History of 09.09.09


What makes this date unique, different from other repeated dates like 08.08.08? Here’s a hint:

Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine…

These are the lyrics to “Revolution 9” from The Beatles‘ self-titled “White Album,” which if played backwards might sound like “turn me on dead man.”

But there are at least three reasons why the date September 9, 2009 (09.09.09) may have some more contemporary significance in Beatles history:

  • It marks the debut of the video game The Beatles: Rock Band
  • For the 1st time the Beatles catalog will be available digitally remastered on disc
  • It may launch availability on iTunes of The Beatles music


UPDATE post 09.09.09: While Steve Jobs announced new iPods, new music features in a new iTunes, and an update to iPhone OS 3.1… there was no Beatles on iTunes announcement. Of course, each of the individual Beatles is already on iTunes, but many were expecting iTunes to put the band back together.


Rock Band

  • John Lennon’s Rickenbacker 325 guitar
  • Sir Paul McCartney‘s Höfner bass
  • George Harrison’s Gretsch Duo Jet guitar
  • Ringo Starr’s drums with a classic black oyster pearl finish and Ludwig-branded Beatles kick drum head

But the player does not just get to play the (plastic replicas of the) instruments that The Beatles played, but also play the venues The Beatles played, spanning the length of their career:

  • The Beatles
  • The Ed Sullivan Theater in New York
  • Shea Stadium
  • Budokan in Tokyo
  • Abbey Road Studio in London
  • Apple Corps Rooftop

In addition to the live venues, there will be a number of “dreamscapes” for the Sargent Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour portions. There will be rare photographs, linear notes, biographical backgrounds and previously unseen videos included.

With the release of this game, 45 tracks will be included with additional releases to follow from MTV’s download service. Pent-up demand has been great for this 1st legitimate availability of the digitally remastered versions of The Beatles’ music. I recall seeing bootleg MP3 versions available 15 years ago on CD in the chop shops of Singapore. The band continues to be a best-selling musical act. Indeed, their compilation of remastered #1 hits “Beatles 1” sold 29 million copies. (Yes, I know they should have included Please Please Me).

For all those people who played The Beatles via “air guitar,” who grew their hair long to match the Mop Tops, whose father thought this music would never last, who thought Liverpool accents were posh, who wanted to not just Meet The Beatles but Be The Beatles… this is for you.

So, what can we expect on 09.09.09?

What would you think if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?

Here’s a preview from the animated cinematic scene portion of the game.


Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian

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1 Comment

  1. […] him twice and have written about his local concert here. He plays the soundtrack of my life. On 09/09/09 (“Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine”) Harmonix introduce their music-themed video […]

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