Paperback Writer (Version 1 - Colour)

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 - Black & White)

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

Paperback Writer (Version 3 - Black & White)

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

Paperback Writer (Version 4 - Colour)

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 produced a total of seven promotional films for the two songs. All those films were directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and produced by Tony Bramwell, with a technical team 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 “The Beatles Anthology” book, 2000

On the first day, May 19, 1966, The Beatles and the film crew gathered at EMI Studios, Studio One, in Abbey Road. The first task was to film colour versions of “Rain” and “Paperback Writer” for the Ed Sullivan Show in the US. This was done from 10 am to 10:40 am for “Rain” and from 1:10 pm to 2 pm for “Paperback Writer.” They also recorded a personal introduction to Ed Sullivan with their faces hidden behind coloured transparent plastic sheets, and Ringo declaring:

Well, I’m sorry we can’t be there in person, you know, to do the show, but everybody’s busy these days with the washing and the cooking… and er, we hope you like it… and, er, one’s called “Rain” and one’s called “Paperback Writer”.

Ringo Starr

In the afternoon, between 3:30 and 6:30 pm, they filmed black-and-white promotional clips for the UK television, two for “Paperback Writer” and one for “Rain.”

In all of these films, Paul McCartney can be seen with a chipped front-top tooth, the result of a moped accident he had in December 1965.

At 7 pm, Paul McCartney moved to Studio Three to join the overdub session for his song “For No One,” where horn player Alan Civil added a French horn part.

The following day, May 20, 1966, The Beatles and the film crew relocated to Chiswick House to film additional versions of “Rain” and “Paperback Writer.”

VersionFilmedColor or B&W?DescriptionBroadcast
Version 1May 19, 1966ColourThe Beatles are seated in this version and are wearing coloured sunglasses. John and Paul are without jackets.
This version was included in the three-disc versions of the compilation “1+”, released in 2015.
June 5, 1966, in “The Ed Sullivan Show“, in the US
Version 2May 19, 1966Black & whiteTake 1 N&B.
The Beatles are seated, only John Lennon is wearing sunglasses and his jacket.
June 25, 1966, in “Thank Your Lucky Stars“, in the UK
Version 3May 19, 1966Black & whiteTakes 2 N&B and 3 N&B were edited together. A take 4 was unused.
The Beatles are standing.
June 3, 1966, in “Ready Steady Go“, in the UK
Version 4May 20, 1966ColourThe Beatles are filmed at Chiswick House.
This version was included in the three-disc versions of the compilation “1+”, released in 2015.
June 2, 1966, in “Top Of The Pops“, in the UK (in black & white)
“Paperback Writer” promo films

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”.

From Beatles’ Revolver: ‘It’s time travel’ says Giles Martin – BBC News – @APPLE CORPS LTD
From Recording of Paperback Writer and Rain Videos / Follow-up to For No One – The Beatles History (
From Recording of Paperback Writer and Rain Videos / Follow-up to For No One – The Beatles History (
From Recording of Paperback Writer and Rain Videos / Follow-up to For No One – The Beatles History (
From Recording of Paperback Writer and Rain Videos / Follow-up to For No One – The Beatles History (


THE BEATLES began filming a colour insert for Ed Sullivan’s U.S. TV show yesterday (Thursday) at a London studio, where they are also telerecording inserts for use next month in British TV shows! John, Paul, George and Ringo are doing both sides of their forthcoming single for the sequence which will be the highlight of the Sullivan Show on Sunday, June 5.

Late on Wednesday, because of New York commitments, Ed Sullivan cancelled plans to fly to London to appear with the Beatles in the film they were making for him.

The Beatles are almost certain to be seen (on film) in BBC-1’s “Top Of The Pops” on June 9 — the day before the record “Paperback Writer”/“Rain” is issued in Britain. Negotiations are taking place for a different insert to be used in ABC-TV’s “Thank Your Lucky Stars,” possibly on June 18 (19th in London), but the NME understands that Rediffusion is not prepared to make an exception in its policy of not using filmed items on “Ready, Steady, Go !”


A spokesman for ABC-TV’s “Eamonn Andrews Show” said that there had been no negotiations between its producer and Brian Epstein for the Beatles to make an appearance in the programme, in connection with the release of the new single.

Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, as well as Peter and Gordon, will join the Beatles on their German concerts next month at Munich (24th), Essen (25th) and Hamburg (26th).

The Beatles’ Far East dates have all been brought forward by one day, and their concerts at the 33,000-capacity Budo Kan Stadium in Tokio are now on June 30, July 1 and 2. Their performance at Manila’s national football stadium will be on July 4.

From New Musical Express – May 20, 1966
From New Musical Express – May 20, 1966


One of the most important things The Beatles did before we all left for Germany and Japan was a series of special film clips — filmed and taped sequences showing the boys singing their newest recordings, “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. You’ll have seen several of these on television over the last few weeks, the first one was shown on “Top Of The Pops” as far back as Thursday June 9, the evening before the single was actually released.

Two complete days were spent making those TV sequences — a Thursday and a Friday. On the Thursday morning The Beatles worked in front of colour TV cameras and made a recorded appearance for America’s “Ed Sullivan Show”. I’ll give you a complete run-down on the hour-by-hour timetable for the first of those two hectic days.


8.00 a.m. — Beatles collected from their various homes to be taken to the first location which was the EMI studios in St. John’s Wood.

9.45 a.m. — Beatles arrived at EMI with Paul about five minutes behind the others. Straight to the make-up department.

10.0 a.m. — In EMI’s largest studio, No 1, to rehearse under dozens of huge floodlights.

10.40 a.m. — First colour take on “Rain”. John wearing orange-tinted sunglasses.

11.0 a.m. – The boys watched playback on a colour monitor set. “That shirt of yours makes your face look a bit purple, John” said the producer. “That’s O.K. It looks better that way”.

12.05 p.m. — Mal Evans brought in a tray with 4 boiled eggs and a plate piled high with bread and butter. Belated Beatles breakfast!

12.30 p.m. — All set to go ahead on “Paperback Writer” sequence — but some kind of generator broke down and caused a 20-minute pause.

1.10 p.m. — “Paperback Writer” — Take One. All the boys wore sun specs this time. Orange for John and Paul, green for George and blue for Ringo.

2.00 p.m. — Lunch break. Usually the boys have a meal brought in to them. This time, on Paul’s recommendation we all went off for a proper lunch of fillet steak and croquette potatoes at the Geneveve restaurant.

3.15 p.m. — Beatles back at EMI to meet with a boutique owner and choose material for some new stage outfits which will be ready in time for the August American tour.

From 3.30 p.m. onwards the boys worked on black and white versions of “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. Visitors included a couple of Hollies (making their new single in one of the other studios that day) plus Gerry And The Pacemakers (making some LP tracks next door to us). In breaks between sequences, The Beatles looked at designs for the musical trade press advertisements which EMI did to coincide with the new single.

By 6.15 p.m. there was a bit of a panic — on the part of the producer — because a final sequence had to be completed by 6.30 p.m. An hour later the studio was needed for a full-scale symphony orchestra recording session and tons of TV equipment had to be cleared out before then! We just made it — at 6.32 p.m.!

On the Friday, the location was entirely different. The Beatles were out at Chiswick House, using the lawns, trees, statues and greenhouses of the vast gardens as settings. The groups of schoolgirls who gathered to watch the afternoon’s work became the very first Beatle People in Britain to hear The Beatles’ latest single! But I won’t say anymore about Friday because Sue Mautner has written a special bit about it for this issue.

From The Beatles Monthly Book – July 1966
From The Beatles Monthly Book – July 1966

Neil Aspinall, road manager to The Beatles, continues his diary of life with John, Paul, George and Ringo — the four who have won more awards than any other group.

LAST week I promised to tell you about the boys’ favourite foods. Anybody who imagines that The Beatles won’t look at anything but a really lavish, luxury feast has the wrong idea altogether. Naturally they eat out in style on certain occasions but, by and large, they eat less glamorous meals than the average person.

When the boys are working it’s impossible to keep to any sort of regular routine for meal-breaks. In the recording studio, for instance, they’ll often work right through an official break while the engineers wander off to eat.
Instead, The Beatles have stuff brought to them in the studio.

As soon as the session gets under way, Mal will go off and get hold of a big pot of tea and a tray filled with cups. Then he adds a selection of biscuits in transparent packets so that each Beatle can have a nibble-type snack from time to time during the session.

Toast and jam is a definite favourite with the boys. To you toast may be something that is strictly for a breakfast menu but Beatles seldom eat breakfast before a recording session so they have belated breakfast while they work.

I remember one morning back in May of last year when The Beatles were filming a special colour television clip which was used on the Ed Sullivan Show. Ideally, the boys would like to have flown over to New York and done a “live” appearance for the Sullivan programme. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible because they were still in the middle of making their summer album. They had a deadline to meet, not only because the album had to be prepared for issue, but because we were about to take off on our first tour of 1966.

TO film the Sullivan Show appearance in London, the boys got together in Studio One, the largest of the EMI-recording studios at St. John’s Wood in North London. It meant a very early start because the group had to be in front of the cameras for the first rehearsal “takes” no later than ten in the morning. Around eleven thirty George muttered something about food.

Surely you’re not hungry just yet,” exclaimed the producer. “What time did you have breakfast ?

We didn’t,” admitted John.

We’ll just have some toast or something,” began Ringo.

No, we can’t have that,” said the producer. “You must have proper breakfast.”

It’s O.K.,” put in George. “We want something quick. Toast will do.”

I’m sure we can organise boiled eggs,” replied the producer.

The idea of boiled eggs fascinated The Beatles.

That’s one thing they’d always considered to be a strictly breakfast dish that you couldn’t very well ask for after about ten in the morning! So boiled eggs it was! Mal managed to arrange for the EMI studio kitchen people to boil a set of fresh eggs.

THEY were served along with piles of bread and butter. Between “takes” the boys sat round an improvised breakfast table (an amplifier with a neat EMI tablecloth spread across its surface!) and enjoyed one of the most conventional English breakfasts they’d had in years !

There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a proper lunch today, you know,” pointed out Paul as they polished off the eggs.

Where could we go?” asked Ringo.

I know a great little place. It’s only ten minutes away,” answered Paul.

As I’ve said before, Paul is the one who knows most about London eating houses. He is more adventurous than the others about food generally.

From Fabulous208 – May 6, 1967
From Fabulous208 – May 6, 1967

Last updated on October 25, 2023


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