Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 7, 1969

Ringo Starr attends the premiere of "Candy," the film adaptation of Terry Southern's satirical novel, starring Ewa Aulin, Richard Burton, Marlon Brando, and himself. The Monthly Film Bulletin sneers, "Hippy psychedelics are laid on with the self-destroying effect of an overdose of garlic."

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 6, 1969

-The Beatles Yellow Submarine album, the soundtrack to the animated film of that name, is awarded a gold record. The album contains only four previously unreleased Beatles songs: George Harrison's It's All Too Much and Only a Northern Song and the Lennon-McCartney songs, Hey Bulldog and All Together Now.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 5, 1969

Five songs were in this session today:  I've Got A Feeling (two versions), Don't Let Me Down, Get Back (two versions), One After 909 and Dig A Pony.

At the end of the day, the mixes were assembled onto a tape compilation, although just one of them – a version of One After 909 – was selected for Johns' unreleased Get Back album.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 4, 1969

Paul McCartney hires the law firm of Eastman & Eastman, Linda Eastman's father's law firm, as general legal counsel for Apple. This was Paul's response to the hiring of Allen Klein the day before and the beginning of the end for the Fab Four.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 3, 1969

Allen Klein was appointed The Beatles' business manager today after having a meeting with the Beatles and John Eastman.

His immediate task was to examine the group's finances, and find a way to stop Brian Epstein's former company NEMS, now run by his brother Clive, from taking a quarter of their earnings.

The decision to appoint Klein was seen as a fait accompli by Paul McCartney, who had wanted his future father-in-law John Eastman to represent the group. He was, however, outvoted 3-1 by the other Beatles.

In London's High Court in early 1971, during the hearing of McCartney's lawsuit to dissolve The Beatles' partnership, the following was read out as part of Allen Klein's affidavit:

"On the morning of 3rd February 1969, I went to 3 Saville Row and saw the four Beatles, John Eastman and a few principal staff members of Apple, who were informed that my company (then still called Cameo-Parkway) had been appointed to look into the affairs of The Beatles and all their Companies. At this meeting John Eastman agreed that he would, after all, act as legal adviser to The Beatles and all their companies.

Apple issued two press announcements, one relating to my Company's appointment and a separate one relating to the appointment as lawyers of John Eastman's firm, Eastman & Eastman. Cameo-Parkway also issued a press announcement of its own, a copy of which is now produced and shown to me marked "A.K.4".

On the evening of the same day, 3rd February 1969, I met Clive Epstein and Mr Pinsker at the Dorchester Hotel to discuss with them the possible purchase by Apple of the share capital of NEMS. Clive Epstein was then Managing Director of NEMS and Mr Pinsker's firm, Bryce Hammer & Co, acted as accountants for both NEMS and The Beatles. I asked Clive Epstein if he would be willing to wait and defer a decision with regard to his disposal of NEMS for about three weeks until I had had an opportunity to assess the financial position of The Beatles and their companies. Clive Epstein agreed to defer a decision for at least three weeks. The following day I left for New York to begin an investigation into the three main sources of The Beatles' income as a verification of their financial position. The three sources were United Artists Corporation, the Company which handled The Beatles' films ("United Artists"), General Artists Corporation, which handled their American tours ("G.A.C.") and EMI and its United States subsidiary, Capitol Records Inc. Formal letters of direction were issued by The Beatles to enable me to obtain the requisite information. There is now produced and shown to me marked "A.K.5" a bundle comprising copies of these letters and other letters referred to below."

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicles - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 2, 1969

Yoko Ono is divorced from Anthony Cox in the Virgin Islands. Cox receives a divorce settlement of 6,700 pounds, and Yoko is given custody of their daughter, Kyoko.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 1, 1969

A meeting was held today at Apple's headquarters in London, where Allen Klein outlined his assessment of The Beatles' finances.

John Eastman, (Linda's Dad) soon to be Paul McCartney's father-in-law, had advised The Beatles to buy Brian Epstein's former company NEMS for £1 million.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: January 31, 1969

Today was the final day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions. The Beatles performed the songs which had been judged unsuitable for the previous day's rooftop concert.

The main purpose was to allow the film crew to capture satisfactory versions of the songs. Primary among them were Let It Be, The Long And Winding Road and Two Of Us.

Various other songs were also performed during the day, including a version of Lady Madonna featuring the lines "Lord and lady docker, in your private yacht/All the people wonder why you have such a lot". McCartney also sang on I Want You (She's So Heavy), which The Beatles had played earlier in week and were clearly keen to work on further.

Most of the takes of The Long And Winding Road were recorded after a lunchtime break. Among them was the version included on the 2003 album Let It Be... Naked. The song Let It Be proved slightly more troublesome, with The Beatles recording a total of 22 takes, beginning with a skiffle-style one with John Lennon on lead vocals, singing the words to a different melody.

Lennon was visibly bored and interjecting mischievous lines such as "And in my hour of darkness she is standing left in front of me, squeaking turds of whisky over me". McCartney, too, changed some of the lyrics, including a reference to "Brother Malcolm" (presumably Mal Evans), and changing "times of trouble" to "times of heartache".

The group did eventually record a take which – with overdubs recorded at a later date – was used on both the single and album. This was the penultimate take of the day; an edit of this and the final take was used in the Let It Be film.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: January 30, 1969

The Beatles perform on the rooftop of the Apple offices at Savile Row, London. The Beatles played tracks including "Don't Let Me Down", "I've Got a Feeling", "Dig A Pony" and "Get Back". The police arrived to halt the proceedings, but the band continued to play. Despite their protest, no arrests were made, and the performance continued for 42 minutes.

Ringo said "It was a memorable day for me - we were doin' what we did best - making music. But I am still disappointed the policemen didn't drag me off me drums!".

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: January 29, 1969

The Beatles are still working on the Get Back/Let It Be sessions. They also finally decide to perform a concert the following day on the roof of their Apple headquarters.

They spent much of the day working on versions of Two Of Us, The Long And Winding Road and Let It Be, plus others which didn't make it to the Let It Be album.

The Beatles tackled a number of George Harrison's songs, perhaps hoping that one would be suitable for inclusion in the film. The album version of For You Blue had been taped on 25 January, but three more takes were performed on this day. Also played were Something, All Things Must Pass, Let It Down and Old Brown Shoe, although none sounded like polished versions ready for release.

The final part of the session was mostly devoted to cover versions. Among them was Buddy Holly's Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues, which was heavily edited and included on Anthology 3. The Beatles also played Besame Mucho, as seen in the Let It Be film.

The session ended with a return to Teddy Boy and Two Of Us. Paul McCartney aside, the group's enthusiasm for playing the songs was noticeably waning by this stage.

Source: Mark Lewisohn - The Complete Beatles Chronicles