The Post-Beatles Era
The Beatles win the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Trustee Award.
Rumors begin that the Beatles had reformed in secret under the name Klaatu.
January 5 - former Beatles road manager/bodyguard Mal Evans is shot to death by Los Angeles police at the age of 40. After Evans locked himself in a room of their apartment with a loaded shotgun, his girlfriend frantically called the police. When they burst into his room he pointed the gun at them and was shot on site. Evans worked with the Beatles almost from the beginning and was one of the 5 magicians in the film "Magical Mystery Tour".
January 26 - six years after the group has disbanded, their nine-year contract with EMI expires. EMI immediately begins to sort through the 400+ hours of recordings in the Abbey Road vaults for a compilation called Sessions which eventually becomes the Antholgy project. EMI also assigns a task force to repackage previously released material.
March - the single "Yesterday/I Should Have Known Better" is released in the UK, 11 years after the US release. It reaches #8; along with these re-releases: "Hey Jude" (#12), "Paperback Writer" (#23), "Get Back" (#28), "Strawberry Fields Forever" (#32), and "Help!" (#37).
April 24 - Lorne Michaels, producer of 'Saturday Night Live', makes an on-air offer of $3000 to the Beatles to reunite on the show (after getting no response, he offered $3200 on May 22). Paul later comments that he was with John at that time and they almost took a cab to the studio, but changed their minds at the last minute.
August 23 - three years after rumors that the Beatles had secretly reunited as 'Klaatu', an album in a plain sleeve with a sun on the cover is released by a band of the same name. There are no credits or notes on the record. The music closely resembles music from the Sgt. Pepper era. People claim that more than 150 clues exist that it is in fact the Beatles - ranging from voice tests to obscure film references from the past. Ultimately, it is revealed that the album was made by 4 Canadian session players.
May - Live at the Hollywood Bowl is released world-wide, reaching #1 in the US and UK. The tape of the 1965 concert was previously unreleased.
February - in an interview with 'Gig' magazine, session drummer Bernard Purdie claims to have played on 21 tracks on the Beatles first three albums, adding that he was paid by Brian Epstein to keep his mouth shut in the amount of "five figures". He also claims to have played on tracks by the Animals and the Monkees. Also, he claims that guitar overdubs were made on several additional tracks. It is believed that Purdie overdubbed drums on the Atco US Single "Ain't She Sweet", and that he may have performed overdubs on other Tony Sheridan recordings which did not feature the Beatles, and was confusing Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers with Tony Sheridan and another backing band.
December 8 - John Lennon is shot and killed just outside of his apartment in New York by Mark David Chapman, just hours after signing an album for him.
April - the single "The Beatles Movie Medley" is released, reaching US #12 and UK #10.
October - "Love Me Do" is re-released on the 20th anniversary of it's original release as a UK single and becomes a big hit, hitting #4. All other Beatles singles are re-released on their respective 20th anniversaries.
July 11-September 11 - during a summer renovation of Abbey Road studios, visitors are treated to the broadcast of several unreleased Beatles songs, as well as different remixes and takes of released songs. After a fan is caught trying to tape the show, 3 fans smuggle tape recorders inside shopping bags and are let through by security guards - after they fail to check the bags or pass them through metal detectors. The tapes are soon released as The Beatles Live at Abbey Road Studios and form the basis for several excellent bootleg albums.
March 28 - Acting on a court order, EMI pays The Beatles back royalties in the amount of £ 2,832,264 ($4,068,146.52 US). A review of their overseas accounts is expected to bring in additional unpaid royalties, perhaps as much as another £ 2,000,000 (about $2,872,453 US).
Each of the band's UK LPs are released on compact disc worldwide, entering and re-entering the charts throughout the year.
Paul, George, and Ringo successfully sue Capitol Records for unpaid royalties, clearing the way for future collaborations such as Live at the BBC and, most importantly, the Anthology project.
September 8 - Hard Rock Cafe purchases the original bus used in the film "Magical Mystery Tour", which they refurbish and tour around the United States at various Hard Rock Cafes. They give away the bus for the restaurant's 30th anniversary in 2001.
The Beatles are inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame.
February 14 - on the 30th anniversary of the Beatles' appearance at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, where David Letterman now tapes his 'Late Show', Letterman's Top Ten List features the Top Ten Signs The Beatles May Be Here Tonight:
10. Giant Yellow Submarine parked in front of theater
9. Street vendors selling Ringo dogs
8. They were supposed to be on last night but we ran out of time
7. The entire theater smells like Liverpool
6. Pete Best spotted in the standby ticket line
5. Saw Dan Rather outside waving his autograph book
4. Late last night Ringo's hairpiece arrived at JFK
3. Letterman spent his day warming up for post-show jam session
2. Yoko Ono spotted outside theater holding lead pipe
1. Hell has just frozen over
November 30 - in preparation for the massive Anthology campaign, a collection of rare BBC recordings from the band's earliest days is released, titled Live at the BBC. The double LP reaches #1 in the US and UK and a single, "Baby It's You", is released.
February/March - The Beatles begin initial recording on three John Lennon demos recorded at home on a personal tape recorder: "Free As A Bird", "Real Love", and "Grow Old With Me". Jeff Lynne is brought in to co-produce, as George Martin refuses due to concerns over his growing hearing loss. "Grow Old With Me" is eventually scrapped in favor of "Now And Then", which is scrapped as well. Because the demos were recorded on primitive home equipment and were at least 2nd or 3rd generation copies, extreme pain was taken to remove tape hiss, clicks, and other abnormalties (as well as a wavering beat), a process which took about a week per song.
February - The Beatles convene in Mills Studio in Sussex, England, to record "Real Love" and "Now And Then" (also titled "Miss You"). "Now And Then", another song built from a Lennon demo, is scrapped during the sessions and never completed. Jeff Lynne has since stated that the song was never intended for release, and that there were no verses to the song; only a chorus. The song turns up on a few bootlegs.
June 23 - Additional rehearsals during the sessions at Friar Park Studios in Henley On Thames England, which would eventually produce "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love", including rehearsals for "Thinking Of Linking", "Ain't She Sweet", "Love Me Do", "I Saw Her Standing There", "I Will", "Derradune", and "Blue Moon Of Kentucky".
November - ABC airs "The Beatles Anthology", including the videos for "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love". The film is a huge success, as are the three double LPs of rare and unreleased tracks that accompany it.
February 26 - The Beatles win 3 Grammy awards for Anthology including Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Best Music Video, Short Form (the "Free As A Bird" music video), and Best Music Video, Long Form (the Antholgy video).
September 9 - Former Beatles Press officer and head of Apple Records Derek Taylor dies at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer (of the esophagus) Taylor was in the midst of heading up the Anthology book project, having already taken the reins behind the Anthology video and album releases as well as the Live at the BBC album.
The animated film Yellow Submarine is remastered and restored and released on video and DVD, along with a new version of the soundtrack, which is titled Yellow Submarine Songtrack, with George Martin's orchestral score eliminated from the song track. New footage is included in the film, namely the sequence to "Hey Bulldog" (previously unreleased in the US).
April 2 - Paul McCartney confirms a report that he, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr are colaborating on a companion book to the 'Anthology' series which will be over 320 pages, feature 1200 photos (many never before published) and will be approximately $80 US.
August 15 - Paul McCartney announces two new songs, "Plastic Beetle" and "Free Now"; club-mix sounding tracks featuring samples from several Beatles outtakes recorded between 1965 and 1969. The songs are created for Sgt. Pepper artist Peter Blake's multimedia piece titled "Liverpool Sound Collage". The tracks are created with the help of Welsh group The Super Furry Animals.
September 26 - The release of Paul's Liverpool Sound Collage, featuring 5 tracks, 4 of which contain unreleased and unheard Beatles material, including music and studio chat. Track listing is 1: Plastic Beetle (Paul McCartney, The Beatles), 2: Peter Blake 2000 (Super Furry Animals, The Beatles), 3: Real Gone Dub Made In Manifest In The Vortex Of The Eternal Now (Youth), 4: Made Up (Paul McCartney, The Beatles), 5: Free Now (Paul McCartney, The Beatles, Super Furry Animals).
November 13 - The Beatles official website first opened up to the public. Located at www.thebeatles.com, the site initially featured information about each of the songs on the band's new greatest hits compilation, Beatles 1, and features singles sleeve photos, interactive tours, concert performances, and lots of other information.
November 14 - The band releases Beatles 1, the first new greatest hits package in nearly twenty years. Featuring 27 songs on one disc, all of which reached #1 in the US or UK charts (or both), the disc is issued with hopes of introducing the Fab 4 to a whole new digital generation.
January 4 - A survey taken by VH1 of musicians and critics reveals Revolver to be the greatest album of all time. Other Beatles albums making the list include Rubber Soul (#6), Abbey Road (#8), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (#10), and The Beatles (The White Album) (#11)
January 31 - Thanks to phenomenal sales of Beatles 1 and the "Anthology" book, The Beatles are announced the highest earning music act of 2000 - 30 years after they broke up - in a survey released by Heat Magazine.
February 12 - It is announced that Beatles 1 has set a record by reaching the number one spot in 34 countries, breaking the previous mark of 32 held by U2's Pop. It this point, over 20 million copies of Beatles 1 have been sold worldwide.
February 13 - The Beatles Meet The Beatles is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
March 1 - The Beatles are featured for the eighth time on the cover of Rolling Stone in an article which goes through the songs on Beatles 1 and gives in-depth backgrounds and info on each (the magazine is actually released in mid-February).
March 25 - Britian's Sunday Times reports that in an upcoming Quarry Men biography by Hunter Davies, John nearly kicked Paul out of the Quarry Men because he was "precocious", but was convinced not to by bandmate Eric Griffiths. It also says that John did have a "one-night stand" with Brian Epstein during their famous getaway vacation together, contrary to previous reports, according to close Lennon friend Pete Shotton.
June 4 - An article from Ananova said that EMI had no plans of releasing the unreleased Beatles track "Carnival Of Light," after George called the track "avant-garde-a-clue."
July 23 - Adam Sharp of George Martin Music goes on record to deny that a quote by former Beatles producer George Harrison attributed to him in the London tabloid Mail On Sunday a day earlier was ever given. The paper read, "He has been near death many times and he's been rescued many times as well. But he knows he is going to die soon and he's accepting it perfectly happily." Sharp went on to say that Martin had not talked to anyone about Harrison's recent cancer treatments and did not say if Martin was considering suing the paper.
July 24 - In an interview with "Access Hollywood", a syndicated TV magazine, Ringo Starr said that he, Paul, and George would discuss the likely possibility of a Beatles 2 album later in the year for release in 2002.
November 29 - after a long battle with cancer, George dies at 1:30 PM at a friend's home with his family by his side.
September 15 - Paul announces that he is set to release "Carnival Of Light" as the soundtrack to a "photofilm" of Beatles photos by his late wife Linda.
January 11 - Raids in England and the Netherlands turn up about 500 original reels from the Get Back sessions in 1968 and 1969. Police also expose an international piracy ring and arrest 5 people.
February 14 - Police in Sydney, Australia recover what appears to be reels stolen from Abbey Road studios containing tapes from The Beatles and Abbey Road dating from 1969. The recovery stems from a raid related to the bootleg raids a few weeks earlier.
November 18 - Let It Be...Naked - a reissue of 1970's Let It Be using alternate takes and mixes and having Phil Spector post-production removed - is released. The project has little or no involvement from Paul or Ringo.
January - The Grey Album - a remix of vocals by rapper Jay Z's from his The Black Album on top of music from the Beatles' The Beatles (the "White Album") is released by one DJ Danger Mouse. Reportedly only 3,000 copies of the album were pressed to disc and sold out immediately, making the disc a collector's item as it made its rounds on file sharing networks. The album was just one of several remix versions, facilitated by a special release of The Black Album containing only vocals so DJs could "mix the hell out of it" according to one engineer. However, EMI issued a cease-and-desist a month later, citing copyright violation - DJ Danger Mouse had neither asked for permission to use the songs nor paid royalty fees.
February - The 40th anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America. The band is featured on the cover of 'Rolling Stone' and numerous radio stations across America feature an "all-Beatles" weekend format. The documentary "The First U.S. Visit" is reissued on DVD with new footage.
May 27 - Author Bill Harry claims that former Who drummer Keith Moon once met the Beatles in a club in the early 60s and asked to join the group, only to be rebuffed by Ringo.
June 2 - Paul reveals in an interview that he was taking heroin and cocaine around the time of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
November 16 - Capitol releases Capitol Albums Vol. 1, a four disc collection of the Beatles' first four Capitol albums pressed from the original stereo and mono masters.
September 28 - A bill containing John Lennon's original lyrics to "I'm Only Sleeping" written in blue ink fails to meet the reserve price in an auction by Christie's in London. A bootleg of a 1964 Hong Kong concert made by a journalist with a portable tape recorder also failed to sell, but a never-before broadcast interview with John and Yoko in a 1969 bed-in for peace did sell for 18,000 pounds.
April 11 - Capitol Albums Vol. 2 is released, containing The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, & Rubber Soul (US version) on CD for the first time. Soon after its release, fans discovered that the mono tracks on Rubber Soul and Help! were not taken from the actual mono masters, but rather were bounced down from the stereo masters. Capitol quietly issued replacement discs for customers who asked for them, causing some minor uproar after asking customers send the disc in the sleeve with the original receipt (they did accept discs sent without sleeves or receipts).
April 12 - In the midst of an ongoing lawsuit with Apple Computers, Apple Corps confirms a report attributed to Neil Aspinall in which he claims to be in the process of remastering the entire Beatles catalogue for release to digital music distribution sites such as iTunes. The downloads will also feature new digital booklets accompanying the albums.
April 14 - It is revealed that Michael Jackson will sell half of his share in the Sony/ATV music catalog back to Sony in order to raise money to combat mounting financial problems. Jackson's share was purchased in 1985 for $47.5 million, and it is now valued at over $1 billion.
April 19 - Tickets go on sale for the Cirque Du Soleil show "Love", highlighting the Beatles' music and career.
October 2 - Apple Records announce they will be releasing a type of remix album, compiled by George Martin and his son Giles, of music used in the Cirque Du Soleil program "Love" for release in November 2006.
November 20 - Love is released in the UK (having been released five days earlier in japan) and one day later in the US), containing the soundtrack to the Cirque Du Soleil show of the same name and a nearly-continuous remix of Beatles music spanning their entire career. It includes alternate takes ("Strawberry Fields Forever" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps") and comes in two versions - CD and a CD/DVD combo, the DVD being an audio disc mixed in 5.1 surround.
September 9 - The entire remastered Beatles catalog is released, including limited edition stereo and mono box sets. The albums contain new linear notes and photos and the initial releases contain mini documentaries on each album running around 4-5 minutes in Quicktime format. The first Beatles video game is also released, titled Beatles: Rock Band, for the XBox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, including a limited edition with replica drums and Rickenbacker guitar.
September 28 - Lucy Vodden, a childhood schoolmate of Julian Lennon's who inspired his drawing "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", which in turn inspired John Lennon's song of the same name, dies after a long battle with lupus at the age of 46.