The plaque reads: “John Lennon, MBE, 1940-1980, and George Harrison, MBE, 1943-2001, worked here.” It replaced a previous plaque which just included Lennon. Living people are not traditionally included on blue plaques.
The event was organised by The Heritage Foundation. The plaque was unveiled by Rod Davis, the banjo player in Lennon’s first band The Quarrymen.
The Apple Boutique opened on 7 December 1967 but closed on 31 July the following year. The Beatles gave away the stock, and members of the public queued throughout the night for a chance of getting a free item.
A press release by Paul McCartney explained The Beatles’ motives for closing the store:
We decided to close down our Baker Street shop yesterday and instead of putting up a sign saying, ‘Business will be resumed as soon as possible’, and then auction off the goods, we decided to give them away. The shops were doing fine and making a nice profit on turnover. So far, the biggest loss is in giving the things away, but we did that deliberately. We’re giving them away – rather than selling them to barrow boys – because we wanted to give rather than sell.
We came into shops by the tradesman’s entrance but we’re leaving by the front door. Originally, the shops were intended to be something else, but they just became like all the boutiques in London. They just weren’t our thingy. The staff will get three weeks’ pay but if they wish they’ll be absorbed into the rest of Apple. Everyone will be cared for. The Kings Road shop, which is known as Apple Tailoring, isn’t going to be part of Apple anymore but it isn’t closing down and we are leaving our investment there because we have a moral and personal obligation to our partner John Crittle, who is now in sole control. All that’s happened is that we’ve closed our shop in which we feel we shouldn’t, in the first place, have been involved.
Our main business is entertainment – communication. Apple is mainly concerned with fun, not with frocks. We want to devote all our energies to records, films and our electronics adventures. We had to re-focus. We had to zoom in on what we really enjoy, and we enjoy being alive, and we enjoy being Beatles.