Paperback Writer (Version 1)

Promotional film • For The Beatles • Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Timeline This film has been released in 1966
Release date:
Jun 05, 1966
Filming date:
May 19, 1966
Filming location:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road, London, UK

Related song

Related films

Paperback Writer (Version 2)

1966 • For The Beatles • Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Paperback Writer (Version 3)

1966 • For The Beatles • Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Paperback Writer (Version 4)

1966 • For The Beatles • Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg

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The Beatles were unwilling to appear on television to promote their upcoming new single “Paperback Writer / Rain”. Instead, they took part in a two-day shoot which resulted in a total of seven promotional films for the songs. All those films were directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and produced by Tony Bramwell, and the technical team was supplied by InterTel.

The idea was that we’d use them in America as well as the UK, because we thought, ‘We can’t go everywhere. We’re stopping touring and we’ll send these films out to promote the record.’ It was too much trouble to go and fight our way through all the screaming hordes of people to mime the latest single on Ready, Steady, Go!. Also, in America, they never saw the footage anyway.

Once we actually went on an Ed Sullivan show with just a clip. I think Ed Sullivan came on and said, ‘The Beatles were here, as you know, and they were wonderful boys, but they can’t be here now so they’ve sent us this clip.’ It was great, because really we conned the Sullivan show into promoting our new single by sending in the film clip. These days obviously everybody does that – it’s part of the promotion for a single – so I suppose in a way we invented MTV.

Geore Harrison – From Anthology

On the first day, May 19, 1966, The Beatles and the film crew gathered at EMI Studios in Abbey Road.

From Wikipedia:

Michael Lindsay-Hogg directed four promotional films for the song shot on 19 and 20 May 1966. On the first day they recorded a colour performance at EMI Studios, for The Ed Sullivan Show, which was shown on 5 June, and two black-and-white performance clips for British television. The latter aired on Ready Steady Go! and Thank Your Lucky Stars on 3 and 25 June, respectively. The Beatles also filmed a personal introduction to Ed Sullivan with their faces hidden behind colour transparencies of the butcher cover.

On 20 May, a second colour film was made at Chiswick House in west London. The Beatles mimed to the song, and they were shown in a statue garden and inside the conservatory in the grounds of the house. The clip was first broadcast in black and white on BBC-TV’s Top of the Pops on 2 June. The 20 May promo clip was included in the Beatles’ 2015 video compilation 1, and both the 19 May colour film and the 20 May film were included in the three-disc versions of the compilation, titled 1+.

VersionColor or B&W?DescriptionBroadcast
#1 (Take 1)Color“sitting Beatles version”, Clean (no applauses) for use in “Ed Sullivan Show”June 5, 1966
#2 (Take 2)Black & white“sitting Beatles version”, different angles, for use in ‘Ready Steady Go’ June 3, 1966.
#3 (Take 3 w/slate)Black & white“standing Beatles version”
#4 (Take 4 w/slate)Black & white“standing Beatles version”, different angles

From the liner notes of The Beatles’ 1+ Video Collection, 2015:

With the impending release of “Paperback Writer”, The Beatles were in Abbey Road’s Studio One to videotape this colour version of their upcoming single. Together in the familiar surroundings of EMI’s studio from early in the morning, they set to work on this promo film between 1 and 2 pm. It was specifically taped for airing on The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday 5 June 1966, six days after the single’s US release.

Ringo’s great introduction, sending up how busy they are were, is typical of The Beatles ironic humour and you would be right in thinking that Paul looks a little different in this promo. He had, in fact, chipped his front tooth in the course of an accident on his motorised bicycle. Later that evening Paul was in Studio Three at Abbey Road to supervise the French horn solo on ‘For No One’, which would become the third track on side 2 of “Revolver”.

The Beatles, left to right, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, being filmed for a promotional clip during the Abbey Road session to record Paperback Writer and Rain, April 1966.
From Beatles’ Revolver: ‘It’s time travel’ says Giles Martin – BBC News – @APPLE CORPS LTD

Last updated on January 24, 2023


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