The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: July 1, 1968

John Lennon and Yoko Ono opened their first joint art exhibition on this day. You Are Here took place at the Robert Fraser Gallery at 69 Duke Street, London.

The exhibition's full title was You Are Here (To Yoko from John Lennon, With Love). Also in attendance were various guests, reporters, and Apple's publicist Derek Taylor. Lennon and Ono wore white, to match the white gallery walls and many of the exhibits.

At the launch ceremony Lennon and Ono released 365 white helium-filled balloons over London. Lennon proclaimed "I declare these balloons high". Attached to each was a printed card with the words "You are here" on one side, and "Write to John Lennon, c/o The Robert Fraser Gallery, 69 Duke Street, London W1" on the other.

Many of who returned the cards received a letter signed by Lennon, which read: "Dear Friend, Thank you very much for writing and sending me my balloon back. I'm sending you a badge just to remind you that you are here. Love, John Lennon." However, Lennon was hurt to discover that many recipients of the cards returned them with racist comments about Ono.

The exhibition mostly contained an assortment of charity collection boxes. There was also a huge circular canvas with "you are here" written in tiny letters in the centre, and an upturned white hat with a sign written by Lennon, which said: "FOR THE ARTIST. THANK YOU."

Also added to the exhibition was a rusty bicycle, which was donated by students at Hornsey College of Art with a note stating: "This exhibit was inadvertently left out." The gesture appealed to Lennon, to promptly added it to the gallery space.

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