"She Was My Girlfriend, I Lost My Girlfriend."
It's now time for another update of this TL and we now move into 1998 and with it, some events merge with OTL in which we have a more sombre chapter as what the the title for this chapter will be...without much else to say, here we go again.


"She Was My Girlfriend, I Lost My Girlfriend."

Extract from 'Epstein's Empire: The Story Of Apple Corps' by Jake O'Connell
On April 2nd 1968, Apple Corps was formed in what was then actually nothing more than a glorified and rather convoluted way of The Beatles trying to find a way to avoid paying tax as well as having all the hippy idealism that would give them more freedom to make things. Adding to this, the band would place Brian Epstein in charge of the company not because he was their boss but that he was the only they knew who could run a business as this was something for as talented as they were as songwriters, they were all hopeless businessmen and the idea of them running Apple with all those egos flying around would have likely seen Apple Corps collapsing within a few years or worse, a full break up of the band. Thirty years later exactly on April 2nd 1998, Apple Corps was not only still standing with Epstein still as the leader of the company with The Beatles still in one piece, but it had grown into a major media empire that was so far removed from Apple's hippy origins that it would seem pretty much unrecognisable.

Not only did Apple boast an impressive collection of music artists on their record label that proved that Apple could work outside of just being made for The Beatles, but it had expanded into film and now animation with its first animated feature film being The Prince Of Egypt [1] due for a release that year which would be another milestone for Apple as it would enter that media and the hope of challenging Disney's animation stronghold at the box office though it would not be the only animated film to be released by Apple that year. Speaking of animation to help with this new area of media, Apple Electronics, once considered the black sheep of the Apple empire from the shambolic days of Magic Alex, had turned a corner thanks to Steve Jobs bringing that part of the company back from the dead and 1998 had seen the release of the iApple G3 computers to the public though they had been used earlier to help with Apple Animation in the hope they could make CGI films much like what had been started with Pixar.

As it would turn out, Apple would have its first CGI film to be released that year too which would be animated comedy called Antz [2], a film as what its name suggests would be about ants though it would be a film that would be more known for that during its production, a controversial public feud erupted between Jeffrey Katzenberg of Apple Animation and John Lasseter of Pixar, due to the production of their similar film about bugs called A Bug's Life, which was released a month later from Antz and thus all the comparisons between the two films that were to follow. The feud worsened when Disney refused to avoid competition with Apple Animation's intended first animated release, The Prince of Egypt. It would be a rather sour note to celebrate in what was supposed to be the company's thirtieth anniversary year and Epstein would admit to have failed to keep the situation under control and while that he enjoyed the film, he suspected that had they made the film about anything other than bugs then all of this would have been avoided but alas, what had happened had happened.

As it would turn out, Apple Animation had another feature film in the works planned for a 1999 release which had been part of Amblimation's list of films that had been in development prior to that studio's merger into the large Apple Animation fold in which was an animated adaptation of the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber [3]. Had Amblimation folded, they that film would have likely would have remained in development hell but with the studio being bought out by Apple, it would go on and would be done by the London based studio though there was an issue if that feud with Disney wasn't enough on Apple's plate. Prior before Amblimation being bought out by Apple, it had been planned that the film would have had its distribution handled by Universal Studios. With the buy-out of Amblimation by Apple which included even the work being done so far on Cats, this led to problems with the question about Universal's involvement with the film and a conflict of interest in the film.

Not wanting to start another feud with another studio, Epstein would work things out between both studios regarding distribution rights in which Universal would handle the film's release in the North America market while Apple would handle the release for the rest of the world and this marked the first time that Apple would work with another major film studio. Away from even those, Apple's entrance into the world of Theme Parks had at first might have seemed like a folly on the part of Epstein yet despite what might had thought of this idea, he had successfully opened two theme parks in both the UK and Japan, albeit they were on previous existing theme parks that both saw extensive rebuilding into becoming the parks that they were but now there was the prospect of a third Apple park opening, this time in America.

---------
Extract from 'The Story Of Apple Corps World' by Jordan Kent
Though Sir Brian Epstein had felt like he had been vindicated when he had opened not one but two Apple theme parks, he always had a long held dream of having an Apple park on each continent much like Disney had been trying to do with this case being his eye being on America as being the next target but where? For many at Apple, this was actually quite a big topic that had gotten itself a lot of heavy debating as to where this new American park would be located. Many had wanted it to be built in Florida as what both Disney and Universal had done yet this was shot done as Apple would easily be crossed by both those two, not to mention having gotten into a feud with one of those companies, others felt that the West Coast, mainly California seemed like a good idea yet it was felt that many others had already done that and that Apple would fade into the background and ultimately both the east and west coast were dropped as possible sites.

Even without this in mind, it became clear that for once, Apple couldn't go in an buy a theme park that was already there and rebuild the place, this would be the first park that Apple would have to build from scratch which meant something very different compared to the other two Apple parks. Location wise, it was still causing debate as to where to build with some even saying that maybe Canada might be a consideration given how the market there seemed to be barely touched yet it felt that building it in the United States would be more successful nonetheless. After much searching, with several states all trying to find the best offers to tempt to bring an Apple theme park Stateside and it would be in April 1998 in the middle of Apple would celebrate that whole month for their anniversary that Apple would announce their choice.

For the first time, this would be an Apple park totally built from scratch and was expecting to be the grandest of all Apple Parks by that point and the location was decided to be set in Texas or rather an area of land called New Caney just north of the city of Houston [4] and with construction expected to start soon within the year, the park was planned for a early 2001 opening. The location did raise some eyebrows from both members of the public and even Apple shareholders who all felt that Texas was the wrong place and that anywhere else might have been better ("Why didn't we build in Florida like what everyone else does?" One disappointed Apple shareholder is said to have said). However, it is said that it seems that Apple had been tempted by very generous offers to build the park there which did lead to some suspicious of bribery taking place to make them win the vote with an area outside of Chicago the close second that some felt might win it.

These stories of possible bias in the choice and the cause of much controversy in the press but despite some digging to see if there was any truth in the matter, nothing was ever found with perhaps the reason that the Texas site was chosen as it was a much cheaper area to work with and before anyone would know it, work would begin to build in what was planning to be arguably the biggest and greatest Apple park of them all...Apple World USA. That really should have been a big highlight in a major anniversary year for the company but alas, April 1998 would actually be overshadowed by events focusing regarding The Beatles...

----------
Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson
After the high of 1997 following the release of Flaming Pie and the success of the Anthology project, a cynic would say that those good times would come to a shuddering halt and sadly, 1998 would prove to be that year though it wasn't anything to do with music but rather over one certain person. Linda McCartney. Ever since the McCartney family had found out that Linda had breast cancer and that it was revealed by the doctors that they were too late to stop it, that meant that she would not have long to live. Nonetheless, she would remain by Paul McCartney's side for the final days of her life in which her appearance on the Beautiful Night music video would be her final appearance and with hindsight makes that look more bittersweet knowing what was to happen next.

Such was her condition is that partly why The Beatles wouldn't go out on another tour to promote that album given how Linda was feeling and that Paul wasn't wanting to be away from her at that time which the rest of the band would respect that request. Finally on April 17th, Linda would pass away at the age of 56 at the McCartney family ranch in Tucson, Arizona with her family by her side when she died [5] and she would be cremated in Tucson, and her ashes were scattered at the McCartney family's English farm in Sussex . Almost soon after, tributes would flood in for her celebrating her for her regarding being for animal rights, going vegetarian and of course much of her photography work in which would all start to be fully appreciated in ways it hadn't been before.

Given the failed marriages that the other Beatles all had during the last thirty years or more which was sadly all too common for many artists in the music industry, the fact that both Paul and Linda had managed a successful stable married life for all these years made them very much the exception to the rule. Indeed, had she not passed away, more than likely that she and Paul would have still been together and while she might have been in the background in the story of The Beatles, she had very much been a muse for many of Paul's songs in that time from Maybe I'm Amazed to My Love to name a few and John Lennon would sadly recall how devasted his song writing partner was in which he would admit that for the rest of the year, McCartney would grieve over the loss of his wife and that it was really the right call with hindsight that they never did any live performances during that time.

A few months later in June, a memorial service was held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, which was attended by The Beatles and their families, the only time that year in which they would be seen in public together in which featured Sir Brian Epstein and George Martin in attendance and also featured a wide list of celebrities including Billy Joel, Elton John, David Gilmour, Peter Gabriel, and other celebrities from both within the Apple family and beyond among a congregation of 700 all just to name a few [6] in which was a real emotionally charged event. Also that month, another memorial service was also held at Riverside Church in Manhattan in which Paul would say at her funeral, "She was my girlfriend. I lost my girlfriend."

For the rest of the year, it would be a thoughtful year to be a Beatles fan in which Linda had passed on and a feeling that after the release of Anthology and Flaming Pie, there was a feeling that would have crept into the minds of many a Beatle fan wondering if this was the end. The passing of Linda did seem to feel like something had happened but yet no one knew and when the now boring question of the press asking the band if there was to be anymore music to be released in which the band would remain quiet on the fact or so that the press were already asking this question no sooner had Linda just died in which understandably in private, would have led to great fury for the band to hear the press ask such a stupid question at a difficult time. As it would turn out to be, Linda McCartney's passing in 1998 would actually mark the beginning of the end for The Beatles as now, the endgame was looming but not before the band would have one final hurrah to mark the end of the Millennium.


[1] Yes, that film will remains pretty much the same as OTL.
[2] That film still happens like OTL and with it, that famous feud, only change here is that Steve Jobs, rather on the side of Disney is with Apple here which makes things more interesting.
[3] Yes, this actually almost happened which you can find more info on it
here, were it not for Amblimation going under then it would have been made. With that studio saved now under the Apple banner, it will now happen and the good news is that with that film obligation done, it means that the dreaded 2019 OTL Cats movie will be butterflied...if that is not a positive then I don't know what is!
[4] Believe it or not, there is an actual park right now as we speak getting built there as we speak, all we have here is that Apple get in there sooner. More info on that park
here. Either way though, Apple World USA is on!
[5] Yes, Linda passes on much like with OTL sadly.
[6] All of which happens like with OTL, only change to speak of is that both Lennon and Epstein are there ITTL.

So there we are, not a big update but all the same, a sad passing nonetheless in which Linda faces her OTL fate here too. Not a fan of these downbeat updates but you have to do but we will be getting something good for 1999 in which the band are about to play somewhere where they haven't been before, what could it be though...?

Also, would like to say thank you for those to nominate this TL for the Turtledove awards, if you haven't already, please vote now! :) Until then, catch you all later as 1999 looms...
 
It's now time for another update of this TL and we now move into 1998 and with it, some events merge with OTL in which we have a more sombre chapter as what the the title for this chapter will be...without much else to say, here we go again.


"She Was My Girlfriend, I Lost My Girlfriend."

Extract from 'Epstein's Empire: The Story Of Apple Corps' by Jake O'Connell
On April 2nd 1968, Apple Corps was formed in what was then actually nothing more than a glorified and rather convoluted way of The Beatles trying to find a way to avoid paying tax as well as having all the hippy idealism that would give them more freedom to make things. Adding to this, the band would place Brian Epstein in charge of the company not because he was their boss but that he was the only they knew who could run a business as this was something for as talented as they were as songwriters, they were all hopeless businessmen and the idea of them running Apple with all those egos flying around would have likely seen Apple Corps collapsing within a few years or worse, a full break up of the band. Thirty years later exactly on April 2nd 1998, Apple Corps was not only still standing with Epstein still as the leader of the company with The Beatles still in one piece, but it had grown into a major media empire that was so far removed from Apple's hippy origins that it would seem pretty much unrecognisable.

Not only did Apple boast an impressive collection of music artists on their record label that proved that Apple could work outside of just being made for The Beatles, but it had expanded into film and now animation with its first animated feature film being The Prince Of Egypt [1] due for a release that year which would be another milestone for Apple as it would enter that media and the hope of challenging Disney's animation stronghold at the box office though it would not be the only animated film to be released by Apple that year. Speaking of animation to help with this new area of media, Apple Electronics, once considered the black sheep of the Apple empire from the shambolic days of Magic Alex, had turned a corner thanks to Steve Jobs bringing that part of the company back from the dead and 1998 had seen the release of the iApple G3 computers to the public though they had been used earlier to help with Apple Animation in the hope they could make CGI films much like what had been started with Pixar.

As it would turn out, Apple would have its first CGI film to be released that year too which would be animated comedy called Antz [2], a film as what its name suggests would be about ants though it would be a film that would be more known for that during its production, a controversial public feud erupted between Jeffrey Katzenberg of Apple Animation and John Lasseter of Pixar, due to the production of their similar film about bugs called A Bug's Life, which was released a month later from Antz and thus all the comparisons between the two films that were to follow. The feud worsened when Disney refused to avoid competition with Apple Animation's intended first animated release, The Prince of Egypt. It would be a rather sour note to celebrate in what was supposed to be the company's thirtieth anniversary year and Epstein would admit to have failed to keep the situation under control and while that he enjoyed the film, he suspected that had they made the film about anything other than bugs then all of this would have been avoided but alas, what had happened had happened.

As it would turn out, Apple Animation had another feature film in the works planned for a 1999 release which had been part of Amblimation's list of films that had been in development prior to that studio's merger into the large Apple Animation fold in which was an animated adaptation of the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber [3]. Had Amblimation folded, they that film would have likely would have remained in development hell but with the studio being bought out by Apple, it would go on and would be done by the London based studio though there was an issue if that feud with Disney wasn't enough on Apple's plate. Prior before Amblimation being bought out by Apple, it had been planned that the film would have had its distribution handled by Universal Studios. With the buy-out of Amblimation by Apple which included even the work being done so far on Cats, this led to problems with the question about Universal's involvement with the film and a conflict of interest in the film.

Not wanting to start another feud with another studio, Epstein would work things out between both studios regarding distribution rights in which Universal would handle the film's release in the North America market while Apple would handle the release for the rest of the world and this marked the first time that Apple would work with another major film studio. Away from even those, Apple's entrance into the world of Theme Parks had at first might have seemed like a folly on the part of Epstein yet despite what might had thought of this idea, he had successfully opened two theme parks in both the UK and Japan, albeit they were on previous existing theme parks that both saw extensive rebuilding into becoming the parks that they were but now there was the prospect of a third Apple park opening, this time in America.

---------
Extract from 'The Story Of Apple Corps World' by Jordan Kent
Though Sir Brian Epstein had felt like he had been vindicated when he had opened not one but two Apple theme parks, he always had a long held dream of having an Apple park on each continent much like Disney had been trying to do with this case being his eye being on America as being the next target but where? For many at Apple, this was actually quite a big topic that had gotten itself a lot of heavy debating as to where this new American park would be located. Many had wanted it to be built in Florida as what both Disney and Universal had done yet this was shot done as Apple would easily be crossed by both those two, not to mention having gotten into a feud with one of those companies, others felt that the West Coast, mainly California seemed like a good idea yet it was felt that many others had already done that and that Apple would fade into the background and ultimately both the east and west coast were dropped as possible sites.

Even without this in mind, it became clear that for once, Apple couldn't go in an buy a theme park that was already there and rebuild the place, this would be the first park that Apple would have to build from scratch which meant something very different compared to the other two Apple parks. Location wise, it was still causing debate as to where to build with some even saying that maybe Canada might be a consideration given how the market there seemed to be barely touched yet it felt that building it in the United States would be more successful nonetheless. After much searching, with several states all trying to find the best offers to tempt to bring an Apple theme park Stateside and it would be in April 1998 in the middle of Apple would celebrate that whole month for their anniversary that Apple would announce their choice.

For the first time, this would be an Apple park totally built from scratch and was expecting to be the grandest of all Apple Parks by that point and the location was decided to be set in Texas or rather an area of land called New Caney just north of the city of Houston [4] and with construction expected to start soon within the year, the park was planned for a early 2001 opening. The location did raise some eyebrows from both members of the public and even Apple shareholders who all felt that Texas was the wrong place and that anywhere else might have been better ("Why didn't we build in Florida like what everyone else does?" One disappointed Apple shareholder is said to have said). However, it is said that it seems that Apple had been tempted by very generous offers to build the park there which did lead to some suspicious of bribery taking place to make them win the vote with an area outside of Chicago the close second that some felt might win it.

These stories of possible bias in the choice and the cause of much controversy in the press but despite some digging to see if there was any truth in the matter, nothing was ever found with perhaps the reason that the Texas site was chosen as it was a much cheaper area to work with and before anyone would know it, work would begin to build in what was planning to be arguably the biggest and greatest Apple park of them all...Apple World USA. That really should have been a big highlight in a major anniversary year for the company but alas, April 1998 would actually be overshadowed by events focusing regarding The Beatles...

----------
Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson
After the high of 1997 following the release of Flaming Pie and the success of the Anthology project, a cynic would say that those good times would come to a shuddering halt and sadly, 1998 would prove to be that year though it wasn't anything to do with music but rather over one certain person. Linda McCartney. Ever since the McCartney family had found out that Linda had breast cancer and that it was revealed by the doctors that they were too late to stop it, that meant that she would not have long to live. Nonetheless, she would remain by Paul McCartney's side for the final days of her life in which her appearance on the Beautiful Night music video would be her final appearance and with hindsight makes that look more bittersweet knowing what was to happen next.

Such was her condition is that partly why The Beatles wouldn't go out on another tour to promote that album given how Linda was feeling and that Paul wasn't wanting to be away from her at that time which the rest of the band would respect that request. Finally on April 17th, Linda would pass away at the age of 56 at the McCartney family ranch in Tucson, Arizona with her family by her side when she died [5] and she would be cremated in Tucson, and her ashes were scattered at the McCartney family's English farm in Sussex . Almost soon after, tributes would flood in for her celebrating her for her regarding being for animal rights, going vegetarian and of course much of her photography work in which would all start to be fully appreciated in ways it hadn't been before.

Given the failed marriages that the other Beatles all had during the last thirty years or more which was sadly all too common for many artists in the music industry, the fact that both Paul and Linda had managed a successful stable married life for all these years made them very much the exception to the rule. Indeed, had she not passed away, more than likely that she and Paul would have still been together and while she might have been in the background in the story of The Beatles, she had very much been a muse for many of Paul's songs in that time from Maybe I'm Amazed to My Love to name a few and John Lennon would sadly recall how devasted his song writing partner was in which he would admit that for the rest of the year, McCartney would grieve over the loss of his wife and that it was really the right call with hindsight that they never did any live performances during that time.

A few months later in June, a memorial service was held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, which was attended by The Beatles and their families, the only time that year in which they would be seen in public together in which featured Sir Brian Epstein and George Martin in attendance and also featured a wide list of celebrities including Billy Joel, Elton John, David Gilmour, Peter Gabriel, and other celebrities from both within the Apple family and beyond among a congregation of 700 all just to name a few [6] in which was a real emotionally charged event. Also that month, another memorial service was also held at Riverside Church in Manhattan in which Paul would say at her funeral, "She was my girlfriend. I lost my girlfriend."

For the rest of the year, it would be a thoughtful year to be a Beatles fan in which Linda had passed on and a feeling that after the release of Anthology and Flaming Pie, there was a feeling that would have crept into the minds of many a Beatle fan wondering if this was the end. The passing of Linda did seem to feel like something had happened but yet no one knew and when the now boring question of the press asking the band if there was to be anymore music to be released in which the band would remain quiet on the fact or so that the press were already asking this question no sooner had Linda just died in which understandably in private, would have led to great fury for the band to hear the press ask such a stupid question at a difficult time. As it would turn out to be, Linda McCartney's passing in 1998 would actually mark the beginning of the end for The Beatles as now, the endgame was looming but not before the band would have one final hurrah to mark the end of the Millennium.


[1] Yes, that film will remains pretty much the same as OTL.
[2] That film still happens like OTL and with it, that famous feud, only change here is that Steve Jobs, rather on the side of Disney is with Apple here which makes things more interesting.
[3] Yes, this actually almost happened which you can find more info on it
here, were it not for Amblimation going under then it would have been made. With that studio saved now under the Apple banner, it will now happen and the good news is that with that film obligation done, it means that the dreaded 2019 OTL Cats movie will be butterflied...if that is not a positive then I don't know what is!
[4] Believe it or not, there is an actual park right now as we speak getting built there as we speak, all we have here is that Apple get in there sooner. More info on that park
here. Either way though, Apple World USA is on!
[5] Yes, Linda passes on much like with OTL sadly.
[6] All of which happens like with OTL, only change to speak of is that both Lennon and Epstein are there ITTL.

So there we are, not a big update but all the same, a sad passing nonetheless in which Linda faces her OTL fate here too. Not a fan of these downbeat updates but you have to do but we will be getting something good for 1999 in which the band are about to play somewhere where they haven't been before, what could it be though...?

Also, would like to say thank you for those to nominate this TL for the Turtledove awards, if you haven't already, please vote now! :) Until then, catch you all later as 1999 looms...
This was inevitable but it still hurts. Linda will be deeply missed. Also interesting and IMO smart that Epstein didn't build his park in Florida. I doubt even Apple could overthrow the mouse. I can't wait to see what happens in '99! I wonder if the last album will be called Now and Then...
 
Sorry about Linda in this TL. Here's hoping that Paul does not marry that gold-digger Heather Mills. Maybe Eppie and the others would sense something not quite right about Mills and advise Paul to find someone else. So maybe he pairs up with his current spouse Nancy much earlier.
 
Sorry about Linda in this TL. Here's hoping that Paul does not marry that gold-digger Heather Mills. Maybe Eppie and the others would sense something not quite right about Mills and advise Paul to find someone else. So maybe he pairs up with his current spouse Nancy much earlier.
There should be some butterflies hopefully to prevent this, maybe John introduces Paul to someone else?
 
End Of A Century
So now we move into 1999 and with it, the end of a century and likely something that The Beatles will do to mark the end of said 20th century as well as a host of other things. So without further ado, lets get going!


End Of A Century

Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson

Following the passing of Linda McCartney the previous year, anything related to The Beatles had all been pretty much quiet and though the year would mark the 30th anniversary of the release of Abbey Road, that did seem like the only major event that Beatles fans could look forward to for 1999 though given how this would mark the last year of the Millennium, many felt that the band should at the very least put on a show of some kind yet it wasn’t clear what kind of show should it be. That said, the only show that had any Beatle involvement was in April that year in which Paul McCartney, along with a collection of artists from the likes of George Michael, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello and Tom Jones just to name a few would take part in the Concert For Linda at the Albert Hall in April being just a year after the passing of Linda McCartney [1].

It was a very poignant show in which was a tender tribute to Paul’s late wife and after that event, McCartney would start to re-enter the public limelight again after a year of grieving and could think about what could happen next as the calls from fans for The Beatles to do something to mark the end of a century hadn’t gone unnoticed by him and would bring the band back together for a meeting at George Harrison’s Friar Park estate along with manager Sir Brian Epstein over what they could do to mark the year. Another album was not really ideal given how musically all four Beatles had just released a solo album that year with Ringo Starr having released his album Vertical Man [2], McCartney had released a solo album that year called Run Devil Run which had been a cover album of obscured 1950s rock and roll classics [3] with John Lennon also making a solo recover with his album Menlove Avenue [4] following the failure of his last solo album and even George Harrison had gotten in on the act with the release of his own album called Portrait of a Leg End [5].

The idea of what else could be done were brought to the table in which another tour was thought about yet there wasn’t quite the appetite to do something like the big world tours that they had all done before yet it was the idea of a one-off show that did have an appeal about it, yet it wasn’t quite clear what it should be. As it turned out, it was Epstein who just so happened to have a solution for this in which that if the band were to do a one-off show, then it should be at a music festival. It must be noted that despite having done some major shows over the years, The Beatles were a band that had oddly not been one to be seen at music festivals with the only one that they had ever done being Woodstock in 1969 in which had been (not including the rooftop performance) their first full live show since 1966 at that time and since then, they had never done any since then.

Likely, the shambolic nature of how they got there, the rainstorm and that many crew members were being electrified to death as well as the mass of humanity that had nearly crushed many all of which that the band had witness there had likely put them off from doing another show like that again. Speaking of Woodstock, there was a planned show to take place called Woodstock ’99 which was to mark that festival’s 30th anniversary in which The Beatles were invited to take part but this request was turned down as Epstein would note that any show the band were going to take part in would be more domestic and with hindsight, this was a major bullet dodged as Woodstock ’99 would be best remembered for being an utter trainwreck of a festival [6] that would be well documented for many years after that and the thought of The Beatles taking part is something that was thankfully avoided.

That being said, there was a feeling that the band was overdue to appear at a music festival of some kind and that if they were to mark the end of the Millennium then now was the time and it would be the case that there would be one certain British music festival that would have the honour of having The Beatles headline in June 1999…Glastonbury. To many, the thought of The Beatles playing at Glastonbury had been debated for many years likely since the festival first started in 1970 yet for many reasons, the organisers never had quite the luck of booking The Beatles to play at Glastonbury and by the early 90s, many who had hoped that they would get to see the world’s biggest band performing at that festival had started to lose all hope though it was at the start of 1999 that rumours starting swirling around the musical press that The Beatles performing at Glastonbury for 1999 and many held their breath hoping that it would be true while others felt it was too good to be true.

As it turned out as early as April that it had been agreed upon in private to have the band to perform on the Saturday show on June 26th as the main event though the news wouldn’t be made public until May. When it did get announced that The Beatles would be performing at Glastonbury as a headline event, it would see the highest demand for tickets likely ever seen at that point and to some who felt it would never happen, it was a miracle though as it would turn out, it would be only one of two shows that The Beatles would do that year.

---------
Extract from 'A History Of Apple Films' by Ryan Parker
Slowly and surely, Apple Animation was starting to find its footing in the world of animated feature films with Prince Of Egypt having made a bit of a impact even if some felt that it was a little too close to what Disney was offering up at the time. That said though, with its two animation companies both in Burbank, California and London, England, Apple could at least have potential to churn out animated feature films more frequently and for the London based studio were all hard at work completing Cats for a late 1999 release. Indeed, such was how well things had been going with that film following several years of development hell that the show's creator Andrew Lloyd Webber, following a test screening in 1998, would along with his company Really Useful Group, or RUG for short, would form a new deal with Apple to create a further two animated adaptions of his shows to form part of what would be known as the Webber trilogy with Cats being the first of these films.

The second of part of this trilogy would be an adaption of Joseph And The Technicolour Dreamcoat in which would surprisingly have a fast-track release for 2000 due to a unusual quirk of fate. When work started on the film in 1997, it wasn't supposed to be an adaption of the musical but rather serve as a prequel to Prince Of Egypt and was to be called Joseph: King Of Dreams [7] and was more or less a straight forward adaption of the original story. When the deal with RUG happened, it did throw something of wrench into production as there was a likely conflict of interest of possible two separate animated films based on Joseph though as it turned out, everything would all fall perfectly into place. Following a poor test screening in the New Year of 1998, reworks on the film was needed and it just so happened that the deal with RUG happened and it was then one executive lost to time would suggest the idea of why not retrofitting the film into an animated feature of the musical version by Lloyd Webber?

With that, everything fell into place as not only could they use that time to fix the film but also fulfil part of the new deal and with that following the release of Cats later on in 1999, the world wouldn't have long to wait to the animated adaptation of Joseph And The Technicolour Dreamcoat to be released. What the third film might be wasn't entirely clear though an animated version of Phantom Of The Opera was seriously considered to see the studio dip their toes into making a more 'adult' animated feature, it was noted that it would have stuck out like a sore thumb compared to the other two that were aimed more towards families and that another musical aimed at that audience would be needed. Thankfully, there was a musical that Lloyd Webber would suggest and that was an animated adaption of the musical Starlight Express, a musical being famous for its performers be on roller stakes in acting like trains and with no other choice, it was quickly accepted into becoming the third film in this trilogy with a planned release for 2004 though in the meantime, there were other priorities with the other films.

As it turned out too, RUG wasn't the only one that had a deal with Apple for at the same time, there also had been deal made with Aardman Animations, famous for creating the iconic Wallace and Gromit stop motion films, to release a planned set of feature films with the first of these films being Chicken Run [8], a comedy film about a group of chickens attempting to escape from a chicken farm with it being something of parody of The Great Escape and to many, the thought of two iconic British companies in Apple and Aardman working together for what was to be a British invasion of the animation industry that seemed to be still under the control of Disney, was looked on by some as something of patriot pride with some media outlets at the time noting that if The Beatles had started the British invasion in 1964 music wise, then likely the same could be said for Apple regarding a British invasion of the American dominated animation industry in the year 2000 and beyond.

With all that was happening with the now growing animation studio, there was a feeling that they general could hit Disney were it hurt yet like all productions, things weren't going all that well with one certain animated feature film that had seemed to be cursed right from the start in 1995 and that film was Shrek. Based on the book by William Steig dating back from 1990, Shrek seemed to be a film that would have a number of issues attached to it from it straying away from its original source material and to the tragic passing of actor Chris Farley who had been cast to voice Shrek and thus Mike Myers would be brought in to redo his lines. However, it was the animation style that would cause the biggest issues between Sir Brian Epstein and head of Apple Animation Jeffery Katzenberg in with the latter had, following seeing how ground-breaking Toy Story had been with its CGI animation felt that it was the future yet Epstein had doubts.

As this was the early days of this new media, CGI was still notorious to look rough, unfinished and to having some uncanny valley looks and while Antz might have been fairly successful, Epstein would admit though while he did like he film's story, he hated the look of the film blaming the animation style for letting the film down in his eyes. Despite this, Katzenberg held his ground feeling that Shrek might benefit from it and would propose the idea of having the film as live-action/CG animation hybrid with background plate miniature sets and the main characters composited into the scene as motion-captured computer graphics, using an ExpertVision Hires Falcon 10 camera system to capture and apply realistic human movement to the characters. To add to this, the iApple G3 computers were to be used to help use all of Apple Corps' many sections together which might have sounded good on paper but this did have a major problem in which it meant the technology for the new software wasn't all quite ready yet for full CGI being at best used for either background or colour work.

It would at best take another two years before the inhouse G3 system could do what was needed and Epstein had serious doubts about the technology being ready and thus in 1997 during a full test animation sequence, it was nothing short of a disaster with Katzenberg admitting that, "It looked terrible, it didn't work, it wasn't funny, and we didn't like it" [9] For Epstein, this was the final nail in the coffin as he was said to be repulsed by what he saw admitting that the thought of spending millions of dollars into something like that would have made him sick. With that, the two men had a war of words in which Epstein would force Katzenberg to make the film into a more tried and tested 2D animated feature in which Katzenberg would reluctantly accept and that was just another part of how cursed this film was. That said as everyone would know, everything would work out when Shrek would be released in 2001 but that is another story...

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Extract from 'The Complete Beatles Chronicle' by Mark Lewisohn
When planning to place for The Beatles to perform at Glastonbury that year, it had seen perhaps the largest surge of demand ever aimed for tickets as the aura of The Beatles performing there in what was a one off show was too good to pass over even for regular festival goers and given that this would be the first time since anyone had seen the band perform live since 1994, there was much hype going into this show though it was clear that this would be a very different beast from those previous two tours which involved elaborate staging set akin to a Broadway show to having a big string section with which would not be a thing here. In many ways if those two previous world tours that the band had done could be considered to be grand theatrical experiences, then the Glastonbury show was looking to be more akin to a Jolly Boys Outing.

Gone were the big sets, the string section and now all that The Beatles had with them was a four piece horn section, percussion helped by their long time partner Ray Cooper and finally the help of Paul 'Wix' Wickens once again performing on keyboards which all could help create a more 'raw' instead of 'polished' sound as from before that would likely be more suitable to a young festival going crowd. John Lennon would later describe the more simple set up being refreshing and more of a back to basics approach though despite this, there then came the big question as to what the planned setlist for this Glastonbury show was going to be and with a larger collection of songs that had been released ever since 1994, it would mean trying to have a balance to get certain favourites, new songs as well as unlikely classic songs that had not been performed live before a fair chance, not to mention for each Beatle to get a fair crack of the whip. With that, a list was soon written down.

The Beatles 26th June 1999 Glastonbury Setlist

1) Jet
2) What Is Life
3) Come Together
4) (It's All Down To) Goodnight Vienna
5) Drive My Car
5) Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
6) Cloud Nine
7) King Of Broken Hearts
8) Live And Let Die
9) My Love
10) Merseybeat Medley (I Want To Hold Your Hand/Please Please Me/She Loves You)
11) When We Were Fab
12) Tomorrow Never Knows
13) Blackbird
14) Look At Me
15) While My Guitar Gentle Weeps
16) Band On The Run
17) Revolution
18) Something
19) Day Tripper
20) Eight Days A Week
21) Ticket To Ride
22) It Don't Come Easy
23) Coming Up
24) Here Comes The Sun
25) Imagine
26) Real Love
27) I Saw Her Standing There
28) Well Well Well
29) My Sweet Lord
30) Runaways
31) All Things Must Pass
32) Hey Jude
Encore
33) Yesterday
34) In My Life
35) Helter Skelter
36) Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)/The End

From that first glance, it was a very different set list from before in which while there were all the usual suspects that people had come to expect from a Beatles show, there had been the return of songs that had not been performed in years, there was also the live debut of many other songs such as Well Well Well, All Those Years Ago and Look At Me just to name a few as well as for the first time hearing The Beatles performing the reprised version of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time (though McCartney had already performed it already solo wise before) which was to replace the Golden Slumbers medley that had always acted as the finale song for many Beatles live shows at this point so instead just The End was kept to be included in the finale.

While it had many new songs from the last three Beatles albums on there, the set list was actually quite heavy on many early 60s work such as Ticket To Ride and Eight Days A Week which did show the band leaning more on their past from before though that said, the setlist was a fair balance of songs from thirty years of Beatles history regardless though it would feature more rock numbers like the heavy Revolution and Helter Skelter that would surely appeal to the Glastonbury audience with songs such as Tomorrow Never Knows and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds that Lennon had put in knowing that there was the likely chance that someone out in the 100,000 strong crowd that someone would be dropping acid and that, in his mind, these songs would no doubt appeal thanks to the infamous drug association with them.

While there was no fancy effects this time round, there was a part in the show in which McCartney, Lennon and Harrison would each have, quite literally, their moment in the spotlight in which during a acoustic only section, they would each play a solo acoustic number each with McCartney playing Blackbird, Lennon with Look At Me and Harrison with While My Guitar Gently Weeps which all helped create and intimate part of the show for each Beatle to shine. That said despite the hype surrounding The Beatles performing at Glastonbury, there was a question still hanging over the show that McCartney express some doubts about and that given how he felt how hip Glastonbury was, would they be considered unhip? [10] The only way to find out is to go out there and perform to a sea of humanity...

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Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson
While there were some whispers if The Beatles would really suit Glastonbury as a headline event, not to mention that it had been years since they had all performed live and knowing this, the band would have a rehearsal at Wembley Arena a few days before the festival to shake off any performance rust to make sure that they were fit for performance knowing that with the concert being broadcast to a worldwide audience in which no doubt the world would be keeping an eye on them in particular. As it turned out, that show on a beautiful summer's evening (that weekend being thankfully an all sunny affair with no rainstorms unlike what had happened with Woodstock in 1969) would be marked as one the greatest Beatles concerts ever and for many Glastonbury regulars, a case of 'where were you?' when remembering that show for The Beatles live at Glastonbury wouldn't just meet expectations, they'd surpass them.

With some more heavier rock songs from the band's large catalogue to pick from, those songs would go down well with the younger audience as well as the treat of hearing many classic Beatles songs that had never been performed live in many years. The show itself had many highlights with one notable moment was during the performance of My Love which was perhaps the most emotional charge number on the night in which given it was a song written for McCartney's late wife as well as just a year on from her passing, the meaning of the song took on a different meaning in context in which McCartney's voice cracked at one point, likely from the emotions that flooded him though being professional, he held it together though clearly there wouldn't have been a dry eye out there.

Imagine was another song that, perhaps to no one's surprise had always been a big hit with live audiences and the Glastonbury crowd would be no exception in which the crowd would sing all the lyrics with Lennon letting the crowd sing as one. The same would happen during Hey Jude in which prior to the encore, the crowd kept singing the 'Na-Na-Na' verse over and over again until the band came back on stage again and those were just a handful of moments from that show that would be remembered greatly and with that, if that was the last Beatles show of the century, then it was really one hell of a way to bow out but as it would turn out, it wouldn't be the last Beatles show that year as on December 14th, The Beatles would perform once again though it would be something that would arguably be even bigger than Glastonbury and a moment to really act as a full circle moment for The Beatles to return to where it all started from where Sir Brian Epstein had first found them...return to the Cavern Club.

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Interview of Paul McCartney (2009)
When we did Glastonbury, we thought 'that's that, no more shows for the rest of the year'. That was until we got this request from the Cavern saying that if they wanted the mark the end of the century, they wanted us to perform there and it was one of those moments in which we all didn't say anything as while we had considered a return to the Cavern, we had all just shrugged off the idea for whatever reason however on this occasion, with it being perhaps the last show of the Millennium for us, there was no better place than the Cavern and we all just thought, 'yeah, lets do it'.

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Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson
Though this might not had been exactly the same Cavern Club that the Fab Four had last played in on August 3rd, 1963 with the legendary Cavern Club being closed down in March 1973 and the new Cavern Club opened in 1984, in the same street but different building than the original one though the idea of The Beatles playing at the Cavern one more time had been a dream for many and finally, it was announced that The Beatles would play their final show of the decade and century in the new Cavern Club to truly christen the venue. If anyone thought the hype for The Beatles at Glastonbury had been anything, it was nothing compared to the massive interested generated at the prospect of The Beatles returning to their roots at the Cavern Club on December 14th [11].

In many ways, if there was for The Beatles to close the century on then this was honestly the best way possible and while only 300 people would squeeze into the club (150 of which being members of the press) though 15,000 on the outside would watch the show on big screens however, an even bigger audience of millions would be watching the show all thanks to both a live television and radio broadcast as well as for the first time, a live broadcast for those viewing on the internet in which a staggering 50 million attempts were made to try and watch the show from there though only 3 million would be lucky to actually watch the show via that means. However, compared to the Glastonbury show, this was to be a very different beast altogether as with The Beatles returning to their roots, they really would do just that.

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Extract from 'The Complete Beatles Chronicle' by Mark Lewisohn
After all the complex songs that the band had done for the last many years now, how were they suppose to do all those songs in such a small and intimate setting? They couldn't and in many ways, the likes of playing Tomorrow Never Knows or Live and Let Die in that setting would have seem unfitting and that the only way to do make a Cavern show justice was to play songs that had what The Beatles had started off with when they first started, cover songs of the songs that they had loved and given how there had been that nostalgic hankering to play cover songs from the early days, now as the time and though a short show, they would not get to play song from the early days that the band had covered, it would mean that they would get to play songs from the largely forgotten 1974 Beatles cover album Rock 'N' Roll.

The Beatles Live At The Cavern Club 1999 Setlist

1) Rock & Roll Music
2) Got My Mind Set On You
3) Brown Eyed Handsome Man
4) Matchbox
5) Please Mr. Postman
6) I Got Stung
7) Roll Over Beethoven
8) Stand By Me
9) 'Till There Was You
10) Hey! Baby
11) True Love
12) Long Tall Sally
13) Twist & Shout

Though the show was a song of just pure cover songs which might have disappointed some fans hoping to hear some more original Beatles material even if many of the songs had all appeared on Beatles records over the years that would had been familiar to many hardcore Beatles fans, to others though to see the Fab Four jamming out to songs that all meant much to their younger days within the Cavern Club was a treat that likely would never be repeated. It would be a show that all four Beatles would look back on fondly in which with the exception of Paul Wickens brought along to play keyboards as the backing musician, this was almost a pure four piece set up as one would get that had not been seen in decades arguably.

With that though, that would be the very last Beatles show of the century and truly it was one way to rock out the old century though what few knew then that it really was the end of an era as this would be the last time that all four Beatles would be on stage together as just a few days later from that nostalgic trip, shocking events were to happen regarding the Harrisons...

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Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson
After that unforgotten show at the Cavern Club, the band would all go their separate ways once again for Christmas and would prepare to spend the new year and new century with their respective families, nothing seemed out of the ordinary mostly after how well 1999 had gone but little did anyone know of the infamous events that were to transpire on December 30th. Late that evening while fast asleep at their home at Friar Park, Oliva Harrison would be awoken at 3am by the sound of breaking glass and woke up her husband and a frighting situation had transpired. Someone was in their home. George Harrison had feared something like this might happen ever hearing about Lennon's near assassination attempt from a few years and now, that fear had become a reality.

The man who had broken into the home was Michael Abram, a 34-year-old paranoid schizophrenic from Liverpool of all places who was obsessed with The Beatles and that evening had broke into Harrison's home with deadly intentions, believing that God had ordered him to kill Harrison. In a bizarre set of circumstances, George would be the one to encounter Abram once he entered the house, and he shouted, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna" at Abram to confuse and distract him. But when that didn't work, George fought with Abram in an effort to protect his family. Abram plunged his knife into Harrison several times, and he attacked Olivia Harrison when she tried to stop him from hurting her husband.

She was eventually able to keep Abram away until the police arrived. Abram was arrested, and both of the Harrisons were taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital but the damage had been done. While Olivia escaped with only suffered cuts and bruises, George wasn't so lucky as he had more substantial injuries. He had been stabbed several times, with one of these stab wounds causing his lung to collapse. It was just a miracle that it had not been worse despite the circumstances. For the attacker himself,
Abram would be arrested as it became apparent that he had been planning his attack on George Harrison for some time. He had been former drug addict and had been experiencing mental health problems, such as hearing voices and had been a come to the area several times from his home in Liverpool before breaking in, and had been asking nearby residents about Harrison's whereabouts.

In the end, Abrams would be sent to a secure mental hospital for an unspecified period of time beginning in November 2000 but in truth, it was a sad turn of events for all. When the other three Beatles had all heard the news, major panic would grip each of them with Epstein is said to have nearly a heart attack from pure shock when he heard that Harrison had been stabbed though he, the rest of the band and much of the world could all breath a sigh of relief that Harrison had survived the attack though it had come with a price. Harrison now felt he could not go out in public for an indefinite period of time which meant any Beatles reunion seemed utterly out of the question and there was a cause of concern about his health that few dared to question. So as the world celebrated the coming of the year 2000, celebrations from The Beatles were, at best, muted as what had happened with Harrison deeply troubled them all and for a year that had been such a triumph for the band had ended in near tragedy that really might have been the end of The Beatles there and then.

It would have been the last thing many would have expected the 90s to have ended on but as the old saying went after how well 1999 had gone, it had all been too good to be true as this terrible event was to prove. Harrison though would simply move from the event though as history would prove the puncture to his lung was to have ramifications going into the new year. With the 20th century having come to an end, The Beatles' legacy for that period was secure yet that wasn't to say if the next generation would view The Beatles with great respect in the same way as the previous generation had done before as music tastes would change and would the idea of four old guys, old enough to be someone's granddad, have the same level of aura? With that, the start of a new an unknown century would begin for the Fab Four.


[1] That show remains the same as OTL.
[2] Mostly the same album as OTL, just released a year later ITTL.
[3] Same album as OTL.
[4] An actual title of a planned Lennon album from OTL.
[5] This was the actual working title for OTL's Brainwashed, with perhaps a different working environment for Harrison here with The Beatles around, that album does get made here.
[6] Yes, Woodstock '99 is still an utter disaster much like OTL, some things don't change in any TL.
[7] So for anyone asks any question, that version of Joseph is butterflied away and replaced with the Musical version.
[8] Yes, Chicken Run still happens here as OTL in which given it is Apple that takes DreamWorks' place ITTL, just a swap of studios here.
[9] This was actually said on that first test viewing of Shrek IOTL too.
[10] McCartney would say this about himself performing at Glastonbury in 2004 too.
[11] So yes, The Beatles at the Cavern pretty much takes the place of OTL's McCartney Cavern show on that very day and honestly, this is likely the perfect way for The Beatles to close out the year on you have to admit.

So there we have it then, 1999 is all over and we move onto the year 2000 next but alas, reality comes back to bite us as Harrison still has his terrible attack in his home as I suspect you might all see where this is going. That said though, there will be a few more things to go just yet as we shall soon start a new century with much going on with Apple Corps too so keep an eye out on that. Until then, catch you all later!
 
So now we move into 1999 and with it, the end of a century and likely something that The Beatles will do to mark the end of said 20th century as well as a host of other things. So without further ado, lets get going!


End Of A Century

Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson

Following the passing of Linda McCartney the previous year, anything related to The Beatles had all been pretty much quiet and though the year would mark the 30th anniversary of the release of Abbey Road, that did seem like the only major event that Beatles fans could look forward to for 1999 though given how this would mark the last year of the Millennium, many felt that the band should at the very least put on a show of some kind yet it wasn’t clear what kind of show should it be. That said, the only show that had any Beatle involvement was in April that year in which Paul McCartney, along with a collection of artists from the likes of George Michael, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello and Tom Jones just to name a few would take part in the Concert For Linda at the Albert Hall in April being just a year after the passing of Linda McCartney [1].

It was a very poignant show in which was a tender tribute to Paul’s late wife and after that event, McCartney would start to re-enter the public limelight again after a year of grieving and could think about what could happen next as the calls from fans for The Beatles to do something to mark the end of a century hadn’t gone unnoticed by him and would bring the band back together for a meeting at George Harrison’s Friar Park estate along with manager Sir Brian Epstein over what they could do to mark the year. Another album was not really ideal given how musically all four Beatles had just released a solo album that year with Ringo Starr having released his album Vertical Man [2], McCartney had released a solo album that year called Run Devil Run which had been a cover album of obscured 1950s rock and roll classics [3] with John Lennon also making a solo recover with his album Menlove Avenue [4] following the failure of his last solo album and even George Harrison had gotten in on the act with the release of his own album called Portrait of a Leg End [5].

The idea of what else could be done were brought to the table in which another tour was thought about yet there wasn’t quite the appetite to do something like the big world tours that they had all done before yet it was the idea of a one-off show that did have an appeal about it, yet it wasn’t quite clear what it should be. As it turned out, it was Epstein who just so happened to have a solution for this in which that if the band were to do a one-off show, then it should be at a music festival. It must be noted that despite having done some major shows over the years, The Beatles were a band that had oddly not been one to be seen at music festivals with the only one that they had ever done being Woodstock in 1969 in which had been (not including the rooftop performance) their first full live show since 1966 at that time and since then, they had never done any since then.

Likely, the shambolic nature of how they got there, the rainstorm and that many crew members were being electrified to death as well as the mass of humanity that had nearly crushed many all of which that the band had witness there had likely put them off from doing another show like that again. Speaking of Woodstock, there was a planned show to take place called Woodstock ’99 which was to mark that festival’s 30th anniversary in which The Beatles were invited to take part but this request was turned down as Epstein would note that any show the band were going to take part in would be more domestic and with hindsight, this was a major bullet dodged as Woodstock ’99 would be best remembered for being an utter trainwreck of a festival [6] that would be well documented for many years after that and the thought of The Beatles taking part is something that was thankfully avoided.

That being said, there was a feeling that the band was overdue to appear at a music festival of some kind and that if they were to mark the end of the Millennium then now was the time and it would be the case that there would be one certain British music festival that would have the honour of having The Beatles headline in June 1999…Glastonbury. To many, the thought of The Beatles playing at Glastonbury had been debated for many years likely since the festival first started in 1970 yet for many reasons, the organisers never had quite the luck of booking The Beatles to play at Glastonbury and by the early 90s, many who had hoped that they would get to see the world’s biggest band performing at that festival had started to lose all hope though it was at the start of 1999 that rumours starting swirling around the musical press that The Beatles performing at Glastonbury for 1999 and many held their breath hoping that it would be true while others felt it was too good to be true.

As it turned out as early as April that it had been agreed upon in private to have the band to perform on the Saturday show on June 26th as the main event though the news wouldn’t be made public until May. When it did get announced that The Beatles would be performing at Glastonbury as a headline event, it would see the highest demand for tickets likely ever seen at that point and to some who felt it would never happen, it was a miracle though as it would turn out, it would be only one of two shows that The Beatles would do that year.

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Extract from 'A History Of Apple Films' by Ryan Parker
Slowly and surely, Apple Animation was starting to find its footing in the world of animated feature films with Prince Of Egypt having made a bit of a impact even if some felt that it was a little too close to what Disney was offering up at the time. That said though, with its two animation companies both in Burbank, California and London, England, Apple could at least have potential to churn out animated feature films more frequently and for the London based studio were all hard at work completing Cats for a late 1999 release. Indeed, such was how well things had been going with that film following several years of development hell that the show's creator Andrew Lloyd Webber, following a test screening in 1998, would along with his company Really Useful Group, or RUG for short, would form a new deal with Apple to create a further two animated adaptions of his shows to form part of what would be known as the Webber trilogy with Cats being the first of these films.

The second of part of this trilogy would be an adaption of Joseph And The Technicolour Dreamcoat in which would surprisingly have a fast-track release for 2000 due to a unusual quirk of fate. When work started on the film in 1997, it wasn't supposed to be an adaption of the musical but rather serve as a prequel to Prince Of Egypt and was to be called Joseph: King Of Dreams [7] and was more or less a straight forward adaption of the original story. When the deal with RUG happened, it did throw something of wrench into production as there was a likely conflict of interest of possible two separate animated films based on Joseph though as it turned out, everything would all fall perfectly into place. Following a poor test screening in the New Year of 1998, reworks on the film was needed and it just so happened that the deal with RUG happened and it was then one executive lost to time would suggest the idea of why not retrofitting the film into an animated feature of the musical version by Lloyd Webber?

With that, everything fell into place as not only could they use that time to fix the film but also fulfil part of the new deal and with that following the release of Cats later on in 1999, the world wouldn't have long to wait to the animated adaptation of Joseph And The Technicolour Dreamcoat to be released. What the third film might be wasn't entirely clear though an animated version of Phantom Of The Opera was seriously considered to see the studio dip their toes into making a more 'adult' animated feature, it was noted that it would have stuck out like a sore thumb compared to the other two that were aimed more towards families and that another musical aimed at that audience would be needed. Thankfully, there was a musical that Lloyd Webber would suggest and that was an animated adaption of the musical Starlight Express, a musical being famous for its performers be on roller stakes in acting like trains and with no other choice, it was quickly accepted into becoming the third film in this trilogy with a planned release for 2004 though in the meantime, there were other priorities with the other films.

As it turned out too, RUG wasn't the only one that had a deal with Apple for at the same time, there also had been deal made with Aardman Animations, famous for creating the iconic Wallace and Gromit stop motion films, to release a planned set of feature films with the first of these films being Chicken Run [8], a comedy film about a group of chickens attempting to escape from a chicken farm with it being something of parody of The Great Escape and to many, the thought of two iconic British companies in Apple and Aardman working together for what was to be a British invasion of the animation industry that seemed to be still under the control of Disney, was looked on by some as something of patriot pride with some media outlets at the time noting that if The Beatles had started the British invasion in 1964 music wise, then likely the same could be said for Apple regarding a British invasion of the American dominated animation industry in the year 2000 and beyond.

With all that was happening with the now growing animation studio, there was a feeling that they general could hit Disney were it hurt yet like all productions, things weren't going all that well with one certain animated feature film that had seemed to be cursed right from the start in 1995 and that film was Shrek. Based on the book by William Steig dating back from 1990, Shrek seemed to be a film that would have a number of issues attached to it from it straying away from its original source material and to the tragic passing of actor Chris Farley who had been cast to voice Shrek and thus Mike Myers would be brought in to redo his lines. However, it was the animation style that would cause the biggest issues between Sir Brian Epstein and head of Apple Animation Jeffery Katzenberg in with the latter had, following seeing how ground-breaking Toy Story had been with its CGI animation felt that it was the future yet Epstein had doubts.

As this was the early days of this new media, CGI was still notorious to look rough, unfinished and to having some uncanny valley looks and while Antz might have been fairly successful, Epstein would admit though while he did like he film's story, he hated the look of the film blaming the animation style for letting the film down in his eyes. Despite this, Katzenberg held his ground feeling that Shrek might benefit from it and would propose the idea of having the film as live-action/CG animation hybrid with background plate miniature sets and the main characters composited into the scene as motion-captured computer graphics, using an ExpertVision Hires Falcon 10 camera system to capture and apply realistic human movement to the characters. To add to this, the iApple G3 computers were to be used to help use all of Apple Corps' many sections together which might have sounded good on paper but this did have a major problem in which it meant the technology for the new software wasn't all quite ready yet for full CGI being at best used for either background or colour work.

It would at best take another two years before the inhouse G3 system could do what was needed and Epstein had serious doubts about the technology being ready and thus in 1997 during a full test animation sequence, it was nothing short of a disaster with Katzenberg admitting that, "It looked terrible, it didn't work, it wasn't funny, and we didn't like it" [9] For Epstein, this was the final nail in the coffin as he was said to be repulsed by what he saw admitting that the thought of spending millions of dollars into something like that would have made him sick. With that, the two men had a war of words in which Epstein would force Katzenberg to make the film into a more tried and tested 2D animated feature in which Katzenberg would reluctantly accept and that was just another part of how cursed this film was. That said as everyone would know, everything would work out when Shrek would be released in 2001 but that is another story...

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Extract from 'The Complete Beatles Chronicle' by Mark Lewisohn
When planning to place for The Beatles to perform at Glastonbury that year, it had seen perhaps the largest surge of demand ever aimed for tickets as the aura of The Beatles performing there in what was a one off show was too good to pass over even for regular festival goers and given that this would be the first time since anyone had seen the band perform live since 1994, there was much hype going into this show though it was clear that this would be a very different beast from those previous two tours which involved elaborate staging set akin to a Broadway show to having a big string section with which would not be a thing here. In many ways if those two previous world tours that the band had done could be considered to be grand theatrical experiences, then the Glastonbury show was looking to be more akin to a Jolly Boys Outing.

Gone were the big sets, the string section and now all that The Beatles had with them was a four piece horn section, percussion helped by their long time partner Ray Cooper and finally the help of Paul 'Wix' Wickens once again performing on keyboards which all could help create a more 'raw' instead of 'polished' sound as from before that would likely be more suitable to a young festival going crowd. John Lennon would later describe the more simple set up being refreshing and more of a back to basics approach though despite this, there then came the big question as to what the planned setlist for this Glastonbury show was going to be and with a larger collection of songs that had been released ever since 1994, it would mean trying to have a balance to get certain favourites, new songs as well as unlikely classic songs that had not been performed live before a fair chance, not to mention for each Beatle to get a fair crack of the whip. With that, a list was soon written down.

The Beatles 26th June 1999 Glastonbury Setlist

1) Jet
2) What Is Life
3) Come Together
4) (It's All Down To) Goodnight Vienna
5) Drive My Car
5) Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
6) Cloud Nine
7) King Of Broken Hearts
8) Live And Let Die
9) My Love
10) Merseybeat Medley (I Want To Hold Your Hand/Please Please Me/She Loves You)
11) When We Were Fab
12) Tomorrow Never Knows
13) Blackbird
14) Look At Me
15) While My Guitar Gentle Weeps
16) Band On The Run
17) Revolution
18) Something
19) Day Tripper
20) Eight Days A Week
21) Ticket To Ride
22) It Don't Come Easy
23) Coming Up
24) Here Comes The Sun
25) Imagine
26) Real Love
27) I Saw Her Standing There
28) Well Well Well
29) My Sweet Lord
30) Runaways
31) All Things Must Pass
32) Hey Jude
Encore
33) Yesterday
34) In My Life
35) Helter Skelter
36) Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)/The End

From that first glance, it was a very different set list from before in which while there were all the usual suspects that people had come to expect from a Beatles show, there had been the return of songs that had not been performed in years, there was also the live debut of many other songs such as Well Well Well, All Those Years Ago and Look At Me just to name a few as well as for the first time hearing The Beatles performing the reprised version of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time (though McCartney had already performed it already solo wise before) which was to replace the Golden Slumbers medley that had always acted as the finale song for many Beatles live shows at this point so instead just The End was kept to be included in the finale.

While it had many new songs from the last three Beatles albums on there, the set list was actually quite heavy on many early 60s work such as Ticket To Ride and Eight Days A Week which did show the band leaning more on their past from before though that said, the setlist was a fair balance of songs from thirty years of Beatles history regardless though it would feature more rock numbers like the heavy Revolution and Helter Skelter that would surely appeal to the Glastonbury audience with songs such as Tomorrow Never Knows and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds that Lennon had put in knowing that there was the likely chance that someone out in the 100,000 strong crowd that someone would be dropping acid and that, in his mind, these songs would no doubt appeal thanks to the infamous drug association with them.

While there was no fancy effects this time round, there was a part in the show in which McCartney, Lennon and Harrison would each have, quite literally, their moment in the spotlight in which during a acoustic only section, they would each play a solo acoustic number each with McCartney playing Blackbird, Lennon with Look At Me and Harrison with While My Guitar Gently Weeps which all helped create and intimate part of the show for each Beatle to shine. That said despite the hype surrounding The Beatles performing at Glastonbury, there was a question still hanging over the show that McCartney express some doubts about and that given how he felt how hip Glastonbury was, would they be considered unhip? [10] The only way to find out is to go out there and perform to a sea of humanity...

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Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson
While there were some whispers if The Beatles would really suit Glastonbury as a headline event, not to mention that it had been years since they had all performed live and knowing this, the band would have a rehearsal at Wembley Arena a few days before the festival to shake off any performance rust to make sure that they were fit for performance knowing that with the concert being broadcast to a worldwide audience in which no doubt the world would be keeping an eye on them in particular. As it turned out, that show on a beautiful summer's evening (that weekend being thankfully an all sunny affair with no rainstorms unlike what had happened with Woodstock in 1969) would be marked as one the greatest Beatles concerts ever and for many Glastonbury regulars, a case of 'where were you?' when remembering that show for The Beatles live at Glastonbury wouldn't just meet expectations, they'd surpass them.

With some more heavier rock songs from the band's large catalogue to pick from, those songs would go down well with the younger audience as well as the treat of hearing many classic Beatles songs that had never been performed live in many years. The show itself had many highlights with one notable moment was during the performance of My Love which was perhaps the most emotional charge number on the night in which given it was a song written for McCartney's late wife as well as just a year on from her passing, the meaning of the song took on a different meaning in context in which McCartney's voice cracked at one point, likely from the emotions that flooded him though being professional, he held it together though clearly there wouldn't have been a dry eye out there.

Imagine was another song that, perhaps to no one's surprise had always been a big hit with live audiences and the Glastonbury crowd would be no exception in which the crowd would sing all the lyrics with Lennon letting the crowd sing as one. The same would happen during Hey Jude in which prior to the encore, the crowd kept singing the 'Na-Na-Na' verse over and over again until the band came back on stage again and those were just a handful of moments from that show that would be remembered greatly and with that, if that was the last Beatles show of the century, then it was really one hell of a way to bow out but as it would turn out, it wouldn't be the last Beatles show that year as on December 14th, The Beatles would perform once again though it would be something that would arguably be even bigger than Glastonbury and a moment to really act as a full circle moment for The Beatles to return to where it all started from where Sir Brian Epstein had first found them...return to the Cavern Club.

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Interview of Paul McCartney (2009)
When we did Glastonbury, we thought 'that's that, no more shows for the rest of the year'. That was until we got this request from the Cavern saying that if they wanted the mark the end of the century, they wanted us to perform there and it was one of those moments in which we all didn't say anything as while we had considered a return to the Cavern, we had all just shrugged off the idea for whatever reason however on this occasion, with it being perhaps the last show of the Millennium for us, there was no better place than the Cavern and we all just thought, 'yeah, lets do it'.

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Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson
Though this might not had been exactly the same Cavern Club that the Fab Four had last played in on August 3rd, 1963 with the legendary Cavern Club being closed down in March 1973 and the new Cavern Club opened in 1984, in the same street but different building than the original one though the idea of The Beatles playing at the Cavern one more time had been a dream for many and finally, it was announced that The Beatles would play their final show of the decade and century in the new Cavern Club to truly christen the venue. If anyone thought the hype for The Beatles at Glastonbury had been anything, it was nothing compared to the massive interested generated at the prospect of The Beatles returning to their roots at the Cavern Club on December 14th [11].

In many ways, if there was for The Beatles to close the century on then this was honestly the best way possible and while only 300 people would squeeze into the club (150 of which being members of the press) though 15,000 on the outside would watch the show on big screens however, an even bigger audience of millions would be watching the show all thanks to both a live television and radio broadcast as well as for the first time, a live broadcast for those viewing on the internet in which a staggering 50 million attempts were made to try and watch the show from there though only 3 million would be lucky to actually watch the show via that means. However, compared to the Glastonbury show, this was to be a very different beast altogether as with The Beatles returning to their roots, they really would do just that.

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Extract from 'The Complete Beatles Chronicle' by Mark Lewisohn
After all the complex songs that the band had done for the last many years now, how were they suppose to do all those songs in such a small and intimate setting? They couldn't and in many ways, the likes of playing Tomorrow Never Knows or Live and Let Die in that setting would have seem unfitting and that the only way to do make a Cavern show justice was to play songs that had what The Beatles had started off with when they first started, cover songs of the songs that they had loved and given how there had been that nostalgic hankering to play cover songs from the early days, now as the time and though a short show, they would not get to play song from the early days that the band had covered, it would mean that they would get to play songs from the largely forgotten 1974 Beatles cover album Rock 'N' Roll.

The Beatles Live At The Cavern Club 1999 Setlist

1) Rock & Roll Music
2) Got My Mind Set On You
3) Brown Eyed Handsome Man
4) Matchbox
5) Please Mr. Postman
6) I Got Stung
7) Roll Over Beethoven
8) Stand By Me
9) 'Till There Was You
10) Hey! Baby
11) True Love
12) Long Tall Sally
13) Twist & Shout

Though the show was a song of just pure cover songs which might have disappointed some fans hoping to hear some more original Beatles material even if many of the songs had all appeared on Beatles records over the years that would had been familiar to many hardcore Beatles fans, to others though to see the Fab Four jamming out to songs that all meant much to their younger days within the Cavern Club was a treat that likely would never be repeated. It would be a show that all four Beatles would look back on fondly in which with the exception of Paul Wickens brought along to play keyboards as the backing musician, this was almost a pure four piece set up as one would get that had not been seen in decades arguably.

With that though, that would be the very last Beatles show of the century and truly it was one way to rock out the old century though what few knew then that it really was the end of an era as this would be the last time that all four Beatles would be on stage together as just a few days later from that nostalgic trip, shocking events were to happen regarding the Harrisons...

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Extract from ‘Renaissance: The Beatles In The 1990's' by Alyson Henderson
After that unforgotten show at the Cavern Club, the band would all go their separate ways once again for Christmas and would prepare to spend the new year and new century with their respective families, nothing seemed out of the ordinary mostly after how well 1999 had gone but little did anyone know of the infamous events that were to transpire on December 30th. Late that evening while fast asleep at their home at Friar Park, Oliva Harrison would be awoken at 3am by the sound of breaking glass and woke up her husband and a frighting situation had transpired. Someone was in their home. George Harrison had feared something like this might happen ever hearing about Lennon's near assassination attempt from a few years and now, that fear had become a reality.

The man who had broken into the home was Michael Abram, a 34-year-old paranoid schizophrenic from Liverpool of all places who was obsessed with The Beatles and that evening had broke into Harrison's home with deadly intentions, believing that God had ordered him to kill Harrison. In a bizarre set of circumstances, George would be the one to encounter Abram once he entered the house, and he shouted, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna" at Abram to confuse and distract him. But when that didn't work, George fought with Abram in an effort to protect his family. Abram plunged his knife into Harrison several times, and he attacked Olivia Harrison when she tried to stop him from hurting her husband.

She was eventually able to keep Abram away until the police arrived. Abram was arrested, and both of the Harrisons were taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital but the damage had been done. While Olivia escaped with only suffered cuts and bruises, George wasn't so lucky as he had more substantial injuries. He had been stabbed several times, with one of these stab wounds causing his lung to collapse. It was just a miracle that it had not been worse despite the circumstances. For the attacker himself,
Abram would be arrested as it became apparent that he had been planning his attack on George Harrison for some time. He had been former drug addict and had been experiencing mental health problems, such as hearing voices and had been a come to the area several times from his home in Liverpool before breaking in, and had been asking nearby residents about Harrison's whereabouts.

In the end, Abrams would be sent to a secure mental hospital for an unspecified period of time beginning in November 2000 but in truth, it was a sad turn of events for all. When the other three Beatles had all heard the news, major panic would grip each of them with Epstein is said to have nearly a heart attack from pure shock when he heard that Harrison had been stabbed though he, the rest of the band and much of the world could all breath a sigh of relief that Harrison had survived the attack though it had come with a price. Harrison now felt he could not go out in public for an indefinite period of time which meant any Beatles reunion seemed utterly out of the question and there was a cause of concern about his health that few dared to question. So as the world celebrated the coming of the year 2000, celebrations from The Beatles were, at best, muted as what had happened with Harrison deeply troubled them all and for a year that had been such a triumph for the band had ended in near tragedy that really might have been the end of The Beatles there and then.

It would have been the last thing many would have expected the 90s to have ended on but as the old saying went after how well 1999 had gone, it had all been too good to be true as this terrible event was to prove. Harrison though would simply move from the event though as history would prove the puncture to his lung was to have ramifications going into the new year. With the 20th century having come to an end, The Beatles' legacy for that period was secure yet that wasn't to say if the next generation would view The Beatles with great respect in the same way as the previous generation had done before as music tastes would change and would the idea of four old guys, old enough to be someone's granddad, have the same level of aura? With that, the start of a new an unknown century would begin for the Fab Four.


[1] That show remains the same as OTL.
[2] Mostly the same album as OTL, just released a year later ITTL.
[3] Same album as OTL.
[4] An actual title of a planned Lennon album from OTL.
[5] This was the actual working title for OTL's Brainwashed, with perhaps a different working environment for Harrison here with The Beatles around, that album does get made here.
[6] Yes, Woodstock '99 is still an utter disaster much like OTL, some things don't change in any TL.
[7] So for anyone asks any question, that version of Joseph is butterflied away and replaced with the Musical version.
[8] Yes, Chicken Run still happens here as OTL in which given it is Apple that takes DreamWorks' place ITTL, just a swap of studios here.
[9] This was actually said on that first test viewing of Shrek IOTL too.
[10] McCartney would say this about himself performing at Glastonbury in 2004 too.
[11] So yes, The Beatles at the Cavern pretty much takes the place of OTL's McCartney Cavern show on that very day and honestly, this is likely the perfect way for The Beatles to close out the year on you have to admit.

So there we have it then, 1999 is all over and we move onto the year 2000 next but alas, reality comes back to bite us as Harrison still has his terrible attack in his home as I suspect you might all see where this is going. That said though, there will be a few more things to go just yet as we shall soon start a new century with much going on with Apple Corps too so keep an eye out on that. Until then, catch you all later!
I had expected the Cavern as a possibility but never thought about Glastonbury! Also tragic to see George's tragic stabbing ITTL. Something tells me 2000 is going to be a big year. Ooh, I have an idea for the 1995 to 1999 CD name. How about the Gold Album due to the historical aspect of the anthology? Also would love to see a photo update soon.
 
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Intermission - Turtledove Nomination Announcement
Hello folks, bit off topic of the TL here but I have to make this announcement. Some of you might know this already but for those who don't, I'm proud to announce that this TL has been nominated as one of the four best Pop Culture TL's on this site and all I can say is thank you all so much for making my TL get the attention you felt it deserves! :)

Now then, I'm writing this for if you want to vote for it, here is the link here to vote for it though admittedly we have some tough competition there but any little help will be appreciated. Anyway, the next part of this TL should be up by Friday so keep an eye on things and once more, thank you all so much for your support of this TL.
 
Hello folks, bit off topic of the TL here but I have to make this announcement. Some of you might know this already but for those who don't, I'm proud to announce that this TL has been nominated as one of the four best Pop Culture TL's on this site and all I can say is thank you all so much for making my TL get the attention you felt it deserves! :)

Now then, I'm writing this for if you want to vote for it, here is the link here to vote for it though admittedly we have some tough competition there but any little help will be appreciated. Anyway, the next part of this TL should be up by Friday so keep an eye on things and once more, thank you all so much for your support of this TL.
You got my vote man.
 
Hello folks, bit off topic of the TL here but I have to make this announcement. Some of you might know this already but for those who don't, I'm proud to announce that this TL has been nominated as one of the four best Pop Culture TL's on this site and all I can say is thank you all so much for making my TL get the attention you felt it deserves! :)

Now then, I'm writing this for if you want to vote for it, here is the link here to vote for it though admittedly we have some tough competition there but any little help will be appreciated. Anyway, the next part of this TL should be up by Friday so keep an eye on things and once more, thank you all so much for your support of this TL.
You know I’m voting for ya
 
Hello folks, bit off topic of the TL here but I have to make this announcement. Some of you might know this already but for those who don't, I'm proud to announce that this TL has been nominated as one of the four best Pop Culture TL's on this site and all I can say is thank you all so much for making my TL get the attention you felt it deserves! :)

Now then, I'm writing this for if you want to vote for it, here is the link here to vote for it though admittedly we have some tough competition there but any little help will be appreciated. Anyway, the next part of this TL should be up by Friday so keep an eye on things and once more, thank you all so much for your support of this TL.
Oh Q, I just remembered. Will the Beatles still release One and the Anthology book in 2000?
 
Start Of A Century
Well then, its time for another update which takes up into the year 2000! Now then, as many of you might be aware of, this TL has been nominated for best Pop Culture TL on here and as of writing is currently sitting at second place though is a wee bit behind and with the voting ending by this Saturday, it could be a close run contest. However, for those who have voted for this TL, thank you all so much for sticking with me and if you haven't voted yet, please do so. Now without more to say, lets get started on with a new century!


Start Of A Century

Extract from ‘Final Days Of The Beatles' by Alyson Henderson

The YT2 fear of the world ending the moment the year 2000 started never materialised. Instead, much of the world celebrated for what was to be a brave new century that no one really knew what lay ahead though the same couldn’t be said for The Beatles. The near death of George Harrison following a brutal stabbing attacking in his own home had shaken the rest of the band like nothing had before, not since John Lennon had his own near assassination attempt from over a decade ago and the start of the new century wasn’t anything Beatles related as all four would keep a low profile. Indeed, such was a lack of them into the new year that that they all might have as well fallen off the face of the Earth and some would even then make a rather foreboding set of predictions that while the 20th century certainly belonged to The Beatles, the new 21st century was going to cast down The Beatles into the sands of time and with no new album or tour being even hinted at, once could say that there was no place left for The Beatles in the year 2000.

When some of the band did make an appearance during the early part of the year, they would end up helping up more of Apple’s younger talent to help boost the record label in which for an example, a still Hermit minded Harrison would raise a few eyebrows when he would invite the band Nirvana over to his home studio FPSHOT to record their next album with Harrison helping to produce it along with his son Dhani, himself a follower of the band and was delighted to work with them. The idea that the more spiritual minded Harrison would work with Nirvana, a band whose style of music was a universe away from what the quiet Beatle had ever done in his whole career was perhaps the most unlikely meeting of musical talent ever assembled yet both parties got on well with each other. Kurt Cobain and Harrison would share a dark sense of humour that would see them get on quite well, while not as close as the relation both Cobain and Harrison had, it seemed both men had some common ground to chat about their view on the world.

Indeed, the two unlikely sides would get along that well that Harrison would, in his typical manner of handing things over like guitars or songs to close friends, he would give Nirvana the title of their new album to be called Your Planet Is Doomed – Volume One [1] which had been a proposed title he had joked for his own previous album and upon hearing that they too had that dark humour like him, Cobain especially, they would adopt that title for their upcoming album. It also meant that Nirvana were the first musical act to work with any Beatle for the new century though it was fair to say that this fact was not picked up on and instead, some critics who were left baffled at the unlikely team up felt that following his stabbing incident that Harrison was suffering from a midlife crises and that he was trying to ‘get hip’ by working with Nirvana.

A fact that given how Harrison would always be the one who would not follow trends seemed like a ludicrous comment to make. That said though, Harrison would over the passing weeks and months that the attack would quite literally leave a mark on him in which part of his puncture lung had been removed and it would be here that the first signs of his cancer returning would start to feel likely. Did he feel deep down that his time was nearing its end? Maybe, but he would downplay all these questions and just focus on current events. As of a result, Harrison was not the only Beatle who was keeping himself busy for that same year too, Paul McCartney would be dipping his hand in some alternative styles in which he would release the album Liverpool Sound Collage, an album credited to The Beatles, Super Furry Animals and Youth; but because McCartney was so heavily involved in its creation, in addition to his production credit, Liverpool Sound Collage is filed under his name [2].

At the same time too, John Lennon was keeping an eye out on what was going on with Apple's Film division and of the certain massive filming project taking place in New Zealand which of course would be the trilogy for The Lord Of The Rings. Being a fan of the original books and knowing how much would be riding on these collection of films, he would be often passing over notes whenever he would see daily rushes to the point in which by now he had become something of an executive producer for the trilogy by accident. Not that he was honestly bothered by that fact, in many ways he seemed to actual enjoy his unexpected position and that there was a sense of satisfaction that knowing many years ago how The Beatles had tried and failed to make a Lord Of The Rings movie back in the early days of Apple Corps was that now after nearly 30 years, Apple would get to make its planned filmed based on JRR Tolkien's work in a far greater way than previously thought. Speaking of films, Ringo Starr had been keeping himself busy too in which he would keep his acting career going in which that year he would be brought in for voice work on one certain animated movie from Apple that would, after a suggestion from the head of Apple Animation Jeffery Katzenberg, bring back The Beatles again in perhaps the most unlikely way possible.

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Extract from 'Epstein's Empire: The Story Of Apple Corps' by Jake O'Connell
Even though Sir Brian Epstein had reached the retirement age of 65 years old, he was a driven man who had no plans to step down anytime soon and given with all that he had on his plate with the construction of Apple World USA very much deep into its progress as well as the now sudden possibility of having a fourth Apple park to be built in which talks for the acquisition of Wonderland Sydney had been very positive in the hope that Apple World Australia could be a possibility in the not too distant future and that wasn't even talking about how things had been going on the Apple music label. Just prior before the new year, Apple Records had signed another group from Liverpool which would be the girl group Atomic Kitten and had released their debut record most recently, Another three acts signed most recently were Scottish band Travis who had been happy to leave their then current record deal and the other act with fellow Scottish act Snow Patrol also joining them on the Apple label and the other musical act would be Welsh band Stereophonics in which having been signed prior before their debut album in which Epstein had been shrewd to keep faith with them had been rewarded with their own successful debut album.

Even across the pond in America, Epstein's fingerprints on the music industry just seemed to keep on spreading in which he would raise a few eyebrows in which he would rubber stamp the approval of signing on then up and coming musical star Idina Menzel following her being let go off previous record label Hollywood Records following rather lacklustre sales of her own album yet there was a feeling of potential that could be had should she be signed with Apple and with hindsight, a rewarding choice given how she would become well known for her Broadway success but that's another story. In contrast to her, Apple Records was willing to try its hand at going into over avenues in which American rock band Blink-182 would be the first American band to be signed on for the new Millennium and following them being tempted away from their current record deal in favour of a more lucrative one with Apple, they would plan to release their third album under the Apple umbrella.

When one added those more recent names to the rest of the Apple Records family starting all the way back from The Beatles, Elton John, Queen and Aerosmith just to name a few, it was said that Apple had without question one of the most stacked musical line-ups for any record label and was in all honesty the envy of much of the music industry proving to everyone once and for all that Apple was far more than just a tool meant for The Beatles' output but rather that it was a business that had grown into becoming one of the largest media empires in the world and a far cry from its hippy origins in which was hoped to be used a way of avoiding paying tax. Ironically, the Apple Corps of 2000 was a totally unrecognisable Goliath than what had been created in which now the very thing they had avoided doing was now something that had to do being such a large company that they couldn't hide from this any longer.

Epstein would feel a little bittersweet in which the company he had helped to get to this point had now started to become very much like a corporation like nearly everything else was in the world in which the only thing that seemed to separate Apple Corps from the likes of everything else like Disney, Sony, Universal or Warner Bros. was that Apple would be happy to have artists with as much creative control as possible but it was just a drop in the ocean all things considered. Nonetheless despite any regrets he might have felt, Epstein had felt that he had done it all and had lived a good life. At this point, anyone in his position would have likely wanted to walk off into the sunset onwards for retirement but Epstein still always felt that there was something left untapped and it was during last year that Epstein would go to the West End to see a new musical that had opened up called Mamma Mia!, a musical with an original story yet used the songs of ABBA in which would kick start what would be known as the 'Jukebox Musical' that was to play a magic part in the world of musical theatre over the next few years.

While the musical wasn't entirely Epstein's cup of tea, it did get him thinking on project he had been thinking about for many years now. Epstein was one that would like going to the theatre a lot and his mind had always casted back to The Beatles' 1973 mega masterpiece Band On The Run in which had been done with a concert album in mind, along with its own mini comic which gave a story for that album about the said band on the run with Epstein always imagining that if done right could have the potential of becoming a musical playing on either the West End or Broadway yet for various reasons, the idea never really got far. With the start of the boom period of the Jukebox Musical with others planning to be done such as one based on the work of Queen [3] already in the works, the time felt right to ride this crest of a wave to bring back the idea of turning Band On The Run into a theatrical musical.

While the surviving members of Queen were happy with the idea of their songs being part of a musical, The Beatles were more lukewarm to the idea in which Lennon would famously state that he thought the idea sounded 'gimmicky as hell and it would blend into the background of other jukebox musicals that were to dominate musical theatre. However, Epstein would point out that since Band On The Run had also been a concept album with its own storyline to begin with and all that they would be doing was simply adapting that storyline to the stage to the point where one could argue if this musical could be considered a Jukebox musical. After some more convincing from Epstein, the rest of the band would reluctantly accept the idea though still had no clue what they were getting themselves in for though it would lead to the newest entertainment arm of Apple Corps in what would be known as Apple Theatre in which would overlook any live musical theatre setting involving any work involving music from an Apple artist though it would be a few more years before that arm of the company would take effect but that is another story. For now, Apple Corps kept moving into the new century...

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Extract from 'A History Of Apple Films' by Ryan Parker
As it would come about, 2000 would see the release of two animated feature films in which that Christmas would see the release of the animated adaption of Joseph And The Technicolour Dreamcoat which while didn't quite do well as commercially as Cats had done the previous year, it did well enough to green light work on the adaptation of Starlight Express though the year would mark a great success of one animated movie from Apple that wasn't 2D or 3D but stop motion and that film was of course Chicken Run which would not only be a critical and commercial hit but would become the highest grossing stop motion movie of all time and all in all a victory for Apple's growing animation wing. However behind the scenes, it was on working their upcoming animated release for the following year, Shrek, that would be the one that would be the unlikely film that would bring The Beatles together in one of the most hilarious ways possible as a true pot shot at Disney.

After the poor testing screening in which had forced the film into a tried a tested 2D format following how Sir Brian Epstein had been left deeply unimpressed by the CGI he along with the rest of the Apple board had witnessed, work on the film had gone along steadily and by the year 2000, Shrek was finally starting to take shape though it was a far cry from the original story it had been based on. The film would still be about an ogre called Shrek though it would be about him finding his home in the swamp overrun by fairy tale creatures banished by the obsessive ruler Lord Farquaad though Shrek makes a pact with Farquaad to rescue Princess Fiona with the help of Donkey in exchange for regaining control of his swamp. The film itself would parody many fairy tale adaptations though mostly aimed at Disney in which Katzenberg, still with a bitter edge regarding his firing from Disney, had much of his influence in this film with even the villain himself Farquaad being a caricature of then Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

It would be that during the scene in the film in which the fairy tale creatures are being banished in which the likes of Pinocchio and the Three Bears are seen being casted out and that the audience are introduced to Donkey that Katzenberg would have an idea that not only would be a good slap in the face for Disney but a way of having The Beatles all appearing in a cameo role in the film that would see them fit in along with the rest of the fairy tale creatures. Have The Beatles play themselves as Vultures. For anyone in the know, the 1967 animated Disney version of The Jungle Book had a group of four vultures who all bare a physical and vocal resemblance to The Beatles, including the signature mop-top haircut. It had been hoped at the time that Walt Disney could have The Beatles themselves to voice the characters but Lennon at the time didn't want any part of the idea was dropped.

However, things had changed in which Lennon was a little more confident in staring in movies and upon hearing the proposal from Katzenberg of how he wanted to have a parody of the Vultures in Shrek, he loved the idea and soon the rest of the band would all get behind for the extended cameo sequence in which while Lennon would record dialogue with both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Harrison would remain at Friar Park in which he would record his one line of dialogue from the comfort of his home studio. The scene in question would be in which when Donkey's owner is trying to sell him to make money as part of the banishment of fairy tale creatures [4], four chained up vultures are led up to be decided their fate by a mean lord in which the four vultures, all with all certain having characteristics to each Beatle such as one Vulture having Lennon's glasses, are trying to plead their innocence in which the Ringo Starr vulture is taking the lead saying that they are just entertainers who were 'mugged while doing a gig in broad daylight' but the lord doesn't seem to care and that since they are talking animals, they fall under being fairy tale creatures and orders them to sent to a nearby cage to await their fate.

In the moment, the Lennon and McCartney vultures starting arguing with each other over who is to blame with the Lennon vulture blaming the McCartney vulture that, 'if they hadn't played his lousy song this wouldn't have happened to them' in with the latter retorts otherwise and the two get into a fight in which slouching up behind them, the Harrison vulture bemoans asking in a snarky way, 'why couldn't they have played any of my songs?' It might have been just a glorified cameo but it is a little gem of a scene that is a nutshell of creative problems the band had during the late 60s and the thought of seeing The Beatles in a animated film would be perhaps one of the biggest ironic full circle moments in animation history in which The Beatles would be voicing a group of vultures that from many years ago were a parody of them and that now they would be a parody of those vultures from The Jungle Book. One couldn't make this up.

It would be another year until the film would be released and there was no guarantee that the scene would remain in the film though given how they had managed to get all four Beatles to voice in the film, who would want to cut it out? The scene itself as funny as it is would be with hindsight be also seen as bittersweet as that little moment itself would be actually the last time that all four Beatles would star together in a film.

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Extract from 'An Apple Domination: Apple Corps During The 2000's' by Ken McColl
Though at first it didn't like anyone might be seeing anything Beatles related at first, much of the world was to get a treat in which for the first time ever, all six Beatles films being A Hard Day's Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, Rockshow and A Hard Night's Day would be released on DVD as part of a Beatles saga boxset all fully remastered and must have for any Beatles fan though there was some controversy that the concert film Rockshow had been added to a collection of actual feature films in which many felt it was there just to make up the numbers to help make up a saga length of films though it did mean that Rockshow would at the very least get a digital remaster for the first time which had been hoped by Beatles fans for years as well as the rest of those films that had only seen VHS releases during the early 1980s. That collection of films would end up being one of the biggest selling collections of DVD's during 2000 but that was not the only Beatles related product released that year.

It was however a new compilation album released in time for the summer of 2000 in which would simply be called 1, an major double CD album that would for the first time ever would feature virtually every number-one single the band achieved in the United Kingdom or United States from 1962 to 1997 [5]. 1 would be a commercial success and topped charts worldwide selling over 31 million copies and would become the fourth-best-selling album in the US, the best-selling album of the 2000s decade in the US and ultimately as well as the best-selling album of the decade worldwide proving to many doubters that there was still a place for The Beatles in the year 2000. Indeed, such was the roaring success of that album, as well as the Beatles saga of films in which the idea for perhaps another Beatles album, likely in time to mark the 40th anniversary of their first single in 2002 was floated about. Only question was to try and get The Beatles to agree to it.

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Extract from ‘Final Days Of The Beatles' by Alyson Henderson
It is said that only few can get The Beatles together to work on a new product and perhaps to the surprise of no one, Sir Brian Epstein was one of the few who could do this though while he had done this many times before, there was something different about this occasion. In the wake of Harrison's stabbing and with him privately admitting that his health was starting to look poorer, that such an idea of another Beatles album or any musical outing for Harrison seemed out of the question. Nonetheless, Epstein would spend a weekend at the Harrison's Friar Park during the month of May in which the two weren't really talking about future plans but rather having time to reflect in which Olivia Harrison would take a famous photo of both Epstein and Harrison sitting together on the porch overlooking the gardens with Harrison playing one of his many ukuleles that he would have whenever someone came to visit being deep into conversation.

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Interview of Sir Brian Epstein (2011)
We just talked that day and just thought about the so-called 'good old days' as you'd do. It was then George looked over at me and thanked me in which I asked "what'd you talking about?" His response was, "It was all thanks to you that you give me a chance to have more of more songs added to the White Album for if not for you, both Paul and John would have dominated that album that they would have done for every other album before."

It was then I realised that the ten song rule I had implemented for all Beatles albums from All Things Must Pass onwards which had George, John and Paul all having an equal share of songs on an album had not still been in place after all these years but that it was perhaps the lynchpin that had helped kept the band from breaking up fully. To say that it had worked would be a major understatement and George would thank me for giving him the idea of making While My Guitar Gently Weeps into his version of Yesterday and really that song is a watershed moment in which he did came of age I've said after all these years.

I then asked him, "Have I been a good manager for you guys?" He just smiled at me saying, "Other than been a cheapskate bastard at times, you most certainly were." But then he would then asked me regarding the future of The Beatles as in what was there left to do and in some ways he had a point. They had long since established that they were the world's biggest band, had released many successful albums over the course of three decades, stared in films, created the Anthology project and had moved into other avenues beyond their wildest thoughts. What really was left to be done?

I had to think about it for a while and said, "You're right, there really isn't anything left to be done other than saying goodbye to the fans with one final send off."

I remembered he smirked at me knowing that I was blatantly hinting at another album from them in the near future in which he lowered his head, nodded and didn't say anything for a spell before saying the following. "One more? Yeah...I think that'll do."

At first I should have been happy to hear that he was up to do another Beatles album, but the way he said it did seem to bother me that day. Did he know something was up that he didn't want to tell then? I never knew when I left Friar Park though with hindsight, maybe he knew that he wouldn't have long to live and that maybe he'd never live it down that he had been the one to rob the world of a possible final Beatles album. That moment really would be the true beginning of the end.


[1] This was an album title that Harrison joked about calling OTL's Brainwashed, would like to think that given he was known to pass things around and that he would have done the same here. Plus, that album title does sound like something that Nirvana would have used for an album title IMO.
[2] That album is more or less the same as OTL.
[3] Which you can imagine becomes We Will Rock You like with OTL.
[4] Yes, The Beatles will appear in ITTL's version of Shrek in which they will play the four vultures. Given how the film is a parody of Disney as a whole and that The Beatles are in the Apple family, you could bet your bottom dollar that there would have been a chance to make a parody of the Jungle Book vultures by having The Beatles play them in a cameo one. For those who don't know what scene it is in question they'd be in, its this scene in which you can picture them in.
[5] Yes, 1 is still released like OTL though is more more bigger given that there are more number one singles ITTL.

And that is the year 2000, bit of a filler one but is important to set things going forward. Anyway, I forgot to ask this question during the last update in which much like how I asked what was your favourite 1980s Beatles album, what is your ranking of your favourite 1990s Beatles album ITTL and why? Also, if you haven't already, please vote for this TL to win the award for best Pop Culture TL on here and while it might be still a bit of a long shot, every little helps and we should find out, at the time of writing, who wins. So stay tuned for the next update as we go into one of the more darker years for 2001 in which has some obvious reason but also another factor too...until then, see you all for the next update.
 
Well then, its time for another update which takes up into the year 2000! Now then, as many of you might be aware of, this TL has been nominated for best Pop Culture TL on here and as of writing is currently sitting at second place though is a wee bit behind and with the voting ending by this Saturday, it could be a close run contest. However, for those who have voted for this TL, thank you all so much for sticking with me and if you haven't voted yet, please do so. Now without more to say, lets get started on with a new century!


Start Of A Century

Extract from ‘Final Days Of The Beatles' by Alyson Henderson

The YT2 fear of the world ending the moment the year 2000 started never materialised. Instead, much of the world celebrated for what was to be a brave new century that no one really knew what lay ahead though the same couldn’t be said for The Beatles. The near death of George Harrison following a brutal stabbing attacking in his own home had shaken the rest of the band like nothing had before, not since John Lennon had his own near assassination attempt from over a decade ago and the start of the new century wasn’t anything Beatles related as all four would keep a low profile. Indeed, such was a lack of them into the new year that that they all might have as well fallen off the face of the Earth and some would even then make a rather foreboding set of predictions that while the 20th century certainly belonged to The Beatles, the new 21st century was going to cast down The Beatles into the sands of time and with no new album or tour being even hinted at, once could say that there was no place left for The Beatles in the year 2000.

When some of the band did make an appearance during the early part of the year, they would end up helping up more of Apple’s younger talent to help boost the record label in which for an example, a still Hermit minded Harrison would raise a few eyebrows when he would invite the band Nirvana over to his home studio FPSHOT to record their next album with Harrison helping to produce it along with his son Dhani, himself a follower of the band and was delighted to work with them. The idea that the more spiritual minded Harrison would work with Nirvana, a band whose style of music was a universe away from what the quiet Beatle had ever done in his whole career was perhaps the most unlikely meeting of musical talent ever assembled yet both parties got on well with each other. Kurt Cobain and Harrison would share a dark sense of humour that would see them get on quite well, while not as close as the relation both Cobain and Harrison had, it seemed both men had some common ground to chat about their view on the world.

Indeed, the two unlikely sides would get along that well that Harrison would, in his typical manner of handing things over like guitars or songs to close friends, he would give Nirvana the title of their new album to be called Your Planet Is Doomed – Volume One [1] which had been a proposed title he had joked for his own previous album and upon hearing that they too had that dark humour like him, Cobain especially, they would adopt that title for their upcoming album. It also meant that Nirvana were the first musical act to work with any Beatle for the new century though it was fair to say that this fact was not picked up on and instead, some critics who were left baffled at the unlikely team up felt that following his stabbing incident that Harrison was suffering from a midlife crises and that he was trying to ‘get hip’ by working with Nirvana.

A fact that given how Harrison would always be the one who would not follow trends seemed like a ludicrous comment to make. That said though, Harrison would over the passing weeks and months that the attack would quite literally leave a mark on him in which part of his puncture lung had been removed and it would be here that the first signs of his cancer returning would start to feel likely. Did he feel deep down that his time was nearing its end? Maybe, but he would downplay all these questions and just focus on current events. As of a result, Harrison was not the only Beatle who was keeping himself busy for that same year too, Paul McCartney would be dipping his hand in some alternative styles in which he would release the album Liverpool Sound Collage, an album credited to The Beatles, Super Furry Animals and Youth; but because McCartney was so heavily involved in its creation, in addition to his production credit, Liverpool Sound Collage is filed under his name [2].

At the same time too, John Lennon was keeping an eye out on what was going on with Apple's Film division and of the certain massive filming project taking place in New Zealand which of course would be the trilogy for The Lord Of The Rings. Being a fan of the original books and knowing how much would be riding on these collection of films, he would be often passing over notes whenever he would see daily rushes to the point in which by now he had become something of an executive producer for the trilogy by accident. Not that he was honestly bothered by that fact, in many ways he seemed to actual enjoy his unexpected position and that there was a sense of satisfaction that knowing many years ago how The Beatles had tried and failed to make a Lord Of The Rings movie back in the early days of Apple Corps was that now after nearly 30 years, Apple would get to make its planned filmed based on JRR Tolkien's work in a far greater way than previously thought. Speaking of films, Ringo Starr had been keeping himself busy too in which he would keep his acting career going in which that year he would be brought in for voice work on one certain animated movie from Apple that would, after a suggestion from the head of Apple Animation Jeffery Katzenberg, bring back The Beatles again in perhaps the most unlikely way possible.

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Extract from 'Epstein's Empire: The Story Of Apple Corps' by Jake O'Connell
Even though Sir Brian Epstein had reached the retirement age of 65 years old, he was a driven man who had no plans to step down anytime soon and given with all that he had on his plate with the construction of Apple World USA very much deep into its progress as well as the now sudden possibility of having a fourth Apple park to be built in which talks for the acquisition of Wonderland Sydney had been very positive in the hope that Apple World Australia could be a possibility in the not too distant future and that wasn't even talking about how things had been going on the Apple music label. Just prior before the new year, Apple Records had signed another group from Liverpool which would be the girl group Atomic Kitten and had released their debut record most recently, Another three acts signed most recently were Scottish band Travis who had been happy to leave their then current record deal and the other act with fellow Scottish act Snow Patrol also joining them on the Apple label and the other musical act would be Welsh band Stereophonics in which having been signed prior before their debut album in which Epstein had been shrewd to keep faith with them had been rewarded with their own successful debut album.

Even across the pond in America, Epstein's fingerprints on the music industry just seemed to keep on spreading in which he would raise a few eyebrows in which he would rubber stamp the approval of signing on then up and coming musical star Idina Menzel following her being let go off previous record label Hollywood Records following rather lacklustre sales of her own album yet there was a feeling of potential that could be had should she be signed with Apple and with hindsight, a rewarding choice given how she would become well known for her Broadway success but that's another story. In contrast to her, Apple Records was willing to try its hand at going into over avenues in which American rock band Blink-182 would be the first American band to be signed on for the new Millennium and following them being tempted away from their current record deal in favour of a more lucrative one with Apple, they would plan to release their third album under the Apple umbrella.

When one added those more recent names to the rest of the Apple Records family starting all the way back from The Beatles, Elton John, Queen and Aerosmith just to name a few, it was said that Apple had without question one of the most stacked musical line-ups for any record label and was in all honesty the envy of much of the music industry proving to everyone once and for all that Apple was far more than just a tool meant for The Beatles' output but rather that it was a business that had grown into becoming one of the largest media empires in the world and a far cry from its hippy origins in which was hoped to be used a way of avoiding paying tax. Ironically, the Apple Corps of 2000 was a totally unrecognisable Goliath than what had been created in which now the very thing they had avoided doing was now something that had to do being such a large company that they couldn't hide from this any longer.

Epstein would feel a little bittersweet in which the company he had helped to get to this point had now started to become very much like a corporation like nearly everything else was in the world in which the only thing that seemed to separate Apple Corps from the likes of everything else like Disney, Sony, Universal or Warner Bros. was that Apple would be happy to have artists with as much creative control as possible but it was just a drop in the ocean all things considered. Nonetheless despite any regrets he might have felt, Epstein had felt that he had done it all and had lived a good life. At this point, anyone in his position would have likely wanted to walk off into the sunset onwards for retirement but Epstein still always felt that there was something left untapped and it was during last year that Epstein would go to the West End to see a new musical that had opened up called Mamma Mia!, a musical with an original story yet used the songs of ABBA in which would kick start what would be known as the 'Jukebox Musical' that was to play a magic part in the world of musical theatre over the next few years.

While the musical wasn't entirely Epstein's cup of tea, it did get him thinking on project he had been thinking about for many years now. Epstein was one that would like going to the theatre a lot and his mind had always casted back to The Beatles' 1973 mega masterpiece Band On The Run in which had been done with a concert album in mind, along with its own mini comic which gave a story for that album about the said band on the run with Epstein always imagining that if done right could have the potential of becoming a musical playing on either the West End or Broadway yet for various reasons, the idea never really got far. With the start of the boom period of the Jukebox Musical with others planning to be done such as one based on the work of Queen [3] already in the works, the time felt right to ride this crest of a wave to bring back the idea of turning Band On The Run into a theatrical musical.

While the surviving members of Queen were happy with the idea of their songs being part of a musical, The Beatles were more lukewarm to the idea in which Lennon would famously state that he thought the idea sounded 'gimmicky as hell and it would blend into the background of other jukebox musicals that were to dominate musical theatre. However, Epstein would point out that since Band On The Run had also been a concept album with its own storyline to begin with and all that they would be doing was simply adapting that storyline to the stage to the point where one could argue if this musical could be considered a Jukebox musical. After some more convincing from Epstein, the rest of the band would reluctantly accept the idea though still had no clue what they were getting themselves in for though it would lead to the newest entertainment arm of Apple Corps in what would be known as Apple Theatre in which would overlook any live musical theatre setting involving any work involving music from an Apple artist though it would be a few more years before that arm of the company would take effect but that is another story. For now, Apple Corps kept moving into the new century...

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Extract from 'A History Of Apple Films' by Ryan Parker
As it would come about, 2000 would see the release of two animated feature films in which that Christmas would see the release of the animated adaption of Joseph And The Technicolour Dreamcoat which while didn't quite do well as commercially as Cats had done the previous year, it did well enough to green light work on the adaptation of Starlight Express though the year would mark a great success of one animated movie from Apple that wasn't 2D or 3D but stop motion and that film was of course Chicken Run which would not only be a critical and commercial hit but would become the highest grossing stop motion movie of all time and all in all a victory for Apple's growing animation wing. However behind the scenes, it was on working their upcoming animated release for the following year, Shrek, that would be the one that would be the unlikely film that would bring The Beatles together in one of the most hilarious ways possible as a true pot shot at Disney.

After the poor testing screening in which had forced the film into a tried a tested 2D format following how Sir Brian Epstein had been left deeply unimpressed by the CGI he along with the rest of the Apple board had witnessed, work on the film had gone along steadily and by the year 2000, Shrek was finally starting to take shape though it was a far cry from the original story it had been based on. The film would still be about an ogre called Shrek though it would be about him finding his home in the swamp overrun by fairy tale creatures banished by the obsessive ruler Lord Farquaad though Shrek makes a pact with Farquaad to rescue Princess Fiona with the help of Donkey in exchange for regaining control of his swamp. The film itself would parody many fairy tale adaptations though mostly aimed at Disney in which Katzenberg, still with a bitter edge regarding his firing from Disney, had much of his influence in this film with even the villain himself Farquaad being a caricature of then Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

It would be that during the scene in the film in which the fairy tale creatures are being banished in which the likes of Pinocchio and the Three Bears are seen being casted out and that the audience are introduced to Donkey that Katzenberg would have an idea that not only would be a good slap in the face for Disney but a way of having The Beatles all appearing in a cameo role in the film that would see them fit in along with the rest of the fairy tale creatures. Have The Beatles play themselves as Vultures. For anyone in the know, the 1967 animated Disney version of The Jungle Book had a group of four vultures who all bare a physical and vocal resemblance to The Beatles, including the signature mop-top haircut. It had been hoped at the time that Walt Disney could have The Beatles themselves to voice the characters but Lennon at the time didn't want any part of the idea was dropped.

However, things had changed in which Lennon was a little more confident in staring in movies and upon hearing the proposal from Katzenberg of how he wanted to have a parody of the Vultures in Shrek, he loved the idea and soon the rest of the band would all get behind for the extended cameo sequence in which while Lennon would record dialogue with both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Harrison would remain at Friar Park in which he would record his one line of dialogue from the comfort of his home studio. The scene in question would be in which when Donkey's owner is trying to sell him to make money as part of the banishment of fairy tale creatures [4], four chained up vultures are led up to be decided their fate by a mean lord in which the four vultures, all with all certain having characteristics to each Beatle such as one Vulture having Lennon's glasses, are trying to plead their innocence in which the Ringo Starr vulture is taking the lead saying that they are just entertainers who were 'mugged while doing a gig in broad daylight' but the lord doesn't seem to care and that since they are talking animals, they fall under being fairy tale creatures and orders them to sent to a nearby cage to await their fate.

In the moment, the Lennon and McCartney vultures starting arguing with each other over who is to blame with the Lennon vulture blaming the McCartney vulture that, 'if they hadn't played his lousy song this wouldn't have happened to them' in with the latter retorts otherwise and the two get into a fight in which slouching up behind them, the Harrison vulture bemoans asking in a snarky way, 'why couldn't they have played any of my songs?' It might have been just a glorified cameo but it is a little gem of a scene that is a nutshell of creative problems the band had during the late 60s and the thought of seeing The Beatles in a animated film would be perhaps one of the biggest ironic full circle moments in animation history in which The Beatles would be voicing a group of vultures that from many years ago were a parody of them and that now they would be a parody of those vultures from The Jungle Book. One couldn't make this up.

It would be another year until the film would be released and there was no guarantee that the scene would remain in the film though given how they had managed to get all four Beatles to voice in the film, who would want to cut it out? The scene itself as funny as it is would be with hindsight be also seen as bittersweet as that little moment itself would be actually the last time that all four Beatles would star together in a film.

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Extract from 'An Apple Domination: Apple Corps During The 2000's' by Ken McColl
Though at first it didn't like anyone might be seeing anything Beatles related at first, much of the world was to get a treat in which for the first time ever, all six Beatles films being A Hard Day's Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, Rockshow and A Hard Night's Day would be released on DVD as part of a Beatles saga boxset all fully remastered and must have for any Beatles fan though there was some controversy that the concert film Rockshow had been added to a collection of actual feature films in which many felt it was there just to make up the numbers to help make up a saga length of films though it did mean that Rockshow would at the very least get a digital remaster for the first time which had been hoped by Beatles fans for years as well as the rest of those films that had only seen VHS releases during the early 1980s. That collection of films would end up being one of the biggest selling collections of DVD's during 2000 but that was not the only Beatles related product released that year.

It was however a new compilation album released in time for the summer of 2000 in which would simply be called 1, an major double CD album that would for the first time ever would feature virtually every number-one single the band achieved in the United Kingdom or United States from 1962 to 1997 [5]. 1 would be a commercial success and topped charts worldwide selling over 31 million copies and would become the fourth-best-selling album in the US, the best-selling album of the 2000s decade in the US and ultimately as well as the best-selling album of the decade worldwide proving to many doubters that there was still a place for The Beatles in the year 2000. Indeed, such was the roaring success of that album, as well as the Beatles saga of films in which the idea for perhaps another Beatles album, likely in time to mark the 40th anniversary of their first single in 2002 was floated about. Only question was to try and get The Beatles to agree to it.

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Extract from ‘Final Days Of The Beatles' by Alyson Henderson
It is said that only few can get The Beatles together to work on a new product and perhaps to the surprise of no one, Sir Brian Epstein was one of the few who could do this though while he had done this many times before, there was something different about this occasion. In the wake of Harrison's stabbing and with him privately admitting that his health was starting to look poorer, that such an idea of another Beatles album or any musical outing for Harrison seemed out of the question. Nonetheless, Epstein would spend a weekend at the Harrison's Friar Park during the month of May in which the two weren't really talking about future plans but rather having time to reflect in which Olivia Harrison would take a famous photo of both Epstein and Harrison sitting together on the porch overlooking the gardens with Harrison playing one of his many ukuleles that he would have whenever someone came to visit being deep into conversation.

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Interview of Sir Brian Epstein (2011)
We just talked that day and just thought about the so-called 'good old days' as you'd do. It was then George looked over at me and thanked me in which I asked "what'd you talking about?" His response was, "It was all thanks to you that you give me a chance to have more of more songs added to the White Album for if not for you, both Paul and John would have dominated that album that they would have done for every other album before."

It was then I realised that the ten song rule I had implemented for all Beatles albums from All Things Must Pass onwards which had George, John and Paul all having an equal share of songs on an album had not still been in place after all these years but that it was perhaps the lynchpin that had helped kept the band from breaking up fully. To say that it had worked would be a major understatement and George would thank me for giving him the idea of making While My Guitar Gently Weeps into his version of Yesterday and really that song is a watershed moment in which he did came of age I've said after all these years.

I then asked him, "Have I been a good manager for you guys?" He just smiled at me saying, "Other than been a cheapskate bastard at times, you most certainly were." But then he would then asked me regarding the future of The Beatles as in what was there left to do and in some ways he had a point. They had long since established that they were the world's biggest band, had released many successful albums over the course of three decades, stared in films, created the Anthology project and had moved into other avenues beyond their wildest thoughts. What really was left to be done?

I had to think about it for a while and said, "You're right, there really isn't anything left to be done other than saying goodbye to the fans with one final send off."

I remembered he smirked at me knowing that I was blatantly hinting at another album from them in the near future in which he lowered his head, nodded and didn't say anything for a spell before saying the following. "One more? Yeah...I think that'll do."

At first I should have been happy to hear that he was up to do another Beatles album, but the way he said it did seem to bother me that day. Did he know something was up that he didn't want to tell then? I never knew when I left Friar Park though with hindsight, maybe he knew that he wouldn't have long to live and that maybe he'd never live it down that he had been the one to rob the world of a possible final Beatles album. That moment really would be the true beginning of the end.


[1] This was an album title that Harrison joked about calling OTL's Brainwashed, would like to think that given he was known to pass things around and that he would have done the same here. Plus, that album title does sound like something that Nirvana would have used for an album title IMO.
[2] That album is more or less the same as OTL.
[3] Which you can imagine becomes We Will Rock You like with OTL.
[4] Yes, The Beatles will appear in ITTL's version of Shrek in which they will play the four vultures. Given how the film is a parody of Disney as a whole and that The Beatles are in the Apple family, you could bet your bottom dollar that there would have been a chance to make a parody of the Jungle Book vultures by having The Beatles play them in a cameo one. For those who don't know what scene it is in question they'd be in, its this scene in which you can picture them in.
[5] Yes, 1 is still released like OTL though is more more bigger given that there are more number one singles ITTL.

And that is the year 2000, bit of a filler one but is important to set things going forward. Anyway, I forgot to ask this question during the last update in which much like how I asked what was your favourite 1980s Beatles album, what is your ranking of your favourite 1990s Beatles album ITTL and why? Also, if you haven't already, please vote for this TL to win the award for best Pop Culture TL on here and while it might be still a bit of a long shot, every little helps and we should find out, at the time of writing, who wins. So stay tuned for the next update as we go into one of the more darker years for 2001 in which has some obvious reason but also another factor too...until then, see you all for the next update.
Loved the Update Q, Can't wait to see the next!
Here's my ranking of the albums:
1: Cloud Nine
2: Flaming Pie
3: A Doll's house
 
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