how the past
impacts the now.
role The Beatles
played in changing
the modern world.
THE FOLLOWING EVENTS TOOK PLACE ON FEBRUARY 11
1934--Mary Quant, Mod sixties fashion designer, is born in Kent, England.
1935--Gene Vincent (Eugene Vincent Craddock) is born in Norfolk, Virginia. His biggest hit was the top 10 song Be-Bop-a-Lula in 1956. The leather-jacketed, hard-rockabilly singer had an incalculable influence on British rockers like The Beatles and Ian Drury (who wrote Sweet Gene Vincent in tribute to the sneering, polio-afflicted star). John Lennon paid tribute to him in 1975, with his version of Be-Bop-a-Lula on his Rock 'n' Roll album, while Paul McCartney included a version of Blue Jean Bop on his Run Devil Run LP.
1939--Gerry Goffin, pop lyricist and partner of Carole King, is born in Queens, New York.
1945--The Yalta Conference between Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt ends with agreement on the founding of the United Nations, as well as plans for the defeat of Germany.
1961--The Beatles perform at Lathom Hall, Seaforth, Liverpool, and at the Cassanova Club, Liverpool.
1962--The Beatles perform at the Casbah Coffee Club, West Derby, Liverpool.
1963--The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). During 12 hours (585 minutes of studio time), in three separate sessions on this day, The Beatles complete ten songs for their first album. While it was not unusual then for groups to record an album in a single day, it was unusual for one of this quality to be produced, especially one with so many original songs. On top of that, John Lennon was not well, suffering from a bad cold which affected his singing voice (adding a deeper, nasal quality that was never heard again on subsequent Beatles recordings). However, liberal supplies of tea, milk, cigarettes, and Zubes "Soothing and Comforting" cough drops kept him going. The recordings: 13 takes of There's a Place, 12 takes of Seventeen (later renamed I Saw Her Standing There), 7 takes of A Taste of Honey, 8 takes of Do You Want to Know a Secret, 11 takes of Misery, 3 takes of Anna (Go To Him), 1 take of Boys, 4 takes of Chains, 3 takes of Baby It's You, and two takes of Twist and Shout (the first take recorded was the one used on the album). The Beatles also recorded 13 takes of Hold Me Tight, but were unhappy with the results and put it aside (it will be re-recorded later, on September 12, 1963, and included on The Beatles' second album, With the Beatles). The four songs from The Beatles' first two singles make up the balance of the album, Love Me Do, P.S. I Love You, Please Please Me, and Ask Me Why. The album, Please Please Me, was released on the Parlophone label on March 22, 1963, and it was the #1 LP in the UK for 30 weeks, until it was replaced at the top by With the Beatles. Released in the US as Introducing the Beatles (only 12 songs) on the VeeJay label, the album was on the charts for 49 weeks and made it up to #2, held out of the #1 spot by Capitol Records' Meet the Beatles (the US LP that is more or less equivalent with With the Beatles). Says John Lennon about these memorable sessions: My voice wasnt the same for a very long time after. Every time I swallowed it was like sandpaper. We sang for 12 hours, almost non-stop. We had colds and we were concerned how it would affect the record. And by the end of the day, all we wanted to do was drink pints of milk. According to witnesses, Johns vocal chords were so ripped after singing Twist and Shout, that blood showed up in the glass of milk he was drinking.
1964--The Beatles travel from New York to Washington, D.C. by train, during a blizzard, for their first full concert performance in the United States. That night The Beatles perform for 8,092 fans at the Washington Coliseum. They perform Roll Over Beethoven, From Me to You, I Saw Her Standing There, This Boy, All My Loving, I Wanna Be Your Man, Please Please Me, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Twist and Shout, and Long Tall Sally. The support acts were Tommy Roe, The Caravelles, and The Chiffons. The stage setting was definitely weird. The Beatles had to stop three times and turn Ringo Starr's drum kit around and re-position their microphones so that they faced a different part of the surrounding audience at each change. George Harrison had problems with two microphones, and the whole thing was a bit ludicrous, but The Beatles were marvelous sports about it all. The concert was filmed and later transmitted as a closed-circuit broadcast to theaters in March, the film omitting the closing number Long Tall Sally. After their performance at the Coliseum, The Beatles visit the British Embassy, a thoroughly unpleasant experience. In one exchange, the following occurred: Sir David Ormsby Gore: Hello, John. John: Im not John. Im Charlie. Thats John. Sir David: (To George) Hello, John. George: Im not John. Im Frank. (points to Paul) Thats John. Sir David: Oh, dear! Ill never get these names right. My wife is much better at remembering names. The reception degenerates as The Beatles are insulted and shoved around by the diplomats and their wives; John refuses to draw the charity raffle (I want to finish my drink); and one of the women sneaks up behind Ringo and cuts off a lock of his hair with a pair of nail scissors. Supposedly at that point, John leaves the event cursing.
1965--Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) marries Maureen Cox at Caxton Hall Register Office, London. Officiating is registrar D.A. Boreham. John and Cynthia Lennon and George Harrison attend, but Paul McCartney was away on a vacation in Africa. The best man is Brian Epstein. The couple spend their honeymoon in the English seashore resort town of Brighton. Ringo and Maureen will have a son, Zak Starkey, seven months later. They also will have a daughter, Lee. The couple eventually divorces in 1975.
1967--The Monkees announce that they will play all their own instruments on future recordings.
1968--The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Three, EMI Studios, London). Recording Hey Bulldog. This song is given over for the "Yellow Submarine" animated film project, in place of the incomplete You Know My Name (Look Up the Number). The song will appear in British prints of the film, but not originally in the US version. Beatlephiles in the US will not see the Hey Bulldog film sequence until it is re-inserted into the film during the 1999 remastering of the movie. While recording Hey Bulldog, The Beatles are filmed at work for the making of a promotional video. Although The Beatles were filmed performing Hey Bulldog, the video portion will be used for a film clip of Lady Madonna, featuring that song's audio track. It won't be until 1999 that the video is shown with its original Hey Bulldog soundtrack. This session also marks the first appearance of Yoko Ono in the studio, who asks John Lennon why the group always uses such simplistic rhythms in their songs. Supposedly John was embarrassed performing this great rock classic in front of her.
1970--John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band tape a performance of Instant Karma! for the BBC-TV program "Top of the Pops," to be broadcast the following evening. The Plastic Ono Band is comprised of John (electric piano), Klaus Voorman (bass), Alan White (drums), Mal Evans (occasional tambourine), and Yoko Ono (blind-folded knitting and card-holding). This video would be given general release on the 1992 "The John Lennon Video Collection." John sings a new vocal on top of a single-track vocal version of the EMI recording from January 27. Two different versions of Plastic Ono Band are taped, the first being broadcast on February 12 and the second being shown on February 19. The video is later included in the DVD, "Lennon Legend," released on November 18, 2003.
1970--John Lennon pays fines, totaling £1,344 ($1867), that have been imposed on 96 protesters who'd been arrested while protesting a rugby game in which a team from the apartheid state of South Africa was participating.
1970--US release of the soundtrack LP, The Magic Christian, a movie starring Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers. The song Come and Get It by Badfinger was written by Paul McCartney, who also produced the track. The album contains some of Ringo's movie dialogue. (Released in the UK on April 10).
1970--Japan becomes the fourth country to put a satellite into orbit.
1975--Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman leader of a British political party, elected leader of the Conservatives.
1988--A stereo 35mm film print of the film "Imagine John Lennon" receives its premiere screening to Warner Brothers executives in Los Angeles. They insist that at 122 minutes the film is too long and order it to be recut. (When released later in the year, the films running time will be reduced to 100 minutes.)
1993--This evening, in Studio 8-H at 30 Rockerfeller Plaza in New York City, Paul McCartney and his band perform a one-hour rehearsal for their following night appearance on NBC-TVs Saturday Night Live. Paul also consents to interviews with "NBC Nightly News" and the "Today Show."
1994--The historic first Beatles reunion session, when they began work on Free As A Bird, takes place on this day at Paul McCartneys Mill Studios in Sussex, England. (The Mill is a converted windmill on a hill, overlooking English farmland and the English Channel.) Following the initial recordings, Paul, George, Ringo, and Jeff Lynne visit a local pub. About the recording sessions themselves, from Paul: I played these songs (of John Lennons) to the other guys, warning Ringo to have a hanky ready. I fell in love with Free As A Bird. I thought I would have loved to have worked with John on that. I like the melody, its got strong chords, and it really appealed to me. In the end we decided to do it very simply. Its crazy really, because when you think about a new Beatles record, it is impossible, because John is not around. So I invented a little scenario; hes gone away on holiday and hes just rung us up and he says, Just finish this track for us, will you? Im sending the cassette...I trust you. That was the key thing, I trust you, just do your stuff on it. I told this to the other guys and Ringo was particularly pleased, and he said, Ahh, thats great! John hadnt filled in the middle eight section of the demo, so we wrote a new section for that, which, in fact, was one of the reasons for choosing the song. It allowed us some input.
1999--On the eve of Ringo Starrs All-Starr Band 10th anniversary tour, he takes part in another AOL (America On Line) chat with fans around the world.
2001--The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the MP3-swapping website, Napster, must stop its users from trading tunes without the permission of their copyright owners. "The court's decision confirms that Napster was wrong in exploiting music by artists who do not want to be a part of the Napster system,'' say Napster opponents, Metallica, in a statement made for the press.
For more day-by-day history go to HistoryUnlimited.net