"Beatles reunion? The only way we could come together would be
if we wanted to do something musically, not lukewarm just to get
the money. I'm not going to be blackmailed into going. It would ruin
the whole Beatles thing for me."
At the second of Bonhams musical instruments sales in London, John's 1958 Epiphone guitar, as used on the original 1962 Abbey Road recording of 'Please Please Me', is sold to The Sun newspaper for £280, who bought it to offer in a competition. The story goes that, following the session, John handed the guitar to the songwriter Al Stewart who, after playing it for years, then gave it to a Mr. Bridges who subsequently put it into the auction. Mystery soon surrounds the guitar, questioning whether or not John had actually owned it. When asked about the guitar, Stewart denies ever being given a guitar by John and ever knowing a Mr. Bridges.
Thursday January 1
At his Dakota apartment, John gives a 60-minute Earth Day Interview to Elliott Mintz and records a home demo tape featuring a performance of 'As Time Goes By'. Later in the day, Bob Gruen is invited to the apartment to take more pictures of the family, one of which is a picture of John which will later appear on his infamous "green card". (See entry for July 27.)
Sunday January 4
At his Los Angeles motel apartment at 8122 West 4th Street, Mal Evans, The Beatles' long time friend and roadie, is shot and killed with a 30.30 rifle fired by Lieutenant Charles Higbie, of the LAPD robbery and homicide division, m a drunken stupor, Mal had become uncontrollably violent, appeared to be attempting suicide and pointed a loaded rifle at the policeman who, in self-defence, then shot him six times, four bullets hitting Mal. He was living with his new girlfriend Fran Hughes, having recently separated from his wife Lili Evans, who had reportedly asked him for a divorce just before Christmas. Mal was working on a book about his time with The Beatles, entitled Living With The Beatles Legend, which was scheduled to be delivered to the American publishers, Grosset & Dunlap, on January 12. He was just 40 years of age. When John is told of his death, he breaks down in tears.
Wednesday January 7
The body of Mal Evans is cremated in Los Angeles. The um carrying his ashes back to England gets lost in the post and is subsequently recovered in a lost letter office.
Friday January 9
Ringo's single 'Oh My My'/'No No Song' is released in the UK.
Saturday January 17
Ringo's greatest hits album Blast From Your Past reaches number 30 in the US charts.
Friday January 23
In New York, Judge Thomas Grisea declares a mistrial in the Morris Levy publishing rights case against John when a lawyer shows the jury a copy of the 1968 Two Virgins sleeve. The judge calls this "purely prejudicial" and demands that the case continue without a jury. (See entry for February 20.)
Saturday January 24
John and Yoko are seen in public, for the first time since Sean's birth, at Ashley's Club in New York. They are seen chatting with Mick Jagger and guitarist Jesse Ed Davis.
Sunday January 25
Ringo makes a surprise guest appearance with Bob Dylan and The Band at an all-star benefit concert called Night Of The Hurricane's II, arranged for the convicted murderer and ex-boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter at Houston's Astrodome in Texas.
Monday January 26
The Beatles' nine-year contract with EMI expires. While Paul will re-sign with the company, Ringo signs with Atlantic in America and Polydor elsewhere while John does not sign any new contract, electing to remain a free agent. George, now also a free agent, heads for Cannes in France, and the annual Midem music trade fair, where he announces that his next album will be on his own Dark Horse label. He wastes no time in signing to the label, doing so on Tuesday January 27. A&M will continue to distribute the label throughout the world. George reveals that his next album will be released in late spring and tells Melody Maker. "I'd like someone to produce me, either that or a co-producer or just a friend working with me. I've found there's no way that you can judge your own work. It's always useful to have a friend around. Maybe I should get Ry Cooder to produce me. I've always liked his work. But the nearest I've got to him was waving to him when we were watching Bob Marley and The Wailers." George goes on to say that he would like to play in Britain this year, although he wants to avoid difficulties in a big tour operation. "England makes me guilty," he remarks. "I even got a postcard from someone saying how much they enjoyed Extra Texture but why don't I play in England. I'd really like to play. It's just a question of how I'd do it."
During his stay in Cannes, George takes up residence in a suite at the Carlton Hotel, where he plays host to an avalanche of reporters all keen to know more about his signing to Dark Horse. Away from business, he seldom leaves the building.
January (through into February)
Wings return to the Abbey Road recording studios in London where they begin recording tracks intended for the album Wings At The Speed Of Sound. The sessions produce the following tracks: 'Let 'Em In', 'The Note You Never Wrote', 'She's My Baby', 'Beware My Love', 'Silly Love Songs', 'Cook Of The House', 'Must Do Something About It', 'San Ferry Anne', 'Warm And Beautiful', 'Time To Hide' and 'Wino Junko'. When asked about the recordings, Wings' manager Brian Brolly excitedly claims that: "The new album will be better than Venus And Mars."
At the start of the month, Bill Sargent, a Los Angeles pop promoter, offers The Beatles a guaranteed $50 million to perform one reunion concert, which will be televised on closed circuit television throughout the world. His basic plans are laid out as follows:
1. All four Beatles will perform live at any location of their choice, anywhere in the world, and that they may perform individually but they must play together for a minimum of at least 20 minutes.
2. Bill Sargent will retain all rights and all interests in the show in all media in perpetuity. He estimates that the cost of putting on the concert will be about $68,000,000 but, by charging $50 a seat at all cinemas showing the closed circuit broadcast, he believes he can gross approximately $150,000,000 in one single night. First reports suggest that The Beatles are keen on the idea, although there are complications that stand in their way. Sargent reveals that he has met with lawyer David Braun, who represents George, and that John is "keen on the idea", having suggested a reunion some weeks before the news of Sargent's offer broke.
Ringo, meanwhile, is noncommittal; instead he is still seen partying throughout the month in Los Angeles. This month, alongside Alice Cooper, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, Flo & Eddie and members of the Electric Light Orchestra. He also attends the David Bowie reception at the Forum Club.
Beatles hysteria continues to sweep the States when the group is honoured at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles. The film show, arranged by the production company Moonstar Euphoria, contains freshly printed copies of the group's promotional films and performances in Washington from February 1964 and Tokyo from July 1966. The frenzy gets so far out of hand that, according to American showbiz reporters, "every time Paul McCartney is shown on the screen, hysteria breaks out in the audience." This leads other American media commentators to write: "There is no doubt that when McCartney tours the US, he will eclipse all existing attendance marks, especially in LA, where he could sell out for two weeks ..."
In England, EMI International makes available on import the following American Beatles Capitol albums: Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles Beat, Beatles Greatest, Something New, Beatles VI, Beatles '65, Help! (soundtrack album), The Beatles Second Album, Yesterday... And Today and The Beatles Story. Prices range from £2.99 to £3.40.
Wednesday February 4
At the Southport Arts Centre in England, over 300 Beatle fans cram in to watch the programme The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away, featuring a nostalgic talk by The Beatles' one-time manager Allan Williams. The evening's entertainment also features screenings of the 1963 BBC TV documentary The Mersey Sound and the Pathe Newsreel The Beatles Come To Town, also from 1963. In addition, fans are treated to a public relations film made for Liverpool council entitled And The World Listened, various original Merseybeat footage including The Spinners, The Searchers and a live concert performance of Beatles numbers by brothers Pete and Mick Rimmer. The highlight of the evening is a rare public airing of the legendary 1962 tapes of The Beatles live at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany.
Saturday February 7 & Sunday February 8
Amid waves of hysteria concerning the possible Beatles reunion concert, a two-day Beatlefest convention takes place this weekend in Philadelphia.
Friday February 20
In New York, John's case against Morris Levy concludes with the judge ruling in favour of the former Beatle, and awards him the sum of $144,700 in damages.
In America, the show business magazine Variety claims that in the summer: "John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr will team up with Harry Nilsson and Klaus Voorman for concerts," adding: "Paul McCartney is still expected to tour the States with Wings ... but no firm dates have yet been released."
Towards the end of the month, George arrives in the States to begin arrangements to record his next album.
Ringo visits Hamburg in Germany, where he shoots an interview with Horst Konigstein for the 1977 film Ringo Und Die Stadt Am Ende Des Regenbogens, which tells the story of Ringo's career to date.
Meanwhile, all is not well with Allen Klein's ABKCO company, when accounts reveal that they have showed a loss of $140,679 during the first quarter of 1976.
In England, Willy Russell's hit musical play John, Paul, George, Ringo... And Bert is set to go out on its second national tour next month. Due to its success, the singer Barbara Dickson is now a household name in the UK. The tour, featuring Joy Askew in Dickson's role, will open in Birmingham on March 1 and will run until April 24 with a show at the Wimbledon Theatre.
Friday March 5
The Beatles' entire 22 singles, released in the UK between 1962 and 1970, are reissued by EMI. In addition, the company releases the Parlophone single 'Yesterday' coupled with the 1964 recording of 'I Should Have Known Better'. Although the company has never deleted the singles, few record shops carry a complete stock. An EMI spokesman talked about the reasons behind the reissues. "We continually get orders from dealers for The Beatles' singles, so it seemed like a good idea to re-promote all of them this way." The singles come in special green bags featuring the old Parlophone sleeve on the front and a picture of The Beatles, taken from the respective period, on the back. The Apple singles will still feature the company's logo and label. To display the collection in record stores, EMI send out special Beatles "browser boxes". Some fans are annoyed to discover that to buy all 23 singles will cost them a staggering £11!
Wednesday March 10
Ringo signs a long-term recording contract with Polydor International in the UK and Atlantic in the US and Canada. As part of the deal, he is obligated to deliver seven albums in the next five years. His first is scheduled for a June release.
Monday March 14
Wings begin a week-long series of rehearsals at Elstree studios north of London.
Tuesday March 16
With The Beatles not responding to his original offer, the American promoter Bill Sargent doubles his bid for a reunion concert. In a statement, Sargent promises the group: "As soon as I get an official okay from you, the money will be made available to all four of you within 24 hours." He also announces that the proposed date for the show is America's Bicentennial Day, July 4, with plans to broadcast the show on closed circuit throughout the world and, in addition to the money, Sargent offers The Beatles a stake in the profits from the promotion. Jonathan Clyde of Dark Horse records tells Melody Maker. "We don't know anything about this - certainly George has said nothing to us. And until he says something concrete, I can't comment." Meanwhile, a spokesman for Paul announces a terse: "No comment!"
Wednesday March 17
The American industrialist Mike Mathews, head of the Electro-Harmonix electrical equipment manufacturers, gets into the Beatles reunion circus by offering the group a meagre £3 million, to be split between them, for a one-off concert appearance. He further tempts the band by giving them a share of profits from the closed circuit broadcasts, which, he anticipates, should boost their income by a further £30 million.
Thursday March 18
Paul's father, James McCartney dies, aged 73, of bronchial pneumonia at his home in Gayton, in the Wirral on Merseyside. Among the first to hear the news is John in New York, whom Paul calls personally with the sad news.
Wings World Tour 1975/1976
Part 2 - Europe
March 20 - 26
Wings undertake a short five-date European tour, where they are accompanied by a brass section. They perform shows at:
The Falkoner Theater in Copenhagen (Saturday March 20 & Sunday March 21)
Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany (Tuesday March 23)
Ahoy Sport Paleis, Rotterdam, Holland (Thursday March 25)
Pavillion Du Paris, France (Friday March 26)
Friday March 19
Prior to their departure to Copenhagen, Wings undertake a massive press conference at Paul's Soho offices in London.
Tuesday March 23
Lee Eastman, Linda's attorney father who is working for Paul, ends speculation of a Beatles reunion when he publicly announces that, "The offer isn't even being considered!"
Thursday March 25
The album Wings At The Speed Of Sound is released in America where it receives its airplay premiere on the New York radio station WNEW. In Los Angeles, controversy reigns when the radio station KHJ-FM plays the album 24 hours before the other LA stations had received their copy. As a result, some of these stations refuse to play the record, citing that KHJ-FM received preferential treatment. (The UK release of the album will take place on April 9.)
Away from the controversy, at a low-key press conference prior to their London departure, Paul is asked about two tracks appearing on the album:
Reporter: "What is the origin of the doorbell used to introduce 'Let 'Em in'?"
Paul: "Well, as it happens, it is our actual doorbell which our drummer bought us, so it has a group significance, and it seemed a good introduction to the album."
Reporter: "What was the origin of 'Cook Of The House'?"
Paul: "Well, we were in Adelaide and rented a house to stay at rather than a hotel, and after the gig each night, Linda and I would get dropped off and sit up in the kitchen and have a late night bite. They had these pots of sage and onion - all the condiments of the season - that's a joke that, condiments of the season. Well all this stuff was lined up and it was a kind of freak song and I took everything I saw and tried to work it into a song. Every line in the song was actually in the kitchen."
Reporter: "What were the sizzling noises heard in the introduction?"
Paul: "We went round to our house with the mobile unit and Linda decided to cook a meal and get cooking sounds recorded and then fed the meal to us and the engineers. We all had a laugh and a drink. The mobile was outside the house and we just ran wires into the kitchen. Take one. Bacon frying. The first British cooking on record. There are chips at the end, which is great because it sounds like applause. If you get any questions you can tell them it was an E flat bacon pan and Seimer chips!"
Also today, Veronica Television films Wings' arrival in Holland for a special documentary to be transmitted on May 12. Later this evening, backstage at the Rotterdam venue, Paul, wearing a Mersey Beat T-shirt, is asked about the Bill Sargent Beatles reunion offer: "Well that's a big offer," he replies.
"I don't mind pretending I'm John Lennon!" Denny Laine says, interrupting.
Paul continues by being rather indecisive: "The thing is, nobody, as yet, has spoken about it. We've talked to each other. We've talked about ordinary things, you know, but no one has actually said, 'Do you want to do it?' None of the other three has asked me. We might do it, and if we did, we'd try and make it good, you know. But then again, we might not do it. But, then again ... we might!"
Linda: "It's a yes, no, maybe."
Paul: "It's a positive, maybe."
Friday March 26
During the show in Paris, on the final night of the tour. Jimmy McCulloch fractures a finger on his left hand after slipping in the bathroom. This naturally causes a three-week postponement of their American tour, due to start at Fort Worth, Texas on April 8. Meanwhile, back in England, a live interview with Paul is transmitted on Capital Radio.
Monday March 29
With the brief tour now concluded, Paul and Linda stay in Paris where they appear on the French Television show Number One, interviewed by the host Michael Drucker.
Saturday March 27
Paul: "Beatles reunion? The only way we could come together would be if we wanted to do something musically, not lukewarm just to get the money. I'm not going to be blackmailed into going. It would ruin the whole Beatles thing for me ... I'd read the papers which said John Lennon was the hottest on this. I spoke to the bugger and he didn't even mention it. Where do you go from there?"
Melody Maker publishes another exclusive interview with Paul by Chris Welch. Getting away from Beatles talk, Paul remarks: "We had fab fun in Australia. It was the first real tour we'd done for a while. The audiences were great and we just dug playing ... It was more like a holiday."
Wednesday March 31
Back in England, McCartney Productions Ltd. financial returns for the year 1975/1976 reveal sales figures of £466,867 while outgoing expenses have reached a hefty £426,202, largely due to the costs of the current Wings concert tour. After a tax bill of £19,800, Paul's company sees a profit of £20,865 for the year. This, incidentally, will be the final year of McCartney Productions Ltd., as, from April 7, the organisation changes its name to MPL.
At their Dakota apartment, John and Yoko go on a fast to cleanse their bodies, electing not to eat solid food for forty days. This sees the beginning of an era where he takes an increased interest in food, immersing himself in cookbooks and books on nutrition. John also begins to read the George Ohsawa publication You Are All Sanpaku, featuring a translation by William Dufty, the man responsible for starting him on a macrobiotic diet.
The Beatles Book Monthly in England returns with the first of the original magazine reprints, naturally starting with issue No. 1, first published back in August of 1963. Surrounding the issue is eight pages of news covering the recent activities of the solo Beatles.
At the Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles, with assistance from Paul who is waiting for his American tour to begin, Ringo begins recording tracks intended for his album Ringo's Rotogravure. The sessions, which during June move to the Cherokee Studios in Hollywood, produce the following tracks: 'A Dose Of Rock And Roll', 'Hey Baby', 'Pure Gold', 'Cryin' ', 'You Don't Know Me At All', 'Cookin' (In The Kitchen Of Love) ', 'I'll Still Love You' (originally called 'When Every Song Is Sung'), 'This Be Called A Song', 'Las Brias', 'Lady Gaye' and the instrumental track 'Spooky Weirdness'. He also records the unreleased songs 'Where Are You Going', 'All Right' and 'It's Hard To Be Lovers'. Incidentally, while Ringo is recording the album, George Martin, producing an album by a new band who call themselves American Flyer, is in the studio next door. Their paths do not cross as George is recording during the day while Ringo, in typical Beatles fashion, records through the night.
During the sessions in Hollywood on June 12, John assists by playing piano on the recording of 'A Dose Of Rock And Roll' as well as on his own composition 'Cookin' (In The Kitchen Of Love)'. On June 19, Paul and Linda, during a break from their American tour, join Ringo at Cherokee for a four-hour recording session for Paul's track 'Pure Gold'. Sadly, George fails to make this an album featuring musical contributions from all four ex-Beatles as he is unable to attend any of the sessions. His typical guitar sound, on his own composition of 'I'll Still Love You', is recreated by Lon Van Easton. George is in New York working on his next album. Rumours circulate this month that he is to tour America at the end of the year, anxious to make amends for his disappointing 1974 concert appearances.
Thursday April 1
The Wings single 'Silly Love Songs'/'Cook Of The House' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on April 30.)
John's father, Alfred "Freddie" Lennon, dies in England. John never enjoyed much of a relationship with his father, who deserted him as a young boy and reappeared in his life only after The Beatles had gained worldwide fame and wealth in the mid-Sixties. By all accounts, the two had settled their differences during the final days of Freddie's life.
Saturday April 3
In the UK, The Beatles again hit the single charts when 'Yesterday' reaches number eight. Other chart placings from the re-issues include: 'Hey Jude' (number 12), 'Paperback Writer' (number 23), 'Get Back' (number 28), 'Penny Lane'/'Strawberry Fields Forever' (number 32) and 'Help!' (number 37).
Also in the UK, Wings At The Speed Of Sound reaches number two. Paul is unimpressed by the resurgence of The Beatles' back-catalogue, saying: "I don't fancy 'Silly Love Songs' being kept from the number one spot by 'Love Me Do'."
Wednesday April 7
In London, at the start of the new tax year, Paul officially changes the name of his company from McCartney Productions Ltd. to MPL Communications Limited.
Thursday April 8
Due to Jimmy McCulloch's accident in Paris, the first Wings tour of America, originally scheduled to begin today in Fort Worth, Texas, is rearranged to start on May 3. Some original dates of the tour will remain but there are serious doubts over the shows at Madison Square Garden in New York. Experts predict that the tour, which will play to approximately 500,000 people, has the potential to gross more than $4 million. With a couple of weeks spare time on their hands, Paul and Linda spend time relaxing, socialising and helping out Ringo at the start of his Ringo's Rotogravure recording sessions.
Friday April 9
In the UK, in response to The Beatles hysteria currently sweeping the country, Reveille magazine publishes on its front page the headline: "Beatles Boom", over a report which predicts: "They will fill the top ten in May!" (At the time of his writing. The Beatles are occupying 23 places in the top 100 singles. 'Yesterday' is placed at number six while 'Something' is the lowest, at number 89.) Inside the paper, an EMI spokesman talks about the current Beatles revival. "The new Beatles boom is amazing, particularly when you consider that some of their records are more than ten years old!" The spokesman continues: "The nostalgia boom is one thing, but The Beatles are recent history. Kids of 13 and 14 who never knew the group in its heyday, are now being wowed by the Beatle sound." The newspaper runs a competition to win the complete set of 23 Beatles singles. Those entering must state their own personal choice of top ten best Beatles singles, the results of which will be featured in a special Reveille/Radio Luxembourg radio programme to be broadcast next month. Beatlemania in Reveille continues the following week (April 16) when the newspaper begins a three-part series on the history of the group.
Sunday April 11
To coincide with the resurgence of The Beatles in the UK singles chart, BBC Radio One transmits (between 5:00 and 5:59pm) the programme The Beatles Again, which focuses on the importance and influence of the group's music. The show, hosted by Brian Matthew, also features interviews with people who were closely associated with The Beatles during the Sixties and serves as a prelude to a tribute to the group by Radio One, which features The Beatles throughout the schedules the following weekend. (See next entry.)
Friday April 16
BBC Radio One begins a special Easter Holiday weekend of Beatles programming, featuring all of their music released between 1962 and 1970 played in chronological order. The bonanza commences today at 11am with Tony Blackburn and finishes, with their final recordings, during the Dave Lee Travis Show, which starts at 4:30pm on Easter Monday, April 19. (For the trivia buffs among you, the first track played is 'Love Me Do', and the last track played, by Travis, is 'Get Back'.)
Monday April 19
In America, today's Wings shows at the LA Forum are rearranged for June 21 to 23. In the run-up to the ticket availability, long lines of sleeping bags are seen on the pavement outside the venue. The allocation for tickets is a disappointing two per person.
Tuesday April 20
Still in America, George, wearing the uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, appears unannounced with his friends the Monty Python comedy team at New York's City Center, at West 55th Street, during their performance of 'The Lumberjack Song'. He had, in fact, been watching the first half of the show from the audience and went backstage at the interval. The Python team, starting a three-week run at the venue, invited him to join the cast during the song. "George is a lumberjack freak. He used that song on his tour to introduce the show," says Nancy Lewis, Monty Python's American manager. (Incidentally, the former Beatle is such a fan of the song that, when George and Olivia go on holiday during the late Seventies and early Eighties, he will use the name "Jack Lumber" as an alias.)
Saturday April 24
The album Wings At The Speed Of Sound reaches number one in the American charts. Paul, happy with the news, makes an evening visit to John and Yoko's Dakota apartment. By chance, John, eager to watch appearances by Raquel Welch and John Sebastian, the former front man for The Lovin' Spoonful, is watching the NBC TV comedy show Saturday Night Live (transmitted on Channel 4, WNBC between 11:30pm and 1:00am ET), and which also just happens to feature the famous Lorne Michaels' "Beatles Reunion" offer. With both John and Paul watching, Lorne Michaels delivers his legendary speech, unbeknownst to him that two of the ex-Beatles are actually tuned in:
"Hi, I'm Lorne Michaels, the producer of Saturday Night. Right now, we're being seen by approximately 22 million viewers, but please allow me, if I may, to address myself to four very special people ... John, Paul, George and Ringo ... The Beatles. Lately, there have been a lot of rumours to the effect that the four of you might be getting back together, that would be great. In my book, The Beatles are the best thing that ever happened to music. It goes deeper than that, you're not just a musical group, you're a part of us, we grew up with you. It's for this reason that I'm inviting you to come on our show. Now, we've heard and read a lot about personality and legal conflicts that might prevent you guys from re-uniting, that's none of my business. You guys will have to handle that. But it's also been said that no one has yet come up with enough money to satisfy you. Well, if it's money you want, there's no problem here. The National Broadcasting Company authorises me to authorise you a cheque for $3,000. Here can you get a close-up of this?" (Michaels holds a cheque, made payable to The Beatles', close up to the camera.) "As you can see, verifiably, a cheque made out to you ... The Beatles for $3,000. All you have to do is sing three Beatle tunes. 'She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah', that's $1,000 right there. You know the words, and it'll be easy. Like I said, this cheque is made out to The Beatles'. You divide it anyway you want, if you want to give Ringo less that's up to you. I'd rather not get involved. I'm sincere about this. If it helps you to reach a decision to reunite well, it's a worthwhile investment. You have agents, you know where I can be reached. Just think about it, OK? Thank you."
John recalls the evening: "Paul was visiting us at our place in the Dakota with Linda. He and I were watching it and we went ha-ha, wouldn't it be funny if we went down and we almost went down to the studio, just as a gag. We nearly got into the cab, but we were actually too tired."
Paul and Linda leave the Dakota apartment as John and Yoko begin watching the 1960 science-fiction film The Time Machine starring Rod Taylor.
Sunday April 25
Pleased by how well the two of them got on together last night, Paul returns to John's Dakota apartment this evening. Unfortunately, the welcome is not so warming, as John recalls in the September 1980 Playboy interviews: "That was a period when Paul just kept turning up at our door with a guitar. I would let him in, but finally I said to him, 'Please call before you come over. It's not 1956, and turning up at the door isn't the same anymore. You know, just give me a ring.' That upset him, but I didn't mean it badly. I just meant that I was taking care of a baby all day, and some guy turns up at the door with a guitar." Paul departs, unaware that he will never see John again. Paul immediately heads for Dallas, Texas and some Wings rehearsals.
Monday April 26
In Dallas, Wings begin rehearsals for their upcoming American leg of their world tour.
George attends the annual Cannes Film Festival in the South of France.
Wings World Tour 1975/1976
Part 3 - America
May 3 - June 23
With Jimmy McCulloch now recovered, the American leg of Wings' world tour finally takes place. Their repertoire includes the following: 'Venus And Mars', 'Rock Show', 'Jet', 'Let Me Roll It', 'Spirits Of Ancient Egypt', 'Medicine Jar', 'Maybe I'm Amazed', 'Call Me Back Again', 'Lady Madonna', 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Live And Let Die', 'Picasso's Last Words', 'Richard Cory', 'Bluebird', 'I've Just Seen A Face', 'Blackbird', 'Yesterday', 'You Gave Me The Answer', 'Magneto And Titanium Man', 'My Love', 'Listen To What The Man Said', 'Let 'Em In', 'Time To Hide', 'Silly Love Songs', 'Beware My Love', 'Go Now', 'Letting Go', 'Band On The Run', 'Hi Hi Hi' and 'Soily'.
The tour includes performances at:
Fort Worth Tarrant Country Convention Center, Texas (Monday May 3)
Houston Summit, Texas (Tuesday May 4)
Detroit Olympia, Texas (Friday May 7 and Saturday May 8)
Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens, Canada (Sunday May 9)
Cleveland Richfield Coliseum, Ohio (Monday May 10)
Philadelphia Spectrum (Wednesday May 12 and Friday May 14)
Largo, Maryland Capitol Center, Washington (Saturday May 15 and Sunday May 16)
Atlanta Omni (Tuesday May 18 and Wednesday May 19)
Long Island Nassau Coliseum (Friday May 21)
Boston Garden (Saturday May 22)
New York Madison Square Garden (Monday May 24 and Tuesday May 25)
Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum (Thursday May 27)
Kansas City Kemper Arena (Saturday May 29)
Chicago Stadium, Illinois (An extra date is added for Monday May 31. Scheduled concerts: Tuesday June 1 and Wednesday June 2)
St. Paul, Minnesota Civic Center (Friday June 4)
Denver McNichols Arena (Monday June 7)
Seattle Kingdome (Thursday June 10)
San Francisco Cow Palace (Sunday June 13 and Monday June 14)
San Diego Sports Arena (Wednesday June 16)
Tucson Community Center (Friday June 18)
Los Angeles Forum (Monday June 21, Tuesday June 22 and an extra date on Wednesday June 23)
Wings' equipment on the tour is carried around in three articulated lorries, on the roof of each are the words "Wings", "Over" and "America". The publicity for the tour was originally going to be undertaken by the firm Solters & Roskin, but Paul fires them when he discovers they are also handling the publicity for the International Committee To Reunite The Beatles campaign. Coverage of the tour reaches England, with reports appearing regularly on Capital Radio. The most detailed of which appear on the show Rock Around The World.
Monday May 3 - Wednesday June 23 (duration of tour)
The following songs from the American concert tour appear on the triple album Wings Over America, (released simultaneously in America and the UK on December 10): 'Lady Madonna', 'The Long And Winding Road', 'I've Just Seen A Face', 'Blackbird', 'Yesterday', 'You Gave Me The Answer', 'Live And Let Die', 'Picasso's Last Words', 'Richard Cory', 'Bluebird', 'Venus And Mars', 'Rock Show', 'Jet', 'Let Me Roll It', 'Spirits Of Ancient Egypt', 'Medicine Jar', 'Maybe I'm Amazed', 'Call Me Back Again', 'Magneto And Titanium Man', 'Go Now', 'My Love', 'Listen To What The Man Said', 'Let 'Em In', 'Time To Hide', 'Silly Love Songs', 'Beware My Love', 'Letting Go', 'Band On The Run', 'Hi Hi Hi' and 'Soily'.
Many of these live recordings are actually taped at the final show on June 23 at the Los Angeles Forum. (Prior to the album's release, the group carry out extensive musical overdubs.)
Monday May 3
The excitement of Paul's first American concert in ten years produces newspaper stories such as this in the Los Angeles Times: "When the house lights dimmed ... virtually everyone in the arena stood in anticipation of what was clearly the most notable return to rock concerts since Bob Dylan's 1974 appearance in Chicago."
The attendance at Forth Worth tonight is a sell-out 14,000 crowd where, before Wings had even played one single note, they are given a 15-minute standing ovation.
Tuesday May 4
During tonight's concert at the Summit, in Houston, Texas, Paul escapes serious injury - by a matter of inches - when a large piece of scaffolding falls from above the stage. Unfortunately, the pole hits Wings' road manager Trevor Jones, who is rushed to hospital and given 13 stitches.
Wednesday May 5
During a day off from the tour in Texas, Paul, Linda and their family spot an Appaloosa stallion standing aimlessly by the roadside and stop to enquire whether they can buy it. After little persuasion they purchase the horse from its owner for a small fee.
Friday May 7
Following the third show on the tour at Detroit's Olympia, Paul gets annoyed with an American journalist who repeatedly asks questions about The Beatles. He angrily snaps: "Look mate, it's 1976 and I don't think most of the people here care about what happened ten years ago. All they're interested in is what I'm doing now. The past is gone and it won't come back!" Another reporter, this time from England, asks: "Will John Lennon be appearing with you at Madison Square Garden in New York next week?" Paul replies: "Well, I know he wants to come to the show, but I don't know whether he'll play... just wait and see." As for tonight's concert itself, Paul is annoyed when the PA keeps feeding back throughout the show and is frustrated when his acoustic guitar work is restricted due to a cut finger. He injured himself the previous day while slicing up a pizza. Worst to suffer is his version of 'Blackbird'.
Sunday May 9
George and Ringo are seen among the 18,000 strong audience at tonight's concert at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
Monday May 10, Wednesday May 12 & Friday May 14
Following performances in Cleveland and Philadelphia, Wings fly back to their base in New York. To help with the boredom of the flights, Paul arranges for a home video machine to be placed on board their customised 24-seater private plane, a BAC1-11. Among the films they watch are Next Stop, Moses, Greenwich Village and Dog Day Afternoon. The group also takes aboard the plane their own sports equipment, which includes a table tennis set. Meanwhile, seen in the audience at the show at Philadelphia's Spectrum on May 12 are Peter Frampton and The Beatles' first manager Allan Williams, who meets Paul backstage at the gig and promises to send him a copy of the 1962 Star Club tapes.
Saturday May 15
The opening night's performance at the Capitol Center in Largo, Maryland, before a capacity 22,000 fans, is attended by The Eagles, as well as Linda Rondstadt and Peter Asher, formerly of Sixties chart stars Peter & Gordon, and now a successful LA based record producer. Following the show, Linda and Peter go backstage to chat with Paul.
Wednesday May 19
In Atlanta, the Peaches record store invite Wings to put their hands and footprints into their 'Pavement of Stars' walkway outside their store. However, the local police thought that if the group go downtown to do it, they would cause a major traffic jam. So instead, the shop arranges for the concrete to be brought to them, where Paul, Linda and Wings climb aboard the van to leave their marks and, once the concrete is set, their prints are returned to the pavement outside the store.
Saturday May 22
The Wings single 'Silly Love Songs' reaches number one in the American singles chart. (It will reach the number two position in the UK on June 12.)
Monday May 24 & Tuesday May 25
Following just one radio announcement, the 40,000 tickets for both Madison Square Garden performances sell out in just 24 hours. Many of the fans camped outside the venue overnight in order to be sure of getting their seats, m attendance at both of the shows are British members of the Wings Fun Club, who flew out on a specially chartered plane arranged by the Daily Mirror Pop Club. Speculation is rife over who will be the special guest to join Wings on stage at these venues. The name of John Lennon is heard on many occasions ... At the conclusion of the show on the first night, Paul, Linda and Wings, once the venue had cleared, come down into the hall to be pictured with the Wings Fun Club and Daily Mirror Pop Club members. Following the show on Tuesday May 25, Wings give an interview to the New York radio station WNEW. Later this evening, to celebrate the two sell-out shows at the Garden, a party is held at the venue but there is a strict rule of "no press allowed". This is because of a request from Jackie Onassis, who will attend only if there are no members from the press present. Jackie is photographed backstage with Paul and Linda.
Due to the success of the tour, Wings add two additional concerts to their itinerary, at Chicago on Monday May 31 and the Los Angeles Forum to wrap up the tour on Wednesday June 23.
Monday May 31
At the Chicago Stadium, Wings are interviewed backstage before the show by the Chicago radio station WLS.
Friday June 4
Wings performance in Minnesota today is shot for a television programme called Wings Over St. Paul.
Thursday June 10
A large part of the officially released 1980 MPL concert film Rockshow is shot today at Seattle's Kingdome. A selection of tracks from the show are videotaped directly off the in-house video feed. The audience at tonight's performance numbers 67,100, this being 11,000 over the fixed-seat capacity of the Kingdome venue and in doing so sets a new world record for a single act. Meanwhile, backstage before the show, Wings are interviewed for the US TV programme Monday Night Special, which is transmitted the following Monday June 14.
Saturday June 12
'Silly Love Songs' reaches number two in the UK singles chart, kept off the top spot by EMI stable mates The Wurzels and their song 'Combine Harvester'.
Friday June 18
In Tucson, Arizona, Linda, the other members of Wings and their entourage throw a surprise 34th birthday party for Paul.
Saturday June 19
During a break from the tour, Paul and Linda meet up with Ringo at the Cherokee recording studios in Hollywood for a four-hour recording session of the McCartney penned track 'Pure Gold'.
Sunday June 20
In Los Angeles, during a further break from the tour, Paul and Linda are invited to attend the birthday party of Beach Boy Brian Wilson. The event is filmed and will later appear on an edition of NBC TV's Saturday Night Live and later as part of the 1986 American documentary The Beach Boys - An American Band.
Monday June 21 & Tuesday June 22
The hysteria surrounding Wings' American Tour rolls on, when the Los Angeles Ticketron headquarters sell 2,000 seats in just nine minutes. At the LA Forum itself, 40,000 tickets are sold in less than four hours! In attendance at both concerts is a planeload of Japanese Wings Fun Club members. On the opening night at the Forum, at the conclusion of the Wings' second encore performance of 'Soily', Ringo appears on stage to present Paul with a bunch of flowers and then playfully picks up Paul's guitar to play. Ringo was watching the show from an audience that also includes Diana Ross, Harry Nilsson, Robbie Robertson, Elton John, Jack Nicholson, Cher, Jesse Ed Davis, Candy Clark, Dustin Hoffman, Leo Sayer, Adam Faith, Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. Following the concert, Ringo joins Paul and Wings backstage, an event also captured for the documentary Wings Over The World.
Thursday June 24
At 8pm, in California's Benedict Canyon, at the Harold Lloyd Estate, Wings hold a party to celebrate the completion of the tour. The party costs the band over $75,000 and all the guests are instructed to wear white, thus providing an appropriate canvas for the Hawaiian painters who spray the clothes of the guests. These include Rod Stewart, Jack Nicholson, Tony Curtis, David Cassidy and, amongst others, members of The Beach Boys. Food is served at 10pm and following this, guests are entertained at the poolside with The Nelson Riddle Orchestra providing the music.
Paul: "After The Beatles, you would have thought it would have been pretty much impossible for me to follow that and to get anything else going. At least I thought that... This tour has convinced us that we're a group and I think it has convinced audiences too. This wasn't just a one-time trip. This is going to be a working band." He triumphantly concludes: "We'll be back!"
Saturday May 8
With the results now in and the complete set of 23 Beatles singles collections now received by the lucky participants, Radio Luxembourg broadcasts (between 11:00 and 11:45pm) the results of the "Beatles Top Ten Readers Poll" conducted in the recent Reveille Beatles competition. The outright winner, as one may imagine, is Paul's 1965 classic 'Yesterday'.
Saturday May 22
With no Beatles reunion forthcoming, Lorne Michaels puts out another appeal on tonight's edition of Saturday Night Live (transmitted on Channel 4, WNBC between 11:30pm and 1:00am ET). This time, he ups the offer to $3,200 and cheekily agrees to throw in some "hotel accommodation".
Monday May 24
George begins recording his album Thirty Three And A Third at his Friar Park Studios. The four-month sessions produce the following songs: 'This Song', 'Learning How To Love You', 'Woman Don't You Cry For Me', 'Dear One', 'Beautiful Girl', 'See Yourself', 'It's What You Value', 'True Love', 'Pure Smokey' and 'Crackerbox Palace', which was the name of Lord Buckley's house in Los Angeles. The song was originally written back in 1975 after meeting George Grief, a man who reminded George of Buckley. (The sessions on the album will continue until September 13.)
Monday May 31
Capitol Records in America release The Beatles' single 'Got To Get You Into My Life'/'Helter Skelter'.
In America, George becomes a part of the Warner Communications Inc., Big Button promotional campaign. He appears in a promotional picture which runs until December in various US trade papers, as well as in Cashbox magazine and the Hollywood Reporter.
Still in America, in the grounds of his Los Angeles home, Ringo gives a 31-minute interview for the Australian television programme Magic Camera.
Monday June 7
The Beatles' double album compilation, Rock 'N' Roll Music, is released by Capitol in America, where they announce that the double-album will be backed by "the largest selling campaign" in the history of the music business. In England, where the compilation is released on Friday June 11, a rather evasive EMI spokesman announced: "I can tell you nothing about the album's release because I am sworn to secrecy under the pain of direst consequences. A statement will be released and thereTl be no information until then."
The full 28-track listing, featuring previously released recordings is: side one: 'Twist And Shout', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'You Can't Do That', 'I Wanna Be Your Man', 'I Call Your Name', 'Boys' and 'Long Tall Sally'; side two: 'Rock 'N' Roll Music', 'Slow Down', 'Kansas City', 'Money (That's What I Want)', 'Bad Boy', 'Matchbox' and 'Roll Over Beethoven'; side three: 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy', 'Any Time At All', 'Drive My Car', 'Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby', 'The Night Before', 'I'm Down' and 'Revolution';
side four: 'Back In The USSR', 'Helter Skelter', 'Taxman', 'Got To Get You Into My Life', 'Hey Bulldog', 'Birthday' and 'Get Back'.
The album retails in the UK for £4.50. Fifteen thousand copies of the album are shipped out from EMI's factory in Hayes, Middlesex, to meet the heavy demand for the release in Japan.
Saturday June 12
John and Yoko join Ringo at the Cherokee Studios m Hollywood, where he is currently recording his latest album Ringo's Rotogravure. John plays piano on the tracks 'A Dose Of Rock 'N' Roll' and on his own composition 'Cookin' (In The Kitchen Of Love)', which will be John's last studio recording session until August 4 1980 when he begins work, with Yoko, on the album Double Fantasy (see entry).
Saturday June 19
Rock 'N' Roll Music reaches number 11 in the UK album charts.
Wednesday June 23
During a press conference at the World Trade Center in New York, Radio Caroline DJ Ronan O'Rahilly introduces a new four-piece band comprising of Mickey Gallagher, Charlie Charles, John Turnbull and Norman Wattroy who call themselves Loving Awareness. The reason for the press conference? They are intending to change their name to The Beatles! The four lads announce to open-mouthed reporters: "We have written to John, George, Paul and Ringo suggesting that, since they no longer use the name, they relinquish it to Loving Awareness, who will be happy to cany on in their tradition." When asked about the name change, famed New York promoter Sid Bernstein remarks: "I believe the boys are sincere about their music but the new name's got to go!"
Friday June 25
In England, to further promote the Rock 'N' Roll Music album, Parlophone release the 24th official Beatles single, coupling 'Back In The USSR' with 'Twist And Shout'. (It will reach number 19 in the UK chart.) EMI compile a promotional film for the A-side, featuring miscellaneous clips of The Beatles' visits to Holland in 1964 and Germany in 1966.
Monday June 28
Geraldo Rivera interviews Paul, Linda and Wings about the success of their American tour on his American late-night ABC TV show Goodnight America. During the course of the interview, excerpts from the Wings June 10 Seattle concert ('Band On The Run' and 'Yesterday') are shown for the first time. The group also take the opportunity to promote their new single 'Let 'Em In'/'Beware My Love', which is released today. (The UK release takes place on July 23. The single will reach number one in America and number two in the UK. It is also worth noting that a special 12" version, housed in a leopard skin cover and featuring a disco version of the B-side, is released in France.)
Tuesday June 29
Further excerpts from Wings' Seattle concert on June 10 are transmitted on the ABC TV breakfast show Good Morning America.
Ringo shows oft his new look, appearing bald after visiting a barber's shop in Monte Carlo. His new companion during this period is actress Vivienne Venturi.
An exhibition of Stuart Sutcliffe's paintings, organised by his mother Millie, is put on display at a South London art gallery.
Saturday July 10
In the US album charts, Rock 'N' Roll Music reaches number two.
Paul and Linda, as well as Rod Stewart, Jesse Ed Davis, Jan and Dean, Tony Kaye and Leo Sayer, are among the celebrities in attendance at The Beach Boys' concert tonight in Anaheim, California. The performance has great historic significance as Brian Wilson, the genius behind the group, is performing live with The Beach Boys for the first time in 12 years.
Saturday July 17
In the UK music press, EMI Records reveal that, due to the success of the Rock 'N' Roll Music album, they intend to release further Beatles compilation albums in the future, although, according to EMI bosses, they "do not intend to saturate the record buying public."
Saturday July 24
In the singles charts, 'Back In The USSR' reaches number 19 in the UK, while in America, 'Got To Get You Into My Life' reaches number seven.
Monday July 26
While Paul revels in the success of a sell-out American tour and constant hit records with Wings, George fails to deliver an album due to A&M Records under the terms of his original contract. George cites a serious bout of hepatitis as the reason for the delay in the completion of Thirty Three And A Third.
Tuesday July 27
John finally wins his five-year battle against the Immigration Authorities, when his American application for a 'green card' is approved (no. 17-597-321). Effectively, this allows him to remain permanently in the US and, most importantly, leave and re-enter the country without any problems. John is also able to apply for full American citizenship in 1981. The 90-minute hearing takes place at the downtown New York offices of the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service, where Judge Ira Fieldsteel officially hands John the green card. Ironically, it was Fieldsteel who had handed down the decision ordering John to leave America on March 23 1973. When the verdict is announced, John embraces Yoko and the packed courthouse bursts into spontaneous applause. The celebrities present who testify for John include the American news reporter Geraldo Rivera, the actress Gloria Swanson, the sculptor Isamu Noguchi and the writer Norman Mailer, who describes John as "one of the great artists of the Western world". Close friends of the Lennons, Peter Boyle and John Cage are also present in the courthouse.
The day begins with the judge reading a brief resume of the history of the case, which had begun on August 31,1971 when John last entered America. He has remained in the country ever since, refusing to leave in case he is not permitted to return.
John, wearing a white shirt, black suit and tie, cowboy boots and sporting a short-cropped haircut, is called to give evidence, answering questions from his attorney Leon Wildes:
"Have you ever been convicted of any crime anywhere in the US?"
"Have you ever been a member of the Communist Party or any other organisation that may seek to overthrow the US Government by force?"
"Do you intend to make the US your home?"
John: "I do."
"Will you continue your work here?"
John: "Yes. I wish to continue to live here with my family and continue making music."
Wildes then asks John if there is anything he has to add in connection with his request to be granted permanent residency.
John: "I'd like to publicly thank Yoko, my wife, for looking after me and pulling me together for four years, and giving birth to our son at the same time. There are many times that I wanted to quit, but she stopped me. I'd also like to thank a cast of thousands, famous and unknown, who have been helping me publicly and privately for the last four years. And last, but not least, I'd like to thank you, my attorney, Leon Wildes, for doing a good job well, and I hope this is the end of it."
Leon Wildes then calls the first of several witnesses to speak on behalf of John. The first is Mr. Sam Trust, President of ATV Music Corporation, which owns the rights to John's compositions. He says: "There are two very positive reasons why Mr. Lennon should be allowed to remain in the US. The music scene in the US is in the doldrums right now, and the current resurgence of interest in The Beatles and their material proves that they are the most powerful source of music in the last 30 years. I believe we can look forward to many new innovations in music if Lennon is allowed to remain in this country. The second point is that Lennon is a tremendous revenue generator. The US will be the scene for the reception of that revenue if he is allowed to remain."
Next is the writer Norman Mailer: "I think John Lennon is a great artist who has made an enormous contribution to popular culture. He is one of the great artists of the Western world. We lost T.S. Eliot to England and only just got Auden back... it would be splendid to have Mr. Lennon as well!"
Next up is the broadcaster, lawyer and close friend of the Lennons, Geraldo Rivera. He, of course, was involved with John and Yoko on the 1972 One To One Concert at Madison Square Garden, which raised $90,000 for the Willowbrook School, a home for mentally retarded children in New York. To help the cause, John and Yoko donated a further $50,000 from their own money. (See entry for August 30,1972 for full details of the show.) For his testimony on behalf of John, Geraldo continues on this point: "This money liberated at least 60 retarded children from the pits of hell and set them up in small residences where they could be cared for on a 'one-to-one' basis. I believe that what was started by John and Yoko and other artists in 1972 was a turning point in the care of the mentally retarded, and if there ever was a person who deserved to stay in this country it is John Lennon."
Leon Wildes then reads a letter from the Bishop of New York, the Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, which emphasises Lennon's contribution to the culture of New York and praises him as being a "gentleman of integrity".
The final witness is Gloria Swanson who, despite her advancing years, takes to the stand appearing to be in perfect mental and physical strength. She says: "For many years I have been actively interested in the physical fitness of the youth of New York. My husband met John Lennon in a health food store in this city, and we found we had feelings in common on this subject. We feel that good food is essential to physical wellbeing and we are anti-junk food. I hope very much that he will help us in this sphere. We must educate the country and the Lennons will help to do something about it."
After a short deliberation, the Judge returns to enquire whether or not John will become a state charge (i.e. draw welfare benefit or its equivalent). The packed courthouse breaks into a subdued round of sniggers. John's attorney rises from his seat to answer this question: "On the contrary, your Honour. Mr. Lennon was a member of The Beatles, and has substantial earnings every year. It is therefore most unlikely. He is also the owner of several valuable copyrights, properties and such like."
Mr. Wildes retakes his seat and, almost immediately, the Judge speaks again to deliver this short sentence: "I find him (John) statutorily eligible for permanent residence."
John's five-year fight was over.
Leon Wildes stands up and says: "Your honour, this is one decision that I won't appeal against."
Following the hearing, John, Yoko, their friends and an army of reporters and cameramen are ushered into another room where an immigration official hands John his "green card" where he is pictured with Yoko, accepting it. The card had already been prepared, which suggests that John's fate had been decided prior to today's hearing. (Bob Gruen took the picture on the card on New Year's Day this year.)
Outside the building, surrounded by the large crowd, a happy and relieved looking John says: "It's great to be legal again. I'll tell my baby. I thank Yoko and the Immigration Service who have finally seen the light of day. It's been a long and slow road, but I am not bitter. I can't get into that. On the contrary, now I can go and see my relations in Japan and elsewhere. Again I thank Yoko, I've always thought there's a great woman behind every idiot."
As the Lennons again pose for the army of photographers and television crews, with the "green card" proudly held aloft, Melody Maker's Chris Charlesworth, who was present at the hearing, remarks to John: "Hey John, well done! I'll tell you something... have you noticed? Your green card is actually blue!" (Ironically, after years of searching for the elusive green card, John now realises, to his amusement, that it is actually blue.)
A reporter then asks John: "Will you now apply to become a full US citizen?" John replies: "I will first enjoy the advantages of holding a green card before making up my mind on that point. The main thing is that I can travel now. Until today my attorney wouldn't even let me go to Hawaii for a vacation in case I couldn't get back. Whenever I flew to Los Angeles I was paranoid in case the plane was diverted to Toronto on the way." He is then asked, considering the previous five years of turmoil, why do you still want to live in America? John replies: "If I had lived 2,000 years ago I would have wanted to live in Rome. New York is the Rome of today. Now I'm going home to crack open a tea-bag and start looking at some travel catalogues."
In fact John and Yoko do not do that. Instead they visit the well-known Upper East Side ice cream parlour Serendipity's where, for this time only, John breaks his "no sugar" diet and indulges m some chocolate.
Friday July 30
In England, despite a last minute attempt by George and Ringo to halt the release, the Polydor double album The Beatles Tapes is released in the UK featuring David Wigg's individual interviews with the four Beatles, originally broadcast on the BBC Radio One series Scene And Heard. George and Ringo base their bid for a High Court injunction on the point that the views expressed then do not necessarily hold true now. Mr. Justice Rubin unfortunately sides with Polydor and rejects their injunction.
Meanwhile, at Paul's private studios in Scotland, during a break from Wings activities, Denny Laine records the album Holly Days, which features Paul playing most of the instruments on the album and providing backing vocals. During the month, Paul records demo versions of the following songs: 'Heartbeat', 'Moondreams', 'Rave On', 'I'm Gonna Love You Too', 'Fool's Paradise', 'It's So Easy - Listen To Me' (medley) and 'Look At Me'.
Tuesday August 3
BBC 1 transmits, for the fourth time in the UK, The Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day's Night (between 6:45 and 8:09pm) and thus launches a four-week series of their films on a Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the corporation announces that Shea Stadium and Magical Mystery Tour do not figure in these plans.
Saturday August 7
A quick look at the UK singles charts reveal 'Back In The USSR' at number 26, 'Here Comes The Sun' by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel at number 27 and 'Let 'Em In' at number 30. In the album charts, Wings At The Speed Of Sound is at number 14, Rock 'N' Roll Music is at number 20 and The Beatles Tapes reaches number 45. In the American singles listings 'Got To Get You Into My Life' is at number three and 'Let 'Em In' is at number four, while in the album charts, Wings At The Speed Of Sound is placed at number three and Rock 'N' Roll Music is at number six.
Tuesday August 10
In the second of this four-week series, BBC1 broadcasts The Beatles' 1965 film Help! (between 6:45 and 8:09pm). This is its fourth UK TV transmission on the station.
Saturday August 14
'Let 'Em In' reaches number three in the US singles chart.
Monday August 16
The Wings album Band On The Run is issued in the Soviet Union on the Melodiya label.
Tuesday August 17
The Beatles' 1968 film Yellow Submarine is transmitted, for the second time, on BBC1 tonight between 6:46 and 8:09pm.
Saturday August 21
Paul and Linda attend the annual Knebworth Festival in Hertfordshire, not to perform but to watch performances by Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Rolling Stones.
Tuesday August 24
Eight months after receiving its British television premiere. The Beatles' 1970 film Let It Be is transmitted again on BBC1 (between 6:51 and 8:09pm) thereby concluding the month-long run of Beatle movies on the station. Asked again why they did not show Shea Stadium or Magical Mystery Tour, the BBC respond by repeating: "We could not obtain the broadcasting rights." (Incidentally, the TV rights for MMT at this stage are held by Japanese Television.) Beatles fans around the country are incensed with the non-appearance of Magical Mystery Tour and begin putting pen to paper.
Saturday August 28
'Let 'Em In' makes number two in the UK charts.
At 1pm today, Britain's first Beatles convention takes place at St Andrews Hall in Norwich. Amongst the highlights of this 12-hour event is an exhibition of Beatles memorabilia, an auction, a flea market, a talk by Allan Williams and another public airing of the legendary Star Club tapes from 1962. The promoter is Dave Chisnell, who, a month prior to the convention, announces that he anticipates up to 2,000 people to attend. He adds: "If this one goes well we may take the whole convention on the road and set it up in the major cities around the country. We are certainly hoping that there will be enough interest to make it an annual event. I got the idea for it when I met Paul McCartney in New York on the Wings tour. I mentioned it to him and he thought it was great. It is inspired by the American conventions they had and I really do not know why Britain has not done it before. We have sold 1,000 tickets already, including 400 in Liverpool. We have also invited The Beatles to attend, but I cannot say I am all that confident they will turn up." But things turn sour for Chisnell when, just a week before the convention, he is threatened with legal action if he continues with a plan to show the film of the 1965 Shea Stadium concert. "We were told by Suba Films, which is a subsidiary of Apple, that they will sue us if the film went on because of copyright and permission to use it," he remarks. "This is a blow because it was something a lot of people were looking forward to. We have some legal people working for us investigating some loopholes which may allow us to go ahead, but it is all very complicated." The convention, with a suitable replacement for the Shea Stadium film, is a great success with an attendance totalling 2,000 fans. Extra exhibits on the day include a display of paintings by Stuart Sutcliffe, which sell between £50 and £150, while at an auction, a set of American bubblegum cards go for £8 and a single cartoon drawing by Sutcliffe realises only £7. Due to the success, Chisnell announces plans to stage a similar two-day event in London towards the end of the year.
Following the recent run of Beatles movies on BBC1 (August 3 to 24 - see entry), Beatles fans in England begin petitioning the Corporation demanding a repeat screening of the 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour. Their pleas go unheeded for a further three and a quarter years.
Tuesday September 7
With Paul having now owned Buddy Holly's song publishing since 1971, he stages the first Buddy Holly Week, a 7-day extravaganza celebrating the 40th anniversary of Holly's birth. On the opening day, Norman Petty, Holly's manager, co-writer and producer, is a guest of honour at a special luncheon hosted by McCartney. The event is also attended by Elton John, Queen, Roger Daltrey, Steve Harley, 10cc, Eric Clapton and Patti Boyd. During the get-together, Petty makes a speech, at the conclusion of which he presents to Paul the cuff links worn by Holly during his fateful air crash. Celebrations continue on September 9, when a special Buddy Holly night is held at London's Lyceum featuring music from three bands, Mike Berry and The Outlaws, Flight 56 and Flying Saucers. Buddy Holly Week will become an annual event. To coincide with it, Paul releases three Buddy Holly maxi-singles.
Today, George is found guilty of "subconscious plagiarism" of the 1963 Chiffons' hit 'He's So Fine' composition royalties. The late composer Ronnie Mack composed the song, but Bright Tunes pressed ahead with the case. During trial testimony, George maintains that he never intended to plagiarise 'He's So Fine' and actually had the spiritual 'Oh Happy Day' in mind when he composed the song 'My Sweet Lord'. The case resumes on November 8 (see entry).
Wednesday September 8
Capitol Radio in London broadcast a real scoop by playing, for the first time on any radio station in the world, The Beatles' version of 'Love Of The Loved' as recorded by the group during their Decca Records audition from New Years Day 1962.
Friday September 17
Sid Bernstein, the promoter of The Beatles' New York concerts in 1964, 1965 and 1966, takes out a full-page advert in today's New York Herald Tribune requesting that "The Beatles reunite for a one-off charity concert."
Meanwhile, Ringo's album Ringo's Rotogravure is released in the UK (The American release takes place on September 27.) The title is inspired by the Judy Garland and Fred Astaire 1948 film Easter Parade, that Ringo had enjoyed on TV some three years earlier. Besides John's contribution on 'Cookin' (In The Kitchen of Love)', Paul writes 'Pure Gold' (on which he contributes backing vocals) and George writes 'I'll Still Love You'. The album makes number 28 in the US charts. Ringo is naturally asked how he received contributions from John, Paul and George.
"Well, Paul asked to write a song. I asked John and he worked on it and worked on it and eventually he came up with 'You Got Me Cooking' (sic). You know he's really into that now - cooking! I also asked George to write one, but there was an old one of his that was never released by anybody that I always loved. I was on the session when it was recorded so, in the end, I asked him if instead of writing one, could I have that old one? He said fine; it saved him a job. It's called 'I Still Love You', a big ballady thing." (Note: Although George allows Ringo to record the song, he is not pleased with the result and takes legal action against Ringo. The action is resolved later this year.)
Ringo is asked if he has seen Sid Bernstein's latest advertisement asking The Beatles to reform for one more concert? "I haven't read it properly," he replies. "But if it is another one of those things that offers us the moon to do one concert - as of now, it is out! Look, people have been asking us to do this thing for so long and offering us God-knows how much, but they don't seem to realise - we didn't start doing it for money, and we ain't going to end it that way. The Beatles were formed because four guys wanted to get together and play. Now those four guys are going their separate ways. I can't speak about what might happen in five years time, but as of now - no Beatles! We just don't need it"
"But", the reporter insists, "John and Paul both appear on your new album."
"Well, look", replies an irritated Ringo, "we are brothers. We will be close forever. You do not come through all we did and not have love for each other and occasionally we drop in on each other's albums."
"George didn't appear though," the reporter asks again, "was that to avoid the album being called 'By The New Beatles'?"
"No," Ringo insists. "George was in London. The album was recorded in Los Angeles."
Today, George arrives in Los Angeles for a meeting with A&M executives over the non-delivery of his latest album.
Wings Short European Tour:
September 19 - 27
Wings return to live performances with a four-date tour of Europe, which includes performances in:
Vienna, Austria (Sunday September 19)
Zagreb, Yugoslavia (Tuesday September 21)
Venice, Italy (Saturday September 25)
Munich, Germany (Monday September 27)
Saturday September 18
Paul, Linda and Wings arrive in Austria to be greeted by an official EMI welcoming committee and a huge banner, which reads "EMI Records In Austria Welcomes Paul McCartney + Wings In Vienna". Then, after posing for a handful of photographers, Paul tells the waiting reporters that the first thing he is going to do in this beautiful city is "get some sleep!"
Monday September 20
Paul is given an American record industry award for being voted Top Male Vocalist of the Year.
Friday September 24
Wings arrive in Venice, Italy. Paul, Linda and the kids spend this first day sightseeing the beautiful town and taking a ride on a gondola.
Saturday September 25
Wings perform a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) benefit concert in St. Mark's Square, Venice, where they help raise $50,000 towards restoring the historic city and help stop it from sinking. The show, part of a week of concerts in the city, which features Ravi Shankar, Peter Ustinov and Mort Schuman, is a great success but unfortunately the weight of the equipment used by the group causes subsidence damage in the area. As part of the deal, Wings perform free of charge and Paul agrees to pay for transport of their equipment, but the organising committee foot their hotel bills and the cost of erecting the stage and seating in the Piazza. To offset the massive investment for this one concert, Paul arranges for the other concerts (on September 19, 21 and 27) to take place on either side of the Venice concert. It is attended by approximately 15,000 people, all paying around £10 a head.
Monday September 20
Ringo's single 'A Dose Of Rock And Roll'/'Cryin' ' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on October 15.) Because he is currently a tax exile, all promotional interviews for the release of this and the Rotogravure album are carried out in his room at the George V Hotel in Paris, France. Capitol Radio DJ Tony Prince is among those present today, and he asks Ringo if he has seen the Sid Bernstein Beatles reunion offer?
Ringo replies in no uncertain terms: "I think Sid Bernstein is trying to get his name in the papers. When I got up someone said, 'Have you seen this?' But I hadn't, it was too long to read. I realised the whole gist of the situation is that he wants to give us $230 million. I don't know how long he wants us to play, it's good for five minutes, but I don't know why all this pressure is on us. We're busy all the time. I'm here promoting this album and he's put that out and all I'm gonna get from you and everyone else is 'Sid Bernstein said this'. I don't care about Sid Bernstein; I'm promoting my record. I don't know what the others (John, Paul and George) are gonna say about it, but it won't be now. Next week someone's gonna come in with $500 million. It annoys me because I have to spend all this energy all the time talking about it when we should be talking about something else. That's when it annoys me. If that hadn't been in the papers we would have passed right over it. We've just spent ten minutes talking about this guy who writes to a newspaper." (The interview is transmitted on Capitol Radio the following Friday October 1.) Ringo also records an interview with Radio Luxembourg, which is transmitted in two parts, the first part on October 2, with the second transmitted on October 10. Further promotions for the album also include an interview for the Dutch station AVRO Radio, which is transmitted on October 4.
Thursday September 23
Further European promotions for his Rotogravure album take place today, when Ringo holds a press conference in Milan, Italy.
Friday September 24
During an evening out at a New York restaurant, John and Yoko are briefly interrupted at their table by the roving reporter Ugly George from the local subscription channel Manhattan Cable. Ugly George is possibly best remembered for persuading attractive young females off the street to remove their clothes for his late night TV show. With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that George asks John: "How much of the dialogue that you wrote as a part of The Beatles in the Sixties and today, is associated with sex?" John replies by saying how "fish and finger pie", as used in The Beatles' track 'Penny Lane', was "an old colloquial Liverpool saying for frigging!" In response to Ugly George's question about Manhattan Cable's policy of cutting back on sex on the TV, John replies: 'Tits and arse is good here, they should show more!"
Tuesday September 28
In Los Angeles, A&M Records sue George for $10 million, claiming that he has failed to comply with the terms of his original contract by not completing an album by the July 26 deadline and for not returning the £588,000 advance. The company also seeks a court injunction preventing George from making any more records until the case is heard. Asked about the action by A&M, George says he is "astonished and saddened" by the move. Both parties mutually agree to terminate the contract and swiftly resolve the matter. George subsequently retains Warner Brothers services to distribute his Dark Horse label.
Later, George reflects on the trouble: "When you hear about somebody getting sued for something, all it gets down to is the first press release seems to be the good guy. And that's the case, as it happened. It came in the papers about A&M suing me because I didn't deliver an album, but it goes much deeper than that. What happened was, we had a deal for Dark Horse and I had a deal for myself, which didn't happen until this year because I was with EMI and Capitol. They were trying to get together over the two years to finalise all the details. The attorney who was with them when they made the deal was not the one with them when they were filling in the details. He read the deal and he said they were going to use my money to offset Dark Horse. We said, 'No. No. It's in the contract. It has been there for two years. You don't cross-collateralise me and Dark Horse.' And the attorney said, 'I can't believe the other attorney did this to you.' So, in effect, what happened was they realised they had not made themselves such a good deal. Instead of phoning me up and saying, 'Now look George, we have made ourselves a bad deal. Let's talk about it and work it out', they found the only legal grounds they had was that I had had hepatitis, so my album was two months delayed. We had, in the original contract, that I would give it to them around the 25 of July. And so they picked on that legal point and said, 'Okay, we'll get him on that.' I arrived in LA with my album under my arm, all happy, and I was given this letter saying, 'Give us back the million dollars', which was an advance, 'and give us the album, and when you give us the album, you don't get the million back.' Now, I turned down a great deal from Capitol and EMI which was of more value, from the money point of view, and guarantees, than what I took with A&M. But I took that because of the relationship we were, supposedly, going to have, which it turned out we never did. And that was it. I couldn't live with that sort of situation, so I left. We backed the truck up to the office and filled it with our stuff and we went off. But, almost overnight, me and Dark Horse Records were transferred from A&M on one side of the Hollywood Hills to Warner Brothers on the other, and a new album. Thirty Three And A Third, was soon in the racks in the record stores."
Wednesday September 29
Ringo flies in to Copenhagen to undertake further promotions for Ringo's Rotogravure. From this country, he will fly into Holland for Rotogravure promotions in early October.
A pair of Paul's old leather trousers are taken to America by Allan Williams to be auctioned. They had belonged to the singer Faron Rufley and were left by mistake in his suitcase during 1962. Rufley's mother later found the trousers in the attic of their home and subsequently gave them to Williams to sell.
Paul spends most of the month at Abbey Road studios listening to over 90 hours of tapes recorded during Wings' tour of America, with the intention of selecting material for the triple Wings Over America album, scheduled for release at the end of the year.
Apple Corps Ltd. sell its freehold interest in their four-storey Georgian building at 3 Saville Row, London.
Saturday October 2
On the American NBC TV show Saturday Night Live, host Lorne Michaels revisits the sketch involving an appeal for The Beatles to get back together ...
"Hi, I'm Lorne Michaels. Several months ago I made a bona-fide offer of $3,000 to The Beatles to perform on Saturday Night. For months there was no response and then about two weeks ago, I got a long distance phone call from Eric Idle, tonight's host, in London saying that if I would let him come over and host the show, he would bring The Beatles with him. Well, in my excitement, I agreed and foolishly sent him the cheque for $3,000. You see, he said The Beatles wanted the money in advance so that they could buy some new clothes to wear on the show. Well, when I met Eric at the airport last Monday, I noticed that he was alone. So I said, 'Where are they, I mean The Beatles.' He said, 'Well, their new clothes weren't ready yet, so they were going to catch a later flight.' I still didn't think anything was wrong, until yesterday, when a telegram arrived saying, 'Can't come now. Ringo's pants too long ... Stop ... Please send more money for alterations ... Stop ... Signed The Beatles.' When I showed the telegram to Eric, he said he would call London immediately and did, and convinced John, Paul, George and Ringo to send over a film instead. Well, 20 minutes ago, the film arrived from England. I just saw it and it's ... quite good, only it's not The Beatles, it's The Rutles. Evidently, Eric had a bad phone connection to London and, well, anyway... it's halfway through the show and Eric's already spent the $3,000, so ladies and gentlemen, here are The Rutles ...
"The fabulous Rutland sound, created by the fab-four, Dirk, Stig, Nasty and Barry... who created a musical legend that will last a lunchtime."
With that, The Rutles are launched in America. The success of this early film sequence leads to the full-blown Rutles TV special entitled All You Need Is Cash, which will premiere m America on March 22 and in the UK on BBC2 on March 27,1978. (The 75-minute film continues to be shown around the world, with one of its most recent screenings occurring on the Paramount Comedy Channel as part of a Monty Python Weekend on Sunday October 25,1998, and then, more recently on the station on Friday February 5,1999.) 6 In the UK, Melody Maker publishes an exclusive interview with Ringo carried out with Ray Coleman in Paris at the George V Hotel.
Ringo takes a swipe at EMI over their policy of repackaging vintage Beatles recordings without consulting any former members of the group. In particular, he is angry over the cover design for the compilation album Rock 'N' Roll Music. "I'd like some power over whoever is at EMI who's putting out these lousy Beatles compilations. They can do what they like with all our old stuff, we know that. It's theirs. But Christ man, I was there. I played on those records and you know how much trouble we used to go to just getting the running order right, so those tempos of songs are nicely planned and everything? And the album covers! John rang them up and asked them if he could draw them one ... John told me he was told to 'piss off'. All of us looked at the cover and could hardly bear to see it. It was terrible! So listen EMI, if you're reading this - please let us know what you're doing with the records we made. We'd like it done, how do I say, nicely!"
(Note: When told of Ringo's reaction, EMI gave this reply: "It is a little bit difficult to comment directly on this as (the Rock 'N' Roll Music album) was generated from Capitol in America. But every step was taken to involve all The Beatles in the project. We gather that at the crucial time, when the design for the cover had to be in hand, the Capitol people were unable to contact John for a final meeting. We are very concerned that in repackaging and re-promoting, we maintain the artistic integrity of the catalogue and the more involvement that we can have with any of The Beatles we would welcome.")
Ringo is also asked why he lives in Monte Carlo? "It's the tax thing. If you want to keep any of your bread, it seems that you've got to stay out of England ... I'd rather live in England, but, well, I want some bread."
The reason for the magnifying glass with each copy of his new album Ringo's Rotogravure? "So that the album buyers would have no problem in reading the graffiti on the back." (This depicts a picture of the front door at Apple's now derelict headquarters at 3 Saville Row in London, which now carries inscriptions from Beatles fans, saying, amongst many things, that John should get his green card.)
Ringo is asked: "But yet, how come you picture it and highlight it, with a magnifying glass on the back of your album which purports to establish Ringo as a personage beyond Beatlemania?"
"Couldn't resist it," he replies. "Anyway, I knew that if I didn't put it on the cover of my album, John'd have it on his and as he's not got a record coming out, I thought I'd get in fast."
Ringo is asked: "How did you feel about George's 'My Sweet Lord' episode?"
He replies: "George was very unlucky. There's no doubt that the tune is similar but how many songs have been written with other melodies in mind? George's version is much heavier than The Chiffons - he might have done it with the original in the back of his mind, but he's just very unlucky that someone wanted to make it a test case in court. If I'd written 'He's So Fine', I guess I'd have sued if I'd wanted some money."
Finally, Ringo is asked why he shaved his head bald recently?
"To see what it looked like and to make sure I didn't have boils or anything on my scalp."
Ringo's final words to Ray Coleman? "Hey, we haven't talked much about the new album..."
Later this evening, Paul is interviewed by Tony Prince for the 60-minute Radio Luxembourg programme, suitably called A McCartney Special.
Monday October 4
At 4pm, in the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam, Holland, Ringo gives an interview for the Dutch fanzine Beatles Unlimited.
Tuesday October 5
During his stay in Holland, Ringo makes a 15-minute live appearance on the AVRO NED2 programme Voor De Vuist Weg, hosted by Williem Duys, the highlight of which occurs when Ringo proceeds to cut off the tie of the host. To conclude the appearance, the promotional clip of 'You Don't Know Me At All' is transmitted. Shortly after the interview, Ringo returns to the States.
Saturday October 9
As a present for his 36th birthday, Ringo sends Cherry Vanilla over to John and Yoko's Dakota apartment, where she delivers her own special version of Romeo & Juliet! John and Yoko announce plans to release a book entitled 365 Days Of Sean, which consists of photographs of Sean, taken by Bob Gruen, from every day of Sean's first year.
Wings Live At The Empire Pool In Wembley, London, England
Tuesday October 19 - Thursday October 21
To climax their massive world tour, Wings perform three sell out concerts at the Empire Pool in Wembley, with tickets priced between £1.80 and £3.50. The shows begin at 8pm each night Problems occur when some fans, who had bought expensive £3.50 tickets, are unable to see Wings on stage. This is caused by a huge loudspeaker gantry, which blocks the view for several hundred seats. One concertgoer Martin Griffiths complains: "I paid £14 for four tickets but none of my party could see a thing! It mined what could have been a great concert." A spokesman for the Empire Pool announces: "Anyone disappointed with their seats should apply to the promoter Harvey Goldsmith for refunds."
Tuesday October 19
Wings are featured live, backstage at the Empire Pool with Eamonn Andrews, during the Thames ITV regional programme Today (transmitted in the London region of ITV only between 6:00 and 6: 34pm). Eamonn talks to the group about their world tour and the Wembley concerts. Joining Wings are two members of the Wings Fun Club, Alan Springate and Debra Enderby, who travelled to America with the Daily Mirror Pop Club to see Wings perform at Madison Square Garden.Thursday October 21
Following the show, Wings attend a special party, organised and paid for, by EMI Records in London. Amongst the guests are 10cc, Kiki Dee, Old Grey Whistle Test presenter Bob Harris and the Supersonic ITV music show producer, Mike Mansfield.
Friday October 29
In Atlantic's New York studios, Ringo records the unreleased track 'I Can Hear You Calling'.
October & November
The Wamer Brothers promotional films to accompany the songs 'Crackerbox Palace', True Love' and This Song' are distributed to selected TV stations around the world. During November, George records an interview for Granada ITV's Granada Reports programme, to promote his new album, which is transmitted only in the northern region of England.
In November, the Star Trek producer Gene Rodenberry approaches Wings, while they are working at Abbey Road Studios on their new live album, to appear in his new science-fiction musical concerning "an invasion from space". The original proposal is for Wings to simply play themselves. Work is scheduled to commence in January. (The film fails to materialise.)
Also in November, it's announced that filming is scheduled to begin early next year on the big-screen film version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, starring Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees.
Friday November 5
"The world's greatest recording artists, perform Lennon & McCartney's greatest songs on the greatest album ever."
The all-star soundtrack album All This And World War II is released. The double album features Elton John, Rod Stewart, David Essex, The Bee Gees, Bryan Ferry, Roy Wood, Keith Moon, Jeff Lynne, The Four Seasons, Helen Reddy, Richard Coctaine, Peter Gabriel and Tina Turner and others all performing covers of well-known Beatles songs. There is also an 88-minute black and white Fox/Lou Reisner film featuring the covers of Beatles songs interwoven with clips from World War II newsreels, including one of 'The Fool On The Hill' - accompanying shots of Hitler at his mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
Saturday November 6
'A Dose Of Rock 'N' Roll' reaches number 26 in the American charts.
Monday November 8
George's album The Best Of George Harrison is released in America. (The UK release takes place on November 20.) The track listing for the record is as follows: side one: 'Something', 'If I Needed Someone', 'Here Comes The Sun', 'Taxman', 'Think For Yourself', 'For You Blue' and 'While My Guitar Gentiy Weeps'; side two: 'My Sweet Lord', 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)', 'You', 'Bangia Desh', 'Dark Horse' and 'What Is Life'.
George is asked about the release. "Well, I did have a suggestion - which I made to Capitol early in the year - as to a title and a format of songs."
Did they take your suggestion? "No. What they've done is take a lot of songs which happen to be me singing lead on my songs which were Beatles songs, when there was really a lot of good songs they could have used of me separately. Solo songs. I don't see why they didn't do that. They did that with Ringo's Blast From Your Past and John's Shaved Fish. It was just John's. It wasn't digging into Beatles records."
Also today, in the case over George's plagiarism over the song 'He's So Fine', damages totalling $587,000 are awarded to Bright Tunes. The damages are eventually paid on February 26,1981, ironically to former Beatles' manager Allen Klein's company ABKCO, which had purchased the rights to 'He's So Fine' in 1980.
Also today, Capitol release The Beatles' single 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da'/'Julia'.
Friday November 12
Tonight, on BBC2 in England (between 9:01 and 9:29pm), the first-ever clip of The Rutles, performing the Neil Innes song 'I Must Be In Love', is screened during episode one of series two of Rutland Weekend Television. (The three-minute clip was filmed on Monday November 24,1975, and premiered in America on October 2 earlier this year. See relevant entries.)
Monday November 15
George's single 'This Song'/'Leaming How To Love You' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on November 19.)
Wednesday November 17
In Los Angeles, George attends a special dinner at Chasen's on Hollywood Boulevard, arranged by Wamer Brothers to announce a worldwide distribution deal with Dark Horse records. (Currently on their books are Splinter, Attitudes, Kenny Burke and Stairsteps.) Before entering the restaurant, George chats briefly to waiting reporters.
Reporter: "Are you going to expand the Dark Horse roster?"
George: "No. I'm not interested in signing a lot I made up my mind over the last year what we've got, and basically I'll keep it at that and see how it goes. I don't want to get into a big deal. It's too time-consuming. But if we do well we'll see how things go. If we don't do well I'll just keep it small."
Reporter: "What about a tour?"
George: "I had some dates planned for this year but I became sick halfway through the album and had to stop. I was sick in bed for two and a half months with hepatitis so I had to cancel the dates. It was going to be Germany, Amsterdam, London, Paris and Japan, which was the first part of the tour, so I'm going to do that next year. I'm going to India for Ravi Shankar's niece's wedding and I'll stay in India for a while and be back here around January and maybe make a new album and then go on the road next summer. An American tour would probably be next summer. It takes such a long time to organise things like that."
Reporter: "What about a band?"
George: "No, not at the moment. But I'd try and keep it real simple and have to wait and see how that will evolve."
Reporter: "What did you learm from your first solo tour?"
George: "I learned that I should make sure that I have plenty of rest before it. Because last time I had such a heavy work schedule that I did myself in right before the tour. I just had no throat. I learned a lot of things. Possibly I'll do a Dark Horse tour this time and take some of the other Dark Horse acts. A special show."
During the luncheon, a short colour film of George performing Fleetwood Mac's 'Go Your Own Way' on an acoustic guitar is shown to the Warner Brothers personnel. Derek Taylor, the former Beatles' press officer, also attends.
Friday November 19
In New York, in Studio 8-H at 30, Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, George and Paul Simon record several songs for the NBC TV show Saturday Night live. The broadcast, which takes place the following day, includes acoustic performances of 'Here Comes The Sun' and 'Homeward Bound', as well as the promotional films for 'Crackerbox Palace' (directed by Eric Idle) and 'This Song' (directed by George). Also rehearsed (and taped) by George and Paul are performances of 'Bye, Bye, Love', a brief snippet of 'Don't Let Me Wait Too Long', 'Yesterday', 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', 'Rock Island Line', a brief 'Flight Of The Valkyries' and a reprise of 'Here Comes The Sun'. (Their performance of 'Homeward Bound' will appear on the charity album Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal, which is released on July 24, 1990.)
At the start of tonight's Saturday Night Live show, which is neatly arranged to coincide with the November 24 release of George's much delayed album Thirty Three And A Third, George is seen asking Lorne Michaels if he can have the promised $3,000 Beatles reunion money. Michaels insists, "If it was up to me, you could have the money. But NBC wouldn't agree." (Incidentally, the UK release for the album Thirty Three And A Third takes place today.) Promotional adverts for the album feature George's original birth certificate underneath the headline: "1943 Was A Great Year For Music."
The Beatles album Magical Mystery Tour, originally released in America by Capitol Records in 1967, finally appears in the UK on Parlophone featuring the exact same track listing.
Monday November 22
Ringo's single 'Hey Baby'/'Lady Gaye' is released in America. (The UK release takes place on November 29.)
Wednesday November 24
Ringo appears on drums with The Band during the performance of 'I Shall Be Released' at their farewell performance at the Winterland in San Francisco, California. This concert is filmed by United Artists and later released to the cinema as The Last Waltz.
Tuesday November 30
This afternoon, at 40 Royal Avenue, London SW3, George records (on 16mm film) an interview with Bob Harris for inclusion in this evening's edition of the late night rock music programme The Old Grey Whistle Test, transmitted on BBC2 between 23:19pm and 00:01am. The feature lasts for 10 minutes and 58 seconds and includes the promotional films for 'This Song' and 'True Love'.
A new big glossy book is published by Jonathan Cape, entitled Linda's Pictures, which features work from her early days on Rolling Stone through her days at New York's Fillmore East Theater to her portraits of Paul and their family. The respected photographer Terry O'Neill reviews the book in Melody Maker. "I fully expected this book to be an unmitigated disaster. However, I was very pleasantly surprised and can only take my hat off as one professional to another. Well done!"
Rumours fly around in the music industry that Eric Stewart, currently playing with the chart-topping group 10cc, will soon replace Jimmy McCulloch in Wings.
Meanwhile, Music Week magazine publishes an article under the headline:
"Worldwide Release For Pre-EMI Beatles Set." It refers to the proposed issue of the Star Club tapes and an alleged letter from The Beatles' first manager Brian Epstein, which states that: "Mr. Ted Taylor owns the tapes and is allowed to release them."
Friday December 10
The Wings triple album Wings Over America is released simultaneously in the UK and America. The album retails in the UK for £6.80. During the run-up to the final mastering of the album, Paul is reported to have spent 14 hours a day, seven days a week for six weeks working on the release. Paul prepares a special 30-second television commercial to coincide with the album's release, featuring highlights of the songs 'Live And Let Die', 'Soily', 'Yesterday' and 'Maybe I'm Amazed'.
In England, George drops into the Seven O Sound hi-fi shop in London, where he requests a copy of each of his six BBC2 Rutland Weekend Television videotapes. His £194 bill remains unpaid until October 30, 1980.
Saturday December 11
The single 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' reaches number 49 in the American charts.
Saturday December 18 & Sunday December 19
London's first Beatles convention takes place over two days at Alexandra Palace in North London. Among the highlights is the auction of George's original suit worn at Salisbury Plain during the filming of Help! in 1965. It sells for £200! A scheduled screening of Shea Stadium again fails to materialise, as does a planned transatlantic phone call with John in New York, due to be carried out with the Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince. Other events, which do go ahead, include a Beatles quiz, a Beatles karaoke sound-alike competition, an exhibition of paintings by Stuart Sutcliffe which are available to buy, the price depending on the size of the picture, and four giant Beatle effigies which, due to an unfortunate accident, sadly deflate. There is also a performance by fellow Liverpudlian chart-toppers Gerry and The Pacemakers. The event is not a success as only a few hundred fans turn up instead of the expected 4,000. Dejected organiser Dave Chisnell remarks: "I'm disappointed that a lot more fans didn't turn up but I think we did quite well considering the weather which was miserable. You've got to remember that this is the first major Beatles' convention and I think people have got to get used to the idea of having them." The event runs between 10am and 2am on the Saturday and from 12 noon until midnight on Sunday. A report on the first day of the convention appears on the BBC1 evening news.
Monday December 20
Hampshire Police in the UK announce that they are to question the staff of John Lennon in connection with the Watership Down murder of 1975. This follows a new breakthrough after a Reading taxi driver tells police that he picked up a young German girl named Richter who informed him that she "once worked for Mr. Lennon". (The original murder was of a young German girl who was found in an orchard on Watership Down on the Hampshire-Berkshire border the previous year.)
Friday December 24
George's single 'My Sweet Lord'/'What Is Life' is released in the UK.
Paul and Linda attend the opening night concert by Rod Stewart at London's Olympia. Following the show they are seen chatting backstage with Marc Bolan, Alvin Stardust, Status Quo's Rick Parfitt, Liberal leader David Steel and the actress Susan George. Paul's brother Mike and Denny Laine are also in attendance.
Saturday December 25
"Live Beatles At Star Club To Be Released."
Melody Maker reports: "The Beatles' Hamburg tapes, recorded 15 years ago in the famed Star Club, will be released as a live double album early next year. The album includes an early version of 'I Saw Her Standing There' plus 'Roll Over Beethoven' and 'Long Tall Sally'. The tapes were subsequently lost and then rediscovered by The Beatles' first manager Allan Williams while he was researching his book The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away."
Monday December 27
A further meeting is held between lawyers representing George and Bright Tunes Inc.
Friday December 31
John and Yoko spend New Years Eve at the Shun Lee Dynasty restaurant in Manhattan alongside friends including the singer Carly Simon and her husband James Taylor.
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