Tag 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


  • 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


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 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?

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 Buroughs (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 Power41. 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
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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. (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
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January Music et al

January Music et al

The 1960s was a great decade for January music

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps

In January 1960: John Coltrane released his “Giant Steps” album, considered a classic jazz album and one that saxophonists still measure themselves by today. Linsey Planer at AllMusic.com writesHistory will undoubtedly enshrine this disc as a watershed the likes of which may never truly be appreciated. Giant Steps bore the double-edged sword of furthering the cause of the music as well as delivering it to an increasingly mainstream audience.”

Take a listen to this amazing music!

January Music et al

Two Steps from the Blues Bobby “Blue” Bland

In January 1961: Bobby Blue Bland released Two Steps from the Blues album. Bland was an original member of the Beale Streeters and was sometimes referred to as the “Lion of the Blues”. Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Junior Parker, Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B. An imitator of Frank Sinatra, he was also known as the “Sinatra of the blues”, his music being influenced by Nat King Cole. Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

January Music et al

John Birch Paranoid Blues

In January 1962 Bob Dylan wrote  “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues

Well, I was feelin’ sad and feelin’ blue
I didn’t know what in the world I wus gonna do
Them Communists they wus comin’ around
They wus in the air
They wus on the ground
They wouldn’t gimme no peace . . . So I run down most hurriedly
And joined up with the John Birch Society
I got me a secret membership card
And started off a-walkin’ down the road
Yee-hoo, I’m a real John Bircher now!
Look out you Commies! Now we all agree with Hitler’s views
Although he killed six million Jews
It don’t matter too much that he was a Fascist
At least you can’t say he was a Communist!
That’s to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria Well, I wus lookin’ everywhere for them gol-darned Reds
I got up in the mornin’ ’n’ looked under my bed
Looked in the sink, behind the door
Looked in the glove compartment of my car
Couldn’t find ’em . . . I wus lookin’ high an’ low for them Reds everywhere
I wus lookin’ in the sink an’ underneath the chair
I looked way up my chimney hole
I even looked deep down inside my toilet bowl
They got away . . .
Well, I wus sittin’ home alone an’ started to sweat
Figured they wus in my T.V. set
Peeked behind the picture frame
Got a shock from my feet, hittin’ right up in the brain
Them Reds caused it!
I know they did . . . them hard-core ones Well, I quit my job so I could work all alone
Then I changed my name to Sherlock Holmes
Followed some clues from my detective bag
And discovered they wus red stripes on the American flag!
Ol’ Betsy Ross . . . Well, I investigated all the books in the library
Ninety percent of ’em gotta be throwed away
I investigated all the people that I knowed
Ninety-eight percent of them gotta go
The other two percent are fellow Birchers . . . just like me Now Eisenhower, he’s a Russian spy
Lincoln, Jefferson and that Roosevelt guy
To my knowledge there’s just one man
That’s really a true American: George Lincoln Rockwell
I know for a fact he hates Commies cus he picketed the movie Exodus Well, I fin’ly started thinkin’ straight
When I run outa things to investigate
Couldn’t imagine doin’ anything else
So now I’m sittin’ home investigatin’ myself!
Hope I don’t find out nothing . . . good God!

January Music et al

Bob & Suze

In January 1963:  Bob Dylan back together with Suze Rotolo (who herself is back from Italy). The relationship is a strained one and one that Dylan is not true to. (see In February)

January Music et al

Albert Ayler

January Music et al

In January 1965: Albert Ayler’s Spiritual Unity album released. “Ayler was among the most primal of the free jazz musicians of the 1960s; critic John Litweiler wrote that ‘never before or since has there been such naked aggression in jazz.’ He possessed a deep blistering tone—achieved by using the stiff plastic Fibrecane no. 4 reeds on his tenor saxophone—and used a broad, pathos-filled vibrato.” (AllMusic Review by Steve Huey)

January Music et al

Sounds of Silence

January 1 – 7, 1966: “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see Wednesday Morning 3am)

January Music et al

Roots of Rock

January 1, 1967: FM stations were no longer allowed to simply simulcast their AM counterpart. Birth of “underground “ rock radio.

January Music et al

John Lennon/FBI

Happy New Year Happy New Music

In January 1972: the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a file on John Lennon and Yoko Ono fearing they would organize the youth vote and prevent a second term for President Richard Nixon. (see Feb 4)

January Music et al

John and Yoko

Happy New Year Happy New Music

In January 1975: John and Yoko reunited after 18 month separation—the so-called “Lost Weekend.” (see Jan 9)

January Music et al

New Year New Music, New Year New Music, New Year New Music, 

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