This complete timeline extensively shows all of the important dates and events that forged and further strengthened what was to become the most incredible partnership in music history, that of Lennon-McCartney.
John Winston Lennon is born during a Nazi air raid in Oxford Street Maternity Hospital, Liverpool, to Julia and Freddie Lennon.
June 18, 1942
James Paul McCartney is born in Walton Hospital, Liverpool, to Mary and Jim McCartney.
Sometime in 1956
Paul McCartney composes his first song, "I Lost My Little Girl".
Sometime in 1957
John gets his first guitar, though his Aunt Mimi Smith, his guardian, cautions: "A guitar's all very well, John, but you'll never make a living out of it."
Also in 1957
John Lennon, age 16, forms the Quarry Men, a band comprised of pals from his school, Quarry Bank Grammar.
July 6, 1957
One of John Lennon's friends, Ivan Vaughan, introduces Paul McCartney, age 15, to John at a Quarry Men performance at the Woolton garden fete held at St Peter's Church. Soon after, John invites him to join the group. A tape, which research by Jim O'Donnell (author of "The Day John Met Paul") has confirmed is from this day, has surfaced and is now owned by EMI. The tape has performances of "Puttin' On the Style" and a cover of Elvis Presley's "Baby, Let's Play House" with vocals by John.
[Click HERE to listen to the actual 20-second recording of "Puttin' On The Style" that survives from this very day, in what is truly a historic piece of music made on a day that would ultimately change the shape of music forever. Note: The sound clip is obviously rough due to the ineffectiveness of recording methods at the time, but the unmistakeable voice of John Lennon can clearly be made out.]
Oct 18, 1957
The Quarry Men perform at New Clubmoor Hall (Conservative Club), Norris Green, Liverpool. This is Paul McCartney's first appearance with the group. McCartney, suffering from a case of the stage jitters, flubs his guitar solo on the song "Guitar Boogie". Upset with his playing, Paul tries to make amends by showing John the song he had written, "I Lost My Little Girl". John then shows Paul some songs that he had composed. The two start writing songs together from that moment, which marks the birth of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership.
April 24, 1960
John Lennon and Paul McCartney, performing at the Fox and Hounds Pub in Caversham, Berkshire, appear for the second and final time as "The Nerk Twins". With the pub owned by Paul's older cousin, Bett Robbins, John and Paul worked behind the bar and on Saturday night's performed as the duo. They sat on barstools with their acoustic guitars performing old-time favourites before moving on to their usual repertoire.
Oct 1, 1961
John Lennon and Paul McCartney take a two-week vacation in Paris, France, funded with the 100 pounds that John had been given by his Aunt Elizabeth two weeks before his 21st birthday. While in Paris, they meet with Hamburg friend Jurgen Vollmer, who persuades John and Paul to permanently restyle their hair into the "Beatle haircut", or "mop top", which is the way most French teenagers wore their hair. [Note: The Beatles, with the exception of Pete Best, had adopted the "Beatle haircut" the previous spring during a 3-month residency at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, West Germany. Stu Sutcliffe had been the first to have his hair cut in that fashion, and the others (except Pete) soon had their hair cut in that style also. But they had reverted to their earlier hairstyle upon their return to England in July 1961].
January 1, 1962
The Beatles audition for Decca Records. The songs include three Lennon-McCartney tunes, "Hello Little Girl," "Love of the Loved" and "Like Dreamers Do".
June 6, 1962
The Beatles' first recording session at Abbey Road Studios, London -- their EMI/Parlophone audition. After playing a large number of songs and getting the "thumbs-up" for actual recording, The Beatles record four songs: "Besame Mucho" and three Lennon-McCartney songs, "Love Me Do", "P.S. I Love You", and "Ask Me Why".
November 26, 1962
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London), recording their second single. They also play a Lennon-McCartney number, "Tip of My Tongue", for producer George Martin. Martin doesn't care for the arrangement, and the song will never be recorded by The Beatles. However, "Tip of My Tongue" will be recorded in July 1963 by Tommy Quickly, another artist managed by Brian Epstein.
January 26, 1963
The Beatles perform at King's Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. While waiting backstage at Stoke, John Lennon and Paul McCartney begin composing the song "Misery", with the intention of donating it to Helen Shapiro, who they are to meet the following week.
February 19th, 1963
"Please Please Me" goes to number one in the NME charts - the first Lennon- McCartney composition to top the UK charts.
February 28, 1963
The Beatles perform at the Granada Cinema, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Earlier in the day, in a bus carrying the entire tour group to Shrewsbury, John Lennon and Paul McCartney compose the song that will be their next (3rd) single, "From Me to You", which is recorded only 5 days later.
April 3, 1963
In addition to performing at the Playhouse Theatre in London with the band, recording 3 songs for the BBC radio show "Easy Beat", John Lennon and Paul McCartney take part in a program segment called "Going Up?", reviewing new record releases along with two other panel members; they review new singles by Bert Weedon, Cleo Laine, the Vernons Girls, and Tommy Roe. John and Paul are each paid one guinea for their participation.
April 4, 1963
The Beatles, at BBC Paris Studio, London, record a third radio appearance for the BBC program "Side by Side". One of the songs they perform, "I'll Be On My Way", is the only studio recording that they made of this song, a Lennon-McCartney composition that was recorded by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, appearing on the flip side of their "Do You Want to Know a Secret" single - also a Lennon-McCartney song. (Lennon wrote "Do You Want to Know a Secret?", while McCartney compiled "I'll Be On My Way").
John Lennon records a demo of his song "Bad to Me". The song will be recorded the following month by Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas.
June 26, 1963
The Beatles perform at the Majestic Ballroom, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Afterwards, in their hotel room, John Lennon and Paul McCartney write the song "She Loves You", which will be chosen for the A-side of the next Beatles single.
June 27, 1963
Paul McCartney drops by a recording session of Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, who are recording two Lennon-McCartney songs, "Bad to Me" and "I Call Your Name".
July 24, 1963
The Beatles attend a recording session in London for the Fourmost, who were recording the Lennon-McCartney song "Hello Little Girl".
July 27, 1963
UK release of Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas single "Bad to Me/I Call Your Name", both John Lennon compositions (credited to Lennon-McCartney) (Parlophone). Highest chart position #1 for two weeks. Combined sales in the UK, the US, and other countries will exceed one million. The Beatles never recorded "Bad to Me", but they did record "I Call Your Name", which was released in the UK on The Beatles' "Long Tall Sally" EP.
September 10, 1963
John and Paul had given the song "I Wanna Be Your Man" to the Rolling Stones, who recorded it for a single which made it into the Top 20.
September 27, 1963
UK release of Cilla Black single "Love of the Loved" (Parlophone), a Lennon-McCartney song written by Paul McCartney. The single's highest chart position will be #30. The song, one of McCartney's earliest compositions, had been in The Beatles' repertoire since the Quarry Men days, and The Beatles performed the song as part of their Decca Records audition on January 1, 1962.
October 3, 1963
John Lennon and Paul McCartney overdub vocals for the track "Little Child" in the recording studio (Studio Three, EMI Studios, London).
November 1, 1963
UK release of the Rolling Stones' single "I Wanna Be Your Man" (Decca). The song was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. John and Paul had visited with the Rolling Stones and had offered the partially-written song to them. After the Rolling Stones expressed interest in the fragment of the song that John and Paul played for them, Lennon and McCartney went into another room for about ten minutes and completed the song. "I Wanna Be Your Man" went on to become the Rolling Stones' first Top Twenty hit. Released in the US on February 17, 1964.
November 1, 1963
UK release of Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas single "I'll Keep You Satisfied" (Parlophone). The song, credited to Lennon-McCartney, was written by Paul McCartney. Highest UK chart position: #4. Released in the US on November 11 (Liberty Records), where it will peak at number 30 in the charts. The Beatles themselves never recorded the song, although a demo tape was probably made for George Martin and Kramer.
November 15, 1963
UK release of Fourmost single "I'm In Love" (Parlophone). The song, credited to Lennon-McCartney, was written by John Lennon. This is the second Fourmost single written by Lennon (earlier they'd recorded and released "Hello, Little Girl"). Although The Beatles never recorded "I'm In Love", John Lennon did record a demo version of the song. The Fourmost's single will reach #12 in the UK charts. Released in the US on February 10, 1964 (Atco), where it will fail to chart.
December 27, 1963
Music critics of the "London Times" name John Lennon and Paul McCartney the 'Outstanding Composers of 1963'.
December 29, 1963
The "Sunday Times" music critic calls John Lennon and Paul McCartney the "greatest composers since Beethoven" (Wiener). March 23, 1964 - John Lennon's first book, "In His Own Write", is published in London by Johnathan Cape.
April 4th, 1964
The Beatles have the top five places in the American singles chart, all Lennon- McCartney compositions with the exception of "Twist and Shout". A week later the group had 14 of the top 100 US singles.
April 16, 1964
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). They record the title track for their first film, "A Hard Day's Night", another Lennon-McCartney composition. The writing of the song was a bit unusual in that John and Paul had the title first, and had to write a song to order.
May 29, 1964
UK release of Peter and Gordon single "Nobody I Know" (Columbia). The song, credited to Lennon-McCartney, was written by Paul McCartney. Highest UK chart position: #9. Released in the US on June 15, 1964 (Capitol Records), where it will fail to chart.
June 2, 1964
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). They record 11 takes each of John's songs "Any Time At All" and "When I Get Home". Then came three takes of Paul's song "Things We Said Today". All were recorded for the "A Hard Day's Night" LP.
July 17, 1964
UK release of Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas single "From a Window" (Parlophone). The song, credited to Lennon-McCartney, was written by Paul McCartney. John and Paul cut an acetate demo of the song for Kramer and George Martin to listen to. This is Kramer and the Dakotas' fourth single written by Lennon-McCartney. The single will peak at #13 in the UK charts. Released in the US on August 12, 1964 (Imperial Records). Top US chart position: #23. The Beatles never recorded this song.
September 11, 1964
UK release of Peter and Gordon single "I Don't Want to See You Again" (Columbia). The song, credited to Lennon-McCartney, was written by Paul McCartney. The single failed to chart in the UK. Released in the US on September 21, 1964 (Capitol), where it reached no. 16 in the Billboard singles chart. The Beatles never recorded "I Don't Want to See You Again", although it is probable that a demo was recorded for Peter and Gordon's recording manager Norman Newall.
February 18, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" (9 takes). Flautist Johnnie Scott is called in to record tenor flute and alto flute parts for John's song. Paul's "Tell Me What You See" is completed in four takes. The Beatles also record one take of a song intended as Ringo's vocal contribution for the next album, the Lennon-McCartney song "If You've Got Trouble". A few overdubs were recorded to the track, but it was judged a failure and shelved indefinitely.
February 19, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). John's song "You're Going To Lose That Girl" is recorded in one day (two basic takes plus overdubs). An unsuccessful attempt is made on March 30 to improve the song, and the track completed this day is the one released on the "Help!' album.
April 13, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Having completed a day of filming at Twickenham Film Studios, The Beatles begin the recording of John's song "Help!", the title track for their movie-in-progress and the next album and single. Recorded from beginning to completion in one session (7:00 pm - 11:15 pm), taping 12 takes and numerous overdubs. John Lennon would later refer to "Help!" as one of his first songs dealing with his personal feelings. The "Help!" single would be released on July 23, the album on August 6.
May 9, 1965
The Beatles attend a Bob Dylan concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. Dylan's music impresses them, especially John Lennon and George Harrison. Future Beatles' compositions and recordings will bear the mark of Dylan's influence.
June 14, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording "I've Just Seen a Face" (six takes) and "I'm Down" (seven takes). During the session, Paul repeats over and over a term he heard black musicians apply to Mick Jagger, "plastic soul". Then John and Ringo leave the studio. George remains as Paul begins recording his song "Yesterday".
June 15, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording John's song "It's Only Love" (six takes). Take 2 is included on "The Beatles Anthology 2" (Disc one, Track 8).
June 24, 1965
John Lennon's second book, "A Spaniard In the Works", is published in the UK by Jonathan Cape.
July 1, 1965
John Lennon's second book, "A Spaniard In the Works", is published in the US by Simon and Schuster.
September 10, 1965
UK release of The Silkie single "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" (Fontana). The song, credited to Lennon-McCartney, was written by John Lennon. The Silkie is a folk group managed by Brian Epstein, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney produced the recording. Paul plays guitar on the song, and George Harrison plays tambourine. Highest UK chart position: #29. Released in the US on September 20, 1965 (Fontana), where it will peak at #10 in the Billboard singles chart. The Beatles' version of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" appears on their LP "HELP!" (and in the movie "HELP!").
October 12, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording songs for their second album of 1965. In a hurry to record the album and have it in stores by early December, The Beatles nonetheless produce a masterpiece, "Rubber Soul". They begin by recording "Run For Your Life" in its entirety, in five takes. John Lennon later admits to lifting two lines from Elvis Presley's 1955 hit "Baby Let's Play House" in writing this song. Next, The Beatles begin recording John's "This Bird Has Flown", but its final title will be "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)".
October 18, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Completion of George's "If I Needed Someone", overdubbing vocals and tambourine onto the instrumental track recorded during the previous session. Next they record John's "In My Life", recording three basic tracks and overdubs. Except for a gap in the middle section (which will be filled with a George Martin piano solo on Oct. 22), the song is completed.
October 21, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Wanting to improve on their previous recording of "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", The Beatles start from scratch to remake it. It only requires three takes to get the basic track down, and the song is completed in the early evening. Then The Beatles begin recording John's song "Nowhere Man", taping two takes but leaving the song unfinished. [Note: They start over again recording "Nowhere Man" the following day, getting the basic track down in three takes and adding overdubs until the song is completed].
October 24, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). They spend the entire session working on Paul's song "I'm Looking Through You", but will end up re-recording the song in its entirety in November. This day's version will be released on "The Beatles Anthology 2" (Disc one, Track 15).
November 1, 1965
The Beatles take part in rehearsals and filming for a television special, "The Music of Lennon & McCartney", which will feature The Beatles and other artists performing Lennon-McCartney songs. The Beatles lip-sync to "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out" (John "playing" harmonium instead of guitar on the second song). The Beatles pretend to be playing to a studio audience, but the accompanying applause is overdubbed later. The songs performed, and the artists who performed them, are as follows: a song medley (The George Martin Orchestra); "A World Without Love" (Peter and Gordon); "I Saw Him Standing There" (Lulu); "From Me to You" (Alan Haven and Tony Crombie); "She Loves You"/medley (Fritz Spiegel's Ensemble); "Day Tripper" (Beatles); "Yesterday" (begun by Paul McCartney, taken over by Marianne Faithfull); "She Loves You" (Antonio Vargas); "Things We Said Today" (sung in French by Dick Rivers); "Bad to Me" (Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas); "It's For You" (Cilla Black); "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)" (the George Martin Orchestra); "If I Fell" (Henry Mancini); "And I Love Him" (Esther Phillips); "A Hard Day's Night" (Peter Sellers); and "We Can Work It Out" (Beatles). Broadcast on December 16 (in London) and December 17 (the rest of Britain). Recorded at Granada TV Centre, Manchester.
November 2, 1965
The second and final day of filming for the Granada TV television special, "The Music of Lennon & McCartney" (See above for details).
November 3, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). The Beatles spend nine hours recording and completing Paul's ballad "Michelle".
November 11, 1965
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). The Beatles record, from start to finish, Paul's "You Won't See Me" and John's "Girl", the basic tracks for both songs being completed in two takes.
Paul McCartney reportedly records a special Christmas record, "Paul's Christmas Album", of which only four copies are made. Each of The Beatles receives a copy, and no other copies are ever made.
John Lennon's poem "Toy Boy" is printed in "McCall's" magazine (December 1965 issue, volume 93, no.3, page 68).
April 14, 1966
The Beatles start recording John's song "Rain". On this song they use the full extent of studio technology available at the time: limiters, compressors, jangle boxes, Leslie speakers, ADT, backwards tapes, machines set to run faster or slower than usual, and vari-speed vocals. Five takes are recorded before the rhythm and vocal tracks are finalised, with the song being fully completed the next day.
May 12, 1966
A mixing session for three songs intended for the album "Revolver" but given ahead of time to Capitol Records in the US to complete the "Yesterday and Today" album. The songs provided are "Doctor Robert", "I'm Only Sleeping", and "And Your Bird Can Sing". Taking these three John Lennon songs off of the US version of "Revolver" makes the 11-song US album artificially weighted toward McCartney and Harrison, although Lennon's remaining songs "She Said She Said" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" are distinctive and creative enough to make his mark on the lop-sided American LP.
June 21, 1966
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Three, EMI Studios, London). Recording, from start to finish, John's song "She Said She Said". The song is reportedly based on a bizarre conversation that Lennon had with Peter Fonda while John and George Harrison were tripping on LSD.
August 6, 1966
John and Paul record, at Paul's home on Cavendish Avenue, St. John's Wood, London, a BBC radio program, "The Lennon and McCartney Songbook", giving opinions of already-released versions of Lennon-McCartney songs performed by other artists. Broadcast on August 29.
September 5, 1966
John Lennon flies to Celle, West Germany (a NATO tank range near Hanover) to begin filming his first and only solo film role, in Richard Lester's "How I Won the War". John had to have his hair cut for the movie, the "haircut heard 'round the world". In the role of Muskateer Gripweed, John wears wire-rimmed "granny glasses", which he adopts in his personal life from then on. Previously he has refused to wear glasses in public, even though he is severely myopic. With this movie role, John becomes the first Beatle to work professionally without the other members of the group. John's minor film role leaves him plenty of time to kill on the movie set and during the long nights with nothing to do. It is during this time that Lennon's songwriting becomes primarily introspective, along with his increasing experimentation with LSD. He also becomes heavily involved in the art world, being sought out by publishers, print engravers, and greeting card companies for his writings and sketches (Wiener).
September 18, 1966
John Lennon and Neil Aspinall travel to the main location for filming of "How I Won the War", in and around Carboneras, Spain. Lennon and Aspinall rent a house in Santa Isabel, near Almeria, for the duration of location shooting. It is here that Lennon composes "Strawberry Fields Forever".
Lennon records (at least) four demos of his new song "Strawberry Fields Forever". One of those demos was released on "The Beatles Anthology 2" (Disc two, Track one).
November 18, 1966
UK release of Escorts single "From Head to Toe/Night Time" (Columbia). Paul McCartney produced the single. One source credits McCartney with playing tambourine on "From Head to Toe".
November 24, 1966
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). The Beatles get together for the first time since their return from the summer tour of the United States, ready to record a new album. The first song selected for recording is John's "Strawberry Fields Forever", which will end up, not on the album, but on The Beatles' next single. This day's session is devoted entirely to "Strawberry Fields Forever", a song which evokes memories from John's childhood, mixed with the mind-expanding elements of LSD. One of the most complex of all Beatles' songs, it will undergo numerous changes in the studio from this first day's recording, which ends with a completed track that is only 2 mins 34 secs long. The song is finally completed on Dec 22. Take 1 of "Strawberry Fields Forever" was released on "The Beatles Anthology 2" (Disc two, Track 2).
December 18, 1966
The motion picture "The Family Way", with musical score composed by Paul McCartney, premieres in London. The movie premieres in the US on June 28, 1967.
December 29, 1966
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording begins on Paul's song "Penny Lane". Six takes of keyboard tracks and various percussion effects.
January 5, 1967
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). After numerous takes and overdubs, Paul adds another vocal overdub to "Penny Lane". The Beatles record a 13 min 48 sec experimental sound effects track for the 'underground' theatrical production "Carnival of Lights Rave". The track includes "...distorted, hypnotic drum and organ sounds, a distorted lead guitar, the sound of a church organ, various effects (water-gargling was one) and... John and Paul screaming dementedly and bawling aloud random phrases like 'Are you alright?' and 'Barcelona!'" (Lewisohn). John would later use some of the same techniques in creating his "Revolution 9".
February 17, 1967
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording begins for "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite". John's lyrics for this song came almost entirely from an antique poster advertising a circus performance scheduled to take place near Rochdale, Lancashire, in February 1843. John had purchased the poster in Sevenoaks a little over two weeks earlier (January 31) while The Beatles were on location for the filming of the "Strawberry Fields Forever" promotional film. Seven takes are recorded of the rhythm track for "Kite", and John then adds vocal overdubs. George Martin plays harmonium. "The Beatles Anthology 2" includes the incomplete takes 1 and 2 (Disc two, Track 8) and the completed take 7, with ending tape effects completed on Feb. 20 added onto the end (Disc two, Track 9).
March 11, 1967
The Beatles are awarded Grammy awards for 1966: Song of the Year (Lennon-McCartney for "Michelle"), Best Solo Vocal Performance (Paul McCartney for "Eleanor Rigby"), and Best Album Cover (Klaus Voorman for "Revolver").
March 20, 1967
John Lennon and Paul McCartney tape an interview with Brian Matthew, discussing their focus on recording in the studio and their disinterest in touring. John was particularly emphatic that there would be no more tours, or as he said, "no more 'She Loves You's'" (Lewisohn). John and Paul also tape acceptance speeches for three 1966 Ivor Novello awards: The Most Performed Work of the Year ("Michelle"); Runner-up to the Most Performed Work of the Year ("Yesterday"); and The 'A' Side of the Record Issued in 1966 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales in the Period 1st January 1966 to 31st December 1966 ("Yellow Submarine").
May 17, 1967
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). They begin recording John's song "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)". The song will not be finished until November 1969, and it will not be released until March 1970 (as the B-side of the "Let it Be" single).
May 18, 1967
John Lennon and Paul McCartney record backing vocals on the Rolling Stones song "We Love You".
May 18, 1967
A press release announces that The Beatles have been selected to represent the United Kingdom for the first-ever global-wide satellite broadcast. The Beatles have reportedly agreed to be shown in the studio recording a song written especially for the occasion. The broadcast is scheduled for June 25. John and Paul will each write a song for the broadcast, John composing "All You Need is Love" and Paul's song thought to have been either "Your Mother Should Know" or "Hello Goodbye". John's song, which seems to sum up the 1967 'summer of love' and The Beatles' sympathies, is selected as the right song for worldwide broadcast. Plus, since the song was being broadcast to many non-English-speaking countries, the BBC instructions had been to 'keep it simple'. What better message then, than one that is readily understandable and applicable to all cultures: "All you need is love".
August 22, 1967
The Beatles in the recording studio (Chappell Recording Studios, Maddox Street, London). Recording Paul's song "Your Mother Should Know", finishing the following day.
September 5, 1967
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio One, EMI Studios, London). Recording begins for John's song "I Am the Walrus". Sixteen takes are taped of the rhythm track. The glorious multitude of overdubs that distinguish the song will be recorded in later sessions.
September 8, 1967
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Three, EMI Studios, London). Recording the song "Flying" (under the working title "Aerial Tour Instrumental"). This is The Beatles' first instrumental track since "Cry For A Shadow", which they'd recorded in Hamburg for Polydor in 1961. It was also the first song credited to all four Beatles: Harrison-Lennon-McCartney-Starkey.
September 18, 1967
US release of Beach Boys LP "Smiley Smile", which contains the song "Vegetables". Paul McCartney provided munching sounds for the song. Released in the UK on November 20, 1967. [Note: one source credits McCartney as being producer of the song.]
October 12, 1967
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Three, EMI Studios, London). After a mixing session at De Lane Lea Recording Studios (for "It's All Too Much", which was recorded there), The Beatles move back to Abbey Road for a "Magical Mystery Tour" session. John Lennon supervises the entire session, taking on the role of producer for the first time. After mixing and editing is completed for "Blue Jay Way", accordionist Shirley Jackson and her percussionist partner, Reg Wale, record a Lennon-McCartney instrumental, "Shirley's Wild Accordion", for the "Magical Mystery Tour" soundtrack.
November 10, 1967
The Beatles film three color promotional films for their new single "Hello Goodbye". Shooting takes place at the Saville Theatre in London, directed by Paul McCartney. Each of the three film clips features different costumes, backgrounds, and Beatle antics.
February 6, 1968
Ringo Starr appears live on the BBC1 program "Cilla", hosted by Cilla Black. Black was a personal friend of The Beatles, having benefited, like them, from being managed by Brian Epstein. Epstein, before his death the previous August, had made arrangement for this television series. The theme song, "Step Inside Love", was a song that Paul McCartney had written specifically for Cilla.
Sometime in May 1968
With John and Yoko now a couple, John's interest in The Beatles will begin to diminish rapidly. Yoko begins encouraging John to expand his artistic vision and creativity beyond the confines of The Beatles. The other Beatles will start to resent Yoko's influence on John and, in particular, their seemingly fanatical degree of togetherness. Yoko will accompany John to the studio, where she will observe the recording sessions and offer criticisms/suggestions. To John, this is completely normal, for he considers himself and Yoko to be one, to be "johnandyoko". The other Beatles are alarmed at what they see as an intrusion into the special partnership of The Beatles - the unspoken rules governing their unity have been broken, and there is nothing they can do about it. Recording sessions become more and more tense. Paul, in particular, will feel shut out. He can no longer communicate with John, and their loose songwriting partnership begins to disintegrate.
May 14, 1968
John and Paul appear on "The Tonight Show" (with guest host Joe Garagiola) to announce that their company, Apple, desires to help young artists.
May 20, 1968
The Beatles, armed with a bunch of new songs after their visit to India, meet at George Harrison's home in Esher, Surrey. They tape 23 demos of songs on George's 4-track recorder. Many will end up on The Beatles' next album, "The Beatles" (the White Album). The demos include: "Cry Baby Cry", "Child of Nature" [a John Lennon song that was not used; John put a new lyric to the melody in 1971 to create the song "Jealous Guy"]; "Junk" [a Paul McCartney song that was not used; Paul included it on his 1970 first solo album].
July 26, 1968
John Lennon goes to Paul McCartney's house to assist him in completing his song "Hey Jude", which has been selected for The Beatles' next single.
September 23, 1968
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording John's "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" (using the working title "Happiness Is a Warm Gun in Your Hand"). 45 takes are recorded, with John on lead guitar and singing guide vocal, George playing a fuzz lead guitar, Paul on bass, and Ringo on drums.
October 11, 1968
UK release of Bonzo Dog Band single "I'm the Urban Spaceman", which was produced by Paul McCartney (using the pseudonym "Apollo C. Vermouth"). Released in the US on December 18, 1968.
Dick James sells his 23% share of Northern Songs to Associated Television (ATV), owned by Sir Lew Grade. Northern Songs holds publishing rights to nearly every Lennon-McCartney composition. James makes the sale without notifying The Beatles or giving them first refusal on buying his shares. At this point, neither ATV nor The Beatles own enough shares to grab majority control of the company. A fierce competition to buy up available shares begins, and Paul McCartney secretly buys so many shares that he soon has 100,000 shares more than John Lennon. John will view this as underhanded, and it only adds to the strain on the Lennon-McCartney partnership, which is now just about undone. Still, the competition against ATV continues, causing John to later remark that the experience was like "playing Monopoly with real money". But the rift between John and Paul prevents them from acting with any real cohesiveness against ATV, and the antagonism and disarray within The Beatles' camp will lead to their loss of control over Northern Songs. Disgusted, they will liquidate their shares, retaining no control whatsoever over the bulk of their song catalogue.
March 1, 1969
Paul McCartney in the recording studio (Morgan Studios, London). Producing recordings with Apple recording artist Mary Hopkin, "Goodbye" and "Sparrow". "Goodbye" was written by McCartney (credited to Lennon-McCartney) for Hopkin.
April 30, 1969
John and Paul work together (without George or Ringo) overdubbing vocals and sound effects onto their unfinished 1967 song "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)". Much of this work will later be edited out. "The Beatles Anthology 2" includes a version of "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)" that restores parts that were edited out, adding over a minute to the song's length (Disc two, Track 13).
May 5, 1969
Associated Television (ATV) gains control of Northern Songs, giving them control over the Lennon-McCartney song catalog. ATV also acquires Lenmac Enterprises Ltd. The deal is finalised on Sept. 25.
John and Yoko hold another "bed-in" at a Montreal hotel, where they record Give Peace a Chance (written by Lennon/McCartney). The song is released by The Plastic Ono Band in July and hits US #14 and UK #2.
John Lennon records an unreleased instrumental, "Rock Peace".
August 1, 1969
The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording John's song "Because" (16 takes and the first of three set of vocals overdubs).
September 25, 1969
The effective date of the acquisition of Northern Songs by ATV. The negotiated deal had been announced the preceding May 5. John and Paul lose control over their very substantial song catalogue.
John decides to "divorce" the Beatles, but he does not announce it publicly because of contract negotiations taking place with EMI.
February 11, 1970
US release of the soundtrack LP for "The Magic Christian", a movie in which Ringo Starr starred. The song "Come and Get It" was written by Paul McCartney, who also produced the track. The album contains some of Ringo's movie dialogue. (Released in the UK on April 10).
Apr 10, 1970
Paul announces publicly that he has left the Beatles. To publicise his first solo album, called "McCartney," Paul releases an interview saying that in the future he'd rather work by himself than with the rest of the Beatles. The interview marks the group's break-up.
Paul writes to John suggesting the breakup of the Beatles legal partnership.
Paul files a law suit against Beatles & Co. to dissolve the partnership and sever ties with Alan Klein. The band officially breaks up.
December 4, 1971
In the latest issue of "Melody Maker", John Lennon's angry letter directed at Paul McCartney, responding to McCartney's critical remarks in a previous issue, makes it clear to one and all that any hopes for a reunion are groundless. Lennon's sarcasm and directness are razor-sharp.
October 24, 1979
Paul McCartney is honored by the "Guinness Book of World Records" as the most successful composer and recording artist of all time.
John Lennon records a demo of the unreleased song "Dear John", one of the last songs he ever composed (and perhaps the very last).
Dec 8, 1980
John Lennon assassinated. His widow, Yoko Ono, calls for an international silent tribute. The result, as broadcast on TV, was powerful as well as emotional.
Sometime in 1981
Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono join together with a bid to purchase ATV Music, owner of copyrights to the Northern Songs Lennon-McCartney song catalogue. Their offer of 21 million pounds sterling is rejected.
A secret agreement is reached which calls for Northern Songs to pay John Lennon's estate and Paul McCartney about two million pounds sterling, along with an increase in future royalty rates.
John Lennon (posthumously) and Paul McCartney are commended by the National Coalition on Television Violence for their "pro-social" music videos.
August 10, 1985
Northern Songs, owner of the Lennon-McCartney song catalogue, is sold to Michael Jackson for $47.5 million. The sale will be finalised on September 6. The only Lennon-McCartney songs not included are "Love Me Do", "P.S. I Love You", "Please Please Me", and "Ask Me Why".
September 20, 1985
Twenty-eight song copyrights are registered posthumously in John Lennon's name. The songs all list a creation date of 1980, although some were actually written before that. Two of the songs are listed in error, for they were not written by Lennon. Among the titles registered is the song "Girls and Boys", the original title for "Real Love".
May 26, 1986
Paul McCartney is inducted by the "Guinness Book of Records" as the most successful musician of all time.
April 4, 1989
Paul McCartney receives an Ivor Novello award for "Outstanding Services to British Music".
February 21, 1990
Paul McCartney receives a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.
February 20, 1991
John Lennon is posthumously awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.
January 19, 1994
Paul McCartney makes the induction speech for John Lennon's entrance into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist (having been previously inducted as a member of The Beatles). Only Clyde McPhatter (of the Drifters) had been previously inducted for both solo and group careers. Yoko accepts on behalf of John. Later, Paul and Yoko hold a press conference, announcing that the surviving Beatles will record a song using a demo tape of John's for a planned project to be called "Anthology".
Paul, George and Ringo hold the first Beatle recording sessions since 1970 to finish the first of two John Lennon demos to be included on a scheduled series of CD sets titled "The Beatles Anthology" that includes previously unreleased studio and live tracks. The two Lennon demos reworked, on tapes given to them by Yoko Ono, were "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love."
[Click HERE to listen to an audio clip of 'The Threetles' performing "Blue Moon of Kentucky"].
September 19, 1996
The handwritten lyrics to John Lennon's song "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" are sold at Sotheby's auction in London for 66,400 pounds ($103,500). Written in 1967 by Lennon, the lyrics (copied from a 19th century circus poster) go for more than twice the pre-auction estimate. The sale exceeds the 1993 auction price of 45,400 pounds ($70,000) paid for Lennon's lyrics to "I Am the Walrus". The record paid for handwritten Beatle lyrics is the 161,000 pounds ($250,000) paid for Paul McCartney's "Getting Better". Lennon's handwritten lyrics to "With a Little Help From My Friends", under the working title "Bad Finger Boogie", had been expected to bring in 80,000 pounds ($124,000), but the owner withdrew the item before the auction began. Those lyrics show the song's second line originally being "Would you throw a tomato at me", that line being scratched out and "Would you stand up and walk out on me" being substituted.
September 29, 1996
It is announced that Julian Lennon is the anonymous buyer who purchased Paul McCartney's handwritten recording notes for the song "Hey Jude" at auction for 25,000 pounds ($39,030). The song was written by McCartney for the young Julian when the boy's father, John Lennon, separated from his mother, Cynthia, in 1968.
December 30, 1996
It is announced that Paul McCartney will become the first Beatle to be honoured with knighthood, and that he will henceforth be known as Sir Paul McCartney. Paul accepts the honour "on behalf of all the people of Liverpool and the other Beatles, without whom it wouldn't have been possible. So I hope I can be worthy of it." George and Ringo jokingly refer to Paul as "His Holiness".
March 10, 1997
Paul McCartney is officially knighted.
June 20, 1997
At the 22nd Silver Clef awards luncheon in London, John Lennon is honoured posthumously for his contribution to world peace and for his outstanding contributions to British music. Yoko Ono accepts the award on Lennon's behalf, saying that John believed passionately in the healing powers of music. A statue of Lennon, which had been specially commissioned, is auctioned at the luncheon, and it is purchased by the Beatles museum in Liverpool.
March 15, 1999
Paul McCartney is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously inducted as a member of The Beatles, McCartney is being honoured for his solo work. McCartney's daughter Stella, invited to join her father on stage, wears a shirt proclaiming, "It's about fucking time," a petulant complaint about a perceived delay in her father's entrance into the Hall of Fame. Paul himself presumably holds the same sentiments, which is curious in light of a statement he made to "Newsweek" magazine in 1995 when asked how he felt about John Lennon being in the Hall of Fame and he himself not yet being inducted: "We are in it as The Beatles, of course, and that's kind of enough, isn't it?... I'm not that fussed, you know? I'm in my Hall of Fame... in his early days, John was very much wondering how he would be remembered. And I said, 'You're crazy, man. What are you talking about? Number one, you'll be remembered as something fantastic. Number two, you won't give a shit. You'll be in the cosmos somewhere. And I have a feeling that other things will be of more consequence at that point.'" -(Stephen Spignesi, "The Beatles Book of Lists").
August 1, 1999
The August 1999 issue of UK magazine "Q" publishes the results of its readers' poll for the "100 Greatest Stars of the 20th Century". Voted #1 is John Lennon. Paul McCartney is next at #2, with Ringo Starr at #26 and George Harrison at #36.
September 30, 1999
At an auction at Christie's in London, John Lennon's 1967 handwritten lyrics to "I Am the Walrus" are sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for 78,500 pounds ($129,000). The sheet of lyrics contains Lennon's notes and changes, such as the deletion of the word "policeman", which was changed to "priestess".
October 8, 1999
The BBC announces the results of its poll for the "Nation's Favourite Song Lyric", which was sponsored in celebration of the UK's 6th annual National Poetry Day. Voted #1 was John Lennon's "Imagine". Two Lennon-McCartney songs also placed in the top ten: "I Am the Walrus" at #4 and "Yesterday" at #6.
December 14, 1999
Paul McCartney plays at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in a special end-of-the-century appearance. Said McCartney, 57, "I cannot think of a better way to rock out the end of the century than with a rock 'n' roll party at the place where it all began... I'm going back just for one night as a nod to the rock 'n' roll that has always and will forever thrill me." McCartney last played at the Cavern Club on August 3, 1963, as a member of The Beatles. (The Cavern Club was rebuilt in the 1980's; the original club was demolished in 1973). Since only 150 fans would be able to fit into the Cavern Club, free tickets were distributed through a raffle. The first person to receive a ticket, ironically, was 18-year-old John Ono Lennon (he'd had his name legally changed).