Tag Archives: December Music et al

December 1 Music et al

December 1 Music et al

Morning Dew

In 1962 Bonnie Dobson released the post apocalyptic song, “Morning Dew” It was later covered most famously by the Grateful Dead.

What Have They Done to the Rain

Also in 1962  Malvina Reynolds released “What Have They Done to the Rain” points out danger of nuclear testing. (Cold War, see Jan 2; Nuclear News, see Feb 16; News Music, see October 8, 1963)

McCartney & Best leave Germany

December 1, 1960: McCartney and Best arrived at London Airport. They spent their remaining money on a bus to Euston Station and a train ticket to Liverpool. John Lennon stayed behind in Hamburg for a while. (see Dec 10)

My Son, the Folk Singer

December 1 – 14, 1962: Allen Sherman’s My Son, the Folk Singer Billboard #1 album.


December 1, 1963: The New York Times Sunday Magazine, ran a story on “Beatlemania” in the U.K. (NYT article) (see Beatlemania for more)

Roy Howard buys Yasgur’s Farm

December 1 Music et al

December 1, 1986: Miriam Yasgur sold farm to Roy Howard. The site now holds annual reunions to celebrate both Yasgur’s life and the spirit of Woodstock. (see Woodstock  for expanded chronology)


December 1, 2016: The Journal of Psychopharmacology concurrently released studies by researchers at New York University, with 29 patients, and at Johns Hopkins University, with 51 on the possible therapeutic benefit of psilocybin. The studies proceeded after arduous review by regulators and were the largest and most meticulous among a handful of trials. The results were striking. About 80 percent of cancer patients showed clinically significant reductions in both psychological disorders, a response sustained some seven months after the single dose. Side effects were minimal. (see September 4, 2019)

December 1 Music et al

Beatles Officially Legally End

Beatles Officially Legally End

December 29, 1974

Beatles at Woodstock?

During my shifts at the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts one of the most common questions is: Why weren’t the Beatles at Woodstock?

My first response is that the Beatles had stopped touring and performing live in August 1966. They had chosen to became a studio band.

My second response that throughout August 1969, the Beatles were finishing recording and  mixing Abbey RoadThey didn’t know it,  of course, but August 20, 1969 was the last time the four would be together in the studio.

There is a story that Michael Lang had invited them. John Lennon had reportedly said they would not play unless Yoko and his Plastic Ono Band could also play. That story has never been authenticated,  but lives on with other Beatle ephemera.

Beatles Officially Legally End


Lennon did perform with the Plastic Ono Band in September at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival.

The Beatles released their “last” album,  Let It Be on May 8,1970, six months after Abbey Road’s release, but they had recorded Let It Be before Abbey Road, so…

Beatles Officially Legally End

Whimper not a bang

So, when did the Beatles break up. This section’s heading is the answer: they broke up gradually.

Ringo Walks Out

Beatles Officially Legally End

On August 22, 1968 Ringo had left the Beatles because he felt his playing had gotten sub-par and that he’d become an outsider to the other three.

He went on vacation to Sardinia, wrote “Octopus Garden,” and with the encouragement of John, Paul, and George, returned on September 3.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Solo Projects

They  had also begun working on solo projects before 1970 ended.  George Harrison was the first in November 1968 with his Wonderwall Music soundtrack. Harrison had frequently felt like the Beatles’ third wheel because most of his offered songs were dismissed in favor of the so-called Lennon/McCartney tunes.

Harrison Leaves

Of course, a solo album does not mean a break up, but frustration does. On January 10, 1969 Harrison walked out, unable to tolerate any longer the tensions within the group and the other’s talk about playing a live show.

John Lennon reportedly said that the group should call Eric Clapton, saying, “He’s just as good and not such a headache.”

Like Starr, Harrison returned (January 15), but had he made it clear that he would leave the group unless the idea of a live show before an audience was dropped. They did.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Lennon Leaves

In September 1969, John Lennon told the others he was leaving. The other three, resigned to the group’s collapse, said that they would keep the break-up out of the news.

McCartney Talks

Beatles Officially Legally End

On April 10, 1970, in The Daily Mirror, Paul McCartney made the Beatles’ secret breakup public by issuing a press release to announce that he had left the group, done in the form of a fake interview: “Q: Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones? PAUL: Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”

Lennon was angry, especially since the breakup, already agreed upon by the group, was announced just one week prior to the British release of McCartney’s first solo album. When a reporter tracked down Lennon for his thoughts, he replied, “Paul hasn’t left. I sacked him.”

Beatles Officially Legally End

Paul files

On December 31, 1970, Paul  filed a lawsuit in London’s High Court to dissolve The Beatles’ partnership. He filed it against “John Ono Lennon of Ascot, Berkshire; George Harrison of Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire; Richard Starkey of Highgate, London; and Apple Corps of Savile Row, London.”

The writ gave three reasons for the suit:

  1. The Beatles had ceased to perform together as a group, so       the purpose of their partnership was no more
  2.   secondly, the other three Beatles had, despite McCartney’s opposition and in breach of their partnership agreement, appointed Allen Klein and his ABKCO as their exclusive business manager
  3. and that McCartney had never been given audited accounts during the four years of their partnership. (see Beatles Bible site)
Beatles Officially Legally End

 Four Years of Red Tape

Beatles Officially Legally End

On March 31, 1972, The Beatles Official Fan Club closed. The Beatles Monthly magazine had ceased three years previously.

Now it was December 19, 1974 and four had finally agreed that all was in place for the official and legal end to the Beatles.  The meeting took place in New York City and Paul and George flew in just for the meeting. Ringo did not attend. He had already signed off.

Lawyers for each were present.  Cameras were ready. John, living in NYC, was late.  Well, not late,  absent. They made a phone call. Lennon’s then girlfriend May Pang (he and Yoko had separated) answered. She said he said he wasn’t coming.  “The stars weren’t right.”

It was George Harrison’s turn to explode.  It was unusual for such anger from him, but under stress from a poorly reviewed tour was the straw that broke his back.

He apologized to all the following day.

In fact the three amicably met the next night at a club.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Beatles Officially Legally End

John Lennon and May Pang, took John’s son Julian to Walt Disney World for the week of Christmas, 1974. They stayed at the Polynesian Village Resort.

Lennon was apparently finally ready.

On December 29, 1974 while ironically or appropriately at DisneyWorld, Apple lawyers met Lennon to sign off.

John told May to take a picture, but delayed signing until he spoke to Harrison’s lawyer by phone. According to May, he looked out his window at the Polynesian Village Hotel several moments before signing.

Thus ended the Beatles

Beatles Officially Legally End, Beatles Officially Legally End, Beatles Officially Legally End, 

December 27 Music et al

December 27 Music et al

Songs of Leonard Cohen

December 27, 1967 – Leonard Cohen released Songs of Leonard Cohen.

From Mark Deming’s review at the AllMusic.com site:  At a time when a growing number of pop songwriters were embracing a more explicitly poetic approach in their lyrics, the 1967 debut album from Leonard Cohen introduced a songwriter who, rather than being inspired by “serious” literature, took up music after establishing himself as a published author and poet. The ten songs on Songs of Leonard Cohen were certainly beautifully constructed, artful in a way few (if any) other lyricists would approach for some time, but what’s most striking about these songs isn’t Cohen’s technique, superb as it is, so much as his portraits of a world dominated by love and lust, rage and need, compassion and betrayal. 

see John Wesley Harding for more

December 27, 1967, Bob Dylan released  John Wesley Harding album. He had recorded it between October 17 and November 29.

December 27

The cover photograph shows Dylan with brothers Luxman and Purna Das. Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, had brought the Asian musicians to Woodstock. Standing behind Dylan (over his left shoulder) is Charlie Joy, a local stonemason and carpenter.

True to the atmosphere of the time’s conspiracy theorists (e.g. Paul is dead), images of the Beatles were purportedly hidden on the front cover in the knots of the tree. (next Dylan see January 20, 1968)

December 27 Music et al

Cultural Milestone

December 22 Music et al

December 22, 1967: Chicago businessman Michael Butler was planning to run for the U.S. Senate on an anti-war platform. He watched the Public Theatre’s production of Hair several times and joined forces with Joe Papp to reproduce the show at another New York venue after the close of its run at the Public.

Papp and Butler first moved the show to The Cheetah,  a discothèque at 53rd Street and Broadway. It ran for 45 performances. (CM, see January 22, 1968; Hair, see April 29, 1968)

December 27 Music et al

Music protests  US in Vietnam

In  1967: protest songs of this year included:

  • “Saigon Bride” by Joan Baez 


  • “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” by Pete Seeger.


  • “Backlash Blues” by Nina Simone


  • Patriotic song: “Dear Uncle Sam” by Loretta Lynn
December 27 Music et al

see Miami Rock Festival for moreDecember 27 Music et al

December 27 – 29, 1969, Miami Rock Festival, among the bands playing were: BB King, The Band, Santana, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Johnny Winter, Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Sweetwater, Vanilla Fudge, Hugh Masakela, Amboy Dukes, The Turtles, Biff Rose, Tony Joe White, and Celebration.

December 27 Music et al

see Mid Winter Pop Festival for more

December 27 Music et al

December 27 – 29, 1969: Blythe, California. The show never happened, but was supposed to have: Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Young Rascals, Vanilla Fudge, Brooklyn Bridge, Neil Diamond, and Johnny Winters.

December 27 Music et al

“Someday We’ll Be Together”

December 27, 1969 – January 2, 1970 – “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and the Supremes #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

December 27 Music et al