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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
10th April 1970: Paul McCartney announces he's leaving The Beatles
To most fans this news was a complete "bolt out of the blue" and a devastating shock. In reality, unseen by the public, relations within the band had been going sour since the making of the White Album in 1968, and the band had actually split in September 1969 when John Lennon rather than McCartney had decided to leave.
The problems began with the suicide of Brian Epstein in 1967, a powerful stabilising force who quickly resolved any disputes between Lennon and McCartney. In addition, with the band deciding to stop touring in 1966, the band members were spending much longer apart and began losing their cohesiveness as a unit.
The death of Epstein devastated Lennon, and his grief was exacerbated by disillusionment on a band meditation retreat to India when their guru, the Maharishi Maresh Yogi made a sexual advance toward Mia Farrow. (This was later exposed as a misunderstanding deliberately perpetrated by Alexis Mardas, the band's electronics engineer, who resented the influence of the Yogi over the band).
In 1968 the Beatles founded Apple Corps, a business conglomerate to handle their business interests. This led to a major rift between McCartney and the rest of the band over Alan Klein, who was appointed by majority vote as CEO of the organization. McCartney hated Klein, deepening the rift between McCartney and Lennon, and business commitments distracted the band from making music together. The White Album contained a lot of songs which did not feature all four members.
Drummer Ringo Starr was very upset by the disunity, and compounded by a period of self-doubt, walked out of the White Album sessions, meaning that McCartney had to fill in on drums, most notably on BACK IN THE USSR. Starr was eventually persuaded back to help complete the album.
Lennon fell in love with Yoko Ono and got addicted to heroin which made him further disinterested in the Beatles. McCartney, seeing the band coming apart, attempted to re-unite them in the new year by making a "back to basics" album (working title GET BACK) in which they'd be filmed recording it then perform a live concert afterwards.
This degenerated into a shambolic farce. Morale and motivation was low which meant there was a lot of jamming with very few proper new songs. George Harrison became infuriated with the cold film studio environment, the disinterested heroin-influenced attitude of Lennon and the bullying perfectionism of McCartney and stormed out, leaving the band with no lead guitarist.
To lure him back, the band had to meet his demands, most significantly, moving from the Twickenham film studios to Abbey Road. Eventually ten songs were recorded but so shabbily that no one was prepared to take on the challenging task of mixing them. The planned concert was never arranged and instead a hurried live jam on the roof of Abbey Road studio using the crew as an "audience" was filmed instead.
McCartney's solution to this disaster was to just start again from scratch, this time with George Martin producing and being given all the technical decisions. Even then, there was a fall-out. Martin and McCartney wanted to record a medley-style album, but Lennon hated this idea. Eventually a compromise was reached where a medley would comprise one side and standard full-length songs on the other.
Though McCartney and Lennon had some fierce arguments, the objective was achieved - the band did play together successfully as a foursome, the result being ABBEY ROAD. However by the end of final dubbing and mixing in August 1969, Lennon, now off heroin and after playing some successful solo gigs, decided he'd had enough of The Beatles, and told the others the following month.
With the new album to come out and a new record deal being negotiated, and a follow up album to be cobbled together from the GET BACK sessions (released as LET IT BE) Lennon agreed to keep it quiet for a year. McCartney took the news extremely badly, was infuriated by the way Alan Klein was running Apple Corps and further incensed by what appointed producer Phil Spector was doing with the LET IT BE album. In a bad place mentally, on 10th April 1970 he broke the Gentleman's Agreement to keep the breakup quiet and announced he was leaving the Beatles and releasing his first solo album.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The Milk Run
Twitter Followers = 2,127 (up 4)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
Followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 2
Spammers not followed back = 2
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
Though Missus illness has shown a slight worsening, her current high morale has prevented a further serious deterioration. My behaviour around her is now utterly crucial to her wellbeing, a big incentive to keep my own shit together. Fortunately, though I have challenges aplenty and I remain fully aware of my own fragility, I am in the best mental shape of my life. I will continue to savour this ongoing moment.
With the number of clients easing back, I have consequently less income but more time and intend to use this time wisely in pursuit of my personal agenda, to be a leading mental wellbeing guru, as well as promote the wellbeing of my two loved ones. Things need to get more physical so I will be endeavouring to eat better and move more.
Being intuitively rather than logically guided, I have a lot more energy to keep my unstable focus on a tight rein and in the right place.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Is your mind in the right place and on the right things?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Dry and sunny but with a cold wind
1007 millibars and rising
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
Sometimes I use big words which I don't understand to make me seem more photosynthesis :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
The only word in the 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary that rhymes with orange is sporange, a very rare alternative form of sporangium which (in ferns and other simple plants) is a receptacle in which asexual spores are formed.
9. ZEN WISDOM
It is this time and this place that matter, not some other time or place. What matters is here and now - and the people here and now.