Hey Jude (1968)
The Beatles hired Michael Lindsay-Hogg to shoot the “Hey Jude” promotional film (he had previously directed a ‘promo’ film for “Paperback Writer”) and they settled on the idea of filming with a live, albeit controlled audience. Lindsay-Hogg shot the film at Twickenham Film Studios on 4 September 1968, with McCartney himself designing the set.
Tony Bramwell, a friend of the Beatles, later described the set as “the piano, there; drums, there; and orchestra in two tiers at the back.” The event is also memorable as it marked Ringo Starr’s return to the group after a two-week hiatus, during which he had announced that he had left the band.
The eventual, final film was a combination of several different takes and included filmed ‘introductions’ to the song by David Frost (who introduced the Beatles as “the greatest tea-room orchestra in the world”) and Cliff Richard, for their respective, eponymous TV programmes. As filming wore on, Lennon repeatedly asked Lindsay-Hogg if he had the footage he needed. After twelve takes, McCartney said, “I think that’s enough” and filming concluded. It was first aired in the UK on 8 September 1968 and the film was later broadcast for the United States on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on 6 October 1968. Footage of the performance can be seen in the Anthology DVD series.
The Beatles performed the song semi-live (with live vocals performed over a pre-recorded instrumental track) in a specially produced promotional film shot by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg at the same time as the “Hey Jude” promotional film. The only contemporary UK screening of the Revolution clip was on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops on Thursday 19 September.
As the Beatles were singing the vocals live on the film, they elected to incorporate part of the vocal arrangement from the slower Revolution 1 version of the track. McCartney and George Harrison added the “shoo-bee-doo-wah” backing vocals unique to that version behind Lennon’s lead vocal – thus making the vocals on the film performance a hybrid of the two versions of the song.
The Beatles White Album Sessions
This documentary short film, running just 4:43 minutes, was available exclusively with the 2009 stereo remasters box set release.