Thursday, May 19, 2016

History: Beatles make "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" promo films - May 19-20, 1966

On May 19 and 20, the Beatles and TV director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, later to helm their "Let it Be" film, made a series of promo videos to plug their upcoming single "Paperback Writer" backed with "Rain."

They made a few videos for each song, taped in black and white at Abbey Road Studios, on May 19. These were later broadcast on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and the British programs "Goodbye Lucky Stars" and "Ready, Steady, Go!"

But the most memorable visual versions of the songs were filmed the following day at Chiswick House and Gardens, a 65-acre heritage site in West London. Aired only once each, in black and white, on "Top of the Pops" they capture the band on a beautiful, sunny spring day at their mid-60s prime. They look glorious on the recently released Beatles 1+ video collection.

If you look closely, you can see Paul's chipped front tooth, the result of falling off a moped in Liverpool the previous December and the reason he eventually grew his Sgt. Pepper mustache, with all the rest of the band following suit.

Paul was hanging out with Guinness Beer heir Tara Browne at the time of the accident. Browne, himself, later died in a car accident, which was referenced in "A Day in the Life," and the conflation of Paul's accident and Browne's ultimately became fodder for the "Paul is Dead" rumors of 1969.



Chiswick House, naturally, is celebrating the Beatles' visit there this month with a talk and numerous articles.

Here's the story of a gardener present at the time, while this article features interviews with a number of visitors who witnessed the video filming. And here's one about a schoolgirl who had a chance to meet the group at the time.







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