Paul McCartney runs a competition for a film script

March 1966


In March 1966, Paul McCartney’s friends Barry Miles and John Hopkins launched an underground magazine called “The Long Hair Times”. Under the pseudonym Ian Iachimoe, Paul announced a competition to complete a film script, with a prize of twenty guineas for the winner.

The Long Hair Times” only lasted one issue, but it was relaunched in October 1966 as “International Times”. Paul attended the launch party for the new magazine and was interviewed by Barry Miles in the January 1967 issue.

The thing about cleanliness could be my mother, who was a nurse and was very hygienic. She was amazingly house proud, she was almost obsessive about getting rid of dirt. So if I was analysing it, that would be the first thing I’d go to.

Twenty guineas was a lot of dough! I was very interested in making films. I used to have a few images that I stored to use if I ever did make a film. I suppose I was thinking of New Wave French directors, or New Wave Polish in this case. I remember I had an image of breaking an egg into an ashtray, a very full, very dirty ashtray. That was a shot that was always on my mind. I think it was the natural perfection of the egg breaking into the really slobby man-made mess of the all the ciggies and stuff. I was interested in the contrast.

Then I had a thought about the sound of fire being very similar to the sound of applause and I wanted to do something with that. So I had a lot of unrelated ideas. I suppose it culminated in ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. That was about the nearest I got to it.

Paul McCartney – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997


Ian Iachimoe, the Polish “new wave” film director, is offering a prize of 20 guineas to anyone who can supply the missing link in the following script. The dialogue is not needed, just the idea. Here is the outline of the story:

A woman (age 35-45) is fanatical about cleanliness. She is amazingly houseproud and obsessional about getting rid of dirt. This carries over in her dress, looks, and so on.

Something happens to make her have to crawl through a great load of dirt, old dustbins and so on. Good old honest dirt. WHAT IS THIS SOMETHING?

The story continues with the woman’s mind being snapped by her experiences with dirt. She goes mad and her obsession gets even worse.

WHAT IS NEEDED is the idea. What could have caused her to become involved with filth. (She is not forced to do it, but chooses to do it herself.)

SEND ALL ANSWERS, as many as you like, to Ian Iachimoe, c/o INDICA BOOKS & GALLERY, 6, Mason’s Yard, Duke St, St James’s. London SW1. WHI 1424

THIS COMPETITION IS FOR REAL – it seems strange but is real.

From The Long Hair Times

Last updated on November 22, 2023

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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