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 We Can Work It Out & Day Tripper

On the 23rd of November, 1965, the Beatles arrived at Twickenham Film Studios to film promotional videos for their forthcoming single “We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper”.

     The decision freed them from having to make personal appearances for British and foreign television shows. By self-producing a series of promotional clips, The Beatles were able to cheaply and quickly ensure they would be seen by audiences around the world with minimum effort.

     This day's filming was funded by NEMS Enterprises, whose Tony Bramwell and Vyvienne Moynihan were on set.  Joe McGrath was the director, and the sets were designed by “Ready, Steady, Go!’s” Nicholas Ferguson. Four cameramen, a lighting technician, sound man and a runner completed the crew.

     Each of the videos was shot on a set constructed at Twickenham's Stage Three. The Beatles arrived late in the afternoon and continued work until the early hours of the following morning. In total, 10 separate films were made, each of which featured The Beatles miming in a different scenario.

     Three versions of We Can Work It Out were made, for each of which John Lennon sat at an organ. One opened with a photograph of Lennon with a sunflower over an eye, and in another they wore their stage costumes from their Shea Stadium concert in August 1965.

     There were also three separate clips made for Day Tripper. In the first the group again wore their Shea Stadium suits, and George Harrison and Ringo Starr stood behind a railway carriage prop; Starr brought out a saw and began dismantling the set. Lennon and Paul McCartney were positioned behind a nearby 1920’s style airplane. The other two clips were similar, but with slight variations.


This promo video, with the Beatles sitting on a sawhorse (John, Paul and George hold instruments, while Ringo holds an umbrella to shield them from “snow” (actually confetti) ), is part of a set of videos

recorded at Twickenham Film Studios on 23 November 1965, made to free the Beatles from appearing on British and foreign television shows.

 Brian Epstein had the idea to produce these promotional clips, so The Beatles could be seen by audiences around the world with minimum effort. That is why some says the Beatles “invented” MTV.

I Feel Fine

Two different music videos directed by Joe McGrath were filmed for I Feel Fine. Both feature various bits of gym equipment. In one (presented here), George, Paul and John perform the song while Ringo rides the exercise bike. In the other they are all eating Fish and Chips, while trying to mime to the song.

Paperback Writer & Rain

Michael Lindsay-Hogg directed four promotional films for the songs shot on 19th and 20th of May 1966. On the first day they recorded a color performance at Abbey Road Studios, for “The Ed Sullivan Show”, which was shown on 5 June, and two black and white performance clips for British television. These were shown on “Ready Steady Go!” and “Thank Your Lucky Stars” on 3rd and 25th of June, respectively.

     On May 20th, another color film was made at Chiswick House in west London. The Beatles mimed to the song, and they were shown in and around 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 Beatles made their only live appearance on “Top of the Pops” to mime to "Paperback Writer" and "Rain". They were introduced by DJ Pete Murray. This session is famous for being wiped by the BBC when they were cleaning tapes for re-use. The session showed how difficult it was for the Beatles to even mime to their later material – they had difficulty in taking their performance seriously.

Hey Jude

On the 4th of September 1968, The Beatles recorded promotional films for Hey Jude, and Revolution at Twickenham Film Studios. They arrived at the studios at 1.30pm and worked until evening. The set, at the studio's stage one, had been assembled over the previous three days.

     Only The Beatles lead and backing vocals were recorded live, although instruments and amplifiers were set up. The Musicians Union had placed a ban on miming, and the live vocals were an attempt to hide this.

     The completed films, two for each song, were filmed both in color. They were directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, whom had worked with The Beatles on the clips for Paperback Writer and Rain in 1966.  Hey Jude was the first to be made, and featured Paul McCartney seated at an upright piano, John Lennon and George Harrison on a nearby podium with guitars, and Ringo Starr positioned on a drum riser behind them.

     A 36-piece orchestra was also assembled, the members wearing white tuxedos, and 300 extras were brought in for the finale. The latter had been recruited after 20 students handed out leaflets in the area, and The Beatles assistant Mal Evans invited a number of fans from outside EMI Studios.

     At least three takes of Hey Jude were filmed, and the most commonly-seen promo was an edit of takes one and three. In each of them, McCartney sang along to the studio vocals, and ad-libbed live during the extended ending.

     The Hey Jude film had its world premiere on the 8th of September, 1968, on The David Frost Show.  To make it seem as though The Beatles were on the program, David Frost visited Twickenham on this day, to record an introduction.