Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 26, 1969

Beatles star John Lennon and his newlywed wife, Yoko Ono, spent a famous week in bed at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel to promote peace, love and pyjama power.

The couple welcomed scores of friends, fans, fellow musicians, reporters, photographers and others into suite 1742 during their seven-day retreat, which took place two months after their honeymoon bed-in at the Amsterdam Hilton.

The highlight of their bed-in was the composition and recording of Lennon’s antiwar anthem Give Peace a Chance. A piece of paper bearing the hand-written lyrics to the song, given by Lennon to star-struck Montreal teenager Gail Renard after the recording session, was sold for $800,000 at a Christie’s auction in 2008. In 2009, another Lennon placard that had adorned the hotel room — this one with the hand-written message “L’Amour et la Paix” (Love and Peace) — sold for $140,000 at a Christie’s sale in London.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 25, 1969

John and Yoko Ono had flown to the Bahamas from London the day before and wanted to recreate their second bed-in for peace at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel in Freeport.

However, after one night there, they realized that they were further from the United States than they thought, so wouldn't attract as much publicity as hoped for. Also, the sweltering heat and humidity didn't seem like a good idea for the bed-in.

John was attempting to arrange a hotel stay in Toronto, Canada. Derek Taylor, Apple Corps' press officer, then announces that he has booked a direct flight from Freeport to Toronto at 5pm. Lennon strums his acoustic guitar and sings "Good old Air Canada!"

Despite being held at Toronto airport for over two hours by immigration authorities, they were eventually allowed to enter the country. They spent the night at the King Edward Sheraton Hotel, Toronto, and the following day flew to Montreal.



The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 24, 1969

The Beatles' single, Get Back, reaches #1 in the US charts.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono (with Yoko's daughter, Kyoko) fly to Freeport, Bermuda, with the intention of holding another Bed-In for Peace, but leave when John realizes how far from the US they are. Plus, the heat and humidity are too high for comfortably staying in bed for seven days.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 23, 1969

May 23, 1969: The Beatles singer songwriter John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono at London Heathrow Airport, before flying to the Bahamas to stage a seven day 'Bed In For Peace' protest.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 22, 1969

Today, Ringo Starr, his wife Maureen and Peter Sellers, director Joe McGrath, producer Denis O'Dell, and Apple's press officer Derek Taylor set sail for New York on board the Queen Elizabeth 2 luxury liner. They docked in New York.

With principal photography on the film recently completed, the holiday laid on by Commonwealth United by way of thanks to the cast and crew for finishing on time and on budget.

The party then flew to the Bahamas, where they spent two weeks in the sun.

And...Get Back by The Beatles with Billy Preston was the #1 song on May 22, 1969. 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 21, 1969

In that special week of May people in US were listening to Get Back by The Beatles. In UK Get Back by Beatles With Billy Preston was in the top 5 hits.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 20, 1969

Beatles Splitting? Maybe, Says John

Life as a Beatle for John Lennon was never as fab or gear in the days of Beatlemania as most people believed. Nor is life as a Beatle today all that pleasant for Lennon.

In fact, he said in interviews to the British pop press, a Beatle split-up is a possibility. “It just depends how much we all want to record together. I don’t know if I want to record together again. I go off and on it.”

John, talking to the New Musical Express, explained the problem: “In the old days, when we needed an album, Paul and I got together and produced enough songs for it. Nowadays, there’s three of us writing prolifically and trying to fit it all into one album. Or we have to think of a double album every time, which takes six months.




The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 19, 1969

In UK Get Back by Beatles With Billy Preston was in the top 5 hits.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 18, 1969

In UK Get Back by Beatles With Billy Preston was in the top 5 hits.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 17, 1969

Top 20 Song Chart for May 17, 1969

1. Get Back - The Beatles with Billy Preston

2. Atlantis - Donovan

3. Oh Happy Day - The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison

4. The River is Wide - The Grass Roots

5. These Eyes - The Guess Who

6. Good Morning Starshine - Oliver

7. Love (Can Make You Happy) - Mercy

8. Grazing in the Grass - The Friends of Distinction

9. The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel

10. Hair - The Cowsills

11. In the Ghetto - Elvis Presley

12. More Today Than Yesterday - Spiral Scarecase

13. Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival

14. Goodbye - Mary Hopkin

15. Sweet Cherry Wine - Tommy James & The Shondells

16. Pinball Wizard - The Who

17. Gitarzan - Ray Stevens

18. Heather Honey - Tommy Roe

19. Time is Tight - Booker T & The MG's

20. Nothing but a Heartache - The Flirtations