X-Post: Lennon Turns 26

This post also appears today on The Beatles Plus 50.

On this day in 1966 John Lennon — DOB October 9, 1940 — celebrated his 26th birthday in Spain with his wife Cynthia, Ringo Starr, and Ringo’s wife Maureen. He’d been through a lot in barely a quarter-century; at an age when most people were just starting their careers, he was in a band that was more popular than Jesus.

Looking over Lennon’s bio just now, it struck me that his life was organized pretty neatly into decades. He was 20 when the Quarrymen became The Beatles in 1960; 30 when they broke up at the end of the 60s; and 40 when he died at the dawn of the 80s.

A cynic might say that Mark Chapman mercifully spared Lennon his “Dancing in the Street” moment, but you have to wonder what he would have done with the years he lost. He would have been 50 just as the 90s started, a beloved godfather to the Nirvana generation, and 60 at the turn of the millennium. He’d be turning 76 today if he’d made it this far. I picture him as a grumpy but lovable old man, still wearing those glasses, yelling at Beatles fans to get off his lawn.
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X-Post: The “Fab Four” Were Titaniced and Replaced with Despicable Spies

This post also appears on my other blog, The Beatles Plus 50.

Now it can be told. According to a website I just found,

On August 31, 1966, the “Fab Four” were titaniced and replaced with despicable spies who were thoroughly familiar with the SOE Training Manual, first issued in December 1941, at the British run “school for killers” called Camp X in Canada!!

Aside from “car accidents,” the favorite way for the British Empire to get rid of their enemies . . . or people who have outlived their usefulness . . . is by burial at sea. Burial at sea leaves no physical evidence that the person ever existed. The mighty Russian Orthodox Romanov dynasty ended in a watery grave . . . and Lord Kitchener’s military career ended in a watery grave in 1915.

Likewise, the Beatles’ “musical” careers were cut short when they were buried at sea. The bodies of the “Fab Four” were dumped into San Francisco Bay, and their places were taken by 4 doubles or doppelgängers!!

And they couldn’t say it on the Internet if it wasn’t true, right?

In all honesty you have to check out this site to see what is either one of the most baroque, wackadoo conspiracy theories I’ve ever seen or a magnificently detailed and deadpan hoax perpetrated by someone with way too much time on their hands. Among the things you’ll learn:
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X-Post: The Beatles’ Last Show (August 29, 1966)

This post also appears today on my other blog, The Beatles Plus 50.

Mark Twain once famously said that “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” The good people of San Francisco apparently took this as a challenge. Unsatisfied with the opportunities for frostbite offered by, say, the perpetually fogbound Inner Sunset, in 1958 they decided to build a stadium on an exposed, windswept point south of the city.

This was Candlestick Park, where the Giants and the 49ers played for many years, and where the final show of The Beatles’ 1966 U.S. tour took place. I went to Candlestick several times, and I can tell you from experience that even on a good day you had to bundle up to avoid freezing. And August 29, by all accounts, was not a good day. Says Bob Spitz:

Gusts whipped through the stands with almost biblical vengeance. Banners strung around the stadium flapped ferociously against the squall and drafts picked up great clouds of dust and blew them volcanically across the infield.

That may why Candlestick was only about half full. If you ever choose to time-travel to San Francisco on 8.29.66, you’ll be able to walk right up to the box office and buy a ticket. Be sure to take a parka.
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