As we wind down our Beatles tribute week, we are delighted to bring another piece from guest blogger and all-around Beatles aficionado Terence Towles Canote, with the long and winding history of the music video.
Even the average person knows that The Beatles’ films A Hard Day’s Night and Help! had a lasting impact on music videos. What is less well known is that between 1964 and 1969, The Beatles made several promotional films (or “filmed inserts” as they were commonly called at the time) that would be distributed to television shows in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere. Not only would these promotional films allow The Beatles to provide television programmes with music performances without having to appear live, but they would ultimately prove influential in the development of rock video.
Of course, while The Beatles’ promotional films would prove pivotal in the evolution of music videos, it is important to remember that, contrary to popular belief, The Beatles did not invent what we now call music videos. Short films centred on music go all the way back to the early 1920s when legendary inventor Lee DeForrest made short films of vaudeville performers (including music artists) to demonstrate Phonofilm (his early optical sound-on-film process). Following Lee Deforrest’s demonstrations of Phonofilm there would be several other forerunners to the modern music video: Max and Dave Fleischer’s Song Car-Tunes (which utilised Phonofilm) in the ‘20s, Warner Bros.’ Vitaphone shorts in the ‘30s (as well as similar shorts made by MGM and Paramount), the Soundies made for the Panoram visual jukebox in the ‘40s, and the Snader Telescriptions made for television in the early ‘50s.
What may have been the first rock videos were created by The Big Bopper in 1958. One day that year he shot short films for his hit songs “Chantilly Lace,” “Big Bopper’s Wedding”, and “Little Red Riding Hood”. It has also been claimed that he coined the term “music video” in a 1959 interview.
The Big Bopper’s videos were essentially performance clips with props, but a considerably more sophisticated rock video would be created by, all of people, Ozzie Nelson for his sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. In 1961 Mr. Nelson combined footage of his son, singer and fellow Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet cast member Ricky Nelson performing the song “Travellin’ Man” with travelogue footage and stock footage from the show. The clip made its debut on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet in the episode “A Question of Suits and Ties” on 5 April 1961. About the same time that Ozzie Nelson created the “Travellin’ Man” clip, the Scopitone visual jukebox and its competitors were introduced in Europe. Like the Panoram before them, the Scopitone and its competitors played short musical films. The Scopitone and some of its competitors would eventually make their way to both the United Kingdom and the United States.
Even though The Beatles did not invent what we now call “music videos”, it could be argued that they were more responsible for their popularisation in the 1960s than any other music artists; they were the first to make short films, on a somewhat regular basis, whose sole purpose was the promotion of songs. Other British artists (including The Kinks, The Who, and The Rolling Stones) would follow The Beatles’ lead in making their own promotional films. By 1967 it was not uncommon for both British and American record labels to make “filmed inserts” or promo films to promote their artists’ latest records. The Beatles provided much of the impetus for the production of promotional films or “filmed inserts” in the ‘60s, leading directly to the music video boom of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
While today promo films (or music videos) are considered their own art form to some degree, the impetus for The Beatles to create promotional films was based more in practicality than it was artistic expression. Their phenomenal popularity meant they were in demand to appear on television programmes in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere. At the same time, their music had become increasingly more sophisticated and required much more time in the studio. As a result, The Beatles eventually found themselves too busy to make personal appearances on the many television shows in the United Kingdom and abroad. The solution was to simply shoot several promo films that could be shown on various television programmes in the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries around the world. The Beatles were thereby freed from having to appear live on every single television show that wanted a performance from them.
What could be considered The Beatles’ first promo film came about through both their first film, A Hard Day’s Night (1964), and The Ed Sullivan Show. On 31 March 1964 Richard Lester shot footage of The Beatles lip synching their rocker “You Can’t Do That” at the Scala Theatre in London as part of the concert sequence that forms the climax of A Hard Day’s Night. In the end, however, Richard Lester thought the sequence ran too long and, as a result, cut the footage for “You Can’t Do That”. Then, on 17 April 1964, the final day of filming on A Hard Day’s Night (and the second day of filming at the Garrison Room of the exclusive London club Les Ambassadeurs), The Beatles gave a short interview to Ed Sullivan that would later be aired on his show to help promote the film. To go with the interview Richard Lester was asked to send the footage of The Beatles performing “You Can’t Do That”. Mr. Lester was busy and had no time to edit the footage and so he turned to John Victor Smith (who would go on to edit Help!) to do so. It was to Mr. Smith’s credit that he took the footage given him and created a promotional film that gave no clue that it was not part of the finished version of A Hard Day’s Night. The “You Can’t Do That” promo film, The Beatles’ very first, made its debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on 24 May 1964 alongside the interview that Ed Sullivan had conducted with The Beatles on 17 April 1964.
Just as The Beatles’ first promo film grew out of A Hard Day’s Night, their second promotional film would be linked to their movie Help! (1965). On 22 April 1965 Richard Lester shot The Beatles performing the song “Help!” at Twickenham Film Studios in London. The black and white clip, meant to simulate a television performance, served two purposes. The first was that it was used in the opening of the movie as the film at which the villain Klang (played by Leo McKern) throws darts. The second was as a promotional film that could be sent to various television programmes. The “Help!” promotional film aired on Thank Your Lucky Stars on ITV on 17 July 1965 and on Top of the Pops on the BBC on 29 July 1965.
By 1965 The Beatles had tired of making live appearance on television and they were often too busy to do so. In order to continue to promote their songs on television, they turned to the production of promo films. It was on 23 November 1965 that The Beatles met at Twickenham Film Studios to shoot ten promo films. In all but two cases multiple promo films were shot for each song. Perhaps because it was their current single (a double A-side), three promotional films were shot for “We Can Work It Out” and two for “Day Tripper”. The Beatles also shot promotional films for their three earlier singles, one each for “Help!” and “Ticket to Ride”, and two for “I Feel Fine.” The promo films were directed by Joe McGrath, who had directed episodes of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s television show Not Only…But Also and would go on to direct The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968) and The Magic Christian (1969). Sets for the video were designed by Nicholas Ferguson, who served as the art director on the popular music programme Ready Steady Go. The crew was provided by InterTel VTR Services, and all of the filmed inserts were shot in black and white.
Most of the promo films shot on 23 November 1965 would be straight forward performance clips. This was true of two of the films shot for “We Can Work It Out”, which differed only insofar as in one The Beatles wore black suits, and in the other they wore their iconic suits from their 15 August 1965 performance at Shea Stadium. One of the promotional films for “Day Tripper” and the single one made for “Ticket to Ride” were also basic performance clips, although the “Ticket to Ride” film featured a backdrop of gigantic bus tickets.
While many of the promotional films shot on 23 November 1965 were straight performance clips that could have been taken from any television variety show of the period, others ventured into the area of conceptual video. One of the promol films made for “We Can Work It Out” starts with a photo of John Lennon with a sunflower over his right eye, followed by an Edwardian-era photo of men holding beer mugs. Afterwards, it becomes a straight performance clip for the most part, although John and Paul seem on the verge of breaking into laughter at any moment.
If “We Can Work It Out” seemed unusual at the time, the other promo films shot that day must have seemed downright bizarre. One of the two promo films shot for “Day Tripper” features John and Paul behind an airplane prop and George and Ringo in a train carriage prop. Ringo drums without the benefit of a drum kit and at one point takes a saw to part of the railway carriage. The promo film for “Help!” shot that day is equally strange. The Beatles perform the song while sitting on a workbench, with Ringo sitting on the back of a bench with an umbrella. Towards the end of the clip fake snow begins to fall.
As odd as one of the clips for “Day Tripper” and the clip for “Help!” shot on 23 November 1965 must have seemed, by far the strangest promotional films shot that day were those made for “I Feel Fine”. One begins with John, Paul, and George arriving on a set filled with exercise equipment and starting to mime to the song. Ringo arrives not long after and spends the entire clip riding a stationary bike. While this promotional film for “Day Tripper” must have seemed odd, it was not nearly as strange as the other one shot for “Day Tripper” that day. In that clip The Beatles make no effort to mime whatsoever, instead spending the entire time eating fish and chips. After seeing the clip The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein forbade it from ever being distributed.
In addition to the two promotional films made for “I Feel Fine” on 23 November 1965, there would be one other short film set to the song. That having been said, it is difficult to call it a promotional film as its purpose was not to promote “I Feel Fine”, although it definitely falls under the modern definition of a music video. Sometime in 1964 artist, photographer, and director Stephen Verona met John Lennon. Eventually the two men decided to collaborate on a short film, at which point John sent Mr. Verona the acetate or the song “I Feel Fine”. Listening to the song Mr. Verona thought its title was “She Said So”, which became the title of the short. Stephen Verona then set about creating several pop art images that illustrated the lyrics of the song. Later John Lennon visited his apartment and the two men coloured he images.
While “She Said So” was never aired on television at the time (and, given some of the images, probably could not have been), it was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in May 1966 and it would also become part of the museum’s permanent collection. Stephen Verona would go on to direct the promotional film for The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Rain on the Roof” in 1967, the promotional film for Santana’s “Oye Como Va” in 1970, and many others. He also directed the films The Lords of Flatbush (1974) and Boardwalk (1979).
The Beatles would venture even further into the territory of conceptual video with their next set of promotional films. On 19 and 20 May 1966 The Beatles shot four promotional films for “Paperback Writer” and three promotional films for “Rain” (as with “Day Tripper”/”We Can Work It Out”, this single was a double-A side). This set of promotional films was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had already directed several editions of Ready, Steady, Go! and would go onto direct the unaired television special The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1968) and The Beatles documentary Let It Be (1969).
On 19 May 1965 The Beatles and the film crew gathered at Studio One at Abbey Road where they shot two promo films for their singles “Rain” and three for “Paperback Writer”. One of the promo films for “Rain” and for “Paperback Writer” were shot in colour for the American market, while the rest were shot in black and white. The colour versions of “Rain” and “Paperback Writer” would air on The Ed Sullivan Show on 5 June 1966, along with a filmed introduction by The Beatles themselves. The first filmed black and white version of “Paperback Writer” aired on the final edition of Thank Your Lucky Stars on 25 June 1966 and the second black and white version of “Paperback Writer” and a black and white version of “Paperback Writer” aired on Ready, Steady, Go! on 3 June 1966.
On 20 May 1965 The Beatles and the film crew went to Chiswick House in West London to shoot one more promo film each for “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. Both were shot in colour. The film for “Paperback Writer” was more or less a straightforward performance clip, with most of the film devoted to The Beatles miming in Chiswick House’s statue garden. The film for “Rain “devoted nearly as much time, if not more, to The Beatles wandering about the grounds of Chiswick House and children at play around one of the house’s cedar trees as it did The Beatles miming the song. The second colour promotional film for “Rain” was then another step away from standard performance clips towards purely conceptual videos. Strangely enough given the fact that both films were shot in colour, both were aired in black and white on Top of the Pops (the BBC had yet to make the shift to colour). The second colour promo film for “Paperback Writer” debuted on 2 June 1966 on the show, while the second colour promo film for “Rain” debuted on 9 June 1966 on the show.
The Beatles had flirted with conceptual music videos with the promotional films shot for “Rain” and “Paperback Writer”. Their next two promo films, one each for “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”, would be purely conceptual promo films, with no miming whatsoever. Tony Bramwell, Brian Epstein’s publicist at the time, produced the two promotional films for Subafilms, The Beatles’ film company that would later become Apple Films. The film crew was provided by Don Long Productions. The director on both films was Peter Goldman, who had been recommended by The Beatles’ friend Klaus Voorman (the artist who had created the cover for Revolver and the bassist for Manfred Mann). Mr. Goldman had worked for Swedish Television on such programmes as Drop In and Popside. Both films were shot in colour on 35mm film.
Shooting on the promotional film for “Strawberry Fields Forever” began on 30 January 1967 at Knole Park in Sevenoaks, Kent, and finished on the next day. Many of the films sequences centred on a dead oak tree in the park, under which sat a piano. The promotional film for “Strawberry Fields Forever” was an entirely conceptual clip. What is more, “Strawberry Fields Forever” marked a quantum leap from anything that had been done as far as promo films are concerned. The film utilises a good number of effects, including jump cuts, reversed film, various speed techniques, and so on. Along with the promotional film for “Penny Lane”, “Strawberry Fields Forever” has been named among the most influential music videos of the 1960s by the Museum of Modern Art.
Shooting for “Penny Lane” began on 5 February 1967, and Peter Goldman later shot some additional footage without The Beatles at a later date. Even though “Penny Lane” was inspired by the street of the same name in Liverpool, only a few shots of buses, the barber shop, and “the shelter in the middle of the roundabout” were actually shot there. Most of the film was shot on Angel Lane in Stratford, London, with several scenes shot in Knole Park as well. As with “Strawberry Fields Forever”, The Beatles do not mime the song at all in “Penny Lane”. Instead they wander about Angel Lane and ride horses in Knole Park. (As if to bring home the point that they would not be miming in this short film, they ride past their instruments with hardly a glance.)
The Beatles’ next promo film would emerge out of their historic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles had planned to make on a television special on the making of the album. To this end it was decided to film the recording of the orchestral overdubs on the song “A Day in the Life”. A number of guests were invited to the studio for the recording, including Donovan, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Keith Richards. The Beatles, the various guests, and even the orchestra dressed in costumes. Tony Bramwell was put in charge of a team of seven people with handheld cameras to record the event for the television special.
The idea of a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band television special was soon abandoned, but the footage was later edited together with stock footage from other sources to create a promo film for “A Day in the Life”. Unfortunately, “A Day in the Life” would remain unseen for years. Today the reasons for this are unclear. It could have been due to a ban on miming instigated by the Musician’s Union in 1966. It could have also have been due to the fact that the BBC banned “A Day in the Life” because it perceived drug references in the song. Regardless, “A Day in the Life” would remain unseen until it surfaced in 1983 documentary The Beatles at Abbey Road And would be later included as part of The Beatles Anthology.
The Beatles next returned to performance clips, although they would have elements of conceptual video. Footage for the promotional films for “Hello, Goodbye” would be shot at the Saville Theatre in London on 10 November 1967. Paul McCartney served as the director on the promotional films. They were edited by Roy Benson, who had also edited the television special Magical Mystery Tour.
Ultimately, “Hello, Goodbye” would emerge from the footage shot on 10 November 1967. The first promo film shot featured The Beatles in their “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” uniforms performing against a psychedelic backdrop and featured cutaways to The Beatles, seated and waving, wearing their grey, collarless Merseybeat suits from 1963. At the end of the film they were joined by a group of hula dancers. The second featured The Beatles wearing what would be everyday clothing for 1967 (well, if one was a Beatle, anyway) performing against a different, but psychedelic backdrop. This version lacked the cutaways to The Beatles in their Merseybeat suits, but still ended with The Beatles being joined by hula dancers. A third promotional film combined The Beatles’ performance in their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms from the first clips with outtakes from the second clip of The Beatles horsing around (including John and then the other Beatles doing the Twist). Here it must be noted that the promotional films for “Hello, Goodbye” were the last time The Beatles wore their Merseybeat suits and the last time they wore their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms.
One of the promotional films for “Hello, Goodbye” was scheduled to air on Top of the Pops on 23 November 1967. Unfortunately, as it was clear that The Beatles were miming, the film ran afoul of the Musician’s Union’s ban on miming. For the 23 November edition of the show, then, Top of the Pops ran footage from the movie A Hard Day’s Night instead. Eventually footage from one of the promotional films for “Hello, Goodbye” combined with still photographs was aired on Top of the Pops on 7 December 1967. In the United States the third promotional film for “Hello, Goodbye” (which combined The Beatles in their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms with outtakes from the second promotional film) aired on The Ed Sullivan Show on 26 November 1967.
The Beatles’ next set of films would be for their single “Lady Madonna”. To avoid the Musician’s Union’s ban on miming, it was decided that The Beatles would simply be filmed recording a song. On 11 February 1968 Tony Bramwell then shot The Beatles recording the song “Hey, Bulldog”. Two individual promotional films for “Lady Madonna” emerged from the footage. In one the first shot of a Beatle is of Ringo on drums. In the other the first shot of a Beatle is of George eating a plate of beans. In 1999 the footage would be used again, this time to create a video for the song that The Beatles had actually been recording at the time, “Hey, Bulldog”.
In the United Kingdom one promotional film for “Lady Madonna” aired on Top of the Pops on 14 March 1968. In the United States one of the promotional films for “Lady Madonna” aired on The Hollywood Palace on 30 March 1968.
The next two promo films would also be shot with the Musician’s Union’s ban on miming in mind. On 4 September 1968 promotional films for “Hey, Jude” and “Revolution” were filmed. In order to get around the ban on miming the vocals for both songs were recorded live, even they sang over pre-recorded tracks. These colour promotional films were directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had earlier directed the promotional films for “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”.
The footage for “Hey, Jude” was shot first, from which three individual promotional films would emerge: one for release to various television programmes around the world, one that would be shown on David Frost’s show Frost on Sunday in the United Kingdom, and one that would be shown on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the United States. All three promotional films would follow the same format, as straight performance clips in which an audience joins The Beatles for the final, long chorus of “Hey, Jude”. The differences between the three promotional films were minor at best. On the version shown on Frost on Sunday the audience is shown a few seconds earlier and there are more close ups of individual members of the audience. The version shown on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour tended to be closer to the promotional film meant for general release, although there were a few subtle differences. At the same time that footage was shot for the “Hey, Jude” promo films, an introduction by David Frost was also shot for his programme.
One of the promotional films for “Hey, Jude” debuted on Frost on Sunday in the United Kingdom on 8 September 1968. Another made its debut in the United States on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on 6 October 1968. A fourth promotional film for “Hey, Jude” was later created for The Beatles Anthology in 1995. This version was shorter than the other versions by several seconds.
While the footage shot for “Hey, Jude” would result in three promotional films, the footage shot for “Revolution” would result in two promotional films. That having been said, the differences between the two promotional films for “Revolution” were even less than those for the versions of “Hey, Jude”. One of the promotional films for “Revolution” would make its debut in the United Kingdom on Top of the Pops on 19 September 1968. A promotional film for “Revolution” aslo aired in the United States on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on 13 October 1968.
The shooting of the promotional films for “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” would be the last time all four Beatles gathered for the shooting of promotional films. Their next promotional films would be for the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, which was released on 30 June 1969. By the time of “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were filming much of their life and the various events in which they were involved. Much of this footage naturally found its way into the promotional films for the song. The promotional films for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” also feature footage of The Beatles rehearsing in the studio in January 1969 (taken from the Let It Be sessions), even though only John and Paul were actually involved in recording the song (Ringo was busy appearing in the film The Magic Christian and George was on holiday). As to the two promotional films for the for “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, according to Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn, they were “essentially similar”.
One of the promotional films for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” aired in the United Kingdom on Top of the Pops on 5 June 1969. A promotional film for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” aired on the television show Music Scene in the United States on 22 September 1969.
The final promotional film made while all four Beatles were together as a band (unless one counts outtakes from the film Let It Be) was “Something”. As a single “Something” was historic in that it was the first Beatles song written by George Harrison to be chosen as the A-side of a single. It would also become the second most remade Beatles song of all time, after “Yesterday”. The single “Something”, backed by “Come Together”, was released on 6 October 1969 in the United States and 31 October 1969 in the United Kingdom, just as The Beatles were on the verge of breaking up.
Since the individual Beatles had drifted apart by this time, each of The Beatles and their wives at the time (George Harrison and Pattie Boyd, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Paul and Linda McCartney, and Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox) were shot around their respective homes. The individual footage was then edited together to create the promotional film for “Something”. The promotional film was directed by Neil Aspinall, The Beatles’ former road manager, personal assistant, and the head of Apple Corps.
The Beatles broke up in 1970, but since that time there have been new Beatles videos released. Some of these videos relied mostly on existing footage (a prime example being the 1999 video for “Hey, Bulldog”, using the footage shot for the “Lady Madonna” promotional film), but others contained entirely new material. Indeed, in at least two instances the songs were entirely new. In 1995 Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr reunited to complete two songs recorded by John Lennon during his solo career (“Free as a Bird” from 1977 and “Real Love” from 1979 and 1980) to create the first new Beatles songs in 25 years as part of the multimedia Beatles Anthology project.
The music video for “Free as a Bird” was produced by Vincent Joliet and directed by Joe Pytka. It was shot as if from the point of view of a bird, who as he is flying travels back through time and The Beatles’ career. There are several allusions to The Beatles’ songs in the video, including the pretty nurse who was “selling poppies from a tray” from “Penny Lane”, Strawberry Fields from “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and so on. The video for “Real Love was directed by Kevin Godley (of 10cc fame) and Geoff Wonfor (who directed the documentary The Beatles Anthology). The “Real Love” video incorporated archival footage of The Beatles and John Lennon with modern footage of Paul, George, and Ringo recording in the studio. Added to this were scenes of various Beatles artefacts (Ringo’s drum kit, their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms, and so on) ascending into the sky.
Since the release of “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love” there have been several new Beatles videos released, many consisting of new material. In 2001 Melon Dezign created animated videos for “I Feel Fine” and “Come Together” to promote The Beatles’ compilation album. In 2006 as part of the promotion of the a joint venture between Cirque du Soleil and The Beatles called Love, a video was made for “Tomorrow Never Knows”/”Within You Without You”. The video relied heavily on kaleidoscopic, psychedelic effects. As part of the promotion for The Beatles compilation/live album On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2, a video was made for The Beatles’ cover of Buddy Holly’s “Words of Love”. The video combined archival footage from 1963-1964 (along with footage from A Hard Day’s Night with animation.
While The Beatles would not be the first to make promotional films or music videos, it is quite possible that only a very few other artists were as pivotal in the development of the medium. Following The Beatles many other bands would also make promotional films, including The Kinks (“Sunny Afternoon”), The Rolling Stones (“Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?), The Who (“Happy Jack”), and so on. By 1967 record labels were even making promotional films for lesser known artists (a prime example being A&M making one for Boyce & Hart’s “Out and About”). The production of promotional films would continue into the Seventies when they started being called “music videos”. There was then a little bit of truth to George Harrison’s joking remark in the Beatles Anthology documentary, “So I suppose, in a way, we invented MTV.”
The debt of modern day music videos to the Beatles does not end with the fact that The Beatles largely spurred the production of promo films in the 1960s. While the films produced for the Scopitone and other visual jukeboxes, as well as the musical sequences (or “romps”) on the TV show The Monkees would make considerable contributions to the medium, there can be no doubt that The Beatles would have a lasting impact on the development of the conceptual music video. “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” would leave a lasting impact on music videos.. No longer would music artists be required to be shown performing music (or at least miming doing so) in promotional films and music videos. “Strawberry Fields Forever” would set a precedent for the use of optical effects in promo films. Much of what we today take for granted about music videos can be traced to The Beatles’ promo films, Scopitone films, and the music sequences featured on the TV show The Monkees.
While some of the promotional films have appeared on The Beatles Anthology and a few other releases from Apple Corps Ltd., they have yet to release all of the promo films together in a DVD set. There certainly seems to be a demand for it, and many of them can be found on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sharing sites. (There are also several bootleg DVD collections.) I then rather suspect that if Apple Corps Ltd. were ever to release a collection of restored and remastered promotional films it would be a roaring success. Given the impact of The Beatles’ promo films on rock video, it certainly seems important to preserve them for posterity.
(Terence Towles Canote is the author of Television: Rare & Well Done: Essays on the Medium. He also runs the pop culture blog, A Shroud of Thoughts )