Two Rock ‘n Roll Questions Centered Around Thanksgiving
Q: John Lennon made only a few concert appearances after the Beatles split up. Before he died in 1980, when was his last concert performance?
A: On November 28, 1974. When Lennon was cutting his 1974 single "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night," Elton John joined in on vocals and keyboard. Lennon said he'd appear with Elton at Madison Square Garden if it hit Number One, and it did. On Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1974, Lennon walked out onstage as a surprise guest at Elton's concert and the crowd went nuts.
Q: One of my favorite 60's bands was The Byrds. My question is: did John Lennon come up with the spelling?
A: I think you have "Byrds" confused with "Cyrkle." Lennon reportedly came up with the spelling for The Cyrkle (whose big hits were RED RUBBER BALL and TURN DOWN DAY in 1966), through his association with Brian Epstein, who managed both the Beatles and the Cyrkle. As for the Byrds (whose string of hits include MR. TAMBOURINE MAN and TURN, TURN, TURN), they were all sharing a Thanksgiving dinner when they were still called The Beefeaters. After eating, they tried to come up with a new band name. Band member Gene Clark came up with "The Birdsies" but no one liked it. Their producer Jim Dickson suggested shortening it to just "The Birds" but they nixed it, as "birds" was a British term for "girls" and they didn't want anyone referring to them as "The Girls." Finally, group leader Jim (later "Roger") McGuinn took the name and spelled it B-Y-R-D-S and that's how they kept it.