Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 23, 1969

Nothing much happening today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 22, 1969

The Beatles are not recording together today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 21, 1969

On March 21, 1969, Beatles singer, songwriter and guitarist John Lennon and his wife of a week Yoko Ono received the press at their bedside in the Presidential Suite of the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam. The couple stayed in bed for seven days ‘as a protest against war and violence in the world’.




The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 20, 1969

John Winston Lennon and Yoko Ono are married at the British Consulate in Gibraltar (near Spain) by magistrate Cecile Wheeler. Beatles aide, Peter Brown, is there to act as witness. They had flown from Paris to Gibraltar early in the morning, landing on the “rock” at 8:30 a.m. The marriage took place at 9:00 a.m. Afterwards, the couple posed for the official photographs (taken by David Nutter) with John in a white jacket, white turtleneck sweater and off-white trousers, and Yoko in a matching white mini-dress and huge floppy hat. They announce to the press that they will be staging many “events” and “happenings.” After the ceremony, they returned to Paris to their luxury suite at the Plaza Athenee Hotel. Said John, "We chose Gibraltar because it is quiet, British and friendly. We tried everywhere else first. I set out to get married on the car ferry and we would have arrived in France married. But they wouldn’t do it. We were no more successful with cruise ships. We tried embassies, but three weeks residence in Germany or two weeks in France was required."

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 19, 1969

The Beatles are taking a break from recording as well as from themselves.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 18, 1969

Lower Richmond Road, London

Location filming with Ringo for The Magic Christian, shooting outside the Star & Garter public house, by the river Thames in Putney, with Spike Milligan acting the part of a ticket-eating traffic warden.

Also, George Harrison and his wife Pattie had an initial court appearance following their drugs bust six days earlier. The hearing took place at Esher and Walton Magistrates' Court. The couple were charged with cannabis possession, and released on the surety of Apple's press officer Derek Taylor.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 17, 1969

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 16, 1969

John and Yoko have decided to get married, but not in Britain. Their first choice is to have the ceremony performed on a cross-channel ferry, but they are denied permission to board the “Dragon” at Southhampton Docks because of “inconsistencies in their passports.” Instead, they fly to Paris, where they spend four days planning their next move.

Meanwhile, Paul and Linda landed at John F Kennedy Airport in New York City. Their honeymoon lasted two weeks, and included time spent with the Eastman family.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 15, 1969

The Beatles are taking a break today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 14, 1969

After getting married, Paul and Linda McCartney, and her daughter Heather, flew to New York to spend three weeks with Linda's family.

Meanwhile, John Lennon and Yoko Ono flew to Paris on this day, because they decided that they wanted to get married on this date.

Two days before on McCartney's wedding day, Lennon and Ono were travelling to Poole in Dorset, where he introduced her to his Aunt Mimi. During the journey he asked his chauffeur Les Anthony to go to Southampton to enquire about the possibility of the wedding being held at sea, on the cross-channel ferry to France.

John Lennon said they had wanted to get married on a cross-channel ferry. "That was the romantic part: when we went to Southampton and then we couldn't get on because she wasn't English and she couldn't get the day visa to go across. And they said, 'Anyway, you can't get married. The Captain's not allowed to do it any more.'"

So they decided instead to fly to Paris. They chartered a private aeroplane to the French capital, and upon arriving checked into the Plaza Athénée. There, Apple employee Peter Brown told them they would be unable to marry as they had not lived in France for enough time. Instead, they were advised that they could hold their wedding in Gibraltar, as it was a British protectorate. The events were later recounted in Lennon's The Ballad Of John And Yoko, on 14 April 1969.

Standing in the dock at Southampton
Trying to get to Holland or France
The man in the mac said, you've got to go back
You know they didn't even give us a chance

The Ballad Of John And Yoko