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Sunday 3 October 2010

A Day In The Life

Peter Goldman said about the promo films for Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever: "How in the world should I be able to make something enough funny-bizzare-cleaver-crazy-sofisticated to satisfy The Beatles?"
He succeeded, but the next promo film was going to go an extra mile in the bizarre direction. And of course, it had to - after all, it was the promo film for "A Day In The Life". This time they didn't bother with hiring an outside film maker like Goldman, the task went to their own man, Tony Bramwell. Bramwell had already produced several of the earlier black and white film clips for The Beatles.
On February 10, 1967, George Martin and Paul took turns to conduct the orchestra of 40 musicians for the orchestral overdubs on the song. In addition of the recording, the Beatles asked the musicians to wear full evening dress but then, additionally, don novelties. Everyone wore funny hats or some other sort of carnival novelty.

This orchestral session was filmed by NEMS Enterprises, with Tony Bramwell producing, execising as much control as he could over the seven hand-held cameras utilised for shooting this most chaotic of events. The resulting film includes shots of studio guests Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Donovan, Pattie Boyd and Michael Nesmith.
Photographer: Denise Werneck from Brazil. February 23rd, 1967
The film was later edited, along with some stock non-Beatles footage, into a finished clip for "A Day In The Life" but it was never screened at the time, due to the fact that the BBC announced on 1 June 1967, the day the Sgt. Pepper LP was released, that it was banning A Day in the Life from British stations due to the line "I'd love to turn you on," which, according to the corporation, advocated drug use. According to Bramwell, the film was shown at a couple of sales conventions and then forgotten about.
We don't know whether this was due to the ban on the song or not, but when the film finally surfaced on the BBC, the soundtrack was substituted with "Come Together".
The film and it's original song was finally reunited in the 1983 The Beatles At Abbey Road documentary film, when the version of "A Day In The Life" with a 'clean' intro was used, i.e. not crossfaded from "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)".


Lizzie Bravo said...

Hi Roger! Please note that the photo of John holding a package outside EMI Studios was taken by my friend, fellow Brazilian Denise Werneck. February 23rd, 1967.

wogew said...

Thank you Lizzie, I have amended the post and given her credit for the photo. Have a great day!

Ryszard said...

Wonderul blog, welcome at my ;) not only Fab 4 ;)