven-and-a-half-minute recording, Paul becomes the target of criticisms. John is heard asking Ringo, "Does Paul know who you are?" and then remarking that he would swap "two Pauls for a George anytime". The tape was sent to a record company in Britain by accident instead of the edited version of the TV and radio advert (see entry for Thursday November 14, 1974), and a replacement was sent on once the mistake was realised. But an assistant for the company kept the unedited tape in a drawer and, when she moved jobs, it was stored away in an attic. Earlier this year, the woman, who has remained anonymous, was handed a dusty box of her belongings. It was only when she played the tape, which has John and Ringo's handwriting on the box, that she realised its significance. The presenter George Webley remarks: "It is awesome to listen to John at ease with his best mate from The Beatles, having a laugh and a joke. The lady who gave me the tape wanted to remain anonymous because she is a big fan of The Beatles. She contacted me because she wanted to know what to do with it. She wants it to go to Ringo or Paul."
Sunday October 29
It is announced that pictures drawn by John for his son Sean will decorate a range of children's clothes and other items to be sold in Britain next year. The range, which may be stocked by Mothercare, includes romper suits, bibs and pyjamas as well as baby chairs and toys, and will be emblazoned with elephants, monkeys and smiley faces drawn by John. They also feature a logo incorporating Lennon's signature and a self-portrait with long hair and his trademark round glasses. William Carter, an American company manufacturing children's clothing, first launched the pastel-shaded baby wear in the United States last year after signing a £10 million deal with Bag One Arts, the guardians of John's estate. The items are now on sale at over 2,000 stores across America. The range is called Real Love, named after one of John's songs, which was issued on The Beatles Anthology 2 and released as The Beatles' second comeback single in March 1996.
On the same day, October 29, the new forthcoming Beatles 1 album is previewed in the Sunday Mirror and in the Telegraph, where there is a report which says that the album has staggered music analysts by taking more than £10 million in advance sales.
Monday October 30
It is revealed that Paul's 1983 track 'Pipes Of Peace' will appear on a forthcoming CD to benefit the Paralympic Games. The disc, Wave To The World, also includes contributions from Tom Petty, The Bee Gees, Ray Charles, Sting, The Police, Elton John and Smash Mouth.
Paul and Heather Mills record a television interview with the legendary American interviewer, Barbara Walters.
Genesis Publications release Mania Days, a book which features 350 pictures taken by the late Curt Gunther on The Beatles 1964 American tour. The publication is available in two editions, a regular and deluxe edition.
The Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day's Night is featured in this month's issue of the Voorhees, New Jersey Ritz Filmbill magazine.
Wednesday November 1
George is invited to a benefit for the Kabbalah Centre in London's exclusive Harrington Club. Rolling Stone Mick Jagger and his former wife, Jerry Hall, stage the event.
Thursday November 2
For one week only, a series of signed and numbered limited edition prints of Paul's paintings are made available from the Matthew Marks Gallery, at 523 W. 24th Street, New York, NY 10011. The prints, restricted to an edition of 200 numbered copies and priced at $1,750 each, feature the paintings entitled Big Mountain Face, Egypt Station and Ancient Connections, all of which feature in the Paintings book.
A pre-taped interview with Paul to promote his exhibition of paintings is screened on the ABC TV show Good Morning America. Another pre-recorded ABC TV interview with Paul is also aired today, this time on Primetime Live (broadcast between 9:00 and 10:00pm.) During the five-minute sequence (recorded yesterday in New York at the Mathew Marks Gallery), Paul is seen preparing for the opening of his paintings' exhibition by signing lithographs and talking about his art and his late wife, Linda. At the conclusion, ABC viewers are promised that a longer piece of the interview with Paul will be screened the following week, on Thursday November 9. In addition, the feature will include a piece where art experts are shown Paul's paintings, some are aware that he painted them, and some are not. Part 2 goes out three weeks later on November 23.
At 6:30pm, Paul and Heather arrive at the Mathew Marks Gallery in New York for the grand opening of his paintings exhibition. Their arrival is tagged to the start of the Primetime Live feature broadcast this evening.
Sunday November 5
VH-1 in the States features the Apple recording artists Badfinger in the documentary series Behind The Music. The show includes an interview with Paul recorded in September 1999.
Thursday November 9
Television crews from around the world visit the Abbey Road Studios in London for the launch of the new official Beatles website, www.thebeatles.com. The crews are shown the site separately with the event lasting all day.
Friday November 10
As a promotion for the release of The Beatles' 1 album on Monday, the Post Office Tower in Newcastle holds a rooftop concert featuring a Beatles sound-a-like tribute band.
Saturday November 11 (to Friday November 17)
In the States, the magazine TV Guide features four collector's covers, entitled The Beatles 2000, and each depicting one of The Beatles, taken in 1964 by the photographer Curt Gunther. A fifth collector's cover, using the White Album design, is available only through TV Guide online! Inside the magazine, between pages 21 and 33, is a series of Beatles-related features, previews and an interview with Paul carried out with Jasper Gerard and previously published in the Sunday Times in England.
In the UK, the Daily Mail prints an interview with Louise Harrison, who recalls George's first visit to the States in 1963.
Sunday November 12
In the UK, the first screening of the commercial for Beatles 1 takes place across the ITV Network at 7:40pm, the first advert during the break between tonight's edition of Coronation Street. (The three-minute advertising slot during the nation's favourite soap opera is the most expensive time to advertise on the ITV Network.) An alternative version of The Beatles' 1 commercial appears during GMTV, again across the ITV Network, the following morning. The adverts are part of an £11 million Beatles 1 promotional budget, paid for by EMI. Incidentally, immediately following the 1 commercial on Meridian ITV on Sunday night is an advert for Linda McCartney's range of vegetarian foods.
At midnight, the doors of the HMV record store at 360 Oxford Street, London, are thrown open for fans eager to become the first to purchase the new Beatles 1 compilation album. The first 350 buyers are presented with a certificate acknowledging their achievement. The staff in the shop wear promotional Beatles 1 T-shirts, supplied to them by EMI. On hand to cover the event are camera crews from Sky News, GMTV, ITN and, amongst others, ZDF in Germany. (Television reports naturally occur the following day.) Also present are reporters from the Daily Express and the Mirror.
At the HMV store in Liverpool, another midnight opening for Beatles 1 takes place. Among the 100-strong crowd is the singer, Elvis Costello, who disguises himself behind a large woolly hat and scarf. Once inside, and with hat and scarf removed, he happily signs autographs. A spokesman for HMV remarks: "He was one of the first ten and would have had to wait about an hour. No one realised it was him until he filed in with everyone else. He had a woolly hat and scarf on so we think he was trying to be a bit low key, but the staff recognised him and asked him to sign copies of his albums."
Monday November 13
After months of speculation, Parlophone and Apple finally release Beatles 1, a 27-track collection of The Beatles' number one singles and biggest hits. (The American release takes place the following day, Tuesday November 14. For the full track listing, see previous entry for August.) Music industry insiders announce that they expect the CD to sell over 45 million copies, outstripping Michael Jackson's Thriller to become the biggest selling album of all time.
Ken Berry, of EMI Recorded Music, says, "The Beatles are the most influential band in popular music and no other band has had their degree of chart success. Their music has had an unprecedented impact on the lives and cultures of so many around the world. Their songs are as vibrant and contemporary today as when they were recorded. This is a must-have album for every music lover's collection, which will be supported by an innovative marketing campaign. We are proud that The Beatles spent their entire career with EMI and this album is a tribute to their genius."
Chris Windle, Sr. Vice President Marketing Recorded Music, says, "Priced as a regular album this long playing CD with over 79 minutes running time represents fantastic value to the public. Promotion on a truly global basis with hugely creative multi-media campaigns will build on The Beatles' huge fan base to emphasise the music and its importance to a contemporary audience."
Note: in selecting the tracks for 1, EMI Records together with Capitol Records in the USA chose the songs that were either number one in the Record Retailer chart in the UK (the only independently audited UK chart throughout the sixties) or in the Billboard chart in the USA. The Beatles achieved 17 number one hits on the Record Retailer singles chart between May 1963 and July 1969. In the USA, The Beatles had a total of 20 number one singles between February 1964 and June 1970.
The 79-minute Beatles 1 album, which features a brief message from George Martin in the accompanying booklet, is also released as a cassette and double vinyl album. Contrary to previous reports, the album has not been remixed, but it has been remastered by Peter Mew with the sound perfectly restored. As expected, the first three tracks on the disc, 'Love Me Do', 'From Me To You' and 'She Loves You' appear in mono, but the remaining 24 songs all appear in stereo. Inside the case is an impressive 32-page colour booklet, featuring Richard Avedon's psychedelic pictures, taken on August 17, 1967 and a range of picture covers (supplied by Joachim Noske and Bruce Spizer) for each of the songs original single releases around the world. The exception to this rule is the sleeve for 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', where the 1984, 20th anniversary American re-issue is depicted. This re-issue features Paul's "ciggie" airbrushed out from the 1963 Dezo Hoffman shot.
It is estimated that some 8 million copies of Beatles 1 has been shipped to stores in the UK.
On the morning of the release, a 30-second commercial for the album is aired at 8am on all the commercial radio stations in the UK. While on the ITV breakfast show GMTV, an alternative advert for Beatles 1 is screened during one of the commercial breaks.
In the UK, Capital Gold designates the day "Beatles Monday", in honour of the new album. The tribute band The Bootleg Beatles are on hand all day in the station's London studios to perform listener's requests. Then, between 6 and 7:00pm, in a show hosted by Tony Blackburn, Capital Gold plays the 'Ultimate Beatles Album', compiled from the votes given by their listeners who had rang in over the previous weekend. At number three in the Top 10 is 'Yesterday', number two is 'Hey Jude' and at number one is 'The Long And Winding Road'. (The appearance of the group and the amazing sales of 1 feature in a news report on the ITV show London Tonight, aired in the South East area of the country. The day of Beatles sales and footage from the HMV opening last night are featured in Sky News reports throughout the day.)
To coincide with the release, The Beatles launch their first ever official website. Designers worked on the £5 million site with Paul, George, Ringo and Yoko. Each section is based around one of the 27 tracks on the 1 album. As an example of the site, the 'Get Back' area recreates the famous January 30, 1969 rooftop concert. 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' enables you to walk around The Beatles session in Studio 2 at Abbey Road and 'Help!' is a worldwide interactive experience where participants can help each other locate instruments and "become" John, Paul, George and Ringo. In addition, there is a Beatles fan forum and an opportunity to receive the latest Beatles news. In the EMI press release for the site (issued on Thursday November 2), it reads: "The Beatles.com is a website a year in the making. Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono Lennon have injected their individual ideas into the project; combined with an international team of cutting-edge website designers, involving Apple Corps Ltd., Abbey Road Interactive and EMI Records, the website promises to redefine the nature of artist collaborations on the Internet. Twenty-sevem different Beatles experiences will ultimately be on the site, linking with each track on the album." (Note: The official Beatles website had been under consideration since July 1996.)
At the close of the first day of sales in the UK, a spokesman for the HMV store in Reading remarks: "1 is outselling all the other new releases put together!" While at their prestigious stores in Oxford Street, a spokesman for HMV announces that: "1 has sold over 600 copies. It has been our biggest first day seller for the year. The Beatles' 1 sold five times as many copies as the Irish lads [Westlife]. Even though most fans have every track, it's selling phenomenally well."
Further statistics, compiled from stores throughout the country, reveal that 1 is outselling Westlife's Coast To Coast by 3-1, Oasis's Familiar To Millions, which includes their version of 'Helter Skelter', by 4-1, The Spice Girls' Forever by 10-1 and the new release by Martine McCutcheon by an amazing 15-1.
The Beatles popularity comes under the spotlight in the Drivetime slot on BBC Radio Berkshire between 5 and 6pm, where Paul Gambaccini, The Beatles' biographer Hunter Davies and the author of this book are all interviewed.
VH-1 in Europe adds the following Beatles film clips to their visual play list, 'The Ballad Of John And Yoko', 'Paperback Writer' (Chiswick House version), 'Get Back', 'Hello Goodbye' (Anthology documentary edit) and 'Penny Lane'.
Yet another midnight opening for Beatles 1 takes place, this time at the Tower Records store in New York.
Tuesday November 14
At Oxford Crown Court, the trial begins of 34-year-old Michael Abram, who is charged with the attempted murder of George and Olivia Harrison in the early hours of December 30 last year (see entry). In a written statement read out in court, the former Beatle horrifyingly recalls the attack at his Friar Park mansion. "I have no doubt that this person intended to kill me and my wife. I truly believed I was dying. I shouted, 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna' in a vain attempt to distract the attacker." The jury heard that, on the night of the attack, George had been out to visit his brother and returned to Friar Park shortly before midnight. Olivia and his mother-in-law were also in the house. George and Olivia's 22-year-old son, Dhani, was staying in a lodge on the 30-acre estate. At approximately 3:30am, Abram broke into George's mansion by uprooting a statue of George and the Dragon and hurling it through a window of the house. Olivia Harrison awoke first; thinking that a chandelier had crashed to the floor downstairs before realising that there was an intruder inside their home.
Olivia, in her court appearance, remembers the night of their ordeal: "I feared my husband and I were going to die ... We had gone to bed after 2am after watching a film on TV. I was awoken in my bedroom by the loudest crash of glass imaginable. After I roused my husband, I tried to summon help on the telephone while George put on a coat over his pyjamas and went in search of the intruder."
George put on boots, a zip-up jacket and ran to the first floor gallery. From the top of the stairs, he noticed a man's figure illuminated in the kitchen area. George, in his statement, which is read out by the prosecutor Simon Mayo, recalls: "I retreated hurriedly to the bedroom, shouting at my wife, 'Someone is in the house.' My wife was saying, 'Stay in the room,' but I decided to look again ... I noticed the intruder again. As I looked down to the room below me, I saw a person run from the kitchen. He stopped in the centre of the room and looked towards me. He started shouting and screaming. He was hysterical and frightening. He said words to the effect of, 'You get down here, you know what it is.' I could see a knife in one hand and the spear from part of the statue in the other."
Olivia, fighting back tears: "I heard Abram screaming at the top of his lungs. He was demanding that my husband, 'get down here'."
George: "I decided to shout back at him, to confuse and distract him. I shouted, 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.' He rushed towards me. I attempted to get into a room, but couldn't release the key from the door. I made the split-second decision to tackle this man as I had it in mind that once he passed me, both my wife and mother-in-law would be vulnerable. Armed only with the element of surprise, I ran at him."
Olivia: "Moments later the two men were grappling with each other on the balcony that runs around the first floor of the house."
George: "My first thought was to grab the knife and knock him off balance. He thrust the knife at me. I was fending off the blows with my hands and arms. He was stabbing down towards my upper body."
Olivia: "They were jabbing at each other, but my husband was just being backed up and backed up. He was trying to grab the man's wrists. I saw my husband looking very pale. He was staring at me in a very bizarre manner. I have never seen him look that way. I just raised my hand and hit the man on the back of the head as hard as I could."
George: "I was aware of my wife approaching and striking him about the head with a brass poker. It appeared to have little effect. He stood up and chased my wife."
Olivia: "The next thing I knew, I was knocked backwards. The man was up against the wall and I was on my hands and knees at his feet. I reached up and tried to grab his testicles, but I just felt a lot of fabric. I ran from the room and that's when he came after me. I felt Abram's hands on the back of my neck. Seconds later, the two of us fell to the floor as George jumped on Abram's back. I landed on cushions used for meditation and crawled away. The men carried on fighting."
George: "I feared greatly for her safety and hauled myself up to tackle him. I placed my hands around the blade. He again got the better of me and got on top of me. I felt exhausted and could feel the strength draining from me. My arms dropped to my sides and I vividly remember a deliberate thrust of the knife down into my chest. I could feel blood entering my lungs. I could feel my chest deflate. I felt blood in my mouth and air exhale from my chest. I believed I had been fatally stabbed."
Olivia: "There was blood on the walls, blood on the carpet. This was the moment I realised we were going to be murdered, that this man was succeeding in murdering us and there was no one else there to help. I turned around and grabbed a lamp, tore the shade off and brought it down on the man's head."
George: "My wife struck the man with the vase and he slumped down."
Olivia: "I struck the intruder as hard as I could, as many times as I could."
George: "I encouraged my wife to keep on hitting him."
Olivia: "I heard my husband saying, 'I've got the knife. I've got the knife.' Then I saw it lying between them. I hit Abram two or three times. He seemed to slump. I said to him, 'Stop,' because I didn't want to hit him anymore. It wasn't a pleasant experience. He was very bloody, my husband was hurt and I was exhausted. My husband said, 'Don't stop, hit him harder.' George was very weak and tried to throw the knife across the room but as he raised his arm, it fell behind him on to a cushion."
George: "With a sudden burst of energy he went towards my wife."
Olivia: "I then found myself in a tug-of-war with Abram, each of us pulling on the flex. It was then that Abram grabbed the flex of the lamp and began menacingly wrapping the cord around his hands. I thought he was going to strangle me. He whipped me with the cord on my head. Eventually I flung the lamp at him and ran out of the room. I had a big gash in my head and numerous bruises on my legs ... My husband was fading away. I had to leave my husband there because I couldn't do any more. As I reached the last section of the stairs, I realised he wasn't following me anymore. I thought he'd gone back to inflict more harm on my husband."
George: "My wife ran to the gallery... He took the lamp and he rained blows down on my head. Three or four times I deflected them with my feet, but the last two struck me on my head. He stopped to chase my wife. I was lying on my back. I could see him. He stumbled and partially collapsed. I heard some voices and someone coming up the stairs. It was a uniformed police officer."
Olivia: "At that point, the police came in."
George: "I was left with serious wounds and breathing difficulties. This person has punched and kicked me in all areas of my body. I have no doubts that this person had the intention of killing me and my wife. There were times I believed I was dying."
In a statement read out to the court, PC Paul Williams, the man who arrested Abram, describes how he turned and said, 'You should have heard the spooky things he (George) was saying as he was going. Bastard! I should have got the bastard better!"
During the trial, the prosecutor, Simon Mayo, says: "Train tickets were found in the possession of the defendant and it appeared that he had travelled down from his home on Merseyside to commit the attack. It is also apparent that Abram had travelled down to Oxfordshire on a number of occasions to find out where George lived and had, on one occasion, asked a cleric about the geography of the area. There was no dispute that Abram had attacked the Harrisons. The case would centre on whether at the time of the incident, Abram was suffering from abnormality of mind. He believed that The Beatles were witches who flew around on broomsticks. Subsequently, George Harrison possessed him and that he had been sent on a mission by God to kill him. He saw George as a sorcerer and a devil. Experts conclude that, while the defendant undoubtedly intended to kill Mr. Harrison, he did not realise that to do so was wrong because of his deluded belief about being possessed. If you conclude that the defendant did the act and that he was insane, your verdict will be 'not guilty by reason of insanity'."
Accompanying Olivia in court today is Dhani, her son with George. The case, in which Abram is denying two charges of attempted murder on the grounds of insanity, continues tomorrow when it is expected to end.
On a happier note, The Beatles' 1 album sells over 350,000 copies in its first day of release in Japan.
At the Abbey Road Studios in London, the gateposts of the building are painted red with 1 yellow logos. The designs are painted over within 24 hours.
In the Mirror, the success of 1 leads the paper to write the story "Beatlemania 2 - New Record, Website And Book Promise £50m Pay-Day". The report, by Lucy Rock, reads: "The Beatles are set to earn £50 million for a new album, website and book, despite splitting up 30 years ago. Their first official website, also launched yesterday, could generate £15 million. A music industry source said: 'It will be a monster pay-day for them. They're still incredibly popular and blow a lot of modem acts out of the water. Hype about The Spice Girls v Westlife was everywhere last week, but this is the big one. It should spark renewed interest and many people will be curious to see what the website is like, which will boost back-catalogue sales."
Wednesday November 15
The trial at Oxford Crown Court yesterday naturally features prominently in the morning papers, with terrifying headlines such as: "Harrison: I Truly Believed I Was Dying" (Daily Telegraph), "Beatle Saved By Wife In Knife Terror" (Daily Express), "I Thought I Was Dying" (Daily Mail) and "My Terror" (Mirror).
On the second day of the Oxford Crown Court trial involving Michael Abram, the 12-member jury finds him "not guilty" of the attempted murder of George and Olivia Harrison, on the grounds of "insanity". It is a result that many secretly knew was coming. The judge, Mr. Justice Astill, says, "There was no evidence to contradict the opinion of three psychiatrists that Abram was legally insane when he attacked the Harrisons." He tells the jury, "There is only one verdict you can reach." Justice Astill, who describes the incident at Friar Park as a "horrifying attack", makes Abram the subject of a hospital order without any restrictions of time, which means he will be treated in a secure psychiatric unit.
During the second day, the consultant psychiatrist, Philip Joseph, says: "Abram believed he was the fifth Beatle. He was obsessed with George and believed he was St Michael, sent on a mission by God to kill the guitarist. And when George shouted, 'Hare Krishna' to calm him down, it enraged him even more. Because he believed it was the language of Satan, spoken backwards. He thought Mr. Harrison was cursing him in the Devil's tongue and that he was a witch. He was stabbing Mr. Harrison to kill him because he had possessed him. He had read in the Bible in the book of Exodus that sorcerers should not be allowed to live."
The Harrisons make a legal bid in court to be notified of any prospect of Abram being released from the Scott secure clinic in Rainhill, on Merseyside. Through their QC, Geoffrey Robertson, they ask the judge to recommend their request to the Home Secretary, saying they were "continuing targets". The judge replies saying, "I have no powers to make such a recommendation."
At the conclusion of the trial, George and Olivia's son, Dhani, blast the 'legal loophole' which sees Abram being found not guilty. He adds to the waiting reporters, "The prospect of him being released into society is abhorrent and we hope that the authorities will allow us to be consulted."
It is announced that The Beatles' compilation album 1 has sold 105,424 copies in the UK since its release on Monday. Meanwhile, also since Monday, the Spice Girls' new album Forever has shifted just 13,116 copies.
The BBC2 archive show TOTP2 (between 6:00 and 6:44pm) screens, to close the show, the 1967 promotional film for 'Penny Lane', obviously as Apple approved promotion for The Beatles' 1 album. (This edition of TOTP2 is aired again on the following Saturday November 18, between 3:54 and 4:39pm.)
In the States at 9pm ET, 6pm PT, Yoko gives a live interview, discussing John and his legacy, on the website MSN.COM.
One hundred and fifty bricks from John's former home in Menlove Avenue, Liverpool are auctioned on the Internet. The bricks were acquired by NBC TV during the recent filming of In His Life - The John Lennon Story. The current owner of John's home will get 50 per cent of the profits with some going to the nearby Strawberry Fields children's home and the rest to cover the filming costs. (The auction concludes on Monday December 4.)
Friday November 17 (until Wednesday January 10, 2001)
Linda McCartney's Sixties - Portrait Of An Era exhibition runs at the Palm Beach Photographic Center For The Arts, in Palm Beach, Florida.
ABC TV in America screens (between 8:00 and 10:00pm ET) The Beatles Revolution, a two-hour ABC Entertainment/VH-1 co-production, which looks at the most influential band in pop history. Interviews with pop celebrities such as Keith Richard, Pete Townshend, Bono, Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Garth Brooks, The Spice Girls and over fifty other guests, who all have something to say about the band that changed them forever, are included in the programme. Apple footage screened in the show includes a clip of the original 1968 Apple Records promotional film. It was repeated six days later in America on November 23 on VH-1 at 8pm ET.
Sunday November 19
An interview with Dhani Harrison where he recalls the horrifying attack on his parents at Friar Park last December is featured in today's Sunday People newspaper.
The News Of The World reports: "Macca Rescues Animal Centre". The piece reads: "Ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has rescued an animal centre battered in the recent storms. Macca has sent £5,000 to the Hound Cottage Animal Sanctuary in Titchfield, Hants, to help its clean up efforts. Delighted founder, Geraldine Forehead, 62, said, 'I could not believe Sir Paul thought of us. We're such a small operation' "
Pundits cry, "It's 1 at 1" when, later in the day, and with no great surprise, it is announced that The Beatles' album 1 has gone straight in at the number one position in the UK album charts, selling 319,126 copies in its first week of release. The album also reaches the top spot today in Canada, Germany and Spain. When told of the number one position, Geoff Baker, on behalf of Paul, George and Ringo, announces: "The Beatles are dead chuffed! They are thrilled by their continued success."
Monday November 20
The Beatles reaching number one in the UK album charts again is celebrated on the breakfast ITV show, GMTV. During the short feature, the 1967 'Hello Goodbye' promotional film (Anthology edit) is screened. While in the Sun newspaper, Dominic Mohan writes: "The Beatles have shown they are still the world's top band - their new album 1 has gone straight to the top of the charts, clocking up best first week sales of the year, beating Robbie Williams' Sing When You're Winning by 6,000."
Tuesday November 21
Celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, George's album All Things Must Pass is re-issued by Capitol Records in America. The remastered package includes a bonus disc with unreleased songs. The release, which features sleeve notes on the recordings by George, fails to materialise but is rescheduled, in America, on Tuesday January 23, 2001.
Wednesday November 22
The Beatles 1 album reaches number one in the US Billboard charts, selling 594,666 copies in its first week.
Thursday November 23 (until Sunday November 26)
This evening, ABC TV in the States broadcasts a Beatles special.
Rhino.Com screens, via the Net, the 'Director's Cut' of the 1968 film Wonderwall, which features soundtrack music by George.
EMI announces that The Beatles' 1 album has gone number one in 19 countries, accumulating 35 platinum discs.
Monday November 27
Mojo publishes a special limited-edition version of their magazine, which features a 20th anniversary tribute to John. The issue has a limited run of 89,000 copies for the world, each individually numbered, and features exclusive interviews with Klaus Voorman and Yoko Ono, who receives the very first edition off the press.
In the second week of the month, John's former home at 251 Menlove Avenue in Liverpool, is honoured with a Blue Plaque. Also during this time, the twentieth anniversary of John's death is commemorated with a three-part BBC Radio 2 documentary on his life.
PBS in America air Paul's December 1999 Cavern Club performance as well as the three-part documentary The Unknown Peter Sellers, which features a brief interview sequence with George.
A planned TV screening of a Classic Albums show devoted to George's All Things Must Pass is scheduled for the UK and in America.
Friday December 1
Miramax Films in the States re-release The Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night. It is released initially in two cities, New York and Los Angeles. The film is then due to open in ten further cities on Friday December 8. A Hard Day's Night then rolls out to other cities in America in the future weeks.
Sunday December 3
At 9pm ET, ABC TV in America, to mark the 20th anniversary of John's passing, screens the movie In His Life - The John Lennon Story. In the role of John is the 23-year-old, Dublin born musician Phillip McQuillan.
VH-1 broadcasts a John Lennon special in their Behind The Music series, entitled "John Lennon's Last Years", at 9pm ET.
Thursday December 7
The European channel ARTE screens the tribute programme John And Yoko.
Friday December 8
Reports suggest that The Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night is to be re-released in America, while other reports suggest that the film will now not appear until sometime in 2001.
A Blue Plaque honouring John is unveiled at his former home in Menlove Avenue, Liverpool. But his half-sister, Julia Baird, expresses her outrage at the timing, remarking that the event should have taken place on October 9, John's 60th birthday. (December 8 is the first day he can be honoured because the plaques honour the 20th anniversary of the honouree's death.)
Saturday December 9
BBC Radio 2 commemorates the 20th anniversary of John's passing with a three-part series called The Lennon Legacy, which looks back at his life and career and features interviews with the many who have worked and been associated with the former Beatle. The series, which is narrated by the comedy actor Robert Lindsay, continues with Part 2 on Saturday December 16 with the third and final part being aired on Saturday December 23.
Назад к оглавлению