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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 20, 1969

The Wedding Album was released by Apple today. the third long player of experimental recordings by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

The couple's first collaboration, Two Virgins, marked the beginning of their relationship and artistic partnership. The follow-up, Life With The Lions, mostly documented their 1968 stay in London's Queen Charlotte Hospital, where Ono suffered a miscarriage.

The Wedding Album commemorated their wedding in Gibraltar on March 20, 1969. Although it was the final installment in their trilogy of avant garde and experimental recordings, the couple continued to document their lives on tape until Lennon's death in 1980.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 19, 1969

Not much happening today.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 18, 1969

Since the Beatles decided to call it quits, there's not a lot going on.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 17, 1969

No news today

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 16, 1969


The Beatles are ready to sell their Northern Songs Ltd. shares.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 15, 1969

Lennon performed Give Peace A Chance with the Plastic Ono Band at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival Festival on 13 September 1969. He introduced the song with the words "This is what we came for, really". Lennon confessed he couldn't remember the words, so largely ad-libbed during the verses. The version was released in December that year on the album Live Peace In Toronto 1969.

Give Peace A Chance quickly became a peace anthem. 50 years ago, October 15, 1969 it was sung by half a million demonstrators in Washington, DC at the Vietnam Moratorium Day, in a rendition led by folk singer Pete Seeger.

That's what it was for. I think I heard... I don't know, I just remember hearing them all singing. I don't know whether it was on the radio or TV, but that was a very big moment for me. That's what the song was about, because I'm shy and aggressive. So I have great hopes for what I do, my work. And I also have great despair that it's all pointless and shit – how can you top Beethoven or Shakespeare or whatever. And in me secret heart I wanted to write something that would take over We Shall Overcome. I don't know why, that's the one they always sang. I thought, 'Why isn't somebody writing one for the people now?' That's what my job is. Our job is to write for the people now. So the songs that they go and sing on their buses are not just love songs. I have the same kind of hope for Working Class Hero, but I know it's a different concept. I think it's a revolutionary song – it's really just revolutionary. I just think its concept is revolutionary. I hope it's for workers and not for tarts and fags. I hope it's about what Give Peace A Chance was about.
John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner

A concert version of Give Peace A Chance was included on Lennon's Live In New York City album, recorded at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1972 and released in 1986. Two concerts, matinée and evening, took place on 30 August 1972, billed as the One To One concerts with funds raised for mentally handicapped children. Give Peace A Chance was the final song performed at the second concert.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 14, 1969

Not much news today.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 13, 1969

It was an uneventful day.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 12, 1969

On this day disc jockey Russ Gibb of WKNR-FM in Detroit, MI takes a call from a listener who tells him that in “Revolution 9,” a voice says, “Turn me on, dead man.” And it’s a sign that Paul McCartney is dead. He plays the song as instructed and his listener phone line lights up with more callers offering clues that indicate that Macca “blew his mind out in a car” accident a few years earlier and was replaced by a lookalike to spare Beatles fans the grief of losing their hero.

The rumors had started with an article about three weeks earlier in the college paper at Drake University in Iowa that explored whether McCartney is dead and mentioned the backwards masked voice on “Strawberry Fields…” and other clues. Two days after Gibbs’ broadcast a University of Michigan student publishes a satirical review of Abbey Road that details the clues to McCartney’s demise on the album, a number of which he simply made up. Soon after, they are being picked up by wire services and printed in newspapers across America. On October 19th, WKNR devotes a two-hour show to the mystery.

Eventually hundreds of “clues” are “discovered” by fans. The armband Paul wears on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s supposedly reads “OPD” for “officially pronounced dead” (though it actually reads “OPP” for Ottawa Provincial Police and was given to McCartney while on tour in Canada) – just one of the many hints of Paul’s death people read into that cover. Similarly, the four Beatles striding across the street on Abbey Road represent an undertaker (Ringo in black), gravedigger (George in denim), minister (John in white) and corpse (Paul barefoot and out of step with the others). The license plate of the Volkswagen in the background reads “28 IF,” meaning McCartney would have been age 28 if he lived (though he was only 27 at the time).

If you have the time, you can spend hours on the Internet examining the plethora of clues. The fact that McCartney was in seclusion on his Scottish farm as the rumors swirled didn’t help matters. Eventually he allowed a Life magazine reporter and photographer to visit for a cover story to prove he was alive. The supreme irony is that while millions were wondering if Paul was dead, The Beatles were on their last legs as a band.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: October 11, 1969

No news to report today.