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'The group's over, I'm leaving.' John Lennon quits The Beatles
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September 23rd, 1969: "The group's over, I'm leaving." John Lennon quits The Beatles

John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were signing their new recording contract when Lennon dropped the news

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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John Lennon has apparently told Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr that he's leaving The Beatles.

This news comes as a bit of a shock since two new Beatles albums are due for release. Abbey Road is out this week and Get Back is due for release early next year. Lennon recently hinted at even more records being in the works, telling Richard Williams of Melody Maker earlier this month,

"The trouble is that we've got too much material. Now that George is writing a lot we could put out a double-album every month, but they're so difficult to produce.

After Get Back is released in January, we'll probably go back into the studios and record another one. It's just a shame that we can't get more albums out faster."

'The group's over, I'm leaving.' John Lennon quits The Beatles
Lennon, McCartney and Starr signing the new contract ahead of John's news

Lennon, McCartney and Starr (and Yoko Ono) met at Apple's headquarters in London's Saville Row last Friday to sign their new contract with Apple. The new contract gives the band a significantly higher share of record sales. As part of the agreement the band must deliver two new albums each year, whether as a group or individually, until 1976. It seems the individual release may have been the appeal to Lennon. Just this month he said to Richard Williams,

"If I could get my money out of the company I'd split away and start doing my own projects independently. I'd have much more freedom and we'd all be happier."

Paul McCartney says that Lennon waited until the contract was signed before making the announcement that he was leaving the band. The band has agreed to keep this news a secret from the public for the time being.

Paul apparently suggested that the band return to their roots, saying "I think we should go back to little gigs - I really think we're a great little band. We should find our basic roots, and then who knows what will happen? We may want to fold after that, or we may really think we've still got it."

Lennon disagreed, telling Paul that he's "daft" and that he's out of the band.

Here's The Beatles latest single, "The Ballad Of John and Yoko." This track features only Lennon and McCartney performing. Watch the video clip below comprised of recent footage of the band.

Watch John Lennon and his Plastic Ono Band performing last Saturday night in Toronto below.

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Watch Creedence Clearwater Revival perform on American Bandstand last Friday

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Watch Ramblin' Jack Elliott perform on 'The Johnny Cash Show' last night

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September 19th, 1969: "The Beatles' Wealth is a Myth", John Lennon speaks to Richard Williams of Melody Maker

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