January 1
Beatles begin filming LET IT BE

January 10
George Harrison walks out on the band while working on "Let It Be"

While it remains true in the film that Paul McCartney seemed to have gotten to George Harrison over a dispute in how to play chords on a number ("I'll play what you want me to play. Whatever it is that will please you, I'll do it," said Harrison) the real reason why George left (according to an October 2000 edition of Mojo magazine) was because of "John's obsession with Yoko deeply insulted Harrison . Lennon repeatedly refused to participate in group planning; on January 10, Harrison told Lennon he was leaving the band immediately." George would reconcile their differences a week later on the condition that they don't do a live concert abroad and to stop filming at the dreary Twickenham studios.

January 13
YELLOW SUBMARINE (lp) is released (Apple Records)

January 18
John Lennon announces to Disc and Music Echo that APPLE RECORDS is in financial chaos: "Apple is losing money. If it caries on like this, we'll be broke in six months..."

January 20
Beatles resume filming the "Let It Be" sessions but this time at Apple Headquarters, 3 Savile Row in their studio basement.

January 30
The Beatles last "live" public appearance held on the roof of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row. (The rooftop performance was based on an idea two days earlier by engineer Glyn Johns.)

Excerpt from Apple's Deluxe "The Beatles Get Back" book describes atmosphere on the roof: "With the wind sweeping the roof and blowing through the Beatles' hair, it seemed as if the roof concert were occurring on ship deck, Paul stomping the wooden planks, middle aged men and women on an adjoining roof waiting for the boat to arrive, boys and girls on nearby buildings lying against the roof slopes and waving, the Beatles smiling and singing to each other in the wind: 'You can syndicate any boat you row.'" The Beatles performance ran about 40 minutes before the police arrived to stop the noisy noon disturbance.

February 3
Allen Klein appointed to look after the Beatles' affairs by John, George and Ringo. Paul McCartney rejects the appointment, preferring Lee Eastman, Linda Eastman's father.

March 12
Birth of the APPLE SCRUFFS. Female fans stalk 3 Savile Row, Abbey Road , Trident and Olympic recording studios and the Beatles homesteads waiting for an appearance of a Beatle. Recalls Apple Scruff Wendy: "We only wanted to know them as people really, it was never a groupie kind of thing. We didn't know what sex was all about....I thought these are my Beatles and one day I'll be in the right place at the right time and it'll be wedding bells."

George & Pattie Harrison's home is raided and they are charged with possession of cannabis.

Paul McCartney marries Linda Eastman at St. John's Wood Church in London . Reverend Noel Perry-Gore presides.

March 20
John & Yoko married in Gibraltar by Cecil Wheeler in the British Consulate building

March 25 - 31
John & Yoko hold "Bed-in" in room 902 at Amsterdam Hilton

John Lennon: "Our life is our art. That's what the bed-ins were. When we got married, we knew our honeymoon was going to be public anyway, so we decided to make a statement. We sat in bed and talked to reporters for seven days. It was hilarious."

March 31
George & Pattie Harrison fined in court for possession of cannabis

April 1
John & Yoko appear in "a bag" while in Vienna

Playboy (1980 interview): "What about the reports of you making love in a bag?"
Yoko Ono: "We never made love in a bag. People probably imagined we were making love. It was just, all of us are in a bag, you know. The point was the outline of the bag, the movement of the bag: how much we see of a person. Inside there might be a lot going on. Or maybe nothing's going on." See

April 3
Billy Preston, brilliant keyboardist signs on with Apple

George Harrison would later produce his first two albums on Apple: "That's The Way God Planned It" and "Encouraging Words". Billy would be used on the LET IT BE and ABBEY ROAD albums. George Martin would later acknowledge that Billy's musical contribution to those albums would act as "emollient" to buffer the on-going friction between band members.

George Harrison: "It's interesting to see how people behave nicely when you bring a guest in because they don't really want anybody to know that they are so bitchy...and told him [Billy] to come into Savile Row which he did. Straight away it just became 100 percent improvement in the vibe in the room."

Billy Preston (reflecting on how it all happened): "I was with Ray Charles in London and George was in the audience and he recognized me and called me the next day and invited me over to see the guys. When I went over, they were in the studio, you know, recording and filming and they asked me to sit in with them. It was a thrill enough just being there and playing with them. And I really didn't know about the label credit until the record was out," said Billy. "The record was a big surprise. I was at the Beatles' office, and John said, 'Look, Willy,' and he showed me the record. I looked, and it was great. Wow! It was really something to do that for me."

May 5
GET BACK / DON'T LET ME DOWN - featuring Billy Preston, (single) is released (Apple Records).

May 25
John & Yoko
arrive in Toronto and are temporarily detained by Canadian Immigration authorities for over two and a half hours because of Lennon's previous drug conviction. Canadian Immigration decides to grant Lennon a 10-day stay in the country. While in Canada , the couples activities spans from May 25 to June 5 and are headlined in major newspapers, television media and radio.

May 26
John & Yoko hold "Bed-in" at Hotel La Reine Elizabeth, room 1742, in Montreal
ELECTRONIC MUSIC (lp) is released by George Harrison (Zapple Records)
UNFINISHED MUSIC NO. 2 - LIFE WITH THE LIONS (lp) is released by John & Yoko (Zapple Records)

June 1
John & Yoko record "Give Peace A Chance" which would become John's first solo record but still credited as a "Lennon/McCartney" song.
Rabbi Feinberg joins Beatle in song.

June 3
The Lennons visit Ottawa

At about 5:30 p.m., John and Yoko convenes for a peace seminar at the Ottawa University Arts Building organized by Allan Rock, who today is now an Ambassador to the United Nations (previously he held several Canadian cabinet positions including Minister of Health, Minister of Justice and Minister of Industry.) A lively discussion on peace was held including panelist Prof. Colin Wells, vice-dean of the university of arts faculty along with Canadian actor Bruno Gerussi and Martin Loney, president of the Canadian Union of Students. 

See details of their visit to Ottawa with 15 rare exclusive photographs,
and follow in John's and Yoko's footsteps on a
tour of Ottawa in 2001.

John and Yoko's visit to the city would only last several hours. The couple boards a train at 11:30 p.m. on this evening at the Ottawa Train station. They arrive the next morning at 6:30 a.m. at the Union Station in Toronto where the couple stayed at the Windsor Arms Hotel.

John is seen here carrying Yoko's 5-year old daughter Kyoko.


    Photo: Jim Huber              Click the pic for story

June 4
BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO / OLD BROWN SHOE (single) is released (Apple Records)

June 5
John and Yoko leaves Canada

On this date, John Lennon and Yoko Ono check out of the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto to catch a 9 p.m. flight to London , via Frankfurt . "We are very happy with the results of our visit and the Montreal bed-in," said John Lennon to reporter Ritichie Yorke for the Globe and Mail. "You can't change things overnight, but I believe we've made a lot of people think about peace. We're going to keep plugging away."

Yesterday's activities saw the Lennons head down to Niagara Falls to do a "film documentary footage on his visit to North America ," wrote Yorke.  Meanwhile, Allan Klein reported that The Ballad of John and Yoko had already sold 900,000 copies in the United States and was Number 10 on the English charts in one week.

July 1
Beatles begin recording Abbey Road album

July 7
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE / REMEMBER LOVE (single) is released by the Plastic Ono Band (Apple Records)
John Lennon: "We all have Hitler in us, but we also have love and peace. So why not give peace a chance?"

August 20
The last time all four Beatles would record together in studio.
According to author Barry Miles in his book "Many Years From Now", the last track recorded by the band as a unit was "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"

August 22
Last photographic session of the Beatles together. 

September 5

Allen Klein successfully re-negotiates contracts with EMI for Canada , Mexico , and the USA . The band would now earn 58 cents per album up until 1972 and then it would jump to 72 cents after that. Part of the new EMI contractual agreement required the Beatles to release at least two albums per year until 1976. Prior to this re-negotiated agreement, the Beatles 1966 contract with EMI had them earning 39 cents per album and when the Beatles first signed up with EMI, they only made 6 cents per album.

September 13

John & Yoko's second visit to Canada . At the Varsity Stadium in Toronto , the couple perform live with Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, and Alan White. Together, at this performance, the band records an Apple album later released as "The Plastic Ono Band -- Live Peace in Toronto 1969"

Mal Evans, the Beatles roadie recalls the event in an interview with Beat Publications in 1969: "It was the first show I had roadied for three years and I was really loving every minute of plugging the amps in and setting them up on stage, making sure that everything was right. Everyone wanted the show to go particularly well because Allan Klein, who had flown over, had organised for the whole of John's performance to be filmed. This was on top of it being video-taped by Dan Richter.

"Finally, at midnight, the compare, Kim Fowley, who is a well-known singer, producer and songwriter in his own right, went on stage to announce the Plastic Ono Band. He did a really great thing. He had all the lights in the stadium turned right down and then asked everyone to strike a match. It was a really unbelievable sight when thousands of little flickering lights suddenly shone all over the huge arena, " said Evens.

"Then John, Yoko, Eric, Allan and Klaus were on stage, and lined up just like the old Beatles set-up. Bass on the left, lead guitar next, then John on the right with the drummer behind. Each guitarist had two big speakers, one on either side of the stage, and the sound was really fantastic right from the moment they began. But just before they launched into their first number, John said quickly into the mike "We're just goin’ to do numbers we know, as we've never played together before". That was all. Just a brief word to put everyone in the picture.

"The whole show was recorded for a special album...and you will hear all this on the LP. After that, the boys gave a ten minute Press conference."

Mal Evans noted in the interview to Beat Publications that after they left Varsity stadium, the band piled into four cars and drove two hours until they reached the estate of Mr. Eaton, a wealthy Canadian businessman whose son had picked the band up after the show. The next day, for fun they got into golf-carts exploring the huge landscape that surrounded the estate. Ritchie Yorke, pop reporter for Toronto 's Globe and Mail later wrote that John and Yoko spent a total of 36 hours in Canada before flying back to England .

September 17
"Paul Is Dead Hoax" starts up in America

Originating from Des Moines Iowa when Tim Harper, a college editor, writes an article for the schools "Drake Times-Delphic" entitled: "Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead?" On October 12, WKNR-FM picks up on the story from a phone caller revealing "hidden clues" in Beatle songs. The Chicago Sun-Times later covers the story on October 21. Paul would later appear on the front cover of LIFE Magazine (November 7) with an interview by John Neary entitled "The Case of the 'Missing Beatle': Paul is still with us."

September 20
John Lennon announces to the others that he is leaving the band

Author Barry Miles in his book "The Beatles: A Diary" explains that as Paul attempted to discuss Beatle matters, John Lennon kept saying "No, no, no" to everything Paul suggested. Paul asked John what he meant by "no". John replied: "I mean the group is over. I’m leaving. Allen was saying don't tell. He didn't want me to tell Paul even. So I said 'It’s out.' I couldn’t stop it, it came out. Paul and Allen both said that they were glad that I wasn't going to announce it, that I wasn’t going to make an event out of it." Lennon's announcement never made it to the press because of their newly negotiated royalty contract they signed with EMI.

October 1
ABBEY ROAD (lp) is released (Apple Records)

October 6
SOMETHING / COME TOGETHER (single) is released (Apple Records)

Contrary to the popular belief that Something was released as a money-maker, the real reason for giving George Harrison his first A-side to this single was to inspire him on as a composer. For in 1990, Beatle historian Mark Lewisohn received a letter from Allen Klein which reads as follows: "It was done on purpose, not to make money but to help the guy," wrote Klein. "Lennon wanted to help him. He knew that for all intents and purposes for a period of time they weren't going to be working together anymore. Something was a great song. But to make money? Not a chance. It was really to point out George as a writer, and give him courage to go in and do his own LP. Which he did."

October 20
WEDDING ALBUM (lp) is released by John & Yoko (Apple Records)
COLD TURKEY / DON'T WORRY KYOKO (single) is released by the Plastic Ono Band (Apple Records)

November 26
John Lennon returns his M.B.E. to the Queen. He does this as a political protest against Britain 's involvement in Biafra and also because his solo single, "Cold Turkey" was quickly slipping down the music charts

December 12
The Plastic Ono Band: LIVE PEACE IN TORONTO 1969 (lp) is released by John & Yoko (Apple Records)

December 16
John and Yoko arrive in Canada at Toronto 's International Airport . The Lennons third visit to Canada was brokered by Ritchie Yorke. In his book, "Axes, Chops & Hot Licks - The Canadian Rock Music Scene" that was published in 1971, he recalled how the arrangement came about: "In London , in December 1969, I found myself in the office of John and Yoko Lennon discussing their forthcoming peace campaign in Canada . The Lennons needed somewhere to stay during their visit to Toronto , and I suggested the Hawkins estate. Lennon needed a quiet spot, well away from the never ending assaults of the press; he enjoyed the company of rock 'n' rollers; and it appeared that the visit might provide the attention needed to get Hawkins' career back into the orbit internationally."    

For the next 6 days, John and Yoko become houseguests with pop rock star Ronnie Hawkins. "Ah'm friends with the people promoting this peace festival," said Hawkins in his Arkansas accent. "And John and Yoko don't like hotels, so they phoned me from London an' asked if they could stay here while it was being organized. They were wonderful, great. Ah was very honored." 

Hawkins would refer here to the proposed Mosport Peace Festival that was to be held from July 3-5. The event was being organized by rock promoter John Brower, the same person who had John and Yoko perform at Varsity Stadium in Toronto .

Also on this date, John Lennon and Yoko Ono decide to put up on eleven billboards in major cities from around the world, the following slogan:


Pop journalist Ritchie Yorke lamented on the historical importance of the peace campaign: "John totally believed that love could save us. He thought that if one person really stood up, things could be changed. I've never seen anyone so committed to a cause, regardless of the cost. If he thought his actions would serve a purpose, he didn't give a damn if they cost a lot of money or if they offended anyone's sensibilities. The guy was amazingly open-minded; we used to sit around thinking of things to do in the peace campaign, and he never ruled out anything. At one point, somebody decided that the way dates were broken up into B.C. and A.D. was ridiculous, that we should start all over with YEAR ONE A.P., which was AFTER PEACE. John didn't think that was too far fetched; he threw himself into the campaign."

Click here for a photo of John and Yoko.

December 19
"BEATLES SEVENTH CHRISTMAS RECORD" is issued to fans club members

December 22
John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrive by train and arrive in Montreal "just to say hello". A press conference is held at Chateau Champlain Hotel. There it is revealed that the Lennon spent $72,000 anti-war billboards and that he would "send the bill for his ads and posters to U.S. President Richard Nixon," wrote the Canadian Press.

And although not known to the Montreal press at the time, probably the real reason for John and Yoko arriving in Montreal was to hold talks with two representatives from the Le Dain Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs: Ian L. Campbell and Dr. Heinz Lehmann.

The Le Dain Commission of Inquiry was the Canadian government's response to the concern over the use of illicit drugs and the need to obtain more information about some of them, in particular cannabus, LSD, and prescription drugs such as tranquillizers and amphetamines. The inquiry was officially announced in the House of Commons on May 1, 1969, by John Munro, Minister for Health and Welfare. (see also: January 19 and May 17, 2003, entry in this timeline for John Lennon's official testimony.)

December 23
John & Yoko meet with Canadian Prime Minister
Pierre Trudeau which lasted 50 minutes. John declares to the Canadian press about his pro-active peace movement: "Peace is no violence, no frustration, no fear," John Lennon said in a C.B.C. interview, "If I smile at you, you're liable to smile back. We're smiling at the world."

Both John and Yoko on this date would later fly back to Toronto from Ottawa and while on board the plane, they accidentally meet Lester B. Pearson, a former Canadian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize recipient for his diplomatic achievement: the proposal of sending United Nations peacekeeping force to the Suez Canal area. Shortly after arriving in Toronto , the couple head back to England by plane.

Best Engineered (Non-Classical Recording) - The Beatles " Abbey Road ", Geoff Emerick, engineer.