February 5, 1967

5 02 2009

On this day in 1967*, the Beatles began shooting the promotional film for “Penny Lane.”  The promo film for “Strawberry Fields Forever” was already complete and a film for this double A side single needed to be made.

The promo film is somewhat deceiving as it gives the impression of having been filmed, at least in part, in the Penny Lane district of Liverpool.  But it was actually filmed in London with previously shot footage of Liverpool intercut with the sequences of the Fabs walking around town.  The pastoral scenes were shot in Knole Park.

Some folks may not realize that the Beatles were one of the first bands, if not the first, to pioneer use of promotional films in music.  As George Harrison said in the Anthology, in a way the Beatles invented MTV.  It made an awfully sense to send around films — videos — to places where they couldn’t go (or simply didn’t want to be.)  For us fans that grew up in the 80’s, we had the benefit of having some old Beatles “videos” to watch.

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*Occasionally, I like to look and see what the Beatles were doing on any given day on the calendar.  They packed so much into their relatively short career that there was always something going on with them.  Sometimes something will catch my eye and I’ll write about it.

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