Difference between revisions of "Late Night Line-Up (partially found Beatles "Abbey Road" special; 1969)"

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==Background==
 
==Background==
According to Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn's book ''The Complete Beatles Chronicle'', the special was produced in cooperation with The Beatles' company Apple Corps to promote their album ''Abbey Road'', with was to be released the following week of the program's air-date.  "The Beatles approached us", the BBC told the Daily Mirror. "It seems they often watch the program and they like the way pop music has been covered visually." Rowan Ayers, the editor for Line-Up, said that he planned to "illustrate the music with captions, film sequences and electronic devices."
+
The special was produced in cooperation with The Beatles' company Apple Corps to promote their album ''Abbey Road'', which was to be released the following week of the program's air-date<ref>The Complete Bealtes Chronicle, Mark Lewishon</ref>.  "The Beatles approached us", the BBC told the Daily Mirror. "It seems they often watch the program and they like the way pop music has been covered visually." Rowan Ayers, the editor for Line-Up, said that he planned to "illustrate the music with captions, film sequences and electronic devices."
  
Ayers met with The Beatles at Apple Corps to discuss the project.  According to Ayers account of that meeting, although John Lennon was "laconic" and George Harrison seemed "lost in thought" it was Paul McCartney that showed enthusiasm for the show.  Coming up with "plenty of suggestions and ideas" of the program.  Ringo Starr too showed interest and asked Ayers questions about the production and it's production crew<ref>The Beatles Book, Hunter Davis, 2019, Ebury Press, ISBN: 978009158633</ref><ref>Rowan Ayers wrote a letter written to the buyer of an animation cell from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" animation.  The letter titled "Background To The Signed Caption" detailed the making of the TV special.</ref>.
+
Ayers met with The Beatles at Apple Corps to discuss the project.  According to Ayers account of that meeting, although John Lennon was "laconic" and George Harrison seemed "lost in thought" it was Paul McCartney that showed enthusiasm for the show.  Coming up with "plenty of suggestions and ideas" of the program.  Ringo Starr too showed interest and asked Ayers questions about the production and it's production crew<ref>The Beatles Book, Hunter Davis, 2019, Ebury Press, ISBN: 978009158633</ref><ref>Rowan Ayers wrote a letter written to the buyer of an animation cell from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" animation.  The letter titled "Background To The Signed Caption" detailed the making of the TV special.</ref>.  Ayers recalls "We had a fortnight's notice...and we used all kinds of devices, like captions and film, and the Beatles were wild about it”<ref>Radio Times.  17th January, 1970.</ref>.  The program was directed by Granville Jenkins.
  
 
The program first aired in the U.K. on Friday, September 19th, at 10:55-11:30 pm on BBC2 and then again on Saturday, October 10th, in a full repeat at 11:25-12:00 pm.
 
The program first aired in the U.K. on Friday, September 19th, at 10:55-11:30 pm on BBC2 and then again on Saturday, October 10th, in a full repeat at 11:25-12:00 pm.

Revision as of 04:18, 5 March 2020

BeatlesAbbeyRoadSpecial01.jpg

An animation cel from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" sequence.

Status: Partially Found

An article from New Musical Express covering the TV special, dated September 13th, 1969.

Late Night Line-Up was a pioneering British television discussion program broadcast on BBC2 between 1964 and 1972. On Friday, September 19th, 1969, the program devoted an entire 33-minute show to highlight the then-upcoming Beatles album Abbey Road. The program featured short music videos of each of the album's songs (except Oh Darling, I Want You (She's So Heavy) and She Came In Through The Bathroom Window).

Background[edit | edit source]

The special was produced in cooperation with The Beatles' company Apple Corps to promote their album Abbey Road, which was to be released the following week of the program's air-date[1]. "The Beatles approached us", the BBC told the Daily Mirror. "It seems they often watch the program and they like the way pop music has been covered visually." Rowan Ayers, the editor for Line-Up, said that he planned to "illustrate the music with captions, film sequences and electronic devices."

Ayers met with The Beatles at Apple Corps to discuss the project. According to Ayers account of that meeting, although John Lennon was "laconic" and George Harrison seemed "lost in thought" it was Paul McCartney that showed enthusiasm for the show. Coming up with "plenty of suggestions and ideas" of the program. Ringo Starr too showed interest and asked Ayers questions about the production and it's production crew[2][3]. Ayers recalls "We had a fortnight's notice...and we used all kinds of devices, like captions and film, and the Beatles were wild about it”[4]. The program was directed by Granville Jenkins.

The program first aired in the U.K. on Friday, September 19th, at 10:55-11:30 pm on BBC2 and then again on Saturday, October 10th, in a full repeat at 11:25-12:00 pm.

To this date, the entire program has not surfaced and the master tapes are presumed to have been wiped by the BBC.

Discovered Footage[edit | edit source]

On October 20th, 2019, Steve Hoffman Forum user dormouse shared an uploaded video from Dig Media that contained what is believed to be 53 seconds of silent footage from the TV special. The footage is black and white and appears to be captured from a TV monitor. The same footage with audio was uploaded to Dig Media’s Twitter account.[5] It was relieved by Dig Media on their user account that the complete program was on that video. Footage containing audio was uploaded onto their Twitter account.[6]

The video shows the "Come Together" segment that has the song playing over the A Day In The Life promo video. The song cross fades into a still from the Beatles' final photo session which transitions into the "Something" segment. "Something" features a female dancer, superimposed psychedelic lighting and effects. DIG Media had the footage because they were administering the video library left by sixties’ counterculture figure Jack Henry Moore. The footage appears to be sourced from an off-air recording from one of the two BBC2 broadcasts.

On February 12th, 2020, Dig Media posted another still shot from their Twitter account from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" segment.[7]

Discovered footage from the Late Night Lineup special uploaded to YouTube. The footage appears to have been filmed from a black and white monitor.
A screenshot of an off-air recording from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" sequence. This was posted by Did Media on their Twitter account.


Content[edit | edit source]

According to recollections of people how saw the program at the time; the program began with a copy of the Abbey Road record spinning on a turntable. Each song was linked by footage of the album playing on a turntable. Fans who saw the special and other publications have reported the special was a mixture of stock footage, art-house films, dancers, animation and exclusive Beatles footage.

Come Together[edit | edit source]

The footage used was the (then unreleased) promotional video for A Day In The Life. It was originally meant for an abandoned Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band TV special planned for 1967. The footage sent to the BBC was silent, and the track Come Together placed over it by the show's producers. The version of Come Together used is a unique mono mix that has never been commercially released. In 2017, the Come Together segment was released in full from a 16mm print on the TMOQ bootleg DVD The 1967 Sgt. Pepper Commemorative Issue.[8]

An animation cel from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" sequence. This cel features autographs from the members of The Beatles and was for sale on eBay in 2004.

Something[edit | edit source]

After a transition from a photographic still (taken from the group's final photo session), the "Something" segment featured a woman dancing to the song with psychedelic images superimposed over her. After the program aired, an official promotional music video would later be created to promote the song's single by Apple Corps. This video would feature The Beatles themselves.

Maxwell's Silver Hammer[edit | edit source]

The "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" segment was an animated short featuring The Beatles (with their mid-1969 hairstyles and breads) dressed as a barbershop quartet. In December 2004 a signed animation cel from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" segment of the program put up on eBay for $2.25m. The cell was listed again on eBay for $1 million USD in October 2019. This time it ended with no bids. The cell included a typed letter from the editor of Late Night Line Up, Rowan Ayres detailing the history of the cell and the special.[9]

Because[edit | edit source]

Reportedly, footage from the first moon landing was used during this segment.

Other Content[edit | edit source]

While it is unclear what where footage could have been used on which track, other films reportedly used during the special included Scott Barlett's experimental film On/Off (1967).

On/Off (1967).

Songs Used in the Special[edit | edit source]

The correct order of songs is yet unknown. From the footage released by Dig Media, "Come Together" is followed by "Something", just like on the released Abbey Road album.

  1. Come Together
  2. Something
  3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
  4. Octopus's Garden
  5. I Want You (She's So Heavy) (reported by viewer)
  6. Here Comes The Sun
  7. Because
  8. You Never Give Me Your Money
  9. Sun King
  10. Mean Mr Mustard
  11. Polythene Pam
  12. Golden Slumbers/Golden Slumbers (reprise)
  13. The End

Gallery[edit | edit source]

A letter from Late Night Line Up Editor, Rowan Ayers detailing the history of the Abbey Road special.
A Day In The Life promotional film (1967).
The complete animation cel in frame.
A fan recreation of the “Maxwell Silver Hammer” segment. Using their own music (Till I Met You by Purple Cream) over the video.
A 5-second clip from the “Come Together” promo made for the special.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Complete Bealtes Chronicle, Mark Lewishon
  2. The Beatles Book, Hunter Davis, 2019, Ebury Press, ISBN: 978009158633
  3. Rowan Ayers wrote a letter written to the buyer of an animation cell from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" animation. The letter titled "Background To The Signed Caption" detailed the making of the TV special.
  4. Radio Times. 17th January, 1970.
  5. Dig Media’s Twitter post that has the footage with sound. Retrieved 21 Oct '19
  6. Dig Media Twitter post on the program. Retrieved 11 Oct '19
  7. Dig Media Twitter post on the program. Retrieved 21 Feb '20
  8. Review of the TMOQ DVD set. Retrieved 21 Oct '19
  9. eBay listing for an animation cell from the "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" segmet. Retrieved 21 Oct '19