Category Archives: Beatles

Sgt Pepper Photo Shoot

Sgt Pepper Photo Shoot

1967 had already been a busy year for the Beatles before March 30. As you can see below, working on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band dominated their January days. Some recordings would not appear on Pepper’s (“Penny Lane”).

Though no MTV was around, the studio-dedicated Beatles had already gotten into going outside to do short films with some of their songs. A compromise for fans who could not see them perform. In January they did a short for “Strawberry Fields Forever” in Knole Park. Here’s a piece of that short.

There was also a proposed movie in the works. Paul and Ringo went to see some guy Jimi Hendrix.

Sgt Pepper Photo Shoot

January 1967

  • 02: tape copying: When I’m Sixty-Four, Strawberry Fields Forever
  • 04: recording: Penny Lane
  • 05: recording: Penny Lane, Carnival Of Light
  • 06: UK album release: The Family Way
  • 06: recording: Penny Lane
  • 09: recording, mixing: Penny Lane
  • 10: recording: Penny Lane
  • 11: McCartney and Starr watch Jimi Hendrix in London
  • 12: Joe Orton is asked to write a film script for The Beatles
  • 12: recording, mixing: Penny Lane
  • 15: McCartney and Harrison watch Donovan in London
  • 16: Joe Orton begins writing a script for The Beatles’ third film
  • 17: John Lennon begins writing A Day In The Life
  • 17: recording, mixing: Penny Lane
  • 18: television: Paul McCartney interviewed for Scene Special
  • 19: recording: A Day In The Life
  • 20: recording: A Day In The Life
  • 24: Paul McCartney and Brian Epstein discuss The Beatles’ third film with Joe Orton
  • 25: mixing: Penny Lane
  • 30: filming: Strawberry Fields Forever
  • 30: mixing: A Day In The Life
  • 31: filming: Strawberry Fields Forever
Sgt Pepper Photo Shoot

February 1967

No Hendrix in February. They did go back outside to film a short for “Penny Lane” in Knole Park again as well as near Angel Lane in Stratford, London. 

They recorded another song that would not be on Sgt Pepper’s, “Only a Northern Song,” . And while we have memorized the album’s song order, it would be a mistake to think that they recorded it in that order.

  • 01: recording: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • 02: recording, mixing: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • 03: recording: A Day In The Life
  • 05: Filming: Penny Lane
  • 07: Filming: Penny Lane
  • 08: recording: Good Morning Good Morning
  • 09: recording: Fixing A Hole
  • 10: recording: A Day In The Life
  • 13: US single release: Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever
  • 13: recording, mixing: A Day In The Life, Only A Northern Song
  • 14: recording, mixing: Only A Northern Song
  • 16: recording, mixing: Good Morning Good Morning
  • 17: UK single release: Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever
  • 17: recording, mixing: Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!
  • 20: recording, mixing: Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!, Good Morning Good Morning
  • 21: recording, mixing: Fixing A Hole
  • 22: recording, mixing: A Day In The Life
  • 23: recording, mixing, editing: A Day In The Life, Lovely Rita
  • 24: recording: Lovely Rita
  • 28: recording: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Sgt Pepper Cover Photo Shoot

March 1967

March meant more recording and of course their new album needed a cover. And what a cover. Suffice to say that having lyrics on the back, a gatefold sleeve with their huge pictures in the middle, and an insert to cut out props would have been plenty, but the front cover. Oh that front cover!

  • 01: recording: A Day In The Life, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • 02: recording, mixing: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • 03: recording, mixing: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • 06: recording, mixing: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • 07: recording: Lovely Rita
  • 09: recording: Getting Better
  • 10: recording: Getting Better
  • 13: recording: Good Morning Good Morning
  • 15: recording: Within You Without You
  • 17: recording: She’s Leaving Home
  • 20: recording, mixing: She’s Leaving Home
  • 21: recording, mixing, editing: Getting Better, Lovely Rita
  • 22: recording, mixing: Within You Without You
  • 23: recording, mixing: Getting Better
  • 28: recording: Good Morning Good Morning, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!
  • 29: recording: Good Morning Good Morning, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!, With A Little Help From My Friends
  • 30: cover shoot for Sgt Pepper
  • 30: recording: With A Little Help From My Friends
  • 31: recording, mixing: With A Little Help From My Friends, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!

Ironically, they had “With a Little Help From My Friends” on their evening schedule, but before that they had a late afternoon appointment at Michael Cooper’s London photo studio to take that cover shot.

Sgt Pepper Cover Photo Shoot

Group effort

Once they settled on the concept of the Beatles being surround by various personages, each of them contributed a list of names. John’s suggestions of Hitler and Jesus (see John Lennon Opines) were crossed off.  EMI scratched off Ghandi because it would cause problems with sales in India.

Artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth designed the cover from an ink drawing Paul had done. Robert Fraser was the art director. Blake and Haworth also designed the inside cardboard cutouts.

The final cost for the cover art was nearly £3,000, an extravagant sum for a time when album covers would typically cost around £50. For their work on Sgt. Pepper, Blake and Haworth won the 1968 Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts.Sgt Pepper Cover Photo Shoot

So who’s who?

Sgt Pepper Photo Shoot

1.  Sri Yukteswar (Indian Guru)
2.  Aleister Crowley (black magician)
3.  Mae West
4.  Lenny Bruce
5.  Karlheinz Stockhausen (German composer)
6.  W.C. Fields
7.  Carl Jung (psychologist)
8.  Edgar Allen Poe
9.  Fred Astaire
10. Merkin (American artist)
12. Huntz Hall (Bowery Boy)
13. Simon Rodia (creater of Watts Towers)
14. Bob Dylan
15. Aubrey Beardsly (Victorian artist)
16. Sir Robert Peel (Police pioneer)
17. Aldous Huxley (philosopher)
18. Dylan Thomas (Welsh poet)
19. Terry Southern (author)
20. Dion (American pop singer)21. Tony Curtis
22. Wallace Berman (Los Angeles artist)
23. Tommy Handley (wartime comedian)
24. Marilyn Monroe
25. William Burroughs (author)
26. Mahavatar Babaji (Indian Guru)
27. Stan Laurel
28. Richard Lindner (New York artist)
29. Oliver Hardy
30. Karl Marx
31. H.G. Wells
32. Paramhansa Yogananda (Indian Guru)
33. Stuart Sutcliffe
35. Max Muller
37. Marlon Brando
38. Tom Mix (cowboy film star)
39. Oscar Wilde
40. Tyrone Power

41. Larry Bell (modern painter)
42. Dr. Livingstone
43. Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan)
44. Stephen Crane (American writer)
45. Issy Bonn (comedian)
46. George Bernard Shaw
47. Albert Stubbins (Liverpool footballer)
49. Lahiri Mahasaya (Indian Guru)
50. Lewis Carol
51. Sonny Liston (boxer)
52 – 55. The Beatles (in wax)
57. Marlene Dietrich
58. Diana Dors
59. Shirley Temple
60. Bobby Breen (singing prodigy)
61. T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)

Sgt Pepper Photo Shoot

Beatles March 21 Music et al

Beatles March 21 Music et al

Cavern Club

Beatles March 21 Music et al

March 21, 1961 was The Beatles’ first night-time performance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club. Their 11 previous appearances at the venue had been lunchtime shows.The band got $42.00 per night. They supported The Blue Genes, who later became The Swinging Blue Jeans.

Although the precise number of their Cavern performances is not known, The Beatles played at least 155 lunchtime and 125 evening shows. Their final performance at the venue took place on 3 August 1963. (see Mar 24)

Beatles March 21 Music et al

She Loves You

Beatles March 21 Music et al

March 21 – April 3, 1964, The Beatles: “She Loves You” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (next Beatles, see Mar 23)

From Soundscape dot com: …there are a number of significant ways in which “She Loves You” is not particularly daring; shades of Norm’s warning to the group, “let’s not pull any strokes or do anything I’ll be sorry for.” In particular:

  • The phrasing throughout is totally four-square; the verse is four times four, and the refrain is a true middle eight.
  • The harmonic rhythm is fairly regular throughout with no extremes. The chords generally change every two measures. The few places where this pattern is broken by chord changes every measure would seem to be carefully staged, however subconsciously.
  • The harmonic scheme, in spite of a few localized touches of color, is rather static; the song is firmly in G throughout.
  • And yet, the song contains a musical vocabulary and arrangement that is shot through with quirky details and nuances that were soon to develop into trademarks of the group; their special “sound” is already apparent.
Beatles March 21 Music et al

The Saturday Evening Post

Beatles March 21 Music et al

March 21, 1964: Beatles appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, one of America’s mainstream magazines at the time.  Post’s cover story – “The Secrets of The Beatles” – promised “an intimate account of their American tour and a probing analysis of their incredible power to excite frenzied emotions among the young.”

Written by Alfred G. Aronowitz, the article lead with, “They can’t read music, their beat is corny and their voices are faint, but England’s shaggy-maned exports manage to flip wigs on two continents.”  (Full article

Beatles March 21 Music et al

Strawberry Fields

March 21, 1984: a section of Central Park was renamed ‘Strawberry Fields’ to honor John Lennon. 

The New York Times article read in part…

Yoko Ono looked up at the cold, rainy sky over Central Park yesterday. ”Thank you, John,” she said, her voice choking through a smile. ”We made it happen again.”

Using golden shovels, the musician’s widow and Mayor Koch helped break ground on the two-and-a-half- acre section of the park called Strawberry Fields, dedicated to John Lennon. The Mayor said Miss Ono had given the city $1 million to restore and maintain the area.

The plot, just east of 72d Street and Central Park West, is a few hundred yards from the spot where the former Beatle was shot dead on Dec. 8, 1980, in front of his home in the Dakota. (full NYT article) (see February 10, 1986)

Beatles March 21 Music et al

Paul McCartney

March 21, 2016: Paul McCartney filed legal papers in the US, as part of an attempt to reclaim the publishing rights to The Beatles’ back catalog. Although he co-wrote most of the band’s hits, the he never controlled the publishing.

However, the US copyright act of 1976 gives writers the opportunity to reclaim the rights after 56 years. The Lennon-McCartney catalog becomes available in 2018, and McCartney recently moved to recapture it. (see Aug 29)

Beatles March 21 Music et al

February 10 Music et al

February 10 Music et al

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

February 10 – April 6, 1962: soundtrack from Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the Billboard #1 stereo album.

The Beatles

February 10, 1967: the Beatles recorded the orchestral overdubs for “A Day In The Life.”

From the Beatles Bible site: John Lennon had suggested the use of a symphony orchestra to fill the song’s instrumental passages, but was unable to put his ideas into adequate words. Paul McCartney suggested asking the players to build from their instruments’ lowest possible notes to the highest, and George Martin was given the task of turning the vision into reality.

Forty orchestral musicians were hired for the session.

The session was recorded onto a separate reel of tape running in parallel with The Beatles’ previously-recorded instruments and vocals. This required EMI’s staff to create a technical solution to allow two four-track machines to run together. (see March 18 – 24)

February 10 Music et al

John Lennon

February 10, 1986: though recorded on August 30, 1972, this date marks the release of Live in New York City, Lennon’s last full-length concert performance. It came right after the release of Some Time in New York City.

Backing Lennon and Ono were Elephant’s Memory, who had served as Lennon and Ono’s backing band on Some Time in New York City. Although the material Lennon performed was largely drawn from his three most recent albums of the period (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and Some Time in New York City), he also included in the setlist his Beatles hit “Come Together” and paid tribute to Elvis Presley with “Hound Dog” before leading the audience in a singalong of “Give Peace a Chance”. (see January 20, 1988)

Love Is Blue

February 10 – March 15, 1968: “Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The first instrumental to hit number 1 on the Billboard charts since the Tornados hit with “Telstar” in 1962 and the only American number-one single to be recorded in France.

February 10 Music et al

Road to Woodstock

February 10, 1969: Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld met with John Roberts and Joel Rosenman the second time. The idea of a concert to promote the proposed recording studio was discussed.  (see Road for expanded story)

February 10 Music et al