John Lennon and Beatles History for AprilHistory offers
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The Titantic disaster was one of the biggest in history. For decades that fateful day has been romanticised in a series of movies.1902--Marie and Pierre Curie isolate the radioactive element radium.

1912--The Titanic, launched on May 31, 1911, on route from Southampton to New York with 2,200 passengers, strikes an iceberg off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, at approximately 11:30 p.m. The oceanliner sinks early the next morning, with a 1,500+ death toll.

1948--A flash of light is observed in the crater Plato on the Moon.

1952--President Harry Truman signed the official Japanese peace treaty.

An early Ampex video recorder. In later decades everyone would have a home video recorder and DVD player.1956--Ampex Corporation demonstrates the first commercial videotape recorder.

1958--Buddy Holly’s Fender Stratocaster guitar is stolen at a concert in St. Louis, Missouri.

1961--The Beatles perform at the Top Ten Club, Reeperbahn, Hamburg, West Germany.

1962--The Beatles perform at the Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany.

1963--The Beatles tape an appearance on the ABC television program "Thank Your Lucky Stars," their third appearance on that show. They do a lip-sync performance of From Me to You. Topping the line-up for the show is an American, Del Shannon. Also appearing are The Dave Clark Five, The Vernons Girls, and Bert Weedon. The program is broadcast on April 20.

The Rolling Stones in the mid-sixties, the time period when they had hits such as, Satisfaction and Time Is On My Side.1963--After a recording session, The Beatles travel to Richmond-upon-Thames to see, for the first time, another up-and-coming group, The Rolling Stones. After the show, there is a party at the flat of Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Keith Richards (102 Edith Grove, West Brompton, London). The Beatles attend, staying until 4 a.m.

I love you, Eddie! Thus went Topo Gigio's interaction with the famed showman, Ed Sullivan.1963--Topo Gigio makes the first of 92 appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1964--Filming for "A Hard Day's Night" continues. The Beatles film a scene that will not be included in the final film: stuck in a traffic jam, The Beatles are cursed at by a passenger in another car. British comedy actor Frank Thornton plays the part of The Beatles' chauffeur. Later, some location shooting is done in Arlington Road.

Ringo Starr and John Lennon wait for their cue to begin a scene for their movie, Help!1965--The Beatles filming scenes for the movie "Help!" on Ailsa Avenue, Twickenham, Middlesex. Included is the scene where The Beatles arrive home and get out of their Rolls Royce, each entering a separate door (Ringo Starr enters No. 5, John Lennon enters No. 7, Paul McCartney enters No. 9, and George Harrison enters No. 11). Two older women standing nearby debate whether or not to wave at The Beatles. As The Beatles enter their respective doors, the scene switches to a Twickenham film set that makes it appear as if all of the doors lead into one huge custom-designed communal living area.

1965--John Lennon and George Harrison are interviewed live on “Ready, Steady, Go!”

1966--The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Three, EMI Studios, London). Paperback Writer is completed with numerous overdubs, including Paul McCartney's lead vocal and the novel "Frere Jacques" backing vocal sung by John Lennon and George Harrison. After a 30-minute break, The Beatles start recording John's song Rain. On this song The Beatles use the full extent of studio technology available at the time: limiters, compressors, jangle boxes, Leslie speakers, ADT, backwards tapes, machines set to run faster or slower than usual, and vari-speed vocals. Five takes are recorded before the rhythm and vocal tracks are finalized. The next session will be spent recording extensive overdubs and doing tape-to-tape reductions of the song. John Lennon lays claim to the innovation of the first use of a backwards tape in a contemporary pop song, saying that on this day he took a rough mix of the song home and while under the influence of pot, inadvertantly played it backwards.

The Ballad of John and Yoko picture sleeve.1969--The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Three, EMI Studios, London). John Lennon and Paul McCartney, without George Harrison and Ringo Starr, record John's song The Ballad of John and Yoko, which at this point has the subtitle, "They're Gonna Crucify Me." This song will be the first Beatles recording not mixed into mono and the first Beatles stereo single released in the UK. (The Get Back single was released in stereo in the US). During the recording of this song, the antagonism that has been hounding John and Paul is absent, and they work well together. They lay down the basic track, including John's lead vocal, in 11 takes (John playing acoustic guitar and Paul playing drums). John adds overdubs of lead guitar, second lead guitar, and percussive thumps on the back of an acoustic guitar. Paul adds overdubs of a backing vocal, maracas, bass, and piano. John is aware of the potential for backlash from the "Christ" references in the lyrics, so he sends a note to Apple publicist Tony Bramwell that reads, "NO pre-publicity on 'Ballad of John and Yoko,' especially the 'Christ' bit--so don't play it round too much or you'll frighten people--Get it PRESSED FIRST." Indeed, The Ballad of John and Yoko will be banned by many stations as being blasphemous. On some radio stations, the word "Christ" is edited in backwards to avoid the ban (John Lennon is miffed at this unauthorized censorship of his work).

Ringo Starr stops to smell the rose in 1974.1971--The Beatles win their first Oscar for their lackluster performances in the “Let It Be” movie, which is voted “Best Film Music (Original Song Score).”

John Lennon's aunt, Mimi Smith, who he lived with from age 5 until he left home to be a traveling Beatle..1974--An intoxicated Ringo Starr shows up at the small Pasadena, California radio station KROQ for Flo and Eddie’s Sunday night show. Ringo is in no condition to be interviewed and during the first 90 seconds of the broadcast, he uses the word “fuck” no less than 14 times. Because of this, Flo and Eddie and their producer are all fired shortly after the fiasco aired. Following several complaints from listeners, the Federal Communications Commission is called in to investigate Ringo’s actions, as well as the station and the program itself.

1985--John Lennon’s 82-year-old Aunt Mimi Smith gives her most moving ever interview in a two-part feature for the “Sunday People,” announcing: “John is always with me. Sometimes I imagine I can see him. Is it him? I like to think so.” (Part two appears on April 21.)

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