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Sgt. PEPPER'S REIKI HEARTS CLUB BAND...
Copyright 2006 James Deacon

 

The official release date for the Beatles' album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was June 1, 1967 (however in the UK the album actually went on sale on May 26).

 

For those unfamiliar with the album, the cover picture shows the Beatles (dressed as Sgt. Pepper's Band), posed in front of a 'crowd scene' comprised of more-or-less life-sized images of famous names from various different walks of life.

Peter Blake (who designed the Sgt Pepper album cover) asked John, Ringo, Paul and George to make lists of people they would like included in the 'crowd scene' collage..

Peter also made a list himself, as did Robert Fraser, Peter's gallery dealer.

Obviously with all these lists, not everyone was going to make it into the final image.

Some were dropped for expediency's sake (for example, John's list of names had included Adolf Hitler. It had also included Jesus - but after outrage in the US in response to John's comment about the Beatles being "bigger than Jesus", this was another name not to make the final list)

Then there were others who, although their cut-outs had been chosen for the final lineup, didn't quite make it - one, for example, was dropped after demanding a fee. And someone else actually asked to be replaced with a palm tree..!

Those who did eventually make it onto the album cover, included:
W.C. Fields, Sigmund Freud, Edgar Allan Poe, Marlene Dietrich, Karl Marx, Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Stan Laurel, Oscar Wilde, and Oliver Hardy.

(And strangely, while Jesus and Hitler didn't make it, somehow Aleister Crowley - dubbed " the wickedest man in all the world" -did make it!)

But here's the interesting part:

Most people are not aware that Peter Blake and photographer Michael Cooper produced (at least) three different versions of the cover photo...

 

Here is a (cropped) copy of the version that actually made it onto the album cover:

 

And the other versions? Well, it seems they have been almost entirely forgotten about...

Here's a copy (again, cropped) of one of the versions that didn't make it to the album cover (in this one, Paul is sitting on the head of the stone bust). There's yet another version below.

 

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CLUB BAND...

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