The Beatles Don't Break Up in 1970 - A Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by YellowSubmarine93, May 27, 2019.

  1. Lafayette_ Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't this butterfly away everything, starting with Help! and then Rubber Soul? Both of those albums, and Revolver, too, were heavily influenced by pot. This would also affect the Beach Boys... There'd be no inspiration for Pet Sounds as we know it.

    Maybe you already have a way of working it out, but I just wanted to bring it up. Overall, these subtle changes make for a very good TL!
     
  2. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    My thinking is that since two of the group got turned on to pot, the influence of such would still exist. I also want to have all the OTL albums mostly untouched except for the slight track list changes. Back to the timeline:

    June 2, 1965 - John, George, and Ringo attend the premiere of Richard Lester's film The Knack ...And How To Get It at the London Pavilion theatre. Lester was director on both of The Beatles' films.

    June 11, 1965 - An announcement is made that The Beatles are to be awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire. British PM Harold Wilson nominated them for the award. Wilson also is an MP for Huyton, Merseyside. This is seen as an attempt for him to appear in touch with the younger generation, even though the voting age in Britain at the time is 21. Not everyone is happy with the decision, including a few previous recipients who return their medals in protest. One of them, Canadian MP Hector Dupuis, complains about being "on the same level as vulgar nincompoops".

    June 14, 1965 - The album Beatles VI is released in the US as Capitol 2358. This album consists of tracks from Beatles For Sale that were left off Beatles '65, along with both tracks from their latest single ("Ticket To Ride" and "Yes It Is") and two track from the upcoming UK Help! album. The album goes to #1, their fifth in the US.

    June 20, 1965 - The Beatles commence a tour of Europe in Paris.

    June 24, 1965 - John Lennon's second book, A Spaniard In The Works, is published. Like the previous book, it contains stories and drawings, all created by John.

    July 3, 1965 - The Beatles wrap up their European tour in Barcelona.

    July 19, 1965 - "Help!" b/w "I'm Down" is released in the US as Capitol 5476. The B-Side was written to be a replacement for their usual closing number for their live performances, "Long Tall Sally". The single goes to #1, their 10th in the US.

    July 23, 1965 - "Help!" b/w "I'm Down" is released in the UK as Parlophone R 5305. The single heads to #1, their 9th straight in the UK.
     
  3. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    July 29, 1965 - The film Help! has its royal premiere at the London Pavilion theatre.

    August 6, 1965 - The album Help! is released in the UK. As was the case with the A Hard Day's Night album, it contains songs from the movie plus others recorded over the last few months. The album takes the #1 spot on the UK Albums chart, becoming their fifth straight #1 album. Note: Only Ringo's number has been changed from OTL.

    "Help!"
    Parlophone 1255

    All tracks written by Lennon-McCartney unless otherwise noted

    SIDE 1
    1. Help!
    2. The Night Before
    3. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
    4. I Need You (Harrison)
    5. Another Girl
    6. You're Going To Lose That Girl
    7. Ticket To Ride

    SIDE 2
    1. If You've Got Trouble
    2. It's Only Love
    3. You Like Me Too Much (Harrison)
    4. Tell Me What You See
    5. I've Just Seen A Face
    6. Yesterday
    7. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Williams)

    August 13, 1965 - The album Help! is released in the US as Capitol 2386. As was the case with the US A Hard Day's Night album, it more resembles a soundtrack album than a proper Beatles album. The tracklist includes songs from the film plus orchestra instrumentals by the George Martin Orchestra. On the same day, The Beatles travel to New York to commence a tour of the US, performing mostly at baseball stadiums.

    August 15, 1965 - The Beatles open their US tour performing at Shea Stadium in New York City.

    August 24, 1965 - During some down time from their tour in Los Angeles, George and Ringo take LSD with Peter Fonda and The Byrds. John and Paul do not partake.

    August 27, 1965 - The Beatles meet Elvis Presley at his mansion in Los Angeles.

    August 31, 1965 - The Beatles wrap up their American tour at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
     
  4. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    September 13, 1965 - "Yesterday" b/w "If You've Got Trouble" is released in the US as Capitol 5498. The Beatles do not release the song in the UK, fearing that it would affect their image as a rock 'n' roll group. The single becomes their 11th #1 hit in America. Note: This is first single that has been changed from OTL. In OTL, the B-Side was "Act Naturally". That same day, Zak Starkey is born to Maureen and Richard (Ringo) Starkey at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London.

    September 25, 1965 - The Beatles cartoon series debuts on ABC in the US.

    October 26, 1965 - The Beatles receive their MBEs at Buckingham Palace in London.

    December 3, 1965 - The album Rubber Soul is released in the UK. The album marks a transitional period for the band as they begin to move away from the Mersey sound and experiment with new styles of music. Especially prominent is "Norwegian Wood" which uses an Indian sitar, and "In My Life" which has a harpsichord solo (actually a sped up recording of a piano). The album heads to #1, becoming their sixth straight is as many releases. Note: This album remains unchanged from OTL. On the same day, "We Can Work It Out" b/w "Day Tripper" is released in the UK as Parlophone R 5389. This is their first double A-side single. Not surprisingly it goes to #1. That makes 10 #1 hits in the UK for the group. Lastly, The Beatles kick off a tour of the UK in Glasgow. This will be the final time they tour in their home country.

    "Rubber Soul"
    Parlophone 1267

    All tracks written by Lennon-McCartney unless otherwise noted

    SIDE 1
    1. Drive My Car
    2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
    3. You Won't See Me
    4. Nowhere Man
    5. Think For Yourself (Harrison)
    6. The Word
    7. Michelle

    SIDE 2
    1. What Goes On (Lennon-McCartney-Starkey)
    2. Girl
    3. I'm Looking Through You
    4. In My Life
    5. Wait
    6. If I Needed Someone (Harrison)
    7. Run For Your Life

    December 6, 1965 - The album Rubber Soul is released in the US as Capitol 2442. This is the first Beatles album to be released by Capitol that has the same name as it's UK counterpart. Capitol once again alters the content of the album, inserting two songs left off the US Help! album ("I've Just Seen A Face" and "It's Only Love") and removing four songs from the UK version of the album. That same day, "We Can Work It Out" b/w "Day Tripper" is released in the US as Capitol 5555. The A-Side goes to #1 (their 12th in the US) and the B-Side tops out at #5 in Billboard.

    December 12, 1965 - The Beatles wrap up their UK tour in Cardiff, Wales.
     
  5. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    January 10, 1966 - "Woman" b/w "Wrong From The Start" by Peter & Gordon is released in the US as Capitol 5579. The A-Side was written by Paul McCartney under the name of Bernard Webb. He did this to see if the song would still chart despite not having the Lennon-McCartney songwriting credit on it. It goes on to peak at #14 in Billboard. Over a month later, the single is released in the UK as Columbia DB7834, where it stalls at #28.

    January 21, 1966 - George Harrison marries Pattie Boyd at the Epsom Register Office in Surrey, England. Paul McCartney is the best man. Brian Epstein is also in attendance along with Pattie's family. John and Ringo can't attend due to them being on vacation at the time.

    February 3, 1966 - Paul McCartney meets Motown singer Stevie Wonder at the Scotch Of St. James club in London.

    February 21, 1966 - "Nowhere Man" b/w "What Goes On" is released in the US as Capitol 5587. Both tracks were left off the US version of the Rubber Soul album. The single goes to #1 in Record World becoming their 13th #1 hit (taking into account all three major music trade magazines). The B-Side charts modestly at #81 in Billboard.

    March 4, 1966 - An article about John Lennon written by Maureen Cleave titled "How Does A Beatle Live?" is published in the London Evening Standard. It contains the following paragraph which will soon become notorious:

    "Experience has sown few seeds of doubt in him: not that his mind is closed, but it's closed round whatever he believes at the time. 'Christianity will go,' he said. 'It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first – rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.' He is reading extensively about religion."

    March 15, 1966 - The Beatles fail to win any Grammy awards despite being nominated for ten of them. Note: The group received the nominations on February 13th, over a half a month before the article about John was published. Therefore, the above paragraph had no influence on the Grammys.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 12:47 PM
  6. MatthewFirth Well-Known Member

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    Both were OTL, but it must be stressed that the magazine comment did not influence the Grammys since the decisions were probably made well before the article was published.
     
  7. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for pointing that out, I'll edit the post to make this more clear.
     
  8. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    March 25, 1966 - In a classic example of "what were they thinking?", The Beatles take the infamous "butcher" album cover photo. The photo depicts the group dressed as butchers with doll parts and pieces of raw meat placed around them. What could possibly go wrong?

    April 21, 1966 - While recording one of George's songs for the upcoming album, "Taxman", George demands to have four of his songs on the upcoming album after having had two each on the previous two albums. Both John and Paul are skeptical about this, but ask George to come up with three new songs. Note: Of course two of them will be "Love You To" and "I Want To Tell You". However I can't think of a fourth one. Any suggestions, guys?

    May 1, 1966 - The Beatles perform at the NME Poll Winners Show in Wembley, London. This will be the last time they perform live in the UK this decade.

    May 16, 1966 - During a recording session in which the group further works on "Taxman" along with "For No One", George presents the three songs he has written to the rest of the group: "Love You To", "I Want To Tell You", and "Isn't It A Pity". George writes later on: "After I finished playing the last song [Isn't It A Pity], John looked genuinely impressed, something I wasn't expecting at all. It was obvious Paul approved as well. After looking back at Paul and then back to me, John said with a smile "You know, you write songs bloody damn well. Guess what? You can have your four songs". I was genuinely surprised. Me having four songs on the album was something I'd never thought that John and Paul would approve of, being the primary songwriters of the group. But approve of it they did." Note: Thanks for the suggestions guys!

    May 30, 1966 - "Paperback Writer" b/w "Rain" is released in the US as Capitol 5651. The A-Side is their first single release that isn't a love song, showing their growing maturity as a group. The single becomes their 14th total #1 hit in the US (taking into account all three music trade magazines). The B-Side charts the highest in Billboard at #23.

    June 10, 1966 - "Paperback Writer" b/w "Rain" is released in the UK as Parlophone R 5452. The single goes to #1, becoming their 11th UK #1 hit.

    June 15, 1966
    - The album Yesterday... And Today is released in the US as Capitol 2553. The album's tracklist consists of songs left off both the Help! and Rubber Soul albums as well as tracks from two of their recent US singles. The infamous "butcher" photo is used as the album cover initially, but after public outcry, Capitol pulls the album and substitutes a much tamer album cover.

    June 24, 1966 - The Beatles commence a brief world tour in Munich, Germany.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 2:09 PM
    danmartin73 and savemase like this.
  9. Unknown Member

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    How about "All Things Must Pass"?
     
  10. flippikat A lot goes a little way.

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    The Art of Dying. In OTL George started writing it in 1966, but it must've been a work-in-progress for a while since wasn't recorded until the sessions for All things Must Pass in 1970.

    Maybe in this timeline, the other Beatles take a liking to it and help George knock it into shape for Revolver?

    As for an arrangement, they can do it as a meandering folk-rock song, or a garage-y psychedelia like the 13th Floor Elevators, or a raga-rock piece like a sister tune for 'Love You To'....
     
  11. danmartin73 Well-Known Member

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    Either that or Isn't It A Pity, which was written around the same time. I know John didn't like it in OTL, but maybe the butterfly of Julia living makes him an overall happier person. (I know I keep suggesting you use Julia as an excuse for a diversion from OTL, but it is clear that they truly loved, valued and uplifted each other).
     
  12. savemase Well-Known Member

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    Personally I agree with danmartin73 and go for isn't it a pity
     
  13. MatthewFirth Well-Known Member

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    I think John would prefer The Art of Dying.
     
  14. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    I already have at least once. When Bob Dylan introduced the group to marijuana in 1964, it did not make an impression on either John or Paul ITTL. The reason why is given in the interview quote I came up with:

    Anyway, the winner is...

    May 16, 1966 - During a recording session in which the group further works on "Taxman" along with "For No One", George presents the three songs he has written to the rest of the group: "Love You To", "I Want To Tell You", and "Isn't It A Pity". George writes later on: "After I finished playing the last song [Isn't It A Pity], John looked genuinely impressed, something I wasn't expecting at all. It was obvious Paul approved as well. After looking back at Paul and then back to me, John said with a smile "You know, you write songs bloody damn well. Guess what? You can have your four songs". I was genuinely surprised. Me having four songs on the album was something I'd never thought that John and Paul would approve of, being the primary songwriters of the group. But approve of it they did."

    The above date will be edited into the last timeline post. Thanks for the suggestions guys!
     
  15. flippikat A lot goes a little way.

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    Thus breaks a huge frustration for George.. I'm guessing we see more George per album from here on?
     
  16. hammo1j Member Donor

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    The Beatles "She Loves You" is a very weird song in that most songs are in the first or second person whereas this is directed to the 3rd person which is actually the audience of the song.

    The song says you've probably fucked up big time and you might be undeserving but there is always forgiveness.

    A mad achievement for 2:06 of a song
     
  17. flippikat A lot goes a little way.

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    Yeah, the sheer economy of 60s pop (before Dylan etc blew-open the field for longer songs) is stunning. Most of those songs say what they have to say / do what they heve to do within 2:30, 3 minutes tops. Got to tip one's hat to someone who can put so much across in such a short span of time.
     
  18. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    I'll certainly try to fit more George wherever I can.

    July 4, 1966 - The Beatles play to the biggest crowds of their touring career at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila, The Phillipines. The afternoon show is attended by 30,000 people, while the evening show has 50,000 in attendence. The Phillipines have been under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos since the end of last year. Earlier that day, The Beatles inadvertently snubbed the Philippine first lady, Imelda Marcos. A reception with the first lady followed by a luncheon in their honor had been planned for the group, but they had not been made aware of it. This causes public hostility towards the group to rise. The following day, the people of the Philippines go out of their way to make the group's lives miserable. This is further detailed on the Beatles Bible website here.

    July 29, 1966 - The American teen magazine Datebook publishes John's comments about Christianity from the article published in the UK back in March. However, the remarks are published outside of their original context. The magazine sells a million copies. While the remarks bothered virtually no one in the UK, they cause a furor among some Christian fundamentalists in the US. Some radio stations ban Beatles music, and bonfires of Beatles records and memorabilia become common. These protests are mostly concentrated in the southern US. Even worse, members of the group begin to receive death threats aimed at them and their families. This causes the group to go into damage control mode with another US tour looming.

    August 5, 1966 - The album Revolver is released in the UK. This album cements the group's seriousness in wanted to experiment with different kinds of music. It also marks the rise of George as a third songwriting force within the group, as he has four songs on the album, two of which open and close the album. Revolver becomes their seventh consecutive #1 album in the UK. Note: The version of "Isn't It A Pity" on this album is obviously much shorter than the one released in OTL. That track replaces "Tomorrow Never Knows" since John never got into drugs ITTL. On the same day, "Yellow Submarine" b/w "Eleanor Rigby" is released in the UK as Parlophone R 5493. The single becomes their 12th #1 UK hit.

    "Revolver"
    Parlophone 7009

    All tracks written by Lennon-McCartney unless otherwise noted

    SIDE 1
    1. Taxman (Harrison)
    2. Eleanor Rigby
    3. I'm Only Sleeping
    4. Love You To (Harrison)
    5. Here, There, And Everywhere
    6. Yellow Submarine
    7. She Said She Said

    SIDE 2
    1. Good Day Sunshine
    2. And Your Bird Can Sing
    3. For No One
    4. Doctor Robert
    5. I Want To Tell You (Harrison)
    6. Got To Get You Into My Life
    7. Isn't It A Pity (Harrison)

    August 8, 1966 - The album Revolver is released in the US as Capitol 2576. Omitted from the US version album are three songs that were already issued on the Yesterday... And Today album ("I'm Only Sleeping", "And Your Bird Can Sing", and "Doctor Robert"). That same day, "Yellow Submarine" b/w "Eleanor Rigby" is released in the US as Capitol 5715. The A-Side goes to #1 in two of the three major music trade magazines in the US, defying the controversies surrounding the butcher cover and John's out-of-context remarks. The B-Side makes the Top 20.

    August 11, 1966 - The Beatles travel to Chicago to commence a tour of the US. In Chicago the next day, the group holds a press conference in which John clarifies his remarks which are still causing much controversy.

    August 21, 1966 - The Beatles perform at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The concert takes place during a heavy rainstorm. In an effort to protect the musicians, a makeshift canopy is hung over the stage. Despite this, water drips onto the amplifiers below. It is because of this incident that Paul becomes convinced that the group should stop touring. The other members of the group had already been convinced of this.
     
  19. YellowSubmarine93 Well-Known Member

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    We are now coming up to when in OTL John met Yoko. Of course, being that I want to keep the group together, this won't happen. How should I handle this narrative-wise?
     
  20. flippikat A lot goes a little way.

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    Maybe she runs into Paul first of all, as a bit of a tangent to his involvement in the London underground scene. Maybe she does a signing or some kinda event at the to promote a sequel to her 1964 book 'Grapefruit', and Paul briefly dates her, but they separate due to her drug use & John steers well clear of Paul's new 'ex'?

    I'm thinking Paul could end up a bachelor (OR at least serial dater) for a while in this TL, actually.. which could provide a few cool plot points.