Good update. And, yeah, Yoko would do something like that--her microphone was cut off during John and Chuck Berry's OTL performance (probably at Chuck Berry's insistence after the first performance--watch his reaction to that). Jim Rome's radio show frequently plays a clip of her singing Voice Piece For Soprano & Wish Tree back in 2010...

FWIW, Ono was considered an influence on the punk rock and new wave music genres, according to

She did not break up the Beatles, though--that was due to other factors (here's a link to a post on that:
I've heard that about Yoko being an influence on Punk Rock before and your post reminded me of a scene in the mini series about the Sex Pistols that just came out last year where Steve Jones (who has stated on numerous occasions how he hated the Beatles) tells Sid's girlfriend Nancy that she's a fucking Yoko and Nancy replies "who cares, I hate the fucking Beatles" and Jones comes back with "that's not the fucking point"!
So I don't think she was that big of an influence on Punk.
All Things Must Pass
Well then, back from my wee holiday which involved a car breaking down after it was said to be repaired...but anyway, I made it home and here we go with another chapter of TFOE and here is where all things start to change, so without further ado...let's go!

All Things Must Pass

Extract from 'The Beatles On The Brink' by Ken McNab
With all the drama that had gripped the band during the closing years of the 60's from a possible change of manager, Apple being more difficult than they would have liked and all of them having different interests that always didn't line up with each other; few would have expected The Beatles to have been still in one piece yet by 1970 and following the events of the infamous 'Weekend at George's', not only were the Fab Four still in place and ready for a new album, but they had gained a fifth member in Billy Preston in which might have ruined the narrative to some of them being just 'four guys from Liverpool' as there was now an American in the group, there was a real sense of change in the band that things were going to be all different from now on. Brian Epstein himself, pretty much now acting more of a fifth Beatle than what some would have said either Billy Preston or George Martin could have ever been, had been what many had been saying who had been the one who had dragged The Beatles back from the brink.

Though none of the band would admit to each other, they all knew just how important Epstein had been in keeping them all together and by putting in place a fair system in which all the band would actually have a fair number of songs with the exception of Preston who was the only one in the band to have his own solo career but nonetheless his influence in future Beatles albums would be felt and not just as some guy tagging on for the ride. Indeed, such was the fear of a possible split that Ringo Starr had written a song called Early 1970 [1] which had been about his own fears on if he'd get to play with them again. Thankfully this hadn't come to past, and the song would be one of the very first songs to be recorded for the new album though Starr would tweak the lyrics round to help better reflect the changed atmosphere of the band going forward. That said though, Ringo Starr had in March released his first solo album called Sentimental Journey - a strange album of old fashion songs from the past that most were great favourites of his mother from years ago yet the album itself was seen by many critics as an embarrassment - even Lennon would express embarrassment as like McCartney's granny music but ten times worse off - with some debating if either that or any of John or Yoko's experimental albums were worse than Sentimental Journey.

Not the best way to start a year one yet when it came for the The Beatles to come together for the next album, there would be thankfully not throw too many issues other than pressure on the likes of the other three Beatles who had to present three songs each in which while they might have all had a stock pile of songs that had been built up over the years which in theory could have done a double album, it was about quality over quantity as what Epstein had been talking about it and with much of the public always expecting the next Beatles album to top the last one before it, there perhaps wasn't any artist or band on Earth that had to go under the amount of pressure unlike that of The Beatles. Abbey Road might be considered as one of the band's greatest, if not one of the greatest rock albums ever made but many fail to remember that it had a mixed reception and that they knew that they had to fire on all cylinders to make this one work. It was all looking good as with renewed enthusiasm or purpose to make this one count though as the old saying goes despite a crisis had been averted, it was a little too good to be true...

Extract from 'Harmony And Strife: The Early Years Of Apple 1968 - 1972' by Jordon Monroe
The recording process for All Things Must Pass was a very different world compared to even the previous year when Abbey Road was recorded. Not only was Billy Preston was making himself felt on the albums but now George Martin was no longer up in the control booth but instead would be an American record producer by the name of Phil Spector - the man who would be best known for his famous 'wall of sound'. It had been Allen Klein who had brought him over to England and Lennon had been the one who had been the most excited in him mostly after they had recorded the song Instant Karma! in which Lennon - having famously written the song in an hour and roping in his somewhat confused bandmates along to play on it - had wanted it recorded, produced and released in the quickest time possible. While at the first the other Beatles might have been reluctant to part from George Martin who had been with them from the very start, it was when they all heard the finished song for the first time that they soon realised why Lennon had wanted Spector to produce the next album.

What they heard was a sound that was nothing like The Beatles had recorded in which it had such a unique sound as Spector had used echo to make the drums reverberate as what Billy Preston would described as being like someone slapping a wet fish on a marble slab, and the voices sounded hollow and decayed; a vast difference to the clean nature of Abbey Road and likely a taste of things to come. Of course, Lennon and Spector wouldn't always agree with things such as Spector feeling that he wanted to record a string backing track for the song, but Lennon would put his foot down and stated that the song was already finished. Much to Lennon's annoyance who had wanted it released almost as soon as possible, Epstein held him back on that saying that while he did like the song, it would have a better chance later on in the year once the new album would come out as it was clear that this song was pretty much a shoo-in for the new album.

With Spector on board to record the songs, it was a changed time for the band when in fact the album's title of All Things Must Pass - a song Harrison had written during the At Work sessions yet never had any luck to try and get it release, now had a different meaning for how things were going in the band. No longer was it a haunting hymn about the mortality of everything which in July that year had some extra meaning personally for Harrison following the death of his own mother in July following a long period of illness, but now it took a different meaning in which now seem to reflect the old ways of how the band had operated had long since passed and this was the start of a new beginning for the band. The recording sessions were now longer just about a handful of guys in which was for many years and the direction of band was very evident of how many were taking part in recording the new album to help make it sound as full and rich as possible.

To join the five-man band with the project would be Eric Clapton, Gary Wright, Bobby Whitlock, Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Pete Drake and John Barham just to name a few with even Mal Evans getting a spot on the album in the role of performing percussion and apparent something called 'tea and sympathy' and finally there was always the presence of Yoko in the recording studio. By this point, the rest of the band other than Lennon had simply given up trying to convince Lennon otherwise that having their wives in the recording studio wasn't a good idea with those outside of the Beatles circle recording with them left baffled at why Lennon wanted Yoko there in which half of them had all been aware of the infamous little show at Friar Park in which in which her screaming performance had literally brought the stage crashing down and the thought of an album of her shrieking her way through would likely bring an end to everyone's career connected to the album.

It was only when Phil Spector would suggest to Lennon that Yoko shouldn't be there as it would be distracting for everyone there that Lennon would reluctantly accept on the condition that she would be with Epstein as he knew that his manager would take care of her and that since he knew that he was gay was likely never going to steal her away from him and had proven this already following the band's trip to Woodstock; something that Epstein upon hearing would find annoying if that was the only reason he was being used. Despite being forced to be saddled with Lennon's wife by his side as he was trying to run Apple, it would ironically mark the real beginning of the friendship of perhaps the most unlikely duo you'd ever see.

Extract from 'In My Own Words' by Brian Epstein
It was true that I was feeling used by John for honestly having to babysit Yoko, I didn't really have anything against her. Yes, I still had that lingering anger that John and cheated on Cynthia for Yoko and what I felt was a stabled married life though I do wonder if that relationship was doomed to failure even if Yoko had never been there in the first place? I honestly might never know but that's beside the point. During the time the boys were working on the next album, I was with Yoko who I could tell seemed rather relieved that she wouldn't have to sit there in the recording studio being bored and knowing too well that the others in the band weren't really wanting her there and knew that despite that they didn't really have any ill feelings for her.

She actually didn't really bother me as I was sitting there in the office looking over my work to make sure Apple wasn't losing money as that Allen Klein felt the company was by this point in which while there were loses they were barely a drop in the ocean in which I did feel that if The Beatles, Badfinger and Elton John were to release major hit records then it would put the company firmly in the black. At this time, it was also that I had managed to sign up Queen after seeing them live in performance at a London show in July and I really felt that those guys really had it and dare I say could even challenge the Fab Four themselves; then again how many times have we heard that? It was then after she had been doing some strange art piece to past the time which I did find interesting in a good way that this is where the two of us would have our first ever proper one-to-one conservation with her and it was, she began to ask me certain question about my big secret regarding my sexuality.

"John tells me you've have great trouble expressing your true self," Yoko said suddenly.

"What'd you mean?" I asked her.

She pointed towards her heart in which I had no clue what she was on about until she explained. "You've been hiding your true feelings about your heart's which you don't want the company of a woman in your life."

I was taken aback thinking that I must have offended her or something. "Yoko, was it something I said? I mean..."

"It's nothing about that," she butted in. "I know that you're gay, John told me about it."

I felt my blood turn to ice when she said that. She knew. Then again for those around for all the artists past and present I managed and those within the higher up spots in Apple did all know about it so it really was a worst kept secret that I'm honestly shocked had not been leaked out yet, then again I suppose when you have the most famous band in the world always taking headlines away from me, I could be rather grateful for that and honestly I probably shouldn't have been surprised that Yoko would find out given how much she had been with the band by this point. Just be glad that Klein hadn't known about my secret as knowing what his big mouth would've done.

At first, I didn't know what how to respond until she raised a hand indicating for me not to say anything. She then said, "I will not let anyone know about your secret, I promise you that."

I was silent and didn't know what to say. I knew that she and John were rather outlandish in how they lived their lives from bed-in peace protests and thumping chants of wanting peace in which I simply kept my head down up to point in which I told them not to go fully into protests otherwise they could find themselves in hot water in which I was certain that they would have enemies. However, I hadn't really thought about their views on homosexuality in which had never been something that had been brought up by either of them and I had to wonder if John had ever told Yoko about mine and John's trip to Spain a few years ago and what she might have thought of it?

Nonetheless, I did feel grateful for her for saying that. "Thank you, Yoko," I replied to her. "I do mean that, I'm sorry if I haven't been any help for you, running that band and this company does take a lot out of me although I do feel rather isolated that I can't related to anyone I know."

Yoko though smiled. "Have you not spoke with Billy Preston? He's gay too."

At that I was stunned, and I could feel my eyes go wide in shock. No one had said this to me, and this was decades before the whole world would find out about his secret homosexuality and I had been left unaware about this, not even the rest of the band had told me about this.

"He's gay?!" I asked in astonishment over this revelation. "Why hasn't no one told me this?"

"John says Billy only said about it to privately before telling me about it," Yoko replied. "I felt as though as since you were the only other person, I know who was on that side of the fence that you should know, maybe give him support that he is not alone."

I have to say that in all my time since I reached the top with the band, the thought of helping someone out who was very much like me in struggling to find someone to relate too was one that I'll admit was something that never crossed my mind. I had always hung around secret gay clubs at a time when being in such an environment at that time would have likely meant jailtime. Yes, things had someone improved even by that point but there was still a great reluctance to come out, even if Yoko seemed willing for me to do it.

"I'll try and speak with him," I then said to Yoko. "But the thing is that as much as I wish to come out one of these days, it is a double edge sword in which one side is the worst in which I'm banished from society and everyone around me is affected. Yet on the other hand if everyone did turn out well, I could end up as some gay icon in which I don't want to have that burden on me, all I asked is the world to know who I am and just treat me like anyone else. Isn't that not easy for people to understand?"

Yoko stared at me with a strange look that seemed to be a mix of sympathy and disappointment over how I wouldn't come out. But then she smiled. "I promise I will not let any harm come to you. John will want to make sure you are safe."

It was astonishing; this woman who before hand had made these strange albums with John who was just odd in many ways was here supporting me to the end, honestly I bet she would have walked over burning coals and broken glass bare footed if it meant I would be safe. Only then I began to see perhaps why John had seemed so interested in that woman. With that, she would then for the rest of the time I would have to 'babysit' her to show me much of her unique artwork and how they could be used for something for the future...

Extract from 'In My Life' by John Lennon
If I told you that picking the songs for All Things Must Pass was actually quite an easy thing to do then you might have thought I was lying. However as it was, the songs that me and Paul were putting forward were what we did on the At Work sessions while George had his own many songs he was hoping to get cleared off his backlot. We had thought about using what we had recorded before yet it was Phil Spector who told us that it might have been better if we recorded them again. That might sound we did an awful job then and in truth...he was right. They were when I listen to them all again pretty God awful and I'm not sure if Phil Spector could have done anything with them even with all his skills he had [2] so in truth, we all pretty much had no trouble in starting from scratch with Paul deciding that Get Back and The Long And Winding Road being two from those sessions that he'd bring back though didn't say what the third song would be until he would present it to us.

I would bring back Dig A Pony and Don't Let Me Down to record again though I was insisted that Instant Karma! would still be on the album which all gave me my share of three songs for the new album. Anyway it was on one day that Paul came into the recording studio to show me, Ringo and Phil what he had created while up in Scotland and it was a song that Paul was excited to show me it as it was a song that he claimed was inspired by Linda so I knew it was a love song about her. As he got to the piano, what followed wasn't what I thought - what we heard was him was just some stupid tune called The Lovely Linda. At that point I looked over at the others - who all looked unimpressed as I was - and said, "fuck me, he isn't even trying!"

But Paul being such a bastard that he can be stopped and gave us this cheeky grin as if he was up to no good and it then occurred to me he had tricked us with some dummy song for the real thing. The song that Paul had presented to us? A certain little tune you all know as Maybe I'm Amazed. When we heard it with just the basic piano track of him playing and singing it, I was blown over by such a powerful ballad which I knew Paul could do but even then it just seemed to ooze how much Paul felt about Linda and when he finished, we were all stunned into silence having all heard what could quite honestly had been the main hit from the album yet I realised that he had something that put many of my songs to shame and I realised that I had nothing to compete with that...very rare that is when it comes for Paul.

I then looked over at Phil and said, "Christ above, I'm not having any of my songs come after that, will have to put either one of George's tunes after it, any idea what could be used?"

As it turned out, Phil did have one song in mind which would ironically end up being the major hit that none of us had predicted and I think if you know our history where this is going...

Extracts from 'Peaked: The Beatles In The 1970's' by Alyson Henderson
Of all the songs that George Harrison had on his shelve, it was the song My Sweet Lord - a song that he had written in December 1969 during a trip to Denmark - that he was the most reluctant to release it for fear of committing himself to such an overt religious message in which his interested in mystical beliefs had been well documented by this point. Allen Klein had not wanted it released yet it was actually both Phil Spector and Brian Epstein who apparently had to fight Klein to have it on the album. Spector liked it as he felt it was the most commercial tune from George's selection for the album which included All Things Must Pass (the title for the new album of course) and Beware Of Darkness - classic songs in their own right as they would be later on but neither of them had the commercial feel as what My Sweet Lord had in its favour.

Brian Epstein had also loved the song as given that he shared the same spiritual belief as George and loved it for the universal message that it had that he knew could make it a monster hit. It was thanks to Epstein's insistence that Harrison would agree to putting in on the album; the other Beatles were happy to record it either way though for different means such as Lennon only happy to do it as he felt it would better to have it follow Maybe I'm Amazed and use it as a sacrifice in favour of his own songs which Harrison found out much to his annoyance while McCartney felt he could add a decent bass line for the tune even though Harrison wasn't wanting a complicated bass role much like how the former had tried to do with Something the year before. Both Starr and Preston liked the tune in which the latter had been with Harrison when he first wrote it and loved the gospel sound in which he could lay down for the song.

In that moment, everyone had failed to realise, mostly how much everyone seemed to generally like the song, that it would bare a resemblance to a certain song that been recorded a few years ago and would end up biting Harrison but that would be another story.

After much time in the recording studio in which although there were less songs to record here as compared to the previous years, it would still take time to record them in which Spector's famous 'wall of sound' would be in full force here and would mark a new direction for the band. All Things Must Pass would be released in September 1970 and the rest the say, is history with its track list as follows:

Side 1
1) Get Back
2) Beware Of Darkness
3) Early 1970
4) Don't Let Me Down
5) Maybe I'm Amazed

Side 2
6) My Sweet Lord
7) Instant Karma!
8) Dig A Pony
9) All Things Must Pass
10) The Long And Winding Road

The rerecorded songs that had first been done during the Twickenham sessions were all major improvements in their own rights though there was some issue that McCartney had with Spector over how he produced The Long And Winding Road in which McCartney had wanted it to have a more stripped back feel with it being recorded by just the band yet Spector had wanted the song to include an orchestral backing track and a all female choir in which McCartney had refused on the matter in which Epstein had to be once again brought in to act a neutral view. In the end, a compromise was reached in which Spector would get to have the orchestral backing track yet the choir would be dropped [3]. With all that said though, the ten song ruled had worked wonders for the band in which all had their fair say on it.

The album itself would be a major hit with many saying it was better than Abbey Road and a return to form for the band. That said, Harrison's songs would actually get the attention, more so than Maybe I'm Amazed in which many had suspected would be the hit single from the album which proved once and for all that Harrison didn't have a fluke with any of his songs in which as it would turn out, My Sweet Lord would be released as the single and it would end up topping singles charts around the world during the album's release which all did it's part in helping All Things Must Pass remain in the UK charts as the number one album for eight weeks. Epstein's prediction of that song being the bit hit and having a universal appeal to millions had been proven correct and once again, Harrison had to thank Epstein for given him the confidence in going forward over the last few years following the latter's near death.

The one downside to Harrison's newly formed popularity was that he was now being seen as the new hit sensation in the band that some felt had been shackled by the shadow of Lennon and McCartney looming over him for so long and the latter two now felt somewhat discarded as if they were old relics of a past era in which their songs help propel the band into those dizzying heights when the first started. They knew that both would have to bounce back and to do that would be to record another album which might have been unthinkable when they went into recording ATMP but such was how well the quiet Beatle had gotten out of it, their pride said otherwise to get back on top again. Klein and Epstein were only too happy that the record had been a major hit and while Beatlemania had been resurrected as some might had suspected, it was all a new era for the band in a new decade and one that would have much drama along the way...

[1] The song sounds the same as OTL thought the lyrics are tweaked reflecting different circumstances for the band.
[2] IOTL, Spector would try and make something out of the Let It Be sessions to mixed success, here it straight up tells the band to rerecord the songs again.
[3] Much like IOTL how Macca hated the added string and choir backing tracks in what Spector though, a compromise thanks to Epstein happens here.

And so here we being the first real change for the band in which the band are still together, expanded and how butterflied Let It Be from the Beatles canon. Hope you enjoyed this update and what changes do you see happening for not just our boys but our hero Brian Epstein will do in the new decade which I'm surprised hasn't been touched upon in many Beatles TL's for some reason...oh well, good to be first here! :p Anyway, hope you enjoyed it and see you again for the next update and more things to follow!

EDIT: As the Turtledove awards are starting, would anyone be helpful to try and nominate this TL please for best Pop Culture TL? :) I feel it is worth it to be included.

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That party at George’s sounds EPIC - Queen’s members will be kicking themselves once they form!

Epstein vs Klein is going to be a hard battle methinks.
Glad Yoko found someone to talk to, she must have been really, really bored in the studio. It’s good Brian has someone to talk to too.

Hope Brian and Billy can help each other cope with being gay in the early 70’s.

All Things Must Pass sounds like a great album. Some good stuff on there. With Spector around it will sound amazing, though I am sure the ‘paired-back’ demos will make for Anthology fodder decades later.

Looking forward to what the Beatles, and the bands solo stuff sounds like as we go forward into the 70’s.
Another cool update, like how things are going for Eppy and surprisingly for Yoko too but I feel bad George Martin (who IMO was the 5th Beatle), how did Martin feel about being left out?
Surprised "Maybe I'm Amazed" wasn't also a big hit.
Another cool update, like how things are going for Eppy and surprisingly for Yoko too but I feel bad George Martin (who IMO was the 5th Beatle), how did Martin feel about being left out?
Surprised "Maybe I'm Amazed" wasn't also a big hit.
Maybe I'm Amazed did well enough as a single (with One After 909 as the B-side) though it was overshadowed by My Sweet Lord which pretty much stole the show in terms of singles. We'll be getting to George Martin soon as he will have plenty more to do in this TL for sure...he does produce Ringo's Sentimental Journey album much like OTL I forgot to mention.
Imagine Another Hit Album And Lawsuit
Ok then, it is time we move onwards for 1971 in which we now move on for the release of another Beatles album and a set of songs in which many of you will have all a fondness for. So without further ado, time for more Beatles goodness!

Imagine Another Hit Album And Lawsuit

Extract from 'Peaked: The Beatles In The 1970's' by Alyson Henderson
While All Things Must Pass had been a big hit as one would likely expect from a Beatles album, it had really been George Harrison who had benefited the most from it no more than the unexpected success of My Sweet Lord which would go on to be one of the biggest selling singles of the 1970's and what The Beatles had done by that point all much to the surprise of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It was fair to say that both men's egos were bruised but it wouldn't be aimed at Harrison but at each other; the quiet Beatle would be true to that reputation in which he would simply sit back and watch sparks fly as Lennon and McCartney were trying to put themselves on top as where they both thought they should be. Lennon was without question wanting to make amends in which he would admit that he had been blown over by McCartney's Maybe I'm Amazed and how he lamented he didn't have a song like that. Thanks to Yoko however, he would have the perfect song in mind to fire back with.

The song in question was of course Imagine - a song that would become perhaps one of Lennon's most iconic songs and would become something an anthem which would encourage listeners to imagine a world of peace, without materialism, without borders separating nations and without religion, the latter being somewhat controversial given what his infamous 'bigger than Jesus' comments that hung over even after all these years. The song has its roots back from 1964 in a poem from Yoko's book Grapefruit in which had the phrase 'Imagine the clouds dripping, dig a hole in your garden to put them in' would prove the inspiration for the lyrics. It was at its heart a political song but one that was commercially friendly compared to some of Lennon's other political charged songs he had written such as Working Class Hero in which Brian Epstein had been wary about including knowing what kind of backlash might be possible.

With much material the band still had in their backlogs, work on the new album started almost imminently following the release of All Things Must Pass just after Christmas 1970 with a hopeful release for May 1971 to the point that it felt like it was still the recording sessions for the former album given how close they were. Given how successful how everything had worked on the previous album with Phil Spector as producer, the ten song rule and having guests on the album such as Eric Clapton and Billy Preston now firmly with the band, it would be a case of a tried and tested format. There was a sense of regret that their long-time producer George Martin was once again left out from working on another Beatles project though he would be kept busy during this time by producer The Beatles' fellow Apple artists Badfinger's upcoming album called Straight Up, due for release later on in 1971 for December [1].

One difference however was that the new album - still without a name but given the working title as 'Beatles 14' (fourteen being that this would be the fourteenth Beatles album to be released and would become the norm for all future Beatles albums to have the next number used for a working title) and that instead of using Abbey Road or their studio at Apple, the band would record much of album at the Lennon's Tittenhurst Park near Ascot in which the couple had designed their own studio on the ground called 'Ascot Sound Studios' (shortened to the unfortunately named ASS) that they had built the previous year. When this was suggested, much of the band actually agreed to the move in which it was felt that moving away from their now familiar London setting might help spark new inspiration in which the leafy and peaceful surroundings of Tittenhurst could help have a more calming situation for the band though in truth it was John and Yoko's idea of simply wanting to work from home and save the hassle of trying to book times to record music. It was also here that Lennon would present the song Imagine to his bandmates and in a similar reaction to how Lennon felt when McCartney had played him Maybe I'm Amazed, they were all stunned at what they heard and knew that this song, even in just a rough state it was in, was surely going on for the next album.

Interview of Paul McCartney (1996)
I had been aware of John's songs being more politically driven by this point in which I had just learned to accept even if I wasn't too fond of them personally speaking. So when he said to me George, Ringo, Billy, Brian and Allen that he had written a song about peace, there was this sense of 'yeah, we get it, we want to change the world and all'. It was then he played it for us for the first time that we were all speechless. The words and meaning was simple yet it was so effective and it was nothing like what John had written when it came to his more politically charged songs which, even from the demo versions he had done, this was something very different in which we all knew was something special. When he was done, we all pretty much not only wanted it for the album but that it was likely perfect for being the title for the new album and in that moment a theme started to imagine for a more, dare I say, dreamy and open sound that made you feel a bit off the ground.

After that, George then spoke saying that it would be good if he could use What Is Life for the follow up song for Imagine in which after that the album started to grow arms and legs and recording just happened after that.

Extract from 'Harmony And Strife: The Early Years Of Apple 1968 - 1972' by Jordon Monroe
When it came for picking songs for the album, it was actually surprisingly more straight forward than many would have expected as most of the songs for Imagine were ones that were left of All Things Must Pass due to space and how there were songs that were considered then as more deserving to go on that album and nothing to do with quality in which with hindsight some wonder if that album should've been a double album instead of a single one [2] but alas it would help give a new collection of songs to shine better. For Lennon, other than Imagine, the other two songs he would include on the list to put forward his three for the new album would be I'm So Tired and Jealous Guy; the former being a song that had been considered for the White Album before being dropped in favour for Harrison's song Art Of Dying and the latter song being another song written about roughly the same time when the band was in India and called Child Of Nature with it's title and lyrics now being completely rewritten.

Harrison would also get the chance to have more songs of his own added with What Is Life being perhaps the signature song of his from the album though there was also the inclusion of I Me Mine - a waltz style song that Harrison had written during the Twickenham sessions in which had included the now infamous footage of John and Yoko waltzing to the song while the the other bandmembers tried to rehearse it [3]. Not a problem here in which now now they were all in to give the song the better treatment it needed and finally his third song for the list would be Ballard Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) in which was a song written as a tribute to Sir Frankie Crisp - the original owner of Friar Park - and in which the lyrics of the song were actually based of inscriptions written inside Friar Park by Crisp in which Harrison discovered written on the walls and would be inspired to use them to make a song round them.

Ringo Starr would get his usual one song on the album in which this time would be one written by him alone and it would be It Don't Come Easy in which was felt was good enough to be on the album and would save the others from writing a song for Starr though Harrison would help out a lot with him on it, however Starr was to get an unlikely surprise when he would have the chance to sing on a second song on the album thanks to McCartney. For his three songs, the first one he would present would be The Back Seat Of My Car in which would be used as the grand closing track for the album in which, like many on the album, had its roots from the Twickenham sessions and would finally have the chance to get recorded here. His other two songs were actually unique in which they would require another member of the band such as I've Got A Feeling, in which Lennon would sing another piece from an unused song of his called Everyone Had A Hard Year in which the two songs would be combined into one and was first heard during the rooftop concert at Apple.

It would be the other song that McCartney would present that would end up being a number 1 single in the USA Billboard Hot 100 called Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey. A song that was a combination of several songs that Phil Spector would stitch together though the character of Uncle Albert in the song was actually based on McCartney's real life Uncle Albert Kendall in which the lyrics about them being sorry was more of McCartney's apology for the older generation for everything happening. The character of Admiral Halsey was based of the real life American Fleet Admiral William 'Bull' Halsey in which his part in the song is about someone who ought to be ignored. The song itself was actually seriously considered to be given for Starr to sing for the album though with him bringing in It Don't Come Easy, it was unsure what to do with this song. In the end, McCartney would sing the Uncle Albert part of the song - mainly as it would have a more personal touch as it was about his real life uncle - while Starr would sing the Admiral Halsey part with even Lennon getting involved by playing the speaking role in the middle of the song which linked the two songs together.

As a purely McCartney song as first written, it might have been seen as silly given the song's nature but by adding Starr to the song gave it more of more fun nature that give it more of welcome changed from some of the more serious songs on the album. For Starr, he was happy that he had managed to get another singing role albeit in some strange circumstances. All was ready to go with the songs chosen for the album though as the band were starting to get underway along with the selected group of musical artists taking part in the new album, things were get awkward in February just as things were starting to pick up when Harrison would get the now infamous news that Bright Tunes Music Corporation filed suit against Harrison and associated organisations (including Harrisongs, Apple Records and BMI), alleging copyright infringement of the late Ronnie Mack's song He's So Fine. Much has been documented about the legal case that followed [4] though it was an event that saw no one come out good as they had all failed to realise how similar the two songs were.

Extract from 'Epstein vs Klein - The Battle For The Beatles' by Janie E. Black
It has been a question as by many as to why no one in the band or even the likes of Klein or Epstein had been aware of how similar the song sounded to He's So Fine but as crazy as it might sound, this was the truth; no one in the Beatles inner circle had been aware of how they sounded quite alike. Harrison would admit with hindsight many times later of how he failed to realise this when he first wrote the song mainly when others started pointing it out to him and both Lennon and McCartney would admit that their own ego stroking in trying to outdo each other and made both of them fail to notice this in which Lennon would admit he was aware of the song but was so into what he was doing, mostly his primal screaming phrase, that he had forgotten about and that he had not been into that, he likely would have pointed this out to Harrison and like the song would never had seen the light of day.

For Epstein, he was now in a situation that up and until this point was actually alien territory for the band in which a lawsuit over copyright was something that had never happened before. Yes, they had seen banned songs for radio play and had done many cover songs back in the early days of the band but this was something that no artist or manager would want to find themselves in but while Epstein was trying to come up with a plan for damage control and maybe come to some kind of agreement to prevent this from getting out of hand, it would be Klein that would try and throw his weight about as The Beatles' manager in waiting by trying to sort out the situation himself. At this time, Bright Tunes were themselves the subject of litigation, as Mack's mother had sued the company over non-payment of royalties.

What would Klein do? he would enter into negotiations with Bright Tunes, offering to buy its entire catalogue to go under the Apple name, but no settlement could be reached before the company was forced into receivership. It was was typical of Klein's headstrong view on how things should be done that would see the two men's relationship become tense as the two men would have had different views on how this situation would be handled and it would be a situation that would linger on for a few more years afterwards though to make matters worse for Harrison in June later that year, country singer Jody Miller had released a cover of He's So Fine incorporating Harrison's My Sweet Lord slide-guitar riffs which only seemed to hammer more nails in for Harrison's coffin.

Despite the bickering between Epstein and Klein over how they had let this get out of hand and what this could mean for not just Harrison but also the band as a whole just as they were right in the thick of recording Imagine, it is said however that the case would most likely have been settled privately - as so many had been in the past - had Mack still been alive and had 'personal ownership of the copyright' been a factor. Alas, with that, the failure from the band, their manager and manager-in-waiting to realise this problem had led to an utter calamitous situation which would hang over the band's head like a dark cloud for a while then. Epstein would - when asked about this - would try and play down the situation that an agreement with all parties would be sorted but alas thanks to Klein, that whole situation would all go horribly wrong later on...

Extract from 'Peaked: The Beatles In The 1970's' by Alyson Henderson
Despite the situation that Harrison had founded himself and perhaps his fellow bandmates in following what was going on with My Sweet Lord, the band would try and not think about the situation and instead would throw themselves in with recording Imagine and getting it out ready for its May release. Thankfully, the peaceful surrounds of Tittenhurst Park would prove to be a relaxing a different environment for all concern and Lennon would express how free it felt compared to the schedules they would have to put up with and follow to at either Apple or Abbey Road and it would be suggested that maybe on any future album they'd do either together or solo might be a suggestion to try and record from home. With that on May 1971, The Beatles' newest album Imagine would be released to the public.

Side 1
1) Imagine
2) What Is Life
3) I've Got A Feeling
4) It Don't Come Easy
5) I'm So Tired

Side 2
6) Jealous Guy
7) I Me Mine
8) Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
9) Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
10) The Back Seat Of My Car

Imagine would gain stellar reviews with many calling it a sequel of sorts to All Things Must Pass and it would be an album that many critics would note that they felt both Lennon and McCartney had returned to form with the songs Imagine, Jealous Guy and The Back Seat Of My Car being anything to go by. Harrison of course would have more time to shine in which What Is Life would be released as the first single for the new album with Lennon's Jealous Guy as the B-side for that single though some argue that the latter was deserving as an A-side in its own right. Nonetheless, What Is Life would be another hit for Harrison and one that thankfully would suffer no legal case unlike what was going on with My Sweet Lord.

It would however be McCartney and Starr duet in Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey that - released as a A-side single with Harrison's unused song I Live For You as its B-side - would turn out to be the unlikely main hit from that album that would hit number one in the US charts, even the big track of Imagine that when released as a single with McCartney's Another Day released alongside it as the B-side nearly got overshadowed by that song though nonetheless would still become the main classic that it has become with Beatles circles. Finally, Starr would have some success too in which his own It Don't Come Easy would do well itself in the charts with McCartney's charming Heart Of The Country as its B-Side which meant for the first time all The Beatles with the exception of Preston would all get a single from the album though the latter wouldn't mind as he would state that he was planning to release his on solo album later on in the year called I Wrote A Simple Song which would make up for it.

Nonetheless with everything that had taking place, the band had started the new decade in a good position yet like all things, there was always that uncertainty round the corner with the Lennons looking out towards New York as a place to escape too and leave England behind while McCartney was about to start a new family life with Linda, Harrison actually now starting to feel like a worthwhile member of the band at last given how many songs he had now been able to put out compared to recent years and Starr...he was just happy to play along. That said, Klein and Epstein's relationship was getting tense in which they both knew that Epstein's contract would run out by October next and there was no indication that the band would sign Epstein on for another one in which left the man fearful that his time with the band was nearing its end.

He might have snatched new talent in a way not seen since the early Merseybeat days that would all go on to become big in their own right in which some would argue he should be focusing more on for the next generation, yet a life without The Beatles - who had now been with him for nearly a decade now and had been part of his life for that length of time - seemed unthinkable. Of course, Klein was wanting to show his credentials for being the best manager The Beatles could have and he would have something in mind just as the band was wrapping up work on Imagine, he felt it was time for The Beatles to give the fans what they had wanted since 1966...a return to touring.

[1] IOTL, Harrison produced the album but since he would be busy with Imagine here, it is ITTL though that George Martin who does it and with his more professional style would actually see that album come out slightly better than OTL which helps the band get a better start.
[2] As with OTL's ATMP being a triple album in which TTL's version is actually less compared to OTL version for better or for worse depending on what you think.
[3] Yes, the moment with OTL still happens here because, well, its the Lennons, they'd likely still do that.
[4] Yes, no TL is perfect in which Harrison will still have his troubles with the legal case with MSL much like with OTL.

There we are, shorter update than normal but I had to split chapters to make it less word heavy compared to the previous chapters though as you can see, a somewhat different Imagine compared to OTL though it does mean that we lose Ram for TTL though given how much it was hated at the time by critics, Macca won't be as burnt by it as OTL and we will see some of those songs appear later on ITTL at least though we get a different version of Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey here in which Ringo sings the second part of the song in which in all honesty, you could see it as a Ringo track given to him by Paul if the band were still together by this point so this is quite plausible. Plus, Ringo does get a second song to sing on a Beatles album so all is good you can say!

Anyway, next update will regarding to the big return for the band to performing a certain concert at Madison Square Garden which I think you know where this is going...until then, please review and find out what happens next!
Good stuff.
How high in the charts did It Don't Come Easy do? IOTL it reached the No. 4 spot in both the UK and US.
Should've number 1 IMO.
Good stuff.
How high in the charts did It Don't Come Easy do? IOTL it reached the No. 4 spot in both the UK and US.
Should've number 1 IMO.
Roughly about the same position as OTL, maybe a little better though in truth with that album have many big hitting singles it was always going to be tough to get to the top in which many from that album could all in truth be worthy of hitting the top. On the other hand, Ringo does get to enjoy being part of a number one hit song with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.
Given the Band are doing so well and Tittenhurst Park is at the centre of it all, why on Earth are the Lennon's looking to move to New York? Seems unlikely to me esp as the Lennon's circumstances are different to OTL.

How involved with Julian's life is John?

Since Imagine is taking some of the solo songs the Beatles did are they making solo stuff or is everything internal at the mo?

No Preston record on Imagine? Are the Beatles featuring on his solo work?

What's the fan reaction to a black man as the fifth Beatle?

George Martin producing Badfinger should produce some great tracks.

Does the Imagine song get the full Spector treatment? Choir, backing strings etc?

More please!
Given the Band are doing so well and Tittenhurst Park is at the centre of it all, why on Earth are the Lennon's looking to move to New York? Seems unlikely to me esp as the Lennon's circumstances are different to OTL.

How involved with Julian's life is John?

Since Imagine is taking some of the solo songs the Beatles did are they making solo stuff or is everything internal at the mo?

No Preston record on Imagine? Are the Beatles featuring on his solo work?

What's the fan reaction to a black man as the fifth Beatle?

George Martin producing Badfinger should produce some great tracks.

Does the Imagine song get the full Spector treatment? Choir, backing strings etc?

More please!
The Lennons were always likely to move to New York mainly as IOTL, Yoko did seem to sadly suffer from racist comments in the British press and were wanting to move away regardless even if the band was still together plus Lennon wouldn't be able to resist the leftist politics of America then. That said though, his time in America will go different later on as we shall soon see.

Julian's situation at the point is pretty much the same as OTL though he will be coming into the story later on so watch out for that.

Regarding solo work, at the moment any solo album other than say some cover albums won't happen here though solo work will happen later on though will likely all be quite different compared to OTL.

Yes, there is no Preston record on the album though in truth he is more humble about and doesn't have quite the major ego unlike say McCartney and Lennon wanting space and he does act as something of a glue that keeps them together. And yes, the pay off is that the Beatles all work at different times with Preston's solo work and speaking of which what is the reaction to Preston now in the band...mixed at first but he quickly gains much of fan's respect though some purist would rather it was still a purely British/Scouse band and without any American influence which is ironic considering the band were inspired by much American music to begin with.

George Martin's help with Badfinger does help get the band into a better position...haven't worked out what happens to them later on ITTL but for sure they will be the biggest winners ITTL if you ignore The Beatles here ofc as they'll have a much better fate for sure.

And finally if the album gets the Spector treatment, yeah, and this treatment of his production will come into conflict later on regarding the next album though that is a story for a another day (ha!) and what has been your favourite moment ITTL so far?
The 1971 Imagine UK And European Tour
Thank you all for your comments, really do appreciate them. Now then, we move onwards for the next update on the list in which at long last, not only do The Beatles return to touring which I suspect would have been one of the most hyped comeback events ITTL for sure, let’s start off with The Beatles back on the road once again!

The 1971 Imagine UK And European Tour

Extract from 'Epstein vs Klein - The Battle For The Beatles' by Janie E. Black

Following the successful release of Imagine on May 7th 1971, the dreaded question that always followed the band like a band stench rose once again...are The Beatles going to tour again? The story of why the band had quit touring in 1966 is well documented from after years of deafening screams, ropey planning that in some case were hastily planned on the back of envelopes, exhausting schedules that even then were crazy and the infamy of the 1966 tour in which the band, mainly John regarding his infamous 'Jesus' comments, had nearly gotten them killed had been the final straw for the band and would go on a indefinite hiatus from the touring scene. By 1971, the world of touring had changed a great deal the moment the band left the stage at Candlestick Park in 1966 in which now the prospect of a tour that the band could finally hear themselves was now possible and from what they would experience of the sound system they had at Woodstock, it proved that the hype was real.

While the idea of touring following the release of All Things Must Pass hadn't really been a thing given how then the band wasn't even sure of its own future to truly commit to touring, however the release of another album in Imagine, the appearance at Woodstock and the demand from Beatles fans to see their heroes on a stage together and playing the songs that had become the soundtrack a generation was all building up to that moment in which the band would finally get back on the road after a six year absence though how the Imagine Tour would come about came in perhaps the most oddest reasons possible. When asked during a press release for Imagine prior to its release, many journalists would ask the question about committing to touring again (something John Lennon would remark saying that he had a pound for every time he heard someone ask that then he would have been able to pay all the debts Apple owed).

The band would try and be diplomatic as possible by saying only if they felt it was right. Brian Epstein too would repeat this as he knew that he wouldn't want to force the band into touring given how he still felt that he was to partially to blame for the band quit touring, mainly after 1966 which had seem the band turn on him after how that all went down though Epstein would privately admit that he would love to see the band on stage once again as it did feel like it had been too long for Beatles fans to see them perform again - not including Woodstock and the rooftop concert. The only one who didn't get the message was Allen Klein. He like the rest of the world had wanted to see The Beatles live and had been left frustrated that the band, apart from Paul McCartney, had shown a lack of interest in touring.

It was in his typical New York slick style that he would hustle the band about into making now the perfect time to tour and since they had experienced a modern sound system at Woodstock and had worked well, there was no excuse that audiences wouldn't be able to hear them. There are many conflicting stories over how The Beatles agreed to it either rather reluctantly or half-heartedly said it not being all that serious about it. As of a result, Klein would badly misread the situation entirely in which he would, without letting the band or even Epstein the chance, to announce the world that the band was the make a long-awaited return to playing live again for that summer though didn't say exactly where the band would be. It was so out of the blue and unexpected that none in the band had been aware of the announcement taking place when to give an example of how rushed it was, McCartney would only find out while taking a break on his farm in Scotland a local had went up to him and told him the announcement and asked when he might get tickets.

To say Klein's forceful nature didn't go down well with the band at first who - having wanted to announce any tour themselves - would be angry at how Klein had handled the situation, yet they couldn't express themselves in public as they would have to put on a forced happy face that they couldn't wait to return to the road again and demand for tickets were at record levels. Epstein himself was also angry at Klein at how he had handled it and it seemed to have borne a striking resemblance of how he handled the band's tours in the early days, and he feared that history would repeat itself. Away from the prying eyes of the public who were all drooling over that announcement of tickets to go on sale - the band, Klein and Epstein would all engage in a war of words that what Klein did was wrong, yes, the band would admit the time was probably right to return to perform live again given the advantage of technology for live shows by this point but were not happy that Klein had did it all for his own good with some thinking to this day that him announcing to the world all by himself was his way of trying to show off his credentials of why he should be the band's new manager in the following year following the likely end of Epstein's existing contract with band.

The Beatles were stuck between a rock and hard place in which they couldn't cancel the tour before it had started as demand to see the band again had reached major levels to the point in which fans would not let them cancel their big return and Klein had let the genie out of the bottle that could never be put back in again. The band would have to make a stand in which they would make a choice that they'd only tour if they would pick who they'd want as the tour manager. Epstein would not be chosen given how the band were wary of going through more chaotic touring like in the years prior even if Epstein had learnt a lot since then and Klein wouldn't be much better in which the combination of his blundering announcement to the world and how he had proven himself not better than Epstein in terms of the band's safety if Woodstock was anything to go by in which neither of them were picked for the role.

The honour of being named the tour manage for the tour would be the band's long-time Liverpool friend and Apple executive Neil Aspinall who seemed like the better choice who would bring a since of level-headed approach that was needed to arrange things with their long-time rodeo Mal Evans being brought in to be made the road manager in which after then, everything began to fall into place. For Epstein and Klein however, the tension was there and the first cracks in their already strained relationship began to show in which has led to a long-standing rumour among Apple staff that both men would deny time and time again. The story goes in which following that meeting with the band in which neither man was chosen to lead the tour and left the meeting rather with bruised egos, mostly Klein, the two men ended up in alleyway to get some air in which the two men would then have an argument in which Epstein expressed his anger at what Klein was doing and said he was crazy not to let the band know beforehand.

Klein would then bemoan Epstein of how he had been too soft with them and that he thought of him as a lousy manger which had robbed the world of seeing the Beatles live ever again at that point before ending it with a homophonic slur which enrage Epstein and the two men would end up in furious fistfight. While there seems to be no evidence that said fight ever did happen, the tensions that were boiling over between the two men over who would win the prize of managing The Beatles cannot be dismissed of how things were going between the two men...not that the rest of the world cared about what two men were up to when the tickets would finally go on sale...

Extract from 'The Complete Beatles Chronicle' by Mark Lewisohn

The announcement of the Imagine Tour - though later to become better known by many in the press as The Beatles' Comeback Tour - would be seen as perhaps one of, if not the most hyped comeback tour that many had seen though despite demand for the whole world to see them back, on a tour for the UK would be announced with only a small tour in Europe to follow afterwards in which some were left confused that no North American tour was announced though it would seem that this was a request by the band who wanted to start off small just so that they could find their live bearings again; Woodstock had been too much of jump in the deep end for them. With that, the UK tour would be as follows:

Imagine UK Tour Leg 1971
  • 21st May - Capitol Theatre - Cardiff, Wales
  • 22nd May - Bristol Hippodrome - Bristol, England
  • 23rd May - Gaumont Theatre - Southampton, England
  • 25th May - Wembley Empire Pool - London, England (Two Shows)
  • 26th May - Wembley Empire Pool - London, England
  • 28th May - Birmingham Hippodrome - Birmingham, England
  • 29th May - Manchester Apollo - Manchester, England
  • 30th May - Liverpool Empire Theatre - Liverpool, England (Two Shows)
  • 31st May - Liverpool Empire Theatre - Liverpool, England
  • 2nd June - Newcastle Odeon - Newcastle, England
  • 3rd June - Usher Hall - Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 4th June - Green's Playhouse - Glasgow, Scotland
  • 5th June - Green's Playhouse - Glasgow, Scotland
  • 6th June - Caird Hall - Dundee, Scotland
  • 7th June - Capitol Theatre - Aberdeen, Scotland
Imagine European Tour Leg 1971
  • 11th June - L 'Olympia - Paris, France (Two Shows)
  • 13th June - Ernst-Merck-Halle - Hamburg, West Germany (Two Shows)
  • 15th June - Stadthalle Offenbach - Frankfurt, West Germany
  • 16th June - Circus Krone Building - Munich, West Germany
  • 18th June - De Doelen - Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • 19th June - Concertgebouw - Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 20th June - Martinihal - Groningen, Netherlands
  • 22nd June - K.B. Hallen - Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 23rd June - Gröna Lund - Stockholm, Sweden
  • 24th June - Njårdhallen - Oslo, Norway

Imagine Tour Setlist 1971

1) Get Back
2) Come Together
3) Taxman
4) Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
5) Maybe I'm Amazed
6) What Is Life
7) I Am The Walrus
8) Imagine
9) It Don't Come Easy
10) If I Needed Someone
11) Help!
12) The Long And Winding Road
13) My Sweet Lord
14) Something
15) All Things Must Pass
16) Yesterday
17) I Saw Her Standing There (swapped with Penny Lane and Michelle for the Liverpool and Paris shows respectably)
18) In My Life
19) Isn't It A Pity

20) While My Guitar Gently Weeps
21) Strawberry Fields Forever
22) Helter Skelter

It was quite a tough schedule for a band just returning to the touring circuit, yet it was nothing like years prior in which there was literally no let-up in the times in which in contrast here, the touring schedule was utter bliss in which included breaks in the dates for the band which allowed for some more spare time which was a requested the band wanted. Nonetheless just a few weeks after Imagine had hit record shelves everywhere, the five man Beatles would begin their long awaited comeback in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff, their first time there since 1965 and it, along with the Bristol and Southampton shows afterwards were to be seen as the warm up shows to take place before the three major shows at Wembley's Empire Pool in London.

The first show in Cardiff, their first true live show since 1966 not including the rooftop and Woodstock, would expose some of the rustiness the band in which they would make several mistakes such as forgotten lyrics, fluffed chord changes and such but it didn't matter for those watching as to see The Beatles live on stage after so long was worth it and were quite warm to greet Billy Preston into the band after McCartney would give a brief introduction to him. The five-man band would recover to play better later on though the UK leg of the tour would be of an interesting point of history in which for their warmup act, the then newly signed band for the Apple label - Queen - just two years before the release of their first album, would play for some of their first audiences in which their own raw talent there did hint of great things to come.

After a shaky but welcoming returning after playing in Cardiff, the band would then move over the border into England where they would play in Bristol and Southampton, two cities that they hadn't played at since the height of Beatlemania and there would be an improvement in their play in which the rustiness had been shaken off and not only were the band able to hear themselves proving that Woodstock was no fluke, but that audiences were singing along to the songs that they had all long hoped for, mainly for some the acoustic sets such as Yesterday, In My Life and While My Guitar Gently Weeps in which would never happen for the early days of Beatlemania. However, all these shows were all preparation for the big three shows lined up at Wembley's Empire Pool.

Extract from 'Peaked: The Beatles In The 1970's' by Alyson Henderson

The Empire Pool (later renamed to its current name as Wembley Area) had actually been played by The Beatles before, four times in fact in which they performed for the NME Poll Winners Concerts during the mid-60's but neither of those were full shows until now. It had been originally planned for the Royal Albert Hall to be the venue of choice but this proved to be unsuitable and instead the Empire Pool with a much larger capacity was chosen but even that wasn't enough as May 25th would see the band perform two shows with one in the afternoon and another later on at night with one final show being done the following day in what looked to be the big money spinner of the two as far. These shows would be the source of much bootlegs recordings as rather oddly there was no official Beatles live recording of the show and the only way for fans to hear of the band performing for the Imagine Tour have been via many bootleg audio recordings that can be found nowadays on YouTube.

It was by this point the five man band had quickly found their stride again and would put on three well received shows in which the band would often interreact with the audience with usually McCartney introducing songs with Lennon sometimes taking charge though mostly fooling around on stage with Harrison sometimes making a snarky comment in-between; indeed the chemistry was very much there of the band enjoying themselves on stage and you wouldn't have known that this had been a band that had been teetering on the brink at times. Following that great return to London, the band headed up to Birmingham for a single show before then going to Manchester for another show there, but it was the next location on tour that a whole city and many Beatles fans had been waiting for...the band's return home to Liverpool a three show fixture over two days at Liverpool's Empire Theatre.

Interview of Ringo Starr (1987)

Ringo: When we came back to Liverpool to perform, it was amazing to see the city welcoming us back even though we had not been seen together or any of us at all in the city for several years. You always have that fear when you come home if they would welcome you home but they did here and Neil Aspinall [Tour Manager] had predicted that there would be big interest to see us so they put on three shows for us to perform though it turned out that demand for tickets was so high that we could have done six or seven shows then and that would lead on to proposing the idea that using stadiums for shows in England would be the way forward. Thing is though for that first show we did, half the audience were just mostly family, close friends of us and the press who were there to see us and two shows afterwards were for everyone else.

Interviewer: And this was the first time you played Penny Lane live and the only time on the tour, how'd that come about?

Ringo: It was Paul's idea that we should play Penny Lane for the Liverpool shows in which we hadn't rehearsed, and poor Billy had to try and work out the trumpet bit on the song by using the keyboard, never mind that when we first wrote it we never had in mind that we would be performing half of these songs live. Billy will tell you that it never sounded great but the crowd all loved so I suppose it wasn't all that bad and to play in front of your home crowd is always something you live for so that was to me the highlight of the tour of seeing how much the city never forgot about us.

Extract from 'Epstein: The Secondary Years 1968 - 1978' by Debbie Geller

Going back to Liverpool had been quite daunting for the band and their new recruit Billy Preston who knew that while other cities on tour had seemed fine with him, it was Liverpool in which and Epstein had worries about if a strong Liverpudlian crowd would welcome a 'outsider' to the band in which he feared only wanted a pure Liverpool band and not an African American in which might have led to some unfortunate racist incidents, thank goodness that Preston's own homosexuality was not public knowledge by this point so who knows how much more this could have ended up as. Thankfully the Liverpool audience would welcome Preston to stand alongside their hometown heroes and his appearance as a black man standing along the rest of the band would end up being an unlikely PR coup for Epstein.

The sight of a black man in The Beatles would gather the interest of much of Liverpool's black population that at that time still felt a sense of not being unified with the city and while this would linger on a few years afterwards, most notably the infamous Toxteth Riots in 1981, Preston's presence in the band did build a small but helpful side of unification for the city. Epstein though despite everything he had done for the band and perhaps arguably much of pop culture for the city had it not been for him and the rise of the Mersey sound of the early 60s then things would have all been very different, he still didn't seem to have the respect he felt he was due. He would spend most of the time being close the Beatles' respective wives and children in the case of the McCartney children who much to Epstein's bewilderment, the McCartneys were wanting their children to be with them on this major tour when they should've been in school [1].

Epstein would though help see his friendship with Yoko grow as given how John Lennon was always reluctant to be away from his wife at all times with Epstein remarking that he acted more like a clingy wife character than his own wife in general, it would be Epstein who would be the only one that John would trust to make sure that his wife would be ok, even though for the most time the worst she'd suffer was boredom as the touring circuit seemed tedious in her view. Thankfully, Epstein would join the band on tour though most of the time he would be keeping Yoko and the rest of The Beatles wives company and would strike up a bond with the McCartney children and the Liverpool visit would also give Epstein the chance to meet with John’s son Julian and ex-wife Cynthia in which they hadn’t met the Beatle since the now ill-fated trip to Scotland and while Julian was happy to see his farther again, Cynthia was understandably not wanting to get involved with her ex-husband as ill feeling was still there.

Nonetheless the Liverpool shows would all be great successes in which the city would show that it had never lost its love for their hometown heroes. After a brief day off to relax or meet up with close family in Liverpool, the band were on their way heading northwards to the north east of England where they would play in Newcastle, a show of very little of note other than towards the end that McCartney played a little bit too hard with the bass that he broke a bass string had had to swap his Rickenbacker bass for the trusty and iconic Hofner bass which sadly by this point had been reduced to a back-up role for live performances. After that, the tour headed further north going over the border into Scotland to take part in something of a major Scottish leg of the tour, playing at the likes of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen – the latter two having never been played by the band since the early days of Beatlemania in 1963.

Extracts from 'The Beatles In Scotland' by Ken McNab
Like the rest of the country, it had been a long-time since Scotland had seen the band perform with Glasgow being the last city they had performed at in 1965 with the Scottish capital of Edinburgh having not seen them perform since 1964 and both Dundee and Aberdeen had never seen them since 1963. Either way, a live set of shows north of the border had been long overdue for the band though the band that was to perform live were no longer four loveable moptops but were now different men with separate personalities and looks and that wasn't including the fact they had a fifth bandmate in Billy Preston. Either way, what Scottish audiences were to see was a very different Beatles to the one that many remember and perhaps still longed for in a way.

Their first stop on the final leg of the UK tour would be in Edinburgh where they would play at the Usher Hall though John Lennon had made it his mission that he would make sure that the Scottish side of his family being his Aunt Mater, Uncle Bertie and older cousin Stan who all still lived in Edinburgh at the time would all get their chance to see him perform live [2]. That said, the last time he'd seen them, it had been something of a tense and even lukewarm affair mainly due to the fact that they didn't seem to hide their feelings on what they felt about Yoko and even after that John's Aunt Mater had been furious at her nephew of the accident near Durness in which had nearly harmed children while there too due to his bad driving. Despite that though, they were happy to see him performing live and were indeed the lucky ones who would get to see the band playing live in Edinburgh once again.

Lennon's family down in the front row of the audience hadn't gone unnoticed by his bandmates in which during the opening number of Get Back, Paul McCartney decided to have some fun with the lyrics in which instead of saying 'Get back JoJo, your Mama's waiting for you' he would tweak the lyrics - improvised in the spur of the moment as McCartney would say years later into 'Get back, Johnny, your Auntie's waiting for you down there' which might have confused most of the audience but for those in the know, mostly John, they all got the gag which even John would have to admit Paul made a fun gag there and latter on in the show and not wanting to be upstaged, John would get even with his bandmate.

During the number of I Am The Walrus, instead of saying 'Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long' he would tweak the lyrics himself by saying 'Paul, you been naughty boy, you've been a total prick' which rough bootleg recordings of the show could pick up Paul laughing at John's utter cheek and even struggle to sing backing vocals due to him failing to stop laughing. It was a show that would go down well much as the rest of the tour had been with John in particular enjoying himself the most in which he would play some stand up comedy but breaking into a mock Scottish accent at times if it was to introduce a song or make Paul the butt of some joke - all of which made great entertainment for the Edinburgh audience. When it came to Glasgow, that would be a different kettle of fish altogether.

The day after playing in Edinburgh, the band headed westwards to Glasgow; the city that bare the similar traits to that of that of Liverpool being as both were port cities and a strong football minded culture. It was also that here they would play two shows over two days on the 4th and 5th June at Green's Playhouse and it was where Glaswegians crowds were perhaps the most rowdy of all British crowds, mostly on a Friday night in which their opening show on the 4th June just to happened to fall on that date. It was a show that didn't have audiences screaming for them like in those early days of Beatlemania but would often highjack parts of the show such when it came to the more quieter acoustic moments like with Yesterday, the audience would roar with delight when they heard the first chords being played and would end up singing most of the song.

A big change to the never ending screams which was an example of how different the world of live touring was compared to those early days. There would be one point during the first Glasgow show that Paul would accidently nearly start a riot in which he would offer congratulations to Glasgow Rangers football team, who in the previous month had won the European Cup Winners Cup, would cut a very mixed response from the audience to say the least in which half of the audience cheer and the other booed and if one knows of the fierce city rivalry of Rangers and Celtic - better known as the Old Firm - then bringing up football in Glasgow is something that is best avoided which Paul had failed to realise in which the crowd which most of which had fans on both sides made the atmosphere awkward and looked as though that The Beatles were about to bring the house down quite literally.

Thankfully after some improvising from John, he managed to get the crowd to calm down when he got them to sing along with, ironically fitting given the circumstances, Help! which the crowd would get behind. Nonetheless, John would bemoan that Glasgow was the only time he saw the well mannered Paul nearly start a riot and laments that if anyone should start a riot it would be him and not Paul. The Friday night show would be legendary and the following show the next evening would pass without incident and with that, the band would head northwards to Dundee and finally Aberdeen where the UK tour would finally come to an end.

Extract from 'Peaked: The Beatles In The 1970's' by Alyson Henderson
After having pulled of a triumphant return to touring in the UK, there was now the small matter of the second leg of the journey which would see the band return to the continent to play for the first time since 1964 in which they would head to France, Netherlands, West Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway in which oddly enough despite having played there already in some of these places, they weren't with all four at the time as during some of their shows in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands, Ringo Starr had been unable to be with the band due to an operation at the time and wouldn't return with the band until their Australian shows. At last though, those Beatles fans in those countries would now get the benefit of seeing them in action together.

The first show would be in the French capital in which Paris would oddly be their only French show of the tour in which there weren't any suitable venues at that time to perform at so only Paris would get to see them perform though French audiences would be given a treat in which they would hear the very first live performance of Michelle from the Rubber Soul album which would be put on only for the Paris show and thankfully it went down well with the audience. As great as this might have been, it was when the band would travel to West Germany in which would be one of the most anticipated part of the tour in which they would perform three shows in Hamburg, the city that held a connection with The Beatles that rivalled that of Liverpool and the band had actually played here as recent as 1966.

The fact that Billy Preston had actually first met The Beatles during those early Hamburg days only made that connection far more stronger though sadly Hamburg was also linked with tragedy in which this was the city in which the band's first bassist and John's long-time friend Stuart Sutcliffe had died here due to a brain haemorrhage in 1962, even nearly a decade later, it was a death that John had never really gotten over with that was up there with the death of his own mother which seemed to show how much tragedy seemed surround John for much of his younger days. Perhaps the real highlight moment was towards the end on the first Hamburg show when Lennon would sing In My Life, a song that many have suspected has always been about him reflecting on life from his holidays to Scotland as a child to that of all people that he has lost with Sutcliffe being one of them, the fact he was performing that song in Hamburg, the place where Sutcliffe passed away, would really him far more than it had at that point.

Extract from 'In My Own Words' by Brian Epstein
When John decided to include In My Life for the setlist, none of us honestly thought nothing of it other than it was arguably perhaps the best song on Rubber Soul. However when he played at Liverpool on the first night of those three shows, I swear he had this look on his face as he sung it as if he was getting all these memories flooding back to him about his childhood growing up and that here he was, a man who had come home. When he did that song in Hamburg, he always lost it on that first night. None of us knew why his voice seemed to crack at times but only then I realised that he was thinking about one man. Stuart Sutcliffe. Even to this day, the tragic death of his school friend still haunted him after all these years and the fact he had passed away in Hamburg of all places saw the song take on a totally different dimension; it is the only time I've seen John nearly break down performing a song.

It is no secret that John is very reluctant to talk about Sutcliffe even after all these years and when the conversation is brought up, it is only if he brings it up first and you don't which is always my advice for it. That said, the Hamburg crowd greeted them warmly as old friends who had returned and the band would speak some German to the crowd and they all responded happily to them yet the memory that always sticks out to me is that song that over the years that seems to age better for the older you get, the more that song affects you as it always makes you think on the past and given what adventure I've been on as being part of this story known as The Beatles, it means a lot for me and I suspect many others who have all been part of this journey.

Extract from 'Peaked: The Beatles In The 1970's' by Alyson Henderson
Following the triumph return to Hamburg, the band would make a brief tour of West Germany by heading to Frankfurt and Munich before leaving the country to head onwards for The Netherlands. It is is on June 18th in Rotterdam for the opening night of their Dutch leg that it would just so happened to be Paul McCartney's birthday and it would see John Lennon getting the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to Paul, much to his flattery though admittedly there was the missed opportunity to include the song Birthday for the setlist in which by the time they realised that, it was too late but it went to show many songs they all had between them in which any one could forget about many of them. After that, the band would then head for a tour a Scandinavia where they would play in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in which this would only be their second time performing in those countries.

Not much is known about these shows other than one moment during the Norway show in Oslo which just so happened to be the final show of the tour in which one of the Beatles' crew had bought these gaudy plastic spike Viking hats which had been acquired from some random tourist shop and the band, deciding to have a bit of fun as it was the last show, would on the final song of Helter Skelter decided to wear the Viking hats in which the bizarre sight of seeing this grown men jamming while wearing those stupid plastic hats has to be seen to be believed but it was not only a sight of the band's zany sense of humour on full display but has become a iconic photo (thanks to an unknown member in the crowd) that has become something of a visual sight about the band's Scandinavian following to this day.

With that, the Imagine Tour had come to an end and while it might not been as big as some would have thought for a major comeback for The Beatles, those who saw the saw would all express how fantastic it was to see the boys back on stage again and connecting with their fans which felt like forever. Despite Allen Klein wanting to attach a North American leg for the tour, the band had only agreed to perform for what they had done as any more would have been too much for them and didn't want a repeat of 1964 in which it was nonstop and never gave the band a rest. As it would turn out, the band would actually perform in America that year though not for the tour but for a one off show that was to become legendary for many reasons...

[1] As what Paul and Linda would do with their children IOTL during Wings, only this time with The Beatles here.
[2] Actually, this was suppose to happen for OTL in which had Lennon not been assassinated, his comeback tour in 1981 would have likely included Scotland and was hoping to meet up with his family who would get to see him live but alas that would never happen. Happily, his hopes of playing in front of his family happens here ITTL only that it is a decade earlier than planned and its with The Beatles.

So here we are, The Beatles back on the road again now originally I was hoping to include that certain concept in New York as well but because you all know how important that show is, it would likely be better in its own section and I'm sure you all know what's next. So if you were around that time or had a parent who was around them, would TTL you or family member gone to see The Beatles on their comeback tour and what city?

Hope you enjoyed the update and until then catch you all later! ;)
Great update, love the set list, would love to hear the Beatles doing I Am The Walrus and Helter Skelter live and all the other songs too but especially those two. :cool:
Did John or George or both back up Billy on keyboards or synthesizers on I Am The Walrus?

Very smart to have Neil Aspinall as Tour Manager and a nice slight to Klein and having Mal along must've a little bit like the ole times. :)
Looking forward to the big concert in NYC.
Great update, love the set list, would love to hear the Beatles doing I Am The Walrus and Helter Skelter live and all the other songs too but especially those two. :cool:
Did John or George or both back up Billy on keyboards or synthesizers on I Am The Walrus?

Very smart to have Neil Aspinall as Tour Manager and a nice slight to Klein and having Mal along must've a little bit like the ole times. :)
Looking forward to the big concert in NYC.
John did keyboards on Walrus much like with OTL music video from MMT. Speaking of Billy, he had to play some of the string sections on keyboard for songs like Yesterday which unfortunately does make the sound not so organic and a little bit artificial sound wise but then again there is a limit of what you can do with a five man band.

Aspinall as tour manager is actually something that is true for OTL in which had the band remained together, he would have actually taken up the role had they returned for touring but alas that didn't happen so what TTL does see him act as what he was expecting to do in the first place. Mal Evans you couldn't leave out, not only for old time sake but for experience too, might even see him have a different fate ITTL too given how different things are looking here...
Intermission - Images from 'The Fingerprints of Epstein' 1969 - 1971
Another update and this time a fun wee change in which to make up the lack of images the story has, here is a page of images of events in this TL and of what Mr Epstein would look by 1971 so to start of with, here is is Epstein as you've never seen him before!


Brian Epstein as of 1971


Lennon and Harrison playing the song 'I'm So Tired' during the 'Imagine' recording sessions


McCartney playing 'Maybe I'm Amazed' during the 'All Things Must Pass' recording sessions


Recorded moment at Apple in which Billy Preston is accepted into the band circa 1969


Lennon playing 'Come Together' live in Newcastle during The Beatles' 1971 Imagine Tour


Starr during the recording sessions of 'Imagine'


Preston performing backing vocals for 'What Is Life' in Hamburg during the Imagine Tour


McCartney performing 'Isn't It A Pity' in Copenhagen during the Imagine Tour


Crowds awaiting The Beatles at Woodstock in the middle of downpour


Lennon performing in Liverpool during the band's homecoming return in 1971


Harrison and the Lennons having some time off sometime in 1971

Lennon recording 'Instant Karma!' during the 'All Things Must Pass' recording sessions

Not a big update but something a little fun that you might want to see with perhaps the biggest change being of what Epstein might have looked like by 1971, looks strange but then again you don't get many TL's of him living so there. I haven't gotten round to doing album covers as I can't edit that well plus most of them are fairly similar to OTL with just more added Beatles to them. Anyway, next update is ofc that famous concert in NYC that you'll all know about! :) Stay tuned for next time!
The Concert For Bangladesh
And so we come to an update that I suspect many of you are waiting for and wonder how different it would have gone down...The Concert For Bangladesh. So without further ado, let's begin and hope you enjoyed the last update too.

The Concert For Bangladesh

Extract from 'Harmony And Strife: The Early Years Of Apple 1968 - 1972' by Jordon Monroe
For the fears that The Beatles were facing the path of a split during the closing years of the 1960s, the Imagine Tour of early Summer 1971 was a statement that the band were still in one piece though were likely never going to be the same band as what first appeared nearly a decade ago. The news of The Beatles performing live again excited much of the world but much to their frustration only those in the UK and Europe would get the chance to see them live in which by this point The Beatles weren't breaking ground for live music as they had before but had now returned to a changed world that had perfected the problems The Beatles had performing live during those wild days of Beatlemania as many bands had followed suite and The Beatles were in some ways were just following in their footsteps. Regardless though, those who did see them live would note as being worth the wait though weirdly there was a sense that all was about to come to an end as if this was all just a finale and for good reason.

Not long after The Beatles performed in Oslo for the final day on their tour, John Lennon and Yoko Ono had packed up most of their belongings leaving England behind and heading to New York City. The main reason being was that they were looking for Yoko's daughter Kyoko and felt the need to be in the United States to fight a custody battle with Yoko's former husband Tony Cox who had taken Kyoko to America in 1969 to keep her from Lennon's influence (the infamous car crash in Scotland likely being the lynchpin moment for Cox to act upon it [1]. But the other fact was simply that the couple just wanted to be in America as the Lennons had been put with mostly negative UK press over their bizarre experimental albums and of some of the gutter press making not too subtle racist comments about Yoko which was really the breaking point for them after many years of putting up with them.

Despite Brian Epstein leaping to their defence by calling out the media and asking them why they had it in for Yoko, the Lennons' minds were set to make the trip across the pond and John would famously remark that New York to being like the home base of the American empire, like Rome, where you need to be if you wanted in the middle of all the action and would speak of his love of the city by claiming that he should have been born in New York rather than Liverpool (something that would get ignored in his true birth city not surprisingly). Apple had made London and by extension Great Britain the centre of the Beatles' empire and something of a continuation of the British Empire as a whole to some and funnily enough, Lennon was right about New York being a city of where it was at. It was his suggestion that New York could be the location of a second base for Apple that could find American artists to sign up for their label which was one that was accepted by the band.

1970 had seen Apple expand in which Epstein would conceive Apple USA Ltd. which would be the American offshoot of the company based in New York and it wouldn't be long until they had young, up and coming artists signing up for the label in which the first would be Billy Joel and Aerosmith that year with Bonnie Raitt joining in the year after which gave Apple a foothold in the American market and Epstein likely couldn't believe that he was now in the hands of running a bigger empire of musical talent than what he might have had during the height of the Merseybeat era. Apple had many in its roster that would make them a serious player in the industry and not just some sneaky tax dodge that had been created in the first place, but still many thought of Apple being all about The Beatles and the sight of John Lennon moving for American and leaving his bandmates behind seem to signal that the end was near for the band even though neither of them had said that was happening.

Epstein and even Allen Klein both shared the same feeling of the Lennons moving to New York in what this meant; they had seen The Beatles making a triumphant return to touring and just when everything seemed possible, Lennon had decided to leave for America in which left the status of the band in question and even many in the press had to wonder why when all things were looking up for the band would decide to do this though by this point many should've had know better for Lennon not following the rulebook as such. That all being said it was New York which was to see The Beatles reunited not for that long hoped starting point for a American leg of the Imagine Tour that Allen Klein would have wanted but something else that in truth was perhaps far more important that The Beatles as a whole.

Extract from 'Peaked: The Beatles In The 1970's' by Alyson Henderson
While The Beatles might've been enjoying the high life in playing to adoring crowds who had been longing to see them play live again after so long, many would have been more interested in The Beatles than of a terrible conflict taking place on the other side of the world in the crumbling war torn country of Bangladesh. It had been a war that had devasted a country by both the war of liberation and also the after effects of the Bhola cyclone that had happened the previous year which all added up for the country leading into a imminent refugee crises. No one felt more affected by what was happening to all this than George Harrison's friend and mentor Ravi Shankar who had been left devasted of what was happening in his homeland and would bring forward the situation to Harrison in early 1971, over dinner at Friar Park. By April, Shankar and Harrison were in Los Angeles working on the soundtrack to the film Raga (shortly after the Imagine recording sessions had ended), during which Harrison wrote the song Miss O'Dell; a song commenting on corruption among the Indian authorities as aid shipments of rice from the West were apparently, according to Harrison, ' seen to keep going astray on route to Bombay'.

Harrison would be kept busy in the middle of the Imagine Tour in which while fans were roaring in delight to see the band, Harrison had one eye kept on news about what was happening in Bangladesh thanks to Shankar in which the by of the tour, the Sunday Times newspaper in London had just published an influential article by Pakistani journalist Anthony Mascarenhas, which exposed the full horror of the Bangladesh atrocities. Such exposed horrors led a distraught Shankar to approach Harrison for help in trying to alleviate the suffering though even the quiet Beatle was left stumped at what could be done though in the closing days of June 1971, just after the tour had ended, the first seeds of what was to be known as The Concert For Bangladesh would take place [2].

Shankar's original hope was to raise $25,000 from a benefit concert though it looked like a small token gesture given the scale of the mass devastation that was there and Harrison was aware that more would be needed and thanks to having access to Apple's record and film outlets, the idea could be to release the show as a live album which could raise more money as well as a concert film which could do the same and before they all knew it, the idea grew further. The small show would end up growing into being a full star studded line-up of artists (most of who were all on the Apple payroll) mixing Western rock with Indian classical music, and it was to be held at the most prestigious venue in all of America: Madison Square Garden, in New York City. Harrison then pitched the idea to Epstein and Klein who were both in agreement with the idea yet both had different views of the show in which while Epstein saw the show for what it was a major benefit concert with an all star cast, Klein though saw it as the jumping off point for the American leg of the Imagine Tour - something that had been agreed by the band long before as only including the UK and Europe.

That all being said, there was one drawback that both men agreed upon and that was that no one had done anything like this before and the idea of trying to put on a show at short notice was challenging. It was decided that Neil Aspinall who - after proving himself as a success as a Tour Manager following his successful staging of the Imagine Tour - he would be put in charge to try and arrange a date for the show in which he wouldn't get the time to bask in the warm aftermath of The Beatles big comeback which would have annoyed him to some extend. However, he would rubber stamp a date for the show in which there would be a free space for August 1st at Madison Square Garden in which was gladly taken up and with that there was no stopping the show...all that had to be done now was find the artists who were willing to take part at short notice.

Extract from 'Epstein: The Secondary Years 1968 - 1978' by Debbie Geller
Despite the fact that Epstein had pretty much bagged himself much kudus with not only with The Beatles but also with many new artists coming through the ranks that he predicted would achieve great success for the next years and that he was in control of perhaps a major juggernaut in Apple, trying to put The Concert For Bangladesh together was proving to be a tough one for him. He would be able to rope in several artists which included Badfinger, Leon Russel, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, Jim Keltner with also Jim Horn providing a horn section and finally Shankar would provide musicians to help playing the classical Indian music need and though this was a highly impressive line-up, there was feeling among many that the only way this show was really going to turn heads was if The Beatles were to take part in the show.

Epstein had asked Harrison the question of why not inviting The Beatles for the show given that after how the Imagine Tour had gone down so well that there was nothing stopping them from putting on another show though Harrison felt that he needed a break from being with the band after being on tour and recording some albums with them and noted that any appearance by The Beatles might overshadow the event in which everyone would forget why they would be there in the first place and not just for the fact that The Beatles would be there. Eric Clapton also sided with Epstein stating that have The Beatles to play a small setlist would hardly prevented them for reaching out to other artists and that all the other artists who were to take part in the all how no trouble in sharing the stage with the biggest band in the world...then again who would not want to be part of that?

Epstein also pointed out that if The Beatles were to be on the roster, then they might be able to bring out Bob Dylan to play live...something that he had done in few years at that point. Harrison didn't say much on the matter but had wanted Clapton to stand alongside him on stage though the latter flat out told his friend that this was not a good idea as Clapton at this point was a serious heroin and feared that without The Beatles taking part that Harrison would greatly depend on him throughout the concert; a role that Clapton was not wanting to fulfil. Harrison would after some pressure from both Clapton and Epstein, consider asking his bandmates to join him though he was trying to think of having a more magnanimous approach to his own bandmates from taking part. Seeing as how stubborn Harrison seemed to be, Epstein and Clapton would privately come up with a way of how to bring The Beatles together again for one more show and that was by sending effusive telegrams under Harrison's name to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Billy Preston in which the telegram read: Come on over for a set. We'll make is short and sweet and you all have to be there as this show will only work if we're all here.

Harrison would find out this collusion behind his back between his friend and manager and was furious at what they had done and was threatening to expose both men's meddling but by the time he had found out about what they had done, four telegrams would arrive from the rest of the band all stating that they would be there. Lennon would point out that he could walk to the venue from his new apartment in New York [3], Paul would have to travel from his farm in Scotland and had even proposed a short setlist of fourteen songs in which he had actually given Harrison and Lennon an extra song compared to him which was a rare sign of McCartney actually wanting to step back and let his bandmates take centre stage instead of him which was unlike him though considering this whole show was Harrison's baby, it is likely that McCartney had wisely read the room for once. Preston jumped at the chance to take part having enjoyed greatly touring with the band and Starr would get his telegram the moment he had signed the papers to buy the Lennons' Tittenhurst Park after it had become clear that they, having become intoxicated by New York, had no plans in returning to England anytime soon and was always willing to join his bandmates for a show no matter what.

Lennon though after being told more information about what had been going on in Bangladesh thanks to Epstein explaining him the gravity of the situation over there was captivated in doing something given his new found political leanings felt inspired in wanting to help in which he was quoted in saying that, "I can't refuse to play so some starving kids can eat." So with that, Harrison had in all this not only become a concert promoter but had booked the biggest band in the world take take part and it would have been sheer insanity if Harrison had turned down The Beatles from performing and thanks to the confirmation that they would be taking part, the power of them there would convince Bob Dylan to join the now large line up. It truly was to be an all-star event for Sunday August 1st 1971 at Madison Square Garden in which it was decided that that day would see two shows take place - one in the afternoon and the other at night - in which an edit would be make later on to create the best version together for a film and soundtrack in which went to show how massive this event was.

The scale of it was quite a scary thought for Epstein of how this was unlike anything he had pulled off and did have doubts on how they would pull this off though he did have to feel sorry for Phil Spector who was given the unthankful task of trying to mic the band in preparation to record the live album. Spector would call the experience as chaos to try and set the band up in just three hours only for the audience to appear and Spector and his group realising that they had no idea of how to mic the audience in which to top it all off, Spector was wanting to put out his 'wall of sound' approach to a live venue [4]. Mal Evans would also talk of the show being a roadie's nightmare in which with so many instruments and microphones all to be plugged in, it gave the increased likelihood of the show going wrong and was a far cry from what he had dealt with The Beatles.

With all the problems that could have gone wrong with either both shows, it all looked as though it could blow up in all their faces in front of much of the world's press. All he's have to do was hope that it would all go well.

Extract from 'Peaked: The Beatles In The 1970's' by Alyson Henderson
The story of the Concert For Bangladesh is legendary in which has been documented many times before of how it went down. First, Ravi Shankar would perform for half an hour to polite fans who were all sitting there waiting with expectation. The Bengali musician was then followed by George Harrison who appeared with a band of musicians who would send the audience into great raptures are welcoming him in which he and the supergroup would perform a newly written song called Bangladesh specially written for the event. Next Harrison - with Preston joining the line of musicians though without McCartney, Lennon or Starr in sight much to annoyance of the audience who most were there to see The Beatles - would follow up with My Sweet Lord and What Is Life. Then he would step back to allow others to take centre stage in which next up would be Billy Preston who would shine with That's The Way God Planned It followed next by Leon Russel with Jumpin' Jack Flash/Youngblood. Everyone then joined in Let It Down as the final song in that set before Bob Dylan came up next and didn't disappoint.

His choice of songs would seem to be brutally relevant in the new decade with Blowin' In The Wind and A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall in which following at the end of his set, Harrison would stand side by side with Dylan and usher him offstage to a thunderous applause. By this point, much of the audience had been waiting for what they said would be the main event though the stage would sit dark and empty for about thirty seconds until came the sight of Ringo Starr emerged on stage to take his place behind the drums in which the crowd came to life. Then not long later, Harrison would emerge on stage with Lennon and McCartney in tow in which the crowd erupted to such a point that the roof of Madison Square Garden might have been blasted into orbit. For the people of New York for the first time since they last performed at Shea Stadium in 1966, The Beatles were about to perform live in New York City once more.

It was a deafening roar in which the city seemed to show how much they had been waiting for them in which Eric Clapton described as standing in front a jet engine given how loud it was. It was something no different to those days of Beatlemania when fans would keep screaming until they passed out until something different happened that had never happened before...the entirety of Maiden Square Garden fell into a hush all wanting to hear what The Beatles would say next. Lennon, stunned at something that wasn't like what they had seen before while playing in American, even at Woodstock a few years ago, and he briefly looked over at his bandmates before given a nod to Starr with a nearly mic picking up him saying "Ok Ringo" before the latter would tap his drumsticks together to count the beat in which before long, the famous intro of Get Back started to be played and the crowd roared with delight once again. The setlist would be different this time round compared to the tour as with more musicians on stage it would allow them to play some songs that would have not been possible with just five of them and would flesh out many of them and would be as followed:

The Beatles Bangladesh Setlist

1) Get Back
2) Come Together
3) It Don't Come Easy
4) Something
5) Instant Karma!
6) Beware Of Darkness
7) Maybe I'm Amazed
8) Here Comes The Sun
9) Imagine
10) Jealous Guy
11) All Things Must Pass
12) Yesterday
13) While My Guitar Gently Weeps
14) A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance

Both shows that day would prove to be mini shows in their own right in which the songs sounded better than they had done thanks to The Beatles having improved as a live band with the help of many backing musicians mostly thanks to the horn section provided by Jim Horn really helping adding an extra edge to several of the songs in which only made each of The Beatles kick themselves for not including a horn or even string section on stage with them to help make the songs sound better but alas better late than never here. A highlight on both shows was the first ever live performance of Here Comes The Sun which on any recording from both shows got a resounding applause from the audience on hearing the first opening bar and on film a small smile from Harrison at hearing the crowds delight [5].

It wouldn't be the only song make a first performance played live as the audience even got an unexpected but welcomed treat of having Lennon perform A Day In The Life for the first time ever to an audience was something that given how Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band had been recorded without performing any of the songs live due to the technology at the time was something that no one thought would be possible, never mind seeing The Beatles performing live again. The song would then slide into Give Peace A Chance which in all truth was a song that given there was a brutal war going on over there was without question the perfect song to end on as those four words pretty much summed up what many felt was needed and the audience would sing along with stopping even when the song ended on both performances.

Despite fears that the whole thing might have been a disaster, The Concert For Bangladesh would go down as the first major rock and roll humanitarian relief effort that would see many happening over the next few years to follow and a moment in history in which according to some is where the 1970's really began. Those two concerts that day in New York City would become part of rock legend in which the event would spawn a concert film and a three-record album soundtrack that as hoped would sell huge numbers far more than what Shankar had hoped for at the very start when the idea of a benefit concert first took shape. That being said, despite the huge amount of money raised, there is a bit of dubious nature in which how much would end up going to relief effort but that is another story.

For that moment in time however following the evening show, everyone who had taken part in the show would gather in the bowls of Maiden Square Gardens for a post-concert party featured live performances from Harrison, Lennon and Preston, after which a drunk Phil Spector played a strange version of Da Doo Ron Ron. The celebrations broke up in the early hours once Keith Moon of the Who, not for the first time crashing a party given his history, began smashing up the drum kit, which actually belonged to Badfinger's Mike Gibbins [6]. Brian Epstein was left ecstatic though at how it had all gone well in which when asked what he thought of the show, his only regret that they didn't include a third show which would have easily made even more money raised. The show itself would also inspire volunteers to approach UNICEF and offer their assistance, as well as eliciting private donations to the Bangladesh disaster fund.

All in all, the show would prove that recording artists could be more than celebrities and could prove to be positive role models if they could all put aside egos and pay checks to unite behind a good common cause; a lesson that in many ways is still relevant to this very day. That summer of 1971 would look to be to high point of The Beatles' great return to the world stage that as the year would progress and into the following year, the good times wouldn't all last forever...

[1] Pretty much the same reason for their move to America much like OTL.
[2] So yes, the creation of the concert starts all pretty much the same as OTL.
[3] Lennon almost did star in the OTL concert for Bangladesh but pulled out at the last minute following an argument with Yoko apparently. Here Epstein makes sure that there are no hiccups from getting all the band to perform together.
[4] All pretty much the same as OTL from what Spector had to do.
[5] As what happened with OTL's performance that you can see, only difference here is that, you guessed, The Beatles are with him too.
[6] All this did happen IOTL, only difference is that Lennon is very much within the action...because ofc he would, haha!

So yes, here is the big show many of you were wanting to read and hope you enjoyed this update as next up in when things start to turn as our hero Mr Epstein will have to try and keep the boys together and what difference will he make do you think going forward as we get into 1972 and will be remain manager? Find out next time and please comment! :)
As we move further and further into the 70s, the amount of analogies to OTL is going to diminish. For instance, I'm hoping to see a Beatles rendition of Live and Let Die in 1972 but then as the decade progresses you're going to come up with original songs, and also further speculate how the Beatles musical style will evolve in that time as well.
As we move further and further into the 70s, the amount of analogies to OTL is going to diminish. For instance, I'm hoping to see a Beatles rendition of Live and Let Die in 1972 but then as the decade progresses you're going to come up with original songs, and also further speculate how the Beatles musical style will evolve in that time as well.
I want to see the Beatles do "Band on the Run", the title was apparently coined by George back in their touring days.