- Timeline This film has been released in 1969
- Release date:
- Nov 13, 1969
- Filming date:
- Late October 1969
- Filming location:
- Campbeltown, Scotland (for the McCartney segments)
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The promotional film for “Something” was shot in late October 1969, not long after Lennon privately announced that he was leaving the band. By this time, the band members had grown apart. As a result, the film consisted of separate clips, edited together, featuring the Beatles walking around the grounds of their homes with their respective wives. Harrison’s segment shows him and Boyd together in the garden at Kinfauns; in author John Winn’s description, Harrison appears “solemn” while Boyd is seen “smiling sweetly” and “sporting leather and fur coats”. Winn also comments on the attractiveness of all the wives in contrast to the unkempt appearance of McCartney, especially, who had sunk into depression at the realisation that the Beatles were over. The four segments were edited and compiled into a single film clip by Neil Aspinall. Writing in The New York Times following Aspinall’s death in 2008, Allan Kozinn said: “What Mr. Aspinall’s idyllic film avoided showing was that the Beatles were at that point barely on speaking terms. In the film, no two Beatles are seen together.”
In 2015, following restoration overseen by Apple’s Jonathan Clyde, the “Something” promo film was included in the Beatles’ video compilation 1 and its expanded edition, 1+. Rolling Stone journalist Rob Sheffield comments on the significance of the clip, with regard to the band’s history:
“[E]ach couple projects a totally different vibe – George and Patti peacocking in their hippie-royalty finery, Paul and Linda on the farm in Scotland with Martha the sheepdog, Ringo and Maureen goofing around on motorbikes, John and Yoko serene in their matching black robes. Each Beatle looks like he’s found what he was looking for – but they’re heading for four separate futures.”
In her review of 1+, for Paste, Gillian Gaar says that with the Beatles’ promotional films of their singles, from “Love Me Do” to “Something” (the last one they made during their career), “you can see the development of the promo clip, progressing from a short film that simply served up a straight performance to a piece of work that was striving to be something more artistic.”
The promo clip for “Something” was aired on Top Of The Pops in the UK, on November 13, 1969.
I was going through a hard period. I exhibited all the classic symptoms of the unemployed, the redundant man. First you don’t shave, and it’s not to grow a groovy beard, it’s because you cannot be fucking bothered.Paul McCartney – From “That Magic Feeling: 2 (The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy)” by John C. Winn