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Beatles 50th Blog posts of '1969' 'November'

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 30, 1969

Ending the month with a few recording sessions here and there - Come Together in the Top 5.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 29, 1969

Come Together by The Beatles - Top 5!

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 28, 1969

On this Fall Day, work continued on Ringo Starr's debut studio album, Sentimental Journey.A new lead vocal was recorded, and a demo of another song.

The new song was Blue Turning Grey Over You, which was a 1930 hit for Louis Armstrong. A new arrangement had been written by Oliver Nelson for Sentimental Journey, and a demo recording was made on this day from 5-6.30 pm.

The backing track for the song Stardust had been recorded on November 7th, with lead vocals added on November 14th. A reduction mix was created from 6.30-8.30, to allow new vocals to be added.

Stardust was mixed in stereo towards the end of the night, in a final session lasting from 10pm to midnight.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 27, 1969

John Lennon gave an interview to radio reporter Ken Zelig two days after he returned his MBE award. The interview took place at Tittenhurst Park, Lennon's mansion in Ascot, Berkshire. Lennon said he had to send three copies of the letter: to the Queen, prime minister Harold Wilson, and "one to the someone of the Chancery" – the secretary of the Central Chancery.

When asked by Zelig why he accepted the MBE in the first place, Lennon said he was a hypocrite but had been convinced by Brian Epstein "and a few people" that it would be prudent for all The Beatles to accept. He added that he had originally put the letter from the palace in a pile of fan mail.

Zelig asked what Lennon and Yoko Ono's plans for the peace movement were against the wars in Vietnam and Biafra. Lennon said progress was being made, but said he wasn't prepared to travel to battlefields to prove his points: "We don't intend to be dead saints," he said.

With the interview taking place shortly before December, talk turned to Christmas memories. Lennon recalled receiving a harmonica in a stocking when he was eight or nine, describing it as "one of the great moments of my life". Ono remembered her family receiving a lava lamp one year, and Lennon named Good King Wenceslas as his favourite carol. He said the couple would spend Christmas 1969 together watching "all those terrible shows" on television.

Around five minutes of the interview is in current circulation. It was broadcast in seven sections in various episodes of the US radio series The Lost Lennon Tapes.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 26, 1969

You Know My Name - Today John Lennon booked a session for what he hoped would be a Plastic Ono Band single: You Know My Name (Look Up The Number), with What's The New Mary Jane on the b-side.

The 7pm-3am session began with a copy made of the third mono mix of You Know My Name made on April 30, 1969, the day the song's vocals were recorded by Lennon and Paul McCartney. 

What's The New Mary Jane had been mixed on on various dates in 1968 and 1969. A new mix, numbered stereo remix four, was made on this day, followed by a fifth that included simultaneous vocal and noise overdubs by Lennon, Yoko Ono and EMI and Apple employees who were present in the studio.

Parts of this new mix was copied onto a new tape, alongside a playback of remix stereo four, resulting in a new mix that had different parts of the song playing out of sync. It was then edited for release, and Apple announced a release date of 5 December 1969.

This never happened. Instead of being issued as a Plastic Ono Band single, this day's edit of You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) became the b-side of Let It Be in March 1970. What's The New Mary Jane, meanwhile, remained unreleased until Anthology 3 in 1996.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 25, 1969

As an act of protest against the Vietnam war. John Lennon returned his MBE to the Queen today.

Lennon's chauffeur Les Anthony returned the insignia of the award to Buckingham Palace in the morning.

Here is the handwritten letters to the Queen, prime minister Harold Wilson, and the secretary of the Central Chancery, explaining his actions. The letters were written on notepaper headed Bag Productions which was the company that John Lennon had recently set up with Yoko Ono.

The action was predictably seized on by the media. Lennon gave an interview to David Bellan of BBC Radio Four in which he explained that he had been "mulling it over" for the past two years, and that the My Lai massacre carried out by the US Army in March 1968 had contributed to his decision.

He also said he had not consulted the other Beatles before returning his MBE, and that he had only accepted it after being persuaded by Brian Epstein. Lennon also held a press conference in the afternoon at Apple, and filmed an interview for Reuters.

The Beatles had each been awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's 1965 birthday honours. The news was announced on 11 June that year, and the group received the awards at the palace on 26 October.

Lennon's MBE insignia was rediscovered in a royal vault in January 2009, 40 years after it was returned. It was found at the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood at St James's Palace, where it had been kept from its day of return. It was still in its original presentation case alongside Lennon's letter to the Queen.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 24, 1969

 Come Together by The Beatles in the top five.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 23, 1969

Come Together/Something by The Beatles was the #1 song

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 22, 1969

The Beatles are looking forward to the Holidays

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: November 21, 1969
Abbey Road Fact
 
First issued on 26th September, 1969 Abbey Road was the final Beatles album to be recorded but not their last to be released. Let It Be, though mainly recorded in January, 1969 was finally released in May, 1970 alongside the film of the same name.