- Timeline This film has been released in 1967
- Filming date:
- Nov 10, 1967
- Filming location:
- Saville Theatre, London, UK
More from year 1967
Nov 23, 1967
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In November 1967, The Beatles created three promotional clips for “Hello, Goodbye”:
- The first one (Version 1) shows the Beatles dressed in their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms, apart from a brief cut-away where the group are wearing their 1963-era matching collarless suits.
- In the second one (Version 2), the Beatles mime to the song dressed in more conventional attire and with the stage backdrop depicting a rural setting.
- The third one (Version 3) combines footage from both the previous two versions, as well as some completely new footage.
Directed by Paul McCartney and filmed on November 10, these clips couldn’t be broadcast in the UK due to the Musicians Union’s ban on miming on television. However, on November 23, the BBC found a way to showcase the song on TV, by using footage from The Beatles’ 1964 film “A Hard Day’s Night“.
To mark the “Hello, Goodbye” single going to number 1 in December 1967, the BBC created another film (Version 4), combining their own additional footage and recent footage of the band editing their upcoming project, “Magical Mystery Tour”.
The band made three promotional clips for “Hello, Goodbye”. Filmed on 10 November 1967 at the Saville Theatre in London, a theatre leased by Epstein since 1966, the clips were directed by McCartney. The first one shows the Beatles dressed in their Sgt. Pepper uniforms, apart from a brief cut-away where the group are wearing their 1963-era matching collarless suits. In author John Winn’s description of the three clips, this version shows the Beatles performing the song against a psychedelic backdrop, while over the coda they are joined on the stage by female hula dancers. Starr is seen playing a miniature drum kit and, unusually, Lennon appears without his granny glasses. In the second clip, the Beatles mime to the song dressed in more conventional attire and with the stage backdrop depicting a rural setting. The third version combines footage shot during these two scenes with the band playing the song before what Winn terms a “glittery pastel backdrop”.
In the US, the first promo for “Hello, Goodbye” was premiered on The Ed Sullivan Show on 26 November. Author Mark Hertsgaard describes the film as “a slapdash affair featuring the hula dancers that was salvaged only by some ludicrously spastic dancing by Lennon”. Music critic Robert Christgau was also unimpressed; speculating in the May 1968 issue of Esquire on the content of the Magical Mystery Tour film, which had yet to air in America, Christgau wrote: “But if Paul McCartney’s work on the film clip of ‘Hello Goodbye’ is any indication, we would be wise not to hope for too much.” In his book Rock, Counterculture and the Avant-Garde, author Doyle Greene finds it significant that Starr’s miniature bass drum lacks the familiar Beatles logo, and he interprets the band’s waving to the viewer while dressed in their 1963 stage attire as the Beatles “waving ‘goodbye’ to the mop-top era and ‘hello’ to the counterculture”.
In Britain, the Beatles ran foul of the Musicians Union’s ban on miming on television. With the first clip scheduled to premier on the 23 November edition of Top of the Pops, George Martin mixed a version of the track without violas, since no musician was seen to be playing those instruments; the Beatles then allowed the BBC to film them at work editing Magical Mystery Tour on 21 November, in the hope that this new footage would replace any sections that contravened the ban. Instead, Top of the Pops aired the song over scenes from the band’s 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night. For the 7 December edition of the same show, the BBC ran a clip comprising still photographs mixed with some of the editing-suite film – a combination that served as the promo for “Hello, Goodbye” throughout the remainder of its UK chart run.
The clip included in the 1996 Beatles Anthology video release consists of the Beatles’ first Saville Theatre film, until the song’s coda, which incorporates footage from all three of the original promo films. The first of the original promos was included in the Beatles’ 2015 video compilation 1, and all three were included in the three-disc versions of the compilation, titled 1+. The BBC-compiled clip appeared as a bonus feature on the 2012 DVD reissue of Magical Mystery Tour, under the title “Top of the Pops 1967”. In May 2013, a Vox electric guitar used by Lennon during part of the filming for “Hello, Goodbye” sold for US$408,000 at an auction in New York.
Last updated on May 9, 2023