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Imagine – John Lennon’s Finest Work?

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John Lennon

John Lennon was born on 9th Oct 1940.

The Beatles sold over 20m singles worldwide, (1962-1970), and scored more UK & US No.1 albums than any other group. Their 1967 Sgt. Pepper album is the UK’s biggest selling album ever. In 1990 Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ was played simultaneously in 130 countries to commemorate what would’ve been Lennon’s 50th birthday. He was shot dead in New York by Mark Chapman on 8th December 1980.

His was the voice and vision that powered such Beatles classics as ‘All You Need Is Love’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’ Yet Lennon also had a dark side that found expression in pained outcries dating as far back as ‘Help,’ and his was the most naturally adventuresome musical spirit in the band, as evidenced by such tracks as
I Am The Walrus‘ and ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.’

On a misty June day in 1971, John and Yoko spent the day filming the ‘Imagine’ promotional film at their home in Tittenhurst Park Ascot, England. The footage included the morning walk on the grounds though the mist and Lennon singing ‘Imagine’ in the white room on his white piano.

Imagine

We’ve all seen the video so many times – which by today’s standards and pre MTV is basic to say the least. But the song didn’t need a flash accompanying video. The song said it all. And so did Lennon who in 1971 was enjoying his new-found freedom as a solo artist after leaving the most successful group of all time.

And what a brilliant song it is. The opening track from his second ‘proper’ release has gone on to be Lennon’s signature tune. Just two other people play on the track. Klaus Voormann is on bass – he and John met when The Beatles were playing one of their many long residencies in Hamburg Germany. Voormann who is also the artist who designed the cover for The Beatles album Revolver and the Beatles Anthology series. Drummer Alan White was a member of Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band before becoming a member of Yes and then becoming a much sought-after session musician.

When asked about the song in one of his last interviews, Lennon declared, ‘Imagine’ to be as good as anything he had written with the Beatles. The song’s central theme was inspired by Cloud Piece, a three-line instructional poem that appeared in Yoko Ono’s 1964 book ‘Grapefruit’. The words were reproduced on the back cover of the Imagine album.

Talking about the song when interviewed for Playboy magazine shortly before his death, Lennon stated “It’s not a new message: With Imagine we’re asking, “can you imagine a world without countries or religions?”

The accolades have been immense.

In 1999 BMI named ‘Imagine’ one of the top 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century. In 2002, Imagine was named the second-best single of all time behind Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘, in a UK poll conducted by the Guinness World Records British Hit Singles Book. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Imagine at #3 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” The slogan of Liverpool John Lennon Airport is “Above Us Only Sky.”

In 2000, George Michael paid £1.45m for the Steinway piano on which John Lennon wrote ‘Imagine.’ George said, “I know that when my fingers touch the keys of that Steinway, I will feel truly blessed”.

The Lennon’s left their home in Tittenhurst Park in 1971, (his former drummer and friend Ringo Starr bought the property from him). When John flew to New York City on the morning of 13th August 1971, he would never set foot on British soil again.

We have a book you might like John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life. John Lennon, 1980: The Last Days in the Life traces the powerful, life-affirming story of the former Beatle’s remarkable comeback after five years of self-imposed retirement.

John Lennon

Important Dates In The Life Of John Lennon:

On this day in music
26 May 2022
English drummer Alan White best known for his tenure in the progressive rock band Yes died age 72. In 1969, White joined John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band, playing drums on the singles 'Instant Karma! and 'Imagine', as well as most of Lennon's 1971 Imagine album. White also performed on over 50 albums by other musicians, notably George Harrison, Ginger Baker's Air Force, Terry Reid, Joe Cocker and The Ventures.
16 Jan 2021
American producer Phil Spector died in prison age 81. Known for his 'Spector Wall Of Sound’ he was a member of Teddy Bears, who had the 1958 US No.1 single 'To Know Him Is To Love Him'. He went on to produce many classic songs including; Ben E King, 'Spanish Harlem', The Crystals, 'Da Doo Ron Ron', The Ronettes, 'Baby I Love You', The Righteous Brothers, 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling', Ike and Tina Turner, 'River Deep, Mountain High'. He also produced albums for The Ramones, John Lennon, George Harrison, The Beatles, Cher and Harry Nilsson. The 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California home led to his 2009 conviction of murder in the second degree.
30 Oct 2019
The top-earning dead celebrities revealed by Forbes showed that Michael Jackson's earnings dwarfed others in the list for a seventh year in a row - he earned $60m (£46m) as streams of his music rose to 2.1 billion and money continued to pour in from his back catalogue. Elvis Presley was said to have made $39m (£30m), George Harrison an estimated $9m (£7m) in the last 12 months, while John Lennon made $14m (£10.8m).
23 Jan 2017
African-American soul and R&B singer, songwriter and record producer Bobby Freeman died of natural causes aged 76. He scored the 1958 US & UK No.5 single 'Do You Want To Dance'. The song has been covered (as 'Do You Wanna Dance') by Del Shannon, The Beach Boys, Johnny Rivers, Bette Midler, John Lennon, Cliff Richard, Marc Bolan & T.Rex, the Mamas & The Papas and the Ramones.
13 Jan 2017
Magic Alex (Alexis Mardas) a Greek electronics engineer died aged 74. He is best known for his close association with the Beatles. His nickname was given to him by John Lennon when he was involved with the group between 1965 and 1969, during which time he became head of Apple Electronics. Mardas often said that the Abbey Road studio was "no good", much to producer George Martin's annoyance. He allegedly said that he could build a 72-track tape machine and was then given the job of designing the new Apple Studio in Savile Row, London. His schemes lost Apple at least £300,000 (£3 million in 2017 pounds).
19 Nov 2016
A furious letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, written after The Beatles' break-up sold for nearly $30,000 (£24,200), to an anonymous collector in Dallas. In the two-page typed draft with handwritten notes, Lennon criticises the couple for their treatment of him and his wife, Yoko Ono. The attack is said to be in response to Linda's criticism of him not publicly announcing his departure from the band.
27 Oct 2016
A letter John Lennon wrote to the Queen explaining why he was returning his MBE was found tucked in a record sleeve from a £10 car boot haul. The anonymous owner took the document to a valuation day at The Beatles Story in Liverpool and discovered it was worth about £60,000. Lennon had returned the MBE in protest at Britain's involvement in a civil war.
22 May 2016
A guitar that Elvis Presley was given by his father sold for $334,000 (£230,000) at an auction in New York. It was thought that Vernon Presley changed the finish on the Gibson Dove to black after his son earned a black belt in karate. Presley later gave the guitar to a fan during a concert in North Carolina in 1975. Auctioneers Julien's also sold John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for The Beatles' 'Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite!' for $354,400 (£244,000) and a red neoprene vinyl jacket which Michael Jackson wore for his 1996-97 HIStory world tour which sold for $256,000.
6 May 2015
British-Jamaican singer and songwriter Errol Brown, best known as the frontman of the soul and funk band Hot Chocolate died of liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas. Their hits included 'You Sexy Thing', 'So You Win Again' and 'Brother Louie'. His break in music came in 1969 when he recorded a version of 'Give Peace a Chance' with some friends. Unable to change the lyrics without John Lennon's permission, he sent a copy to his record label, Apple, and the song was released with Lennon's approval.
1 Apr 2015
Cynthia Lennon, first wife of The Beatles' John Lennon died at her home in Spain following a short battle with cancer. At the height of The Beatles' early success she was, at the insistence of the band's management, kept in the background so their legions of female fans were not aware of her existence. The couple divorced in 1968 after Cynthia discovered her husband's affair with Yoko Ono.
2 Dec 2014
American saxophone player Bobby Keys died as a result of cirrhosis at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. Keys started touring at age fifteen with Bobby Vee and fellow Texan Buddy Holly and was best known as being the main saxophone player for The Rolling Stones. When on tour with the Stones, according to legend Keys filled a bathtub with Dom Perignon champagne and drank most of it. Keys appeared on albums by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Harry Nilsson, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, George Harrison, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and other prominent musicians.
11 Nov 2014
A collection of dresses and outfits worn by Madonna during her career in music and film helped a celebrity auction raise $3.2m (£2m). The highest lot was a jacket from Desperately Seeking Susan, which fetched $252,000, while a gown from her Material Girl video reached $73,125. Other lots which attracted the bidders were a pair of John Lennon's spectacles which sold for $25,000 (£15,751) and a ring worn by Elvis Presley for $57,600 (£36,291).
3 Oct 2014
A mint-condition copy of The Beatles' Please Please Me album, signed by George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr sold for $36,655 at an auction held in the US.
22 Aug 2014
John Lennon's killer, 59-year-old Mark David Chapman, was denied parole by New York State officials for the eighth time. In handing down their decision, the parole board said, "Your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law."
4 Jun 2014
Handwritten letters, notes, poems and sketches by John Lennon all exceeded pre-sale estimates at an auction at Sotheby's in New York. The Fat Budgie, a nonsensical poem, sold for $143,000 (£85,000), having been valued at up to $35,000 (£21,000). A handwritten manuscript called I Sat Belonely went for $137,000 (£82,000), four times its estimate. The pieces, part of an 89 lot sale, came from Lennon's books In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works.
29 Oct 2013
John Lennon's first home, in Liverpool, was sold for £480,000 at an auction held at The Cavern Club. The red brick terrace at 9 Newcastle Road, Wavertree, was where the member of The Beatles lived from birth, in 1940, until he was five. The property has a rear yard and is a few streets away from Penny Lane, made famous by The Beatles.
30 Aug 2013
A signed copy of John Lennon's whimsical 1964 book ‘In His Own Write’ sold for more than $5,600 after a flurry of 47 bids on eBay. Filled with cheeky quips and kaleidoscopic imagery — the author note was titled ‘About the Awful’ — Lennon’s ‘In His Own Write’ featured short stories, poems and drawings.
19 May 2013
A guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison sold for $408,000 (£269,000) at auction. The custom-made instrument, built in 1966 by VOX was bought by an unidentified US buyer in New York. Harrison played ‘I Am The Walrus’, on the guitar in a scene from Magical Mystery Tour in 1967. Lennon used it in a video for Hello, Goodbye later that year. After playing the guitar, Lennon gave it as a 25th birthday present to Alexis "Magic Alex" Mardas, a member of The Beatles' inner circle in the 1960s.
28 Mar 2013
American rock guitarist and session musician Hugh McCracken died of leukemia in New York City at the age of 70. He appeared on many recordings by Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Billy Joel, Roland Kirk, Roberta Flack, B. B. King, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Graham Parker, Eric Carmen, Loudon Wainwright III, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, The Four Seasons, Hall and Oates, Gary Wright and Andy Gibb. Because of such high demand for his work, McCracken declined Paul McCartney's invitation to help form his new band, Wings after appearing on his 1971 album Ram.
17 Mar 2013
John Lennon and George Harrison were honoured with a blue plaque at the site of the former Apple Boutique in a ceremony in London held at at 94 Baker Street. The new plaque reads "John Lennon, M.B.E., 1940-1980, and George Harrison, M.B.E., 1943-2001, worked here."
31 Dec 2012
A draft of a letter John Lennon written to Eric Clapton on Sept. 29, 1971 asking him to collaborate on a musical project sold for $35,000 at an auction. Still in pristine condition, the letter was originally estimated to fetch somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000.
30 Dec 2012
A rare copy of a Beatles LP signed by all four members sold - for the sum rejected at auction in Sussex a few weeks earlier. Chris Collins, from Eastbourne, and his sister, Liz Chambers, from Worthing, initially turned down a £12,000 bid for a copy of the album, Please Please Me. They had hoped to get £15,000 for the LP, which was given to their late father during a drinking session. But the siblings later accepted £12,000 from private buyers. The album was signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr after they used it as a drinks coaster during a card game in 1963.
18 Sep 2012
In a survey of more than 160,000 readers, British music magazine NME named John Lennon as Rock's ultimate icon. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher was placed second, followed by David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys singer Alex Turner and late Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain.
20 Apr 2012
Bert Weedon, whose Play in a Day guitar guide set some of the biggest names in rock and roll on the road to greatness, died, aged 91. Play in a Day, released in 1957, sold over two million copies and helped inspire a generation of budding musicians including Eric Clapton, Brian May of Queen and the late John Lennon.
18 Apr 2012
An original and extremely rare 1963 mono copy of The Beatles ‘Please Please Me’ album, signed by the Fab Four, sold on an eBay auction for nearly $25,000. Paul McCartney and John Lennon both signed their names with "love" in royal blue ink whereas George Harrison and Ringo Starr signed their names in midnight blue ink. The autographs were signed in May of 1963.
22 Feb 2012
American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Mike Melvoin died in Burbank, California of cancer, aged 74. He worked as a prolific studio musician, recording with Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, Tom Waits, Barbra Streisand, The Jackson 5, Natalie Cole, and The Beach Boys on Pet Sounds. He worked in the early 1970s as a music director on The Partridge Family recordings and also composed for film and television including contributing scores to Fame.
15 Nov 2011
A cardboard sign reading Bed Peace, created by John Lennon for his 1969 bed-in peace protest in Montreal, was sold by Christie's auction house to an anonymous telephone bidder for $155,600.
18 May 2011
John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for the 1967 Beatles song 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' sold for $237,132 (£145,644) at an auction in the US. The sale of the sheet, which featured the song's third verse and the opening words to 'She's Leaving Home', took place at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Both songs feature on the 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was speculated the song was about the drug LSD, however, The Beatles denied this, with Lennon saying the inspiration had come from a picture his son Julian had drawn of a classmate named Lucy Vodden - who died of the immune system disease Lupus in 2009.
10 May 2011
The ornate iron gates of a children's home which inspired John Lennon's psychedelic Beatles anthem Strawberry Fields Forever were removed after The Salvation Army, which owned the former home, decided to put the red Victorian gates into storage. Beatles fans who passed the Liverpool site on tours would now be met with 10ft (3m) high replicas. The original gates were being taken to a secret location for storage, and would eventually be auctioned off.
5 Mar 2011
61 year-old Charles Mulchrone's teenage love for The Beatles paid dividends when he sold his old autograph book at Sheppard's auction house, Durrow, for 1,300 euros. It contained the signatures of John Lennon and Yoko Ono when the couple stayed at a hotel in Mulranny in the summer of 1968. Charles plucked up the courage to approach them and got their signatures, he said they were.
18 Jan 2011
The largest collection of Beatles memorabilia went on display in a new museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rodolfo Vazquez, a 53-year-old accountant, turned his mammoth Beatles collection into a museum with more than 8,500 objects - setting the new world record for the largest collection of Beatles memorabilia. Some of the items included a box of condoms bearing the names of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, a brick from the Cavern Club, a chunk of the stage from the Star Club in Hamburg, and certified copies of the band members' birth certificates. Among his favorite items were 64 boxes of chewing gum in the form of Beatles records.
26 Oct 2010
Forbes Magazine released its annual list of the Top Earning Dead Celebrities. Michael Jackson led the way at $275 million, Elvis Presley was second at $60 million and John Lennon was fifth at $17 million.
6 Oct 2010
A set of John Lennon's fingerprints were seized by the FBI from a New York memorabilia dealer who intended to sell them for $100,000 (£62,621) minimum bid. The prints were taken at a New York police station in 1976 when Lennon applied for permanent US residence. The bureau believed the card was still government property and was investigating how it landed in private hands.
19 Sep 2010
John Lennon's son Julian told the press that he had ended his long-running feud with his half-brother Sean and his step-mother Yoko Ono, which started after the former Beatle was murdered in December, 1980. The trio battled in court for a share of the singer's estate, but Julian now said "Things are good between us. Whenever I'm in New York, we all get together."
8 Aug 2010
John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, had his parole hearing delayed until early September so that officials could gather additional information. The 55-year-old Chapman became eligible for parole in 2000 after serving 20 years, but had been denied his freedom five times.
18 Jun 2010
John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to The Beatles song 'A Day In The Life' sold for $1.2m (£810,000) at an auction at Sotheby's in New York. The double-sided sheet of paper with notes written in felt marker and blue ink also contained some corrections and other notes penned in red ink.
19 Apr 2010
A week after Catholic Church officials published an article in the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper that said they forgive John Lennon's remarks about The Beatles being "bigger than Jesus", Ringo Starr rejected their forgiveness. The newspaper's editors had written, "The Beatles said they were bigger than Jesus and put out mysterious messages, that were possibly even Satanic... (but) what would Pop music be like without the Beatles?" Ringo was unimpressed and replied "Didn't the Vatican say we were Satanic or possibly Satanic? And they've still forgiven us? I think the Vatican, they've got more to talk about than the Beatles."
12 Apr 2010
The Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Ramano published a story praising The Beatles and saying that it forgave John Lennon for his 1966 comment that the group was 'bigger than Jesus.' Lennon told a British newspaper in 1966 - at the height of Beatlemania - that he did not know which would die out first, Christianity or rock and roll.
13 Jan 2010
A plaque of The Beatles iconic yellow submarine, which was stolen six months ago from Liverpool's Albert Dock, was set to be replaced by a new creation. The 5ft (1.5m) design featured the faces of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison peering through its portholes. The new submarine would hang outside the museum dedicated to the band, The Beatles Story.
28 Sep 2009
Lucy Vodden, the childhood pal of John Lennon's son Julian, passed away at the age of 46 after losing her battle with auto-immune disease lupus. She was the inspiration for The Beatles track 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds', written mostly by John after Julian showed his father a nursery school drawing he called Lucy - in the sky with diamonds, depicting his classmate.
2 May 2009
Bob Dylan mingled unnoticed with other Beatles tourists during a minibus tour to John Lennon's childhood home. He was one of 14 tourists to examine photos and documents in the National Trust-owned home, where Lennon grew up with his aunt Mimi and uncle George. Dylan who was on a day off on a European tour paid £16 for the public trip to the 1940s house in Woolton, Liverpool.
27 Dec 2008
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, Delaney Bramlett died in Los Angeles from complications after gall bladder surgery. Was a member of Delaney, Bonnie & Friends and worked with George Harrison, The Everly Brothers, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, J.J. Cale, and Eric Clapton.
22 Dec 2008
A cassette tape of a "drunk" John Lennon recording a cover version of a rock 'n' roll song sold at auction in Los Angeles for $30,000 (£20,200). The six-minute recording, made in autumn 1973, is of Lennon performing Lloyd Price's Just Because. "Debauched lyrics" improvised by "a drunk Lennon" include "just a little cocaine will set me right", and, "I wanna take all them new singers, Carol and the other one with the nipples, I wanna take 'em and hold 'em tight."
12 Nov 2008
Mitch Mitchell, the British drummer with the Jimi Hendrix Experience was found dead in his US hotel room aged 61. As a teenager, he starred in a children's television programme, Jennings and Derbyshire, and starred in a leading role in the 1960 British film Bottoms Up with Jimmy Edwards. Mitchell had been working with Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames when in 1966 he was invited to audition for a new band being formed to back Jimi Hendrix. In December 1968, Mitchell played with the Dirty Mac, an all-star band assembled for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (with John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards).
10 Jul 2008
The drum skin used on the cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album sold for £541,250 ($1m) at Christie's Memorabilia auction in London. Other items sold included John Lennon's lyrics for 'Give Peace a Chance' which sold for £421,250 ($832,257) and a pair of tinted prescription sunglasses belonging to Lennon, which he wore for the cover of the single 'Mind Games', sold for £39,650 ($79,000). A rare 1/4 inch reel to-reel master tape recording of the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing at the Woburn Music Festival in 1968 went for £48,050 ($95,000), a Marshall amplifier used by Hendrix in concert fetched £25,000 ($50,000).
30 Apr 2008
Gail Renard, who was given the hand written lyrics to 'Give Peace A Chance' by John Lennon in 1969, announced plans to sell the lyric sheet at a Christie's auction. At the time, Lennon told Renard to hang on to the piece of paper, saying "It will be worth something someday." The piece of music history was expected to fetch around $400,000, but when it was actually sold in July of this year, it went for $790,000 (£400,000).
20 Feb 2008
A 1976 Rolling Stones album bought for £2 at a car boot sale sold for £4,000 at an auction. The 'Black and Blue' LP was signed by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Paul and Linda McCartney and George Harrison as well as members of the Rolling Stones. The seller obtained the album after haggling the cost down from £3.
12 Dec 2007
A copy of John Lennon's book, A Spaniard in the Works, which contained a lock of Lennon's hair, sold at Gorringes Auction House for £24,000, ($48,000). Lennon gave the book and the hair to Betty Glasgow, the Fab Four's hairdresser during their heyday. He wrote in the book, "To Betty, Lots of Love and Hair, John Lennon xx." The strands of hair and book had been expected to sell for between £2,000 and £4,000.
30 Oct 2007
Forbes.com reported that Elvis Presley had regained his crown as the highest-earning dead celebrity, with an annual income of $49m (£23.7m) during the past year. John Lennon ranked second with $44m (£21.3m), while Peanuts cartoon creator Charles M Schulz was third on the list, Beatle George Harrison was fourth with $22m (£10.6m). Nirvana's Kurt Cobain topped the list in 2006.
9 Oct 2007
The Imagine Peace Tower was officially unveiled in Kollafjorour Bay near Reykjav’k, Iceland. The memorial to John Lennon from his widow, Yoko Ono, consists of a tall "tower of light", projected from a white stone monument that has the words "Imagine Peace" carved into it in 24 languages.
28 Sep 2007
The John Lennon Northern Lights Festival was held in Durness, Scotland, the most northwesterly and remote village on mainland Britain. Lennon spent his childhood holidays between the ages of nine and 13 in the village and returned with his son Julian, Yoko Ono and her daughter Kyoko in 1969.
15 Aug 2007
Sixteen solo John Lennon albums were made available to download on iTunes for the first time. A deal was approved by the late Beatle's widow Yoko Ono following a lengthy legal battle between the band's label Apple Corps and Apple Inc, which owned Tunes.
1 Aug 2007
John Lennon's "granny" sunglasses were snapped up by a British collector at auction. The sunglasses, from one of the last Beatles concerts, were expected to fetch around £1m, but auction bosses refused to say what the actual figure was. Lennon gave the gold-rimmed glasses to his Japanese interpreter in Tokyo in 1966, and the translator removed the lenses when Lennon died.
14 Jul 2007
A pair of glasses worn by former Beatle John Lennon sparked a bidding war after being offered for sale online. The circular sunglasses were worn by Lennon during The Beatles 1966 tour of Japan, where the band played some of their last ever live dates. Anonymous rival bidders had pushed the price as high as £750,000 at online auction house 991.com.
29 May 2007
A piano used by John Lennon on the night he died was put up for sale for $375,000 (£189,000) on The Moments in Time memorabilia website. The upright grand piano was part of the Record Plant Recording Studios in New York where the former Beatle recorded his 1971 Imagine album. Lennon was said to be so fond of the instrument that he had it moved to whichever studio he was working in and had used the piano hours before being shot on 8 December 1980.
6 Jan 2007
US country-rock steel guitar player 'Sneaky' Pete Kleinow, died aged 72. He was one of the original members of the Flying Burrito Brothers with the Byrds' Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons. Also worked with John Lennon and Joni Mitchell.
24 Oct 2006
Forbes.com revealed that Kurt Cobain had overtaken Elvis Presley as the highest earning dead celebrity. Cobain's work earned $50m (£27m) in the 12 months to October 2006, compared with Presley's $42m (£22m). Former Beatle John Lennon earned $35m (£19m).
15 Sep 2006
The Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool where The Beatles played their first gig was given a Grade II listed building status after a recommendation from English Heritage. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison played in the converted coal cellar of the house in West Derby, in August 1959 as The Quarrymen.
26 Jul 2006
The guitar on which Sir Paul McCartney learned his first chords sold for £330,000 at an auction at London's Abbey Road Studios. The Rex acoustic guitar helped McCartney persuade John Lennon to let him join his band, The Quarrymen, in 1957.
2 Apr 2006
A John Lennon schoolbook containing the 12-year-old's drawing of Lewis Carroll's poem The Walrus and the Carpenter was sold at auction for £126,500, ($239,733). The poem inspired Lennon to write The Beatles' 1967 song ‘I Am The Walrus’. Also sold for £12,000, ($22,741) was a ship's log book written by Lennon during a stormy trip to Bermuda in 1980, and a letter from Paul McCartney to his bandmates Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr failed to reach its £50,000, ($94,742) reserve price.
31 Dec 2005
The John Lennon song Imagine was voted the nations favourite song a quarter of a century after his death. A UK radio station conducted the poll of 7,000 listeners. The Beatles were voted into second and third place with ‘Hey Jude’ and 'Let It Be.'
16 Dec 2005
The surviving Beatles and relatives of the band's late members began legal action against EMI to get royalties allegedly worth £30m. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and relations of George Harrison and John Lennon claimed EMI owed record royalties to their company Apple Corps.
13 Dec 2005
A cheque signed by John Lennon made out to the Inland Revenue sold for £2,000 at a UK auction. It was sold by former madam Lindi St Clair, (formerly known as Miss Whiplash), after she decided she had no use for it. Clair who now runs a duck farm in Herefordshire had bought the cheque for £4,000 in 1988. It was signed by Lennon on 23rd January 1968 on a District Bank Limited form and made out for £6,946.
7 Dec 2005
The MBE medal that John Lennon returned to the Queen was found in a royal vault at St James' Palace. Lennon returned his medal in November, 1969 with a letter accompanying saying, "Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon." Historians were calling for the medal to be put on public display.
31 Oct 2005
The white suit worn by John Lennon on the cover of the Beatles' Abbey Road album sold for $118,000 (£66,385) at an auction in Las Vegas. And an Austin Princess hearse driven by the late star in the documentary Imagine sold for $150,000 (£84,388). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the items went to Amnesty International.
18 Oct 2005
An image of a naked John Lennon taken on the last day of his life, was named the top US magazine cover of the past 40 years. The Rolling Stone front cover, taken by Annie Leibovitz and showing Lennon curled around Yoko Ono, was picked by editors, artists and designers.
26 Aug 2005
A plaque was unveiled by fellow Quarrymen John Duff Lowe and Colin Hantonat at the site where the band which was to become The Beatles made their first recordings. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison recorded a version of Buddy Holly's 'That'll Be The Day' and a Lennon-Harrison song, 'In Spite Of All The Danger' as The Quarrymen at the Percy Philips studio in Liverpool in 1958.
12 Jan 2005
It was announced that the Strawberry Field children's home immortalised by The Beatles was to close. The home in Woolton, Liverpool was made famous when John Lennon wrote 'Strawberry Fields Forever' after playing there as a child.
18 Dec 2004
A guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon sold for £294,000 ($570,000) at auction in New York. The Gibson SG guitar was used by Harrison from 1966 to 1969, including the recording of Revolver , and by Lennon during The White Album sessions. Other items sold in the Christie's auction included a letter by Kurt Cobain which fetched £10,000 ($19,400), and a school book report by Britney Spears (£1,000).
26 Oct 2004
Elvis Presley came top of a list of the highest-earning dead celebrities. Forbes.com listed the Top 5 dead music earners; 1. Elvis Presley $40m (£22m), 2. John Lennon $21m (£11m), 3. George Harrison $7m (£3.8m), 4. Bob Marley $7m and at 5. George and Ira Gershwin $6m.
6 May 2004
A sale at Christie's in London, England became the most successful pop auction in the company's history after Beatles memorabilia sold for a record £788,643. The auction included a leather collar worn by John Lennon which sold for £117,250. A signed copy of a management deal with The Beatles and manager Brian Epstein sold for £122,850. A Vox Kensington guitar used by Lennon and Harrison went for £100,000. Also sold - a coloured felt-pen drawing by Lennon (£10,000), a letter with his signature (£5,500), and a pen-and-ink drawing called Happy Fish (£9,500).
2 Oct 2003
A pair of trousers worn in 1984 by the late Queen star Freddie Mercury were sold to the Hard Rock Cafe for £4,230 at a Christie's auction of pop memorabilia held in London, England. A wooden sculpture of a cupboard, designed by John Lennon, claimed the highest price of the day, £28,200. Hundreds of items related to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix also went under the hammer at the sale.
17 Jan 2003
A long-lost recording featuring John Lennon and Mick Jagger was set to spark a biding war at a London auction. The acetate record was recorded in 1974 with Jagger singing the blues song 'Too Many Cooks' and Lennon playing guitar. The track had never been released because the two artists were both signed to different record companies.
15 Aug 2002
A memorial to John Lennon was unveiled in the remote Scottish village of Durness where Lennon had spent his holidays from age seven to fifteen. The lyrics from 'In My Life' had been inscribed on three stones.
29 May 2002
A 16ft by 6ft mosaic designed by John Lennon went on display at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool. The mosaic had been built into Lennon's swimming pool at his Kenwood home in Surrey where he lived between 1964 and 1968.
6 May 2002
'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen was voted the UK's favourite single of all time in a poll by the Guinness Hit Singles book. 'Imagine' by John Lennon was voted in at No.2 and ‘Hey Jude’, The Beatles No.3, 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA was fourth and  Madonna 'Like A Prayer' was in fifth place.
15 Mar 2002
Yoko Ono unveiled a seven foot bronze statue of John Lennon overlooking the check-in hall of Liverpool John Lennon airport. The re-branding of the airport featured a sketch of Lennon's face with the words 'Above Us Only Skies.'
2 Oct 2001
Actor Kevin Spacey hosted Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Performers include, Alanis Morissette, Moby, Stone Temple Pilots and the Dave Mathews Band. The evening was closed with those present singing 'Give Peace A Chance'.
14 Aug 2001
A pizza-stained piece of paper signed by three of the four Beatles sold for $48,000 (£17,441) to an anonymous collector at an auction in Melbourne. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison all signed the paper during their 1964 tour of Australia. Drummer Ringo Starr had laryngitis and was not on the tour. A fan managed to get the autographs while the band was staying in a hotel in Adelaide.
2 Jul 2001
Liverpool Airport at Speke was renamed John Lennon Airport. Yoko Ono was present to unveil a new logo that included the late Beatle's famous self- portrait and the words, 'Above Us Only Sky' taken from his 'Imagine' album.
8 Dec 2000
A plaque to commemorate the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death was unveiled outside his childhood home in Liverpool.
22 Oct 2000
George Michael paid £1.45m for the Steinway piano on which John Lennon wrote 'Imagine'. George said, "I know that when my fingers touch the keys of that Steinway, I will feel truly blessed. And parting with my money has never been much of a problem, just ask my accountant." The singer outbid Robbie Williams and The Oasis brothers.
3 Oct 2000
John Lennon's assassin Mark Chapman was denied parole after serving 20 years in prison. Chapman was interviewed for 50 minutes by parole board members who concluded that releasing Chapman would 'deprecate the seriousness of the crime.'
12 Jul 2000
A statue erected in the memory of John Lennon was unveiled in London's Trafalgar Square. The sculpture featured a revolver with a knotted barrel created by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reutersward.
24 Mar 2000
A film company paid £635,000, ($1,079,500) for over nine hours of film shot during the 70s by Yoko Ono's first husbandTony Cox. The film contained shots of John Lennon smoking hash and talking about his political beliefs.
22 Feb 2000
The engagement ring Sex Pistol Sid Vicious gave to his girlfriend Nancy Spungen went on sale for auction at £1,500 ($2,550). Sid bought the ring from Camden market in 1977. Also on sale was a pair of John Lennon's jeans for £2,250 ($3,825).
18 Feb 2000
An American court ordered the release of FBI files relating to John Lennon's interests and activities including his support for the Irish Republican cause and the Workers Revolutionary Party. The British Government told the US that it wanted the files to remain secret. MI5 also had files on Lennon, which they had passed on the FBI during the 70s.
17 Feb 2000
John Lennon's Steinway piano, on which he composed 'Imagine', went on display at the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, England. The piano was set to be auctioned on the Internet later in the year and was expected to fetch more than £1 million ($1.7 million).
12 Dec 1998
A seven inch single by the Quarry Men featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison was named as the rarest record of all time, only 50 copies were made with each copy being valued at £10,000, ($20,500).
10 Dec 1998
A recording of a 1963 Beatles concert was sold at auction at Christies in London for £25,300, ($41,500). The tape of The Beatles' 10-song concert was recorded by the chief technician at the Gaumont Theatre in Bournemouth during one of six consecutive nights which The Beatles had played. Also sold for £5,195 ($8,500), was a set of autographs of five Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best, and Stuart Sutcliffe. The autographs had been obtained by a fan in Liverpool in 1961.
16 Sep 1998
At a Sotheby's auction a notebook belonging to former Beatles roadie Mal Evans containing the lyrics to 'Hey Jude' sold for £111,500, a two-tone denim jacket belonging to John Lennon went for £9,200 and the Union Jack dress worn by Spice Girl Ginger Spice sold for £41,320.
18 Sep 1996
At Sotheby's in London, Julian Lennon successfully bid just over $39,000 (£21,000), for the recording notes for the song Paul McCartney wrote for him, ‘Hey Jude’. At the same event, John Lennon's scribbled lyrics to 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite' sold for $103,500, (£57,500).
19 Mar 1996
The second Beatles Anthology series was released. The album featured 'Real Love', a track the remaining members of the Beatles recorded using an old demo track of John Lennon's. The song was first recorded by Lennon in 1977 with a handheld tape recorder on his piano at home. It originated as part of an unfinished stage play that Lennon was working on at the time entitled 'The Ballad of John and Yoko.'
20 Nov 1995
The Beatles Anthology 1 was released in the US, featuring 60 tracks including the track 'Free As A Bird', a song originally composed and recorded in 1977 as a home demo by John Lennon. In 1995 a studio version of the recording, incorporating contributions from Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr was released as a single by The Beatles.
6 Sep 1994
English keyboard player Nicky Hopkins died aged 50, in Nashville, Tennessee, of complications from intestinal surgery. Was a highly respected session musician, worked with The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, Small Faces, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, George Harrison, and the Jerry Garcia Band. The Kinks song 'Session Man' from Face to Face is dedicated to (and features) Hopkins.
15 Jan 1994
American singer songwriter Harry Nilsson died in his sleep of heart failure after spending the previous day in the recording studio. He recorded 'Everybody's Talkin' from the film Midnight Cowboy and wrote hits for Three Dog Night and The Monkees. Had the UK & US No.1 single with his version of the Badfinger Evans & Ham song 'Without You.' When John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a press conference in 1968 to announce the formation of Apple Corps, John was asked to name his favorite American artist. He replied, "Nilsson". Paul was then asked to name his favorite American group. He replied, "Nilsson".
27 Aug 1992
John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to The Beatles song 'A Day In The Life' from Sgt. Pepper sold in an auction at Sotheby's London for $100,000 (£56,600). The lyrics were put up for sale again in March 2006 by Bonhams in New York. Sealed bids were opened on 7 March 2006 and offers started at about $2 million. The lyric sheet was auctioned again by Sotheby's in June 2010 when it was purchased by an anonymous American buyer who paid $1,200,000 (£810,000).
7 May 1992
A leather Jacket worn by John Lennon during 1960-1963, was sold at Christies, London, England for £24,200.
11 May 1991
Roxette scored their fourth US No.1 single with 'Joyride.' The song was inspired by an interview with Paul McCartney who said that writing songs with John Lennon had been 'like a Joyride.'
31 Oct 1990
UK DJ Roger Scott died of cancer aged 46. Scott was one of the most respected broadcasters in the UK, working on Capital Radio for 15 years and then BBC Radio 1. Working as a presenter at the Montreal station 1470 CFOX, Scott sang on ‘Give Peace a Chance’, recorded by John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their "Bed-in" for peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada.
5 May 1990
The John Lennon tribute concert was held at the Pier Head Arena in Merseyside, featuring Lenny Kravitz, Al Green, Joe Cocker, The Christians, Kylie Minogue, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Deacon Blue, Lou Reed, Joe Walsh and Wet Wet Wet.
22 Jun 1988
American session guitarist Jesse Ed Davis died of a heroin overdose after collapsing in a laundry room in Venice, California, aged 43. Worked with Conway Twitty, The Monkees, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, Keith Moon, Jackson Browne, Steve Miller, Harry Nilsson and Taj Mahal.
9 Oct 1985
Marking what would have been John Lennon's 45th birthday, Yoko Ono formally opened the three and a half acre garden at the Strawberry Fields site in New York's Central Park. The area was planted with trees, shrubs and flowers gathered from across the world and with a $1m donation from Yoko.
29 Jun 1985
John Lennon's 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine, with psychedelic paintwork, sold for a record sum of $3,006,385, (£1,768,462) at a Sotheby's auction in New York.
3 Jun 1983
US session drummer Jim Gordon, murdered his mother by pounding her head with a hammer. A diagnosed schizophrenic, it was not until his trial in 1984 that he was properly diagnosed. Due to the fact that his attorney was unable to use the insanity defense, Gordon was sentenced to sixteen years-to-life in prison in 1984. A Grammy Award winner for co-writing Layla with Eric Clapton, Gordon worked with The Beach Boys, John Lennon, George Harrison Frank Zappa and many other artists.
18 Aug 1982
The City of Liverpool named four Streets after the fab four: John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Harrison Close and Ringo Starr Drive.
28 Mar 1982
David Crosby was arrested after crashing his car on the San Diego Highway. Police also found cocaine and a pistol in the Crosby Stills & Nash stars car. When the police asked Crosby why he carried the gun, his reply was, 'John Lennon'.
24 Feb 1982
The Police won best British group at the first annual Brit Awards held in London, Adam And The Ants won best album for 'Kings Of The Wild Frontier', Cliff Richard won British Male Solo Artist, Randy Crawford won British Female Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act went to The Human League, British Producer was Martin Rushent and Outstanding Contribution went to John Lennon.
30 Jan 1982
Paul McCartney guested on BBC radios Desert Island Discs his selections include, Elvis Presley's 'Heartbreak Hotel', Chuck Berry's 'Sweet Little Sixteen', John Lennon's 'Beautiful Boy 'and Little Richard's 'Tutti Frutti'.
22 Dec 1981
At a rock & roll memorabilia auction in London, a stage suit worn by John Lennon sold for £2,300, a letter from Paul McCartney to a fan sold for £2,200 and a Perspex sculpture of John & Yoko was bought by singer Kate Bush for £4,200.
24 Aug 1981
Mark Chapman was given a 20 year jail sentence for the murder of John Lennon. The 25 year old had shot Lennon five times at close range on December 8th, 1980 in front of The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Over the next few months, Chapman would claim many times to have been beaten by fellow inmates, some of whom allegedly tried to kill him.
22 Jun 1981
Mark Chapman pleaded guilty to the charge of murdering John Lennon in 1980. He was later sentenced to 20 years to life.
7 Feb 1981
John Lennon was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Woman', an ode to his wife Yoko Ono. It was Lennon's third No.1 in seven weeks after his death on December 8, 1980.
10 Jan 1981
John Lennon's Imagine started a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart, 10 years after it was recorded. Lennon had two other songs in the Top 5 this week, 'Happy Christmas, (War Is Over') and '(Just Like) Starting Over.' 'Imagine' was voted by the viewers of BBC TV as the best lyrics of all time in a poll broadcast in Oct 1999. Also on this day John and Yoko's 'Double Fantasy' album started an eight-week run at No.1 on the US chart. 'Just Like Starting Over' was at No.1 on the US singles chart.
20 Dec 1980
Twelve days after John Lennon was shot dead in New York City, '(Just Like) Starting Over', which was taken from his Double Fantasy album gave the former Beatle his first ever UK solo No.1 single.
14 Dec 1980
Yoko Ono called on fans to observe ten minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon. 30,000 gathered outside St George's Hall in Liverpool, while nearly 100,000 attend a memorial in New York's Central Park.
8 Dec 1980
John Lennon was shot five times by 25 year old Mark Chapman outside the Dakota building in New York City where John and Yoko lived. Chapman had been waiting for Lennon outside the Dakota apartments since mid-morning and had asked for an autograph earlier in the day. Lennon was pronounced dead from a massive loss of blood at 11.30pm. Chapman has since said he shot the former Beatle because he wanted to "steal" his fame — stating that now he was a bigger nobody than he was before. He also revealed he planned the killing for three months and considered murdering other celebrities who he thought were "phonies."
27 Oct 1980
Mark Chapman bought a five-shot .38 special for $169. A little over six weeks later, he would use the gun to kill John Lennon outside his New York City apartment.
23 Oct 1980
Mark David Chapman quit his security job and signed out for the last time. Instead of the usual "Chappy" he wrote "John Lennon". Chapman would murder Lennon on December 8th of this year outside his New York City home.
24 Sep 1980
The mixing of the forthcoming John Lennon and Yoko Ono album Double Fantasy moved from the Hit Factory in New York City to Record Plant East. During this session, John Lennon gave one of last ever interviews to Lisa Robinson from 97-FM in Buffalo.
7 Aug 1980
John Lennon began recording his final album, 'Double Fantasy' at The Hit Factory, in New York City. It would be released on November 17th by the newly-formed Geffen Records and would win the 1982 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
20 Jul 1977
Gary Kellgren studio engineer at the Los Angeles Record Plant studio drowned in a Hollywood Swimming pool. Kellgren had worked with John Lennon, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Barbra Streisand and Rod Stewart.
20 Nov 1976
Paul Simon hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live where he performed live with George Harrison on ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and ‘Homeward Bound’. Paul McCartney and John Lennon were both in New York City watching the show on TV.
7 Oct 1976
John Lennon was awarded his ‘Green Card’ - permanent residency status, at a hearing in New York which overturned previous efforts by the US Government to deport him. The three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals ruled that his 1968 arrest in Britain for possession of marijuana was "contrary to US ideas of due process and was invalid as a means of banishing the former Beatle from America."
22 May 1976
Wings started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Silly Love Songs', McCartney's fifth US No.1 since leaving The Beatles. Paul McCartney had often been teased by music critics as well as former Beatle and friend, John Lennon, for writing lightweight songs and he wrote this number in response.
24 Apr 1976
Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York Dakota apartment and watched Saturday Night Live on TV. Producer of the show Lorne Michaels made an offer on air asking The Beatles to turn up and play three songs live. Lennon and McCartney thought about taking a cab to the studio, but decided they were too tired. This was the last time Lennon and McCartney were together.
8 Nov 1975
David Bowie made his US TV debut performing 'Fame', on the Cher CBS-TV show. Bowie who was living in New York at the time had written the song with John Lennon during a jamming session.
20 Sep 1975
'Fame' gave David Bowie his first No.1 in the US. The song was co-written with John Lennon. Lennon's voice is heard towards the ending of the song repeating the words: "Fame, Fame, Fame" from a fast track, through a regular track, to a slow track, before Bowie finished the lyrics.
13 Jun 1975
John Lennon made his last ever TV appearance when he appeared on 'Salute To Sir Lew Grade', performing 'Slippin And Slidin', and 'Imagine'. The performance was recorded at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on April 18, 1975.
7 Mar 1975
David Bowie released his ninth studio album Young Americans. The album marked a departure from the glam rock style of Bowie's previous albums, showcasing his interest in soul and R&B music. Young Americans featured the song 'Fame' (co-written with Carlos Alomar and John Lennon), which gave Bowie his first US No.1 hit single.
4 Jan 1975
Elton John started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of The Beatles 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'. His third US No.1, the song featured John Lennon on guitar.
28 Nov 1974
John Lennon made one of his final concert appearances when he joined Elton John on stage at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. Lennon performed three songs; 'Whatever Gets You Thru The Night', 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.'
16 Nov 1974
John Lennon was at No.1 in the US singles chart with 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night.' Elton John played on the session and made a deal with Lennon that if the song reached No.1, Lennon would have to appear on stage live with Elton. Lennon kept his side of the deal and appeared live with Elton. They played three songs together: ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ and ‘Whatever Gets You Through the Night.’ Backstage after the concert, Lennon got back with Yoko Ono after a temporary split.
18 Jul 1974
The US Justice Department ordered John Lennon out of the country by September 10th. The Immigration and Naturalization Service denied him an extension of his non-immigrant visa because of his guilty plea in England to a 1968 marijuana possession charge. The US Court of Appeal would overturn the deportation order in 1975 and Lennon was granted permanent resident status the following year.
12 Mar 1974
John Lennon made the headlines after an incident at the Troubadour Club, LA. Out on a drinking binge with Harry Nilsson, Lennon hurled insults at the performing Smothers Brothers and punched their manager before being forcibly removed.
24 Nov 1973
Ringo Starr went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Photograph'. His first of two US chart toppers as a solo artist. Written by Starr and George Harrison, the promotional film shot for the single showed Starr walking around his new house at the time, Tittenhurst Park, which had been previously the home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, (and where the 'Imagine' promo film was shot).
24 Oct 1973
John Lennon began litigation against the US government, accusing them of tapping his telephone.
30 Aug 1972
John Lennon and Yoko Ono played Madison Square Gardens to raise money for the Willowbrook State School. Stevie Wonder, Sha Na Na and Roberta Flack also appeared at the event. Lennon personally bought $60,000 worth of tickets which were given to volunteer fund-raisers. Several of the performances were later included on Lennon's, Live in New York City album.
9 Jun 1972
Elvis Presley made entertainment history by performing four sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. George Harrison, John Lennon, David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Art Garfunkel were among music stars that attended the shows. The shows were recorded and became the album 'Elvis as recorded at Madison Square Garden'.
11 May 1972
John Lennon appeared on the US television 'Dick Cavett Show', claiming he was under surveillance from the FBI.
24 Apr 1972
John Lennon's controversial single, 'Woman Is the Nigger of the World' was released in the US. The song peaked at No.57, despite virtually every radio station in the country refusing to play it. Yoko Ono said the phrase during a magazine interview in 1967 and Lennon later explained that he was making a point that women deserved higher status in society.
16 Mar 1972
John Lennon lodged an appeal with the US immigration office in New York, after he was served with deportation orders arising from his 1968 cannabis possession conviction.
14 Feb 1972
John Lennon and Yoko Ono started a week long run as co-hosts on 'Mike Douglas' US TV show.
15 Nov 1971
In this week's Disc and Music Echo's Progressive album chart: No.5, Cat Stevens, 'Teaser and the Firecat, No.4, Hawkwind, 'In Search Of Space', No.3, Santana, No.2, Rod Stewart, 'Every Picture Tell's A Story' and No.1 John Lennon, Imagine.
30 Oct 1971
John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band went to No.1 on the UK album chart with Imagine. The album contained two tracks attacking Paul McCartney, 'How Do You Sleep' and 'Crippled Inside.' Early editions of the LP included a postcard featuring a photo of Lennon holding a pig, in mockery of McCartney's similar pose with a sheep on the cover of Ram. The front cover photo was a Polaroid taken by Andy Warhol.
13 Aug 1971
Saxophonist King Curtis Ousley was stabbed to death by a vagrant on the front steps of his New York home. Ousley had worked with John Lennon and also played on The Coasters 'Yakety Yak'.
13 Aug 1971
John Lennon flew from Heathrow Airport to New York, he never set foot on British soil again.
12 Aug 1971
John Lennon & Yoko Ono donated £1,000 to the Clyde Shipbuilders Scottish Union fighting fund who were refusing to stop work at the Glasgow site after being made redundant.
22 Jul 1971
John Lennon and Yoko Ono spent the second day filming the Imagine promotional film at their home in Tittenhurst Park Ascot, England. Today's footage included the morning walk on the grounds though the mist and John Lennon singing ‘Imagine’ in the white room on his white piano.
17 Jul 1971
John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared on the BBC late night talk show, Parkinson, where John chastised the British media for calling Yoko "ugly" and for saying that she broke up The Beatles.
6 Jun 1971
John & Yoko jammed live on stage with Frank Zappa at The Filmore East in New York. Some of these recordings were released in 1972, on John Lennon's third post-Beatles album, Some Time in New York City.
17 Apr 1971
All four Beatles had solo singles in the UK charts, Paul McCartney with 'Another Day', John Lennon 'Power To The People', George Harrison 'My Sweet Lord' and Ringo Starr 'It Don't Come Easy.'
26 Aug 1970
A party was held to celebrate the official opening of 'Electric Ladyland' studios in New York City, New York. Artists who went on to record at the studio include: Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, AC/DC, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa and  Guns N' Roses.
10 Apr 1970
27 year-old Paul McCartney issued a press statement, announcing that The Beatles had split, (one week before the release of his solo album). McCartney said, 'I have no future plans to record or appear with The Beatles again, or to write any music with John'. John Lennon, who had kept his much-earlier decision to leave The Beatles quiet for the sake of the others, was furious. When a reporter called Lennon to comment upon McCartney's resignation, Lennon said, 'Paul hasn't left. I sacked him'.
7 Apr 1970
On this week's US Top 5 singles chart; No.5, 'Bridge Over Trouble Water' by Simon and Garfunkel, No.4, 'Spirit In The Sky', Norman Greenbaum', No.3, 'Instant Karma!' by John Lennon, No.2, 'ABC' The Jackson 5 and at No.1, 'Let It Be', The Beatles.
1 Apr 1970
As an April Fool's joke, John Lennon and Yoko Ono issued a statement to the press that they were having dual sex change operations.
20 Feb 1970
The single 'Instant Karma!' by The Plastic Ono Band was released in the US. John Lennon had written, recorded and mixed the track all in one day on the 27th January 1970.
12 Feb 1970
John Lennon performed 'Instant Karma!' on BBC TV's Top Of The Pops, becoming the first Beatle to have appeared on the show since 1966. Lennon wrote, recorded, and mixed his new single, all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. Lennon later stated, "I wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch, and we're putting it out for dinner."
27 Jan 1970
John Lennon wrote, recorded and mixed his new single 'Instant Karma!' all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history, recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios and arriving in stores only ten days later.
16 Jan 1970
Two days after it opened, the Bag One Gallery in London, England was raided by Scotland Yard. The police remove eight John Lennon lithographs under the Obscene Publications Act.
9 Jan 1970
During a UK tour Led Zeppelin appeared at The Royal Albert Hall, London, the night of Jimmy Page's 26th birthday. (John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck were all in the audience). The two and a quarter hour set was recorded and filmed but shelved for several decades, eventually seeing a release on a 2003 official DVD.
4 Jan 1970
The Beatles (without John Lennon) re-record vocals and a new guitar solo on the Paul McCartney song 'Let It Be' at Studio Two, EMI Studios, London. This session will be the final studio appearance for The Beatles, as a group. (The final date that all four of The Beatles were in the studio together is August 20, 1969).
3 Jan 1970
Working on the Get Back sessions at Studio Two of EMI Studios, London, three Beatles (Paul, George, and Ringo) record 16 takes of the George Harrison song 'I Me Mine'. John Lennon was away in Denmark at the time. A decade later it became the title of George Harrison's auto-biography.
15 Dec 1969
John Lennon played what would be his final ever gig in the UK when he appeared at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, with the Plastic Ono Band in a UNICEF 'Peace For Christmas' benefit. George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie, Billy Preston and The Who's drummer, Keith Moon also took part.
25 Nov 1969
John Lennon returned his MBE to The Queen on the grounds of the UK's involvement in the Nigeria Biafra war, America in Vietnam, and against his latest single 'Cold Turkey' slipping down the charts.
12 Oct 1969
A DJ on Detroit's WKNR radio station received a phone call telling him that if you play The Beatles 'Strawberry Fields Forever' backwards, you hear John Lennon say the words "I buried Paul." This started a worldwide rumour that Paul McCartney was dead.
25 Sep 1969
John Lennon recorded the track 'Cold Turkey', with Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman and Yoko. Lennon presented the song to Paul McCartney as a potential single by The Beatles, but was refused and released it as a Plastic Ono Band single with sole writing credits to him.
20 Sep 1969
During a meeting in London between John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Lennon announced he was leaving The Beatles.
13 Sep 1969
John Lennon & Yoko Ono flew to Canada to perform at the Rock & Roll Revival Show in Toronto, Canada. The band members Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and drummer Alan White were put together so late that they had to rehearse on the plane from England. Also making an appearance at the concert were Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Bo Diddley, The Doors and Alice Cooper. Lennon later released his performance as the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album.
22 Aug 1969
The Beatles met at John Lennon's Tittenhurst Park home in England for their final ever photo session. Three shots from this session (by Ethan Russell) formed the front and back covers of the Capitol compilation album Hey Jude. Yoko Ono and a pregnant Linda McCartney (she was to give birth to daughter Mary six days later) appeared in some photographs with The Beatles.
21 Jul 1969
The Beatles started work on the John Lennon song 'Come Together' at Abbey Road studios in London. The track became the opening song on The Beatles Abbey Road album and was later released as a double A-sided single with ’Something’, their twenty-first single in the UK and twenty-sixth in the US where it reached the top of the charts.
9 Jul 1969
Working at Abbey Road studios in London The Beatles recorded ‘Maxwell's Silver Hammer.’ John Lennon returned to the studio after recovering from a car crash in Scotland, and a bed was installed in the Abbey Road studio for Yoko, who was pregnant, and who had been more seriously injured in the car accident.
7 Jul 1969
George Harrison recorded his new song 'Here Comes the Sun' with just two other Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at Abbey Road in London. John Lennon was absent recovering from a car crash in Scotland.
2 Jul 1969
Working on tracks for the Abbey Road album, Paul McCartney recorded ‘Her Majesty’. Then Paul, George, and Ringo record 15 takes of ‘Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight’. John Lennon was absent, in hospital in Golspie, Scotland, following a car accident the previous day.
1 Jul 1969
John Lennon Yoko Ono and family were involved in a car accident in Golspie, Scotland. Both John and Yoko needed hospital treatment. Lennon later had the car crushed into a cube and exhibited it on his lawn at Tittenhurst Park.
11 Jun 1969
The Beatles were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'The Ballad Of John and Yoko' the group's 17th UK No.1. The only two Beatles that played on the track were John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
26 May 1969
John Lennon and Yoko Ono began an eight-day 'bed in', in room 1742 of The Hotel La Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Canada, to promote world peace. They recorded 'Give Peace a Chance' in the hotel room (Petula Clark can be heard on the chorus). The song was credited to Lennon & McCartney, even though Paul had nothing to do with the record.
15 May 1969
John Lennon's Life With The Lions was released on Apple's avant-garde imprint Zapple. One side of the album was recorded on a cassette player at London's Queen Charlotte Hospital during Yoko Ono's pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage.
8 May 1969
John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr signed a business management contract with Allen Klein and his company ABKCO, but Paul McCartney refused to sign, continuing to let the Eastmans represent his interests.
5 May 1969
The Beatles single 'Get Back' was released in the US. John Lennon claimed in 1980 that "there's some underlying thing about Yoko in there", claiming that Paul McCartney looked at Yoko Ono in the studio every time he sang "Get back to where you once belonged."
14 Apr 1969
The recording of 'The Ballad Of John and Yoko' took place, with just two Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Paul played bass, drums and piano with John on guitars and lead vocals. The song was banned from many radio stations as being blasphemous. On some stations, the word 'Christ' was edited in backwards to avoid the ban.
29 Mar 1969
John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Black Sabbath, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Curved Air, J.J. Jackson's Dilemma, Shy Limbs, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Sunflower Brass Band and Toe Fat all appeared at the London Free Easter Festival in Bethnal Green, London, England.
25 Mar 1969
John Lennon and Yoko Ono started their week long 'bed-in' in the presidential suite at The Amsterdam Hilton hotel. The couple invited the world's press into their hotel room every day, to talk about promoting world peace.
20 Mar 1969
John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. They spent their honeymoon in Amsterdam campaigning for an international 'Bed-In' for peace. They planned another 'Bed-in' in the United States, but were denied entry. The couple then went to Montreal, and during a 'Bed-in' at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel recorded ‘Give Peace a Chance’. Lennon also detailed this period in The Beatles ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’, recorded by Lennon and McCartney on April 14, 1969.
2 Feb 1969
Yoko Ono divorced her husband Tony Cox, Yoko was granted custody of their daughter Kyoko. John Lennon married Yoko the following month on 30th March.
30 Jan 1969
The Beatles with Billy Preston, played their lunchtime rooftop gig on top of the Apple building on Savile Row, London. Lasting for just over 40 minutes it was the last time The Beatles performed live. The played ‘Get Back’, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, ‘The One After 909’ and ‘Dig A Pony’. Traffic was brought to a standstill as crowds of people gathered below and watched from windows in nearby buildings. John Lennon ended the performance by saying "I’d like to say ‘Thank you’ on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition."
24 Jan 1969
New Jersey state prosecutors issue a warning to US record dealers that they would be charged with distributing pornography if they were caught selling the John Lennon / Yoko Ono LP 'Two Virgins'. The front cover of the album showed the pair frontally nude, while the back cover showed them from behind. The album still managed to reach No.124 on the US, but failed to chart at all in the UK, where only 5,000 copies were ever pressed.
2 Jan 1969
The entire shipment of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's album 'Two Virgins' was seized by authorities in New Jersey due to the full frontal nude photograph of the couple on the cover. The album was eventually wrapped in plain brown paper in record stores.
11 Dec 1968
Filming began for The Rolling Stones 'Rock & Roll Circus.' As well as clowns and acrobats, John Lennon and his fiancee Yoko Ono performed as part of a supergroup called The Dirty Mac, along with Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards. It was originally meant to be aired on the BBC, but the Rolling Stones withheld it because they were unhappy with their performance. The film was eventually released in 1996.
28 Sep 1968
The Beatles started a nine week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Hey Jude’. The Paul McCartney song written about John Lennon's son Julian gave the group their 16th US No.1 and the biggest selling single of 1968. In 1996, Julian paid £25,000 for the recording notes to the song at an auction.
28 Aug 1968
Working at Trident Studios, London, The Beatles started recording a new John Lennon song ‘Dear Prudence’. They built the song instrument by instrument, utilizing the 8-track equipment at Trident. John and George played guitars, while Paul played drums to compensate for Ringo Starr who had quit The Beatles on August 22.
29 Jul 1968
The first recording session of The Beatles seven-minute epic ‘Hey Jude’ took place at Abbey Road studios London. The Paul McCartney song was written about John Lennon's son Julian.
28 Jun 1968
Working at Abbey Road studios The Beatles recorded ‘Good Night’, John Lennon’s lullaby for his 5-year-old son Julian with Ringo singing the lead vocal. The track appeared on The White Album.
14 May 1968
John Lennon and Paul McCartney appeared on NBC-TV's Tonight Show with guest-host Joe Garagiola sitting in for Johnny Carson. The conversation included some light hearted banter about meditation, the forming of Apple Corps. and song writing.
19 Apr 1968
John Lennon, George Harrison and their wives left the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in Rishikesh, India two weeks before their study was complete. Ringo and Paul had already left.
15 Feb 1968
John and Cynthia John Lennon, along with George and Patti Harrison, flew to India to study meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Paul and Ringo joined them a few days later, but Starr would become bored and leave on March 1st, comparing the experience to be like a 'Butlins holiday camp.' Much of the Beatles' The White Album was written during their stay.
9 Nov 1967
The first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine was published in San Francisco. It featured a photo of John Lennon on the cover, dressed in army fatigues while acting in his recent film, How I Won the War and the first issue had a free roach clip to hold a marijuana joint. The name of the magazine was compiled from three significant sources: the Muddy Waters song, the first rock ‘n’ roll record by Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.
29 Sep 1967
Working at Abbey Road in London, The Beatles mixed the new John Lennon song ‘I Am The Walrus’, which included the sound of a radio being tuned through numerous stations, coming to rest on a BBC production of William Shakespeare's "King Lear". Lennon composed the song by combining three songs he had been working on. When he learned that a teacher at his old primary school was having his students analyse Beatles' lyrics, he added a verse of nonsense words.
27 Sep 1967
Working on new songs The Beatles recorded various parts for the new John Lennon song ‘I Am The Walrus’ and the new Paul McCartney song ‘Fool On The Hill.’ Lennon received a letter from a pupil at Quarry Bank High School, that mentioned an English teacher was making his class analyse Beatles' lyrics. Lennon, amused that a teacher was putting so much effort into understanding the Beatles' lyrics, decided to write in his next song the most confusing lyrics that he could.
5 Sep 1967
Working at Abbey Road studios, London, The Beatles began recording John Lennon’s new song ‘I Am The Walrus’, recording 16 takes of the basic backing track.
19 Jul 1967
The Beatles were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'All You Need Is Love' the group's 12th UK No.1 single. The Beatles had been selected to represent the UK for the first-ever global-wide satellite broadcast. The group agreed to be shown in the studio recording a song written especially for the occasion, (which was aired on June 25). John Lennon wrote ‘All You Need is Love’ which was thought to sum up the 1967 'summer of love' and The Beatles' sympathies.
3 Jul 1967
A private party was held at the Speakeasy Club in London, England for The Monkees. Guests included: John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Dusty Springfield, Eric Clapton, Lulu and all the members from Manfred Mann, The Who and Procol Harum.
18 May 1967
The Beatles were selected to represent the UK for the first-ever global-wide satellite broadcast. The group agreed to be shown in the studio recording a song written especially for the occasion, scheduled for June 25. John Lennon wrote ‘All You Need is Love’ which was thought to sum up the 1967 'summer of love' and The Beatles' sympathies. With the satellite broadcast being broadcast to many non-English-speaking countries, the BBC asked The Beatles to 'keep it simple'.
17 May 1967
Working at Abbey Road studios The Beatles began recording a new John Lennon song ‘You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)’. The song was not finished until November 1969, and was not released until March 1970 (as the B-side of the ‘Let it Be’ single).
29 Apr 1967
The 14 hour Technicolour Dream benefit party for The International Times was held at Alexandra Palace in London. Seeing the event mentioned on TV, John Lennon called his driver and went to the show. Coincidentally, Yoko Ono was one of the performers. Other acts to appear included The Flies, Pink Floyd, Arthur Brown, The Move and Suzie Creamcheese.
21 Apr 1967
Working at Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles completed the sessions for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The final recordings were a short section of gibberish and noise which would follow 'A Day in the Life', in the run-out groove. They recorded assorted noises and voices, which engineer Geoff Emerick then cut-up and randomly re-assembled and edits backwards. At John Lennon's suggestion, they also added a high-pitch 15 kilocycle whistle audible only by dogs. These were omitted from the American version of the album.
8 Apr 1967
John Lennon took his Rolls Royce to coachbuilders J.P. Fallon Ltd in Surrey to enquire if they could paint his car in psychedelic colours. This was based on an idea by Marijke Koger ("The Fool" who was a member of Dutch team of gypsy artists). J.P. Fallon commissioned Steve Weaver's pattern of scroll and flowers for the Phantom V. The cost for having the work done came in at £2,000. A custom interior/exterior sound system was also installed as well as a Sony television; telephone (WEYBRIDGE 46676) and a portable refrigerator.
28 Mar 1967
Working on sessions for the new Beatles album Sgt. Pepper at Abbey Road studios in London, John Lennon recorded his lead vocal for ‘Good Morning Good Morning’, and Paul McCartney added a lead guitar solo to the track. Lennon had decided he wanted to end the song with animal sound effects, and asked that they be sequenced in such a way that each successive animal was capable of scaring or eating the preceding one.
27 Mar 1967
John Lennon and Paul McCartney were awarded the prestigious Ivor Novello award for 'Michelle', the most performed song in the UK in 1966.
1 Mar 1967
Working at Abbey Road studios, London, The Beatles started recording a new John Lennon song 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'. The song was inspired by a drawing his 3 year-old son Julian returned home from school with one day. The picture, which was of a little girl with lots of stars, was his classmate - Lucy O’Donnell, who also lived in Weybridge, and attended the same school as Julian.
17 Feb 1967
The Beatles started recording a new John Lennon song 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite' at Abbey Road studios, London. John's lyrics for the song came almost entirely from an antique poster advertising a circus performance scheduled to take place in Rochdale, Lancashire, in February 1843. John had purchased the poster in Sevenoaks on January 31 while The Beatles were on location for the filming of the 'Strawberry Fields Forever' promotional film.
31 Jan 1967
The Beatles spent a second day at Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, England to complete filming for the 'Strawberry Fields Forever' promotional video. The film was shot in colour, for the benefit of the US market, since UK television was still broadcasting only in black and white. Taking time out from filming John Lennon bought a 1843 poster from an antiques shop in Surrey which provided him with most the lyrics for The Beatles song 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite'.
17 Jan 1967
The Daily Mail ran the story about a local council survey finding 4,000 holes in the road in Lancashire inspiring John Lennon's contribution to The Beatles song 'A Day In The Life'.
29 Dec 1966
Working at Abbey Road studios, London, Paul McCartney began work on his new song ‘Penny Lane’, recording six takes of keyboard tracks and various percussion effects. The song's title is derived from the name of a street near John Lennon's house, in the band's hometown, Liverpool. McCartney and Lennon would meet at Penny Lane junction in the Mossley Hill area to catch a bus into the centre of the city.
26 Dec 1966
John Lennon appeared as a men's room attendant in Peter Cook's and Dudley Moore's BBC TV UK show 'Not only... But also'.
18 Dec 1966
Tara Browne was killed when driving at high speed in his Lotus Elan after it collided with a parked lorry in South Kensington, London. A close friend of The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Brian Jones his death was immortalized in The Beatles song 'A Day In The Life’ after John Lennon read a report on the coroner's verdict into Browne's death.
8 Dec 1966
Working at Abbey Road in London, Paul McCartney overdubbed his lead vocal for ‘When I'm Sixty-Four’. Then The Beatles set about remaking a new John Lennon song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’
24 Nov 1966
The Beatles got 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 was John Lennon's 'Strawberry Fields Forever', which would not end up on the album, but as The Beatles' next single. This day's session was devoted entirely to ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’
9 Nov 1966
John Lennon met Yoko Ono for the first time when he visited her art exhibition 'Unfinished Paintings and Objects' at the Indica Gallery in London.
12 Oct 1966
28 years after its creation, The Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus was finally released. The 1968 event put together by The Stones comprised two concerts on a circus stage and included performaces by The Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull and Jethro Tull. John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed as part of a supergroup called The Dirty Mac, along with Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell and Keith Richards. It was originally planned to be aired on BBC TV.
5 Sep 1966
John Lennon started work on his role as Private Gripweed in the film 'How I Won The War'. The black comedy directed by Richard Lester, was filmed in Spain in Almería Province and saw Lennon, taking a long-overdue break from The Beatles after nearly four years of constant touring.
11 Aug 1966
At a press conference held at The Astor Towers Hotel in Chicago, John Lennon apologised for his remarks that The Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus'. Lennon told reporters "Look, I wasn’t saying The Beatles are better than God or Jesus, I said ‘Beatles’ because it’s easy for me to talk about The Beatles. I could have said ‘TV’ or ‘Cinema’, ‘Motorcars’ or anything popular and would have got away with it’’.
8 Aug 1966
In response to John Lennon's remark about The Beatles being bigger than Jesus, The South African Broadcasting Corporation banned all Beatles records. Also on this day The Beatles LP Revolver was released in the US, the bands seventh album featured: ‘Taxman’, ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘I'm Only Sleeping’, ‘Here, There and Everywhere’, ‘She Said She Said’, ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. It spent 77 weeks on the Billboard chart peaking at No.1.
29 Jul 1966
Datebook published Maureen Cleave’s interview with John Lennon in which he said ‘We’re bigger than Jesus now.’ American Christian’s reacted with outrage, organising ‘Beatle bonfires’ burning the group's records.
25 Jun 1966
The Beatles started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Paperback Writer', the group's 12th US No.1. The track is marked by the boosted bass guitar sound throughout, partly in response to John Lennon demanding to know why the bass on a certain Wilson Pickett record far exceeded the bass on any Beatles records. It was also cut louder than any other Beatles record, due to a new piece of equipment used in the mastering process.
23 Jun 1966
The Beatles had their tenth consecutive UK No.1 single with 'Paperback Writer' / 'Rain.' The track is marked by the boosted bass guitar sound throughout, partly in response to John Lennon demanding to know why the bass on a certain Wilson Pickett record far exceeded the bass on any Beatles records. It was also cut louder than any other Beatles record, due to a new piece of equipment used in the mastering process.
21 Jun 1966
Working at Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles recorded from start to finish, a new John Lennon song ‘She Said She Said’. The song was reportedly based on a bizarre conversation that Lennon had with Peter Fonda while John and George Harrison were tripping on LSD.
1 Jun 1966
During a 12 hour session at Abbey Road studios, The Beatles added overdubs on 'Yellow Submarine', with John Lennon blowing bubbles in a bucket of water and shouting "Full speed ahead Mister Captain!" Roadie Mal Evans played on a bass drum strapped to his chest, marching around the studio with The Beatles following behind (conga-line style) singing "We all live in a yellow submarine."
26 May 1966
The Beatles recorded 'Yellow Submarine' at Abbey Road studios in London. Recovering from a case of food poisoning, producer George Martin missed this recording, EMI engineer Geoff Emerick worked on the session. The track features John Lennon blowing bubbles in a bucket of water, shouting "Full speed ahead Mister Captain!"
27 Apr 1966
The Beatles started recording the new John Lennon song 'I'm Only Sleeping' at Abbey Road studios London, England. The song features the then-unique sound of a reversed guitar duet played by George Harrison. It was released two months earlier in the United States on the album Yesterday And Today and did not feature on the original US version of Revolver .
20 Apr 1966
During a 12 hour session at Abbey Road studios in London The Beatles worked on a new John Lennon song 'And Your Bird Can Sing', and a new George Harrison song 'Taxman'.
7 Apr 1966
Working at Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles recorded overdubs on the new John Lennon song 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and the new Paul McCartney song 'Got to Get You Into My Life' for the forthcoming Revolver album.
6 Apr 1966
The first session of what would become The Beatles album Revolver started in the evening at Abbey Road studios London, with the recording of the basic track of a new John Lennon song 'Tomorrow Never Knows.'
1 Apr 1966
John Lennon bought a copy of Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience and The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, where he read near the beginning of the book's introduction; "When in doubt, relax, turn off your mind, float downstream," which captured Lennon's imagination and became the first line of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' which he recorded 5 days later.
4 Mar 1966
John Lennon's statement that The Beatles were 'more popular than Jesus Christ' was published in The London Evening Standard. His opinions drew no controversy when published in the UK, but when republished in the US a few months later, angry reactions flared up in Christian communities. Extensive protests broke out with some radio stations banning Beatles songs and their records were publicly burned.
26 Oct 1965
Queen Elizabeth II invested The Beatles with their MBE's at Buckingham Palace, London. According to an account by John Lennon the group smoked marijuana in one of the palace bathrooms to calm their nerves. Many former recipients gave their MBE's back in protest, to which John Lennon responded "Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE received theirs for heroism in the war, for killing people." He continued: "We received ours for entertaining other people. I'd say we deserve ours more."
21 Oct 1965
Wanting to improve on a previous recording session The Beatles started from scratch on a new song called 'Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)', finishing recordings in three takes. They also begin working on another new John Lennon song 'Nowhere Man.'
27 Aug 1965
On the last day of a five-day break from their North American tour, The Beatles attended a recording session for The Byrds. Later that afternoon, The Beatles met Elvis Presley at his mansion in Beverly Hills. It was an awkward meeting, leaving The Beatles with the impression that Presley's personality was decidedly "unmagnetic". John Lennon remarked soon after, ‘Where’s Elvis’ It was like meeting Engelbert Humperdinck.’
13 Aug 1965
The Beatles arrived at Kennedy International Airport for a tour of North America. The set list for the tour was ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘She's a Woman’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’, ‘Ticket to Ride’, ‘Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby’, ‘Can't Buy Me Love’, ‘Baby's in Black’, ‘Act Naturally’, ‘A Hard Day's Night’, ‘Help!’, ‘I'm Down’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Man.’ The tour was not a happy one for The Beatles, John Lennon took to screaming off-microphone obscenities at the audiences.
5 Aug 1965
The Beatles were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Help!' the group's eighth consecutive UK No.1 single. John Lennon later stated he wrote the lyrics of the song to express his stress after the Beatles' quick rise to success. "I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for 'Help'."
13 Jul 1965
Paul McCartney was presented with five Ivor Novello Awards at a lunch party at The Savoy, London. John Lennon refused to attend; Paul was 40 minutes late after he had forgotten about the engagement.
24 Jun 1965
John Lennon's second book of poetry and drawings, 'A Spaniard In The Works', was published. The book consisted of nonsensical stories and drawings similar to the style of his 1964 book 'In His Own Write'.
15 May 1965
Bob Dylan's single 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' peaked at No.39 in the US charts, giving Dylan his first US top 40 hit. John Lennon was reported to find the song so captivating that he didn't know how he'd be able to write a song that could compete with it.
13 Apr 1965
The Beatles record the song ‘Help!’ during an evening recording session at Abbey Road in London. During an interview with Playboy Magazine in 1980, John Lennon recounted: "The whole Beatles thing was just beyond comprehension. I was subconsciously crying out for help".
19 Feb 1965
Working at Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles recorded a new John Lennon song 'You're Going To Lose That Girl' in two takes. The track was released on the Help! album.
18 Feb 1965
Working at Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles recorded two new songs: John Lennon's 'You've Got to Hide Your Love Away' and a new Paul McCartney song 'Tell Me What You See'.
12 Feb 1965
Pye Records announced that they'd signed 'the British Bob Dylan', when they added Donovan to the label. The Scottish singer-songwriter produced a series of hit albums and singles between 1965 and 1970 and became a friend of leading pop musicians including Joan Baez, Brian Jones and The Beatles. He influenced John Lennon when he taught him a finger-picking guitar style in 1968.
10 Jan 1965
John Lennon appeared on the UK TV Peter Cook and Dudley Moore show, 'Not Only But Also.'
19 Sep 1964
Oxfam printed half a million Christmas cards in the UK of a drawing by John Lennon called the Fat Budgie, which was taken from his book A Spaniard in the Works. All profits from the cards went to help raise money for charity. Oxfam re-printed the cards in 2007 as a limited edition card which again sold thousands.
28 Jul 1964
On their second visit to Sweden, The Beatles played two shows at an ice hockey arena, the Johanneshovs Isstadion, Stockholm. During the first show, both Paul McCartney and John Lennon received mild electrical shocks from ungrounded microphones. Supporting acts included The Kays, The Moonlighters, and The Streaplers.
10 Jul 1964
200,000 Liverpudlians took to the streets to celebrate The Beatles return to Liverpool for the northern premiere of the group's first film 'A Hard Day's Night.' The group were honored in a public ceremony in front of Liverpool Town Hall and as The Beatles stood on a balcony looking at the large crowd gathered below, John Lennon gave a few Nazi "Sieg Heil" salutes. Not everyone appreciated his sense of humor.
27 Jun 1964
Peter and Gordon went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the John Lennon and Paul McCartney song 'A World Without Love', also a No.1 in the UK. Peter Asher went on to become James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt's manager.
17 May 1964
Bob Dylan made his first major concert UK appearance when he played at the Royal Festival Hall in London with an afternoon show listed as a ‘Folksong Concert’. Dylan's 18-song set included the live debut of Mr. Tambourine Man and took place on a Sunday afternoon. In the interval, Dylan received a telegram from John Lennon seeking a meeting which never materialised.
23 Mar 1964
John Lennon's book of verse and rhyme 'In His Own Write' was published in the UK. Some of the content was first published in Lennon's 'Beachcomber' column in the Liverpool weekly paper Mersey Beat.
19 Feb 1964
A British company shipped ½ ton of Beatle wigs to the US. An American reporter later asked John Lennon, "How do you feel about teenagers imitating you with Beatle wigs?" John replied "They're not imitating us because we don't wear Beatle wigs."
27 Dec 1963
The music critics from the UK newspaper The Times, named John Lennon and Paul McCartney as The Outstanding Composers of 1963. Two days later, the Sunday Times' music critic Richard Buckle proclaims the same two songwriters "the greatest composers since Beethoven."
4 Nov 1963
The Beatles topped the bill at The Royal Variety Show at The Prince Of Wales Theatre, London. With the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret in the audience, this was the night when John Lennon made his famous remark ‘In the cheaper seats you clap your hands. The rest of you, just rattle your jewellery’. The show was broadcast on UK television on the Nov 10th 1963.
10 Sep 1963
During a chance meeting between The Rolling Stones at Studio 51 Jazz Club in London with Paul McCartney and John Lennon, the two played the Stones a partly finished song 'I Wanna Be Your Man' which the Stones later record.
7 Sep 1963
The Beatles recorded an appearance on the BBC radio program ‘Saturday Club’, at the Playhouse Theatre in London. They performed ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Memphis’, ‘Happy Birthday Saturday Club’ (arrangement credited to John Lennon), ‘I'll Get You’, ‘She Loves You’, and ‘Lucille’.
22 Aug 1963
Billy J Kramer And The Dakotas were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Bad To Me.' A song John Lennon wrote for them while on holiday in Spain with Brian Epstein. The track later became the first Lennon–McCartney composition to reach the US Top 40 for an artist other than The Beatles.
29 Jul 1963
Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with '(You're The) Devil In Disguise'. His 14th UK No.1. In 1963, when the song was debuted to a British audience on the BBC television show Juke Box Jury, the celebrity guest John Lennon voted the song "a miss" stating on the new song that Elvis Presley was "like Bing Crosby now."
12 Mar 1963
The Beatles played at the Granada Cinema in Bedford. Also on the bill, Chris Montez and Tommy Roe. John Lennon, suffering from a heavy cold, was unable to perform, so The Beatles set was rearranged so that George and Paul could sing the parts that John usually sang.
5 Mar 1963
The Beatles recorded what would be their third single 'From Me to You' just five days after John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song. Originally planned as the B-side of the record, it was switched to the A-side during the recording session, with 'Thank You Girl' demoted to the B-side.
11 Feb 1963
In less than ten hours, The Beatles record ten new songs for their first album plus four other tracks which would be the next two singles. John Lennon's vocal on The Isley Brothers 'Twist & Shout' was recorded in one take to complete the album.
23 Aug 1962
John Lennon married Cynthia Powell at Liverpool's Mount Pleasant register office. He then played a gig that night with The Beatles at Liverpool's Riverpark Ballroom.
14 Aug 1962
Unhappy with drummer Pete Best's role in The Beatles Brian Epstein and the other three members decided to sack him. Best played his last gig the following night at The Cavern, Liverpool. Ringo Starr who was nearing the end of a three-month engagement with Rory Storm & the Hurricanes at a Butlin's holiday camp received a telephone call from John Lennon, asking him to join The Beatles. Ringo gave Rory Storm three days notice and on August 18, appeared as a member of The Beatles for the first time.
14 Mar 1962
Bruce Channel started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Hey! Baby'. The song features a prominent riff from well-known harmonica player Delbert McClinton who while touring the UK in 1962 met John Lennon and gave him some harmonica tips. Lennon put the lessons to use right away on 'Love Me Do' and later 'Please Please Me'.
10 Mar 1962
Bruce Channel started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Hey! Baby'. The song features a prominent riff from harmonica player Delbert McClinton, who while touring the UK in 1962 with The Beatles, McClinton met John Lennon and gave him some harmonica tips. Lennon put the lessons to use right away on ‘Love Me Do’.
6 Dec 1961
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best met with Brian Epstein for further discussions about his proposal to manage them. Epstein wanted 25% of their gross fees each week. He promises that they will never again play for less than £15, except for The Cavern lunchtime sessions, for which he will get their fee doubled to ten pounds. Lennon, as leader of The Beatles accepts on their behalf.
3 Dec 1961
Brian Epstein invited The Beatles into his office to discuss the possibility of becoming their manager. John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best arrived late for the 4pm meeting, (they had been drinking at the Grapes pub in Matthew Street), but Paul McCartney was not with them, because, as Harrison explained, he had just got up and was "taking a bath".
15 Oct 1960
The Beatles (minus Pete Best) and two members of Rory Storm's Hurricanes (Ringo Starr and Lou Walters) recorded a version of George Gershwin's ‘Summertime’ in a Hamburg recording studio. The track which was cut onto a 78-rpm disc marked the first session that included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo together.
17 Aug 1960
The Beatles began their first Hamburg engagement at the Indra Club, Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg, West Germany, playing the first of 48 nights at the Club. The owner, Bruno Koschmider, asked The Beatles to "Mach Shau", or really put on a show, which led to the band screaming, shouting, and leaping about the stage and sometimes playing lying on the floor. John Lennon once appeared wearing only his underwear and on another occasion, wearing a toilet seat around his neck. The Beatles lodged in a single room behind the screen of a nearby movie house.
20 May 1960
The Silver Beetles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe, and Tommy Moore) played the first night of a short tour of Scotland backing singer Johnny Gentle, at Alloa Town Hall in Clackmannanshire. Three of the Silver Beetles adopted stage names: Paul McCartney became Paul Ramon, George Harrison was Carl Harrison, and Stuart Sutcliffe became Stuart de Stael.
14 May 1960
The Silver Beats (John Lennon, Paul McCartney George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe, and Tommy Moore) performed at Lathom Hall, Seaforth, Liverpool. They played a few songs during the "interval" to audition for promoter Brian Kelly. Also appearing are Cliff Roberts & the Rockers, The Deltones, and Kingsize Taylor & the Dominoes. This is the only occasion on which the group uses the name "Silver Beats", quickly changing it back to "Silver Beetles".
10 May 1960
The Silver Beetles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, and Tommy Moore) auditioned for promoter Larry Parnes and singer Billy Fury for a job as Fury's backing group. Parnes was also looking for backing groups for his lesser-known acts, and The Silver Beetles were selected as backing group for singer Johnny Gentle's upcoming tour of Scotland. The group had changed its name from 'The Beatals' to 'The Silver Beetles' after Brian Casser (of Cass and the Cassanovas) remarked that the name 'Beatals' was "ridiculous". He suggested they use the name 'Long John and the Silver Beetles', but John Lennon refused to be referred to as 'Long John'.
23 Apr 1960
The Nerk Twins appeared at The Fox And Hounds in Caversham, Berkshire, England. The Nerk Twins being John Lennon and Paul McCartney who were staying at Paul's aunt's pub.
31 Oct 1959
The Quarry Men decided to change their name to Johnny and the Moondogs. The band were in Liverpool auditioning for the Carrol Levis show. The Quarry Men featured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison.
29 Aug 1959
The Quarry Men (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ken Brown) performed at the Casbah Coffee Club, Hayman's Green, West Derby, Liverpool. This is the opening night of a new teen club in a large Victorian house that is owned by Mrs. Mona Best and the first of seven straight Saturdays that The Quarry Men play here. The band shared one microphone connected to the house P.A.
20 Dec 1958
John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison appeared as The Quarry Men at the wedding reception of George's older brother, Harry. The event was held at the Harrison family home at 25 Upton Green, Speke, Liverpool.
15 Jul 1958
John Lennon's mother Julia was killed by a car driven by an off-duty drunken police officer named Eric Clague (Clague was later acquitted of the offence). Lennon was 17 years old at the time.
12 Jul 1958
The Quarrymen, featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John "Duff" Lowe on piano and Colin Hanton on drums, recorded a vanity disc at a small studio in an electronics shop owned by a man named Percy Phillips. The band recorded 'That'll Be The Day' and 'In Spite Of Danger' in one take each. With the names of the tunes and the song's writers hand written on the label, each band member was to keep the 10-inch 78 rpm disc for a week before passing it on. Both recordings eventually ended up on Anthology 1.
6 Feb 1958
George Harrison joined Liverpool group The Quarrymen. The group who were named after Lennon's school featured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Len Garry, Eric Griffiths and John Lowe.
18 Oct 1957
Paul McCartney made his first appearance with The Quarry Men at New Clubmoor Hall, Norris Green, Liverpool. The line-up for The Quarry Men was John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Eric Griffiths, Colin Hanton, and Len Garry. Paul played John some songs that he had composed which Lennon contributes, marking the birth of the Lennon and McCartney songwriting partnership.
7 Aug 1957
The Quarry Men played at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, (without Paul McCartney who was away at Boy Scout summer camp). The Cavern was still a jazz club, but skiffle was tolerated, but when John Lennon dared to play ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, the club owner sent a note to the stage saying, "Cut out the bloody rock!"
31 Jul 1957
Richard Starkey (later known as Ringo Starr) is thought to have made his debut at the The Cavern playing drums with the Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group. John Lennon made his first appearance at the club a week later with The Quarry Men Skiffle Group. Paul McCartney made his first appearance in January 1958 with The Quarry Men.
6 Jul 1957
John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time at The Woolton Church Parish Fete where The Quarry Men were appearing. As The Quarry Men were setting up for their evening performance, McCartney eager to impress Lennon picked up a guitar and played ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ (Eddie Cochran) and ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’ (Gene Vincent). Lennon was impressed, and even more so when McCartney showed Lennon and Eric Griffiths how to tune their guitars, something they'd been paying someone else to do for them.
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. John Cody

    September 25, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds

  2. grover syck

    November 22, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    One of my favorites.
    I like the sound, and love the thought behind it.
    It is the way it should be.

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