Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Beatles' Apple Promotional Film, 1968.

This is the Apple Promotional Film from 1968. In case you haven't a clue, Apple Corps was set up by the Beatles in 1968 and it quickly got out of control. In the below film, you can see that it wasn't exactly thought out.

There's a conversation in the beginning between Paul, John and Dick James (Yes, the same Dick James who sold all of their songs in 1969 without offering the Beatles themselves a chance to buy them!) and then cuts to Paul playing 'Blackbird' in the studio. (The woman seen next to him is Francie Schwartz, one of Macca's many girlfriends at the time) and then at the end of that segment, George Martin briefly appears. Then some more shots of Swinging London, including the much maligned and ill-fated 'Apple Boutique' on Baker Street.

Then a segment with new Apple artist Mary Hopkin singing and playing guitar in what appears to be Paul McCartney's back garden in Cavendish Avenue. Paul's sheepdog Martha is seen making an appearance and then Paul strolls in at the end holding what appears to be a glass of Iced Tea and says "That was Mary Hopkin and this is Alex..."

The 'Alex' in the next segment was John Lennon's new mate Alexis Mardas or "Magic Alex" as he came to be known thanks to Lennon, who was the head of Apple Electronics but when approached to design and build a new studio for the Beatles to use in the basement of 3 Savile Row, failed to do so. The "studio" turned out to be an absolute disaster and Alex quietly disappeared when Allen Klein came in.

After that, it was a piece where John, Paul and Dick James listen to a phone playing music that sounds like "on hold" music. (This may have been what George Harrison remembered in the anthology that Alex Mardas' only invention of note was a "Toilet with a radio in it or something")

The last segment is Paul demoing 'Helter Skelter' and there's a shot of John & Yoko sitting on the floor next to George Martin. The film ends with the painting that inspired it all.

Here's the film:

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