(part 2)


Christmas 1962 : "Love me do" got to the 17th place of the charts.


Please Please Me.
Album Please Please Me

"Please please me" was recorded on November 26th, 1962 and was released on January 11th, 1963 and became number one on February 22nd. It lasted 2 weeks. Taking advantage of their success, the Beatles decided to record in one day their first album titled "Please please me" on Monday February 11th at Abbey Road, then they toured in the Lancashire and in the Yorkshire. The album was out on March 22nd, 1963 and after 7 weeks was at the top of the charts for 29 weeks.

"From me to you" was written at the back of their minivan, between 2 concerts in York and in Schrewsbury, was recorded on March 5th, was released on April 11th and became number one just after.
On August 3rd, 1963, they gave their last concert at the Cavern.

"She loves you", composed in their hotel room in Newcastle, was recorded on July 1st and released on August 23rd, 1962 ; number 1.

On October 13rd, the Beatles performed at the London Palladium Theatre and were broadcast on TV, before 15 millions spectators in "Sunday Night at the Palladium".
The famous hysteria also known as the "Beatlemania" began on October 31st, 1963, as the crowd of youths has come to welcome the Beatles back from their Swedish tour, at the Heathrow airport, and held up several flight departures ; among them was Ed Sullivan's flight.
Some days later, they played before the Royal Family at the occasion of the Royal Variety Performance (November 4th, 1963).

"I want to hold your hand" was born in the minds of Lennon and McCartney as they were rehearsing in the Asher's cellar (Jane Asher was Paul's girlfriend and put him up). The LP was published on November 29th, 1963 and of course reached the first place of the charts, as well as their new album "With the Beatles", released on November 22nd was a bestseller, dethroning the previous album : Please please me.


January 14th : the Beatles gave 3 weeks of concerts at the Olympia in Paris, in front of a reserved public. The Beatles were surprised by the rarity of girls in the audience.
January : the Beatles performed at the Palladium in London.

"I want to hold your hand" became number 1 in the USA, while the Beatles were in Paris (at the Olympia).

When the Beatles landed at the Kennedy Airport, they were greeted, at their great surprise, by 10 000 fans.

The Beatles took part 3 times in the Ed Sullivan Show. The first time was on February 9th of 1964, in front of 73 millions spectators.
The first concert in the USA was given on February 11th of 1964 at the Washington Coliseum.
February 16th : the Beatles came back to the Ed Sullivan Show, as they're in Miami. The tour ended on February 22nd.


"A hard day's night" was recorded on April 16th of 1964, during the filming of the movie with the same name (from March 2nd till April 24th) with Richard Lester. The title came from a pun from Ringo, who at the end of a "hard day", exclaimed : "It's been a hard day...'s night !", realizing that the night had already fallen. Most of the songs are John's (10 among a total of 13). The Beatles were recording from this time on on 4 tracks (instead of 2), what was giving them more freedom.
The première of the film took place on July 6th, in the middle of Beatlemania, at the London Pavillion of Piccadilly Circus, and it triggered hysteria again.

Jimmy Nicol, Beatle d'une saison.
Jimmy Nicol, Beatle d'une saison.

During several concerts of the spring tour, Ringo had to be replaced by Jimmy Nicol to have his tonsils out. He caught up with the others in Melbourne (Australia).

July 23rd : the Beatles performed at the London Palladium again.
The Beatles performed at the Hollywood Bowl on August 23rd.
On August 28th of 1964, the Beatles met Bob Dylan at the hotel Delmonico in New York andhave their first experience with marijuana.

Las Vegas.
The Beatles in Las Vegas (here at the Sahara Hotel)

"Beatles for sale" was released on December 14th of 1964, after "I feel fine" (6th title at the top). The innovation of "I feel fine" is the intro's feedback. John found out this new effect of sound by accident, as he had forgotten his guitar near an amplifier, which sent him back a distorted sound. Following this, he was very proud of this discovery.
On "Eight days a week" (title born from Ringo's puns again), the innovation was also in the intro : the fading which usually ended the song was used for the intro. The sound increased progressively. "I'll follow the sun" was written by Paul when he was 16.



February 18th : Creation of the society Northern Song Ltd, which had to manage the vast musical catalogue of Lennon-McCartney, directed by Dick James, who wil betray the Beatles afterwards by selling his shares to other persons than the Beatles, therefore the Beatles were not the main shareholders anymore ...

February 22nd : the Beatles flew to the Bahamas for the shooting of Help! with Richard Lester. Their budget was more important than the Hard day's night's one.
March 13th : They went to Austria.

In spring was released "Help !"; album, LP and movie. The song "Help !" expressed the deep depression of John ; in John's words, his "fat Elvis period". He felt bored in his residential district of Weybridge (Surrey) and was fed up with all this Beatlemania. The influence of Bob Dylan showed itself in "You've got to hide your love away", which for the first time needed an extra musician who would play the flute. John and Paul played the electric piano while George practised the sitar (hte idea of the sitar came watching the musicians playing in the Indian restaurant in Help!).
"Ticket to ride" was the 8th number 1.

Members of the British Empire

June 12th : the Beatles became "Members of the British Empire" (MBE), decorated by the Queen Elisabeth II. They received their medals on October 26th. Some veterans were scandalized to be considered on the same rank as some pop musicians and sent back their medals.

"Yesterday" was recorded on June 14th of 1965. It was "dreamt" by Paul who firstly believed that the song already existed. He finally composed the lyrics of this song and titled it "Yesterday" instead of "Scrambled eggs".
John and George lived their first experience with LSD at a friend's (a dentist) who had slippedsome of this drug in their coffee. Their first impressions were desastrous. Ringo would try LSD in August and Paul would discover it in March of 1967.

August 14th of 1965 : Invited at the Ed Sullivan Show for the 3rd time.
August 15th : legendary concert at the Shea Stadium, before 55 600 fans.
September 25th : creation of the animated series of the adventures of the Beatles in Pepperland : Yellow Submarine.

The album "Rubber soul" was released in December, as well as "Day Tripper/We can work it out".
George played the sitar on "Norwegian wood", though he was still a beginner. John wrote this song about one of his affairs without his wife noticing.


May of 1966 : the Beatles made the clip of "Paperback Writer/Rain."
August 5th of 1966 : release of "Revolver".
"Tomorrow never knows" was the most surprising song in the album ; John wanted his voice to sound just like a dalai lama singing from the top of a mountain : "With "Tomorrow never knows", I'd imagined in my head that in the background you would hear thousands of monks chanting, that was impractical of course, and we did something different. I should have tried to get near my original idea, the monks singing, I realize now that was what it wanted." Lennon.

June 30th - July 2nd : concerts at the Budokan of Tokyo.

During a tour through Manila (Philippines) in 1966, the Beatles refused to pay visit to the wife of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, what was perceived as an insult. The staff in charge of the Beatles' security was fired and they had to endure the wrath of the delirious crowd.

John in an interview by Maureen Cleave, told her his convictions about Christianism, saying that the Beatles may be more popular than Jesus, what scandalized the puritan people in America. Later on, some fans burnt their albums in the streets and the band received some threats of death, in spite of the public excuses of John.

The last concert of the Beatles in the USA happened at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, on August 29th of 1966. The Beatles had already tried before to escape the outside hysteria, by taking refuge in the studios. From now on, the Beatles would wholeheartedly concentrate themselves on the discovery of new sounds, which were, besides, impossible to reproduce on the scene.

John met Yoko Ono at the Indica Gallery in London, on November 9th of 1966, as she was making an exhibit of her avantgarde works. This artist was to upset John's life. Yoko would support him in developping avantgarde ideas and in involving themselves in social struggles. Lennon's ideas would get so much further from the Beatles that he wouldn't be able to go on with them. That would lead to their dissolution in April of 1970.


Strawberry Fields Forever.
Strawberry fields for ever

"Strawberry fields for ever/Penny lane" was relased on Februray 17th of 1967. The final version of Strawberry fields is actually the mixing of 2 songs. One was accelerated and the other, including an orchestra, was slowed down. That disc didn't reach the place of number one.

Sergent Pepper.
Congratulations !

May 19th of 1967 : launching of Sergeant Pepper's lonely hearts club band at Chapel Street, at their manager Brian Epstein's home.
June 1st of 1967 : release of "Sergeant Pepper's lonely hearts club band". "When I'm 64" was written by Paul when he was about 15/16.

"All you need is love" at the Eurovision

On June 25th of 1967, the Beatles were chosen to represent England at the emission "Our world", which should be broadcast worldwidely. They composed "All you need is love" for the occasion.

August 1967 : the Beatles pay a visit to the "guru" of transcendantal meditation, "Maharashi Mahesh Yogi" in Bangor (Wales).

August 27th : Brian Epstein, feeling that the Beatles were getting further and further from him, and feeling quite depressed and useless as their manager, took more and more tranquilizers and stimulants, and died from an overdose. The possibility of a suicide was not turned down. The Beatles, who would learn his death as they were in India, were upset by his disparition. Some say that the "beginning of the end" of the Beatles is situated there, even if conflicts within the band were still inexistant. McCartney would make efforts to succeed to Brian Epstein and to maintain the cohesion of the band but his authority would be badly perceived by the other Beatles.

Autumn 1967 : Creation of the society Apple.
Nov 1967 : release of "Hello good bye/I am the walrus" number 1
December 26th of 1967 : release of "Magical mystery tour". The Beatles were bored as they weren't able to make concerts anymore. They decided to act in an amateur film, on Paul's initiative. The latter had the idea while re-thinking of the trips by bus with a hidden destination, which would be organized before in the North.


fév 1968 : enregistrement de "Lady Madonna/The Inner light" numéro 1.

Méditation transcendantale
Maharashi Mahesh Yogi

The Beatles take a trip to Rickishesh in India, at the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi. They spent several weeks in meditation, and composed most of the songs of the White Album. Ringo was the first to come back (one week later). Then Paul, and at last John and George. They had found out that they were actually dealing with a con. John took his revenge with a song full of bitterness, in which he was aiming directly at the Maharashi. Yet he modified it on Paul's advice, and replaced "Maharashi" by "Sexie Sadie", a transvestite.

In May, John and Paul flew to New York to do the promotion of their brand new society, Apple Corps. Paul would meet Linda Eastman for the second time (the first was at the launching of Sergeant Pepper's lonely hearts club band, in 1967).

Promo de Apple.
Promotion of their new society Apple.

Yoko is constantly by John's side during the recording of the White Album from May 30th of 1968 onwards, which got a lot on the nerves of the other Beatles. Tensions and quarrels appeared and went as far as to make Ringo desert the sessions from August 22nd onwards, for 2 weeks. Durin this summer, Yoko introduced John to heroine.

Yellow Sub. en dessin animé.
On July 17th was released the cartoon "Yellow submarine".

On September 6th, George invited his best friend Eric Clapton to record "While my guitar gently weeps".

"Hey Jude/Revolution" was published on August 30th of 1968. Paul wrote "Hey Jude" thinking about John and Cynthia's son, Julian, who was upset by the separation of his parents. Paul was very close to Julian.
November 22nd : release of the album "The Beatles", above all known under the name of the White album.


Shooting of the film Let it be initially titled Get Back, which was foreseeing the return of the Beatles on the scene. The relations between the Beatles were very tensed.
January 30th of 1969 : concert lasting 42 min on the roof of Abbey Road at lunch time, which attrated so many people that the traffic was jammed and that the police had to interrupt the improvised concert on the roof. The Beatles sang "Get back", "Don't let me down", "I've got a feeling", "Dig a pony", "One after 909".
Feb 3rd : Allen Klein was appointed manager of the Beatles, in spite of Paul's disapproval, who would have chosen the lawyers Eastman, from Linda's family, Linda Eastman being his new fiancée.

April 14th : recording of "The Ballad of John and Yoko". The disc "The Ballad of John and Yoko/Old brown shoe" was released 6 weeks later and became number 1 of the hits as usually.
The album "Abbey road" was released in Sept. of 1969.
The catalog of the Lennon/McCartney songs and the society that was managing it, Northern Songs, escaped the hands of the Beatles for the profit of the firm ATV Music. Now, it's Michael Jackson who possesses the catalog, and who obviously doesn't want to give it back.


May 13rd of 1970 : release of the album "Let it be", the only album not produced by George Martin but by Phil Spector.
Paul didn't appreciate at all the manner in which Phil Spector rearranged "The Long and winding road", with an accompaniment of violons. He called it a professional sabotage.
The film "Let it be " aimed at revealing the Beatles' life in studio but the outcome was rather sad : that film showed that the atmosphear was tensed and that the dissolution of the band was near. Some quarrels were filmed (one of them was between Paul and George about Hey Jude).

Morosity in the air.
Morosity in the air at Abbey Road

Avril 10th of 1970 is the end of the Beatles. Paul declared first to the press that he quit the Beatles, though John had expressed the desire to leave the Beatles a while ago (Sept. 1969).
Paul sued the other Beatles in January, as it was the only mean to attack Allen Klein, that he suspected of tax evasion. Finally Paul won the trial and Klein was fired. From that time onwards, the other Beatles started to sue Klein themselves and he sent to jail for 2 months.
August of 1975 : the Beatles don't exist legally anymore.

The Beatles' breaking up was not brilliant but the band will be for sure one of the most regretted band of the rock'n roll scene.


Beatle ! The Pete Best Story. Pete Best, Patrick Doncaster
A day in the life. Mark Herstgaard
Revolution - Les Beatles Jacques Volcouve, Pierre Merle
The Beatles Album. Julia Delano
Lennon-McCartney Jacques Leblanc
Imagine John Lennon Andrew Solt, Sam Egan

Back | Top