"My lifelong love of The Beatles collided into a wall of sheer terror at the thought of letting everyone down": Peter Jackson's video for Now And Then is now online

The Beatles
(Image credit: Apple Corps Ltd)

Peter Jackson's long-awaited video for the final Beatles song, Now And Then, is now available on YouTube. The clip's premiere comes 24 hours after the release of the audio of Now And Then, which began life as a home demo John Lennon recorded in the late 1970s, and now features contributions from all four members of the band.

Jackson – who directed 2021's Get Back documentary, and whose software enabled John Lennon's voice to be lifted from the original demo in order to complete the new recording – was initially hesitant to work on the Now And Then video.   

"To be honest, just thinking about the responsibility of having to make a music video worthy of the last song The Beatles will ever release produced a collection of anxieties almost too overwhelming to deal with," says Jackson. "My lifelong love of The Beatles collided into a wall of sheer terror at the thought of letting everyone down. 

"This created intense insecurity in me because I’d never made a music video before, and was not able to imagine how I could even begin to create one for a band that broke up over 50 years ago, had never actually performed the song, and had half of its members no longer with us."

Jackson eventually acquiesced after Apple unearthed over 14 hours of previously unreleased footage shot during the 1995 sessions – when Free As A Bird and Real Love were completed, and attempts to finish Now And Then faltered – which included several hours of Paul, George and Ringo working on the song. He also received modern-day film from McCartney and Starr, some home movie footage from Sean Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, and a short, unseen early live clip from original drummer Pete Best.   

"Watching this footage completely changed the situation," says Jackson. "I could see how a music video could be made. Actually, I found it far easier if I thought of it as making a short movie, so that’s what I did… My lack of confidence with music videos didn’t matter anymore if I wasn’t making one."

A number of physical variants of the Now And Then single are available – backed by The Beatles' first ever release, 1962's Love Me Do – including light blue and clear vinyl 7" singles and a black vinyl 12", while The Beatles' stores is carrying exclusive alternatives.  

The release of the single comes ahead of the reissue of the Beatles' iconic 'Red' and 'Blue' compilations albums (a.k.a. 1962–1966 and 1967-1970), originally released in 1973. Both will land on November 10 and can be pre-ordered now.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.